Sunday, January 8, 2017

Birding Northern India. Pt. 3: Still at Bharatpur!

Whilst at Bharatpur we lodged in the Birder's Inn which was almost at the entrance to the National Park. I can recommend this hotel due to it's location, food, friendly, helpful staff (but then again all Indians seem to be) and clean modern facilities. Each morning we were met at the front door by our team of rickshaw drivers who cycled into the park and spent the day ferrying us to the birds....Brilliant!

The Birders' Inn Bharatpur
Bharatpur contains a fair old number of other animals as well as birds. We saw plenty of Wild Boar, Indian Jackal, Rhesus Macaque, Nilgai, Chital, Grey Mongoose and Six-striped Squirrel as well as great views of a Rock Python and Flying Fox.

Wild Boar
Golden Jackal with mad, crazy eyes.
Rhesus Macaque - smoking a fat stogy.

Chital or Spotted Deer
Indian Grey Mongoose
Six-striped Ground Squirrels
Fortunately this Indian Rock Python had recently eaten and was not interested in wrapping itself around anyone in our group. Preferring instead to laze around digesting its last meal.

Snoozing Python - Head shot!
Not long after photographing the Rock Python we came across this monitor Lizard also just hanging about catching some rays as reptiles have to do to warm-up. Two reptiles in quick succession.
Monitor Lizard
My favourite mammal in the park had to be the Flying Fox. A fruit bat that does not possess echolocation but relies on smell and eyesight to locate its food which consists of fruit (surprisingly), blossoms, nectar and pollen. They can, apparently, smell a good piece of fruit 40 miles away! They are the most amazing creatures. We found a group hanging about in the they do.
Flying Fox
During the morning of the third day we were taken out over one of the lakes to look for Indian Nightjar. Gliding over the still waters in the early morning was an unforgettable experience. The Nightjar was where it was supposed to be looking like it was glued to a branch. We had great views of Booted Eagle and White-throated Kingfishers seemed to be everywhere. Pied and Common Kingfishers were also present but in fewer numbers. The sky was alive with Wire-tailed Swallows and Plain Martins. You get the picture!
Birding Bharatpur
White-breasted Waterhen Juvenile - Amaurornis phoenicurus
Purple Swamphen  Porphyrio porphyria
Bay-backed Shrike  Lanius vittatus
Red-vented Bulbul  Pycnonutus cafer

Pied Kingfisher  Ceryle rudis

White-throated Kingfisher  Halcyon smyrnensis

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