From 21 until 28 February 2006 Laurens Steijn, Arend van Bemmel and Eddy Nieuwstraten made a birdwatching trip to Goa, India. We decided to go to Goa about one month earlier, triggered by a cheap offer for flight and accomodation. Because of different kind of obligations we only had one week in Goa and just a few weeks to prepare for the trip. After booking our trip, we immediately downloaded a dozen or so bird reports. It became clear that our first concern was to book for a Backwood Camp-trip. Great relief when our two-night booking was confirmed! The next weeks were spent reading trip reports, making check lists and staring at field guides. All three of us had some experience with birdwatching in the region but none of us visited the south of India before.
The former Portuguese colony of Goa, a small province on India's west-coast, has a lot to offer for birders. There are several habitat types nearby the main tourist centra. Wetlands like paddyfields, mangroves, tidal mudflats & large rivers, beaches and marshes, dry area's like open grassland, scrub and cultivated fields, forests nearby the coast as well in the mountains. All habitats are excessible and easily reached by taxi, rented motorbike or even by walking. Goa is therefore often described as a perfect introduction to the Indian birdlife. For western palearctic birders Goa also offers good opportunities to study rare european birds, especially waders and warblers.
The good tourist infrastructure makes it possible to travel around easily and to obtain hotels and restaurants in any quality class. Goa is a major packing holiday destination, so cheap charters are frequently offered. We flew from Holland with Arke-flight and stayed in the Per Avel Holliday Home Hotel in Sinquarim, about 8 kilometres (or a half our drive) from Baga. The hotel, nor Sinquarim is recommended: we suggest to stay in Baga. Baga has a range of good birding sites at walking distance and besides is livelier, with better opportunities for shopping, recreation and restaurants.
The rupee is India's official currency. At time of writing the exchange rate was 5250 rupees for €100 euro. Money can be changed everywhere and cash-withdrawal is possible at several sites. A visa is needed for India; they can be obtained at the consulate of India at The Hague. It costs about €50. In 2006 vaccinations for Goa were recommended for Hepatitis A, Polio, Typhoid and Tetanus.
We never encountered any problems in Goa whatsoever. The people of Goa are very friendly and the general mood is more easy (by Indian standards!) than in Northern India. As long as you don’t walk on the crops, birdwatching on farmland was no problem either.
We visited Goa at the end of February: when temperatures were climbing already, reaching the high 30's at midday, so bring sun protection and a cap/hat with you. Under these circumstances birdwatching at midday can be hard. Early morning birding always was the most rewarding and from about 16.00 became better as well. Dusk set in (very rapidly) at about 18.45.
Nomenclature & Taxonomy
We followed the English names and taxonomy of the recently published “Birds of South Asia, also known as the Ripley Guide, by Pamela C. Rasmussen and John C. Anderton. We think this book with no doubt is the new standard as fieldguide and reference for birding in India: drawings, maps, descriptions and sounds are much better than in other field guides, like for example Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Grimmit, Inskipp & Inskipp. In the Ripley Guide present knowledge about taxonomy has been used, so quite a lot of changes and new English names are presented. We followed most of these names but on a few occasions (and only concerning western paleartic birds), we followed the English names used in popular European birding magazines.
For birders more familiar with the names and taxonomic views of Grimmit & Inskipp, this report can be confusing from time to time. To reduce this confusion, Latin names are used in the species list as well. Besides, in the species list all splits given by Rasmussen and Anderton are mentioned after the Latin names, between (.. ). In case a bird has been given a new name (but was not split) the Grimmit & Inskipp -name is given between [..].
During a visit to Goa in winter, several Indian endemic species and/or subspecies can be encountered. These endemics concerns sometimes birds restricted to the Western Ghats or Southern India, but also more widespread Indian endemics are encountered. Because of the ongoing taxonomic debate we also looked more carefully to the interesting subspecies of the region which are not (yet) given full species-status.
Western Ghats and Southern Indian endemics: Nilgiri Woodpigeon, Grey-fronted Green Pigeon, Malabar Parakeet, Ceylon Frogmouth, Indian Swiftlet, Malabar Trogon, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Malabar Barbet, Malabar Lark, Malabar Woodshrike, Grey-headed Bulbul, Orange Minivet, Yellowbrowed Bulbul, Squaire-tailed Black Bulbul, Flame-throated Bulbul, Malabar Whistling Trush, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, Dark-fronted Babbler, Rufous Babbler, Nilgiri Flowerpecker, Small Sunbird, Vigor’s Sunbird, Malabar White-headed Starling, Black-throated Munia and Lesser Hill Myna.
Indian subcontinent endemics and (near- endemics): Also a lot of endemics of the Indan Subcontinent can be seen. The next Indian endemics can be seen. Crested Hawk Eagle, (Indian spotted eagle), Indian Vulture, (Laggar Falcon), Grey Junglefowl, Red Spurfowl, Indian Peafowl, Jungle Bush Quail, Rock Bush Quail,Yellow-Wattled Lapwing, Plum-headed Parakeet, Common Hawk-Cuckoo, Blue-faced Malkoha, Indian Scops Owl, Jungle Owlet, Jerdon's Nightjar, Indian White-rumped Spinetail, Malabar Pied Hornbill, White-cheeked Barbet, Brown-headed Barbet, Indian Pygmy Woodpecker, White-naped Woodpecker, Black-rumped Flameback, Indian Pitta, Indian Bush-Lark, Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark, Rufous-tailed Lark, Streakthroated Swallow, White-browed Wagtail, White-browed Bulbul, Jerdon's Leafbird, White-spotted fantail, Blue-headed Rock Trush, Tickels Trush, Indian Blackbird, (Rusty-tailed Flycatcher), Tawny-bellied Babbler, Indian Scimmitar Babbler, Jungle Babbler, Ashy Prinia, Jungle Prinia, Indian Reed Warbler, Tytler's Leaf Warbler, Indian Yellow Tit, Pale-billed Flowerpecker, Loten's Sunbird, Purple-rumped Sunbird, Tricoloured Munia, Indian Golden Oriol, White-bellied Drongo, (Brahminy Starling), Indian Jungle Crow
Endemic or interesting subspecies: Several subspecies can be encountered in Goa which are worthwhile to look for carefully because they are distinct. Some of them are endemic for the Western Ghats/South Indian region, and/or have striking differences in plumage or sound and/or are treated by some authors as different species. Or just because they are beautiful and interesting birds! These are for example: Mountain Hawk Eagle (Kelaarti), ‘Shaheen’ Peregrine Falcon (peregrinator), Mountain Imperial Pigeon (cuprea), Jungle Owlet (malabaricum), Great Pied Hornbill (cavatus), Speckled Minulet (avunculorum), Lesser Yellownape (chloriaster), Common Flameback (malabaricum), Greater Flameback (socialis), Eastern Baillon's Crake (pusilla), Oriental Scops Owl (rufipennis), White-bellied Woodpecker (hodgsoni), White Wagtail (dukhensis and personata), Yellow Wagtail (melanogrisea/ feldegg, thunbergii, lutea, beema and zaisanensis), White-rumped Munia (nominate striata) and Common Rosefinch (roseatus).
