Goa, India, December 2003 - January 2004

Published by Surfbirds Admin (surfbirds AT surfbirds.com)


by Mark Easterbrook


i) Trip reports posted on the Web.
ii) A Birdwatchers Guide to India by Krys Kazmierczak & Raj Singh.
iii) Pocket Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp & Tim Inskipp.

1. Introduction

This was our first visit to the Indian Sub Continent and served as an excellent introduction to the kind of species that may be encountered. It was not intended to be a 24/7 birding holiday, but we gave it a good go none-the-less. Gary Hulbert and I saw a total of 209 species. Considering that we didn't venture far from Goa ie Backwoods Camp and the other inland sites this seemed like a fair total. We did visit the Taj Mahal and Delhi for four days where we saw a few extra species, however during the next visit it is likely that we will visit Backwoods Camp (which was highly recommended by the other birders that we met during our stay).

Travel & Currency

The flight from Gatwick was the usual Monarch dreary affair with no leg room but effective enough.

The rate of exchange was between 77 and 82 Rs to the £, depending on whether you were changing cash, visa or Travellers Cheques. The latter was by far the easiest and negated the need to carry lots of cash, although theft and crime did not appear to be very prevalent.

A days birding with a guide including transport will cost you between 500 and 1000 Rs depending on how far you travel and what birds you want to see. Some guides charge by the bird, somewhat like Israel and the Striated Scops Owl or Hume's Tawny Owl for those who are familiar with the arrangements.

Beer costs 66 Rs for a large bottle and a curry and rice about 400 Rs - great value. European meals like steak etc are more expensive.

A guide to the guides

Most guides will offer you the world and all the birds you mention, many fail to achieve 60%. They are however very good value for money.

Bruno - found at the Beira Mar. He was a little aggressive and pushy: We didn't use him.

Santosh - found at the Beira Mar. A taxi driver who knows the sights but admits he is no birder. He seemed like a reasonable honest chap and we would have used him if we were staying at the Biera Mar. He gave us tips on sites to visit.

Abi - reputed to be the best guide and birder. We had booked him to visit Carambolim Lake. He failed to turn up!! It seems to me, it's not much use being the best birder if you're unreliable and not present to guide. We didn't entertain him after the non-appearance episode.

Raymond - was accompanying another pair of birders. We met him twice when he was always helpful and friendly. He knows the sites and the birds. He found the Blue-faced Malkoha and a Savannah Nightjar. We would probably use him next time if he's available. He knows the unusual sites for the difficult birds.

Papa - found at the Marinha Dourada, Arpora. We stayed here and used him. He was reliable and honest with remarkable eyesight. He knows the sights and most of the target species. He is developing his birdwatching skills; we left him a new field guide.

2. Daily Itineraries

Day One

The flight from Gatwick to Goa via Bahrain took about 12 hours and was very tiring, from the airport to the resort took another hour. We arrived at about 1700, checked in and did a bit of birding around the hotel, which produced numerous Black and Brahminy Kites, a Wire-tailed Swallow, Osprey, 8 Small Pratincole flying to roost and an Oriental Magpie Robin by the swimming pool.

Day Two

Up at first light for a walk around the paddy fields next to the hotel Marinha Dourada (an excellent place to base yourself and a varied birding location). We encountered our first Stork-billed Kingfisher, Pied Stonechat and several Chestnut-tailed Starling. We later had excellent views of a Blyth's Reed Warbler, discovered an Oriental Turtle Dove and sorted out the Paddyfield Pipits. Meanwhile in the hotel grounds the trisybillic call soon revealed a Green Warbler. At dusk a Spotted Owlet was seen sat on a telegraph wire. Birding between 1030 and 1600 is fairly unproductive as the birds head for the shade and become less active.

Day Three

A look around the hotel area before heading off for a boat trip revealed a Black-lored Tit. The boat trip was fairly eventful (out of the Mandowi River and around Vasco de Gama Island in the Arabian Sea). The boat trip produced Brown-headed Gull, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Lesser Crested and Swift Tern, plenty of Gull-billed Terns and at least 6 Dolphin in the mouth of the river.

An evening around the hotel produced 2 Black-rumped Flameback, an Asian Paradise Flycatcher and 1 Brahminy Starling.

