Thursday, 23 March 2017

Armchair birding heaven - trip to Ganeshgudi March 2017

Planning go through this blog? I suggest you get a cup of coffee and settle down...

Lifer is a term taken seriously by a birder. It means that you saw a bird that you have not seen before or let me put it this way - you are seeing the bird for the very first time. My story that I do take out time to tell every now and then - mostly without being asked for is funny and sad at the same time. I was interested in Wildlife, conservation and birds most of the life I remember. There was a time when I got some money from my aunt and me running off to buy a book on wildlife of India. It did take time - a few years before the birds moved up from spot three to top of my pastime. It was sometime in the early 1990s. I was not equipped with anything other than a book on Indian birds by Salim Ali. No binoculars, no camera as it was almost unaffordable with a lens to talk about. Even developing a camera roll after clicking 32 pictures on a roll camera was almost out of reach. It was also the time that I got commissioned in the Army. Sometime towards the mid-1990s - I starting writing my hobby as birdwatching whenever I was asked about my hobby - though I still had very little idea about how difficult the following years would be. A single reference guide and no good optics other than the army issued ones that I used when I used to go for practice camps was hardly anything to talk about. But this was the time that I decided to start maintaining a list of birds seen. The list was the pen and paper kind in a notebook. It was also a time when I was into first few years of marriage and the wife used to dictate what was useful in the house and what was not. In between one of the moves from one station to another during posting - my wife took the trunkloads of novels and books and other stuff that I owned - classified them as junk and sold them off. (for the generation of youngsters or readers abroad who do not know about this I will explain a bit. In India, we subscribe to newspapers, magazines all the time and when we have finished reading - they are neatly stacked and people we call 'Raddi-wala' comes and we sell these newspapers, magazines old notebooks, empty wine and beer bottles etc. The amount in those days may seem meagre as compared to nowadays, but it used to be a small bit of income to the lady of the house and was done religiously.) It was one such sale that took away my notebook that had my numbered and dated record of whatever birds I would have ever seen over the past few years.

Next - in 1998 I was a proud owner of a brand new computer - a windows 3.1 machine with a mouse and a monitor with a green monochrome display. It also had a hard disk of 16 Mb. I was in love with the machine and soon I was maintaining a list, initially in a notepad and then in Excel sheet. The list grew and I also had a World War II vintage binoculars that were mine and I could carry them wherever and whenever. As I got posted from one station to another the list grew and I was proud. There were mistakes with the lists, repetitions, wrong entries, incomplete description of birds seen but a list nonetheless. That list actually lasted me for a long time - moving it from one upgrade of a computer to another. Sometime in 2010, however, the hard disk crashed and those were the times I did not maintain a backup like I do now-a-days and all went down South leaving me with no list at all.

Now - after a gap of another four to five years eBird launched its services in India and it was August of 2015 - it was also the year that started maintaining the list on eBird. This is as accurate and scientific my observations could get. So I started this and vowed that firstly I will start afresh and even a bird as a lowly Crow, Rock Pigeon or a sparrow will be marked a lifer and secondly I will not enter a bird in my list till the time I have appreciated seeing it, or photographed. Of course, I am now a proud owner of a decent Nikon Monarch series 5 Binoculars and Nikon D500 camera with 200-500 lens. The list grew leaps and bounds in the first year and a half but then I was struggling for lifers. I also 'high fived' an idea with myself - that I will travel one country every year for birding. After this one and half a year - now I am struggling to bag lifers and looking for places and sightings that would add a tick on my list and this is how Goa came into the picture. It is 3 hours from Ganeshgudi - the place I wanted to visit since a fairly long time.
Asian Emerald Dove (Male)
With 28 Western Ghat Species that are endemic to that area - there was a good shot that I will get a good tick to my lifer list. The travel there was squeezed tightly in-between my cousin's marriage at home and a job deployment. Five days was all I could spare and two out of them were eaten up by the travel time. All the same - like all travel - it was fairly well planned with an open offer to Chandigarh bird club and Hyderabad bird club members to team up. Frankly, I avoid holiday travel on weekends and all those working are not very cheerful to the idea of travel on weekdays. So my reservations for travel were made and the itinerary included me - and me alone. The days were 7th March till 11th March. The details of expenditure and reservations with short notes are included in the end.

