18 / 23 January - 8 February 2023
by Hannu Jännes
A very successful Birdquest tour to various parts of western India traced an epic route through the states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat, with a short visit to the state of Maharasthra to conclude. A new feature was a six-day pre-tour extension to some of the finest birding and mammal watching sites on India’s northern plains, the Chambal River, Bharatpur and Ranthambhore National Park. We recorded no fewer than 350 bird species and 26 mammals, but, more importantly, we found almost every bird specialty of the dry western and central regions of the subcontinent including a number of increasingly scarce species with highly restricted ranges. Foremost of these was the impressive Great Indian Bustard (with a world population of less than 100 individuals), the stunningly patterned White-naped Tit, White-browed (or Stoliczka’s) Bush Chat and the Critically Endangered Indian Vulture. Many Indian subcontinent endemics or near-endemics were seen with Rock Bush and Jungle Bush Quails, Painted and Red Spurfowls, Red-naped (or Black) Ibis, Indian Courser, Painted Sandgrouse, an amazing flock of 50 Indian Skimmers, the very localized Forest Owlet, Mottled Wood Owl, Indian and Dusky Eagle-Owls, Jungle Nightjar, White-naped Woodpecker, Plum-headed and Malabar Parakeets, Sirkeer Malkoha, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Black-bellied Tern, Brown-headed Barbet, Indian Bush, Rufous-tailed and Sykes’s Larks, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark, the lovely White-bellied and Orange Minivets, White-spotted Fantail, Marshall’s Iora, Indian Black-lored Tit, Indian Spotted Creeper, Brahminy Starling, Rufous-fronted and Jungle Prinias, Rufous-vented Grass-Babbler, Green Avadavat, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Tawny-bellied Babbler, Vigors’s Sunbird, Sind Sparrow and the range restricted western form of the Jerdon’s Babbler. Amongst many other highlights were the much sought-after Grey Hypocolius, the amazing Demoiselle Cranes at Khichan, a fine drake Falcated Duck in Bharatpur, the critically endangered Sociable Lapwing, Amur (a tour write-in), Red-necked and Laggar Falcons, Crab-plover, Yellow-eyed Dove, Sykes’s Nightjar and Pallid (or Striated) Scops Owl, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, all three forms of Variable Wheatear, Red-tailed Wheatear, White-crowned Penduline Tit, Desert Whitethroat, Sulphur-bellied Warbler, Brooks’s Leaf Warbler, Pale Rockfinch and Grey-necked, Red-headed, Black-headed and White-capped Buntings. Additional features of this great tour are the opportunity to observe the fascinating rural and urban everyday life of Indian people along the route, which has to be seen to be believed, and the mostly very delicious food.
Our pre-tour extension began at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary in the state of Haryana less than an hour’s drive from our Delhi hotel. In wintertime Sultanpur is teeming with birds, including a couple of NW Indian bird specialties, and is a great place to start any birding tour. Our first target bird, Brooks’s Leaf Warbler, a winter visitor to NW India, played hard to get but eventually showed well. The second 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 singing male. Other good birds found hiding in the bushes and acacia woods included Greater Coucal, Common Hawk-Cuckoo, two Spotted Owlets, Black-rumped Flameback, Orange-headed Thrush, Common Woodshrike, Rufous Treepie, Common Chiffchaff, Hume’s Leaf, Greenish, and a surprise a Lemon-rumped Warbler, Ashy Prinia, Common Tailorbird, Lesser Whitethroat, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Black Redstart and Purple Sunbird. In and around the wetland we found Knob-billed Duck, Greylag Goose, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Teal, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Painted Stork, Glossy Ibis, three species of egret, Purple and Grey Heron, Little Cormorant, Oriental Darter, Grey-headed Swamphen, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot and Citrine Wagtail, while overhead we saw soaring Booted Eagle, Western Marsh Harriers, Black Kites and, best of all, a White-tailed Eagle, a scarce winter visitor in this part of India. After the busy morning’s birding we boarded our vehicle and started the long journey to the lovely Chambal Safari Lodge in Uttar Pradesh, where we arrived early evening.
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 a pair of Jungle Prinias, a very showy Sulphur-bellied Warbler and a covey of Jungle Bush Quails. Our cruise along the peaceful Chambal River later in the morning was thoroughly enjoyable, and we saw some excellent birds including Red-crested Pochard, Bar-headed Geese, Indian Spot-billed Ducks, Ruddy Shelducks, Bonelli’s Eagle, several Great Stone-curlews, River Lapwings, the scarce, and declining, Black-bellied Tern and Sand Larks. In addition to these avian delights, we had great views of many Gharials (narrow snouted fish-eating crocodile) and Mugger Crocodiles, plus rather brief views of the Ganges River Dolphin. Unfortunately, apparently because of exceptionally high water levels, the Indian Skimmers were not present along this stretch of the river during our visit and we missed the species here. Back at the lodge we had good lunch before heading to Bharatpur and our luxury heritage hotel, where we arrived at sunset.
Next morning we explored the world famous birding hot spot of Bharatpur, officially known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a former hunting ground for the maharajas of Bharatpur and their guests, consisting of 28 square kilometres of managed wetlands and drier, savanna type habitats. In addition to countless cormorants, ducks, herons, egrets and waders, we saw a number of other interesting species including Falcated Duck ( a great rarity here), Black Bittern, Striated Heron, Great White and Dalmatian Pelicans, White-tailed Lapwing, many Greater Spotted and two Eastern Imperial Eagles, Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed Jacanas, two Dusky Eagle-Owls at nest, Jungle Nightjar, Eurasian Wryneck, Yellow-crowned Woodpeckers, Clamorous Reed, Blyth’s Reed and Moustached Warblers and several Bluethroats. After a good lunch at our hotel, we boarded our comfortable train to Sawai Madhpur.