Day Four

Before our visit to Anjuna market we had to book our trip to the Taj Mahal. The woods near the travel agents produced Koel, Greater Coucal, Brown-headed Barbet and Tickell's Blue Flycatcher. Whilst walking around the market a White-bellied Sea Eagle was seen, as was a Besra.

An afternoon walk across the paddy fields on the way to the Beira Mar produced Pintail Snipe, Richard's Pipit, Tree Pipit, Short-toed Larks and good views of a Malabar Lark. Later at the famous Beira Mar swimming pool viewpoint all the specialities were noted; Cinnamon Bittern of course, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Slaty-breasted Rail a surprise Spotted Crake and a couple of Bluethroat.

Day Five

Another early start for a walk around Baga Hill near to the Club Cabana for the search for Indian Pitta which proved unsuccessful on this occasion. Numerous birds were present and for the inexperienced Indian birder it was very challenging birding indeed. In any event, highlights were Indian Robin, Small Minivets, several Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike, a Grey Bushchat and a White-throated Fantail. A Woodpecker was drumming, some tapping on the tree with a stick bought it closer and it was quickly id'd as a Yellow-crowned Woodpecker. My tapping on the tree also bought 2 Greater Flamebacks in to investigate - a fairly effective tactic. Our return to the hotel soon had us looking skyward at a raptor over Baga Hill which we soon realised was a Crested (Oriental) Honey Buzzard.

Another visit to the Beira Mar revealed a Peregrine, the same species as the previous night plus a Baillon's Crake. The regular Black-capped Kingfisher and Painted Snipes also put in an appearance.

Day Six

An early morning start for Carambolim Lake (as we thought). The guide we had booked (Abi) failed to show. We thought we were left high and dry when another taxi driver/guide appeared named Papa. We negotiated a price and got going at about 0715. He initially took us through Carambolim village to a house, where 2 Spotted Owlets were roosting. Also along this lane we had Black-hooded Oriole and Blue-tailed Bee Eater. The highlight however was when the guide also said he new where 2 Jungle Owlets could be found. Sure enough on queue they flew and allowed fantastic scope views as they sat quietly in nearby trees. 2 Sparrow type birds were probably Yellow-throated, however they did not reappear to allow for a positive ID.

The lake itself was a fantastic site and produced most of the birds that we expected including Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-tailed Jacanas, Darter, (Grey-headed) Purple Swamphen, Comb Duck, Lesser Whistling Duck and Cotton Teal. Noticeable by their absence were Sacred Ibis and Asian Open-billed Stork. A short trip to the Ciba Geigy chemical factory revealed very little and entrance was refused.

Baga Woods in the evening gave us our first Indian Peafowl with 5 young and a Large Cuckoo Shrike.

Day Seven

An early morning drive to Mojim Beach for the high tide roost proved to be time well spent. An idyllic setting gave amazingly close views of Small Pratincole, Greater and Lesser Sand Plovers, with the latter being more numerous. Careful scanning of the Plovers revealed a first winter male Caspian Plover whilst the Gull roost produced our first Great-black Headed Gull (Pallas's) and only Oystercatcher.

An afternoon flight to Delhi was uneventful, however the weather in Delhi was a bit of a shock. Thirteen degrees and a heavy fog, which is prevalent in the North between about December the 20th and January the 15th. All did not bode well for our trip to the Taj.

Day Eight

An early morning walk in the fog around a near by park opposite the City Park hotel which is where we were staying for the duration of our stay in Delhi, gave us a few new species including Large Grey Babbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Red-breasted Flycatcher and Greenish Warbler, easily discernable from Green by call. Greenish seemed to be more numerous in the North than Green, which appeared to be more common in the South around Goa.

Sightseeing for the rest of the day. Pied Mynahs were seen during a visit to Ghandi's Memorial, whilst an Egyptian Vulture circled India Gate. In the centre of Delhi 5 Brahminy Starling and a Large-billed Crow were seen. On our return to the hotel 2 Painted Stork were seen heading for the Jamuna River.

Day Nine

The very early morning (0600) train to Agra for our visit to the Taj Mahal. As it became light and the fog began to lift, a Painted Stork and a Black-necked Stork were seen from the train. As we arrived in Agra the sun was shining, our guide said it was the first time it had penetrated the fog for 8 days. He also said that without it our visit to the Taj would have been a fairly miserable affair.

