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Trip Report

Trip Report North India birding

New Delhi – Bharatpur – Chambal – Agra – Sattal – Pangot - Corbett
Duration: 4th January to 15th January
Trip Report by: Uday Patel


Visitors: Birders from UK
Jonathan David Barnard
Karen Spavin
Simon Spavin
Anita Burton
Richard Geldart Burton
Colin Fenn
Jacqueline Fenn
Uday Patel (Tour leader)

IndiaFootprints a destination management company organizes tours to several destinations in India. But wildlife and birding tours are the company’s forte. This itinerary had been devised keeping the sole objective of bird watching in mind.

The trip started at New Delhi but drove straight to Bharatpur. An excellent birding destination Bharatpur was in chaos due to presence of a male tiger in the park. As a result some areas were closed to birders as a measure of protection.
We visited Chambal, Sattal, Pangot and Corbett Tiger Reserve besides Bharatpur. We had an excellent birding experience in all the places.

In this birding trip report I am not presenting all the species here but those species that interested us the most and those which may interest other birders as well.

New Delhi 4th January _ Drive to Bharatpur
On the way we came across interesting wetlands and sighted Northern pintails, pale martin, prinias, avocets, bank myna, pied myna, bar headed geese, temminck’s stint, sandpipers, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Common teal, Dunlin, little grebe, glossy ibis, Eurasian stone curlew, barn swallow, common chiff chaff, wagtails and many commonly seen birds.

5th January: Bharatpur
After nights restful sleep we visited fields near Bharatpur for Jerdon’s courser but we could not find it. We entered the sanctuary as soon as the fog lifted. It was by all means not a sunny day nevertheless we could sight many birds, Long tailed nightjar was a good find besides Indian scops owl, Dusky eagle owl, greater spotted eagle, lesser spotted eagle, booted eagle, Imperial eagle, little, swift. Grey hornbill, black rumped flame back, white cheeked bulbul, lesser white throat, Rufous-gorgeted flycatcher, Clamorous reed warbler, Blyth’s reed warbler, Siberian rubythroat, grey francolin, yellow wattled lap wings, crested serpent eagle, bluethroat, tawny pipit, Hume’s leaf warbler and Greenish warbler. Due to foggy and cold weather birding was limited in the green areas of the park. Among the wetland species we could see the lesser whistling teal, Greylag goose, Bar headed goose, yellow footed green pigeon, sarus cranes, Ruddy shelducks, common shelducks, Gadwall, Northern pintail, common teal, Garganey, black necked stork, painted stork, Ferruginous pochard, Eurasian spoonbill, Cormorants, Darter, Grey Heron, egrets, Black crowned night heron, Black headed ibis, comb duck, moorhens, coot, purple swamp hen, wooly necked stork, white ibis, Asian Openbill and many waders like sand piper, common red shank etc.

6th January – Chambal River Sanctuary
Form Bharatpur we left for Chambal (MP Tourism) near Dholepur early morning. It was foggy and cold nevertheless we made the best of it. On boat ride we could sight Osprey, Indian skimmer, river lapwing, black bellied tern, Ruddy shelduck, bar headed geese, ferruginous duck, shovelers and pintails. Black shouldered kite, Marsh harrier, great thick knee we could see often. We saw plenty of crocodiles and gharials but the river dolphins were elusive. We saw plenty of Temminck’s stint, black winged stilts and sand pipers. After a great boating experience we continued onwards for Agra. We visited Taj Mahal and continued onwards to New Delhi.

7th January – New Delhi to Sattal
After a night’s rest we left for Sattal early morning – a long journey. Sattal is in Nainital District about 14 km from Nainital township. Due to extreme foggy weather roadside birding was not possible. We reached late evening and settled in our hotel for the night.

