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WESTERN INDIA

Friday 2nd February - Sunday 18th February 2018

Hannu Jännes

Grey Hypocolius (participant Phil Tizzard)

Grey Hypocolius (participant Phil Tizzard)

This was yet another very successful Birdquest tour to the north western of India with an epic journey through the states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat plus a short visit to the state of Maharasthra to conclude. We recorded no fewer than 330 bird species and 17 mammals, and, more importantly, we found almost every bird specialty of the dry western and central regions of the subcontinent including a number of increasingly scarce species with highly restricted ranges like the impressive Great Indian Bustard (with a world population of only 150 or so), the beautifully patterned White-naped Tit, White-browed (or Stoliczka’s) Bush Chat and the Critically Endangered Indian Vulture. Many Indian subcontinent endemics were seen including Rock Bush Quail, Red Spurfowl, Red-naped (or Black) Ibis, Indian Courser, Painted Sandgrouse, the highly-localised Forest Owlet, Mottled Wood and Indian Eagle Owls, the elusive Sirkeer Malkoha, White-naped Woodpecker, Malabar Trogon, Plum-headed Parakeet, Rufous-tailed and Sykes’s Larks, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark, Indian Bush Lark, the lovely White-bellied Minivet, Marshall’s Iora, Indian Black-lored Tit, Brahminy Starling, Streak-throated Swallow, Rufous-fronted and Rufous-vented Prinias, Green Avadavat, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Indian Spotted Creeper, Vigors’s and Purple-rumped Sunbirds, Sind Sparrow and the range restricted western form of the Jerdon’s Babbler. Amongst many other highlights were the much sought-after Grey Hypocolius, highly-threatened Macqueen’s Bustard, the amazing Demoiselle Crane spectacle at Zainabad, Red-necked and Laggar Falcons, Crab-plover, Yellow-eyed Doves, Sykes’s Nightjar and Pallid (or Striated) and Eurasian Scops Owls, Sand and Desert Larks, Black-crowned Sparrow-Larks, all three forms of Variable Wheatear, Red-tailed Wheatear, White-tailed Stonechat, White-crowned Penduline Tit, Desert Whitethroat, Mountain Chiffchaff, Sulphur-bellied Warbler and Crested, Grey-necked, White-capped and Striolated Buntings.

Rock Bush Quail (participant Phil Tizzard)

Rock Bush Quail (participant Phil Tizzard)