1 - 17 March 2023

by Hannu Jännes

This year’s ‘Birds and Tigers of Northern India’ tour again proved a great success with a feast of avian and mammalian delights. We followed the classic itinerary taking us from bird filled wetlands to semi-desert scrub, from dry savanna woodland and arable farmland to the verdant forested slopes and rushing torrents of the Himalayan foothills. The tour has many regional specialties and Indian subcontinent endemics, and, among the many highlights, we saw the magnificent Cheer Pheasant, the shy Koklass Pheasant, many Kalij Pheasants, Jungle and Rock Bush Quails, Painted Spurfowl, majestic Sarus Cranes, the endemic Indian Spotted Eagle amongst the commoner Greater Spotted Eagles, Pallas’s and Lesser Fish Eagles, the splendid Ibisbill at the Kosi River, Indian Courser, the endangered Black-bellied Tern, the bizarre Indian Skimmer, a pair of showy Painted Sandgrouse, two Spot-bellied Eagle-Owls that showed brilliantly, two different Dusky Eagle Owls, three Brown Fish-Owls, three Tawny Fish Owls, Nepal Cupwing (or Wren-babbler), Sind Sparrow and Pink-browed Rosefinch, plus a supporting cast which included Black-necked Stork, Red-naped Ibis, Indian and Great Stone-curlews, Yellow-wattled and White-tailed Lapwings, Greater Painted Snipe, River Tern, White-crested, Chestnut-crowned, Rufous-chinned and Striated Laughingthrushes, Himalayan Rubythroat, Golden Bush Robin, Slaty-backed and Spotted Forktails, Black-headed Jay and a wealth of the more widespread Asiatic species. Mammals included five brilliant encounters with Tiger, a magnificent male Leopard, and good views of the normally nocturnal mama Sloth Bear with its two tiny cubs. There was an excellent array of other mammals, great scenery, the opportunity to observe the fascinating rural and urban everyday life of the Indian people and a visit to the incomparable Taj Mahal. An extra bonus on this occasion was the opportunity to use hides/blinds at two different sites which added a new dimension to the already very good photo opportunities.

We began the tour with a morning visit to the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary in the state of Haryana less than an hour’s drive from our hotel. In wintertime Sultanpur is teeming with birds, including a couple of NW Indian specialties, and is a great place to commence a birding tour. We made a quick visit to a small wetland near the park for Striated Babbler and Yellow-bellied Prinia, both difficult species to get on this itinerary. In the park itself the main target was Sind Sparrow, a NW Indian and Pakistan specialty, which in recent years has found its way to the outskirts of Delhi. We found it relatively easily and had great views of a pair, but unfortunately, the other special bird of the area, Brooks’s Leaf Warbler, that winters here, was nowhere to be found, and I suspect that they had already begun their northward spring migration. Other birds found hiding in the bushes and acacia woods included Greater Coucal, Common Hawk-Cuckoo, ten Spotted Owlets, many Asian Green Bee-eaters, Yellow-footed Green Pigeons, Black-rumped Flameback, Alexandrine and Rose-ringed Parakeets, Common Woodshrike, Small Minivet, White-browed Fantail, Long-tailed and Bay-backed Shrikes, Rufous Treepie, Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher, Common Chiffchaff, Hume’s Leaf Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Ashy Prinia, Common Tailorbird, Large Grey and Jungle Babblers, Lesser Whitethroat, Eastern Orphean Warbler (an unexpected find), Indian White-eye, Common, Bank and Indian Pied Mynas, Indian and Oriental Magpie Robins, Bluethroat, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Black Redstart and Purple Sunbird. In and around the wetland itself we found Knob-billed Duck, Bar-headed Goose, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Teal, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, a single Greater Flamingo, Painted Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Glossy Ibis, three species of egret, Purple and Grey Heron, Little Cormorant, Oriental Darter, Grey-headed Swamphen, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, White-tailed Lapwing, Small Pratincole and Citrine and White-browed Wagtails. After the busy morning’s birding we boarded our bus and commenced the long journey north reaching our comfortable lodge in Kumeria for dinner.

The next morning, we boarded our open-topped Gypsy jeeps and birded the Kumeria area before heading to our accommodation in Dhikala camp, deep within Corbett National Park. As this was our first day in a completely new area, the number of new species was almost overwhelming. Outside the park our knowledgeable Gypsy drivers drove us to the territory of a magnificent Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl, and we were able to see it exceptionally well. Next on the agenda was the obligatory visit to the regular wintering site for the iconic Ibisbill at the Kosi River. The story was that the Ibisbills had already left their wintering grounds here, but this time luck was with us, and we managed to find a lingering bird feeding out in the open! On the way to Dhikala camp through the magnificent Sal forests of Corbett NP, we stopped for a Tawny Fish Owl that was sitting at its nest giving us great views and we were fortunate to encounter large flock of showy Long-tailed Broadbills, always a good find on this tour. Other great birds encountered during the day included Red Junglefowls, Kalij Pheasants, Pallas’s Fish and Lesser Fish Eagles, Spotted and Common Emerald Doves, Brown Boobook, Asian Barred Owlet, Stork-billed and Crested Kingfishers, White-rumped Spinetail, Great Stone-curlew, River Lapwing, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Grey-capped Pygmy and Grey-headed Woodpeckers, large numbers of Plum-headed and Red-breasted Parakeets, colourful Scarlet and Long-tailed Minivets, Hair-crested Drongo, Himalayan Black-lored Tit, Himalayan and Ashy Bulbuls, Aberrant Bush Warbler, Whistler’s Warbler, Black-chinned Babbler, White-crested Laughingthrush, Chestnut-bellied and Velvet-fronted Nuthatches, Blue Whistling Thrush, Plumbeous Water and White-capped Redstarts, Thick-billed Flowerpecker and Golden-fronted Leafbird.

