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WESTERN INDIA

Saturday 12th January - Saturday 2nd February 2013

Hannu Jännes

Demoiselle Crane (Hannu Jännes)

Demoiselle Crane (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 plus a post-tour extension to the state of Maharasthra in Central India. We recorded no fewer than 336 bird species and 22 mammals, and, more importantly, scored with just about every bird speciality of the dry western and central regions of the Indian subcontinent! The latter included Laggar Falcon, Rock Bush-Quail, the huge Indian Bustard, Indian Courser, Painted Sandgrouse, the rare, only recently rediscovered Forest Owlet, Sykes’s Nightjar, Rufous-tailed and Sykes’s Larks, the lovely White-bellied Minivet, Marshall’s Iora, Stoliczka’s Bushchat, Brook's Leaf Warbler, Rufous-fronted and Rufous-vented Prinias, Jerdon's Babbler of the western taxon, which was only discovered as occurring in Indian in late 2012, 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, Crab Plover, Red Spurfowl, the amazing Demoiselle Crane spectacle at Khichan, the morning flight of thousands of Common Cranes at Banni grasslands, Macqueen’s Bustards, hundreds of Yellow-eyed Doves, Sirkeer Malkoha, five Pallid (or Striated) Scops Owls, Sand Lark, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, all three forms of Variable Wheatear, great views of Malabar Whistling Thrush, Striated Babbler, Sykes’s, Booted and Sulphur-bellied Warblers, Pale Rock Sparrow, which was only recently discovered in India, Grey-necked and Striolated Buntings and Sind Sparrow. Then there were the mammals including Jungle Cat, Blackbuck and Onager (or Indian Wild Ass).

Painted Sandgrouse (Hannu Jännes)

Painted Sandgrouse (Hannu Jännes)