India 2019

11th-28th February 2019

This was a pure birding trip to Northern India purchased from the UK company ‘Sunbird Tours’, although all

tours are joint organized together with the American sister company ‘Wings Birding Tours’. The group of nine participants that came from various countries plus our Sunbird/Wings birding guide, assembled in Delhi the day before the trip started. The group was assisted by a local guide/tour escort who accompanied us the whole time, coach driver with helper when travelling between localities or jeep driver and park guide when inside the national parks. The itinerary was well planned and tested earlier to see as many species as possible during the 17 field days we had available and was based at three main localities accessible from Delhi, including Ranthambhore, Bharatpur and Nainital in the Himalayan foothills. Traveling between these localities was by modern coach and sleeper night train although also a longish journey in open jeeps, but within Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve and the Nainital areas was only in three open jeeps. Accommodation varied from luxurious hotels to basic lodges, but always the best available at each site. The tasty Indian food, much of it vegetarian, varied little at the more basic accommodations but was superb and very varied at the best hotels. Our birding guide had excellent birding skills

in finding and identifying the 400+ species we saw on the trip and has guided this tour for many years, but surprisingly, there was minimal personal communication with some participants. Our local guide did an excellent job organizing the ground management making our tour as good as problem free. He also had good birding skills and found several good birds during the tour, but he was not updated for the localities of several rarer species and unfortunately due to this we didn’t see these.

 

Because of hasty birding tempo there was often little time to appreciate all the new species seen, including several of the more interesting ones and little time for discussing subspecies or age and sex of some observations.

This tour it seemed was designed mostly for general birders rather than knowledgeable or experienced ones.

Bird photography was not a priority on this birding tour but as these images show, there was occasionally time to take reasonable images of some species although if too much time was used there was a risk of missing the

next good bird.

All in all, a superb birding tour with many new species seen and many photographed, but if bird photography is the prime interest, then the above points should be carefully addressed when considering a birding tour of this type.

A selection of mammal images from this trip will be found under Diverse Nature - Mammals.

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11th-28th February 2019

Cotton Pygmy-Goose

Cotton Pygmy-Goose

(Nettapus coromandelianus coromandelianus) female - Keoladeo Ghana National Park, 16th February 2019

Ferruginous Duck

Ferruginous Duck

(Aythya nyroca) male - Keoladeo Ghana National Park, 16th February 2019

Kalij Pheasant

Kalij Pheasant

(Lophura leucomelanos hamiltonii) male - Jim Corbett NP, 23rd February 2019

Oriental Turtle Dove

Oriental Turtle Dove

(Streptopelia orientalis) presumably S.t. agricola. - Nainital, 25th February 2019

Eurasian Thick-knee

Eurasian Thick-knee

Burhinus oedicnemus harterti - Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, 14th February 2019

River Lapwing

River Lapwing

( Vanellus duvaucelii) - Chambal River, 18th February 2018

Red-wattled Lapwing

Red-wattled Lapwing

(Vanellus indicus indicus) - Jaipur, 13th February 2019

Marsh Sandpiper

Marsh Sandpiper

(Tringa stagnatilis) - Jaipur, 13th February 2019

Small Pratincole

Small Pratincole

(Glareola lactea) - Chambal River, 18th February 2018

Indian Cormorant

Indian Cormorant

(Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) - Keoladeo Ghana National Park, 17th February 2019

Indian Pond Heron

Indian Pond Heron

(Ardeola grayii) - Keoladeo Ghana National Park, 17th February 2019

Indian Pond Heron

Indian Pond Heron

(Ardeola grayii) - Keoladeo Ghana National Park, 17th February 2019

Black-winged Kite

Black-winged Kite

(Elanus caeruleus vociferus) - Jim Corbett NP, 24th February 2019

Crested Serpent-Eagle

Crested Serpent-Eagle

(Spilornis cheela cheela) - Jim Corbett NP, 22nd February 2019

Steppe Eagle

Steppe Eagle

(Aquila nipalensis nipalensis) second year - Keoladeo Ghana National Park, 17th February 2019

