Friday, 17 February 2017

White-browed Piculet - the woodpecker

Let me start with some fun facts about Piculets. They are one of the smallest woodpeckers. By small I mean about 3-4 inches, well that's about as long as an average persons index finger if you know what I mean. These Piculets are found in South America, Africa and Asia. There are about 30 species of these birds worldwide and Indian Subcontinent hosts two of them - the Speckled Piculet and the White-browed Piculet. The fun facts do not end here - these birds do not have the stiff feathers like the woodpeckers so they often perch upright.

The spread of the White-browed Piculet starts East of where I reside so it is not everyday that we come across these birds, infact let the truth be told that this sighting that I had last (that is yesterday) was the second in my life. The first time over it was in Sikkim with a great gang of birders, Mr Narbir, Mrs Rima and Mrs Alpana that we sighted this little bird - the problem was that it did not give us a fulfilling moment to stare and appreciate the bird. Yesterday turned out to be different, Not that the sighting was too great but in-between its hops from one tree to another it afforded us good looks and inspite of thick undergrowth gave a few shots that I consider good. The shots are shot at very high ISO @3200 and also agressively corpped so do take it with a pinch of salt when I say - good shots. 
Okay -first things first - it has not lost its tail - it is like this only...
Still wondering about it's tail? well those few small black feathers are all it's tail it has...
To find the bird you have to be in some bamboo thickets preferably in vicinity of fairly good (aka dense) broadleaved evergreen and mixed deciduous forest. Bamboo near water is a definate preference. The range of this small bird is surprisingly large with it starting in the Himalays and moving on to the Laos - Veitnam in the east and almost till Thailand in the South. 
The range of the bird...
Bird hunting - the piculet...

Since their primary food is ants and bark beetles you will most probably hear them before you see them - hear as in pecking wood and bamboo in search of insects or laughing out in a rapid succession like a kid. The audio embedded will give some idea as to what I am trying to say...

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Trip report - birding in Dehradun: 28 Jan 2017

I had planned a trip to Dighal - a place on my birding hit list in Haryana where some beautiful sightings of migratory birds was pouring in every single day. The plan was sealed and in place. The plan was - start very early morning like at 3 in morning or so - reach and bird in Dighal for the day and return back the same day. The plan was great and I was joined by three other bird watchers - a couple plus one. Two days before the day I was given news by my father that there was a likely hood of protest by Jats regarding some stupid issue of reservations. The last time over the Jat agitation had turned very ugly so I was not comfortable with the plan so I rang up called off the visit. As I hung up the phone I sat by my computer and starting searching for a place - within a radius of 3 hours travel that could be the birding destination. Dehradun immediately sprung up - the capital of Uttrakhand is a great place for birding. I sat down on eBird and starting researching the places to visit. Immediately three places sprung up based on the sightings logged by fellow birders - FRI (Forest Research Institute), Wildlife Institute of India and Asan Barrage.
These birds easily qualified themselves as my bird of the day... Blue-bearded Bee-eaters
When I declared the plan to the members - the couple had finalised their own trip and opted out. Mohit decided to remain my partner in crime. As I was researching my visit on various online forum I came across name of one more birder who had birded in Dehradun earlier and he too jumped on board and joined us. 

The drive was around 4 hours one way so we decided to go early and be at the first spot at sunrise. The trip did not really start well. The sunrise was 0715 so we planned leaving Chandigarh at 0400. Under protest of one of the team members the time was postponed to 0430. Dot at 0420 the other two members were at home and ready to go. Well so far so good. As we hit the road - it took us a few seconds to realise that the fog was thick and a potential hazard. The fog took the toll and speed was anywhere between 25 km per hour to 45. Well, we reached the FRI (Forest Research Institute of India) at about 0815, an hour later than the intended time. This is the time when the second problem hit us - FRI gates open at 0900. That was another half an hour plus haggling at the gates. We were allowed inside only for walk and without cameras. So our first checklist of the day started and we took a stroll inside the gate - parking the car at the gates and cameras in the car. The birds were all around us and we were excited and disappointed at the same time - wasting essential birding time. 

Finally, it was nine and we drove to the Botanical Gardens - our first pit stop. We spent almost one and a half hours there. The birding was great - the first sightings were three varieties of Thrushes. So three of us concentrated on one each and all of us missed the other two. Tickell's, a scally thrush (ID yet to be confirmed) and Black-throated Thrush. After this there was not stopping - one after other the birds gave us good sightings. The troubling part was that every tom, dick and harry was asking us if we had permission to carry camera etc and that WAS troubling. Though we managed - it was not a great way to be birding. Every passing minute convinced us that the city chosen for birding was great.