8th January: Sattal
Sattal at 1400 MSL is one of the most interesting part of the tour with amazing bird sightings possible in a short visit. At Sattal we could see many interesting birds like Kalij pheasants, Lammergeyer, Himalayan Griffon, Shikra, Olive backed pipit, Rufous flanked bush robin, Tawny eagle, slaty headed parakeet, jungle owlet, Great barbet, rusty cheeked scimitar babbler, Grey headed woodpecker, Blue throated barbet, speckled piculet, grey hooded warbler, grey capped woodpecker, Long tailed minivet, grey backed shrike, bronzed drongo, yellow bellied fantail, red billed leiothrix, white browed fantail, small niltava, Rufous bellied niltava, grey tree pie, red billed magpie, Eurasin jay, black headed jay, crag martin, barn swallow, great tit, black lored tit, yellow browed tit, aberrant bush warbler, black faced warbler, black throated tit, Himalayan bulbul, ashy bulbul, buff barred warbler, lemon rumped warbler, Hume’s leaf warbler, Ashy throated warbler, grey breasted prinia, Rufous-gorgeted flycatcher, slaty blue flycatcher, yellow breasted green finch, spotted forktail, chest nut bellied rock thrush, blue whistling thrush, white crested laughing thrush, striated laughing thrush, streaked laughing thrush, Rufous sibia, white eye, black throated accentor, russet sparrow, grey bush chat and many other common birds.

9th January + 10th January – Pangot
Next day we left for Pangot about 18 km from Nainital a steep climb that took us to 2000 MSL plus. On the way we stopped to see the breathtaking Himalayan Range and some interesting birds. We came across Goral on the way up. Pangot trip was highly successful as we could see the Koklass Pheasant, Cheer pheasant and the Khalij pheasant on the same day. We saw the Himalyan Griffon, Bonelli’s eagle, Lesser kestrel, plum headed parakeet, Asian barred owlet, great barbet, black throated tit, yellow browed tit, back faced warbler, grey hooded warbler, Himalayan flame back, Grey capped woodpecker, brown fronted woodpecker, Rufous bellied woodpecker, Himalayan woodpecker, lesser yellow nape, greater yellow nape, streak throated wood pecker, scaly bellied wood pecker, chestnut crowned laughing thrush, bar winged flycatcher shrike, long tailed shrike, long billed crow, spot winged tit, green backed tit, Chestnut bellied nuthatch, white tailed nuthatch, buff barred warbler, red billed blue magpie, common tailor bird, lesser white throat, black redstart, blue capped redstart, blue fronted redstart, common rose finch, blue whistling thrush, rusty cheeked scimitar babbler, white crest laughing thrush, green tailed sunbird, fire tailed sunbird, paddy field pipit, rock bunting, house bunting, pink browed rose finch, black throated thrush, stripe throated Yuhina, and russet sparrow.

11th January to 15th – Corbett Tiger Reserve
We left Pangot for 80 km drive to Corbett. We had some interesting sightings of Himalayan Griffon, Steppe Eagle and Brown Dipper on the way. We saw red necked falcon, river tern, house martin, wire tailed swallow, streak throated swallow, ruddy shelduck and wall creeper at Kosi Barrage. We arrived at our hotel for lunch and some excellent birding in the evening. We stayed at Dhikala for one night for birding and tiger safaris. At Corbett we saw the Common green magpie, chestnut headed tesia, ruddy breasted parakeet, Ibis bill, blue throated barbet, black chinned babblers, small niltava, river lapwing, cinereous vulture, red headed vulture, white rumped vulture, velvet fronted nuthatch, chestnut bellied nuthatch, white tailed nutchatch, black headed oriole, bronze drongo, grey faced woodpecker, black rumped flame back, grey headed canary flycatcher, Whistleri warbler, Hume’s warbler, striated heron, greenish warbler, grey hooded warbler, Rufous bellied niltava and grey hornbill. Some of the interesting raptors we saw were Osprey, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Pallas fish Eagle, lesser fish eagle, Crested serpent eagle and collared falconet. Other bird were Long tailed minivet, Scarlet minivet, black bulbul, ashy bulbul, Himalayan bulbul, red whiskered bulbul, darter, black necked stork, wooly necked stork, jungle myna, Eurasian hobby, blue throat, red throated flycatcher, black francolin, crimson sunbird, plum headed parakeet, yellow bellied fan tail flycatcher, blue throated barbet,
Spangled drongo, Maroon oriole, Scops Owl, spotted owlet, Brown Fish Owl, Bar winged Flycatcher Shrike, Peafowl, Alexendrine parakeet, Jungle Owlet. Pin Tailed Green Pigeon, Lineated Barbet, Crimson Throated Barbet, white capped water redstart, plumbeous water redstart, Common Stone Chat, Grey Bush Chat, Crested Kingfisher, Blue Whistling Thrush, Ruddy Shelduck, Rufous woodpecker, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, streak throated woodpecker, spotted forktail, Great Tit, black lored Tit. Ashy crowned finch lark, variable wheat ear, Tickell’s leaf warbler, oriental hornbill, great slaty woodpecker, common babbler, . Besides we saw the tigers, wild elephants, yellow throated martin and many deer species.