The following morning began with a good breakfast followed by a game drive that took us to the grasslands near Lake Ramganga, where we saw Black-necked, Woolly-necked and Black Storks, many River Terns, Red-headed Vulture, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Streak-throated Woodpecker, many Oriental Skylarks, a few Zitting and Golden-headed Cisticolas, Dark-throated Thrush and a brief Chestnut-eared Bunting. The warning calls of Spotted and Sambar Deer told us that there was a Tiger on the move, and, after a patient wait, a young male Tiger emerged from the long grass allowing us great views before it disappeared into the woods! Other mammals seen during our time here included troops of excellent Asian Elephants, Golden Jackal, Northern Red Muntjac and large numbers of Spotted and Hog Deer. After lunch we headed back to our lodge in Kumeria stopping on route for three Tawny Fish Owls and a flock of the lovely Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters. Once outside the park we headed for a forest road that has been a reliable site for some key species we still needed, but unfortunately, due to two man-eating tigers roaming in the area, it was now strictly forbidden to get out of the vehicles, which made birding difficult. Despite the restrictions, we managed, thanks to our sharp-eyed driver, to find a Long-billed Thrush along the river, an important species, which we had already searched for at various stakeouts.

The next day began at dusk with a search for Brown Fish Owl close to our accommodation, but unfortunately the bird was not present. After breakfast and check-out, we headed off for pastures new. One of the main targets of the morning was the restricted range Nepal Cupwing (or Wren-babbler), which was seen very well. The rest of the day was spent driving the roads up into the Himalayas to the hill station of Nainital at 2080m asl, our base for the next five nights. We made numerous stops at various altitudes and in different habitats and saw several new birds including the only Alpine Swifts of the tour, Himalayan Vulture, Brown-fronted Woodpecker, Red-rumped Swallow, an excellent Puff-throated Babbler, Crimson Sunbird, Lemon-rumped Warbler, Spotted Forktail, Grey-hooded Warbler, Himalayan Prinia, Slaty-blue Flycatcher, Blue-capped Redstart, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Streaked Laughingthrush and Red-billed Blue Magpie.

Many great birds awaited us in the higher mountains north of Nainital, and we spent two full days exploring the cool montane forests, grassy slopes, terraced fields and edges of small villages above and around 2000 meters enjoying not only the birds but also the vistas with the awesome spectacle of snow-covered Himalayan peaks laid row after row, the biggest, Trisul and Nanda Devi, some 120km to our north-west. One of the key birds here is the scarce Cheer Pheasant, which we failed to find on the first day, but had better luck the next day when we spotlighted a pair very early in the morning and later had good scope views of a male that fed in the open. Another much hoped for gamebird was the Koklass Pheasant, which we saw reasonably well. Other birds seen included Grey Nightjar, Common Wood Pigeon, which was surprisingly common this year, Oriental Turtle Dove, Black Eagle, Himalayan Buzzard, Rufous-bellied, Himalayan and Scaly-bellied Woodpeckers, White-browed Shrike-babbler, Eurasian (of the distinct subspecies bispecularis) and gorgeous Black-headed Jays, Yellow-browed Tit, Coal Tit, Black Bulbul, Black-faced Warbler, Black-throated Bushtit, Blue-winged Minla, Buff-barred Warbler, Whiskered Yuhina, Striated, Chestnut-crowned and White-throated Laughingthrushes, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Rufous Sibia, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, White-tailed Nuthatch, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Grey-winged Blackbird, Himalayan Bluetail, Blue-fronted Redstart, Green-tailed Sunbird, two Black-throated and a restless flock of Altai Accentors, singing Upland Pipit that performed well, Rock Bunting, several Himalayan Gorals and many handsome Nepal Grey Langurs to complete the trio of langurs available on this tour. All told a pretty good haul!

Next in the agenda was a visit to Sattal area at around 1300m asl, where our first stop was a session in a popular bird hide/blind. This was really great fun as during the next couple of hours we had a good selection of birds visiting the feeder giving us excellent views and photo opportunities. These included Kalij Pheasant, Black Francolin, Greater Yellownape, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Oriental Turtle Doves, many gorgeous Plum-headed and a single Slaty-headed Parakeet, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babblers, many Red-billed Leiothrix, stunning Red-billed Blue Magpies, plus good numbers of White-throated Laughingthrushes and Grey-winged Blackbirds. Later we birded various sites in the Sattal area with our local guide seeing a showy Grey-sided Bush Warbler, Himalayan Rubythroat, Slaty-backed and Spotted Forktails, Black-throated and Crimson Sunbirds, Ashy Woodswallow, an unexpected find here, a pair of Brown Fish Owls, a roosting Brown Wood Owl, Banded Bay Cuckoo, a new bird for the itinerary, Speckled Piculet, Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush, Blue-throated and Great Barbets, Lesser Yellownape, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Mountain Bulbul and Rufous-breasted Accentor.