We spent the next three nights in our comfortable resort close to Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, dubbed the Tiger capital of the world as it is one of the most reliable places in India to see Tiger. During our short stay we did a total of three game drives in the park, which unfortunately was not enough to achieve our main objective of seeing the magnificent Tiger. A big disappointment! We did, however, see a good number of other mammals including Jungle Cat, Ruddy Mongoose, tens of Chital (Spotted Deer), many Wild Boars, Sambars, Nilgais, Northern Plains Grey Langurs and Indian Flying Foxes. Birding is also surprisingly productive in this rather arid area, as was proved by a total of 143 bird species in a single day by doing just the morning drive in the park and some dry country and wetland birding outside the park in the afternoon. The most interesting birds sighted during our stay included a nice pair of Painted Spurfowls, an amazingly confiding pair of Rock Bush Quails, several Brown Crakes, Indian and Great Stone-curlews, Greater Painted-snipe, a flock of six Indian Coursers, amazing close-up views of Painted Sandgrouse, Indian Scops Owl, White-naped Woodpecker, Rufous-tailed Lark, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark, Tickell’s Blue and Taiga Flycatchers, Desert Wheatear, Brown Rock Chat, and White-capped Bunting. On the last day of the extension, we were supposed to have had one more safari in the park before taking a late afternoon flight from Jaipur to Amritsar, but due to an unfortunate flight cancellation, we had to spend the whole day travelling from Jaipur (via Delhi) to Amritsar, not arriving there until late in the evening.
The main part of our Northwest Indian adventure began officially well before sun rise the next morning in the lobby of our hotel in Amritsar from where we drove to Harike, a large wetland area surrounded by vast reed beds and agricultural land. After breakfast in a local Dhaba, we spent most of the day along the Sutlej River, where a large stand of Elephant Grass provided great views of one of the avian star attractions of Harike, the Rufous-vented Grass Babbler, a species which was previously placed within Prinias and was known by the name Rufous-vented Prinia. Another major target, the “Sind” Jerdon’s Babbler also proved easy to locate and we all had really good views of it. This western taxa scindicum of Jerdon’s Babbler was earlier thought to occur only in the Indus Valley of Pakistan, but it was discovered here in Harike as recently as October 2012 by Indian birders. A supporting cast of commoner species in this interesting area included Black Bittern, Eurasian and Oriental Skylarks, Yellow-bellied, Delicate (a split from Graceful) and Plain Prinias, Rosy Pipits, a brief Striated Grassbird, many Striated Babblers, Black-breasted and Streaked Weavers and a showy party of White-crowned Penduline Tits. This year the restricted range Sind Sparrow was easily found, which was a great relief, as this important target species can sometimes be difficult to locate here. Wildfowl were present in good numbers, and amongst the many commoner species were handsome Bar-headed Geese and Indian Spot-billed Ducks. After a busy day’s birding in Harike we paid a visit to the famous Golden Temple in Amritsar, which sits like a glowing golden barge on the still waters of a large artificial lake, surrounded by a white marble-clad precinct complete with numerous subsidiary buildings and minarets. Sikh pilgrims come from all over the world to visit the shrine, which contains the original copy of the Sikh holy book, the Granth Sahib.
The next day was mainly spent travelling as we had nearly 500 kilometers to drive, but after a quick breakfast at our favorite dhaba in Harike, we paid a short visit to a site where White-tailed Stonechat is usually present, but unfortunately dense fog made it difficult to see anything and we had to leave the area without finding the chat. We reached our destination, Tal Chappar and our new and comfortable lodge, early in the evening.
The next morning saw us in an open forest looking for our main target, the rare and localized Indian Spotted Creeper. It didn’t take too long to locate this enigmatic bird, which we then followed for quite some time taking plenty of pictures. Other good birds spotted here were Rufous-fronted Prinias, Small Minivets, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, and best of all a Brooks’s Leaf Warbler. Later in the morning we visited Tal Chappar Wildlife Sanctuary, a beautiful area of flat grassland, which we birded by driving around along the narrow tracks that crisscross the area. At a small pool, we admired many Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse and a small flock of Yellow-eyed Pigeons that came to drink and watched many raptors including six Cinereous Vultures, Steppe and Eastern Imperial Eagles, Pallid Harrier, Black-winged Kite, Long-legged Buzzard and Laggar Falcon, a new bird for us. We also saw a good number of Blackbucks, which must be one of the handsomest antelopes on the planet, and smaller numbers of Nilgais and Chinkaras (Indian Gazelle) during the morning. After lunch at the lodge, we drove to Bikaner, where we had time to pay a visit to Jorbeer Conservation Reserve (a.k.a Bikaner carcass dump), which is now run by the Forest Department as a reserve for the large number of wintering raptors. During the short visit to this impressive site, we saw hundreds of Steppe Eagles, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures together with smaller numbers of Black and Black-eared Kites, Himalayan Vultures and Eastern Imperial Eagles. All the Egyptian Vultures we checked belonged to the northern nominate subspecies, which occurs in lowland India during the winter months. Other birds noted included a thousand or so Yellow-eyed Doves, a species that spends the winter on the plains of northwestern India, and good numbers of Rosy Starlings. In Bikaner we stayed at rather upmarket accommodation, which was once the palace of the king of the former Bikaner state, the Maharaja Ganga Singh.
The following day we returned to the carcass dump on the outskirts of Bikaner for a couple of hours before driving cross the Thar Desert to the little village of Khichan of Demoiselle Crane fame. On this occasion the cranes behaved in accord with expectations, and we spent some quality time admiring large numbers of cranes coming to drink at a small pool in the outskirts of the village. Later, after a tasty lunch in a local resort, we headed to Jaisalmer, and reached our accommodation, one of the many tented camps that has been built in the middle of the desert near Sam, in the evening.
