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WESTERN INDIA

Wednesday 14th January - Saturday 31st January 2015

Hannu Jännes

The lovely Green Avadavat  was seen well (Hannu Jännes)

The lovely Green Avadavat was seen well (Hannu Jännes)

This was yet another very successful Birdquest tour to the north western of India involving an epic journey through the states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat with a short visit to the state of Maharasthra in Central India at the end. We scored with almost every bird speciality of the dry western and central regions of the Indian subcontinent with Laggar Falcon, Rock Bush Quail, the huge Great Indian Bustard, Indian Courser, Painted Sandgrouse, the rare, only recently rediscovered Forest Owlet, Indian Eagle-Owl, Sykes’s Nightjar, Rufous-tailed and Sykes’s Larks, the lovely White-bellied Minivet, Marshall’s Iora, White-browed (or Stoliczka’s) Bush Chat, Brook's Leaf Warbler, Rufous-fronted and Rufous-vented Prinias, the striking White-naped Tit, White-crowned Penduline Tit and the handsome Green Avadavat. Amongst many other highlights were Grey Hypocolius, Indian Cormorant, Red-naped (or Black) Ibis, Red-headed Vulture, the amazing Demoiselle Crane spectacle at Khichan, Macqueen’s Bustard, Grey Junglefowl, two confiding Ruddy-breasted Crakes, hundreds of Yellow-eyed Doves, Sirkeer Malkoha, Pallid (or Striated) Scops Owl, Sand Lark, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark and Greater Hoopoe Lark, all three forms of Variable Wheatear, Ashy Minivet, a scarce winter visitor to India, Striated Babbler, Sykes’s, Booted and Sulphur-bellied Warblers, and Grey-necked and Striolated Buntings. Then there were mammals, which included Jungle Cat, Wild (or Desert) Cat, a splendid Striped Hyena and many Onagers (or Indian Wild Ass).

Rufous-vented Prinia - now thought to be a babbler! (Hannu Jännes)

Rufous-vented Prinia - now thought to be a babbler! (Hannu Jännes)