We left Corbett National Park on fifteen and on the way we saw pheasant tailed jacana, Sarus cranes and many common birds by the time we reached Delhi.

January 16th Departure full of happy memories and exciting birding experience.

Reference books used: Birds of the Indian Subcontinent – Grimmett & Inskipp
A Birdwatchers Guide to India – Kazmierczak & Singh
A Photographic Guide to Birds of India – Bikram Grewal, Bill Harvey and Otto Pfister.

Nauradehi summer birding trip report dated 9/5/2010
Tour Leader & Naturalist: Uday Patel


A lesser known destination Nuaradehi is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in India. It is a unique eco region different from tiger reserves in MP. The forest type is Southern Dry Deciduous Type with rainfall averaging 1200 mm per annum. The sanctuary is at a height of 400 to 600 mm MSL and lies in Sagar, Damoh and Narsinghpur district of Madhya Pradesh in India.

Due to varied topography and different forest type Nauradehi is home to mammals and birds less seen in popular National Parks of India. Spotted creeper is found here. Most of the birds we have check listed are not absent or not seen easily at popular tiger reserves like Kanha and Bandhavgarh. The sanctuary has lot many wetlands big and small, and dense patches of forests alongside making it ideal to sight both wetland and forest birds in one trip. The forests are home to Indian wolf, wild dog, sloth bear, nilgai, Indian gazelle, spotted deer, sambar deer, jackal and Indian fox. Marsh crocodile is found in the river systems here. Once full of tigers and leopards we could not come across any signs of these carnivores. They are not seen any more.

We had visited Noradehi on a short trip earlier and found it to be an interesting birding destination. Our recent trip was more exhaustive as we sighted many interesting birds. Here is he list of over 120 species of bird we check listed at Noradehi.

1. Little grebe
2. Little Cormorant
3. Cattle Egret
4. Little Egret
5. Large Egret
6. India Pond Heron
7. Grey Heron
8. Common Woodshrike
9. Peafowl, Painted stork
10. Wooly necked stork
11. Asian Open Billed Stork
12. Lesser adjutant stork
13. Black headed oriole
14. Lesser whistling teal
15. Black Ibis
16. Black headed Ibis
17. Common Iora
18. Black shouldered kite
19. Pariah kite
20. White eyed buzzard
21. Red headed vulture
22. Egyptian vulture
23. Common kestrel
24. Grey Francolin
25. Jungle bush quail
26. White breasted moorhen
27. Black winged stilt
28. Eurasian thicknee
29. Red wattled lapwing
30. Little ringed plover
31. River tern
32. Jungle babbler
33. Large babbler
34. Golden oriole
35. White rumped vulture
36. White browed wagtail
37. Spotted dove
38. Ring Dove
39. Red collared dove
40. Laughing dove
41. Yellow footed green pigeon
42. Booted hawk eagle
43. Shikra
44. Oriental honey buzzard
45. Plum headed parakeet
46. Common myna
47. Barred jungle owlet
48. Spotted owlet
49. Pied Myna
50. Indian robin
51. Magpie robin
52. Grey Heron
53. Sarus crane
54. Asian tree pie
55. Asian paradise flycatcher
56. Thick billed flower pecker
57. Tickell's flower pecker
58. Rufous tailed Lark
59. Ashy crowned sparrow lark
60. Paddy field pipit
61. Black lored tit
62. Great tit
63. Red jungle fowl
64. Chestnut winged petronia
65. Purple moorhen
66. Rose ringed parakeet
67. Indian moorhen
68. Crested Bunting
69. Pheasant tail jacana
70. Bronze winged jacana
71. Greater coucal
72. Pied kingfisher
73. White breasted kingfisher
74. Common kingfisher
75. Stork billed kingfisher
76. Green bee eater
77. Indian grey hornbill
78. Black rumped flame back
79. White naped woodpecker
80. Yellow crowned wood pecker
81. Golden fronted leaf bird
82. Wire tailed swallow
83. Black drongo
84. White bellied drongo
85. Long tailed shrike
86. Brahminy starling
87. Large cuckoo shrike
88. Black headed shrike
89. Red throated flycatcher
90. Lesser white throat
91. Black redstart, Pied wagtail
92. Grey wagtail
93. Yellow wagtail
94. Citrine wagtail
95. Spotted Red Shank
96. Green sandpiper
97. Wood sandpiper
98. Purple sunbird
99. Pied buschat
100. Collared buschat
101. Little Minivet
102. Crested tree swift
103. White browed fantail flycatcher
104. White eye
105. Common tailor bird
106. Ashy Prinia
107. Indian silver bill
108. Plain Prinia
109. House sparrow
110. Red Vented Bulbul
111. Rock pigeon
112. Black naped monarch
113. Verditor Flycatcher
114. Indian roller
115. Common hoopoe.
116. White eye