Early the next morning we took jeeps and headed for the Desert National Park, the last stronghold of the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard. There are now two rather large enclosures here, which are closed to all visitors and cattle to ensure peace and quiet for the bustards, a good move in my opinion. In order to locate our target, we drove around the perimeter of the enclosures stopping regularly for intensive scanning. After a three-and-a-half-hour search, we located an adult male Great Indian Bustard guarding its harem of eight females. The birds were a bit distant for decent photographs, but we enjoyed very good scope views of these magnificent birds. Later in the day, we returned to this same area, and saw the same male again plus two females outside the enclosure close to the track we were driving. This majestic bird is sadly heading for almost certain extinction in the wild during the next 10-20 years as almost no breeding success has been reported for many years, so the surviving population of less than 100 birds is mainly of aging adults. Other interesting birds seen during an exciting day, included Red-headed Vulture, a new species for the trip, Egyptian Vultures of the resident subspecies ginginianus, which, according to preliminary results of an on-going research project, is a potential split from the nominate subspecies, several Tawny Eagles, Pallid Harrier, a flock of five Cream-coloured Coursers, three Laggar Falcons, many Black-crowned Sparrow-Larks, Bimaculated and Desert Larks, Desert Whitethroat, Asian Desert Warbler, three Trumpeter Finches, White-browed Bush Chat, Isabelline, Desert, Red-tailed and Variable Weathers and Northern Raven. On the mammal front we sighted Bengal and Red Foxes and Asian Wildcat.
Next morning, we birded an area of sandy and rocky plains close to the Pakistan border, where we had seen Greater Hoopoe-Larks on our previous visit in 2019. Unfortunately, thanks to late rains last year, the plains had become a grassland, a totally unsuitable habitat for this desert dwelling lark. The early afternoon was dedicated to the traditional visit to Jaisalmer city, where we had a couple of hours sightseeing in the old part of the town with its narrow alleys, old houses and merchants’ homes. The last couple of hours of daylight were spent at Akal Wood Fossil Park, where the highlights were a Syke’s Warbler and couple of confiding Desert Larks.
Next day we left Sam and our tented camp behind and headed south to the remote village of Siana for one night’s stay. We reached our lovely lodge run by an aristocratic Rajput family of hereditary landowners in time for lunch and, after a short siesta, we were ready for birding in the remote and sparsely inhabited area of dry hills and plains that surround the village. Our knowledgeable guide took us to an agricultural area, where we soon connected with a pair of Rock Bush Quails, which gave good ‘scope views for us all. Next on the agenda was a longish walk that followed the lower slopes of a dry hill. Here we soon connected with two gorgeous male White-bellied Minivets, our main target here. Our walk ended up in a steep, rocky valley, where we had the opportunity to admire a pair of vocalizing Indian Eagle Owls at sunset!
The highlights of the following morning’s birding in Siana included Indian Scops Owl in the garden of our resort, a critically endangered Indian Vulture at its nest, seven Indian Stone-curlews, Blue Rock Thrushes and three White-capped Buntings. After Siana the next stop was Mount Abu, where an afternoon’s birding resulted in many new birds including two very brief Red Spurfowls, White-eyed and Common Buzzards, Ashy and White-bellied Drongos, White-spotted Fantail, Indian Black-lored Tit, a confiding Sulphur-bellied Warbler, Grey-breasted Prinias, and, most importantly, the endearing Green Avadavat, our main reason to visit the mountain.
Next morning a three-hour birding session on Mt Abu in beautiful sunny weather produced many of the species we had seen the previous day plus really confiding Indian Scimitar Babblers, a pair of Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpeckers, a flock of four Red Spurfowls providing very acceptable views and a heard only Grey Junglefowl. We arrived at our camp in Zainabad, on the edge of the Little Rann of Kutch, just in time for afternoon tea and daytime owling (three cute and very sleepy Pallid Scops Owls were roosting in the camp grounds) before a late afternoon/early evening visit to a nearby Navra Talav Lake, which was thronged with birds, including Greater and Lesser Flamingos, Great White and Dalmatian Pelicans and Oriental Pratincoles, a roost of 80 Marsh and a few Montagu’s Harriers, and a surprise Syke’s Lark. After dark we had a night drive near the lake and easily found both the Syke’s and Indian Nightjars with great views of both.
As the sun rose next morning, we headed out into the saline wastelands of the Little Rann of Kutch. The main target bird in this habitat was Macqueen’s Bustard, a winter visitor from Central Asia, which has become rare owing to both persecution and habitat change. We had info that a single bird had been seen around 10 days previously, but our thorough search (together with three other vehicles) in the key area seemed to confirm the fact that the bird had left. The more interesting observations of the morning’s safari included a female Amur Falcon (a write-in) and many encounters with the beautiful Onagers (Indian Wild Ass). In the afternoon we headed for the Lake Nalsarovar area, a mere two hours’ drive from Zainabad, to try and see the critically endangered Sociable Plover. Apparently around 60 birds were wintering in the area this year and we managed to see eight of them including one rather confiding individual. Other new and interesting species in this very birdy area included a calling Common Quail, several Sarus Cranes, Red-necked Falcon and many Black-headed and Red-headed Buntings. We also visited a Bengal Fox den with a cute youngster.
Next day, on the way to our destination in western Gujarat, we detoured via Jamnagar on the coast of the Arabian Sea. This proved to be a good move as the tidal beaches of Jamnagar proved to be a shorebird heaven and we added a number of new species to our bird list including Western Reef Heron, Brahminy Kite, Lesser and Greater Sand Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Eurasian Whimbrel, Grey Plover, Slender-billed and Heuglin’s Gulls, Caspian, Lesser Crested, Little and Gull-billed Terns, and, most importantly, a flock of 200 of the strange looking Crab-plovers. As if this was not enough, we also encountered an amazing flock of 50 Indian Skimmers roosting at a tidal pool. Due to the detour, we reached our pleasant accommodation in Moti Virani rather late in the evening.
