One day one of my mates, Steve said, "I would like to visit Goa, India again to take pictures of the birds". Myself and another mate Bob said that it would be nice to do that. So, with my retirement looming, my ever suffering wife gave her blessing to add my name to the list to go! A few meetings later and we had a 6 man team to go to Goa in January 2016. The squad was: David Ousey, Bob Kenworthy, Steve Brown, Billy Jackson, Mark Gibson, Dougie Dickson. All gathered from Northern England & Scotland.
We booked our flight, accommodation and transfers with Althams Travel in Littleborough (Tel No:- 01706 378373)near Rochdale. They are to be highly recommended for a really professional package.
Getting a visa to visit Goa can be done through https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/ Navigating your way through the process was quite difficult at times (especially the photograph part) I chose to visit a visa office in Manchester, again very interesting, this way cost about £100. A quicker way was to apply within a month which cost about £45. Once the visa was in my passport, I was happy!
We all met at Manchester Airport bright and early and boarded a Thomas Cook A330 Airbus for the 9.5 hour journey to Goa. The aircraft was quite spacious and had good entertainment via a monitor in the seat facing. The cabin staff were the usual high standard that a fairly long haul flight requires. We landed at Dabolim Airport, Goa around 11-30pm local time and it was nice and warm! The transfer to our hotel in Baga took about 1.5 hour. We reached the Marinha Dourada hotel around 2am and promptly went to bed.
27/1/2016 Area around Marinha Dourada Hotel
After sorting out a few problems with the rooms, we had a light breakfast and all went our own ways birding. I did the local saltpans first, these have changed since my last visit in 2008. The 2 large lagoons nearest to the river had once been saltpans and had held many waders. You could also take a shortcut through them towards Arpora woods but, the water has eroded the banks away, so you have now to walk up to the T junction and turn left these days. After about 150 yards a small path on the left of the road after a large advertisement board can be used to look at the remaining saltpans. A good selection of waders, egrets and herons use this area. Pacific Golden Plover, Black winged Stilts, Lesser Sand Plover, Little Egret. Not as many kingfisher species were seen as last time, but Common and White-breasted are usually present. The air was always filled with Black (Eared) Kites with an occasional Brahminy Kite for company. A walk up Baga Hill is always special, but, even that has changed with a house having been built near the summit facing seaward. It still has lots of birdlife though. A football pitch just across the T junction was given a good looking at with Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black-shouldered Kite, Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Shikra being present. We also saw Oriental Turtle Dove, Spotted Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove and a selection of parakeets in this flat grassy area. Indian Roller, Little Green Bee-eater, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Barn, Wire-tailed & Red-rumped Swallows hunted over the outlying fields. Back at the hotel a pair of Indian Scops Owl were seen roosting in a bamboo tree about 20 yards from our hotel swimming pool! Lots of the more common species were seen around the area. In the evening a trip to the Beira Mar Hotel in Baga was made to meet up with a couple of other English birders and to enjoy the birds on the marsh, Wooly-necked Stork ,but, alas no sign of the Cinnamon Bittern, 56 species seen on the day. A good meal was also had there and an early night in bed.