We could identify by calls the following birds:

117 . Savanna Nightjar
118 Grey Nightjar
119 Indian Nightjar
120 Common hawk cuckoo
121 Indian cuckoo
122 Crested serpent eagle
123 Coppersmith barbet

Brown headed barbet.

Our first trip was at the start of the summers hence we could sight some migrant as well. An exhaustive study would certainly lead to great finds at Nauradehi. There are many species of birds that may not be found at Kanha and Bandhavgarh while some may not be easy to sight there
Noradehi promises to be a highly interesting birding destination as further surveys .

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Delhi – Bharatpur - Chambal - Sattal-Pangot-Corbett
Duration: 4th February to 19th February 2009
Trip Report by: Uday Patel
Tour organized by: India Footprints:
Tour Leader & Naturalist: Uday Patel


India Footprints a package tour operator has been organizing various tours to several destinations in India. But wildlife and birding tours are the company’s forte. This particular itinerary had been devised keeping the sole objective of birding in mind. The group consisted of Germans - a group of nine birding enthusiasts, Neelesh Agrawal and tour leader Uday Patel all birders down to core.

The North India briding trip started at New Delhi which was just a landing point but that it culminated into a birding trip to Okhla Bird Sanctuary in a constricted time space between landing and cozying up in comfortable hotel confines speaks highly of enthusiasm among the visiting birders from Germany. The next step was to drive down to Bharatpur early next morning. We reached Sun Bird Hotel in Bharatpur at noon and ensuing lunch was gobbled up in milliseconds.
After lunch the birding session started immediately with a visit to the Bharatpur bird sanctuary. Birding at Bharatpur continued along with local guide the whole day next day with interesting sighting. Next day we visited Bund Baretha about fifty kilometers in quest for the Indian skimmer. Though the skimmer disappointed us we managed to see many interesting species.

Our next stop was trip to Chambal river sanctuary which apart from crocodiles and river dolphin harbors lot of interesting bird species. The area consists of sparsely wooded ravines and cliffs on the bank of the river which is one of unpolluted rivers in India. After evening river safari and blissful sleep we had a brief birding session near the Chambal safari lodge in wee hours of the morning before we left for Agra and eventually to Sat Tal in Nainital District of Uttranchal. Sat Tal was a journey of discovery and interesting bird species where check listed by the group. The next birding destination was Pangot about 35 kms from Sat Tal which did not materialize because of snow fall. We spent and extra day birding at Sat Tal and then proceeded to Corbett National Park to add to our burgeoning list of bird species check listed.

In this birding trip report I am not presenting all the species here but rather those species that interested us the most and those which may interest the readers.

New Delhi - Okhla Bird Sanctuary – February 6th
A flock of Greater Flamingos, Lesser Whistling Duck, and Northern Pintail in large numbers and Northern Shoveler while few tufted ducks and Eurasian Wigeon, Ruddy Shelduck, Greylag Geese, Indian Moorhen, Purple Swamp Hen, Shikra, and ubiquitous Coot. The stint at Okhla Bird Sanctuary was brief as the time available was less.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary – 7th to 9th February

The next day we left for Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary by luxury bus arriving at lunch time. We had one and a half day of birding at the sanctuary and a whole day stint at nearby dam Ban Baretha at Bharatpur. Our list comprises of following birds.

