Welcome to Birdquest
Sunday 3rd February - Thursday 14th February 2013
Once again Tigers took the lead role on this very popular, highly successful, tour running for its ninth successive year, but there is so much else in addition including lots of great birds, places of great natural beauty, extraordinarily beautiful buildings and the colourful, always interesting, everyday life of the Indian people themselves. This year we had close-up views of two different Tigers, including three amazing eyeball to eyeball encounters with the dominant Barmeera male. Other non-avian highlights included three good sightings of Sloth Bear, a species that is usually hard to see in Bandhavgarh, some Ganges River Dolphins, couple of Common Palm Civets, many prehistoric looking Gharials and Indian Rock Python. The number of bird species recorded was 283, a whopping new record for this itinerary! Highlights included a flock of the increasingly scarce Indian Skimmers at the Chambal River, amazingly close views of Black-necked Storks, Sarus Cranes and Comb Ducks at a village pond near the Chambal River, several encounters with Painted Spurfowls, two elegant Indian Coursers, a good showing of vultures including our first sightings of Himalayan Vultures on this itinerary, 20 species of hawks and eagles including Tawny, Indian Spotted, Greater Spotted and Eastern Imperial Eagle, several Crested Hawk-Eagles and White-eyed Buzzards, both the Jungle and Rock Bush-quail, eight species of owls including the very handsome Mottled Wood and the majestic Brown Fish Owl, a very confiding Brown Crake, the threatened Black-bellied Tern, large and noisy groups of Malabar Pied Hornbills and a good selection of passerines including six species of prinia and seven species of pipit, Tickell's, Orange-headed and Small-billed Scaly Thrush, both Jerdon's and Gold-fronted Leafbirds, and a flock of the subtly beautiful Sind Sparrows. The biggest ornithological surprise of the trip was a discovery of a first winter male Blue-and-White Flycatcher at Bandhavgarh, the second ever record for India!