On our last morning at Nainital we birded the outskirts of the town, where one of the first birds we spotted was a gorgeous Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl that gave us amazing close-up views. This was apparently one of the few, if not the first, records of the species in the Nainital area! Soon afterwards we had great views of a pair Common Hill Partridge, a flock of 20 Brown Bullfinches, a species only rarely encountered on this tour, the badly needed Pink-browed Rosefinch, Vinaceous Rosefinch (a scarce bird on this itinerary) and Golden Bush Robin. In the afternoon we drove down to Kathgodam and took a very comfortable train back to Delhi, where we arrived late in the evening.

Next morning, after breakfast, we drove to Agra, where we visited the Taj Mahal and had a good lunch of delicious skewers and more ice cream than you could eat! After our busy day in the hustle and bustle of Agra we headed back into the dusty, colourful Indian countryside, and the charming Chambal Safari Lodge, arriving in time for late afternoon birding around the lodge grounds. A short spot lightning session later in the evening produced decent views of a Common Palm Civet for us.
We headed for the famous Chambal River early next morning with high hopes. A couple of short walks ‘in the bandit country’ close to the river produced, among other things, several Jungle, Grey-breasted and Ashy Prinias, a flock of Jungle Bush Quails, a very showy Sulphur-bellied Warbler, our first, and much awaited Common Babblers and Brahminy Starlings, Blue Rock Thrush and White-eared Bulbul. Once at the river, we boarded our boat and began a peaceful, thoroughly enjoyable, cruise on a perfect sunny morning, enjoying good, relaxed birding, and seeing Lesser Whistling Ducks, Bar-headed Geese, Knob-billed Ducks, Ruddy Shelducks, several Great Stone-curlews, River Lapwings, Little Ringed Plovers, Temminck’s Stints, a single Long-legged Buzzard, two Pallas’s Gulls, a single of the scarce and declining Black-bellied Tern, our first Striated Heron, a pair of Sand Larks, a breeding colony of Streak-throated Swallow, plus, of course, we also had marvellous views of 30 bizarre, but still elegant Indian Skimmers, that are the main reason for visiting the site. In addition to these avian delights, we had great views of Golden Jackal, Indian Tent Turtle, Indian Soft Shell Turtle, many Gharials (narrow snouted fish-eating crocodile) and Mugger Crocodiles, plus typically brief view of two Ganges River Dolphin. Back at the lodge we enjoyed a good lunch before heading for Bharatpur and our luxury heritage hotel.
Bharatpur, officially known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a former hunting ground for the maharajas of Bharatpur and their guests, consists of 28 square kilometres of managed wetlands and drier, savanna type habitats and is a true birdwatcher’s paradise. We spent two days with our local guide in this world-famous birding hot spot either on foot or bicycle rickshaw checking a number of sites. Due to the rather late date of our visit, the number of wintering ducks had already decreased and some of the scarcer wintering birds had begun their journey further north. Nevertheless we enjoyed a lot of brilliant birding and, in addition to many ducks, herons, egrets and waders, we had already seen earlier on the trip, we saw a number of other interesting species including several Sarus Cranes, two Grey-headed Lapwings (a very scarce bird here), Greater Painted-snipe, Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas, Indian Shag, Black Bittern, many Greater Spotted Eagles and one Indian Spotted Eagle, a first-winter Pallas’s Fish Eagle ( a rarity here) and, after a lot of searching, a Dusky Eagle-Owl, Eurasian Wryneck, several Clamorous Reed, Blyth’s Reed and Syke’s Warblers, a splendid Siberian Rubythroat, a few Bluethroats, Yellow-throated Sparrows and Indian Silverbills. During our last morning in Bharatpur, we visited an area of wasteland, not far from the town, for dry country species seeing Indian Courser, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark, Indian Bush Lark and Tawny Pipit. From Bharatpur we continued by bus, partly along the brand new, virtually empty, 8-lane Delhi-Mumbai highway to Sawai Madhopur, arriving in the early evening. On the way we stopped at a roadside wetland, which was thronged with birds, including our first Great Crested Grebe and 200 Greater Flamingos.

We spent the next four nights at our comfortable resort close to Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, which is dubbed as the Tiger capital of the world as it is one of the most reliable places in India to see Tiger. During our stay we did a total of six game drives in the park, and we were very successful in achieving our main objective of seeing the magnificent Tiger. All and all we had four encounters of a total of five individuals. Other great mammal sightings included a magnificent Leopard, a mama Sloth Bear with two very small cubs, and Indian Grey and Ruddy Mongoose. Naturally the park is also packed with food for the big cats, including hundreds of Chital (Spotted Deer), and smaller numbers of Wild Boar, Sambar, Nilgai and Chinkara (Indian Gazelle). We also encountered Indian Hares, many Five-striped Palm Squirrels, hundreds of Northern Plains Grey Langurs, Rhesus Monkeys, and Indian Flying Foxes. Birding is also surprisingly productive in this rather arid area and included species like Painted Spurfowl, several Brown Crakes, Barred Buttonquail, Indian and Great Stone-curlews, Greater Painted-snipe, Painted Sandgrouse, Black Stork, Indian Scops Owl, Dusky Eagle and Brown Fish Owl, Jungle Nightjar, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Brown-capped Pygmy and Yellow-crowned Woodpeckers, Large Cuckooshrike, White-bellied Drongo, White-browed Fantail, Indian Paradise Flycatcher, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark, Indian Bush Lark, Dusky Crag Martin, Rufous-fronted Prinia, Tickell’s Blue and Taiga Flycatchers and Crested, and White-capped Buntings. Our birding forays outside the park included a productive morning visit to lake Soorwal, where we encountered a number of interesting birds including good numbers of Bar-headed Geese, Knob-billed Ducks, Ruffs, Little Ringed Plovers and Western Yellow Wagtails of the morph beema (a.k.a. Syke’s Wagtail). In addition, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Rock Bush Quail, Eurasian Curlew and Eurasian Whimbrel were new species for the tour, and we also enjoyed great views of Indian Courser, which afforded good photo opportunities. Back at the lodge we had an early lunch before heading back to Delhi and a hotel for a freshen-up and another good meal, after which it was time to say our goodbyes, and to thank everyone for their great company, which, together with all the excellent birds and exciting places, made this such a memorable trip.