Early the next morning found us near the Fulay village in the Greater Rann of Kutch, where berry-bearing bushes held a total of six Grey Hypocolius including both males and females. We also had brilliant views of a pair of Marshall’s Iora here, a new bird for our list. Next was a visit to a drinking pool at the edge of the Banni Grassland, where the first bird we encountered was a Pale Rockfinch! Later, we estimated that around 15 Pale Rockfinches visited the pool while we were having our picnic breakfast. This is apparently only the second time this nomadic species has undertaken a movement eastward that reached the westernmost parts of India. The first, much smaller influx was around 10 years ago, when we also bumped into the species. Later during the morning, we visited another area of the Banni grassland, where a pair of Common Quails, Black-necked Stork, two White-browed Bush Chats, large numbers of Isabelline Shrikes, Zitting Cisticola and several Asian Desert Warblers entertained us. The afternoon was spent birding various stands of thorn forest, where we encountered a pair of handsome White-naped Tits, a single Jungle Prinia and Eastern Orphean Warbler, a very important bird for some of the group. A check of some ploughed fields produced a flock six Indian Coursers, which allowed an unusually close approach.
The next day was spent relatively close to our accommodation, in the Nakhatrana area, where we concentrated on finding some of the key species of the arid western India that we still needed. Hard work paid off and we managed to find the much hoped for Sirkeer Malkoha and several pairs of Painted Sandgrouse during the day. In addition we enjoyed great views of a group of Barred Buttonquails and Indian Bush Lark was also a new bird for us.
Thanks to a cancelled flight, our journey from Bhuj to Mumbai took a lot longer than originally planned for, but in the end, we got there and reached our very comfortable accommodation near Tansa WLS around dinner time.
Next morning we started early with our excellent local guide Rohidas for Tansa WLS, our birding destination for the day. We reached the forest station of Tansa WLS before dawn and, after owling with poor results, we walked the short distance to a Forest Owlet territory, where our guide expertly spotted it. We then spent quite some time admiring this very rare bird. Rediscovered by Pamela Rasmussen and others in northwest Maharashtra as recently as 1997, there had been a gap of over 100 years since a few specimens were taken in the late 19th century from various points along the Satpura range. Later in the day we found our other main target bird, the restricted range Vigors’s Sunbird, plus a supporting cast of other interesting species including Spotted Dove, White-eyed Buzzard, Jungle Owlet, our first Brown-headed Barbets, Crested Treeswift, Alpine Swift, Black-hooded Oriole of the vocally distinct Peninsular Indian form maderaspatanus, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Eurasian Crag Martin, Black-naped Monarch, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Indian Paradise Flycatcher, Taiga and Red-breasted Flycatchers, Green and Western Crowned Warbler and Thick-billed and Pale-billed Flowerpeckers. It was also great to get good views of the very distinct sommervillei form of Jungle Babbler, which looks like a good future split. Late afternoon was spent in a grassland area and at sunset we worked on a pair of Mottled Wood Owls and obtained good flight views of the male.
Next morning we visited another part of the sanctuary, where a pleasant walk, first on the outskirts of a village and later inside the protected forest, produced very acceptable views of a perched Mottled Wood Owl, a cute Jungle Owlet, a showy family party of three White-naped Woodpeckers, Blue-winged (or Malabar) Parakeets, Orange Minivet, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Tawny-bellied and Yellow-eyed Babblers, Orange-headed Thrush of the peninsular form cyanota, Tickell’s Blue Flycatchers and quite a few Vigors’s Sunbirds. After lunch at our accommodation and a good dinner in a swish hotel in Mumbai, 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.
BIRD OF THE TRIP
1st: Great Indian Bustard Lynx
2nd: Forest Owlet
3rd: Indian Spotted Creeper
4th: Indian Eagle-Owl
5th: White-naped Tit & Indian Skimmer
SYSTEMATIC LIST OF SPECIES RECORDED
Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica A flock of twenty in Ranthambhore.
Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus
Greylag Goose Anser anser
Knob-billed Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos Seen in Sultanpur, Bharatpur, Ranthambhore, on route to Jaipur and in the Great Rann of Kutch.
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
Garganey Spatula querquedula
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata
Gadwall Mareca strepera
Falcated Duck Mareca falcata A splendid drake in Bharatpur was a surprise.
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope
Indian Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha
Northern Pintail Anas acuta
Eurasian Teal Anas crecca
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina Seen only in Sultanpur and along the Chambal River.
Common Pochard Aythya ferina
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca Six in Sultanpur and four very distant birds in the Nakhatrana area.
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula Noted at Sultanpur and at Lake Soorval on the pre-tour extension.
Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus Widespread, seen almost daily
Red Spurfowl ◊ Galloperdix spadicea Endemic. On Mt Abu first a glimpse of two and then very acceptable views of four the following day.
Painted Spurfowl ◊ Galloperdix lunulata Endemic. Good views of a pair at Ranthambhore on the extension.
Grey Junglefowl ◊ Gallus sonneratii Endemic. Heard only early in the morning on Mt Abu.
Grey Francolin Ortygornis pondicerianus Widespread, noted almost daily
Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus Seen by some on the way to Tal Chappar.
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix Heard at Lake Nalsarovar and two seen well at Banni grassland in GRK.
Jungle Bush Quail ◊ Perdicula asiatica A flock of eight at the Chambal River.
Rock Bush Quail ◊ Perdicula argoondah Endemic. First brilliant views of a pair near Lake Soorval on the extension and then good scope views at Siana.
