North India Birding Tour Trip Report (Feb 20th to Feb 25th)
By Sanjeev Acharaya
Naturalist and Guide Asian Adventures
The North India Birding Tour with Dr. Shree Nivas Murti around Pangot and Sattal area was very successfully completed on February 25, 2017. These areas are very good habitat for Himalayan birds. Here is the short report of day by day birding around those Pangot, Sattal Chafi and Nukichiyataal area.
Day 1: Around Pangot region
Day 2: Pangot-Ghughukhan-Kunjakharak
Day 3: Pangot-Cheerpoint-Baggar
Day 4: Pangot- Shikri- Vimtaal- Chafi
Day 5: Around Sattal
Day 6: Sattal-Naukuchiyaa Taal- Chafii
1. Day 1 (Feb 20) First day of this trip started from Pangot after late lunch. A short hiking up to woodpecker point and little more further; we got three different species of woodpeckers: Rufous-bellied, Brown-fronted and Himalayan, variety of Tits, warblers and thrushes.
2. Day 2 (Feb 21) Second day of birding had started earlier; unfortunately, the weather condition was very bad. It was rainy and foggy day. Despite of bad weather condition we got some important and interesting birds like Koklass Pheasant, Kalij Pheasant, Hill partridge, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Upland Pipit, Common Wood Pigeon and many more varieties of other birds.
3. Day 3 (Feb 22) Third day of birding went up to Kunjakharak. They day was sunny and little windy but pretty much perfect for birding for the cheer pheasant. The habitat is totally affected by the forest fire and only a few grass patches still remain so we scanned the area but couldn’t get any signs or call of the pheasant to mark its presence. After lunch, we went further down to Baggar are, excellent birding in the afternoon. We got three varieties of Accentors; Black-throated, Altai and Rufous-breasted, some raptors and other Himalayan birds.
4. Day 4 (Feb 23) Day four we began, following the same routine to search for more birds and the priority was the gorgeous Cheer Pheasant but luck did not strike. During our break for breakfast we sighted a beautiful Adult Bearded Vulture, it soared around us for a while and moved further and vanished but made us pretty excited. After finishing breakfast, we headed back to the lodge, stopping at Shikri and spent some time birding around there and returned to the hotel. Post lunch, we went Chamfi for birding. Birds of the day was the Bearded Vulture, Plain Mountain Finch, Brown Dipper, Asian Barred Owlet, Rock Bunting and White-tailed Rubythroat.
5. Day 5 (Feb 24) Fifth day of birding trip started early morning, carrying packed breakfast from the resort. We spent the entire day around Sattal area and got so many beautiful and colourful birds of the region such as - Common Green Magpie, Red-billed Leiothrix, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush, Blue-winged Siva, White-bellied Erpornis and different varieties of Woodpeckers, Flycatchers, Warblers etc.
6. Day 6 (Feb 25) Last day of the birding trip started earlier with some targeted species around Sattal area. Morning birding was very successful. From Sattal we drove to Naukuchiyataal. Great habitat in this region. When we were walking through the trail suddenly my eyes stopped on some brown object on the edge of the lake but inside the foliage and quickly my hands moved up my bin to set on my eyes. It was a adult Eurasian Woodcock, we were thrilled to sight it. Finally, we proceeded to Champi. Our last day was very fruitful; we got very special birds like Woodcock, Brown Fish Owl, Asian Barred Owlet, Mountain Bulbul, Maroon Oriole and many more.
The trip had been very successful, now as the weather changes, there are many birds calling such as the Collared Owlets and Mountain Scops Owls. The Forest is filling up with a variety of birds. A few species arrived from the wintering grounds as they move further north such as the Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Verditer Flycatcher, Common Stonechat, Hume's Leaf Warbler are arrived and Golden Bush Robin, Aberrant Bush Warbler, Dark-breasted Rosefinch
List of Birds Spotted at Jungle Lore Birding Lodge Pangot between
Season Winters -December 20th 2016 to February 28th 2017
Hill Partridge (H)
Mountain Hawk Eagle
Oriental Turtle Dove
Mountain Scops Owl (H)
Collared Owlet (H)
Red-billed Blue Magpie
Aberrant Bush Warbler
Spotted Bush Warbler
Rusty-cheecked Scimitar Babbler
Blue Whistling Thrush
Golden Bush Robin
Slaty Blue Flycatcher
For further information, contact: Asian Adventures
Noida 201301 (UP)
India Ph: +91 120 4222797