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ASSAM & THE NORTHEAST FRONTIER

Thursday 18th March - Friday 9th April 2010

Hannu Jännes

Once again we enjoyed another superlative Birdquest to the wonderfully bird rich and in parts still very remote NE India. All and all we recorded 443 species on the tour, which was a very high count considering the unfavourable weather conditions in some of the areas visited, which probably cost us quite a few species. Dry numbers can never tell the story, however a mouth-watering list of birds may help! Some of our many memorable highlights were great views of both male and female Blyth's Tragopan, several Swamp Francolins and Pallas’s Fish Eagles, Pied Falconet, Rufous-necked Hornbill, a male Bengal Florican, masses of Greater Adjutants, Solitary Snipe, amazing pair of Ward’s Trogons, great views of Black-rumped Swifts, nine species of Wren Babbler including a sublime Long-billed, and the restricted range Tawny-breasted and Mishmi Wren-babblers, many excellent Cachar Wedge-billed Babblers, seven species of scimitar-babblers, Hill Prinia, which status in India is very poorly known, stunning Green Cochoa, thirteen gorgeous species of Laughingthrush including the newly split Assam and the restricted range Chestnut-backed, Crimson-faced Liocichla, several Pale-headed Woodpeckers, Black-breasted Thrushes, Ultramarine, Sapphire, White-tailed Blue, White-gorgeted and Pale-chinned Flycatchers, Rufous-breasted Bush-robin, five species of forktail, Jerdon’s Babbler, White-hooded Babbler, Streak-throated Barwing, Golden-breasted, Yellow-throated, Streak-throated (or Manipur), Ludlow’s, Rusty-capped, and Rufous-throated Fulvettas, Grey, Beautiful, and Long-tailed Sibias, White-naped and Black-chinned Yuhinas, Black-breasted, Greater and Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbills, Smoky Leaf-, Yellow-vented, White-spectacled, Grey-cheeked, Green-crowned and Bianchi's (apparently the second for India), Rufous-faced and Black-faced Warblers, a Beautiful Nuthatch, Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Scarlet Finch, several well seen Collared Treepies, etc. Of course, mammals were also a major feature, with Hoolock Gibbon and Red Giant Flying Squirrel at Namdapha TR, Ganges-Indus Dolphin at Dibru Saikhowa NP, and Asian Elephant, Asian One-horned Rhinoceros, Swamp Deer, and wild Water Buffalo at Kaziranga NP.