The second spot was the famed Bamboo plantations. Unfortunately, we were told that they were out of bounds and we decided that it might not be worth the trouble to sneak inside from a broken gate we knew existed. 

Next, we decided to check out the last spot the Nature trail. It is located North of the FRI - a track that goes to a village that has got landlocked between the FRI on one side and Tons River on the other side. The place was heaven for birding and I logged my first 'Lifer' of the visit - Velvet-fronted Nuthatch. The walk turned out to be not more than 400 to 500 yards at the most but the birds and bird sounds were heavenly. As we turned back I saw two birds sitting on a branch just ahead and I was jumping up and down with joy - almost 2 years of running after Blue-beared Bee-eaters to get some respectable shots - there they were sitting barely 15 feet away. What a gala time we had observing and clicking pictures of the beautiful and one of the biggest of bee-eaters in the world. We stopped at this spot for almost 20-25 minutes - that would seem an unfair amount of time considering we were here only for a day and had another two places to cover before setting course back. After finishing this we decided to come out of the trail and back to where we had parked our car and have a quick bite as hunger pangs were getting better of us. 

As we opened up the snacks and tea and coffee flasks - there were another half a dozen birds that caught our attention and we ended up drinking tea and coffee like cold water and were chasing birds yet again. All in all we were there for three and half an hour roughly and logged 42 species (excluding one yet to be identified flycatcher and a thrush)

Next spot was Wildlife Institute of India Campus. Rajive Das made a call and quick enquiry as to how we could enter the place. Luckily one of his contacts tied up our entering the premises. All this happened as we drove to the campus - about 45 min drive from FRI. There is a small Nature Trail there around a lake and we took that trail. The place was another birding paradise and in just about an hour and 15 min we logged 26 species of birds with great sightings of Velvet-fronted Nuthatch yet again, Whistlers Warbler and Mallards. 

The time was clicking and we decided to quickly head towards Asan Barrage near Ponta Sahib. As we reached Asan Barrage - Rajive was telling us that one Palla's Fish Eagle has been spotted and wished that we get a sighting. The wish was granted as one of the first sightings we got as we reached the spot was the Fish Eagle flying overhead. There was no stopping now - We were desperately trying to identify the waterfowl and do a count to log them. Some groups were just too far away to count or identify but we did the best we could. From there we went inside the small nature track and after paying up the tickets and driving just a hundred yards we decided that it was not worth the effort - turned back to a new spot back to the banks of the Barrage to see waterfowls.

We parked the car at a spot we thought was the best and walked along the barrage. The sightings were great and in about one and half an hour there we logged 39 species. All the maps etc are duly annotated and attached later.

Like always the lists are at the end of the write-up.
Route passes through the Assan Barrage - however, it was visited later on the way back

Map of FRI and places visited/planned
Wildlife Institute of India, the trail for birding as marked
Asan Barrage and birding there...
Long-tailed Minivet (male) (Pericrocotus ethologus)

One of the three Thrush seen at Botanical Garden - Black-throated Thrush (Turdus atrogularis)

Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis)

Lifer - Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis)

A lifer deserves more coverage - no?

This bird ofcourse will get more realestate in the blog for the fact that I declared it the bird of the day...

Okay - another picture of Blue-bearded Bee-eater

Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch (Sitta cinnamoventris)

Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus) subspecies chlorolophus the Hilamalyan Yellownape

White-throated Fantail (Rhipidura albicollis)

Mallard at Wildlife Institute of India (Anas platyrhynchos)

Black-winged Stilt in flight (Himantopus himantopus)

Grey Treepie (Dendrocitta formosae)

Mallard in flight

Emerald Dove (also Grey-capped Emerald Dove) (Chalcophaps indica)

Whistler's Warbler (Seicercus whisleri)

Yet to be ID. If you can - please do leave a comment

Likely Himalayan Buzzard (Buteo refectus)
Pallas's Fish-eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus)

Lifer no 2: Pallas's Fish-eagle
Greylag Goose (Anser anser)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)

the gathering though seems good - but I have seen better fowl counts years back

Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus)

Northern Shoveller (Anas clypeata)

Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)

Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittaculla cyanocephala)

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)

Great Crested Grebe the bird on the left (Podicepus cristatus)
For planning a trip please do keep in mind that the FRI opens for visitors at 0900 hours and you have to have permission to carry cameras - cater for it a day before of go in time to get the permissions. There is also tickets for entry and some nominal charges for carrying camera inside FRI. We had a person who guided us to get inside the Wildlife Institute of India - it may not be as simple as we got is so please go to the website and contact someone before heading there.