We entered the Taj Mahal and it did not disappoint. It is a truly breathtaking experience and one that I shall always remember. Not to detract at all from the main reason for the visit, it is very fortuitous that the Yamuna River runs along behind the famous mausoleum. Binoculars were quickly trained on the river and 2 of the species we had hoped for were present, River Tern and River Lapwing. A Citrine Wagtail made an appearance and 8 Ruddy Shelduck were also present. As we were leaving the Taj we stopped to look at some Large Grey Babblers. This proved to be very lucky as under a bush near them was a game bird. Close scrutiny ensured that we were able to identify the bird as a Jungle Bush Quail, which was a real bonus!

At Agra, a Shikra and a Blue Rock Thrush added to the trip list and several hirundines, which were too distant to be identified conclusively, were probably Streak-throated Swallows.

After lunch we headed for Fatehpur Sikri (an old palace). On route semi-feral Indian Peafowl were everywhere and at the palace another target species, Brown Rock Chat put in an appearance.

Day Ten

We caught our flight back to Goa, which was delayed due to fog (surprise surprise) to conclude our holiday in the sun.

An evening walk around the paddy fields next to the hotel rewarded us with very close views of a Black-capped Kingfisher, 2 Pied Kingfishers and several Ashy-wood Swallows.

Day Eleven

A leisurely walk up Baga Hill gave us some more new species. This site always produced new birds and is well worth visiting as many times as possible. New birds included a Blue-winged Leafbird, Orange-headed Thrush, Loten's Sunbird and a real highlight was a Grey-necked Bunting sat on a dead tree at the top of the Hill. A Crested Honey Buzzard sat in a tree was a shock and many of the by now common birds were also present.

The evening was spent once more near to the Club Cabana looking for Indian Pitta again without luck. However all was not lost as Common Babbler and Blue-faced Malkoha was added to the growing trip list.

Day Twelve - New Years Day

We headed for Maem (Mayem) Lake this morning stopping on route at a nearby wood. The woods proved productive and gave us our first lifer of the New Year an Emerald Dove. A Besra was also perched in a nearby tree.

Maem Lake itself failed to produce the Brown Fish Owl. Apparently it's not as reliable as it was. The roost site has changed due to the bird being disturbed and is not as easily viewable. A nearby call alerted our guide to the presence of the requested Changeable Hawk Eagle - right on queue. Despite much searching the bird could not be located, it was obviously perched in a tree out of sight. We scrabbled up the wooded hill, which proved to be quite hard work in the heat and were rewarded with fantastic views of the bird. This was mainly due to the guide knowing which tree it favoured. Our only Yellow-footed Green Pigeons were also seen here.

That evening we made a visit to the famous Saligo Zor. Having dipped on Brown Fish Owl earlier in the day we were not overly optimistic about the Brown Wood Owl. We searched intently and thought our worst fears were coming true. Then a movement in the trees that was a Malabar Whistling Thrush and then the guide said and the Owl. The Thrush was mobbing it. Both birds were seen in the same scope view - a fantastic site and a quality bird to end the day with. How the guide managed to pick out the Owl was amazing, his eyesight was phenomenal.

Day Thirteen

This morning we paid a visit to Fort Aguada adding Pale-billed Flowerpecker and Syke's Warbler. Several Indian Peafowl were also noted. A Tawny Eagle sailed by near to the cliffs, which was unexpected.

On our way to Dona Paula our guide picked up a slight movement, which soon turned into a Rufous Woodpecker whilst the Indian Pitta site proved unsuccessful, but another Slaty-breasted Rail and Ruddy-breasted Crake were noted nearby.

We arrived at Dona Paula too late and the only birds seen were Red-wattled Lapwing, we would have to return tomorrow.

A stop a Santa Cruz lagoons allowed views of another 2 Small Pratincole, a Marsh Harrier and our first Pacific Golden Plovers of the trip.

Now follows a very sad tale. This evening we visited the Pitta site once more near to the Club Cabana. Our guide had sighted the bird in a fowl smelling gully type trench, full of leaf litter. Rather than rush about we decided to sit quietly and wait. The bird appeared in the trench at about 1815. The only problem being it was at the part of the trench that Gary was watching and not I. Consequently I never saw the bird. I staked out the area the night after but to no avail.

