With a vast array of birds we had been looking at India for some time. We also wanted to include a week of cultural stuff to see some of the great sites of the area. We looked at several companies and settled on India Footprints as they had some good looking bird itineraries. They could also book us the second week of cultural travel so once a price and itinerary were agreed on we booked. Much has been written about how to travel in India so I won’t go into that. That said we had many problems on this trip and much of it could have been alleviated by better planning and I won’t be using this company again nor would I recommend them. I’ve included details in the report and the summary at the end as to some of the problems we had.
I ordered the Grimmett/Inskipp Guide to North India but when I got it there were no range maps and the book covers a vast area so this was a bit annoying. There are state codes with frequencies but it’s better to take the other book by them covering the whole area though the range maps are on different pages. I also ordered the Ripley Guide to the Birds of South Asia. This is by far a much better book. The artwork is better and sharper with range maps and info about the birds on the left page and plates on the right. This is a two part set with the Field Guide the first book and the Second book with more detailed status and habitat information. I ordered the book direct from Lynx Ediciones but the second part is not in print anymore. The only issue I had with this book is that it is hard cover. I hardly noticed this and ended up never even pulling out the Grimmett/ Inskipp guides as the Ripley guide was so much better to use.
I took Claude Chappuis’s Indian Bird Sounds which is five CD’s covering the Indian Peninsula which gave me an idea about many of the birds I would hear. I also ordered the four CD set of Call of Indian Birds from Nature Club Surat. You can order them from Nature Sounds, a Dutch company that has a great array of bird recordings. Both sets are good though the COIB’s is announced in English and Hindi and I found myself remembering the names in Hindi rather than the sounds themselves. For those sounds I could not find I went to Xeno-Canto.org, the best bird sound site on the net. I filled up my MP3 player with 244 sounds and off we went.
We arrived in late evening and once through customs we were met by I think Neelesh who we had been in contact with, I never caught his name. He got us out the front door and introduced us to our driver Anil saying he would be with us through Corbett. He then said he had some more clients to meet and to enjoy our time in India and promptly left us. Anil, who doesn’t speak much English took us over to the parking lot and his vehicle where we loaded up and began our drive to the hotel. After about half an hour he handed us an envelope with our itinerary, checklist and vouchers for trains, flights and hotels. We arrive at “The Estate; your residence in Delhi”. The security guard came out and helped us with our bags but there was no one else about. Then Anil asks us what time we wanted to leave in the morning. I’m thinking, don’t you know? So after discussing how long the trip will take and the need to stop for bathrooms and lunch along the way we settle on 7am. Our room was nice enough but there was no one around at all, no dinner, no reception, kinda eerie.
I rose early and went out onto the balcony where I could hear my first wild Common Peafowl begin the dawn chorus. This was followed by Grey Francolin and once it began to get light Common Myna and Ring-necked Parakeet’s chimed in. A flowering tree attracted many birds including Red-vented Bulbul. Car horns and prayer calls hampered recordings a bit but the nice arrival of a Shikra managed to stir up some things. Black Kites began to wheel over the city as we began to load up to leave. The next eight hours was spent driving north. We watched the country side roll by with occasional birds to get the blood pumping. The wires were the best place to look. Black Drongo, Indian Roller, Little Green Bee-eater’s and Eurasian Collared Dove were common. Any of the toll stops were covered in Bank Myna’s. We made a bathroom stop around 10:30am for the driver to get tea and us to use the facilities. We didn’t order any food as we thought we would make a stop for lunch in a couple of hours, though this was a mistake as we'd not been offered any breakfast, thankfully we'd brought some snack bars, as we didn't end up getting lunch until 3:00pm. A White-breasted Kingfisher sat across from us while the locals stared at us as they drove or cycled by, a common theme on this trip. Once back on the road we began to see distant foot hills and in some of the agricultural fields I found a pair of Sarus Cranes. Huge birds and a joy to see. We lucked out about an hour later when I saw another pair close to the road and had Anil pull over so we could enjoy a good look at them. Glad we did as these were the only one’s of the trip. A little while later I asked Anil about pulling over for lunch and the bathroom and he said we would eat lunch at the lodge. Oh, wish I’d known that earlier. Guess the discussion about stopping on the way for food the night before went out the window. Eventually I had to have him pull over as I’d been chugging water all morning and was fit to burst. About 20 minutes later we arrived in Bhimtal at Pine Crest Resort. Here we were introduced to the other great Indian tradition, forms! We filled out three and the ledger as well. Once this was done we settled into our room before we went down to order lunch. We ordered something that would be quick and easy. We sat outside and our guide Hari Lama arrived and introduced himself. We spoke about birding and I talked to him about what I wanted to see. I asked if he’d gotten my target list and he had not which was frustrating. So we spent the next half hour going over the list and he decided to take us up above the town to a spot where we could do some birding.
We met half an hour later and drove up into some pine forest. We stopped above a small village and began to walk the road down the valley. The small hamlet was dotted with houses and the road was tree and bush lined making for some decent habitat. We soon came across Black-throated Tit, Grey-hooded Warbler, Grey-winged Thrush and Bar-tailed Treecreeper. A skulking Black-chinned Babbler came quite close as it moved through the eye level brush and a small group of Streaked Laughingthrush called from the slope above us affording some nice upward glances. Lama got a phone call and spent a few minutes ironing out some details before he came to us and told us he was not to be our guide after tomorrow morning as he’d been double booked and we would get a new guide in Pangot. This was annoying as we’d spent some time with him at lunch going over what we wanted to see and we’d have to do the same thing over again with the next guide. Frustration aside we moved farther down through the village and though the dogs began to bark we stopped halfway down to enjoy a few Striated Laughingthrush and let a group of girls pass with their herd of goats. Below us we came across three Mountain Bulbul before crossing a small bridge over the narrow river to the other side. Here we spooked up a Grey Wagtail from the stony riverbed before circling back around and up through the village.
A Brown-fronted Woodpecker showed well at the top of the rise on a pine tree and a Himalayan Bulbul sang from close as several Grey-hooded Warblers foraged close to us. Back near the car we heard a Bar-tailed Treecreeper singing so we stopped to get a recording before loading up to head back to the hotel for dinner.