28/1/2016 Dona Paula, River Trip, Batim Lake
After our first day getting used to the hot Indian conditions, our first planned trip was with Leio, which we had arranged with "Backwoods". An early call at Dona Paula plateau was not as good as my last visit there, but Leio`s terrific knowledge of Indian birds was very apparent. It was a river trip exploring the Mandovi River area. We were picked up early from our hotel and reached the jetty (which was very slippy) and watched a Stork-billed Kingfisher. Then the local ferry carrying, people, motorbikes, cars and various goods across the river. Our small launch came and we climbed on board. We crossed to the north side of the river and hugged the mud flats and mangrove area. We saw lots of waders, egrets and herons and Gull-billed Terns, then a Oriental Darter flew past and great views of a perched Osprey enjoying a meal. Then Leio pointed out a perched Collared Kingfisher, we saw about 4 of these striking birds on this trip. We saw all the kingfishers that we were likely to see. Other highlights of the 2 hour trip were: Clamorous Reed Warbler, Blue-faced Malkoha, Terek Sandpiper, Peregrine Falcon, Indian Spotted Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Painted Stork, Asian Openbill. Back at the landing place we visited some rather strange "services" typically Indian. We headed into the Goan capital Panaji for lunch at an old back packers restaurant, very quaint. We headed out towards Batim Lake, firstly calling at a couple of interesting roadside pools were the Woolly-necked Storks seemed to be around. The birds did allow lots of photographs to be taken. At Batim Lake a few Lesser Adjutant storks were present, what magnificent bird these are! Leio showed us Indian Shag and Little Cormorants sat together for comparison. A few Black-headed Ibis were also present, in fact the whole area had lots of birdlife around it. Various duck species were seen: Garganey, Common Teal, Gadwall, Lesser Whistling Duck, Shoveler, Cotton Teal, Pintail and 3 Indian Spot-billed Ducks. We also saw Moorhen and Coot, which in Goa are not common. A Booted Eagle flew over and scattered the flock for a short while but they soon settled back down. A good look at a Sykes's Warbler (split from Booted Warbler) ended the day with Leio on another high note. We got back to our hotel after a very busy birding day, then enjoying a meal at Nicks Place which was only a 2 minute walk from our hotel. We went there on various occasions and always enjoyed the food, beer and hospitality. (http://www.nicksplacegoa.com)
29/1/2016 Arpora Woods & Beira Mar
After a busy day previously a late start was made, with us all going to Arpora Woods to check out a good birding area. It's like a wooded valley with scattered un-worked field`s at the bottom. A good place to watch the raptors flying about. A Crested Serpent Eagle was flying around calling for about 10 minutes, great to watch. Shikra, Booted Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier and along with a few kites made pleasant birding. A few Chestnut-headed Bee-Eaters, White-browed Bulbul and a few of the more common species made up a very warm morning. The sun really got to us though and as we made our way back, passing the Nilaya Hermitage Hotel, the long / wrong way back, a rest and lots of fluid were called for, so we stopped at Nick`s Place. In the evening a taxi ride to the Beira Mar Hotel, found a couple of our number feeling quite ill and the need to be close to a toilet became essential (Lesson, don`t overdo the sunshine even if the birding`s good) An unpleasant night followed!
30/1/2016 Morjim Beach & Baga Saltpans
Just 4 of us in the morning for a trip to Morjim Beach, two of the lads remained bed ridden. An early start using a taxi driver from outside the Marinha Dourada. I really enjoyed this trip as I did 8 years ago, with:- A single Greater Flamingo, Great Black-headed (Pallas`s) Gull, Brown-headed Gull, Heuglin`s Gull, Caspian Gull, Slender-billed Gull and Black-headed Gull being present on the beach. Along with Sandwich, Greater and Lesser Crested Tern putting in appearances. The waders present were: Greater and Lesser Sand plovers in good numbers. We had been told about a Bay-backed Shrike by a birder / taxi driver called Rayman, we found the area near the beach huts at Morjim. We did find a Long-tailed Shrike (that a couple of us thought was the Bay-backed Shrike, me included) Then along with Vernal Hanging Parrot, Barred Button Quail, a good mornings birding was had by all. A trip to the local salt pans in the afternoon with a Temminck`s Stint being the best bird. Early to bed tonight Backwoods tomorrow.