As a consolation we heard 2 nightjars calling and soon located them. The distinctive call of Jerdon's Nightjar was soon identified and we returned to the hotel happy (well one of us).

Pitta directions: Park at the Club Cabana. Walk to the end of the wall. Go past a clearing and path on the right and take the left hand fork into the forest. The track splits again. Take the right fork and continue for about 5-10 yards. Opposite a clear patch on the left go through the hedge on the right. This comes out onto a terraced type area. In front of you there is a trench between two rows of trees with leaf litter. This is where the Pitta appeared and seems to be the (favoured) area. This area was also good for Orange-headed Thrush.

Day Fourteen

A return to Dona Paula. We arrived here at about 0800 and were not disappointed. We soon discovered 14 Yellow-wattled Plovers (the main target). I then noticed a lark in front of them. After scoping the bird closely, I was delighted to have discovered a bird that I had searched for several times in the Emirates, An Oriental (Small) Skylark. We soon found several more and next to one another target species Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark. What a difference a couple of hours had made to what was yesterday a dreary site.

Stopping at Santa Cruz once more we scoped at least 6 Terek Sandpiper and then carried onto Charao Island (Bird Island) this gave us a new species for the trip in the form of a male Montagu's Harrier, but little else.

We were nearing our hotel on our return when 2 large soaring birds were sighted. These proved to be Woolly-necked Storks.

We were back at the Pitta site again but the bird failed to materialise! New birds were added however in the form of Common Woodshrike and a Grey Nightjar hunting from telegraph wires.

Day Fifteen

An early morning walk up Baga Hill prior to what proved to be a very long; delayed and miserable flight home produced only one new bird, which was a small "gaggle" of Tawny-bellied Babblers.