1st: Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl

2nd: Tiger

3rd: Plum-headed Parakeet & Ibisbill




Lesser Whistling Duck  Dendrocygna javanica

Bar-headed Goose ◊  Anser indicus

Knob-billed Duck  Sarkidiornis melanotos

Ruddy Shelduck  Tadorna ferruginea

Garganey  Spatula querquedula

Northern Shoveler  Spatula clypeata

Gadwall  Mareca strepera

Eurasian Wigeon  Mareca penelope

Indian Spot-billed Duck  Anas poecilorhyncha

Northern Pintail  Anas acuta

Eurasian Teal  Anas crecca

Common Pochard  Aythya ferina

Tufted Duck  Aythya fuligula

Hill Partridge (Common H P)  Arborophila torqueola Two pairs with great views in Nainital.

Koklass Pheasant  ◊  Pucrasia macrolopha A pair along the Vinayak road.

Cheer Pheasant ◊  Catreus wallichii A pair plus a single male along the Vinayak road.

Kalij Pheasant  Lophura leucomelanos Rather common in the north.

Indian Peafowl  Pavo cristatus

Painted Spurfowl ◊  Galloperdix lunulata Endemic. Seen well in Ranthambhore.

Red Junglefowl  Gallus gallus Common in Corbett NP.

Grey Francolin  Ortygornis pondicerianus

Black Francolin  Francolinus francolinus

Jungle Bush Quail ◊  Perdicula asiatica A flock of six at the Chambal River.

Rock Bush Quail ◊  Perdicula argoondah Endemic. A pair at Soor Sarovar near Ranthambhore.

Jungle Nightjar ◊ (Indian J N)  Caprimulgus indicus

Grey Nightjar  Caprimulgus jotaka

Large-tailed Nightjar  Caprimulgus macrurus Heard-only at the Dhikala camp.

Crested Treeswift  Hemiprocne coronata

White-rumped Spinetail ◊ (W-r Needletail)  Zoonavena sylvatica

Alpine Swift  Tachymarptis melba

Little Swift  Apus affinis

Greater Coucal  Centropus sinensis

Asian Koel (Common K)  Eudynamys scolopaceus

Banded Bay Cuckoo  Cacomantis sonneratii A new species for this itinerary.

Common Hawk-Cuckoo ◊  Hierococcyx varius

Painted Sandgrouse ◊  Pterocles indicus A confiding pair in the outskirts of Sawai Madhpur.

Rock Dove (introduced) (Feral P)  Columba [livia] domestica

Common Wood Pigeon  Columba palumbus

Oriental Turtle Dove (Rufous T D)  Streptopelia orientalis

Eurasian Collared Dove  Streptopelia decaocto

Red Collared Dove (R Turtle D)  Streptopelia tranquebarica

Spotted Dove  Spilopelia chinensis

Laughing Dove  Spilopelia senegalensis

Common Emerald Dove  Chalcophaps indica

Yellow-footed Green Pigeon ◊ (Y-legged G P)  Treron phoenicopterus

Common Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus

Eurasian Coot  Fulica atra

Grey-headed Swamphen  Porphyrio poliocephalus

Brown Crake ◊  Zapornia akool

White-breasted Waterhen  Amaurornis phoenicurus

Sarus Crane ◊  Antigone antigone

Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis

Great Crested Grebe  Podiceps cristatus

Greater Flamingo  Phoenicopterus roseus

Barred Buttonquail  Turnix suscitator

Indian Stone-curlew ◊ (I Thick-knee)  Burhinus indicus

Great Stone-curlew ◊ (G Thick-knee)  Esacus recurvirostris

Ibisbill  Ibidorhyncha struthersii A singleton at the Kosi River was a nice surprise.

Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus

Pied Avocet  Recurvirostra avosetta

River Lapwing  Vanellus duvaucelii

Yellow-wattled Lapwing ◊  Vanellus malabaricus

Grey-headed Lapwing  Vanellus cinereus

Red-wattled Lapwing  Vanellus indicus

White-tailed Lapwing ◊ (W-t Plover)  Vanellus leucurus

Little Ringed Plover  Charadrius dubius

Kentish Plover  Charadrius alexandrinus

Greater Painted-snipe  Rostratula benghalensis

Pheasant-tailed Jacana  Hydrophasianus chirurgus

Bronze-winged Jacana  Metopidius indicus

Eurasian Whimbrel  Numenius phaeopus A new bird for this itinerary.