Grey Francolin identified by calls, Coots in large numbers, Tickle’s Thrush, Blue rock thrush, Ashy and Plain Prinia, Indian Roller, Whiskered Tern, River Tern, Eurasian Sparrow hawk, Shikra, Greylag Geese, Dusky Fish Owl, Brown Fish Owl, Bar-headed Geese, Gadwall, Spot-billed Duck, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Black-rumped Flameback, Brown-headed Barbet, Hoopoe, Common Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Collared Scops Owl, Spotted Owlet, Laughing Dove, Common Crane, White-breasted Waterhen, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Bronze-winged Jacana, Black-winged Stilt, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, White-tailed Lapwing, Greater Spotted Eagle, Lesser spotted eagle, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Egyptian Vulture, Marsh Harrier, Imperial Eagle, Common Kestrel, Oriental Darter, Indian Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Purple Heron, Intermediate Egret, Black-crowned Night-heron, Glossy Ibis, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Painted Stork, Asian Open-billed Stork, Rufus Treepie, Black Drongo, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Oriental Magpie-robin, Indian Robin, Brahminy Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Bank Myna, Barn Swallow, Wire-tailed Swallow, Oriental Sky Lark, Dusky Crag Martin, Paddyfield Pipit, Richards Pippit, House Martin, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Tailorbird, Hume’s Warbler, Purple Sunbird, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Olive-backed Pipit and Indian Silverbill.

Chambal River Sanctuary – 10th – 11th February

We had hoped to see the Indian Skimmer at Ban Baretha but unfortunately could not see it. We eventually sighted the bird at Chambal River Sanctuary which was our next destination. Chambal though near to Agra is a far of land with unique characteristic of its own. Most of it is barred occupied by agriculture but the ravines are devoid of greenery and in the banks is mountainous region part of the ravines. This unique habitat harbors unique species some of which we can sight.

Ferruginous Duck, Long Legged Buzzard, Indian Skimmer, Isabelline Wheatear, Variable Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Bonelli’s Eagle on Nest, , Brown Crake, Ruff, Asian Koel, Brown Hawk Owl, Short Eared Owl, Sand Lark, Crested Lark, Orange Headed Thrush, Lesser Whistling teal and Comb Duck. Other attractions of Chambal River Sanctuary are of course the River Dolphin, Marsh Crocodile and the Gharial. The river safari on motor boats offers exotic and fascinating experience.

Our next move was to Agra and then to Sat Tal in Nainital District, after an overnight stay at Kutchesar. The journey to Sat Tal was long and tiring nevertheless it did not dim the enthusiasm of our guest birders. Since lot of high mountain avi fauna of Uttranchal lay ahead to be discovered. And Sat Tal kept its promise.

Day 12th to 15th _ February

Long Legged Buzzard, Black Crested Bulbul, Common Rose finch Little Pied flycatcher, Grey Bush Chat, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Long-tailed Shrike, Slaty-headed Parakeets, Black Chinned Babbler, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler Spotted Forktail, Spotted Forktail, Slaty backed Forktail, Black Backed Forktail, Rufus Sibia, Black Bulbuls, Greater and Lesser Yellownape, Red Billed Leiothrix, Small Niltava, Rufus Belied Niltava, Slaty Blue Flycatcher, Streaked Laughing Thrush, White Throated Laughing Thrush, White Crested Laughing Thrush, Brown Dipper, White Throated Dipper, Green Tailed Sun Bird, Black Throated Sun Bird, Brown, Grey Faced Warbler, Black Hooded Warbler, Blue Winged Minla, Golden Spectacled Warbler, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Small Minivet, Long Tailed Minivet, Great Barbet, White Tailed Nuthatch, Velvet Fronted Nuthatch, Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch, Brown-Throated Tree Creeper, Kaleej Pheasant, Striated Laughing Thrush, Speckled Piculet, Steppe Eagle, Grey Winged Black Bird, Grey Treepie, Eurasian Jay and Black Headed Jay.