On 4th March we had our monthly Chandigarh Bird Club Meeting and I was excited and talking about my forthcoming trip for birding. Ms Jaspreet who was at the meeting introduced me to her friend, a Scot, Mr Iain and he said that he might join the trip. Next day I got a message that he was interested in the trip and to send the details - I gave him my flight details and he booked himself on those flights and we were ready to go.

We met up at the Chandigarh Airport. The first flight was to Mumbai - a stopover at Mumbai for an hour or so and then off to Goa. Both flights were thankfully uneventful and we landed at Mumbai. The Goa flight was slightly late - but not too bad. We landed at around 1700hrs. I had booked a self-driven car at Goa and the person to deliver it was waiting for us. I deposited the documents he had asked for. Paid the cash in advance (Rs 1,500/- per day, for four days and 500/- delivery of veh to Airport). Clicked photographs of the car for record sake and off to the first resort I had booked for the night. The resort was nothing out of the world but comfortable one. After we settled in the room, I took the car for a top-up and some purchase of nick-nack snacks for the trip. That done, I would have loved to sip beer on the shore of a beautiful swimming pool advertised on the internet - but it was presumably under renovation so settled to sipping beer before dinner in the bar cum dining room and a quick bite before hitting the beds. We had planned to start at 3 am in the morning.

At 2 we were up and few minutes later than the planned 3 am we hit the road. There was a wonderful chill in the air, the quiet and calm was almost an out of world experience. Best of all - though the roads were slightly narrow than I would have desired but the road conditions was very good, some speed breakers were not well marked and too steep but other than that it was a great experience. As the sun touched the skyline we were at our destination - Old Magazine House at Ganeshgudi. The place was off the main road by 500m or so and the track was graveled, not in best of condition - but not too bad either. The bird songs there were Beethoven to my ears. As the car tyres tumbled over the uneven track we spotted Orange-headed thrush hop across the track that made me slow down a bit. Our booking was from afternoon onwards and we had planned to spend the time at the birdwatching site outside the kitchen and the dining area. The light was still not good but birds were already hopping about. I took out my tripod, camera and was setting my camera as the others started joining. We had brief introductions and those who were on to the second day there were showing the pictures of the birds and discussing the probability of this bird or the other... In between I was shown the picture of a Brown Vine Snake, an uncommon sighting I believe,  crossing the track we had just taken a few minutes earlier. The excitement was extremely high and as the birds starting becoming visible the group went silent and the sound of six odd DSLRs, all makes and sizes spitting fire at 6 to 10 frames a second. I shouted in excitement as a Yellow-browed Bulbul came for a drink, the bird - already alert, flew off - and all I got were the dirty stares from the others. I had to say sorry five times before we started looking out for other birds. It was just 10 minutes when I could not help but shout with joy again as White-rumped Shama entered the scene. My sorry did not sooth anybody's nerves this time over.

The birds kept visiting the spot for a dip or a sip in the water kept there. In-between we were called for Breakfast and like expected no one moved the spot for missing out on one bird that would visit  the as we turned out back. Finally the threat of Breakfast time getting over and the grumbling stomach forced me to take the steps on to the terrace where the Breakfast was spread out. I do not recollect wether it was the hunger or something else - but the Breakfast was tasty like hell. It was approaching 1130 am soon and the morning chill was giving way to the heat. One of the birdguides there in the Jungle Lodges voluntereed to take us to the spot to show me Malabar Barbets. We, me, Mr Ian and the birdguide packed up in the car and were off to the spot. The place was just a km from there - the place called pump house. There was one fruiting tree and barbets were there like bees on a good flower. The sightings were great but no photo opportunity there due to the sun that was harsh and against the tree on which the barbets were jumping about. I was told that if we were to return to the spot in the morning we will see the Asian Fairy bird and Malabar Grey Hornbill at that spot. I was in a delima - I had planned a visit to Dandeli the next morning. Dandeli was about 22 km from Ganeshgudi. Finally the plan to visit Dandeli was shelfed because of two main reasons. Firstly, I was told that the road was under repairs and secondly I was told that the sightings of birds were not good at the moment. What I will perhaps regret is not seeing the White-bellied Woodpecker, I might not have seen it there also - but that small regret remains.
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher

White-rumped Munia 

 Red-whiskered Bulbul, Common south of Delhi - I had seen it so many times but this is the best I could ever capture

White-rumped Shama (Lifer and a target bird)

Indian Yellow Tit

Black-naped Monarch

Asian Emerald Dove (Male)

Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, only fulvetta of the central India

Lesser Yellownape

Brownzed Drongo (Lifer)

Ashy Drongo

Puff-throated Babbler

Blue-capped Rock Thrush

Blue-capped Rock Thrush

Indian Paradise Flycatcher

Malabar Starling (Blyth Starling) (Lifer and Target Bird)

Rusty-tailed Flycatcher

Little Spiderhunter

White-bellied Blue Flycatcher (Lifer)

Brown-breasted Flycatcher

Brown-cheeked Fulvetta

Flame-throated (or Ruby-throated) Bulbul (Lifer and target bird)

Black-naped Monarch

Indian Paradise Flycatcher (Male)

Yellow-browed Bulbul (Lifer and Target bird)

Malabar barbet (Lifer)

Malabar Barbet

Lesser Hill Myna (Lifer)

Lesser Hill Myna

Malabar Grey Hornbill

White-bellied Blue Flycatcher in a bath tub ;-)

Crimson-backed Sunbird (Lifer and Western Ghat Endemic)

Flame-throated Bulbul

Malabar Starling

Malabar Starling

Vernal Hanging Parrot (Lifer and Target Bird)

Orange Minivet (Female)

Crimson-backed Sunbird

Crimson-backed Sunbird

Indian Yellow Tit

Malabar Barbet

Blyth's Reed Warbler

Dark-fronted Babbler

Asian Fairy Bluebird (Lifer)

Dark-fronted Babbler

White-cheeked Barbet


I was wondering what was falling on my head when I looked up and saw this Malabar Gaint Squirrel eating and staring at me... 

Orange Minivet (Female)

Orange Minivet (Male)


Malabar Trogan (Male, Lifer and Target Bird)

Blue-capped Rock Thrush

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo with a lizard meal...

Rufous Woodpecker (Lifer)

Flame-throated Bulbul



Forest Wagtail (Lifer)

Malabar Pied Hornbill (Lifer)

In anycase we went back to the Magazine house and were back at the view point. The bird activity was fairly low as the sun was high up in the sky. The call for lunch had us all move for a bite. The lunch once again was simple but scrumptious! While my partner went inside for a short nap - I stayed on at the view point lest I miss some good bird. Alas ! there were no birds till evening. In the evening we were offered to be taken to the bridge for hornbill sightings. We were lucky to see many many Malabar Pied Hornbills. The bird activity was not too great but I was able to tick another Lifer to my list - Forest Wagtail. I did get a good sighting and some record shots but nothing extrordinary. We went back as the darkness fell and after a quick shower we were tucked up for the night and I am sure I was snoring in a minute or so.

Next day in the morning I was one of the first ones to be up and ready fort the walk. The Malabar Whistling Thrush was calling - but never came out for sighting. Soon as the sun rose others were up, ready and our guide too was ready. We walked - the first sightings were the paw prints of a leopard. The walk was very fruitful with some great sightings of Asian Blue Fairy Bird, Malabar Barbet and minivets among others. Soon we were below the same very tree that we had been pointed out yesterday and once again though the photo opportunities were still not great due to position of sun - but the birds were great. We easily spent an hour there - went back to the resort for a quick breakfast, some more waiting at the view point and Iain and self were off to Goa.

Enroute we saw some great bus stands. Bus stands? yes, I am right - the bus stands were painted beautifully and had not come across such a spectacular sight anywhere else in India. I had seen them while one our way to the Old Magazine House but since it was dark - I was undecided whether to stop or not. But now seeing them in good light - it was just impossible not to stop and click some pictures. Just to put the things in perspective - here goes some pictures.
Oh I did sight a tiger...

Mr Iain with bears and leopards... the bus stands were simply constructed but beautifully done up.

Bird watcher with birds...
Mr Nagraj nagu (pic shared by his
friend Mr Kushal of Hubli)

Mr Nagaraj Nagu, he really deserves the credits for taking time and effort to paint these up in middle of nowhere in a National park. We reached Goa by late afternoon and were ready for a laid back half a day.