I woke before first light and a pair of Blue Whistling Thrushes were fighting outside our room soon joined by a lone Asian Barred Owlet who put in his two cents worth only once.
After breakfast we met Lama and he decided to take us on a walk down through the town of Bhowali which sits below the lodge. A Grey Bush-chat sang in the field where it had been yesterday, then we met the main road and walked around finding some Eurasian Collared Doves, Himalayan Bulbul and Green-backed Tit’s in the front yard of a house.
At the bottom of the road we checked the field for birds finding Siberian Stonechat, Dusky Warbler, Grey-breasted Prinia, Grey Bush-chat and Himalayan Bulbul. We checked the small bushes in the field for Rubythroat but came up empty.
From here we walked the road finding a Great Barbet and a Blue-throated Barbet in the same flowering tree. On the other side of the road a skulking Aberrant Bush Warbler called incessantly from the bush but never showed well. We took the path here down along the creek gorge until we came to a dead end overlooking the gorge. Here a group of Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike showed well along with Grey-hooded Warbler and Striated Laughingthrush. A female Slaty-blue Flycatcher called from cover but only briefly showed herself when she flew to a new bush.
We took the road round the gorge staring down the deep ravine where part of the road had washed away. A Red-billed Blue Magpie called from the pine above us and a Long-tailed Minivet showed some great colors in the morning sunlight. A male Purple Sunbird did the same for us a short while later as it probed the flowers below us for nectar.
Lama did some playback and soon enough our target Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush showed up, peering out from a bush before drifting across the road and singing from cover down slope from us.
Farther along near a tea shop a small group of birds was calling so we moved on to check it out. Some Black-lored Tit’s along with Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch were rooting around in a pine while a Grey-faced Woodpecker inspected the trees around us. A Striated Laughingthrush began to call and was soon joined by a Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler. We found the babbler and shortly after its mate responded from across the street and both showed really well.
Farther down from the tea shop we came across a large flock of birds moving about several pines and blooming trees. Consisting mostly of Oriental White-eye’s with some Grey–hooded Warblers but the star was a pair of Blue-winged Minla’s.
A female Green-tailed Sunbird showed up along with several Himalayan Bulbuls. Behind us in a small orchard a Blue-fronted Redstart shone in the green of the trees and a White-throated Fantail called from farther down the road at the entrance to Sat Tal birding lodge.
We met the car here and drove down into the Sal forest to walk the road for a bit. Once out we were greeted by a group of Ashy Bulbul calling from above us and we took a trail through the forest before stopping when we found a large group of birds next to the lake. Grey-hooded and Lemon-rumped Warblers moved about the trees in front of us along with Grey-headed Canary-Flycatchers. A nice Brown-fronted Woodpecker alighted the tree in front of us and a male Red-flanked Blue-tail showed well. Several Green-backed Tit’s pulled up the rear before all had moved through.
We continued down the trail to the bottom to where a small pond sat fed by a small creek. Lama played some song and soon enough a Chestnut-capped Tesia showed up. A great little bird it skulked about for a bit before moving on.
We followed the trail round to another small lake where Slaty-headed Parakeets were being noisy in the trees. A distant Barking Deer moved cautiously on the far side of the lake and a Blue Whistling Thrush began its odd song next to us. We had to move on though and on the way back we stopped for a group of Olive-backed Pipits on the grassy slope of the dam and a lone White-capped Water Redstart.
From here we began the drive up to Pangot dropping Hari Lama along the way before continuing up to Jungle Lore Birding lodge for lunch. Here we met our next guide Ganesh. We didn’t have time to go over much with him as we hadn’t unpacked and gotten our gear ready and we were meeting him at 3:00 to go birding.
We could feel the altitude a bit here as we hiked up the stairs from our cottage to the parked car. Ganesh met us along with Anil and we slowly began to walk down the road out of the village. A large green bird was one of the first to get our attention and once I got my bins on it I noticed the electric blue of the Blue-throated Bee-eater. It flew up the ridge a ways but we were able to find it in the brush and get some good looks before it flew across the face of the forest and down slope a bit. Again we caught up with it behind some trees resting on the power lines before it dropped down into the forest and was gone.
Anil picked us up from here and we drove down the road for a while before getting out at a village and walking back up. The open fields yielded little but we did come across a small group of Long-tailed Minivet, Spot-winged Tit and Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler in a small copse of trees. Continuing uphill we came to another area of tree’s and a pair of Brown-fronted Woodpeckers kept us entertained with eye level views as they foraged in the tree just down the slope from us. A pair of Himalayan Bulbuls were mobbing an Owlet up the hill a ways but with its back to us we couldn’t make out which species.
Anil caught up with us as he came up the hill and it had now started to drizzle off and on with low cloud cover. We did find a small group of Yellow-breasted Greenfinch in some tall grasses before we got in the vehicle and drove up to the lodge. It never did quite rain heavily but drizzled throughout the afternoon.
We got up early this morning and drove up to Vinyak and beyond into some Rhododendron forest where after about half an hour Ganesh found a pair of Koklass Pheasant and we got some good views of them as they scurried uphill away from us. We tried to outflank them by going up above them to see if they would walk up on us but instead they moved back down below the road. We caught up with them again below the road and they scuttled downhill and we spooked the male up and he drifted down hill and out of sight.
In an open grove of trees we heard a Brown-fronted Woodpecker and the alarm calls of Rufous-bellied Rock Thrush and located a male and female but with the wind up it was fairly quiet so we began to drive downhill a ways until we came to the overlook for Cheer Pheasant. We spent about an hour and a half here but no luck. Several Long-tailed Langur were moving about on the scree slope below us and in the rhododendrons which may have made them feel uneasy and had them moved off. It wasn’t totally unproductive though. A nice pair of Upland Pipit showed quite well with one bird sitting for about 20 minutes before moving up the hill to forage for a while. A couple of groups of Altai Accentors flew by and at one point several landed just below us for some nice looks. The Himalayan form of Large-billed Crow settled on an exposed snag down the valley a ways affording some good looks.