Jungle Nightjar ◊ (I Jungle N) Caprimulgus indicus One at day roost in Bharatpur and one heard at Tansa WLS.
Sykes’s Nightjar ◊ Caprimulgus mahrattensis Great views of one at Navra Talav Lake in GRK.
Indian Nightjar ◊ Caprimulgus asiaticus Great views of two at Navra Talav lake in GRK. Also heard at Siana.
Crested Treeswift Hemiprocne coronata One at Tansa WLS.
Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis Small numbers in Tansa WLS.
Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba A handful of birds in GRK and numerous in Tansa WLS.
Little Swift Apus affinis
Great Indian Bustard ◊ (Indian B) Ardeotis nigrier Great encounters in Desert National Park with a total of nine individuals including one adult male.
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis Widespread in small numbers.
Sirkeer Malkoha ◊ Taccocua leschenaultii One in the Nakhatrana area, GRK. Hard work paid off!
Asian Koel (Common K) Eudynamys scolopaceus Only a few were encountered.
Common Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx varius One in Sultanpur on the first day of the extension.
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus Common and widespread.
Painted Sandgrouse ◊ Pterocles indicus Great close-up encounters with this beautiful bird.
Rock Dove Columba livia
Yellow-eyed Pigeon ◊ (Y-e Stock Dove) Columba eversmanni First sighting, a flock of 10 birds, was in Tal Chappar. Later we had around 1000 at the Jorbeer Conservation Reserve near Bikaner.
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
Yellow-footed Green Pigeon ◊ Treron phoenicopterus
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian Coot (Common C) Fulica atra
Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus
Brown Crake Zapornia akool A total of five in Ranthambhore during the extension.
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
Sarus Crane ◊ Antigone antigone Several were noted on the way to Chambal and again in the Nalsarovar Lake area.
Demoiselle Crane ◊ Grus virgo 500 around Khichan and 35 in the Jamnagar area.
Common Crane Grus grus
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus
Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor
Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator Seen at Ranthambhore and then again in the Nakhatrana area, where we had great views of several birds.
Indian Stone-curlew (I Thick-knee) Burhinus indicus
Great Stone-curlew ◊ (G Thick-knee) Esacus recurvirostris Only seen at the Chambal River.
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii Ten at the Chambal River and one in Ranthambhore.
Yellow-wattled Lapwing ◊ (Y-w Plover) Vanellus malabaricus
Red-wattled Lapwing (R-w Plover) Vanellus indicus
Sociable Lapwing ◊ (S Plover) Vanellus gregarius A total of eight, including one rather confiding bird, in the Lake Nalsarovar area.
White-tailed Lapwing ◊ (W-t Plover) Vanellus leucurus Only one was seen at Bharatpur.
Grey Plover (Black-bellied P) Pluvialis squatarola Small numbers in the Jamnagar area.
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus Small numbers in the Jamnagar area.
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii Small numbers in the Jamnagar area.
Greater Painted-Snipe Rostratula benghalensis One male at Ranthambhore.
Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus A few sightings.
Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus Only noted in Bharatpur.
Eurasian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica Small numbers in the Jamnagar area.
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres Two in the Jamnagar area.
Ruff Calidris pugnax
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea Small numbers in the Jamnagar area.
Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii
Dunlin Calidris alpina Small numbers in the Jamnagar area.
Little Stint Calidris minuta
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Terek Sandpiper ◊ Xenus cinereus Two in the Jamnagar area.
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
Crab-plover ◊ Dromas ardeola A flock of 200 in a high-tide roost in the Jamnagar area
Cream-colored Courser ◊ Cursorius cursor A total of 13 in the Desert National Park.
Indian Courser ◊ Cursorius coromandelicus Six near our resort in Ranthambhore and another six near Nakhatrana in GRK.
Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum 50 at Navra Talav Lake in LRK. A tour write-in.
Small Pratincole ◊ Glareola lactea 10 at Lake Soorval near Ranthambhore.
Indian Skimmer ◊ Rynchops albicollis A flock of fifty, with good views, in the Jamnagar area.
Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei Good numbers in the Jamnagar area.
Brown-headed Gull Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus A few in Harike and 500 or so in the Jamnagar area.
Black-headed Gull (Common B-h G) Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Pallas’s Gull (Great Black-headed G) Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus Seen on four days. Maximum count was 25 in the Jamnagar area.
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus [fuscus] heuglini One in the Jamnagar area.
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus [fuscus] barabensis Scattered sightings of small numbers.
Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica Small numbers in the Jamnagar area.
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia Small numbers in the Jamnagar area.
Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis Small numbers in the Jamnagar area.
Little Tern Sternula albifrons Small numbers in the Jamnagar area.
River Tern Sterna aurantia Widespread, noted on nine days.
Black-bellied Tern ◊ Sterna acuticauda Two at the Chambal River.
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida One in Harike and five in the Jamnagar area.
Painted Stork ◊ Mycteria leucocephala
Asian Openbill ◊ Anastomus oscitans
Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus Small numbers noted on four days.
Black-necked Stork ◊ Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus Singles at Sultanpur, the Chambal River and in Banni grasslands in GRK.
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 ◊ Pseudibis papillosa Widespread in small numbers.
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis A few in Bharatpur and one in Harike.
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Striated Heron Butorides striata A few were noted in Bharatpur and Ranthambhore.
Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii Widespread.
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus Widespread.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Widespread.
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea Noted on six days.
Great Egret Ardea alba Widespread.
Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia Noted on five days.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta Noted on five days.
Western Reef Heron (W R Egret) Egretta gularis Common in the Jamnagar area.
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus Encountered in Bharatpur (20), Navra Talav Lake (70) and in the Jamnagar area (250).