If you like the blog please follow on -
Google plus: +S S Cheema
Instagram: s_s_cheema
Could not help but post this gif to show the state of our birder gang on way to Dehradun

Forest Research Institute (FRI), New Forest Campus, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, IN
Jan 28, 2017 8:29 AM - 12:04 PM
Protocol: Stationary
42 species

Black Kite (Black) (Milvus migrans [migrans Group])  2
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)  2
Greater Coucal (Greater) (Centropus sinensis [sinensis Group])  1
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)  1
Blue-bearded Bee-eater (Nyctyornis athertoni)  2
Grey-capped Woodpecker (Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker) (Dendrocopos canicapillus)  1
Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus)  1
Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus)  1
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)  4
Slaty-headed Parakeet (Psittacula himalayana)  2
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus picatus)  6
Long-tailed Minivet (Pericrocotus ethologus)  5
Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)  2
Hair-crested Drongo (Spangled Drongo) (Dicrurus hottentottus)  5
White-throated Fantail (Rhipidura albicollis)  1
Red-billed Blue-Magpie (Urocissa erythroryncha)  2
Rufous Treepie (Dendrocitta vagabunda)  1
Large-billed Crow (Indian Jungle) (Corvus macrorhynchos culminatus)  2
Yellow-bellied Fantail (Chelidorhynx hypoxantha)  1
Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis)  1
Cinereous Tit (Great Tit) (Parus cinereus)  2
Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch (Sitta cinnamoventris)  2
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis)  2
Bar-tailed Treecreeper (Certhia himalayana)  1
Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)  1
Himalayan Bulbul (White-cheeked Bulbul) (Pycnonotus leucogenys)  10
Himalayan Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus)  21
Grey-hooded Warbler (Phylloscopus xanthoschistos)  3
Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius)  2
Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus)  4
Black-chinned Babbler (Cyanoderma pyrrhops)  10
Jungle Babbler (Turdoides striata)  6
Rufous Sibia (Heterophasia capistrata)  1
Verditer Flycatcher (Eumyias thalassinus)  1
Blue Whistling-Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus)  2
White-capped Redstart (Phoenicurus leucocephalus)  1
Grey Bushchat (Saxicola ferreus)  2
Black-throated Thrush (Turdus atrogularis)  2
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)  2
Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus)  11
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (Dicaeum ignipectus)  1
Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja)  2

Wildlife Institute of India Campus--Nature Trail, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, IN
Jan 28, 2017 12:51 PM - 2:03 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)
26 species

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  34
Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus)  1
Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger)  1
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)  2
Black Kite (Black) (Milvus migrans [migrans Group])  1
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)  1
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)  28
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)  4
Indian Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros birostris)  1
Common Kingfisher (Small Blue Kingfisher) (Alcedo atthis)  1
Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei)  2
Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)  1
Grey Treepie (Dendrocitta formosae)  1
Large-billed Crow (Indian Jungle) (Corvus macrorhynchos culminatus)  2
Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis)  3
Cinereous Tit (Great Tit) (Parus cinereus)  5
Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch (Sitta cinnamoventris)  1
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis)  2
Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)  2
Himalayan Bulbul (White-cheeked Bulbul) (Pycnonotus leucogenys)  3
Pale-rumped Warbler (Lemon-rumped Warbler) (Phylloscopus chloronotus)  3
Hume's Warbler (Phylloscopus humei)  1
Grey-hooded Warbler (Phylloscopus xanthoschistos)  6
Whistler's Warbler (Seicercus whistleri)  2
Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus)  10
Black-chinned Babbler (Cyanoderma pyrrhops)  4

Asan Conservation Reserve, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, IN
Jan 28, 2017 3:21 PM - 4:40 PM
Protocol: Stationary
39 species (+1 other taxa)