Due to snow fall we could not reach Pangot which is at greater height. We settled for a day extra at Sat Tal and then moved to Corbett National Park. We visited Saunder Kahl, Mohan and Kumeria forests and then moved into the core area of the park for two day wildlife safari and some great birding.

We stopped at a dam in quest for Little Fork Tail which we eventually see at the banks of the Kosi River outside the park. At Saunder Khal we sighted the Ibis Bill which every birder in the region searches for. We saw Oriental Pied Hornbills at Langdoh while narrowly missed the Green Billed Malkoha there.

16th February – 19th February

At Corbett and its surroundings we Check Listed:
Spangled Drongo, Maroon Oriole, Black Hooded Oriole, White Bellied Drongo, Indian Scops Owl, Brown Fish Owl, Dusky Fish Owl, Kaleej Pheasant, Bar Tailed Flycatcher Shrike, Small Niltava, Rufus Bellied Niltava, Grey Crowned Pigmy Woodpecker, Nuthatches, Rufous Breasted Parakeet, Plum Headed Parakeet, Jungle Owlet. Collared Falconet, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Pallas Fishing Eagle, Lesser fishing Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Osprey, Hen Harrier, Himalayan Griffon, Beared Vulture, White Rumped Vulture, Steppe Eagle and Greater Spotted Eagle. Next we sighted Smoky Browed Flycatcher, Pin Tailed Green Pigeons, Black Francolin, White Tailed Ruby Throat, Great Hornbill, Himalayan Bulbul, Wooly Necked Stork, Black Headed Stork, Common Merganser, Rosy Pipit, Ashy Bulbul, Black bulbul, Lineated Barbet, Crimson Throated Barbet, Common Stone Chat, Grey Bush Chat, Himalayan Flameback, Fronted Nuthatch, Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch, Crested Kingfisher, Long Billed Thrush, Blue Whistling Thrush, Ruddy Shelduck, Lesser Whistling Teal, Stork Billed Kingfisher, Thick Billed Flowerpecker, Pale Billed Flowerpecker, Crimson Sun Bird, Yellow Bellied Flycatcher, White Throated Flycatcher, Common Kingfisher, Bar Tailed Flycatcher Shrike, Rufous Woodpecker, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Brown-fronted Woodpecker, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Lesser white throat, Asian Starling, Blue bearded Bee Eater, Great Tit, Yellow Browed Tit.

The birding tour was a big success and we arrived at New Delhi on 19th February. We had check listed about 270 Birds. For birders this was quite elating and they departed happy.

Reference books used: Birds of the Indian Subcontinent – Grimmett & Inskipp
A Birdwatchers Guide to India – Kazmierczak & Singh A Photographic Guide to Birds of India – Bikram Grewal, Bill Harvey and Otto Pfister.

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Trip Report Rajasthan Uttranchal by Uday Patel
Delhi – Bharatpur - Chambal – Sat Tal-Pangot-Corbett
Duration: 5th April to 18th April 2009
Trip Report by: Uday Patel
Tour organized by: India Footprints
Tour Leader & Naturalist: Uday Patel
Clients: Germans
No of Persons:16
German Tour Leader: Manfred Siering


India Footprints a package tour operator has been organizing various tours to several destinations in India. But wildlife and birding tours are the company’s forte. This particular itinerary had been devised keeping the sole objective of birding in mind. The group consisted of Germans - a group of sixteen birding enthusiasts, Neelesh Agrawal and tour leader Uday Patel all birders down to core.

The trip started at New Delhi which was just a landing point. Upon arrival at the airport afternoon we left immediately for Bharatpur Sun Bird Hotel in Bharatpur in the evening.

Our birding trip at Bharatpur began at 6.00 in the morning to see yellow wattle lapwing, rufous tailed shrike, ashy prinia and grey franklin in the nearby fields. We spent one and a half day birding at Bharatpur bird sanctuary which yielded good results.