Dalmatian Pelican ◊ Pelecanus crispus Encountered in Bharatpur (6), Lake Soorval (12), Navra Talav Lake (5) and in the Jamnagar area (10).
Osprey Pandion haliaetus Only noted in Sultanpur, at the Chambal River, and in Ranthambhore.
Black-winged Kite (Black-shouldered K) Elanus caeruleus Widespread and common roadside bird.
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus Resident ginginianus in Desert National Park, migratory nominate elsewhere.
Crested Honey Buzzard (Oriental H B) Pernis ptilorhynchus Noted on six days.
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus Our only sighting was in Siana, where we had a singleton at nest.
Himalayan Vulture Gyps himalayensis A few were noted at Jorbeer Conservation Reserve.
Griffon Vulture (Eurasian G V) Gyps fulvus Estimated two hundred at Jorbeer Conservation Reserve and one hundred in the Desert National Park area on our first day.
Red-headed Vulture ◊ Sarcogyps calvus Only one, in Desert National Park.
Cinereous Vulture (Eurasian Black V) Aegypius monachus Six in Tal Chappar, one at Jorbeer Conservation Reserve and ten in DNP.
Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela A handful of birds were noted.
Short-toed Snake Eagle (S-t Eagle) Circaetus gallicus One in Siana and another one in LRK.
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga Ten or so in Bharatpur and a few elsewhere.
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus Noted on four days.
Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax A total of six.
Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis Hundreds at Jorbeer Conservation Reserve. Small numbers elsewhere.
Eastern Imperial Eagle (Imperial E) Aquila heliaca Up to 15 at Jorbeer Conservation Reserve. Small numbers elsewhere.
Bonelli’s Eagle Aquila fasciata A few were noted.
Shikra Accipiter badius Widespread.
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus Noted on eight days.
Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus Widespread. Highest count at Navra Talav Lake, where we counted a roost of 80 birds.
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus One to two birds were noted on four days.
Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus Two to five birds were seen on five days.
Black Kite Milvus [migrans] lineatus Only noted in Jorbeer.
Black Kite Milvus [migrans] govinda Common and widespread.
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus Three in the Jamnagar area.
White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla One in Sultanpur. Rare bird in this part of India.
White-eyed Buzzard ◊ Butastur teesa One on Mt Abu and three in Tansa WLS.
Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus Noted on seven days.
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo One on Mt Abu and another one in GRK.
Brown Boobook Ninox scutulata Seen at the Chambal Safari Lodge and heard in Tansa WLS.
Spotted Owlet Athene brama Noted on eight days.
Forest Owlet ◊ Athene blewitti Endemic. Two birds, with excellent views, in Tansa WLS.
Jungle Owlet ◊ Glaucidium radiatum Great sighting of two in Tansa WLS:
Pallid Scops Owl ◊ (Striated S O) Otus brucei Three birds were roosting in our lodge grounds in Zainabad.
Indian Scops Owl ◊ Otus bakkamoena One in Ranthambhore and another one at Siana.
Indian Eagle-Owl ◊ (Rock E-O) Bubo bengalensis Great views of a vocalizing pair in Siana.
Dusky Eagle-Owl ◊ Bubo coromandus Two birds at nest in Bharatpur.
Mottled Wood Owl ◊ Strix ocellata Endemic. Good views of three in Tansa WLS.
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
Indian Grey Hornbill Ocyceros birostris Noted at the Chambal Safari Lodge, Bharatpur and Tansa WLS.
Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis Common and widespread.
White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis Noted almost daily.
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
Asian Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis Locally common.
Brown-headed Barbet Psilopogon zeylanicus Only seen in Tansa WLS, but heard elsewhere,
Coppersmith Barbet Psilopogon haemacephalus Only sighted in Tansa WLS.
Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla A total of four sightings.
Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker ◊ Yungipicus nanus Two on Mt Abu and one in Tansa WLS.
Yellow-crowned Woodpecker ◊ Leiopicus mahrattensis Ten or so were noted.
Black-rumped Flameback Dinopium benghalense Widespread in small numbers.
White-naped Woodpecker ◊ (W-n Flameback) Chrysocolaptes festivus One in Rathambhore and a family party of three in Tansa WLS.
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Red-necked Falcon ◊ Falco chicquera One in the Lake Nalsarovar area.
Amur Falcon Falco vespertinus One in LRK, a tour write-in.
Laggar Falcon ◊ Falco jugger Several good sightings in the arid west.
Plum-headed Parakeet ◊ Psittacula cyanocephala
Blue-winged Parakeet ◊ (Malabar P) Psittacula columboides Endemic. A few in Tansa WLS.
Alexandrine Parakeet ◊ Psittacula eupatria
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Ring-necked P) Psittacula krameri
Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus
Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
Marshall’s Iora ◊ Aegithina nigrolutea A total of seven in GRK.
White-bellied Minivet ◊ Pericrocotus erythropygius Two gorgeous males in Siana.
Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
Orange Minivet ◊ Pericrocotus flammeus Two, a pair, in Tansa WLS.
Large Cuckooshrike Coracina macei A total of five in Ranthambhore.
Isabelline Shrike ◊ (Daurian S) Lanius isabellinus Very common in Banni grassland in GRK. Scattered few elsewhere,
Bay-backed Shrike Lanius vittatus
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach
Great Grey Shrike Lanius [excubitor] lahtora Rather common in the arid west.
Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus Fairly common in Tansa WLS.
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus Fairly common in Tansa WLS.
Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus Small numbers encountered.
White-bellied Drongo Dicrurus caerulescens Small numbers seen.
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus Widespread, noted daily.
White-spotted Fantail ◊ (Spot-breasted F) Rhipidura albogularis Endemic. Noted on Mt Abu and in Tansa WLS.
White-browed Fantail Rhipidura aureola Fairly widespread in small numbers.
Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea Small numbers in Tansa WLS.