Eurasian Curlew  Numenius arquata

Black-tailed Godwit  Limosa limosa

Ruff  Calidris pugnax

Temminck’s Stint  Calidris temminckii

Dunlin  Calidris alpina

Little Stint  Calidris minuta

Common Snipe  Gallinago gallinago

Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos

Green Sandpiper  Tringa ochropus

Common Redshank  Tringa totanus

Marsh Sandpiper  Tringa stagnatilis

Wood Sandpiper  Tringa glareola

Spotted Redshank  Tringa erythropus

Common Greenshank  Tringa nebularia

Indian Courser ◊  Cursorius coromandelicus

Small Pratincole  Glareola lactea

Indian Skimmer  Rynchops albicollis A flock of 30 at the Chambal River. Brilliant!

Pallas’s Gull (Great Black-headed G)  Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus

Lesser Black-backed Gull ◊ (Steppe G)  Larus [fuscus] barabensis

River Tern ◊  Sterna aurantia

Black-bellied Tern ◊  Sterna acuticauda A singleton at the Chambal River.

Painted Stork  Mycteria leucocephala

Asian Openbill  Anastomus oscitans

Black Stork  Ciconia nigra

Woolly-necked Stork (Asian Woollyneck)  Ciconia [episcopus] episcopus

Black-necked Stork ◊  Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus

Oriental Darter  Anhinga melanogaster

Little Cormorant  Microcarbo niger

Indian Cormorant ◊ (I Shag)  Phalacrocorax fuscicollis

Great Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo

Black-headed Ibis  Threskiornis melanocephalus

Red-naped Ibis ◊ (Indian Black I)  Pseudibis papillosa

Glossy Ibis  Plegadis falcinellus

Eurasian Spoonbill  Platalea leucorodia

Black Bittern  Ixobrychus flavicollis

Black-crowned Night Heron  Nycticorax nycticorax

Striated Heron  Butorides striata

Indian Pond Heron  Ardeola grayii

Eastern Cattle Egret  Bubulcus coromandus

Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea

Purple Heron  Ardea purpurea

Great Egret  Ardea alba

Intermediate Egret  Ardea intermedia

Little Egret  Egretta garzetta

Osprey  Pandion haliaetus

Black-winged Kite  Elanus caeruleus

Egyptian Vulture  Neophron percnopterus Resident ginginianus and wintering nominate.

Crested Honey Buzzard (Oriental H B)  Pernis ptilorhynchus

Himalayan Vulture ◊ (H Griffon V)  Gyps himalayensis

Red-headed Vulture ◊  Sarcogyps calvus Only one sighting, in Corbett NP.

Crested Serpent Eagle  Spilornis cheela

Changeable Hawk-Eagle  Nisaetus cirrhatus

Rufous-bellied Eagle  Lophotriorchis kienerii

Black Eagle  Ictinaetus malaiensis

Indian Spotted Eagle ◊  Clanga hastata

Greater Spotted Eagle  Clanga clanga

Booted Eagle  Hieraaetus pennatus

Steppe Eagle  Aquila nipalensis

Shikra  Accipiter badius

Eurasian Sparrowhawk  Accipiter nisus

Western Marsh Harrier  Circus aeruginosus

Black Kite (Black-eared K)  Milvus [migrans] lineatus

Black Kite (Pariah K)  Milvus [migrans] govinda

Pallas’s Fish Eagle ◊  Haliaeetus leucoryphus Several birds in Corbett NP. In addition, a first-winter bird in Bharatpur, which was a pleasant surprise.

Lesser Fish Eagle ◊  Haliaeetus humilis

Himalayan Buzzard ◊  Buteo refectus

Long-legged Buzzard  Buteo rufinus

Brown Boobook (B Hawk Owl)  Ninox scutulata

Collared Owlet  Taenioptynx brodiei Heard-only.

Spotted Owlet  Athene brama

Asian Barred Owlet  Glaucidium cuculoides

Jungle Owlet ◊  Glaucidium radiatum Heard-only.

Mountain Scops Owl  Otus spilocephalus Heard-only.

Indian Scops Owl ◊  Otus bakkamoena

Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl ◊ (Forest E-O)  Bubo nipalensis We enjoyed brilliant views of two birds.

Dusky Eagle-Owl ◊  Bubo coromandus One in Bharatpur and a second one at Ranthambhore for some of the group.

Brown Fish Owl  Ketupa zeylonensis Two encounters, first a pair near Sattal and then one in Ranthambhore.

Tawny Fish Owl ◊  Ketupa flavipes A total of three in Corbett NP.

Brown Wood Owl  Strix leptogrammica One roosting bird in Sattal.

Eurasian Hoopoe (Common H)  Upupa epops

Great Hornbill  Buceros bicornis Heard-only.

Indian Grey Hornbill ◊  Ocyceros birostris

Indian Roller  Coracias benghalensis

Stork-billed Kingfisher  Pelargopsis capensis

White-throated Kingfisher (W-breasted K)  Halcyon smyrnensis

Common Kingfisher  Alcedo atthis

Crested Kingfisher  Megaceryle lugubris

Pied Kingfisher  Ceryle rudis

Asian Green Bee-eater  Merops orientalis

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater  Merops leschenaulti

Great Barbet  Psilopogon virens

Brown-headed Barbet ◊  Psilopogon zeylanicus

Lineated Barbet  Psilopogon lineatus

Blue-throated Barbet  Psilopogon asiaticus

Coppersmith Barbet  Psilopogon haemacephalus

Eurasian Wryneck  Jynx torquilla

Speckled Piculet  Picumnus innominatus

Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker ◊ (Indian P W)  Yungipicus nanus

Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker (G-c W)  Yungipicus canicapillus

Brown-fronted Woodpecker ◊ (B-f Pied W)  Dendrocoptes auriceps

Yellow-crowned Woodpecker ◊ (Y-fronted Pied W)  Leiopicus mahrattensis

Rufous-bellied Woodpecker  Dendrocopos hyperythrus

Himalayan Woodpecker ◊ (H Pied W)  Dendrocopos himalayensis

Greater Yellownape  Chrysophlegma flavinucha

Lesser Yellownape  Picus chlorolophus

Streak-throated Woodpecker ◊  Picus xanthopygaeus

Scaly-bellied Woodpecker  Picus squamatus

Grey-headed Woodpecker  Picus canus

Black-rumped Flameback  Dinopium benghalense

Greater Flameback  Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus Heard-only.