We moved to Agra for overnight stay. The next morning we arrived at Chambal around 7 am. We could sight large number of interesting bird species at Chambal river sanctuary along with gharials, crocodiles and river dolphin. The area consists of sparsely wooded ravines and cliffs on the bank of the river which is one of unpolluted rivers in India. After morning river safari and a brief birding session and lunch at Chambal safari lodge we departed for New Delhi for stay overnight. Next day we proceeded to Sat Tal in Nainital District of Uttranchal. At Sat Tal we sighted interesting bird species. The next birding destination was Pangot about 35 kms from Sat Tal. We spent and three nights Pangot and then proceeded to Corbett National Park to add to our burgeoning list of bird species check listed.

In this birding trip report I am not presenting all the species here but rather those species that interested us the most and those which may interest the readers.

New Delhi -– April 5th
Birding on the way: Rose ringed parakeets, black drongo, bank mynas, pied myna, northern house martin, Black kite, Bronze winged Jacana, Pheasant tailed Jacana, Shikra and Egrets.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary – 6th to 8th April

The time spent birding at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary was quite fruitful. We had one and a half day of birding at the sanctuary. Our list comprises of following birds.

Grey Francolin, Tickle’s Thrush, Brown Crake, Booted warbler, Ashy and Plain Prinia, Great white pelicans, Shikra, Dusky Fish Owl, Spot-billed duck, Sykes Warbler, Black-rumped Flameback, Common Crane, Sarus Crane, Brown-headed barbet, Hoopoe, Common Kingfisher, Black necked stork, White-throated Kingfisher, Spotted owlet, Collared Scops Owl, Eurasian ring dove, Laughing Dove, Purple Swamphen, White-breasted Waterhen, Wood sand piper, Spotted redshank, Green Sandpiper, Bronze-winged Jacana, Black-winged Stilt, Black Bittern, Yellow-wattled lapwing, Greater Spotted Eagle, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Lesser spotted eagle, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Egyptian Vulture, King Vulture, Temminck’s stint, Yellow footed green pigeon, Oriental Darter, Grey Heron, Indian Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Purple Heron, Painted Stork, Intermediate Egret, Black-crowned Night-heron, Glossy Ibis, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Asian Open-billed Stork, Rufus Treepie, Black Drongo, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Oriental Magpie-robin, Indian Robin, Brahminy Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Bar Headed Geese, Bank Myna, Barn Swallow, Wire-tailed Swallow, House Martin, Common Tailorbird, Hume’s Warbler, Purple Sunbird, Cotton Teal, Northern Pintail, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Eurasian Coot and Indian Silverbill.

Chambal River Sanctuary –9th April

We stayed at Agra (Howard park Plaza) overnight and left for morning birding at Chambal River Sanctuary. Chambal is an ancient land with sun baked mountains lining up the river. The ravines are mostly sandy and scrub between mountains. This unique habitat harbors unique species some of which we could sight.

Ferruginous Duck, Bonelli’s Eagle, Booted Hawk eagle, Long Legged Buzzard, Indian Skimmer, White eared bulbul, Sand Lark, Small pratincole, River tern, Black bellied tern, Asian Koel, Brown Fish Owl, Lesser Whistling teal, Bar headed geese, Orphean warbler, and Comb Duck. Other attractions of Chambal River Sanctuary are the River Dolphin, Marsh Crocodile and the Gharial.
Our next move was to New Delhi for overnight stay.

Day 9 th to 11th April

The journey to Sat Tal was long and we reached at around 4pm for some interesting birding. Though the most of wintering birds had departed their place was somewhat occupied by summer visitors to Sat Tal. We had an interesting time at Sat Tal and the results are below.

Crested serpent eagle, Asian barred owlet, Besra, Long tailed broadbill, scaly wren, Fulvous breasted woodpecker, Lesser yellow nape, Rufus bellied woodpecker, Common Rose finch, Bar winged flycatcher shrike, Grey Bush Chat, Mountain hawk eagle, Crested Hawk Eagle, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Long-tailed Shrike, Slaty-headed Parakeets, White throated babblers, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Spotted Forktail, Slaty backed Forktail, Black winged cuckoo shrike, Rufus Sibia, Lesser Yellownape, Red Billed Leiothrix, Verdi or flycatcher, Small Niltava, Rufus Belied Niltava, Streaked Laughing Thrush, White Throated Dipper, Blue winged mina, Golden spectacled warbler, Green tailed sun Bird, Grey headed canary flycatcher, Dark Throated Sun Bird, Brown, Grey Faced Warbler, Black Hooded Warbler, Rufus-bellied Woodpecker, Small Minivet, Long Tailed Minivet, Great Barbet, Coppersmith barbet, White tailed nuthatch, Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch, Whiskered Yuhina, Bar tailed tree creeper, Striated Laughing Thrush, Himalayan griffon, Steppe Eagle, Grey Winged Black Bird, Grey Treepie, Eurasian Jay and Black Headed Jay.