31/1/2016 Backwoods & Tambdi Surla
A 5-30am start from our hotel became 5-50am when one of our number began a long series of being late for various rendezvous, we later found out why, his watch was 15 minutes out ! A 1.5 hour trip in the pickup bus was a good way to waken us up. As we climbed through lots of small villages, with masses of large wagons strewn about, the sun began to rise revealing a much different habitat than the coast. All 6 of us had been joined by 2 lads, Andy and Brian from Worcestershire on the trip to Backwoods. They were good company and very keen birders. About 15 minutes from Backwoods we crossed a small bridge over a river and stopped to do a bird watch. Leio was picking birds out for us all including: Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Malabar Grey, Great and Malabar Pied Hornbills. Along with a host of barbets and woodpeckers made a memorable stop-off. We reached the camp and were shown to our accommodation, which was very pleasant indeed. A light breakfast, then were taken into the deep forest and were told to be very quiet. The reason was that a Ceylon Frogmouth had been staked out for us to see and photograph, very close observation was allowed and every one behaved themselves! A walk along the track to the more open country near a farm revealed: Crested Treeswift, Indian Swiftlet, Little Swift, Indian Pygmy Woodpecker, Ashy Woodswallow, Common Woodshrike, Scarlet Minivet, various types of bulbul`s, Orange-headed Thrush, Dark-fronted Babbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Large-billed Leaf Warbler along with five types of sunbirds / flowerpeckers, a nice selection of birds. After lunch and a small nap we went to watch the bird baths from the dining area. Flame-throated Bulbul and the strangely named Puff-throated Babbler kept us entertained. A trip to the temple area at Tambdi Surla in the late afternoon revealed: Indian Blue Robin, Tickell`s Blue Flycatcher, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Black-naped Oriole, Spangled Drongo, Grey Junglefowl. A very pleasant walk around the river area and watching the antics of the Bonnet Macaque monkeys as they tried to grab food from a couple of roadside sales people. As dusk began to fall we were taken towards the camp and waited for the arrival of an Indian Pitta. It duly showed itself very well a fitting end to a great day`s birding. An evening meal of vegetarian curry was most welcome, we did our log and retired to bed.
1/2/2016 Backwoods & Tambdi Surla
After a good night's sleep, a cup of tea, then out birding before breakfast. Indian Blackbird, Western Crowned, Bright Green, Greenish, Sykes's and Blyth`s Reed Warbler`s all seen very well, then we were all alerted to the presence of a male Malabar Trogon showing really well near the kitchen area. We all managed great views of this cracking bird as it sat out on a small tree. Breakfast time then, a trip a couple of miles from the camp and a leisurely walk along the road in the forest, that held lots of birds namely: Grey Junglefowl, Forest Wagtail, Pied Flycatcher-shrike, Square-tailed Black Bulbul, Small and Orange Minivet, Malabar Whistling Thrush and various other birds. Then Leio alerted us to a calling White-bellied Woodpecker, he quickly found the bird, which was first seen with its head sticking out of its nest hole. It then flew and revealed its true size, very impressive, cracking bird! Brown-breasted Flycatcher, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, Little Spiderhunter, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, made up a good mornings bird watch. In the late afternoon we again went to Tambdi Surla for a raptor watch and we saw: Rufous-bellied Eagle, Booted Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Black Eagle, though distant but seen well in a telescope. In the evening we returned to the same area and were treated to an excellent display by a male Jerdon`s Nightjar. The bird was calling, then flying around and finally perched up in Leio`s torchlight, very evocative. A really good day`s birding.
2/2/2016 Bondla Reserve & Backwoods
An early start and a much awaited trip to a reserve that I had heard a lot about, Bondla. It's about an hour`s drive from Backwoods Camp through nice countryside. We stopped on the twisty, hillside road before the reserve entrance and saw: Crested Hawk Eagle, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Dusky Crag Martin, Short-toed Eagle, Black-headed Cuckoo Shrike, Little Spiderhunter, White-spotted Fantail, Verditer & Nilgiri Flycatcher, Tawny-bellied Babbler, Indian Yellow Tit. Into the reserve for an ice cream and great views of Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Brown-breasted Flycatcher along with various orioles and drongos. We had a short rest and as we went back down the steep hill we again stopped and Leio managed to find us a Black-backed Dwarf Kingfisher. It was fairly well hidden perched above a dried up mountain stream, but we all managed to enjoy great views of the bird. Quite a few hornbill species were encountered in this area also. It is really a good reserve to visit, shall we visit it again? At Backwoods we had a late lunch, then revisited Tambdi Surla in the late afternoon, again a lot of raptors in the area with various hirundines.
3/2/2016 Backwoods & Return to Marinha Dourada Hotel, Baga.
Our last morning at Backwoods, before our departure around 1-30pm, was spent in the forest and adjoining roads and clearings were the following were seen: Crested Goshawk, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Malabar & Plum-headed Parakeets, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Greater & Black-rumped Flamebacks, Coppersmith & Brown Headed Barbets, Gold-fronted Leafbird, Common Iora, Black-hooded Oriole. We said our goodbye`s to Leio and all his team who had made us very welcome during our stay and boarded our bus for the journey home. A couple of hours later and we arrived back at base, then heading straight into Nick`s Place for a good meal and a large cup of tea! A very easy late afternoon and evening followed with no birding, except from our hotel landing!