Common Kestrel (Eurasian Kestrel)  Falco tinnunculus

Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus

Slaty-headed Parakeet ◊ (Himalayan P)  Psittacula himalayana

Plum-headed Parakeet ◊  Psittacula cyanocephala

Red-breasted Parakeet  Psittacula alexandri

Alexandrine Parakeet ◊  Psittacula eupatria

Rose-ringed Parakeet (Ring-necked P)  Psittacula krameri

Long-tailed Broadbill  Psarisomus dalhousiae

Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Pied F-S)  Hemipus picatus

Common Woodshrike  Tephrodornis pondicerianus

Ashy Woodswallow  Artamus fuscus

Common Iora  Aegithina tiphia

Small Minivet  Pericrocotus cinnamomeus

Long-tailed Minivet  Pericrocotus ethologus

Scarlet Minivet  Pericrocotus speciosus

Large Cuckooshrike  Coracina macei

Bay-backed Shrike  Lanius vittatus

Long-tailed Shrike  Lanius schach

Great Grey Shrike  Lanius excubitor

White-browed Shrike-babbler ◊  Pteruthius aeralatus Himalayan Shrike-babbler (Pteruthius ripley) is now lumped back with Pteruthius aeralatus under the name White-browed Shrike-babbler.

Maroon Oriole  Oriolus traillii

Black-hooded Oriole  Oriolus xanthornus Heard only.

Indian Golden Oriole ◊  Oriolus kundoo

Bronzed Drongo  Dicrurus aeneus

Hair-crested Drongo  Dicrurus hottentottus

Ashy Drongo  Dicrurus leucophaeus

White-bellied Drongo ◊  Dicrurus caerulescens

Black Drongo  Dicrurus macrocercus

White-throated Fantail  Rhipidura albicollis

White-browed Fantail  Rhipidura aureola

Indian Paradise Flycatcher ◊  Terpsiphone paradisi

Eurasian Jay  Garrulus glandarius

Black-headed Jay ◊ (Lanceolated J)  Garrulus lanceolatus

Red-billed Blue Magpie  Urocissa erythroryncha

Rufous Treepie  Dendrocitta vagabunda

Grey Treepie  Dendrocitta formosae

House Crow  Corvus splendens

Large-billed Crow  Corvus macrorhynchos

Indian Jungle Crow ◊  Corvus culminatus

Yellow-bellied Fantail  Chelidorhynx hypoxanthus

Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher  Culicicapa ceylonensis

Yellow-browed Tit  Sylviparus modestus

Coal Tit ◊ (Spot-winged T)  Periparus [ater] melanolophus

Cinereous Tit (Grey T)  Parus cinereus

Green-backed Tit  Parus monticolus

Himalayan Black-lored Tit ◊ (B-l Tit)  Machlolophus xanthogenys

Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark ◊ (A-c Finch-L)  Eremopterix griseus

Indian Bush Lark ◊  Mirafra erythroptera

Oriental Skylark  Alauda gulgula

Crested Lark  Galerida cristata

Sand Lark ◊  Alaudala raytal

Ashy Bulbul  Hemixos flavala

Mountain Bulbul  Ixos mcclellandii

Black Bulbul ◊ (Himalayan B B)  Hypsipetes leucocephalus

Red-whiskered Bulbul  Pycnonotus jocosus

Red-vented Bulbul  Pycnonotus cafer

White-eared Bulbul  Pycnonotus leucotis

Himalayan Bulbul (White-cheeked B)  Pycnonotus leucogenys

Grey-throated Martin (G-t Sand M)  Riparia chinensis

Dusky Crag Martin  Ptyonoprogne concolor

Wire-tailed Swallow  Hirundo smithii

Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica

Red-rumped Swallow  Cecropis daurica

Streak-throated Swallow ◊ (Indian Cliff S)  Petrochelidon fluvicola

Nepal Cupwing ◊  Pnoepyga immaculata Brilliant views of one in the Kumeria area.

Black-faced Warbler  Abroscopus schisticeps

Aberrant Bush Warbler  Horornis flavolivaceus

Grey-sided Bush Warbler  Cettia brunnifrons

Black-throated Bushtit (Red-headed Tit, B-t Tit)  Aegithalos concinnus

Buff-barred Warbler (Orange-b Leaf W)  Phylloscopus pulcher

Hume’s Leaf Warbler  Phylloscopus humei

Lemon-rumped Warbler (L-r Leaf W)  Phylloscopus chloronotus

Sulphur-bellied Warbler ◊  Phylloscopus griseolus

Common Chiffchaff (Siberian C)  Phylloscopus [collybita] tristis

Whistler’s Warbler ◊  Phylloscopus whistleri

Greenish Warbler  Phylloscopus trochiloides

Blyth’s Leaf Warbler  Phylloscopus reguloides

Grey-hooded Warbler  Phylloscopus xanthoschistos

Clamorous Reed Warbler ◊ (Indian R W)  Acrocephalus [stentoreus] brunnescens

Blyth’s Reed Warbler  Acrocephalus dumetorum

Sykes’s Warbler ◊  Iduna rama

Zitting Cisticola  Cisticola juncidis

Golden-headed Cisticola (Bright-capped C)  Cisticola exilis

Himalayan Prinia  Prinia crinigera

Rufous-fronted Prinia ◊  Prinia buchanani

Grey-breasted Prinia  Prinia hodgsonii

Delicate Prinia ◊  Prinia lepida Heard-only.