11th April to 14th April

We drove to Pangot for lunch and saw Eurasian Griffons on the way.

At Pangot we sighted:

Kokla’s Pheasant, Striated prinia, Blue capped rock thrush, White browed flycatcher shrike, Altai accentor, Peregrine falcon, Lesser racket tailed drongo, Yellow browed tit, Spot winged tit, Ultramarine flycatcher, Yellow crowned woodpecker, Rufus bellied woodpecker, Himalayan woodpecker, Grey face woodpecker, Fire breasted flowerpecker, Black lored tit, Collared owlet (calls) Hill partridge (calls), Eurasian Cuckoo, Indian Cuckoo, Black bulbul, Common Hawk Cuckoo (Calls), Black eagle, Grey treepie, Red rumped swallow, Siberian bushchat, Maroon Oriole, olive backed pipit and Upland pipit,

14t April to 18th April
On 14th April we left for Corbett tiger reserve. On the way we could see Sulphur bellied warbler, Gold fronted leaf bird, Lammergeyer, Common wood shrike, Black crested bulbul, Common iora, and Black eagle.

We visited Laldhang, Sita Vani and Mohan forests and then moved into the core area of the park for two day wildlife safari and some great birding. On day of departure we visited Kumeria.

We saw Black chinned babbler, White crested laughing thrush, Black chinned Yuhina, Blue throat, singing lark, Oriental skylark, Brown dipper, Yellow footed green pigeon, Chestnut headed bee eater, Spangled Drongo, Maroon Oriole, Black Hooded Oriole, White Bellied Drongo, Dusky fish owl, Brown Fish Owl, Asian paradise flycatcher, Rosy minivet, Small minivet, Scarlet minivet, Kaleej Pheasant, Bar Tailed Flycatcher Shrike, Small Niltava, Rufus Bellied Niltava, Grey Crowned Pigmy Woodpecker, Rufus Breasted Parakeet, Plum Headed Parakeet, Jungle Owlet, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Pallas Fishing Eagle, Lesser fishing Eagle, Honey buzzard, Crested Serpent Eagle, Himalayan Griffon, White Rumped vulture, Steppe eagle. Next we sighted Chestnut headed tesia, White rumped shama (calls), Black naped blue flycatcher (calls), Dollor Bird, Pin Tailed Green Pigeons, Black Francolin, Great Hornbill, Oriental pied hornbill, Common grey hornbill, Himalayan Bulbul, Red whiskered bulbul, Wooly Necked Stork, Black Headed Stork, Ashy Bulbul, Black bulbul, Lineated Barbet, Crimson Throated Barbet, Common Stone Chat, Hodgson’s Bushchat, Lesser Coucal, Grey Bush Chat, Himalayan Flameback, Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch, Crested Kingfisher, Blue Whistling Thrush, Ruddy Shelduck, Stork Billed Kingfisher, Thick Billed Flowerpecker, Crimson Sun Bird, Purple sunbird, Common Kingfisher, Bar Tailed Flycatcher Shrike, Rufous Woodpecker, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Brown-fronted Woodpecker, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Black lored tit.
The birding tour was a big success and we arrived at New Delhi on 19th April. We had check listed over 320 Birds.

Reference books used: Birds of the Indian Subcontinent – Grimmett & Inskipp
A Birdwatchers Guide to India – Kazmierczak & Singh
A Photographic Guide to Birds of India – Bikram Grewal, Bill Harvey and Otto Pfister.

Birding in North India

Birding in South India
Birding in East India
Birding in West India
Birding in Central India
Short Birding Tour
Wild Birds – Wolf & Tiger Tour
Himalayan Birding with Keoladeo National Park
Himachal High Altitude Birding Trip
Trip Report
Trip Report
Photo Gallery

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