4/2/2016 Baga Hill, Hotel Grounds & Saligao Woods
After three fairly tough days birding, we all decided to have an easier schedule. A couple of us decided on a walk up Baga Hill around 9am. The birding was quite slow, compared with how it used to be on the walk up (on my last visit in 2008) Lots of houses have been built on the road leading up and a big house has been built on the very top! Birds seen: Oriental Honey Buzzard, Bonelli`s Eagle, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Blue-faced Malkoha, Blyth`s Pipit, Gold-fronted Leafbird, Long-tailed Shrike, Pied Bushchat, Thick-billed Flowerpecker and a few of the more common species. Back to the hotel for a rest and then, in the late afternoon, we met up with Rayman, who is a very good birder / taxi owner, to take us to see a Brown Fish Owl in Saligao Woods. On the way we called to see a White-eyed Buzzard that was sat by the road and gave great views, as did an Indian Roller. Rayman had been recommended to us by a fellow birder from England, he is very capable birder with good hearing and a very keen eye. We arrived at Saligao and Rayman went in search of the owl. He returned with the news that the bird had moved from its normal roosting spot, but would be in the area. As we all watched the wooded valley, a loud crashing through the trees revealed the Brown Fish Owl about 30 yards from us, in flight, what a magnificent bird, it was then seen sat out on a nearby tree, before promptly disappearing. Other birds: Wooly-necked Stork, Tawny Eagle, Indian Peafowl, Small Minivet, Black-naped Blue Monarch, White-browed Fantail, Red-breasted Flycatcher. A really nice, inexpensive trip with new birds for all of us. We had our evening meal at Nick`s Place where its good value and very friendly.
5/2/2016 Morjim Beach & Siolim Rice Paddy Fields (River)
Myself, Andy & Brian from Worcestershire, had arranged to go with Raman to the above. Some of the other lads didn't feel well enough to spend another morning away from the hotel. They did manage to go to the local chemist to get medication after which, they began to feel a little better. I got a bit of stick for going out without my holiday team, but the chance of seeing Little Pratincole and River Tern was too much of a lure. Raman picked us up early and as we passed through a small village a Stork-billed Kingfisher was sat out above a small stream (there are not as many kingfishers around as my last visit) At Morjim lots of Greater and Lesser Sand Plovers, along with a few Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Sanderling were roosting on the beach. The usual gulls including: Slender-billed, Great Black-headed (Pallas`s) , Brown-headed, Heuglin`s, Caspian, Black-headed (in small numbers) passed by or were sat on the beach, Gull-billed Tern also. Other birds seen: Barred Buttonquail, Alexandrine Parakeet, Southern Coucal, Long-tailed Shrike. Near the beach huts we got great views (finally) of the Bay-backed Shrike, that I had misidentified on my last visit with the lads, sorry to all concerned! Raman then took us to Siolim rice paddy fields to try for River Tern. The area is a river bed taken over by rice paddy fields with lots of small pools and bordered by tall trees in a valley. A dead straight, raised road crosses the fields allowing for a careful walking bird watch. We saw: Indian Spotted Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Bronze Winged and Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Yellow Wagtail, Black-headed Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Painted Stork, Oriental Darter, lots of egrets & herons. After a cracking 40 minutes birding, Raman called out a River Tern in the distance, quickly followed by a second bird. The first bird flew over the road about 40 yards from us and landed in a field. We went down the banking and attempted to get a little closer to take some pictures, I managed to do a bit of paddling as I crossed a small bamboo crossing! The River Tern was unconcerned about us and we got some pictures of it as it preened and rested up. On the way back to the road we saw Pintail and Common Snipe almost side by side, very nice. Due to my liking for water, I promptly managed to fall in up to my knee on one leg, Raman remarked, "Can you wash all that mud off", I replied," If I go near the water again all of me will be in". He agreed. A really good trip with the lads and a cracking guide in Raman. Back at the hotel a shower and a rest with no birding in the afternoon or evening.
