Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Birding Northern India. Pt.4: Pangot

On the morning that we left Bharatpur we drove to a village about half-an-hour's drive away to search a pool that Chris knew could be good  for Painted Snipe. Walking through the village the locals could not hide their amusement and interest as a minibus full of scope, binocular and camera toting westerners sauntered through this rural village heading for, what appeared to be, a pool filled with the village sewerage! Worth it though as there were at least half a dozen Painted Snipe. Again local knowledge and competent guidance paid off.

Greater Painted Snipe  Rostratula benghalensis.  Male - The females are far more attractive!
This small pool also held Wood and Green Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Citrine Wagtail, White-browed Fantail and White-browed Wagtail. A confiding Spotted Owlet and our first real sighting of House Sparrow.

Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus
Spotted Owlet  Athene brama
We travelled by minibus and train and then another minibus due north-north west to the Jungle Lore Lodge at Pangot. Arriving in the small hours we chased a porcupine a mile or so down the road before settling down for a short night.
Jungle Lore Lodge is equipped with feeding areas for the birds and drinking pools so we didn't have to venture far in the morning to start birding. Being in the foothills of the Himalayas and a bit high up the avifauna was so different. We saw between 60 and 70 species here and at least 46 were new for the trip.
Black-headed Jay Garrulus lanceolatus
Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush  Garrulax erythrcephalus
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
Large-billed Crow  Corvus macrorhynchos
Red-billed Blue Magpie  Urocissa erythrorhyncha
White-throated Laughingthrush  Garrulax albogularis
Yellow-breasted Greenfinch  Carduelis spinoides.
All of the photos above were taken in the grounds of the lodge. As one of the group members said when we first stepped out in the morning, 'I need a month here to do it justice.' The views were just as spectacular as the birds.

Them there Himalayan mountains from Pangot

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