Indian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi A few in Tansa WLS.
Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda
House Crow Corvus splendens
Indian Jungle Crow Corvus culminatus Small numbers in the more forested areas.
Northern Raven (Common R) Corvus corax A few in the Jaisalmer area.
Grey Hypocolius ◊ Hypocolius ampelinus A total of six near the village of Fulay in GRK.
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher (G-h Flycatcher) Culicicapa ceylonensis Heard only.
Cinereous Tit Parus cinereus
White-naped Tit ◊ Machlolophus nuchalis Endemic. Two pairs, with some really good views in the Nakhatrana area.
Indian Black-lored Tit ◊ Machlolophus aplonotus Endemic. Several birds on Mt Abu.
White-crowned Penduline Tit ◊ Remiz coronatus Nice encounter with a flock of three birds in Harike.
Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti Ten or so in the Jaisalmer area.
Rufous-tailed Lark ◊ Ammomanes phoenicura Noted on five days.
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark ◊ (B-c Finch-L) Eremopterix nigriceps Several encounters in the Jaisalmer area.
Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark ◊ (A-c Finch-L) Eremopterix griseus Rather widespread in small numbers.
Indian Bush Lark Mirafra erythroptera A few were noted in the Nakhatrana area.
Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula Only one, in Harike.
Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis A flock of six in Harike.
Sykes’s Lark ◊ Galerida deva Endemic. One at Lake Navra Talav in LRK.
Crested Lark Galerida cristata
Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
Bimaculated Lark ◊ Melanocorypha bimaculata
Sand Lark ◊ Alaudala raytal Nominate at the Chambal River and adamsi in the Jamnagar area. According to a very recent study the subspecies krishnakumarsinhji is not valid.
Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus Only noted on Mt Abu.
Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer Widespread, noted daily.
White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis Common in the arid west.
Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis
Eurasian Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris Sighted in Tansa WLS.
Dusky Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne concolor Widespread in small numbers.
Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
Streak-throated Swallow ◊ (Indian Cliff S) Petrochelidon fluvicola Noted on seven days.
Hume’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus humei Widespread.
Brooks’s Leaf Warbler ◊ Phylloscopus subviridis One seen (and few more heard) in Sultanpur and another one in Tal Chappar.
Lemon-rumped Warbler Phylloscopus chloronotus One in Sultanpur.
Sulphur-bellied Warbler ◊ Phylloscopus griseolus Two at the Chambal River and one on Mt Abu. Stunning views.
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus [collybita] tristis
Green Warbler (Bright-green W) Phylloscopus nitidus A few in Tansa WLS.
Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides
Western Crowned Warbler ◊ Phylloscopus occipitalis Brief views of one in Tansa WLS.
Clamorous Reed Warbler ◊ Acrocephalus stentoreus Two in Bharatpur and a heard only bird in Jamnagar.
Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon One in Bharatpur.
Blyth’s Reed Warbler ◊ Acrocephalus dumetorum A few were noted.
Sykes’s Warbler ◊ Iduna rama Ten or so were noted.
Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris Brief views of one in Harike.
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis A few were noted.
Rufous-fronted Prinia ◊ Prinia buchanani Regular in the arid west.
Grey-breasted Prinia Prinia hodgsonii Fairly common in the more forested areas.
Delicate Prinia Prinia lepida A few were noted.
Jungle Prinia ◊ Prinia sylvatica Great views of three at the Chambal River and a few in GRK.
Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris Rather common in Harike.
Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis Widespread.
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata Widespread.
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius Widespread in small numbers.
Desert Whitethroat ◊ Curruca minula Small numbers in the arid west.
Lesser Whitethroat Curruca curruca Rather widespread in small numbers.
Eastern Orphean Warbler Curruca crassirostris Two encounters in GRK.
Asian Desert Warbler ◊ Curruca nana Four birds in the arid west.
Yellow-eyed Babbler Chrysomma sinense A handful of encounters.
Jerdon’s Babbler ◊ Chrysomma altirostre Six in Harike with some good views.
Indian White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus Noted on six days.
Tawny-bellied Babbler ◊ Dumetia hyperythra Two nice encounters in Tansa WLS.
Indian Scimitar Babbler ◊ Pomatorhinus horsfieldii Endemic. A total of six with some great views on Mt Abu.
Rufous-vented Grass Babbler ◊ Laticilla burnesii Two were seen well in Harike.
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe poioicephala Fairly common in Tansa WLS.
Large Grey Babbler ◊ Argya malcolmi
Jungle Babbler Argya striata Subspecies sindiana in the NW, sommervillei in Tansa WLS.
Common Babbler ◊ Argya caudata
Striated Babbler ◊ Argya earlei Common in Harike.
Indian Spotted Creeper ◊ Salpornis spilonota Endemic. Great encounter with one in Tal Chappar.
Bank Myna Acridotheres ginginianus
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
Indian Pied Myna Gracupica contra
Chestnut-tailed Starling (Grey-headed S) Sturnia malabarica Dave and Sue had a roosting flock of 200 individuals outside their hotel room window in Mumbai. A tour write-in!
Brahminy Starling ◊ Sturnia pagodarum
Rosy Starling ◊ Pastor roseus Locally common, mostly in the arid west.
Common Starling (European S) Sturnus vulgaris
Orange-headed Thrush Geokichla citrina Himayalan citrina in Sultanpur and Peninsular cyanota in Tansa WLS.
Indian Robin ◊ Copsychus fulicatus
Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis
Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher Cyornis tickelliae One in Rathambhore and a few in Tansa WLS.
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica A total of nine noted.
Ultramarine Flycatcher ◊ Ficedula superciliaris A few were noted.
Taiga Flycatcher (Red-throated F) Ficedula albicilla A few noted.
Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva Fairly common, especially on the extension.