6/2/2016 Area around Marinha Dourada Hotel & Carambolin Lake
Another easy mornings birding visiting the adjacent football pitch, roadside pool, flooded salt pans and the road towards Arpora Woods. We Saw: a juvenile Black-shouldered Kite, White-breasted Waterhen, Black-winged Stilt, Pacific Golden Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Wood, Green & Common Sandpiper, Temminck`s Stint, Spotted Owlet, Oriental Skylark, Paddyfield Pipit, Common Stonechat, Zitting Cisticola, Plain Prinia, White-rumped & Scaly-breasted Munia. A nice birding walk before it got to warm. We met up with Raman in the afternoon and went to Carambolin Lake. This has really changed since my last visit, the lake was emptied and cleared of most of the vegetation that had taken over the lake a few years ago. It is now much bigger than I remember. Raman stopped on the road at the top of a railway bridge, which allowed a good view over the rice paddy fields. We saw: Purple Heron, Asian Openbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Glossy & Black-headed Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Indian Spotted Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Purple Swamphen, Bar-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Ruff, Gull-billed Tern, Lesser Pied Kingfisher, Yellow Wagtail, then a cracking male Citrine Wagtail, Indian Golden Oriole. The fields were absolutely filled with birds and we didn`t really know which way to watch for best! A telescope is a must from this vantage point though. We passed through Carambolin village and marvelled at the way Indian life is for most of its inhabitants. Raman looked for a Brown Hawk Owl, with no joy, but a couple of Jungle Owlets looking out of a nest hole made up for it. After a while a Grey-bellied Cuckoo flew past us, then a Oriental Turtle Dove did lots of visits to its nest with food along a line of telegraph poles. We finally gave up on the Brown Hawk Owl. Still a very nice wooded area to bird watch in. Raman seemed disappointed not having found the bird for us, but that is what makes our hobby interesting!
7/2/2016 Arpora Wood area
We arranged to be picked up early, after seeing Indian Scops Owl & White-browed Wagtail, by one of our local taxis outside the Marinha Dourada who took us to the Club Cubana track into the woods. We walked into the woods seeing: Booted & Indian Spotted Eagle, Plum-headed, Rose Ringed & Alexandrine Parakeet, Southern Coucal, Rufous Treepie, Crested Treeswift, Little Swift, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Coppersmith Barbet, Black-rumped Flameback, Malabar Woodshrike, Black-headed Cuckoo-Shrike, Grey-headed Bulbul, Common Iora, Black-naped Blue Monarch, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail, Indian Blackbird, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Tawny-bellied Babbler, Jungle Babbler, Chiffchaff, Sykes, Greenish, Blyth`s Reed Warbler, Rosy Starling. We all enjoyed the circular walk passing the Nilaya Hermitage Hotel and down to the main road back to our hotel. An Indian Roller was also seen as we called for one of the local drinks of crushed sugar cane. The afternoon was made up with sleeping and a little time in the sun. In the evening we visited the Beira Mar Hotel to miss the Cinnamon Bittern again! We dined at Nick`s place and had a couple of beers. A couple of the lads visited Arpora woods in the dark and had a few Savannah Nightjars flying around calling, might be worth a trip?
8/2/2016 Morjim Beach & Siolim Rice Paddy Fields (River)
An early start saw all our team making it together to visit Morjim Beach & Siolim Paddy fields with our guide Raman providing the transport. At Morjim Beach the usual array of plovers were present along with: Terek Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Redshank, Great Crested and Gull-billed Tern, Heuglin`s, Slender-billed, Brown and Black-headed Gulls, a Great Black-headed (Pallas`s)Gull seemed to have its foot missing which allowed us to take some decent pictures of it. I really enjoyed the three trip`s I made to Morjim Beach, there are always lots of birds present, but, it's worth keeping an eye on the tide tables. Asian Koel, Vernal hanging Parrot, Southern Coucal, Rosy & Brahminy Starling, Long-tailed & Bay-backed Shrike also gave great, close views. Another visit to Siolim rice paddy fields began by watching: Glossy & Black-headed Ibis, Painted, Asian Openbill & Wooly-necked Stork, Indian Spotted Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Black-winged Kite, Bronze-winged & Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Wood & Green Sandpiper, Common Snipe and the two River Tern were still present, what splendid birds they are. Along with five species of kingfisher in the area, a good place to visit. We called at Nick`s Place for a late breakfast / early dinner upon our return. A trip to Arpora Woods in the late evening dusk time only revealed a couple of Savannah Nightjars calling and flying around, but I am sure that the racket from a nearby temple did not help. A Barn Owl hunting near the hotel ended the days birding. One of our team had a great idea to go back to visit Bondla Reserve again on our last day, it proved to be a very good choice, as we all agreed to go and quickly arranged with Raman to take us there.