Imperial Eagle

Imperial Eagle

(Aquila heliaca) second year - Keoladeo Ghana National Park, 17th February 2019

Imperial Eagle

Imperial Eagle

(Aquila heliaca) second year - Keoladeo Ghana National Park, 17th February 2019

Black Kite

Black Kite

(Milvus (migrans) lineatus) 'Black-eared Kite' - Sultanpur NP, 28th February 2019

Lesser Fish Eagle

Lesser Fish Eagle

(Haliaeetus humilis plumbeus) - Jim Corbett NP, 23rd February 2019

Brown Fish-Owl

Brown Fish-Owl

(Ketupa zeylonensis leschenaulti) - Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, 14th February 2019

Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

(Ceryle rudis leucomelanurus) - Chambal River, 18th February 2019

Indian Roller

Indian Roller

(Coracias benghalensis benghalensis) - Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, 14th February 2019

Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker

Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker

(Dendrocopos macei) - Between Kathgodam & Kumeria 20th February 2019

Long-tailed Shrike

Long-tailed Shrike

(Lanius schach caniceps) - Jim Corbett NP, 24th February 2019

Bay-backed Shrike

Bay-backed Shrike

(Lanius vittatus vittatus) - Sultanpur NP, 28th February 2019

Common Green-Magpie

Common Green-Magpie

(Cissa chinensis chinensis) after a rain shower - Nainital, 27th February 2019

Rufous Treepie

Rufous Treepie

(Dendrocitta vagabunda vagabunda/bristoli) - Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, 13th February 2019

Rufous Treepie

Rufous Treepie

(Dendrocitta vagabunda vagabunda/bristoli) second year - Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, 13th February 2019

Coal Tit

Coal Tit

(Periparus ater melanolophus) 'Spot-winged Tit', with flower pollen in its plumage - Pangot, 26th February 2018

Himalayan Black-lored Tit

Himalayan Black-lored Tit

(Machlolophus xanthogenys) male - Nainital, 27th February 2019

White-eared Bulbul

White-eared Bulbul

(Pycnonotus leucotis leucotis) - Keoladeo Ghana National Park, 16th February 2019

Whistler's Warbler

Whistler's Warbler

(Phylloscopus whistleri) - Nainital, 25th February 2019

Large Gray Babbler

Large Gray Babbler

(Turdoides malcolmi) - Ranthambhore Tiger Sanctuary, 12th February 2019

Jungle Babbler

Jungle Babbler

(Turdoides striata striata) - Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, 13th February 2019

Streaked Laughingthrush

Streaked Laughingthrush

(Trochalopteron lineatum lineatum) - Nainital, 27th February 2019

Streaked Laughingthrush

Streaked Laughingthrush

(Trochalopteron lineatum lineatum) - Nainital, 27th February 2019

Rufous Sibia

Rufous Sibia

(Heterophasia capistrata) - Pangot, 26th February 2019

Red-billed Leiothrix

Red-billed Leiothrix

(Leiothrix lutea) - Nainital, 25th February 2019

Oriental Magpie-Robin

Oriental Magpie-Robin

(Copsychus saularis saularis) male - Keoladeo Ghana National Park, 16th February 2019

Rufous-bellied Niltava

Rufous-bellied Niltava

(Niltava sundara) male - Corbett NP, 20th February 2019

Blue Whistling Thrush

Blue Whistling Thrush

(Myophonus caeruleus temminckii) - Nainital, 25th February 2019

Blue-capped Redstart

Blue-capped Redstart

(Phoenicurus coeruleocephala) second year male - Nainital, 27th February 2019

Blue-capped Redstart

Blue-capped Redstart

(Phoenicurus coeruleocephala) female - Nainital, 27th February 2019

Black Redstart

Black Redstart

(Phoenicurus ochruros rufiventris) male - Keoladeo Ghana National Park, 16th February 2019

Pied Stonechat

Pied Stonechat

(Saxicola caprata) first winter male - near Bharatpur, 17th February 2019

Gray Bushchat

Gray Bushchat

(Saxicola ferreus ferreus) male - Nainital, 27th February 2019

Sind Sparrow

Sind Sparrow

(Passer pyrrhonotus) male – Sultanpur NP, 28th February 2019.

White (Amur) Wagtail

White (Amur) Wagtail

(Motacilla alba leucopsis) second year - Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, 14th February 2019

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