With no sign of the pheasants we decided to begin walking downhill. The good news is that the sun had come out for a while and it had warmed up. The first set of eye level Rhododendron we came to had a pair of Rufous Sibia’s which gave cracking views in the green and red of the tree. A pair of Spot-winged Tit’s moved through and three Black Bulbul’s settled on the tree just down the road.
We continued down the road into a forested area and soon were greeted with bird song as a White-tailed Nuthatch and a group of White-browed Shrike-Babblers moved about us. A female Red-flanked Bluetail called from a fallen tree as we passed before we got to the car and moved downhill a ways.
When we got to a suitable spot we got out and walked for a bit. The forest was thicker here and we came across a few bird parties feeding in the Rhododendrons. A group of Black-throated Tit’s was joined by several Gray-hooded Warblers and a funny call close by got our attention. It turned out to be a Green Shrike-Babbler. Another flock a bit farther on held another group of birds including Rufous Sibia, a lone Chestnut Thrush, Gray–hooded Warbler, a Blue-winged Minla and a couple of Whiskered Yuhina.
Above us several Himalayan Griffons circled along with Common Buzzard and a Steppe Eagle. Now we entered into some pines and came across a high up group of Black-throated and Spot-winged Tit’s as well as Long-tailed Minivet and a nice close Eurasian Jay.
Soon enough we had walked to town and waited for Anil to meet us. While we waited I watched as Dusky Crag Martin circled around the gorge in front of us but when he didn’t show we decided to walk on a bit. Good thing too as just past the village we came across a nice close group of birds foraging in the Rhododendrons including Bar-tailed Treecreeper, White-browed Shrike-Babbler, Brown-fronted Woodpecker, Green-backed Tit and Black-throated Tit. Anil picked us up and we drove back to the lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon it was very overcast but we drove up to the pine forest above Pangot and walked down the road for a bit checking some creeks for Long-billed Thrush as I’d not seen the bird well the other morning before it flew off. We didn’t have any luck but at one of the larger rock bed creeks we did find a pair of Slaty-backed Forktails.
We stopped at a wooded area with a trail out to an open area where we found Oriental Turtle Dove’s and several Green-backed Tit. We followed the trail, one of the old pathways up to the villages before the road was built, back down towards Pangot but didn’t find much. I spent a little time around the feeders and fields but Dark-throated Thrush and Blue-fronted Redstart were our only birds here.
Before dinner I took the trail leading down below the lodge into the forest here and heard the beautiful song of a Grey-winged Thrush in the dusk light. Several Hill Partridge called from farther away but I found a spot in the open forest just to sit and wait. As it got darker the first calls of Grey Nightjar began though quite distant. I wasn’t close enough so moved farther down the valley towards the steep slope where they were. I decided to stop for fear of needing an oxygen tank to be able to make it back up if I continued downhill. As it got darker all birds but the nightjars stopped. The sound of the nightjars was closer now too and there were several of them. Soon it became apparent that about 20-30 birds were singing from different spots towards my front. I got a nice dusk chorus of these birds before I panted my way back up to the lodge in darkness listening to the two note whistles of a couple of Mountain Scops Owls.
At dinner we got our next piece of bad news. Ganesh tells us that the permit for him to guide in Corbett has been issued to someone else. We are then introduced to guide number three, Davi Singh who will accompany us through Corbett. I've not managed to talk to Ganesh about my target list let alone another guide.
We rose early again to try for Cheer pheasant but when we got to the overlook it was cloudy with drizzle. The Langur’s were still here so we packed it in after about half an hour. We did stop on the way down at several watery spots and I finally did get a good look, though brief, at a Long-billed Thrush.
We went back to the lodge and loaded up before leaving for the drive to Corbett N.P. On the way down we did stop at an area of small dams and found several White-capped and Plumbeous Water Redstarts along with several Blue Whistling Thrush. A flyby Brown Dipper was missed and there was no sign of any Forktails.
Several hours later we arrived at Tiger Camp and filled out more forms before we had lunch and a clean up before heading to the Kosi River to do some birding.
We stopped at the entrance road and walked down a little way looking at Common Myna and Plum-headed Parakeet and this is when Ganesh gave us our next bit of bad news. He told us that Davi wasn’t good with bird vocalizations but knew the common stuff and could identify most of the birds by sight. This didn’t thrill me. We’d specifically asked for a guide who knew bird vocalizations and were told we would get an expert guide, not three different guides and one that didn’t know the bird vocalizations well.
Anil parked at the river and we passed him before we crossed a bridge past the Garija Temple and down some stairs to the rocky bed of the river. We tried to get away from the crowds but they followed us pointing their camera phones and staring incessantly. This made birding a bit difficult as whenever you moved to try and creep up on something for a better look they followed making noise and spooking off the birds. This happened with a Crested Kingfisher to the point where one of the onlookers walked right towards the bird as I was trying to photograph it and flushed it off. Tired of this we tried to move farther away and eventually they gave up and went back to the bridge. We now had a bit of peace and managed to see both River and Red-wattled Lapwing along with Crested and Common Kingfisher.
There was not much else here so we returned to the main river though farther up than the crowds and scanned the bank for Ibisbill and Wallcreeper finding neither. Frustrated we headed back to the bridge and across to the parking lot which butted up against some forest where we did manage to get in some productive birding.
A small group of Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher and Oriental White-eye moved about very close for some nice views. Red-vented Bulbul and a Crimson Sunbird put in an appearance. A Small Niltava showed briefly before disappearing into the brush and along the dirt road leading to the river I found a White-browed Wagtail along with a Gray Wagtail.
We decided to take a walk along the entrance road before we met Anil and drove out. Just before the main road Ganesh spotted a lovely Ultramarine Flycatcher that gave us some stunning views before we moved off down the road towards the park.
Along the road we found several Pied Bushchat and Common and Bank Myna but the call of a Great Slaty Woodpecker had us pulled over craning our necks up till Ganesh found it and we all got some good looks at it. We made our way back to the lodge where Ganesh left us as he was heading back to Delhi as he would be guiding someone for Forest Owlet. Convenient that he wouldn’t have to guide us in Corbett then isn’t it. He told us Davi Singh would meet us in the morning with the jeep and we would drive to Dhikala. We asked about Anil and were told he would meet us back at Tiger Camp to take us to the train station but we never saw him again.
