Welcome to Birdquest
Monday 21st November - Thursday 8th December 2016
This year’s ‘Birds and Tigers of Northern India’ tour was once again a very successful visual feast of avian delights. This tour is full of regional specialities and Indian subcontinent endemics, and among the many highlights were a total of 53 individual Owls seen of 9 species, including Dusky Eagle Owl on a nest, four Tawny Fish Owls and four Brown Fish Owls. We had great fortune with gamebirds, with three Cheer Pheasants plus stunning views of a pair of Koklass Pheasant, plus many Kalij Pheasants, Painted Spurfowl and Jungle Bush-Quail. We also saw Ibisbill, Red-naped Ibis, Black-necked Stork, Sarus Cranes, Indian, Himalayan and Red-headed Vulture, Pallas's and Lesser Fish Eagles, Brown Crake, Indian and Great Stone-curlew, Yellow-wattled and White-tailed Lapwing, Black-bellied and River Tern, Painted and Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, and 15 species of Woodpecker including Great Slaty, Himalayan Pied, White-naped and Himalayan Flameback. We found plenty of Slaty-headed and Plum-headed Parakeet, Black-headed Jay, a Rufous-tailed Lark, Indian Bush Lark, the holy trinity of Nepal, Pygmy and Scaly-bellied Wren-Babblers, plus Brook’s Leaf Warbler, Black-faced and Booted Warbler, Black-chinned Babbler, six species of Laughingthrush including Rufous-chinned, Chestnut-bellied and White-tailed Nuthatch, Wallcreeper, Chestnut and Black-throated Thrushes, White-tailed Rubythroat, Golden Bush Robin, dapper Spotted Forktails, Blue-capped Redstart, Variable Wheatear, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Black-breasted Weaver, Altai Accentor, Brown Bullfinch, Blyth’s Rosefinch (a write-in), Crested, White-capped and Red-headed Bunting. The mammals, as ever, nearly stole the show, and we had a great encounter with a Tiger at Corbett, while at Ranthambore two Leopard and a Sloth Bear were seen. Also Bengal Fox and Yellow-throated Marten were seen, and Asian Elephants. On the Chambal River we saw Gangetic River Dolphin, and many large Crocodiles in the form of Gharial and Muggers.