Some remarks about the birding sites
Information about the Goan bird-sites is already given in many other reports, so this section does not have the purpose to represent a complete overview of birding sites: just our own thoughts about the places are given as a kind of update.
Backwoods: Backwoods is a tented camp in the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, sometimes named Molem Wildlife sanctuary (but in this report mentioned hereafter as Backwoods). The camp consists of about 8 tents each with flush toilets and showers. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided as part of the package as is the transport from and to your hotel. We all considered the visit to Backwoods as the highlight of our trip. We left with an impressive list with a lot of quality birds and enjoyed the birding with our Danish, English and Swedish fellow-birders. But also the beautiful scenery, our guide Pramod Madkaikar, the accommodation and food (mainly vegetarian, Indian based) where all very good to our standards. In addition, the sightings of Hanuman or (Black-faced) Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Sambar, Malabar Giant Squirrel and some snakes where welcome extra's as well. To put it in other words: don’t leave Goa without visiting this site!
Birds seen during our visit: Crested Goshawk (4), Besra (1), Black Eagle (3), Booted Eagle (1), Rufous-Bellied Eagle (2), Mountain Hawk eagle (1), Grey Junglefowl (1 seen and several heard), Emerald Dove (1), Grey-fronted Green Pigeon (common), Mountain Imperial Pigeon (20), Malabar Parakeet (5), Brown Fish-Owl (2), Brown Hawk Owl (several heard), Sri Lanka Frogmouth (2), Indian Jungle Nightjar (2), Savanna Nightjar (3), White-rumped Spinetail (20), Brown-backed Needletail (4), Crested Treeswift (8), Malabar Trogon (4), Blue-eared Kingfisher (1), Black-backed Dwarf-Kingfisher (1), Stork-billed Kingfisher (1), Malabar Grey Hornbill (4), Great Pied Hornbill (2), Malabar Pied Hornbill (7), White-cheeked Barbet (common), Malabar (Crimson-fronted) Barbet (8), Indian Pygmy Woodpecker (4), Rufous Woodpecker (1), Heart-spotted Woodpecker (5), Indian Pitta (1), Streak-throated Swallow (20), Forest Wagtail (2), Indian Golden Oriole (6), Spangled Drongo (1), Orange Minivet - split from Scarlet Minivet (7), Jerdon’s Leafbird (4), Grey-headed Bulbul (4), Yellow-browed Bulbul (13), Flame-throated Bulbul (18), Square-tailed Black Bulbul (7), Dark-fronted Babbler (18)., Brown-breasted Flycatcher (4), Taiga Flycatcher (2), Verditer Flycatcher (1), White-bellied Blue Flycatcher (1), Large-billed Leaf Warbler (2), Western Crowned warbler (8), Indian Blue robin (1), Malabar Whistling Thrush (3), Nilgiri Blackbird (3), Nilgiri Flowerpecker (2), Little Spiderhunter (1), Black-throated Munia (5), Malabar White-headed Starling (25), Lesser Hill Myna (3).
Bondla: Because of our limited time in Goa, we didn’t visit Bondla. According to our information most of the birds seen in Bondla are seen in Backwoods as well. Nevertheless, there are some birds which are easier encountered in Bondla and that’s the reason why Bondla is included in the 3-night Backwood-program I presume. For example species like Blue-headed Rocktrush, Grey Junglefowl, Red Spurfowl, Nilgiri Woodpigeon, Forest Wagtail are (reported to be) seen easier.
Beira Mar Hotel & Baga fields: Some recent birding reports of Goa mention that the Beira Mar Hotel and it’s marshes were disappointing, so we visited it with modest expectations. But, although it’s clear that some species are gone (for example Watercock) or more rare (Painted snipe) due to fact that some pools have drought up or are covered with scrub. However, we really enjoyed birding at Beira Mar Hotel. In fact here we had one of the best 15 minutes of our holiday: in the last hour of daylight of our trip the Beira Mar Hotel produced several quality species showing well next to each other in excellent light conditions. A Chestnut Bittern, a Ruddy-breasted Crake, a Slaty-breasted Rail, a Baillon's Crake and a Pintail Snipe were showing, while our only three Indian Swiftlets of the trip where flying low above us. Also the restaurant wasn’t bad as well. The only remark we could come up with was the music that they were playing: it could have been a perfect birding experience if not Engelbert Humperdinck was singing at the background!
Birds seen during our visit: Cinnnamon Bittern (1 seen on different days), Slaty-breasted Rail (1), Ruddy-breasted Crake (1), Eastern Baillon’s Crake ssp pusilla (1), Yellow-legged Button-quail (1), Pintail Snipe (10), Painted Snipe (2), Alexandrine Parakeet (1), Indian Swiftlet (2), Spotted owlet (1), Black-capped Kingfisher (1), Blue-tailed Bee-eater (25), Malabar Lark (1), Richard’s Pipit , Blyth’s Pipit , Paddyfield Pipit , Tree Pipit (2), Yellow Wagtail thunbergi (4), Daurian Shrike (1), Indian (Clamorous) Reed-warbler (1), Siberian Stonechat (5), Baya Weaver (50), Chestnut-tailed Starling (100+), Rosy Starling (100+), Rufous Treepie (3)
Carambolin Lake: The nice scenery with large numbers of waterbirds swimming or walking on the lily-covered lake makes this a must-visit area. Also the nearby marshes and woods were excellent. Just a few duck-species where seen, though. Ducks are more regularly reported from other lakes like Batim Lake, Goa Velha and Mersem Lake. If the heat is getting too much and the water looks tempting, remember, before you take a dive in the water, that the two Mugger Crocodiles we saw there are probably still around!
Birds seen during our visit: Indian Cormorant (5), Oriental Darter (2), Lesser Whistling Duck (200+), Cotton Pygmy Goose (15), Greater Spotted Eagle (6), Grey-headed Swamphen (100), Pheasant-tailed Jacana (10), Bronze-winged Jacana (30), Terek Sandpiper (10), Temmincks Stint (15), Little Stint (50), Ringed Plover (1), Lesser Sandplover (50), Brown Hawk Owl (2), Spotted Owlet (2), Greater Flameback (2), Koel (7), Yellow Wagtail ssp feldegg (4) and lutea (1), White-spotted Fantail (2), Thick-billled Warbler (1), Indian Yellow Tit (2),
Maem Lake: Not a place for ducks but a reliable site for some sought-after birds. Crested Hawk Eagle, Orange-breasted Pigeons and two species of Nightjars are amongst them and it’s also a good site for the difficult to see endemic Indian Scimmitar Babbler. Blue-faced Malkoha was found just before the start of the walking trail and this is, according to guide Raymond, a very good place for this species.
Birds seen during our visit: Crested Hawk-eagle, Indian Jungle Nightjar (2), Little Indian Nightjar (1), Blue-faced Malkoha (1), Crested Treeswift (2), Orange-breasted Pigeon, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Rufous Woodpecker,
Arpora forest: We didn't visit Baga Hills, mainly because of the ongoing reports that this site is loosing it’s attraction to birds and birders. Instead we visited Arpora Forest two times and enjoyed it very much. A small warning though: this was the only site where our taxi driver warned us for the possibility of theft.