We had breakfast first thing then packed up and met Davi Singh at eight for the drive into the park proper. A stop along the road yielded a nice array of birds in fantastic light, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Lineated Barbet, Indian Grey Hornbill and Spotted Dove. We drove farther on until we came to the main gate and got out to fill out some more forms before we could enter the park proper. Lovely Sal forest without dogs or car horns greeted us and for the next couple of hours we drove through the park stopping once in a while to enjoy the birds. Lesser Yellownape, Black-rumped and Greater Flameback were some of the woodpeckers and a group of White-crested Laughingthrush and Jungle Babblers showed well. A group of one Black-hooded Oriole and two Maroon Oriole was a nice addition. Several Sambar and Chital deer were welcome mammal additions. We also stopped along the river course to peer down on Marsh Muggar and Gharial. A circling group of Black Storks was a nice addition here. The orange tails of Mahseer in the water below us showed us just how big these fish really are.
We continued on through Sal forest before it began to rain again and we pulled the roof up. The noise on the plastic roof drowned out anything so we plodded on through the wet till we came to a guest house where we could have tea and wait out some of the rain. There was a group of birds over by the dump and we again saw Common Myna, Jungle Babbler, Himalayan Bulbul and a Brown-fronted Woodpecker. Two Red-wattled Lapwing were on the wet grass but they tired of us and moved on. We got some warm tea and let our stuff dry when the sun came out and after a few minutes continued on into the forest. Shortly after it began to rain again and up went the roof. We decided just to go to the lodge to get out of the weather but it began to dry up as we arrived at the area of grassland before the lodge. Several mammals were seen here including both Chital and Sambar deer. We pulled into Dhikala and got unloaded and settled in before lunch. The buffet here was good and we eat heartily before we went back to the room to get sorted out for the afternoon.
I spent some time overlooking the river with the scope as it was somewhat waterproof. I managed to pick up Black-necked Stork, Great Thick-knee, Common Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, River Tern and Lapwing, along with a group of distant Black-headed Gulls, Grey Heron and Great Egret on the mudflats below the hotel.
For the afternoon drive we didn’t hold out much hope with the dark clouds overhead but went out anyway. The muddy track down by the river got us stuck but we did manage to pick out Cinereous and Red-headed Vulture on some of the dead snags. Once out of the mud we moved along the river to several overlooks but didn’t find much apart from several Great Cormorant. Back in the grassy areas we found several Red Junglefowl, Common Peafowl and Pied Bushchat.
The noise of the jeep bouncing around at 20kph made the birding difficult as most stuff would move off the track or away from where you were or the noise would drown out the songs or calls. The wooded areas seemed particularly quiet and it rained on an off but the real reward came just before we came out into the grasslands. A female elephant and her young one were feeding in the woods next to the road so we waited till she grumbled a bit and we moved past them. Another jeep was sat a hundred yards down the road so we too stopped. Shortly after the female moved out of the woods and onto the road where we got some great looks in the afternoon sunlight that had shown up. As we were watching them move into the neck high grass a male came out onto the road and bellowed once before moving into the grass to join several others.
After enjoying the elephants we drove a path through a burned area of grassland and found several Siberian Stonechats and one bird with a massive white wing patch and stark white body that dropped out of sight before I could really get a good look at it. Might have been Hodgsons but I can’t be sure. Several pipits turned out to be Tawny as they flew away from us as we drove forward. We did manage to see some Hog Deer in a taller area of grass and several wild boar and Chital roamed around next to the road one sporting a Jungle Myna. Dinner was again very satisfying but our bed was very stiff. Funny thing is that was the best night of sleep we’d gotten. Dark, quiet and peaceful.
We packed up this morning and loaded up the jeep after breakfast and began the drive out. It was clear this morning and we checked several river crossing in hopes of seeing tiger but had no luck. A singing Long-tailed Shrike and a Common Kingfisher gave us good looks at the river. A singing Ashy Prinia climbed a grassy stalk at the next stop while some River Terns fished a shallow pool in the river. We drove to an area of palms with a water hole that is a known hang out for tigers but again nothing. We were rewarded with a Green-billed Malkoha that climbed through some vines and showed itself a couple of times before disappearing.
Our next stop was an area of open grass and woods where some Chittal were as we had heard one of them barking an alarm call. When we stopped we heard an owl calling and found it in the morning light atop a leafless tree. Identified as Asian Barred Owlet it turned out to be Jungle Owlet after I checked the recordings and pictures I got.
We continued the long drive out through the forest and did come across a large party of birds at one point comprising mostly warblers and tits but a nice Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo showed well calling and sallying through the upper boughs of the trees in front of us. A Lesser Yellownape was foraging here too and also showed well.
Back out of the park we hit the main road back to the Tiger Camp stopping at one of the river overlooks to enjoy some fantastic looks at a Changeable Hawk-Eagle. It sat motionless overlooking the river gorge below. Though it was not the best spot to stop we did get some superb views of the bird.
Back at Tiger camp we were dropped off and waited for lunch. Davi Singh was coming back in the afternoon to collect us to try another spot to bird. As we didn’t have a room we just sat around the garden and waited for lunch then a while longer till our driver and guide showed up to take us out for the afternoon.
We went out in the afternoon driving back past the entrance to the reserve and up through some forest to a stop next to the river. We walked down the trail stopping for an Grey-breasted Prinia that was calling in the thorn scrub below us. A small group of Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike showed well along with some Green-backed Tits.
We scanned the trees above us for Tawny Fish Owl but never did see one. At the bottom of the trail it opened out onto the river and Davi Singh had seen a Brown Dipper so we checked the rocks and found the bird. We watched for a while before we saw it fly up to its nest in the rock wall opposite us. I decided to wade across the river to get some pics. The water was a bit cold and only knee deep and before long I was across. I perched on a set of boulders overlooking a shallow pool about thirty yards from the nest. In short order one of the dippers came to the rocks on the far side and paddled about in the water before flying up to the nest then dropping back out. The mate showed up a little later carrying a food item before it too flew round to the nest. I left them after about ten minutes and waded back across. Dried we hiked back up to our vehicle and drove back to the camp. We also stopped by the Kosi river again to check for Ibisbill but found nothing, though this time we didn’t get quite so mobbed.
