Tuesday, July 6, 2010

6th July 10 - where has the Indian Spotted Eagle gone?

Pair of Woolly-necked Storks - partially made nest, Delhi Canal, Sonepat.
Today, I saw at least 4 Oriental Honey Buzzards.
Cloudy weather, some drizzling, went for 2 hours birding along the canal.
Birds included Oriental Honey Buzzards, nesting pair of Woolly-necked Storks, Golden Oriole, Streak-throated Swallows, 2 species of shrikes, Chestnut-shouldered Petronias, Baya Weavers,
5 Spoonbills, Black and Black-headed Ibises, prinias, Black Drongos and other commoner species.
But sadly, Indian Spotted Eagle was not sighted. Last year's both nesting sites were scanned: no trace of the first nest, second nest was intact but abandoned.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Yamunotri Visit (source of the Yamuna river) (13 Jun to 18 Jun 2010)

With my poet-philosopher friend Virendra Kumar, I made a trip to Yamunotri from 13th June to 18th June 2010. Some of the photographs. Got three lifers White-bellied Yuhuna, Speckled Wood Pigeon and Pied Thrush. Plenty of other birds. Went via Shamli-Saharanpur-Vikas Nagar-Kalsi Gate-Barhkot-Syanachatti-Janakchatti and returned via the same route except from Vikas Nagar from where we took a detour via Paonta Sahib, Kalesar National Park, Hathini Kund, Yamunangar, Karnal, Murthal and Sonepat.
Brown Dipper at the bottom of the Yamunotri temple.
Yamunotri glacier. This mountain is known as Kalind, river Yamuna is also known as Kalindi.
Virendra Kumarji who has been to Mountain Kailash says this looks like mini Kailash.
Yamunotri Temple.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chakrata, Deoban (Dehradun) on 12-15 May 07 (an old report)

Chakrata, Deoban (Dehradun)

Four of us, Dr Sudhir Oswal, Dr Chandra Kumar Ballal, Ramu and myself, left Sonipat in the early morning of 12th May 2007 and reached Forest Research Institute, Dehradun by noon driving through Kalesar National Park and a brief stay at Asan Barrage. At FRI, Dehradun we were joined by Dhananjai Mohan and Raman Attrey. Afternoon birding at FRI. 13 th May morning, we drove for Chakrata (2000m height) birding all the way, afternoon birding at Tiger Fall, night stay in DFO Residence Forest Rest House (built in 1888), 14thMay morning we drove for Deoban (2900m height) birding all the way, night stay again in Chakrata FRH, 15 th May morning we drove back via Bairat Khai birding all the way and reached Sonipat by the sunset. A brief visit at Bikram Grewal's house in Dehradun on 12th evening.

White detailed trip report will take some time for uploading on my website, here are the brief highlights:

Out of the 198 species, Chukar and Hill Partridges. Asan Barrage had 150 wintering ducks still left behind on 12th but nil on 15 th.

14 species of woodpeckers included Speckled Piculet; Rufous, Brown-fronted, Rufous-bellied, Himalayan, Scaly-bellied and Grey-headed Woodpeckers, Lesser Yellownape and Greater Flameback. 5 species of barbets – Great Barbet being the commonest.

8 species of cuckoos including Large Hawk, Indian, Eurasian, Oriental, Drongo- and Grey-bellied Cuckoos.

4 species of parakeets including Slaty-headed. Owls included Brown Hawk, Mountain Scops and Asian Barred Owlets.

6 species of doves including Emerald and Oriental Turtle. Pin- & Wedge-tailed Green Pigeons.

11 species of birds of prey including Lammergeier, Himalayan Griffons, Crested Serpent, Black and Bonelli's Eagle. 2 species of jays, 2 of blue magpies, 2 of treepies, 2 of minivets, 2 of orioles. Dark-sided, Verditer, Grey-headed Canary and Asian Paradise Flycathcers. 4 species of drongos. Brown Dipper, Blue-caped Rock Thrush, Blue Whistling Thrush, Orange-headed Thrush, Blackbird. Plumbeous Redstart. Grey Bushchats and nesting Common Stonechats.

Nesting Chestnut-tailed Starling and Jungle Mynas. Chestnut-bellied and White-tailed Nuthatches, Eurasian and Bar-tailed Treecreepers.

Tits included Spot-winged, Great, Green-backed, Black-lored and Black-throated. Commonest swallow was Red-rumped (nesting).

5 species of laughingthrushes including White-throated, Rufous-chinned and Chestnut-crowned.

Puff-throated and Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babblers.

Rufous Sibias, nesting Russet Sparrows, displaying (dance and song) Upland Pipits, White-rumped Munias, Black & Yellow Grossbeaks.

Special thanks to Dr Sudhir for his bird-spotting talent.

I strongly recommend birders and bird photographers to visit this route full of birds.


Suresh C Sharma

Some images by Surat Singhji Poonia from Tal Chhapar

This is a great documentation by Pooniajia. Papa Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse wets his specially modified belly feathers in water, comes back to the nest and both chicks sucks water from the feathers. April 2010.
Quite funny, Eurasian Thick-knee and a Chinkara, 1st May 2010.
This Great Bittern has a great story. Was seen inside the house of Mr Poonia. April 2010.
This looks like Eurasian Griffon.