Birds seen during our visit: White–bellied see-eagle (2), Shikra (3), Booted Eagle (1), Red Spurfowl (2), Rose-ringed Parakeet, Plum-headed Parakeet, Malabar Parakeet (1), Asian Koel, Southern Greater Coucal, Pacific Swift (1), White-cheeked barbet (3), Yellow-fronted Pied Woodpecker (1), Black-rumped Flameback (1), Indian Pitta (1), Large Cuckoo-shrike (2), Black-headed Cuckoo-shrike, Common Woodshrike (1), Orange Minivet (5), Grey-headed Bulbul (3), White-browed Bulbul (8), Common Iora, Golden fronted Leafbird (5), White-spotted Fantail (2), Asian Paradise Flycatcher (1), Orange-headed Trush (2), Nilgiri Blackbird (2), Indian Black Robin (3), Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher (1), Dark-fronted Babbler (3), Jungle Babbler (6), Grey-breasted Prinia (3), Common Tailorbird, Indian Yellow Tit (3), Nilgiri Flowerpecker, Purple-rumped sunbird, Small Sunbird, Purple sunbird Loten’s sunbird (5), Vigor’s Subird (2), Black-headed Munia (3), Indian Golden Oriole, Black-hooded Oriole, White-bellied Drongo, GreaterRacket-tailed Drongo (1), Rufous Treepie (3).
Taxi drivers and Guides
There are several people who try to help you to find the birds in Goa. Some can, some maybe and some probably not. To start with: good guides and good taxi drivers are a blessing, they can help you to find the right places and the right birds. There are some really good guides, mostly around the hotel Beira Mar Hotel. We met Lloyd Fernandez and Raymond and they both convinced us that they were really good birdwatchers.
There are also taxi drivers who know the birding sites well and are therefore very useful. We met Naresh and he did actually everything he had promised: he appeared always on time, knew all the visited area's very well, knew quite a lot specific locations on the spot (trees for owls, fields for larks and so on), and - very rare in India - was a very safe driver. Although not actually a real birdwatcher Naresh was very helpful to us and we can surely recommend him.
But ..... there are also a lot of taxi drivers who look at your bins and scopes and advertise themselves as birdwatchers/guides. An advice could be not to rush in immediately and make sure who you are dealing with.
One week is a little too short to visit all the interesting sites and to fully appreciate the nice scenery of Goa. With more time to spend our triplist would have been longer, more sites would have been visited and some others more frequent. Also, more time would have been available for Goa's interesting history, its churches and markets, Old Goa and the beaches of coarse. But on the other hand; one week is better than none and we enjoyed this week very much. We visited almost all habitats and all best-known birding sites and were satisfied with the quality and quantity of the birds seen. We managed to see 261 species, 2 others were heard only.
20-02-06. Departed from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam at 16.00 for a non-stop flight to Goa.
21-02-06. Landed on Vasco da Gama Airport at 05.00, Goa. Transport to Per Avel Hotel in Sinquarim. After checking in and enjoying breakfast we started birding the Arpora Forest at 9.00 until 11.00. Afternoon was spent resting and swimming. From 15.30 until dusk we started birding the Baga Fields and Beira Mar Hotel area.
22.02-06. Picked up at our hotel at 05.40 for a 2 nights/3 days visit to Backwoods Camp. Started birding at about 8.15 at a small agricultural settling, short walk to the Backwoods Camp. After breakfast headed for a raptor watch until lunchtime. After lunch used free-programme-time for birding one of the wood-trails nearby the camp. From 16.00 a long and productive walk through the forest behind the campsite.
23-02-06. Early wake-up for a beautiful pre-breakfast walk nearby the Tambdi Surla Temple. After lunch a (not very productive) raptor watch nearby the camp. Free-programme time used for a forest walk. At 16.00 birding around Tambdi Surla Temple: a riverbed-walk and another (but this time very rewarding) raptor watch in a rice field. At about 18.00 left the park for a nightjar-watch.
24-02-06. Early wake up for another nice riverbed-walk nearby Tambdi Surla Temple. After lunch a productive walk near Bara-bunbi High School and alongside a river. Last free hour used for a small walk through the woods. Left the park at 13.30 for transport to our hotel. From 16.00 until dusk birding at Baga Fields and Beira Mar Hotel.
25-02-06. Visit to Maem Lake from 08.00 until 10.30. Then headed for Tikkanem, spent about 2 hours in this scenic area. Then made a visit to Chorao-Island from 13.30 until 14.30. Birding at Saligao Zor (‘zor’ means spring) from 15.30 until 16.30. Birded the Baga fishponds (opposite the Marinha Dourada Hotel) until dusk.
26-02-06. Spent whole morning at the Carambolin Lake area. First hours spent in Carambolin Woods and nearby marshes. Then headed for the ‘real’ Carambolin Lake. From 13.00 until 14.30 we made a visit to Divar Island. After Divar Island a short visit was made to the Dona Paula Plateau where the key-species where quickly found. Then finally a visit was made to Morjim beach after a stop at a small marshy site next to the Charpora-river Bridge where a Great Thicknee was reported.
27-02-06. At dawn started birding the Arpora Forest. Birded here until about 10.30. Another visit to the Thick-knee site was made. Afternoon used for swimming in the Indian Ocean and for shopping. Visit to Beira Mar Hotel from 18.00 until 19.00 for the “grand final” .
28-02-06. At 05.45 left Vasco da Gama airport. After a ‘stop-over’ at Colombo, Sri Lanka we arrived at 17.00 local time at Schiphol Amsterdam.
1. Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis.
26-02. Two birds were seen at Carambolin Lake.
2. Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger
A widespread and common species seen in nearly every pond, or river
3. Indian Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis.
26-02 Just 4 birds seen at Carambolin marshes
4. Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Fairly common in wetlands area’s
5. Western Reef Egret Egretta gularis
Regularly seen, especially alongside the larger rivers (Charpora, Mandovi) and in the fishponds and tidal marshes
6. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Not very common but regularly seen in wetlands.
7. Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
26 –02 3 Carambolin Lake, 27 -02 2 Baga Fields
8. Great Egret Casmerodius albus
Fairly common in wetlands, less numerous than the other white egrets.
9. Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia
Fairly common in paddyfields and marshy area’s
10. Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus (Ibis) coromandus (split from Cattle Egret)
Note: Some birds at Tikkanem showed a strange colouration: almost butter-yellow instead of white.
11. Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii
Very common in wet and dry cultivated areas.
12. Striated Heron Butorides striatus
Regularly encountered especially in smaller fishpond and smaller tidal marshes.
13. Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
21-02 Beira Mar Hotel 1 adult at dusk, 24-2 1 adult Beira Mar Hotel, 26-02 1 subadult Carambolin Marshes, 27-01 2 adults Beira Mar Hotel.
14. Chestnut [or: cinnamon] Bittern Ixobrychus Cinnamomeus
1 male at dusk at Beira Mar Hotel on 21, 24 and 27-02. Especially the last night seen very well.
15. Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
About 150 birds were seen at Tikkanem on 25/02.
16. Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans
2 birds were seen at Tikkanem on 25/02.
17. Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus
3 birds were seen at Tikkanem on 25/02, one bird at Chorao Island on 25/02 and another at Divar Island on 26/02.