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)  17
Ruddy Shelduck (Brahminy Duck) (Tadorna ferruginea)  6
Gadwall (Anas strepera)  3
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)  20
Indian Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha)  50
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  100
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  25
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)  10
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)  2
Ferruginous Duck (Ferruginous Pochard) (Aythya nyroca)  2
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)  10
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)  3
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)  1
Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)  13
Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger)  12
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)  10
Indian Cormorant (Indian Shag) (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)  9
Little/Indian Cormorant (Microcarbo niger/Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)  3
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  4
Red-naped Ibis (Indian Black Ibis) (Pseudibis papillosa)  5
Eurasian Marsh-Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)  1
Pallas's Fish-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus)  1
Grey-headed Swamphen (Purple Swamphen) (Porphyrio poliocephalus)  1
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)  50
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)  10
River Lapwing (Vanellus duvaucelii)  16
Pallas's Gull (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus)  1
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)  5
Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)  1
Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala)  6
Hair-crested Drongo (Spangled Drongo) (Dicrurus hottentottus)  3
House Crow (Corvus splendens)  3
Large-billed Crow (Large-billed) (Corvus macrorhynchos [macrorhynchos Group])  4
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  10
Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)  15
Grey-hooded Warbler (Phylloscopus xanthoschistos)  1
Grey-breasted Prinia (Prinia hodgsonii)  10
Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca)  1
Grey Bushchat (Saxicola ferreus)  1
Asian Pied Starling (Pied Myna) (Gracupica contra)  2

Thursday, 26 January 2017

...till thou sit right... Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch

Not an uncommon bird - but a beautiful one nonetheless. From my last birding visit - I saw this bird but every bird is associated to a pose - a characteristic that defines that bird and the bird family. I clicked a picture of this nuthatch that decided to give us some good photo-opportunities - but it refused to do that classic / characteristic sitting pose.

Chestnut-vented Nuthatch (Sita cinnamoventris)
We were out birding and were busy clicking a pair of Pygmy woodpeckers on a tree. The birds were so obliging that 100 odd photographs down the lane we were still in want for more. Suddenly out of nowhere - as if to say - Hey man there are others waiting in line - came a nuthatch on the same tree. Of-course it was there - the light was right, not too harsh, not too subtle and I knew I am going to enjoy this bird too. There I let go another hundred shots - just praying that the bird as beautiful as this does not get annoyed due lack of attention. All was well - but there was this nagging bit troubling me in the back of my mind - the bird refused to give that characteristic post that everyone so relates to Nuthatches, the one with the head cocked up and body half hanging from the tree trunk. The bird - as if to say - man, you cannot have everything in life jumped and disappeared at a distance. I prayed and as an answer to my prayer perhaps - a speck - my beloved Nuthatch came flying back to the same tree - the same characteristic flight of the nuthatch. This time the visit was short but the bird gave its characteristic pose before flying off finally and I turned my camera off with a smile on my face and moved on to continue the hunt for more birds for the day. thou sit the way you should... I shall leave you alone.

...and that's the characteristic pose that I was talking about...
The range of the bird - primarily the Himalayas and some more...

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Trip report - Birding in Khonoma 08 Jan 2017

The New Year sneaked upon me as I was snoring away - dog tired from my daily chores of a job that can really tire you off when (when 😅) it strikes you. The only birding the first week was roaming around a camera around my neck and walking around in circles in the resort where I was holed up. I thought to myself - this is not what I signed up for when I came to this beautiful state of Nagaland. So the decision was made - come what may - I am off birding the first weekend that comes my way. The weekend ended up with twists and turns that are signature of Alfred Hitchcock's novels. One day I was free, next day some errands came my way and the errands had conditions of ifs and buts attached. As the weekend approached and I shoved the doubts and the errands out of my way and with only two days to go Cirrus clouds lined the sky. To me - who has lived the life of an aviator - the signs were not good. Cirrus is a sign of bad weather to come. The bad weather struck the next day - not bad in very bad sense but - bad enough to declare it a non-birding day had it persisted. Lucky for me the Saturday turned out to be bright and sunny raising the hopes sky high yet again. As I walked to the door and picked up the Newspaper - some faction opposing Municipality elections in Nagaland declared a Bandh (strike). Oh! as if that was bad enough, they had openly declared they will burn down the vehicles plying on the road and as if that was not bad enough - the police declared the district of Kohima 'sensitive'. Only silver lining - the Newspaper also declared that the Bandh was to be called off by 1530, leaving an hour of sunlight for our 2 and half an hour journey.
One of the most common companion of the trip and the bird that kept the distance - but I was able to shoot - Grey Sibia
All this aside - a birder has to do what he has to do - and that was to simply do what I had decided to do. Another good thing that came my way was that, son of a good friend of mine who was posted in Army in Dimapur decided to come along. He was there at sharp 1:30, we had our lunch and whiled away our time to let the clock strike 3:30. Dot, at the strike of the clock we were on out way. The road could neither be termed as good nor bad. The traffic was light considering the country now has run out of roads... The road was good in stretches with the next stretch with pot-holes to remind you that - don't take life so easy.