9/2/2016 Bondla Reserve & Baga Saltpans
A 5-30am start from our hotel in two taxis had us passing through Panaji without much traffic to stop us, as was the norm! There were a lot of heavy trucks parked up at the sides of the road on the way out to Bondla, think they are used to take iron ore out of the ground and onto barges on the main river? No last day blues for us today, we soon arrived and visited the area around the temple seeing a perched up Besra Sparrowhawk, first identified by one of the bird guides from Backwoods and confirmed by Raman. The bird was well seen and began the day off very well. Other birds seen: Grey-fronted Green Pigeon, Malabar & Indian Grey Hornbill, Indian Pygmy Woodpecker, Black-rumped & Greater Flameback, Orange & Small Minivet, Gold-fronted Leafbird, Black-naped Blue Monarch, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Grey-breasted Prinia, Common Tailorbird. These birds were seen near the temple and the cricket pitch, quite a good area for an early morning call. The next stop we made was the most important one, for me, of the whole trip. A flowering tree, just opening its buds, had Malabar White-headed Starlings feeding on it, so we stopped and immediately a Shikra was seen perched up, Bob went off to take some pictures and had to climb over a barbed wire fence. Raman then called us, very quietly, saying the words we had all hoped / wished for, "Blue-bearded Bee-eaters". What followed was reminiscent of a few twitches I have been too! All ten of us watched two birds feeding on the nectar / insects of the flowering tree dumbstruck, whilst Bob, who hurdled the fence like an Olympic athlete to join us, got some cracking pictures of the birds. Raman who has visited the area many times, told me that he had only seen Blue-bearded Bee-eaters once in the last ten years, so we had "High Fives". The birds were on show, fairly close to us for about 6 minutes and it was difficult to look away from them! Sadly, the two of them flew of deeper into the forest, unforgettable birds. Our next stop took us to the area where we had seen the Black-backed Dwarf Kingfisher previously, again something unexpected happened. As Raman found the kingfisher, still sat just above a dried up mountain stream, another bird came into view, a female Malabar Trogon and then a male was found, all three birds sat pretty close to one another, that would have been a great picture. A White Rumped Shama then sat out and gave great views, they are generally fairly shy birds. We went into the Bondla Park area and had another ice cream, before having a walk around the dried up river bed. We found: Forest Wagtail, Brown-breasted Flycatcher, Tickell`s Blue Flycatcher, Small & Loten`s Sunbird, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Grey Wagtail. The journey back to our hotel was made a lot better as we all had enjoyed a cracking visit to Bondla. A Painted Stork was seen on the journey using the thermals, nice sight. After saying goodbye and thank you to Raman, we had a nice meal at Nick`s Place and then had a final look at Baga salt pans. Lots of waders, but nothing different to what we have seen ended our bird watching activities for the holiday.
Mammals & other species of interest
Bonnet Macaque, Hanuman Langur, Grey Mongoose, Indian Giant Squirrel, Three Striped Palm Squirrel, Indian Flying Fox, Marsh Mugger, Vine Snake. All fairly harmless animals, apart from the Marsh Muggers (don't swim in the rivers)
An excellent holiday, filled with lots of birding, but taken at a pace we could all manage. Don't do too much birding around the mid day time (you have been warned) Please use the local taxi`s or engage a guide to show you around, because you will not be able to drive yourself. Don't drink bottled Kingfisher beer, its full of glycerine that bloats you, try the tinned(draught) Kingfisher. The exchange rate at the time was: 97 Rupees to the English Pound. Use the local money dealers, they are very friendly, they will also change any unspent rupees back to English. Our return journey took 10.5 hours back to Manchester, but, what a great holiday we all had!
We used Rayman. Details: Rama M Govekar (Experienced Bird Guide) Mobile: 9922271840, 9637724016, 9623876211, Siolim Oxel Bardez Goa 403517. E-Mail:-firstname.lastname@example.org