18. Lesser Whistling-duck Dendrocygna javanica
26-02 about 200 seen at Carambolin Lake
19. Cotton Teal [or: cotton pygmy goose] Nettapus coromndelianus
About 40 at Carambolin Lake on 26th.
20. Northern Pintail Anas acuta
26-02 A flock of at least 800 birds was seen flying above the Mandovi River at Divar Island.
21. Garganey Anas querquedula
26-02 About 10 seen at Carambolin Lake
22. Osprey Pandion haliaetus
26-02 just one seen at Carambolin Marshes
23. Oriental Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus
Several seen at Backwoods: 3 birds during our
24. Black Kite Milvus migrans
Numerous and widespread in the coastal area, but only a few seen at Backwoods.
25. Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
Numerous and widespread in the coastal area, just 2 seen at Backwoods
26. White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
Seen at Arpora forest on 21/02 and 27th . Also seen alongside the bigger rivers like the Mandova-river at 25th and close to Panaji on 25th and near Morjim Beach on 26th.
27. White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis
26/02 3 birds seen flying west. A surprise-find from behind our lunch near Dona Paula!! All vultures are scarce/rare in Goa and mostly reported in the south, near Velim.
28. Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela
3 seen at Arpora forest on 21/02, several at Backwoods on 22/02 and 23/02.
29. Eurasian Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
One seen at Panaji Marshes on 22/02, one bird flying above Baga Fieldson 24/02 and one bird at Tikkanem on 25/02.
30. Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus
A nice male was hunting at Divar Island on 26-/02.
31. Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus
22- 02 raptor watch a displaying male and female
23-02 a female perched in tree & catching a bird in the forest near the Backwood Camp
32. Shikra Accipiter badius
Seen regularly at Backwoods about 8 birds in total, 2 birds at Maem, 1 at Saligao zor, and at Arpora forest
33. Besra Sparrowhawk Accipiter virgatus
1 at Backwoods, Arpora
34. White-eyed Buzzard Butastur teesa
22-02 1 juvenile bird flying low above the Backwood-Camp.
35. Common Buzzard Buteo buteo vulpinus
21-02 1 ‘steppe buzard’ was seen flying over Baga Fields
36. Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis
Single birds were seen during the raptorwatches at Backwoods on 21/02 en 22/02.
37. Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga
Frequently seen. 1 bird at Arpora Forest on 21/02, 3 birds at Tikkanem on 25/02, 6 birds at Carambolin Lake and marshes on 26/02, 3 birds at Divar Island, and 3 birds seen near Saligao Zor.
38. Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax
1 at Divar Island on 26/02. The bird was seen landing in the area. We rediscovered the bird sitting next to a small pond, at a distance of just 40 meters! Unfortunately, this time without a camera.
39. Booted Eagle Hieraetus pennatus
Light phase birds seen above Arpora forest on 21/02, and 4 birds seen at Backwoods on 22/02 and 23/02.
40. Rufous-bellied Eagle Hieraetus Kienerii
1 bird of this delightful raptor species seen on 23/02 Backwoods during the Tambdi Surla raptor watch.
41. * Crested Hawk eagle Spizaetus cirrhatus (split from Changeable Hawk Eagle)
25/02 1 bird seen very well, sitting in a tree at Maem Lake, showing it’s impressive crest.
42. Mountain Hawk Eagle Spizaetus nipalensis keelarti**
22-02 1 bird was seen at the raptor watch in Backwoods. Birds seen in Goa belong to the endemic subspecies Keelarti. This isolated subspecies shows several obvious field characters like a smaller size and rufous (instead of dark) barring at the underparts.
43. Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Just one bird at Divar island on 26/02
44. Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
21-02 1 bird seen at Chalangute
45. * Red Spurfowl Galloperdix spadicea
27-02 Wonderful views of a male and female. We heard that the best place at Arpora Forest is near a small quarry. Just follow your way straight along the wall’s of Club Cubana and after about 200 meters on your lefthand side is a small quarry. We found 2 birds in early daylight just a few meters before the quarry.
46. * Grey Junglefowl Gallus sonneratii
Several heard at Backwoods, and on 23/02 1 female was seen just behind our tents in Backwood-Camp. Another male heard on 25/02 at Maem Lake
47. * Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus
Just one female was seen sitting in a tree on our way to Maem Lake on 25/02.
48. Yellow-legged Buttonquail Turnix suscitator
21/02 one bird flushed from the Baga Fields.
49. Slaty-breasted Rail Rallus striatus
One of the birds who gave stunning views at the ‘Beira Mar Hotel grand final’ on 27/02.
50. White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
3-5 birds seen at Beira Mar Hotel on 21/02, 24/02 and 27/02
51. Eastern Baillon’s Crake Porzana (pusilla) pusilla
Seen at first shortly on 24/02 but showing really well on 27/02 in good light conditions.
Birds seen in Goa belong to the eastern nominate race pusilla and show different field characters and are reported to make different sounds as well.
52. Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca
1 bird seen very well on 27/02 at Beira Mar Hotel.
53. Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio (porphyrio) poliochephalus
100’s seen at Carambolin Lake on 26/02
54. Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
About a hundred seen at Carambolin Lake on 26/02
55. Common Coot Fulica atra
Just 4 birds seen at Carambolin Lake on 26/02.
56. Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
About 35 birds seen at Carambolin Lake on 26/02.
57. Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidiusn indicus
4 Birds seen at a small marshy area near Panaji on 25-02. Very Common at Carambolin Lake on 26/02.
58. Pintail Snipe Gallinago stenura
Most snipes which could be identified at Baga Fieldsturned out to be Pintail Snipe. On 21/02, 25/02 and 27/02 a total of about 13 Pintail Snipes were seen.
59. Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
A total of 4 Common Snipes were identified at Baga Fieldson 21. 25 an 27 februari
60. Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris
Only Arend was lucky enough to see this bird flying at a small saltpan/fishpond close to the bridge over the River Chapora where isthad been seen for some weeks.
61. Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
2 birds were seen at Chorao Island on 25/02.
62. Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
1 birds was seen at our second visit to the Thick-knee-site on 26-02.
63. Redshank Tringa totanus
Fairly common in wetland area’s
64. Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
Common in wetland-area's.
65. Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Fairly common in wetlands.
66. Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Commonest wader, seen in good numbers at all wetlands.
67. Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Fairly common. Seen almost daily in small numbers at wetland area’s
68. Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus
Common: seen at several wetlands, sometimes in small parties of 5-10 birds together, like at the Charpora, and Mandovi river mudflats and Carambolin Marshes, about 5 birds at Baga Fishponds on 21th and 24th.
69. Common Sandpiper Actitis Hypoleucos
Common at all wetlands.
70. Little Stint Calidris minuta
About 25 birds seen at Carambolin Marshes on 26-02.
71. Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii
5 at Baga fishponds on 24/02 and about 20 birds seen at Carambolin Marshes on 26/02.
72. Dunlin Calidris alpina
Just 3 birds seen on 26/02, Carambolin Marshes
73. Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
About 6 birds seen at Carambolin Marshes on 26/02
74. Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis
Another highlight of the trip. 2 Birds, a male and a splendid female seen very well at Baga Fields on 24/02.
75. Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
Just one bird seen at Carambolin Lake on 26/02.
76. Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
Seen at several wetlands: about 10 birds were present at Baga fishponds on 21/2 and 24/2 and about 25 birds were present at Carambolin Marshes on 26.
77. Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
3 birds were seen at Carambolin Marshes on 26/02.
78. Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
One bird of this fairly rare wader was seen by Laurens at Carambolin Marshes on 26/02
79. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius jerdonii
Seen regularly at most wetlands sites. The birds which were given a good look showed features of the eastern subspecies jerdonii, by having a very broad eye-ring and a yellow bill base.
80. Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
2 birds were seen on Morjim Beach on 26-02
81. Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus
Quite common in wetlands, for example 10 birds at Baga fishponds on 21/02, 35 birds at Carambolin Marshes on 26/02, 60 birds at Morjim beach.
82. Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii
About 5 birds could be identified at Morjim Beach on 26/02.
83. * Yellow-wattled Lapwing Vanellus malabaricus
The 6 birds found by us at Chorao Island on 25/02 were a nice surprise while the 7 birds seen at Dona Paula on the same day were more expected.
84. Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus Indicus
Common in nearly all open habitat's like ricefields, paddy's and dry fields
85. Steppe Gull Larus (heuglini) barabensis
About 40 were seen at Morjim Beach on 26/02.
86. Heuglin’s Gull Larus heuglini
Several 100's were seen at Morjim Beach on 26/02.
87. Pallas’s Gull Larus ichthyaetus
About 20 birds were seen at Morjim Beach on 26/02.
88. Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus
About 50 were seen at the mudflats of the river Mandovi/Chorao Island on 25/02 and several 100's were seen at Morjim Beach on 26th.
89. Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
Just 3 birds were seen at Morjim Beach on 26th.
90. Slender-billed Gull Larus genei
About 25 were seen at Morjim Beach on 26th.
91. Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
10 were seen at Mandovi River banks near Chorao Island and Panaji on 25, 5 were seen at Carambolin Marshes, and about 50 were seen at Morjim Beach.
92. Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis
About 35 were seen at Morjim Beach
93. (Blue) Rock pigeon Columba livia
Common but all birds probably belonging to feral populations, maybe except the birds seen at Backwoods.
94. Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis
Common in dry agricultural area's and near villages.
95. Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica
2 Birds seen at near Backwoods-Camp on 22-02.
96. Orange-breasted Green Pigeon Treron bicinctus
5 Birds seen at Maem Lake
97. **Grey fronted Green Pigeon Treron affinis (split from Pompadour Green Pigeon)
Seen daily and regularly in the Backwoods.
98. Mountain Imperial Pigeon Ducula badia cuprea**
Several flocks seen at Backwoods, especially near Tambdi Surla Temple on 23th and 24th.
Birds seen in Goa belong to the endemic subspecies cuprea which has several obvious field characters.
99. Vernal Hanging Parrot Loriculus vernalis
About a dozen bids seen daily at Backwoods, although they were sometimes difficult bird to see well. Also 4 birds seen at Maem Lake on 25th.
100. Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria
1 heavy and large parakeet seen flying above Beira Mar Hotel/Baga Fields could be identified as this species.
101. Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri
Several birds seen flying above the Beira Mar Hotel, Baga Fields and near Arpora Forest.
102. Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula roseata
Quite common, seen regularly near Baga Fields, Charpora Bridge, Baga salt pans/Arpora forest and in Backwoods as well. Mostly fly-by’s but perched birds een as well and a couple copulating was a colourful sight. A strange- coloured bird was seen near the Thick-knee site on 26-02. This bird was yellow instead of green.
103. ** Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides
1 bird seen at Arpora Forest on 21-02, several seen daily at Backwoods Camp. Some of these beauties seen very well perched in a tree.
104. Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus
Common: about 10 birds heard daily and also freqently seen.
105. * 'Southern' Coucal Centropus (sinensis) Parroti
Commonly heard. But during the trip just about 6 birds seen well (Backwoods, Baga). The birds seen well all showing the dull brownish forehead typical of the (endemic) subspecies parroti*.
106. * Blue-faced Malkoha Phaennichophaeus viriditrostris
1 bird seen well at Maem Lake on 25-02.
107. Brown Fish Owl Ketupa zeylonensis
One of the star birds of the trip, a bird showing well near the river behind the Bara-bunbi High School, Backwoods.
108. *Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum malabaricum**
A bird was found at the Great Thick-knee site. The subspecies malabaricum is believed to be a separate species by some authors and is regonized by a rufous instead of greyish head and back.
109. Spotted Owlet Athene brama
One bird was seen at Carambolin Woods on 25th and another at dusk sitting on a wire at Beira Mar Hotel on 27th.
110. Brown Hawk Owl Ninox scutulata
Two birds were seen at their roost-tree in Carambolin Woods on 25-02.
111. Brown Wood Owl Strix leptogrammica
1 bird seen at Saligao spring on 25-02. This bird was a major surprise in the way that it was much more beautiful than the illustrations in the guides suggested: what a splendid bird!
112. ** Sri Lanka Frogmouth Batrachostomus moniliger
2 birds seen near Backwoods Camp on 22-02 and 23-02. Wonderful, bizarre birds, recalling an ancient reptile with feathers rather than a bird.
113. Indian Jungle Nightjar Caprimulgus indicus
2 birds seen on 23-03 during the nightjar trip from Backwoods. Another 2 birds seen roosting in trees at Maem Lake on 25-02.
114. Savannah nightjar Caprimulgus affinis
2 birds seen flying and heard during the Nightjar-trip from Backwoods on 23-02.
115. Indian Little Nightjar Caprimulgus asiaticus
1 bird seen roosting at a tree at Maem Lake.
116. ** Indian Swiftlet Collocalia unicolor**
27-02 3 birds seen at Beira Mar Hotel.
One of the endemic species we were focussed on but we never managed to see proparly. Sights of a few birds flying high together with little swifts and a very short fly-by at Arpora Forest weren't convincing and so we thought we would leave Goa without seeing one. But in the last half hour of daylight 3 birds gave excellent views at Beira Mar Hotel. The last (Goan) addition to our trip list.
117. * Indian White-rumped Spinetail Zoonavena sylvatica
Several seen at backwoods but just one showing very well near Tamdi Surla Temple at 24th.
118. Brown-backed Needletail Hirundapus giganteus
Seen flying high above the forested mountains during the two raptor watches at Backwoods on 22th and 23rd.
119. Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis
5 birds seen during the raptor watch at Backwoods on 22th .
120. Pacific [Forktailed] Swift Apus pacificus
Just one birds seen, flying above Arpora Forest with little swiftson 27-02.
121. Little [house] Swift Apus affinis
Common, seen at Baga, Backwoods, Carambolin and Maem Lake
122. Crested Treeswift Hemiprocne coronata
About 8 birds seen at Backwoods. 3 birds een well at Maem Lake on 25th.
123. * Malabar Trogon Harpactes fasciatus
A total of 7 of these beatiful birds (3 males, 4 females) were seen at Backwoods.
124. Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis
Just 2 birds were seen at the Baga Fields and another 2 at Chorao Island on 25th.
125. Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Common, seen regularly at all wetlands and pools.
126. Blue-eared kingfisher Alcedo meniting
During the first Tamdi Surla riverbed-walk on 23rd a bird was found and could be seen quite well through telescopes.