Davi left us here and we spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the garden waiting for dinner. A wildlife movie was showing at seven and as we were already in the garden we decided to wait for it and watch it. An owl began to call as darkness fell and the guy setting up the movie told me it was Brown Hawk-Owl. I grabbed my mic and recorder and set off into the grounds to find it. There were actually at least three in the area and between some of the construction noise I managed to get some recordings. I went back for the start of the movie and we watched until it was time for dinner.
After dinner we went back up front to get our stuff ready and our driver met us and helped load us up to take us to the train station. We stopped on the way and Davi hopped in saying he would show us the station to make sure we were sent off correctly which he duly did. Thing is the train was an hour late so we didn’t leave till just after 10. This would mean we were an hour late getting into Delhi and I was planning on going to Sultanpur the next morning.
The train bunks aren’t made for people over 5’10 so I could never stretch out but did manage some sleep. We woke early to make sure we were ready to get off the train at the right stop but the stop never came. It was fully day time now and we could see the countryside rolling by. 8,9,10,11 o’clock all rolled by and still no stop. Eventually around lunchtime we pulled into Delhi. We were met by a driver and taken to the Estate where they kindly made us some breakfast and we plopped down in the room to take a rest and clean up. Fourteen hours on the train had drained us. We did manage to confirm the driver and guide for the afternoon so about an hour later I was outside to meet our driver Ranjit. He spoke little English but was a quick driver and got me there in an hour. My guide for the afternoon was Sanjay, who turned out to be very competent and able. I asked him about larks and coursers and he said we would need to go outside the park and I agreed that was the best action. We loaded up and took a right out of the gate then another right and drove to a small village behind the park. Here open fields and pasture lay before us and we began to drive in till we found a shade tree. We got out here and the area was mostly grass with a few bits of stunted bushes but we were soon onto some birds. A small pool at the start held Pied Avocet and a Yellow-wattled Lapwing. A nice close Black Drongo showed well and once we began walking into the bushy area we found a nice pale Blythe’s Pipit. We continued on a ways until movement caught my eye and it turned out to be a foraging Indian Bushlark. A Large Gray Babbler was in a larger bush and several Little Green Bee-eaters were on the wires. A pair of Crested Larks were next and showed quite well, one flying up onto a brick wall for a closer inspection. Behind the wall we walked out into the pasture and spent the next hour and a half looking for Indian Courser but had no luck. Sanjay said he had only counted three this year which was very low compared to last years total of 55. None the less it wasn’t wasted time. We found several more Crested Larks, a singing Indian Bushlark, Oriental Skylark and several groups of Greater Short-toed Lark including a Hume’s Short-toed Lark. At the back of the fields we found some thick brush and found an Indian Robin and a Red-wattled Lapwing.
We decided to cut back across the fields to the car and go back to the park. Sanjay knew the day roost for some Spotted Owlet and in short order we were enjoying a pair back in the park grounds. A nice Yellow-footed Green Pigeon showed well in the bare tree above us before we moved on. We took the trails deeper into the park hearing both Hume’s and Blythe’s Leaf Warblers in the trees above us. Near a man made walled pond we came across Cattle and Great Egret and Indian Pond Heron. A Pied Kingfisher called as it circled overhead and back down to the wall to look for food. In the stunted bush and open tree scrub Sanjay found a Bluethroat and an Ashy Prinia. A small group of Indian Silverbills caught our attention as we moved onto the back side of the park and a singing Zitting Cisticola announced itself as it flew over the fields next to us. The song of a Common Hawk-Cuckoo rang out once but never again and we never did find the bird. We climbed up onto one of the berms and down towards the jheel itself. A Shikra in one of the acacia type trees got or attention and as we got close we spooked two Greater Coucal that called loudly from the cover they had moved into.
A peninsula jutted into the water from the bank in front of us and we walked it checking both sides for birds as they flushed from the banks. A White-breasted Waterhen, Common Coot, Wood Sandpiper and Black-winged Stilts all flushed and near the end Sanjay heard our target. In the very last bush a pair of Sind Sparrows called as they moved about in the cover. We moved to get a better view and I found the female before they tired of us and flew down the spit of land to the shoreline. We reversed course and set off after them finding the pair had been joined by another two in a thorny bush protruding from the head high grass. We waded into the grass startling a pair of Plain Prinias that voiced their disapproval but eventually we managed to sneak close enough for great looks at a calling male Sind Sparrow in the afternoon light. Once satisfied we left the sparrows and walked back round the lake and found the walled pond where the herons were back in attendance. Lesser Whitethroat, Hume’s and Blythe’s Leaf Warblers continued to call from the scattered trees and as we followed the tree lined shore we found a White-breasted Kingfisher and a Booted Warbler. As we stepped down the bank to check the roosting birds in the water we spooked a Jungle Cat which sped off into the grass. Stilts and Lapwings lined the shallow water and several Northern Shovelers were close at hand and juvenile Painted Storks along with a lone Asian Open-billed Stork circled overhead as they came into roost for the evening. We made our way back to the parking lot and I said goodbye to Sanjay and drove back to Delhi. After all the problems we had had so far this made a nice end to the trip.
Throughout the rest of the trip we went to Jaipur, Agra and Varanasi and I managed to pick of a few more birds along the way getting up early and keeping an eye out from hotel rooftops or in their gardens or local parks that we visited.
In summary I think India has a lot more to offer than what we got. Having three different guides at the beginning hampered our efforts along with the bad weather. Several species were misidentified like all the Owlets were Asian Barred though I recorded Collared and Jungle, the call of Collared Owlet being identified as Blue-throated Barbet. The Flamebacks were a bit of a problem. Some of the places in our itinerary were never visited though I don’t know how much difference this made as I’ll never know what we missed. I don’t have an opinion on Hari Lama as we only birded with him for seven hours total. I think he is good and spoke the best English and seemed the friendliest. Ganesh knew a lot of the calls and he seemed pretty good for the two days we had him. Davi Singh was a nice guy but he was not the best bird guide. There was no night birding apart from what I did myself. Of the 300+ target species I had on my list I saw 108.