The total distance to Khonoma from the Niathu Resorts where I was holed up was 72 km. We took exactly two and half an hours travel with one hour before sunset and next half hour of receding light and finally an hour of darkness. We saw an odd car on the road to give us company but considering that we had been advised by so many people to be careful - that the last hour was discomforting. There were no sightings along the road of any kind of birds or bird sounds. Inspite of dropping temperatures we kept the car windows down - not to miss any bird sound that may give us clue of bird life.

There were two things that I am proud of having tied up before setting course to Khonoma, the first one being - contacted the only and the best bird guide possible. Mr Angulie Meyase is the only birdwatcher and a guide in the entire state. Second was that I booked the accommodation in only Hotel - the Dovopie Inn. All the details will figure out in the end of the write up.

During the drive there were turns in the road to Khonoma that - had I missed would have made our reaching the place a pain - but being constantly in touch with Mr Angulie helped and we reached the Inn, had ordered a cup of tea each and went on the small terrace they had to try our hands on the night photography in the crystal clear skies of the mountains. The skies were clear and the chill soon froze the tip of my fingers and I decided to head back in the room with a heater... The second reason was that I did not have a tripod and the effort was futile in any case. We had a light dinner and even if my buddy did not tell me - I am sure I was snoring in a few minutes.

We got up early and as we had breakfast - bread toasts, jam, butter and a cup of tea, Mr Angulie was there at the reception waiting for us. We packed up and set course under the guidance of our birder guide.

The experience was so pleasant that I personally was overwhelmed by the birds that were present all around us. The sounds were all around us and it just took me a few minutes to realise that the sounds were only the half truth of birdwatching in Khonoma. The birds - though omnipresent just did not like to show themselves. it was as if the fear of hunting in the rest of the state was ingrained in the DNA and man seemed the eternal devil here. We went to so many spots and places - basically all around the few valleys, climbed them and went around and the birds were as shy as expected to be. They hopped from bush to bush - and those who did not do so by their nature kept their distance from us - the men. The previous night when I had met our guide (now referred to as a friend 😀), I had given a list of birds that I had wished from Khonoma and one of the first one I had desired was the 'Bamboo Patridge' and we were taken through a path that generally produced the birds in the early morning and the evenings. We drove slowly and carefully trying peer at every movement, every sound, every bush. After fifteen - twenty odd minutes of the drive, the path was coming to the end and there were not partridges in sight. Finally as we were about to join the main road and we sighted them. The light was fairly poor and there were four of them. Though I just about got a single record shot - the sight was one to behold. The first lifer great and memorable sight - it was only a sighting for a few seconds and then they faded away as I stopped the car at an angle to get some shots.

See the birds in Khonoma are distributed at the various heights, and sweet spots, That included the blooming trees, streams, the bushes and likewise. Our bird guide knew all these places and we walked, drove and climbed and did what we could. There were birds that I saw, heard and glimpsed. I recorded and then there were birds that I did not record as I got neither a good sighting nor a record shot but they are there and I am going to get them in another few months to come. We drove, walked and climbed and went around in circles for a total of nine and a half hours. The distance I covered that day was roughly 10 km, 5 odd by car and rest by foot. The 5 odd km by foot seemed far more due to the undulating ground and steep climbs. We waited wherever we saw hunting parties and other interesting birds. All in all the record was 36 birds (add to it about 8 to 9 birds that I did not record due to unsatisfactory sightings and 2 unidentified birds) This number will change as I discover IDs of some birds in my Photo records. The list of birds is appended at the end of this report.
Bamboo Partridges - this is the only sighting of the birds that we got

Black-throated Thrush

Unidentified warbler

Fire-tailed Sunbird

Another unidentified Warbler...