127. Black-backed [oriental] Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx erithaca
We were very lucky with good views of a bird sitting nearby in a tree during the first Tambdi Surla riverbed walk on 23rd. According to Pramod the bird was found at a new site, so no complains about this fruitful walk!
128. Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis Capensis
A few birds were seen: one flying by during the rice-field Raptor watch near Tambdi Surla at 23th, one bird above the river behind the highschool, Backwoods at 24th, one bird sitting on a wire at Baga Salt Pans at 24th and another bird at Carambolin Lake on 26th.
129. White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
Common and whidespread.
130. Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata
Just 2 birds seen of this bright kingfisher: one at Baga fields at 24th and another from Beira Mar there at 27th.
131. Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
Not common: about 7 birds were seen at Baga Salt Pans, Carambolin Marshes ……
132. Little Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
Common. Seen daily in all dry and open habitats.
133. Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus
Common at Baga Fields where about 40 birds were seen on 24th.
134. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops lechenaulti
Not common. Seen only at Backwoods
135. Common Hoopoe Upupa epops
Seen at Baga Fields on 21-02 and on Divar Island on 26-02. Both birds showing white spots in the crest, so (probably) belonging to nominate epops.
136. **Malabar Grey Hornbill
A few seen at Backwoods: 22-02 2 birds seen almost directly when getting out the bus at our arrival at Backwoods. 23-02 1 bird and 24 -02 1 bird.
137. Great Pied Hornbill Buceros bicornis cavatus**
1 Bird seen flying during raptor watch on 22-02. The second bird on 23th at Tambdi Surla raptor watch was one of the highlights of the entire trip: a bird was seen 'hang gliding' several hundreds meters down from a distant hill-top to the forest nearby. About 2 minutes flying without moving its wings, with good views through our telescopes.
Birds seen in Goa belong to the endemic /isolated subspecies Cavatus.
138. * Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus
22/01 Two birds seen during raptor watch Backwoods and one bird just behind the Backwoods Camp at the end of the forest walk. On 23/02 1 bird seen well in a tree during the raptor watch near Tambdi Surla. 24/02 one bird flying near the Park entrance.
139. * Brown-headed Barbet Megalaima Zeylanica
Just one bird seen at the Backwoods: a bird seen calling close to the Backwoods-Camp.
140. White-cheeked Barbet Megalaima viridis
More heard than seen. It’s distinctive call was heard several times daily but just a few birds were seen: one at Saligao Zor on 25th and two birds at Arpora Forest on 27th.
141. ** Malabar [or: crimson fronted] Barbet Megalaima malabarica
Heard more often than seen. At Backwoods a total of about 8 birds were seen.
142. Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala
Just one seen in Backwoods on 22nd near Tambdi Surla temple. Common near Maem Lake, Saligao Zor and Carambolin where a total of about 15 birds were seen.
143. * Indian [or: brown-capped] Pygmy Woodpecker
Seen twice in Backwoods on 22nd and 23rd during the forest walks behind the Camp.
144. Yellow-fronted Pied Woodpecker
1 bird at Maem Lake on 25/02 and another at Arpora Forest on 27th.
145. Rufous Woodpecker Micropternus brachyurus
1 bird seen well at Backwood forest on 23rd and another shortly at Maem Lake on 25th.
146. * Black-rumped Flameback Dinopium benghalense tehminae**
A total of 7 birds were seen in the Backwoods. Others were seen in Carambolin Woods on 26 and at Arpora Forest on 27th.
147. Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus sociales**
Quite common in Backwoods where a total of about 11 birds were seen. Others were seen at Maem Lake. The Whestern Ghats subspecies sociales looks quite simmilar to other subspecies but seems to give completely different acoustic signals.
148. Heart-spotted Woodpecker Hemicircus canente
This funny, odd-shaped bird was seen frequently in the Backwoods. About 12 sightings.
149. * Indian Pitta Pitta brachyura
We were quite lucky with the pittas: the first day at Backwoods the three of us were walking some hundred meters ahead of the group where guide and driver Bruno discovered a bird just a few meters away from us. Next day at almost the same location I spotted the bird again. I alarmed the rest of the group but the bird was not seen again. The last bird was seen at Arpora Forest on 27th where a bird was seen well near the quarry.
150. Greater Short-toed Lark C. brachydactyla
A flock of about 15 birds were seen in Baga Fields on 21/02. Four birds were seen at Chorao Island on 25/02.
151. **Malabar Lark Galerida malabarica
Fairly common, seen regularly in Baga Fields, and seen at Chorao Island, Divar Island and Dona Paula.
152. Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula
10 birds seen at Chorao Island on 25/02 and 6 the same day at Dona Paula. Also 2 birds seen at Divar Island on 26/02.
153. *Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark Eremopterix griseus
About 12 birds, males and females, were seen at Dona Paula on 25/02. Several males showed their distinct display-flight.
154. *Rufous-tailed Lark Ammomanes Phoenicura
Three birds seen at Divar Island. After a long walk through the fields (at midday, about 38 degrees) Laurens found one bird. When we finally got back to our taxi, exhausted but satisfied, two birds came flying to our taxi and landed a few meters in front.
155. Dusky Crag Martin Hirundo concolor
Just one bird in a mixed group of swallows near Tambdi Surla Temple on 24/02.
156. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Frequently seen but in quite low numbers at all cultivated and wetland area’s.
157. Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii
Frequently seen, also in small numbers at Baga fields, Tikkanem, Backwoods and Carambolin Lake
158. Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
Very common. We didn’t saw the streaked subspecies …. Which may be seen here as well.
159. *Streak-throated Swallow Hirundo fluvicola
First seen at Backwoods where the species is quite common. Also seen near Baga Salt Pans, Tikanem and Carambolinn Marshes/Lake.
160. House Martin Delichon urbica
Just one bird at a mixed group of swallows during raptor watching at Backwoods, on 23/02.
161. Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus
3 birds were seen (and heard) flying over the fields close to the Backwoods Camp on 22-02.
162. White wagtail Motacilla alba dukhunensis
1 bird of the subspecies dukhunensis was seen at the playground of the Bara-bunbi High School
163. * White-browed Wagtail
One bird was seen at the roof of our Hotel at Sinquarim on 21, in Backwoods it was quite scarce with just about 4 birds seen, and three where seen at Carambolin Lake.
164. Yellow wagtail
Three (sub*)species of Yellow Wagtails were seen.
A. Greyheaded Wagtail Motacilla Thunbergii. On 24/02 3 were seen in Baga Fields.
B. Blackheaded Wagtail Motacilla Feldegg On 25/02 at Tikkanem 7 were seen . Some birds entirely in breeding plumage and also on 26th at Carambolin 8 Feldegg were seen together with c.
C. Syke’s wagtail Motacilla Beema 2 were seen and potographed on 26/02 at Carambolin Lake.
• Some taxonomic committees, like the dutch CSNA, considers the wagtail-subspecies as different species.
165. Grey wagtail Motacilla cinerea
1 bird on 23rd and 2 birds on 24th were seen at Backwoods
166. Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi
Seen regularly at dry cultivated areas especially Baga Fields, Chorao & Divar Island and Dona Paula.