3. Consolidated Systematic Species List

Little Grebe 1 at Carambolim Lake
Cormorant A large roost at the Ciba Geigy factory and common behind the Taj Mahal
Indian Cormorant Several seen at Carambolim Lake
Little Cormorant More numerous than Indian and seen at almost at wetlands
(Oriental) Darter 2 seen at Carambolim Lake
Grey Heron 1s & 2s seen on wetlands
Purple Heron 1 behind the Beira Mar, several at Carambolim Lake and 1s & 2s at other wetlands
Striated Heron 2 in the Marinha Dourada paddyfields and swamp
Indian Pond Heron Widespread and very numerous
Cattle Egret Widespread and numerous
Great White Egret As Above
Intermediate Egret Individuals positively identified at Marinha Dourada paddy fields and Carambolim Lake
Little Egret Fairly common but not as numerous Cattle Egret
Black-crowned Night Heron A small roost at Mojim Beach, 1s & 2s at the Marinha Dourada and a roost at the Kalwi River ferry crossing on route to Maem Lake
Cinnamon Bittern 1 behind the well known Beira Mar at dusk
Painted Stork 2 deffinates flying over Delhi and one from the Agra train
Woolly-necked Stork 2 soaring near to the Marinha Dourada
Black-necked Stork 1 from the Delhi to Agra train in flooded fields adjacent to the railway track
Spoonbill 8 were seen behind the Taj Mahal
Lesser Whistling Duck Good numbers at Carambolim Lake and at least 3000 opposite Charoa Island
Ruddy Shelduck 11 seen behind the Taj Mahal on the Yamuna River
Cotton Teal A dozen or so at Carambolim Lake
Comb Duck 5 at Carambolim Lake
Crested (Oriental) Honey Buzzard 1 seen on two occasions at Baga Hill
Black Kite Very common and numerous everywhere
Brahminy Kite A fantastic bird and very common in the Goa area
Shikra 1 at Agra Fort and one flyby at Fort Aguada
Besra 1 near to Anjuna market and one perched near to Maem Lake
Changeable Hawk Eagle 1 extravert at Maem Lake
Booted Eagle 1 at the Kalwi River ferry crossing on route to Maem Lake
Tawny Eagle 1 at Fort Aguada
White-bellied Sea Eagle 1s at the coast and at a nest behind the Club Cabana
Egyptian Vulture 1 over India Gate - Delhi and numerous behind the Taj Mahal
Montagu's Harrier 1 male seen over Charao Island
Marsh Harrier 1 at Santa Cruz, 1 at Mojim and one at Carambolim Lake
Osprey 1 resident at Marinha Dourada and 1 at Santa Cruz
Peregrine Falcon 1 seen flying over the Beira Mar on the first visit
Kestrel 1 seen hovering on arrival at the airport on the first day
Jungle Bush Quail 1 in the grounds of the Taj Mahal
Indian Peafowl A family group near the Club Cabana, 1s & 2s on Baga Hill, 1 at Fort Aguada and numerous semi-feral birds in Delhi and near Agra.
Slaty-breasted Rail 1 behind the Beira Mar and 1 near the Pitta site at Fort Aguada
Baillon's Crake 1 behind the Beira Mar
Spotted Crake 1 behind the Beira Mar on 2 occasions
Ruddy-breasted Crake 2 behind the Beira Mar and 1 near the Pitta site at Fort Aguada
White-breasted Waterhen Common around Goan wetlands
Moorhen Numerous at Carambolim Lake and one on Charoa Island
(Grey-headed) Purple Gallinule 100s at Carambolim Lake
Coot Numerous at Carambolim Lake
Pheasant-tailed Jacana 8 at Carambolim Lake
Bronze-tailed Jacana More numerous than the above at Carambolim Lake
Eurasian Oystercatcher 1 at Mojim Beach sand bar
Greater Painted-snipe 1 or 2 behind the Beira Mar
Black-winged Stilt Several at Carambolim Lake and numerous in the north near to the Taj Mahal
Little (Small) Pratincole 8 over the Marinha Dourada, at least 450 at Mojim beach (early am) and 2 at Santa Cruz
Red-wattled Lapwing Common around Goa
River Lapwing 2 stunning birds behind the Taj Mahal
Yellow-wattled Lapwing 14 birds at the usual Dona Paula location (early am)
Pacific Golden Plover 4 or 5 at Santa Cruz and half a dozen at the Marinha Dourada
Greater Sand Plover Not many compared to Lesser at Mojim Beach
Caspian Plover 1 first winter male with the other Plovers at Mojim Beach
Little Ringed Plover Several on the Marinha Dourada flooded paddy fields
Kentish Plover Small numbers with the other Plovers at Mojim Beach
Lesser Sand Plover Numerous at Mojim Beach and Santa Cruz
Eurasian Curlew 1 at Panjim mud flats and 2 at Mojim sand bar
Black-tailed Godwit Several near to Carambolim Lake
Bar-tailed Godwit 1 at Mojim sand bar
Redshank Numerous near wetlands
Greenshank Numerous around paddyfields
Green Sandpiper 1 behind the Beira Mar
Wood Sandpiper 2 at Marinha Dourada and several behind the Beira Mar
Terek Sandpiper At least 6 at Santa Cruz