The second part of the trip was equally as frustrating with drivers not speaking good English and having to arrange our own departure times and not knowing travel times and distances it really cut short our time at several spots including Fatepur Sikri, we practically jogged round the site. This meant that we arrived at Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal so late that we never got a chance to use the day room we had paid for and had to eat at a McDonalds before our train as we were in such a rush to get there, though that turned out to be late also. We arrived in Varanasi and couldn’t check into our rooms for three hours which was a pain after a ten hour train ride plus our voucher was for a different hotel. Many of the guides we had for the whole day city tours left at lunchtime and we’re not sure what we may have missed as the itinerary didn’t match everything we saw. We always just felt rushed like we had to get on to the next place. There was also the inevitable stop at a shop they knew about for good carpets, jewelry or something else that we didn’t want but were pushed to buy. The food on the other hand was excellent, abundant and well cooked. The places we stayed were all very nice and Shapura House in Jaipur was stunning. Way more luxurious than anything we would normally stay in. The Estate in Delhi was nice the second time round when we actually saw someone and their staff were helpful when we arrived late from Ramnagar they kindly cooked us breakfast though it was 11:00am. Jungle Lore Birding Lodge is in a great setting and their staff were great. The food there is awesome and I can recommend a stay there. We still don’t understand the fascination with us that everywhere we went someone was sticking a camera or camera phone in our face. Every spot we went to, a monument, park or train station someone was staring at you or taking a picture to the point that some of them would run up to you and get their friends to take a picture with you or at least ask you which was inevitably when you were trying to record something or take a picture. We never felt at risk just pestered all the time. I guess a combination of all of these things left us disappointed in India and our trip.
Photos from this tour can be seen in my North India 2011 Flickr album
Sounds from this tour can be heard in my India March 2011 Xeno-canto set
Phasianidae: Pheasants, Fowl & Allies
1 Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus Heard more often than seen but common in the lowlands
2 Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus One seen scurrying away from the jeep at Dhikala
3 Jungle Bush Quail Perdicula asiatica Spooked by the jeep it flew off into the forest at Dhikala
4 Hill Partridge Arborophila torqueola Heard in the evening and in the morning not seen
5 Koklass Pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha A pair seen on both mornings above Vinayak
6 Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus A few seen along the roadways through the forest at Dhikala
7 Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus Several seen around Dhikala
Anatidae: Ducks, Geese & Swans
8 Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea One seen as we crossed a small river on the way to Nainital
9 Gadwall Anas strepera One seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
10 Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata Many at Sultanpur Bird sanctuary
11 Green-winged Teal Anas crecca One seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
12 Common Merganser Mergus merganser One seen on the river Kosi in Corbett
13 Black Stork Ciconia nigra 5 seen circling over the river in Corbett
14 Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus One seen from the overlook at Dhikala Forest Resort two the next day
15 Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala Several juveniles at Sultanpur
16 Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans One at Sultanpur
Threskiornithidae: Ibises, Spoonbills
17 Red-naped Ibis Pseudibis papillosa A couple seen in flight and one on the drive to Jaipur
18 Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia Several seen from the overlook at Dhikala
Ardeidae: Herons, Bitterns
19 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea One seen from the overlook at Dhikala Forest Resort
20 Purple Heron Ardea purpurea One seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
21 Great Egret Ardea alba A couple seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
22 Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia One seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
23 Little Egret Egretta garzetta Several seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
24 Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Common
25 Indian Pond-Heron Ardeola grayii Several seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
26 Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax A couple heard from Dhikala
Phalacrocoracidae: Cormorants, shags
27 Indian Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis One at Sultanpur a couple at a lake in Jaipur
28 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo Commno along the Kosi River
Accipitridae: Kites, Hawks & Eagles
29 Oriental Honey-Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus One seen in flight near Sattal
30 Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus Two seen hovering on the way to Nainital
31 Black Kite Milvus migrans Common
32 Pallas's Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus One seen on the river Kosi in Corbett
33 Lesser Fish-Eagle Ichthyophaga humilis Two seen circling over the river at Corbett
34 Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus One at the Taj Mahal
35 Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis Two first day up above Vinayak and several huddling from the weather next day
36 Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus Three seen in Corbett
37 Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus One seen on a dead tree in Corbett
38 Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela Two seen mating at Corbett
39 Shikra Accipiter badius One outside our hotel in Dehli and one at Sultanpur
40 Eurasian Buzzard Buteo buteo One up above Vinayak
41 Indian Spotted Eagle Aquila hastata One over the hotel Tiger Camp
42 Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga One on the drive up to Pangot
43 Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis Couple seen around Pangot
44 Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatusOne circling the Taj Mahal
45 Changeable Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus One seen as we drove out of Corbett
46 Mountain Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus nipalensis One seen circling over the Kosi rive outside Corbett
Falconidae: Caracaras, Falcons
47 Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus One seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
Rallidae: Rails, Crakes & Coots
48 White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus One seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
49 Eurasian Coot Fulica atra One seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
50 Sarus Crane Grus antigone Four seen in two pairs on the drive up to Nainital
Burhinidae Stone-curlews, Thick-knees
51 Great Thick-knee Burhinus recurvirostris Three seen from the overlook at Corbett
Recurvirostridae: Stilts, Avocets
52 Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus Several at Sultanpur
53 River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii A few from the overlook at Dhikala
54 Yellow-wattled Lapwing Vanellus malabaricus One at Sultanpur
55 Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus Common
56 Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus A pair seen on the drive up to Nainital
Scolopacidae: Sandpipers, Snipes
57 Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis A couple seen from the overlook at Dhikala
