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NORTH INDIA BIRDING TOUR A SHORT TRIP REPORT

Date:- 28th Oct.- 3rd Nov. ( 6 nights 7 days)
Guest Name : Andrew Macanzie
Nationality : British
(Sattal, Pangot & Corbett)

The North India Birding Tour Started on 28th October and ended on 3rd November with a British Bird watcher Andrew Macanzie around Sattal, Pangot and Corbett. These birding locations are situated on the Western Himalayan range which contained vital diversity of flora and fauna with more than 600 species of birds with eleven restrict range species. A short trip report is presented here with daily activities and bird checklist:

28th October(Day 1) :
First day of the birding had started at afternoon after lunch at Pine Crest Hotel Sattal. We had very good afternoon at Chanfi River creek. Chamfi is one of the best birding hotspots of Uttarakhand. Walking slowly through the small creek to Chanfi River was very exciting. We saw Small Niltava, Black-lored Tit, Spotted Forktail, Brown Dipper, Crested Kingfisher and many other passerine.

29th October(Day 2):
Second day of the tour started in the morning after early breakfast at hotel. Walking through the road was very fruitful birding toget White-tailed Rubythroat, Slaty Blue Flycatcher, Rusty-cheecked Scimitar Babbler,Rufous-chinned Laughingth rush,Redbilled Leiothrix,Tits,Warblers, Sun birds and many more. At noon we returned to hotel for lunch and back to Sattalat afternoon. Afternoon was very quite although we saw KalijPheasanat, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Greater Goldenback, Ultramarine Flycatcheretc. At the end of the day we founda Thick-billed Warbler which might bean irregular passage migrant for this area.

30th October(Day 3):
After early breakfast and check-out we headed again towards sattal to get morning moment of birds. Spending 2hrs around sattal gave us some gorgeous birds like Common Green Magpie, Maroon Oriole, Red-breasted Parakeet, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Ashy Bulbul etc. On the way to Pangot we stopped at a place called Kilbury and enjoyed with Warblers, Tits, Treecreepers and Woodpeckers. We went down to Bagger and Timlapani at afternoon and find out some beautiful birds along with a globally threatened species Grey-crowned Prinia. It was an excellent birding day coz we didn’t stop at all,we didn’t stop to watch and search till night and finally got a mysterious owl Mountain Scops Owl just in 5m distance. It was a perfect birding day.

31st October(Day 4):
A mission had set last night for Two Pheasants species so we headed earlier to search Cheer and Koklass with packed breakfast. We heard Koklass from car parking but it was higher up on the hill. Drive slowly and watch carefully on the road and stop at some point and scan up-down in valley are only two methods to find Koklass but we didn’t get any koklass so we returned back to cheer point to try for Cheer and tried hard and scanned every parts of the valley which is totally covered by grass and the result was same like Koklass. But we saw Peregrine Falcon, Himalayan Vulture,Altai Accentor, Blue-capped Redstart, Wallcreeper there. On the way back to hotel we saw 6 different species of Woodpecker, Long-billed Thrush, White-browed Shrike-babbler. Afternoon birding was around Ghughukhan and wesaw a group of Striated Laughingthrush, Whiskered Yuhina and a Black-and-Yellow Grosbeak.The morning was quite clear and sunny but the afternoon was totally Misty and poor visibility.

1st November(Day 5):
The morning was same like yesterday morning and result also same for the pheasants but we got a pair of Hill Partridge and a feeding party of Buff-barred, Lemon-rumped, and Black-faced Warbler and a Mistle Thrush. After early lunch drove down to Corbett and stopped at Koshi Barrage for waterbirds. There was a big flock of Ruddy Shelducks and Great Cormorants,Stork-billed Kingfisher, River Lapwing, Green shank, Green Sandpiper some Egrets and Herons too. We then
directly went to Kumeria. Kumeria is very quite at afternoon although; we saw one Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker and a group of White-crested Laughingthrush.

2nd November(Day 6):
We headed towards Kumeria again for morning birding with packed breakfast. Morning birding alongside of the road was superb enough to get more variety of birds. In the morning we got a Tawny Fish Owl, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, White-capped Bunting, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Brown Dipper, Olive-backed Pipit, Ashy Bulbul etc. We then back to Tiger Camp and went for afternoon Safari inside Bijrani Zonea after Lunch. At Bijrani we got Isabelline Wheater, Eurasian Wryneck,Yellow eyed Babbler, Sirkeer Malkoha. Including all we saw 87 species of birds and 7 species of Mammals but not Tiger.

3rd November(Day 7):
We had a morning Safari inside Jhirna Zone in Last day of the tour. We headed Jhirna very early and searched for Tiger n birds. This morning was quite beautiful and exciting Although we didn’t get the Tiger but we got some beautiful birds like Peregrine Falcon, Great Hornbill, Long-billed Pipit, Puff-throated Babbler,Crested Treeswift, Black Stork, Golden fronted Leafbird. The morning safari closed with 60 different varieties of bird and we did checklist at Tiger camp and departed. At last,the tour was very successful. Although we couldn’t get some highlighted and some commons pecies but we saw nearly 200 species of bird including 13 species of woodpecker, 5 species of Bulbul, 5 species of Laughingthrushes and many other rare birds like Grey-crowned Prinia, unusual sighting of Thick-billed Warbler (prob. Passage migrant), Mountain Scops Owl such in a close distance, Long-billed Thrush, Isabelline Wheater etc.