Although we had all the pipit -calls with us, the pipits proved sometimes a real identification challenge and not always a conclusion was reached. Our conclusion was that Richard Pipits were the most numerous. We focussed therefore on a. the ones who made sounds different than the typical harsh 'shrree' of Richards and b. looked for birds with obvious smaller size or shorter tail length. These birds were conclusively studied more carefully.
167. Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus
Several seen at Baga fields. They were most of the times picked out by their smaller size and smaller tail. Also their calls were quite different from the Richards. Some birds were quite pale, recalling Tawny pipits.
168. Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
Allthough we were aware that some authors say that Tawny Pipits does not or rarely occur in Goa: two birds seen and heard well by us (an unstreaked adult and a first year bird) at Baga fields on 24th were identified as Tawny Pipits by us.
169. Blyth’s Pipit Anthus godlewskii
At least five birds were positvely identified at Baga Fields on 21th and 24th but they are with no doubt under-recorded.
170. Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
Two birds were seen and heard in the Baga Fieldson 24. Another two where seen at Carambolin Lake on 26th. Note: one of the birds at Carambolin was a leusistic bird.
171. Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus
Quite common at Badkwoods wher about 10-15 birds were seen daily. Also seen near the Baga Salt Pans on 24th and at Maem Lake on 25th.
172. Pied [or: Bar-winged] Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus
3 birds seen at Backwoods at 23rd
173. Large Cuckooshrike Coracina macei
2 birds seen near the high school on 24/02 and 2 birds at Arpora Forest on 27/02.
174. Black-headed Cuckooshrike Coracina melanoptera
2 birds seen at Arpora forest on 21/02 and a female seen near the school on 24/02.
175. Common Woodshrike Tephrodomis pondicerianus
Just one bird seen at Arpora Forest on 27/02
176. Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
Several smaller groups seen at Backwoods with a total of 14 birds.
177. ** Orange Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus (split from Scarlet Minivet)
Seen at several sites in small numbers like at Arpora Forest on 21th (2) and on 27th (3) and in the Backwoods (9 birds in total).
178. ** Grey-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus priocephalus
First seen at Backwoods where 15 birds were seen during the trip. Once learnt its metallic call birds were also found at Carambolin Woods on 26th and Arpora Forest on 27th.
179. ** Flame-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus gularis (split from Black-crested Bulbul)
Only seen at Backwoods, where quite common: about 10 birds seen daily.
180. Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus
Very common. Seen in all woodlands and near villages in good numbers.
181. Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer
Common at all woodland-sites.
182. * White-browed Bulbul Pycnonotus luteolus
Seen about 8 birds at Arpora forest on 21th and about 5 on 27th. Also 4 birds at Maem Lake but none at Backwoods.
183. ** Yellow-browed Bulbul Iole indica
Fairly common at Backwoods with at least 10 birds daily, but none at the coastal area's.
184. ** Square-tailed Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus (split from Black Bulbul)
Only seen at Backwoods on 22th (4 birds) and on 23th both during raptor watches in more open areas.
185. Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
Regularly seen in small numbers at nearly all forested area's
186. *Jerdons Leafbird Chloropsis jerdoni (split from Blue-winged Leafbird)
Not common , only 7 birds seen in Backwoods
187. Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons
Seen in small numbers at Arpora Forest (5), Backwoods (total of about 15) and at Maem Lake (3),
188. Asian Fairy Bluebird Irena puella
About 7 birds seen at Backwoods, but it was difficult to obtain good views of this species. I finally managed to see a splendid male perched in a tree during the last riverbed walk on 24th near Tambdi Surla.
189. Daurian Shrike Lanius isabellinus arenarius
1 shrike seen at Baga Fields on 24/02 appeared to be an Isabeliline shrike, a scarce species in Goa. The bird was thought to be of the subspecies arenarius.
190. Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach
Common, seen daily with maximaum of about 10 birds.
191. *White-spotted Fantail Rhipidura albogularis (split from white-browed Flycatcher)
1 seen shortly at Chorao Island on 25th, with 3 birds at Carambolin Marshes on 26th and 2 birds at Arpora Forest on 27th.
192. Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea
About 5 birds were seen at the Backwoods trip.
193. Asian Paradise-flycatcher T. Paradisi
A total of 8 birds seen at Backwoods including an adult white morph, and others were at Maem Lake on 25th and Arpora forest on 27th.
194. Malabar Whistling Thrush
Several heard and some seen daily at Backwoods, another one seen very well at Maem Lake on 25th.
195. Orange-headed Thrush Zoothera Citrina
These beautiful birds were quite common at Backwoods where about 10 were seen daily. Also seen at Arpora forest on 27th.
196. * Nilgiri Blackbird Turdus similis (split from European Blackbird)
Birds were seen at Arpora forest on 21th and a total of 5 birds seen at Backwoods on 22th and 23th.
197. Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
One bird seen in the Baga Fields on 24th and another at Beira Mar Hotel on 27th.
198. Indian Blue Robin Luscinia brunnea
A female was seen well by all three of us during the riverbed walk near Tambdi Surla Temple on 23rd.
199. Oriental Magpie Robin C. Saularis
Very common, up to 10 birds seen at one day.
200. Indian Black Robin Saxicoloides fulicata
Seen at Baga Fieldson 21th and 24th, at Arpora Forest on 24th and at Dona Paula on 25th.
201. Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maura
Seen regularly at all open cultivated area's especially at Baga Fields, Chorao Island and at Divar Island
202. Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata
Not very common but seen several times sitting at wires alongside roads. Also seen at Baga Fieldson 21th and 24th, and at Chorao Island.
203. Desert wheatear Oenanthe deserti
An already reported bird, scarce in the region, was seen by us at Dona Paula on 25th .
204. Asian Brown Flycatcher Musicapa daurica
One was seen near Tambdi Surla on 23th.
205. Brown-breasted Flycatcher Muscicapa muttui
2 were seen at Backwoods on 23th
206. Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula Albicilla (split from red-breasted flycather)
About 5 birds were seen in the Backwoods and another at Carambolin woods on 26th.
207. Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus
1 male seen at Backwoods near the camp on 24th.
208. ** White-bellied Blue Flycatcher Cyornis pallipes
2 females were seen. One on 23th and another on 24th both near the Tambdi Surla temple
209. Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher Cyornis tickelliae
Single males were seen at Arpora forest on 21th, at Backwoods on 22nd (2), 23th and 24th .
210. Puff-throated Babbler Pellomeum ruficeps
One seen in the Backwood Camp on 23th and another seen well at Maem Lake on 25th.
211. Tawny-bellied Babbler* Dumetia hyperythra
3 Birds seen at Maem Lake on 25th
212. ** Dark-fronted Babbler Rhopochicla atriceps
Seen at Backwoods, Maem and Arpora
213. Jungle Babbler Turdoides striatus
A family of 6 birds seen at Arpora Forest on 21th, 5 near the camp at Backwoods on 23th and a party of 8 at our lunch near Dona Paula on 26th.
214. Brown-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe poioicphala
About 6 seen at Backwoods and another two at Maem Lake on 25th.
215. Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
4 bird were seen in the Baga Fields on 21th, and one at Chorao Island
216. Grey-breasted Prinia Prinia hodgsonii
One seen at Arpora Forest at 21th, and several near the high school, Backwoods on 24th
217. * Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis
Several seen at Baga Fields and near Beira Mar on 21th, 24th and 27th .