58 Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola A couple seen from the overlook at Dhikala
59 Common Redshank Tringa totanus A couple seen from the overlook at Dhikala
Laridae: Gulls, Terns & Skimmers
60 Black-headed Gull A small group seen from the overlook at Dhikala
61 Brown-headed Gull Several on the Ganges
62 River Tern Sterna aurantia A few around the Kosi river in Corbett
Columbidae: Pigeons, Doves
63 Rock Pigeon Columba livia; C.l.feral (introduced) Common
64 Oriental Turtle-Dove Streptopelia orientalis Four seen above Pangot
65 Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto Common
66 Red Collared-Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica One seen at Dhikala
67 Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis Several seen around Dhikala
68 Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica One seen in Corbett
69 Yellow-footed Pigeon Treron phoenicopterus Six seen around Sultanpur, Jaipir and Delhi
70 Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria Two at the Garija Temple on the Kosi River
71 Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri Common
72 Slaty-headed Parakeet Psittacula himalayana Several seen around Nainital and Pangot
73 Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri Four seen before Corbett, many heard in the canopy
74 Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala Several seen around Nainital and Pangot
75 Common Hawk-Cuckoo Cuculus varius Heard at Sultanpur
76 Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus Heard at Jaipur
77 Green-billed Malkoha One seen on the drive out of Corbett
78 Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis Two seen at Sultanpur several heard at Jaipur
79 Mountain Scops-Owl Otus spilocephalus Heard at Pangot
80 Brown Fish-Owl Ketupa zeylonensis Two seen in Corbett
81 Collared Owlet Glaucidium brodiei One heard at Pangot possible in Corbett
82 Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides Heard and seen in Nainital and Pangot
83 Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum One seen on the way out of Corbett
84 Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus indicus Heard on two nigths and a pair seen flying at Pangot
85 Crested Treeswift Hemiprocne coronata Several seen in Corbett
86 Common Swift Apus apus A few around Nainital
87 Little Swift Apus affinis A large group seen both mornings in Jaipur
88 Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis A few seen on the wires on the drive to Nainital and Jaipur
89 Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis One seen at the Kosi river and another in Corbett
90 Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis Two seen in Corbett
91 White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis Common
92 Crested Kingfisher Megaceryle lugubris One seen at the Garija Temple on the Kosi River
93 Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis One seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
94 Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis Common
95 Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops One seen in Corbett
96 Indian Grey Hornbill Ocyceros birostris Four seen around Corbett and two in Delhi
Megalaimidae: Asian Barbets
97 Great Barbet Megalaima virens Many heard but only one seen in Bhowali
98 Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata One seen on the drive into Corbett several heard
99 Brown-headed Barbet Megalaima zeylanica A couple seen around Veranasi
100 Blue-throated Barbet Megalaima asiatica One seen below Bhowali
101 Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala Two seen in Jaipur and Veranasi
102 Speckled Piculet Picumnus innominatus Heard only once
103 Grey-capped Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus One heard in Corbett
104 Brown-fronted Woodpecker Dendrocopos auriceps Several seen around Pangot
105 Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus Several seen around Pangot
106 Streak-throated Woodpecker Picus xanthopygaeus A few glimpses as they flew past in Corbett
107 Scaly-bellied Woodpecker Picus squamatus I was told one flying past was this but never really saw it.
108 Grey-faced Woodpecker Picus canus Two seen around Bhowali
109 Himalayan Flameback Dinopium shorii A pair seen in Corbett
110 Black-rumped Flameback Dinopium benghalense Several seen in Corbett
111 Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus A pair seen in Corbett
112 Great Slaty Woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus One seen on the road before Corbett
113 Long-tailed Minivet Pericrocotus ethologus Common in the foothills
114 Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus Four seen in Dhikala
115 Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus A large group seen in Bhowali and several heard in Corbett
116 Grey-backed Shrike One seen in Pangot
117 Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach Several seen around Corbett
118 Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus Two seen at Corbett and heard a few times
119 Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii A pair seen on the drive to Dhikala
120 Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus Common
121 Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus One heard and seen very briefly in Corbett
122 Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer One seen and two heard in Corbett
123 Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus Two seen in Corbett
124 Yellow-bellied Fantail Rhipidura hypoxantha One seen at Sattal
125 White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis Several seen around Sattal
Corvidae: Crows, Jays
126 Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius One seen above Pangot
127 Black-headed Jay Garrulus lanceolatus Several around the lodge at Pangot
128 Red-billed Blue Magpie Urocissa erythrorhyncha One seen below Bhowali
129 Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda One seen in Corbett several seen around Jaipur
130 Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae One seen outside of Corbett
131 House Crow Corvus splendens Common
132 Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos Several seen above Pangot and several around Tiger Camp
Paridae: Tits, chickadees
133 Great Tit Parus major A few seen around Pangot
134 Spot-winged Tit Parus melanolophus A few seen above Pangot
135 Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus Common in the foothills and several in Corbett
136 Black-lored Tit Parus xanthogenys Two below Bhowali
137 Indian Bushlark Mirafra erythroptera Three in Sultanpur
138 Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix griseus Two seen in Sultanpur
139 Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla Two large flocks in Sultanpur
140 Hume's Short-toed Lark Calandrella acutirostris One photographed in Sultanpur
141 Crested Lark Galerida cristata Four seen in Sultanpur
142 Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula One seen in Sultanpur
143 Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer Common
144 Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus Farily common in the lowlands
145 Himalayan Bulbul Pycnonotus leucogenys Common in the foothills
146 White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis One seen from the train near Jaipur
147 Mountain Bulbul Ixos mcclellandii Three seen in pine forest above Bhowali
148 Ashy Bulbul Hemixos flavala Several heard around Sattal and three seen on the drive to Dhikala
149 Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus Two small groups seen one in Bhowali one above Pangot
Hirundinidae: Swallows and Martins
150 Dusky Crag-Martin Ptyonoprogne unicolor A large group around Pangot and several seen in the ruins at Jaipur
151 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica A few seen in the lowlands
152 Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii One seen on the drive to Jaipur
153 Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica Several seen circling around the hotel in Jaipur