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros Widespread in small numbers.
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius A total of four noted.
White-browed Bush Chat ◊ (Stoliczka’s B C) Saxicola macrorhynchus One in Desert National Park and two in Banni grassland in GRK.
Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus
Pied Bush Chat Saxicola caprata
Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina Rather common in the arid west.
Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti Common in the arid west.
Brown Rock Chat ◊ Oenanthe fusca Widespread in small numbers.
Variable Wheatear ◊ Oenanthe picata Rather common and widespread. All three forms were encountered.
Red-tailed Wheatear ◊ Oenanthe chrysopygia A total of five birds were seen.
Thick-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum agile Rather common in Tansa WLS.
Pale-billed Flowerpecker ◊ Dicaeum erythrorhynchos Fairlyr common in Tansa WLS.
Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus Widespread in small numbers.
Vigors’s Sunbird ◊ Aethopyga vigorsii Endemic. Great encounters in Tansa WLS.
Pale Rockfinch Carpospiza brachydactyla 15 or so visiting a pool at the edge of Banni Grassland.
Yellow-throated Sparrow ◊ Gymnoris xanthocollis Widespread.
Sind Sparrow ◊ Passer pyrrhonotus Great views of a male in Sultanpur and a flock of four in Harike.
House Sparrow Passer domesticus Two forms, resident indicus and wintering parkini, were encountered.
Black-breasted Weaver ◊ Ploceus benghalensis 30 in Harike and 30 in the Lake Nalsarovar area.
Streaked Weaver ◊ Ploceus manyar Four in Harike.
Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus Small numbers seen on four days.
Indian Silverbill Euodice malabarica Widespread.
Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata Only noted in Tansa WLS.
Green Avadavat ◊ Amandava formosa Endemic. Thirty or so, including attractive adult birds, on our first afternoon on Mt Abu. Six there the next morning.
Western Yellow Wagtail (form unidentified) Motacilla flava A number of unidentified Yellow Wagtails were seen.
Western Yellow Wagtail (Sykes’s W) Motacilla [flava] beema Small numbers at Lake Soorval and in Harike.
Western Yellow Wagtail (Black-headed W) Motacilla [flava] feldegg Small numbers were noted on four days.
Western Yellow Wagtail (Grey-headed W) Motacilla [flava] thunbergi One was identified in Harike.
Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola Fairly widespread and common outside the arid west.
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea Singletons were noted on four days.
White Wagtail (form unidentified) Motacilla alba A number of unidentified White Wagtails were seen.
White Wagtail Motacilla [alba] alba Rather common and widespread.
White Wagtail ◊ (Masked W) Motacilla [alba] personata Fairly common and widespread.
White Wagtail (Amur W) Motacilla [alba] leucopsis A few in Ranthambhore.
White-browed Wagtail Motacilla maderaspatensis Noted on six days.
Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus
Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
Long-billed Pipit ◊ Anthus similis One in Tal Chappar.
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis Small numbers were noted on six days.
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni Four in Sultanpur on our first day.
Rosy Pipit Anthus roseatus Rather common in Harike.
Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus Three in the Jaisalmer area.
Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus A few were noted.
White-capped Bunting ◊ Emberiza stewarti Small numbers in Ranthambhore, Siana and Mt Abu.
Grey-necked Bunting ◊ Emberiza buchanani One in Siana and good numbers in GRK.
Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala 50 or so in the Lake Nalsarovar area.
Red-headed Bunting ◊ Emberiza bruniceps 20 or so in the Lake Nalsarovar area.
Jungle Cat Felis chaus A handful were noted.
Asiatic Wildcat Felis sylvestris One in the Desert National Park (ornata).
Common Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus Non-leader. One seen by one participant in Siana.
Small Indian Mongoose Urva auropunctata Two encounters.
Indian Grey Mongoose Urva edwardsii Rather regular sight.
Ruddy Mongoose Urva smithii Two in Ranthambhore.
Golden Jackal (Common J) Canis aureus A few were noted.
Bengal Fox (Indian F) Vulpes bengalensis One in DNP and another one at the Lake Nalsarovar area.
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes A few were noted.
Asiatic Wild Ass (Indian W A) Equus hemionus Common in LRK.
Wild Boar Sus scrofa Several encounters.
Spotted Deer Axis axis Common in Ranthmbhore.
Sambar Deer Rusa unicolor Common in Ranthmbhore.
Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra Common in the Tal Chappar area.
Nilgai (Blue Bull) Boselaphus tragocamelus Widespread.
Chinkara (Indian Gazelle) Gazella bennettii Rather common in the arid west.
Ganges River Dolphin Platanista gangetica Rather decent views of one in the Chambal River.
Indian Flying Fox Pteropus giganteus Common at the Chambal Safari Lodge and in Ranthambhore.
Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta
Northern Plains Gray Langur (Hanuman L) Semnopithecus entellus
Indian Hare Lepus nigricollis A total of four were encountered.
Common Palm Squirrel (Southern P S) Funambulus palmarum Small numbers in Tansa WLS.
Five-striped Palm Squirrel Funambulus pennantii Very common from Sultanpur to GRK.
Indian Desert Jird (Mid-day Jird) Meriones hurrianae Several encounters.
Black Rat (Ship R, House R) Rattus rattus Two at the resort near Tansa WLS.
Indian Gerbil Tatera indica Two encounters.
REPTILES (compiled by Nick Dyte)
Yellow-bellied House Gecko Hemidactylus flaviviridis Several locations.
Garden or Changeable Lizard Calotes versicolor GRK.
Sochurek’s Saw-scaled Viper Echis (carinatus) sochureki GRK.
Spiny-headed Fan-throated Lizard Sitana spinaecephalus GRK.
Roux’s Forest Calotes Monilesaurus rouxii Tansa WLS.