218. Plain Prinia Prinia inornata
Several seen at Baga Fields and near Beira Mar on 21th, 24th and 27th .
219. Common Tailorbird Orthot. Sutorius
Seen regularly in small numbers in all forested areas.
220. Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus Dumetorum
Most numerous warbler, together with greenish warbler. Seen in nearly all habitats except forest .
221. * Indian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus (split from Clamorous Reed Warbler)
Seen at Backwoods on 22th and at Beira Mar Hotel on 24/02
222. Thick-billed Warbler Acrocephalus aedon
This bird, a scarce winter visitor in Goa, was found by Laurens and seen well at the edges of Carambolin Woods on 26/02.
223. Greenish Warbler Phyloscopus trochiloides
Very common, most numerous warbler.
224. Green warbler Phyloscopus Nitidus
Some birds were identified, mainly by their tri-syllabic calls.
225. Large-billed Leaf Warbler Phyloscopus magnirostris
We found one bird at a forest trail behind the Backwood camp on 22nd and another was in Backwoods camp on 23rd .
226. Western Crowned Warbler Phyloscopus occipitali
A total of 5 birds were seen at Backwoods on 23rd and 24th.
227. * Indian Yellow Tit Parus xanthogenys (Split from Black-lored tit)
Single birds were seen at Arpora Forest on 21th and 27th , at Maem Lake on 25th and at Backwoods on 23th.
228. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis
4 birds were seen during the forest walk on 22th and another on 23th near Tambdi Surla at Backwoods
229. Thick-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum agile
Several identified at Backwoods, Saligao Zor and Arpora Forrest.
Some birds just don't have it: Flowerpeckers for example. They hide high in the trees, fly too quickly and besides aren't real beauties, are they? So, after positive identification of the three species they were mostly left unidentified.
230. ** Nilgiri flowerpecker Dicaeum concolor ** (split from Plain Flowerpecker)
Several identified at Backwoods and Arpora Forest.
231. * Pale-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum erythrorhynchos
Several at Backwoods on 23th.
232. * Purple-rumped Sunbird Nectarinia zeylonica
The commonest sunbird-species during our trip. Seen frequently at Arpora forest, Baga fields, Backwoods and Maem Lake. Only the first day’s we put real effort in identifying the sunbirds: after we saw all the species positively some birds were left unidentified.
233. ** Small [or: Crimson-backed] Sunbird Nectarinia minima
Seen frequent at the Backwoods where a pair had built a nest near the kitchen. Also seen at Arpora Forest on 27th.
234. Purple Sunbird Nectarinia asiatica
As with the other sunbird-species underrecorded. About 8 males were seen at least during the Backwoods trip. Also seen in Arpora forest on 27th.
235. **Loten’s Sunbird* Nectarinia lotenia
At least 5 males seen well at Arpora Forest on 21th and 24th . Also seen at Backwoods near the school on 24th .
236. **Vigor’s Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja (split from Crimson Sunbird)
2 nice males of this beautiful ditinct endemic were seen at Arpora Forest on 21/02 and 27/02.
237. Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra
1 seen very well during Tambdi Surla riverbed walk on 24/02.
238. Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus
Common in the Baga Fields where flock’s up tot 50 birds were seen at all the visits there.
239. White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata
Common at the Baga Fields where a flock of about 75 birds was seen.
240. ** Black-throated Munia Lonchura kelaarti
Only seen at Backwoods: about 15 birds seen in the ricefields close to Tambdi Surla Temple on 23th and 24th.
241. Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata
About 10 birds seen at Baga Fieldson 21th and 24th.
242. * Black-headed Munia Lonchura malacca
We just paid short attention to the 3 birds, including a nice male, seen at Arpora Forest on 21/02 but they were the only ones seen during our trip!
243. House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Fairly common in villages, for example seen near our hotel and at Beira Mar Hotel.
244. Chestnut-shouldered Petronia
Common near the small village close to Backwoods Camp. About 10 birds seen here on 22/02 and 23/02. Also 5 birds near the highschool–walk on 24/02.
245. Indian Golden Oriole Oriolus Kundoo (split from European golden Oriole)
Common, seen daily. Encountered in double numbers at Backwoods. Sometimes seen very well, enabling to see the marked plumage-differences between Indian and European like the black Zorro-mask, and the amount of yellow in the wings.
246. Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus Xanthornus
Common in wooded area’s about 30 seen during the Backwoods-trip. Seen at Maem Lake and Arpora Forest as well.
247. Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus
Common and whidespread
248. Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus
Most birds seen at Backwoods. Only one seen at Arpora Forest at 27th.
249. * White-bellied Drongo Dicrurus caerulescens
Not common, only seen at Arpora Forest on 21 and a single bird at the forest walk in Backwoods at 22nd.
250. Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus
A total of about 12 birds were seen at the Backwoods-trip.
251. Spangled Drongo Dicrurus Hottentottus
Just 2 birds seen during the Tambdi Surla afternoon raptor watch. Spotted well by our guide Pramod.
252. Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus
Seen (and also heard!) a few times during the Backwoods trip, a total of about 8 birds seen.
253. Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnia malabaricus
Fairly common. Seen at Baga fields, frequently at Backwoods, a few at Carambolin Lake and near the Bridge over the Charpora-River.
254. ** Malabar white-headed starling Sturnia Blythii
Seen daily about 25 at Backwoods.
255. Rosy Starling Sturnus roseus
Flocks up to 50 were seen near Baga: on 21th, 24th and 27th birds were seen at the Baga Fields, near the Marinha Dourade Hotel and at Beira Mar.
256. Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
Not common at all: just two birds seen at the Tick-knee site (next to Charpora-bridge) on 26-02.
257. Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus
Common and widespread. Seen daily in good numbers in cultivated areas.
258. ** Lesser Hill-Myna Gracula indica
We were very pleased with good views of 4 birds calling and sitting in a tree during a forest walk near Tambdi Surla on 25-02. This taxon has recently been split and is endemic to the Western Ghats.
259. Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda
Single birds seen at several sites: Arpora forest, Backwoods and Saligao Zor.
260. House Crow Corvus splendens
Common and widespread except in Backwoods were just a few birds were seen.
261. * Indian Jungle Crow Corvus culminatus
Common in Backwoods were dozens were seen.
Species heard only:
263 . Banded Bay Cuckoo Cucullus sonneratii 1 bird calling Backwoods,
264 * Indian Scimitar Babbler Pomathorinus horsfieldii 2 birds calling Backwoods,
265. Sri Lanka Swallow Hirundica hyperhythra, 3 birds seen at the airport on 28th
1. Malabar Giant Squirrel about 5 were seen in Backwoods
2. Indian Palm Squirel common seen daily
3. Bonnet Macaque a few seen in Backwoods some within the campsite.
4. Black-faced Langur, a few seen in Backwoods.
5. Sambar, 3 were seen during the nightjar watch on 23rd near the park-entrance.
6. Mugger Croccedile: 2 were seen swimming in Carambolin Lake.
7. Rat snake a 3 meter long ratsnake was seen at the Backwoods.
8. Tree snake spec 2 were seen in Backwoods .
9. Hippies! seen daily in the coastal area but more numerous near Morjim Beach.
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