154 Nepal House Martin Delichon nipalense A couple seen circling over Bhowali
Cettiidae: Cettia bush warblers and Allies
155 Chestnut-headed Tesia Tesia castaneocoronata One taped in at Sattal
156 Aberrant Bush-Warbler Cettia flavolivacea One skuling in a bush below Bhowali
157 Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus Common in the highlands
Phylloscopidae: Leaf warblers and Allies
158 Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita One seen below Pangot
159 Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus A couple seen around Pangot and Bhowali
160 Buff-barred Warbler Phylloscopus pulcher A couple seen around Pangot
161 Lemon-rumped Warbler Phylloscopus chloronotus One seen at Sattal
162 Brooks's Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus subviridis A few seen in Sattal and heard at Sultanpur
163 Hume’s Warbler Phylloscopus humei A few seen around Bhowali, heard at Sultanpur
164 Grey-hooded Warbler Seicercus xanthoschistos Common in the highlands
Acrocephalidae: Reed warblers and Allies
165 Booted Warbler Hippolais caligata One seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
Cisticolidae: Cisticolas and Allies
166 Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis One seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
167 Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius One seen at Tiger Camp
168 Striated Prinia Prinia crinigera One seen at the lodge in Pangot
169 Grey-breasted Prinia Prinia hodgsoni Two seen on in Bhowali and another outside of Corbett
170 Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis Several seen from Corbett to Delhi
171 Plain Prinia Prinia inornata Two seen at Sulltanpur
Timaliidae: Babblers, Parrotbills
172 Yellow-eyed Babbler Chrysomma sinense Four seen in a small group at Dhikala
173 White-throated Laughingthrush Garrulax albogularis Common around the lodge at Pangot
174 White-crested Laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus One large group encountered at Corbett
175 Striated Laughingthrush Garrulax striatus Common around Bhowali and Pangot
176 Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush Garrulax rufogularis One seen below Bhowali
177 Streaked Laughingthrush Garrulax lineatus Several seen around Pangot
178 Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus erythrogenys A pair seen at Bhowali and one recorded below Pangot
179 Black-chinned Babbler Stachyris pyrrhops One seen in pine forest above Bhowali
180 Jungle Babbler Turdoides striata Common around Corbett and the lowlands
181 Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea A few seen around Sattal
182 White-browed Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius flaviscapis Two groups of three or four birds seen above Pangot
183 Green Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius xanthochlorus Two seen above Pangot
184 Blue-winged Minla Minla cyanouroptera A pair seen below Bhowali and another one seen above Pangot
185 Rufous Sibia Heterophasia capistrata Several in flowering Rhododendrons above Pangot
186 Whiskered Yuhina Yuhina flavicollis A small group seen above Pangot
Sylviidae: Sylviid Babblers
187 Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca Two seen in Sultanpur
188 Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch Sitta castanea A few seen around Sattal
189 White-tailed Nuthatch Sitta himalayensis A few seen around Pangot
190 Bar-tailed Treecreeper Certhia himalayana Quite a few seen from Bhowali up to Pangot and Vinayak
191 Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus Two seen in Dhikala
192 Bank Myna Acridotheres ginginianus Common at any toll stop along the major roads in the lowlands
193 Common Myna Acridotheres tristis Common
194 Asian Pied Starling Gracupica contra A few seen from the train and in the tree next to the hotel in Jaipur
195 Brahminy Starling Temenuchus pagodarum A pair was common around the hotel in Jaipur
196 Rosy Starling Pastor roseus One seen from the hotel in Jaipur
197 European Starling Sturnus vulgaris Several seen around Dheli
198 Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush Monticola rufiventris Two pairs seen around Pangot and above Vinayak
199 Blue Whistling-Thrush Myophonus caeruleus Common in the highlands and in Corbett
200 Plain-backed Thrush Zoothera mollissima One seen along the side of the road driving down from Pangot
201 Long-billed Thrush Zoothera monticola One seen near Vinayak next to a small creek
202 Grey-winged Blackbird Turdus boulboul Common around the lodge at Pangot
203 Dark-throated Thrush Turdus atrogularis Quite common in the highlands, Corbett and one seen in Sultanpur
Muscicapidae: Old World Flycatchers
204 Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla One seen in Sultanpur
205 Ultramarine Flycatcher Ficedula superciliaris A pair seen at the Garija Temple
206 Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus One seen at the Garija Temple on the Kosi River
207 Small Niltava Niltava macgrigoriae One seen at the Garija Temple on the Kosi River
208 Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara One seen at Tiger Camp
209 Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis Common in the foohills and highlands
210 Bluethroat Luscinia svecica One seen at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
211 Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus A pair seen at Sattal
212 Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis One seen at Tiger Camp
213 Indian Robin Saxicoloides fulicatus A few seen from the hotel in Jaipur and one seen at Sultanpur
214 Blue-capped Redstart Phoenicurus caeruleocephala A few seen above Pangot
215 Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochrurus One seen in Sultanpur
216 Blue-fronted Redstart Phoenicurus frontalis One seen below Bhowali
217 White-capped River-chat Chaimarrornis leucocephalus A few seen along stony watercourses from Sattal to Corbett
218 Plumbeous Water-Redstart Rhyacornis fuliginosa One on the way down from Pangot to Corbett and one on the Kosi
219 Slaty-backed Forktail Enicurus schistaceus A pair seen below Pangot
220 Spotted Forktail Enicurus maculatus One seen along a dry riverbed below Bhowali
221 Siberian Stonechat Saxicola torquatus A few seen around Corbett and Bhowali
222 Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata Several around Corbett
223 Grey Bushchat Saxicola ferreus Several in the highlands
224 Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii One seen on the Kosi outside Corbett
225 Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus Common from Bhowali down to Delhi
226 Green-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga nipalensis One seen at Sattal
227 Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja One seen at the Garija Temple on the Kosi River
Passeridae: Old World Sparrows
228 House Sparrow Passer domesticus Common
229 Sind Sparrow Passer pyrrhonotus Four seen at Sultanpur
230 Russet Sparrow Passer rutilans A few seen above Bhowali
Estrildidae: Waxbills, Munias & Allies
231 Indian Silverbill Euodice malabarica A large group seen at Sultanpur
232 Altai Accentor Prunella himalayana Two large flocks above Vinayak
Motacillidae: Wagtails, Pipits
233 Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea One at Garija and another on a Kosi tributary
234 White-browed Wagtail Motacilla madaraspatensis Several seen along the kosi
235 Richard's Pipit Anthus richardi One in the fields behind Sultanpur
236 Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus A couple in the fields behind Sultanpur
237 Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis One seen in the fileds behend Sultanpur
238 Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris Several in Corbett and a few behind Sultanpur
239 Upland Pipit Anthus sylvanus Three seen above Vinayak
240 Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni Several seen at the dam in Sattal
241 Pink-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus rodochroa One female seen below Bhowali