Jungle Prinia ◊  Prinia sylvatica

Ashy Prinia  Prinia socialis

Plain Prinia  Prinia inornata

Yellow-bellied Prinia  Prinia flaviventris A new bird for this itinerary.

Common Tailorbird  Orthotomus sutorius

Lesser Whitethroat  Curruca curruca

Eastern Orphean Warbler  Curruca crassirostris

Yellow-eyed Babbler  Chrysomma sinense

Black-chinned Yuhina  Yuhina nigrimenta

Whiskered Yuhina  Yuhina flavicollis

Indian White-eye  Zosterops palpebrosus

Black-chinned Babbler ◊  Cyanoderma pyrrhops

Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler  Erythrogenys erythrogenys

Puff-throated Babbler  Pellorneum ruficeps

Striated Laughingthrush  Grammatoptila striata

Streaked Laughingthrush  Trochalopteron lineatum

Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush (Red-headed L)  Trochalopteron erythrocephalum

Rufous Sibia ◊  Heterophasia capistrata

Blue-winged Minla  Actinodura cyanouroptera

Red-billed Leiothrix  Leiothrix lutea

Large Grey Babbler ◊  Argya malcolmi

Jungle Babbler  Argya striata

Common Babbler ◊  Argya caudata

Striated Babbler ◊  Argya earlei

White-crested Laughingthrush  Garrulax leucolophus

Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush ◊  Ianthocincla rufogularis

White-throated Laughingthrush  Pterorhinus albogularis

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch  Sitta frontalis

White-tailed Nuthatch ◊  Sitta himalayensis

Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch  Sitta cinnamoventris

Bar-tailed Treecreeper ◊  Certhia himalayana

Bank Myna ◊  Acridotheres ginginianus

Common Myna  Acridotheres tristis

Indian Pied Myna  Gracupica contra

Brahminy Starling ◊  Sturnia pagodarum

Rosy Starling (Rose-coloured S)  Pastor roseus

Long-billed Thrush ◊ (L-b Ground-T)  Zoothera monticola

Grey-winged Blackbird  Turdus boulboul

Black-throated Thrush  Turdus atrogularis

Indian Robin ◊  Copsychus fulicatus

Oriental Magpie-Robin  Copsychus saularis

Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher  Cyornis tickelliae

Rufous-bellied Niltava  Niltava sundara

Small Niltava  Niltava macgrigoriae

Verditer Flycatcher  Eumyias thalassinus

Bluethroat  Luscinia svecica

Himalayan Rubythroat ◊  Calliope pectoralis

Siberian Rubythroat  Calliope calliope

Himalayan Bluetail (H Red-flanked Bush Robin)  Tarsiger rufilatus

Golden Bush Robin ◊  Tarsiger chrysaeus

Slaty-backed Forktail  Enicurus schistaceus

Spotted Forktail  Enicurus maculatus

Blue Whistling Thrush  Myophonus caeruleus

Ultramarine Flycatcher ◊  Ficedula superciliaris

Slaty-blue Flycatcher  Ficedula tricolor

Taiga Flycatcher (Red-throated F)  Ficedula albicilla

Red-breasted Flycatcher  Ficedula parva

Blue-capped Redstart ◊  Phoenicurus coeruleocephala

Black Redstart  Phoenicurus ochruros

Blue-fronted Redstart  Phoenicurus frontalis

Plumbeous Water Redstart (Plumbeous R)  Phoenicurus fuliginosus

White-capped Redstart (River Chat, W-c Water R)  Phoenicurus leucocephalus

Blue Rock Thrush  Monticola solitarius

Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush  Monticola rufiventris

Siberian Stonechat  Saxicola maurus

Pied Bush Chat  Saxicola caprata

Grey Bush Chat  Saxicola ferreus

Brown Rock Chat ◊  Oenanthe fusca

Golden-fronted Leafbird  Chloropsis aurifrons

Thick-billed Flowerpecker  Dicaeum agile

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (Buff-bellied F)  Dicaeum ignipectus