Common Sandpiper Very common near paddyfields
Pintail Snipe 1 positively identified in flight near the Beira Mar
Common Snipe Common behind the Beira Mar
Little Stint 2 at Carambolim Lake and 1 Santa Cruz lagoons
Dunlin 1s & 2s at Santa Cruz, Mojim Beach and Marinha Dourada
Ruff 1 behind the Taj Mahal on the 29th
Yellow-legged Gull Several at the Mojim Beach high tide roost
Pallas's Gull 1 adult at Mojim roost and 1 3rd Winter behind the Taj Mahal
Brown-headed Gull Numerous at Mojim and around the coast
Black-headed Gull Common near to the coast
Gull-billed Tern Several at Carambolim Lake and numerous around the coast and Mandowi River
River Tern 1 stunner behind the Taj Mahal
Swift Tern Several around Vasco de Gama Island from the boat trip
Lesser Crested Tern Numerous at Mojim and at sea
Yellow-footed Green Pigeon Only 5 at Maem Lake
Rock Dove Widespread and numerous (if you want to tick them)
Oriental Turtle Dove One seen near the Marinha Dourada Hotel on the first day
Eurasian Collared Dove Several seen in Delhi
Spotted Dove Common around the Marinha Dourada and Baga Hill
Laughing Dove Several around Delhi
Emerald Dove 2 in a wood near to Maem Lake
Ring-necked Parakeet Numerous going to roost near to the Marinha Dourada
Plum-headed Parakeet Several around the Marinha Dourada and 6 at Maem Lake
Koel Numerous around Goa
Blue-faced Malkoha 1 near to the quarry behind the Club Cabana
Greater Coucal Surprisingly quiet for a large bird but common around Goa
Jungle Owlet 2 at roost near to Carambolim village
Spotted Owlet As above but can be seen at night on any telegraph wire
Brown Wood Owl 1 at the well known Saligo Zor site
Grey Nightjar 1 hunting from wires near to the Club Cabana on our last night
Jerdon's Nightjar 2 calling and flying around just below the Club Cabana
Alpine Swift One over Gaba Hill
Little Swift Widespread and numerous the most common
Asian Palm Swift Common around Goa
Pied Kingfisher A pair fishing at the Marinha Dourada ponds
Common Kingfisher Common around the paddyfields and other suitable water courses
Stork-billed Kingfisher 1 regularly seen on wires above the Marinha Dourada pools
Smyrna Kingfisher The most common seen everywhere
Black-capped Kingfisher 1 behind the Beira Mar, one at Marinha Dourada pools and one at Charao Island
Blue-tailed Bee-eater 5 at Fort Aguada and Several at Carambolim village and Lake
(Little) Green Bee-eater Widespread and numerous
Indian Roller Only singles seen over grassy fields
Hoopoe 1 at the Beira Mar paddyfields and 2 near Carambolim Lake
Brown-headed Barbet 2 seen around Baga - Nikkis travel agents, in the woods opposite
White-cheeked Barbet Seen in ones on Baga Hill
Coppersmith Barbet Always heard calling and seen well on Baga Hill and behind the Marinha Dourada Hotel
Rufous Woodpecker 1 in Aguada village and one on Baga Hill - others heard
Black-rumped Flameback 2 behind the Marinha Dourada Hotel
Yellow-crowned Flameback 1 at Maem Lake and one on Baga Hill - both drumming
Greater Flameback 2 on Baga Hill and 2 near Carambolim village
Indian Pitta 1 below the Club Cabana - directions included
Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark 1s & 2s at Dona Paula (early am)
Greater Short-toed Lark A small flock at the Beira Mar paddyfields
Crested Lark 1 seen near to the Marinha Dourada on telegraph wires on 2 occasions
Malabar Lark 1s & 2s seen at Marinha Dourada and Baga Fields
Oriental Skylark Crippling views of several at Dona Paula (early am)
Plain Martin Several over the Marinha Dourada
Barn Swallow 2 seen at Carambolim Lake on Boxing Day
Wire-tailed Swallow The second most numerous swallow - seen everywhere
Red-rumped Swallow The most common swallow around the Goa area
Long-tailed Shrike The only Shrike seen and quite common in the Goa area
Golden Oriole The most common on Baga Hill
Black Hooded Oriole 1s & 2s on Baga Hill and near Carambolim village
Black Drongo Very common in Goa
White-bellied Drongo 1s & 2s on Baga Hill
Ashy Woodswallow Always on the wires around the ponds at the Marinha Dourada
Chestnut-tailed Starling Common around the Marinha Dourada and Beira Mar
Brahminy Starling 1 roosting in the scrub near to the Marinha Dourada and five stunning adults in Delhi
Rosy Starling 1 behind the Marinha Dourada
Pied Mynah 2 at Ghandi's Memorial and several at the Taj Mahal
Common Mynah Small numbers around Goa and 2 behind the Beira Mar
Jungle Mynah The most common Mynah around Goa
Rufous Treepie Common in small numbers on Baga Hill but can be seen in any wooded area
