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THE WESTERN HIMALAYAS

Tuesday 19th July - Sunday 31st July 2005

Dave Farrow

This was just the second Birdquest to the Western Himalayas of Pakistan, an exploration of part of the world whose birds are poorly known and rarely seen. Just a seven hour flight from London and only a four hour difference in time-zones, it seems like a short hop from Europe compared to many other birding destinations. We were able to enjoy some great birding in world-class scenery, recording 190 species, a birdlist rich in quality with many near-endemics and regional specialities such as Koklass Pheasant, Brown-fronted and Himalayan Woodpeckers, Pied, Lesser and Grey-bellied Cuckoos, Slaty-headed Parakeets, White-eyed and Himalayan Buzzards, Indian Golden Oriole, Tibetan Blackbird, Chestnut Thrush, Rusty-tailed Flycatcher, White-tailed Rubythroat, Himalayan Red-flanked and Golden Bush Robins, White-bellied Redstart, Kashmir and White-cheeked Nuthatches, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Spot-winged, Rufous-naped, White-throated and the near-endemic White-cheeked Tits, Streak-throated Swallow, Indian Reed Warbler, Tickell’s Leaf, Sulphur-bellied, Lemon-rumped, Hume’s, Large-billed Leaf, Tytler’s Leaf and Western Crowned Warblers, Variegated Laughingthrush, Black-chinned Babbler, Upland and Rosy Pipits, Fire-fronted Serin, Grey-headed Goldfinch, Spectacled Finch, Pink-browed and Himalayan White-browed Rosefinches, Black-and-Yellow Grosbeak and White-capped and Chestnut-eared Buntings. Mammals were quite visible and we saw Common Goral, Kashmir Grey Langur, Golden Jackal, Long-tailed Marmot, Stoat and Kashmir Flying Squirrel. All this was easily accomplished in a nation that is remarkably friendly and we were well looked after, allowing us to have a safe, productive and comfortable visit.