Purple Sunbird  Cinnyris asiaticus

Green-tailed Sunbird  Aethopyga nipalensis

Black-throated Sunbird (B-breasted S)  Aethopyga saturata

Crimson Sunbird  Aethopyga siparaja

Yellow-throated Sparrow (Chestnut-shouldered Petronia)  Gymnoris xanthocollis

Sind Sparrow ◊  Passer pyrrhonotus

Russet Sparrow (Cinnamon S)  Passer cinnamomeus

House Sparrow  Passer domesticus

Indian Silverbill ◊  Euodice malabarica

Scaly-breasted Munia  Lonchura punctulata

Altai Accentor ◊  Prunella himalayana

Rufous-breasted Accentor  Prunella strophiata

Black-throated Accentor ◊  Prunella atrogularis

Western Yellow Wagtail  Motacilla flava

Western Yellow Wagtail (Sykes’s W)  Motacilla [flava] beema

Citrine Wagtail  Motacilla citreola

Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea

White Wagtail (White W)  Motacilla [alba] alba

White Wagtail ◊ (Masked W)  Motacilla [alba] personata

White Wagtail (Amur W)  Motacilla [alba] leucopsis

White Wagtail (Himalayan W)  Motacilla [alba] alboides

White-browed Wagtail ◊  Motacilla maderaspatensis

Paddyfield Pipit  Anthus rufulus

Tawny Pipit  Anthus campestris

Tree Pipit  Anthus trivialis

Upland Pipit ◊  Anthus sylvanus

Brown Bullfinch ◊  Pyrrhula nipalensis

Common Rosefinch (Scarlet R)  Carpodacus erythrinus

Pink-browed Rosefinch ◊  Carpodacus rodochroa

Vinaceous Rosefinch ◊  Carpodacus vinaceus

Yellow-breasted Greenfinch ◊ (Himalayan G)  Chloris spinoides

Crested Bunting  Emberiza lathami

Rock Bunting  Emberiza cia

White-capped Bunting ◊  Emberiza stewarti

Chestnut-eared Bunting  Emberiza fucata



Leopard  Panthera pardus We had an excellent male in Ranthambhore NP.

Tiger  Panthera tigris Five encounters with great views!

Common Palm Civet  Paradoxurus hermaphroditus

Indian Grey Mongoose (Common M)  Urva edwardsii

Ruddy Mongoose  Urva smithii

Golden Jackal (Common J)  Canis aureus

Sloth Bear  Melursus ursinus A mama bear with two small cubs in Ranthambhore.

Wild Boar  Sus scrofa

Asian Elephant  Elephas maximus

Spotted Deer (Chital)  Axis axis

Hog Deer  Axis porcinus

Northern Red Muntjac (Indian M)  Muntiacus vaginalis

Sambar Deer  Rusa unicolor

Nilgai (Blue Bull)  Boselaphus tragocamelus

Chinkara (Indian Gazelle)  Gazella bennettii

Himalayan Goral (Goral)  Naemorhedus goral

Ganges River Dolphin* (Ganges D)  Platanista gangetica

Indian Flying Fox  Pteropus giganteus

Rhesus Macaque  Macaca mulatta

Northern Plains Gray Langur  Semnopithecus entellus

Tarai Gray Langur (Terai G L)  Semnopithecus hector

Nepal Gray Langur  Semnopithecus schistaceus

Indian Hare  Lepus nigricollis

Indian Hedgehog  Paraechinus micropus New mammal for this tour.

Five-striped Palm Squirrel  Funambulus pennantii



Gharial  Gavialis gangeticus

Marsh Mugger  Crocodylus palustris

Indian Tent Turtle  Pangshura tentoria

Indian Soft Shell Turtle  Nilssonia gangetica

BUTTERFLIES (compiled by John Kern)

Common Mormon  Papilio polytes

Old World Swallowtail  Papilio machaon

Lime Swallowtail  Papilio demoleus

Glassy Bluebottle  Graphium cloanthus

Common Rose  Pachliopta asristolochiae

Indian Cabbage White  Pieris canidia

Large White  Pieris brassicae

Common Grass Yellow  Eurema hecabe

Lined Grass Yellow  Eurema laeta

Lemon Migrant  Catopsilia pomona

White Migrant  Catopsilia pyranthe

Hill Jezebel  Delias belladonna

Dark Clouded Yellow  Colias fieldii

Pioneer White  Belenois aurota

White Arab  Colotis phisadia

Small Salmon Arab  Colotis amata

Little Orange-Tip  Colotis etrida

Common Gull  Cepora nerissa

White Orange-Tip  Ixias marianne

Yellow Orange-Tip  Ixias pyrene

Striped Albatross  Appias libythea

Common Crow  Euploea core

Blue-spotted Crow  Euploea midamus

Glassy Tiger  Parantica aglea

Plain Tiger  Danaus chrysippus

Blue Tiger  Tirumala limniace

Common Glider  Neptis Sappho

Chocolate Pansy  Junonia iphita

Blue Pansy  Junonia orithya

Lemon Pansy  Junonia lemonias

Peacock Pansy  Junonia almana

Painted Lady  Vanessa cardui

Indian Red Admiral  Vanessa indica

Dark Blue Tiger  Tirumala septentrionis

Indian Tortoiseshell  Aglais caschmirensis

Mountain Tortoiseshell  Aglais rizana

Common Castor  Ariadne merione

Tawny Caster  Acraea terpsicore

Common Three-Ring  Ypthima asterope

Common Four-Ring  Ypthima huebneri

Common Five-Ring  Ypthima baldus

Pale Grass Blue  Pseudozizeeria maha

Dark Grass Blue  Zizeeria karsandra

Tiny Grass Blue  Zizula hylax

Common Quaker  Neopithecops zalmora

Tailless Lineblue  Prosotas dubiosa

Sorrel Sapphire  Heliophorus sena

White-bordered Copper  Lycaena panava

Common Copper  Lycaena phlaes

Tailed Cupid  Everes agriades

Brown Argus  Arcia agestis

Pale Hedge Blue  Udara dilectus

Pointed Pierrot  Tarucus indica

Striped Pierrot  Tarucus nara

Punchinello  Zemeros flegyas

Rice Swift  Borbo cinnara

Indian Palm Bob  Suastus gremius