House Crow Widespread and numerous
Large-billed Crow 1 on Baga Hill, 1 behind the Marinha Dourada and 1 in Delhi
Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike Half a dozen on our first visit to Baga Hill - not seen again
Common Woodshrike 1 behind the Club Cabana near the Pitta stakeout
Large Cuckooshrike 1 behind the Club Cabana, and 1 at Maem Lake
Small Minivet Fairly common on Baga Hill
Common Iora Common and widespread in small numbers
Golden-fronted Leafbird 3 on our first visit to Baga Hill
Blue-winged Leafbird 2 on Baga Hill
Red-whiskered Bulbul Common and numerous on Baga Hill
Red-vented Bulbul In the same kind of habitat as the previous but not as numerous
White-browed Bulbul Heard everywhere and fairly common in wooded areas - Baga Hill / Aguada Fort
Puff-throated Babbler Fairly common and noisy in leaf litter on Baga Hill
Tawny-bellied Babbler The last new species seen with a small "gaggle" on Baga Hill
Common Babbler 1 seen in a thicket behind the Club Cabana
Large Grey Babbler Common in the park in Delhi and at the Taj Mahal
Jungle Babbler Common on Baga Hill
Spotted Flycatcher Faairly common in suitable habitat
Red-breasted Flycatcher 1 in the park opposite the hotel in Delhi
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher Fairly common but inconspicuous in the woods around Baga
White-spotted Fantail 1s and 2s with a pair displaying on Baga Hill
Asian Paradise Flycatcher Seen singularly all around the Baga area
Grey-breasted Prinia 1 on Baga Hill and several at Fort Aguada
Plain Prinia Fairly common in small numbers near trees and scrub
Ashy Prinia Common in scrub habitat
Common Tailorbird Seen in 1s & 2s everywhere
Clamourous Reed Warbler 2 behind the Beira Mar and 3 at Charao Is
Blyth's Reed Warbler Widespread and numerous in almost any habitat
Syke's Warbler At least 3 at Fort Aguada
Lesser Whitethroat 3 seen in the park opposite City Park Hotel- Delhi
Greenish Warbler Several in the park in Delhi
Green Warbler Common in trees around the Marinha Dourada
Bluethroat 2 seen on consecutive days behind the Beira Mar
Oriental Magpie Robin Common in 1s & 2s near habitation
Brown Rock Chat 4 at the old palce at Fatehpur Sikri
Siberian Stonechat The females looking like Whinchats. Common in scrub
Pied Stonechat Small numbers on scrub land outside the Marinha Dourada
Grey Bushchat 1 - A surprise in Baga Woods
Indian Robin Common on Baga Hill
Blue Rock Thrush 1 at Fort (The Red Fort) Agra on the 29th
Malabar Whistling Thrush 1 at Saligo Zor mobbing the Brown Wood Owl
Orange-headed Thrush Seen singularly on Baga Hill and Aguada village
Black-lored Tit Several on Baga Hill and 2 behind the Marinha Dourada Hotel
Tree Pipit Several seen on Baga Fields
Richard's Pipit Fairly common on Baga Fields and by the Marinha Dourada
Paddyfield Pipit Easily distinguished from all others by call when flushed
Tawny Pipit 2 seen in the grounds of the Marinha Dourada
Citrine Wagtail 1 behind the Taj Mahal
Grey Wagtail 1 seen at Carambolim Lake
White Wagtail 2 seen at the back of the Taj Mahal
White-browed Wagtail Common around the Marinha Dourada Hotel
Pale-billed Flowerpecker 2 at Fort Aguada
Plain Flowerpecker Several on Baga Hill
Purple-rumped Sunbird The most common around Goa
Loten's Sunbird 1 female positively ID'd on Baga Hill (with comparatively massive bill)
Purple Sunbird Fairly common on Baga Hill and in the park at Delhi
Crimson Sunbird 4 birds seen all behind the Club Cabana and past the quarry
House Sparrow Widespread and common
Baya Weaver Large flocks encountered around the bushes and swamp at the Marinha Dourada and at Carambolim Lake
Streaked Weaver 2 on the wires behind the Beira Mar
Indian Silverbill 2 in the scrub behind Mojim Beach
White-rumped Munia Common on Baga Hill
Scaly-breasted Munia Several on the wires behind the Beira Mar
Grey-necked Bunting A very pleasing bird, found perched on a dead tree on the ridge at Baga Hill one morning

5. Summary

What a great place! Friendly, inexpensive and lots of great birds. Another visit is definitely on the cards, with a trip inland being a must. Goa offers a great introduction to Indian birds, with many commoner recognisable species also being present. Difficult warblers to see in the UK are also present in good numbers so as familiarity becomes habitual. The beer is good the weather better and the curries authentic - what could be better? The Indian Pitta next time perhaps?