Rusty-fronted Barwing (Actinodura egertoni)

Black Bulbul

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker

Rusty-capped Fulvetta (Schoeniparus dubius)

Grey-cheeked Warbler (Seicercus poliogenys)

Grey-cheeked Warbler

Flavescent Bulbul - okay the bird was in the hiding and that is the best shot I got...

Long-tailed shrike (tricolor)

Bar-throated Siva (Siva strigula)

Rusty-capped Fulvetta (Schoeniparus dubius)
Crested Finchbill (Spizixos canifrons). A beautiful bird and thousands of them all around - unfortunately not ready to sit at eye level.

Stripe-throated Yuhina (Yuhina gularis)

Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher (Ficedula stophiata) also called Orange-gorgeted Flycatcher

Mountain Hawk Eagle (juv) (Nisaetus nipalensis)

Golden-throated Barbet (Megalaima franklinii)

Another picture of the Bar-throated Siva now called Chestnut-tailed Minla (Siva strigula)

Admittedly one of my best birds during the trip - a flock of Chestnut-crowned Warbler (Seicercus castaniceps)

Orange-bellied Leafbird (f) (Chloropsis hardwickii)

Crimson-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos cathpharius) I believe that this is the subspecies Pyrrhothorax

ID being attempted

Same bird as above...

This may be Black-throated Prinia - ID being verified

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis)
Self and Mr Angulie Meyase - as we called it a day after almost 9 and half an hour birding without a single bite...

Please pardon me - this is the best I could do to mark my approximate locations.

Now some useful information if you would like to plan a trip:-

  • Nearest Airport: Dimapur, two flights daily one Indigo and one Air India.
  • Distance from Dimapur: 75 odd km takes roughly 2:30 hours.
  • Taxi charges: roughly Rs 8,000/- one way.
  • Bird guide charges:  the guides are available starting Rs 800/-, Mr Angulie charges 3,500/- per day and he is worth every penny.
  • Dovopie Inn: 2,500/- in season and roughly 2,000/- during off season. Click me to check out Dovipie Inn
  • Mr Angulie's car for the day: Rs 4,000/- he has an old Maruti that he uses.
  • Best Season to bird: As per Mr Angulie March and April - the months I intend to return...
List of Birds Recorded

Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary (KNCTS)--Parking Lot, Kohima, Nagaland, IN
Jan 8, 2017 6:18 AM - 3:46 PM
Protocol: Traveling
10.0 kilometer(s)
36 species

Mountain Bamboo-Partridge (Bambusicola fytchii)  3
Mountain Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus nipalensis)  2
Oriental Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia orientalis)  6
Great Barbet (Psilopogon virens)  10
Golden-throated Barbet (Psilopogon franklinii)  1
Crimson-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos cathpharius)  1
Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)  1
Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)  2
Hair-crested Drongo (Spangled Drongo) (Dicrurus hottentottus)  1
Yellow-bellied Fantail (Chelidorhynx hypoxantha)  1
Yellow-cheeked Tit (Machlolophus spilonotus)  3
Crested Finchbill (Spizixos canifrons)  X     Saw it commonly during the trip especially ahead of the village a little higher
Flavescent Bulbul (Pycnonotus flavescens)  2
Himalayan Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus)  25
Grey-cheeked Warbler (Seicercus poliogenys)  4
Chestnut-crowned Warbler (Seicercus castaniceps)  5
Black-throated Prinia (Prinia atrogularis)  2
Whiskered Yuhina (Yuhina flavicollis)  3
Stripe-throated Yuhina (Yuhina gularis)  4
Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus)  X     Saw many in flocks of 10 to 20
Rusty-capped Fulvetta (Schoeniparus dubius)  15
Striped Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron virgatum)  2
Grey Sibia (Heterophasia gracilis)  X
Chestnut-tailed Minla (Bar-throated Siva) (Actinodura strigula)  6
Blue Whistling-Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus)  2
Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher (Ficedula strophiata)  1
Blue-fronted Redstart (Phoenicurus frontalis)  1
White-capped Redstart (Phoenicurus leucocephalus)  1
Grey Bushchat (Saxicola ferreus)  5
Black-throated Thrush (Turdus atrogularis)  4
Orange-bellied Leafbird (Orange-bellied Chloropsis) (Chloropsis hardwickii)  1
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (Dicaeum ignipectus)  3
Fire-tailed Sunbird (Aethopyga ignicauda)  10
Gould's Sunbird (Aethopyga gouldiae)  3
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)  6
Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni)  X     Common