Well if it is me you can expect surprises of all kinds, from all unexpected quarters. We parked the car in the resort we were booked at. The bookings were done by me online and I might have seen and overlooked the deep meaning behind two words that said - 'Couples only'. Looking at myself and Mr Iain walking in could not have created more chaos that I witnessed that time. The manager at the reception tried to politely tell me that it was a couple's only resort. Like the head strong me - I stood ground - and after half a dozen calls by the manager to his superiors, we were given a room. Within moments we were in casuals and on our way to the beach a hundred yards from the resort. The beach was full of shacks - but surprisingly clean. We walked about two/three km along the beach and as the sun was setting sat down in one of the shacks for watching the setting sun and chilled bottle of beer.
White-bellied Sea Eagle (Lifer and Target bird)

Though we were careful and started backing the boat in order not to disturb the birds - one of the eagle became uncomfortable and flew...

The second bird

Lesser Crested Tern (Lifer and Target bird)

Greater Crested Tern (Lifer and Target bird)


Had to include this too - the same bird as before Lesser Crested Tern


Greater Crested Tern

Rosy Starling

Egrets on fishing nests at the mangroves...

Brahimany Kite

Barred Buttonquail. We went to see the Yellow-legged Buttonquails but this is what we got...

I could not have wished for a better sighting or a full frame shot of Osprey than what I got...

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-capped Kingfisher (Lifer and Target bird)

Collared Kingfisher

Lesser Adjutant

Greater Sand Plover

A flock of Lesser, Greater Sand and Kentish Plovers

Sanderling (Bird in centre, Lifer)

Cormorant and Western Reef Egret

Streaked weaver, the flock was more than 50 strong

Eurasian March Harrier

Paddyfield Pipit

Common Snipe

Common Snipe

Green Sandpiper

Gull (may be Pallas's) will confirm

The plovers were scared away by one man trying to shoo them away... sad to see them go.

For the next day's birding, we had booked a boat ride in Zuari river. I had expected five lifers there, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Greater and Lesser Crested Terns, Black-capped Kingfisher and Slaty-breasted Rail. I was fortunate to log all but the Rail. The weather was turning hot inspite of the Western Disturbance that had just hit the Subcontinent. Most of the migratory birds were going back. After this, I had tied up with a bird guide - Mr Omkar. The guide was great but there were simply not any birds. The areas covered were the Morjim Beach, Carambolim lake & surrounding areas listed as (IBA) and Batim Lake. The drive between the sites was an hour at the minimum. That took care of the entire half of the last day of birding in Ganeshgudi and Goa. We reached back in the evening and decided to take early dinner and pack up for the early morning flight back home. The car was returned, cab booked for the next day and a light dinner was what the doctor ordered.

Next day the flight was at 6 am and we left the resort at 4 am sharp. We were surprised to reach the airport and see the snaking line of tourists on their way out from Goa.
When I said snaking lines - I meant it... and this is just the entrance at 4 am...
There was a flight change at Hyderabad and both the flights were luckily uneventful... Well, I got home 20 lifers and many misses. With this the score inches to 896 birds over three countries. Well that is it, till my next visit to some fairy world of birds.

Details of Stay, Reviews and Expenses and helpful tips for those planning the visit.


Air travel...
1. First things first - I had booked in advance - meaning more than two months and enjoyed a return ticket Chandigarh - Mumbai - Goa, Goa - Hyderabad - Chandigarh for ₹ 11,000/- only. Since Mr Iain joined me later - his tickets were bought just two days before the trip and cost more that twice as much. No other advise than to book in advance. The tickets could range for 3,500/- to 12,000/-


2. I had booked a car (self-driven) through a friend of mine. My requirements were a hatchback with an engine and tyres that would not let us down. First thing after reaching Mumbai I gave our ETA to the gentleman delivering us the car. He was waiting at the airport as we landed and got the car. The rental was 1,500/- per day and paid for 4 days in advance (totalling Rs 6,000/- plus Rs 500/- to deliver the car at the Airport).
Our ride at Goa
The car was petrol and in fairly good condition. I would have normally given the contact for the person for information but learned after our stay in Goa that cars are very easily available. You might have to keep your Aadhaar card, passport etc as security. Please do haggle for the rates. The car in this category could cost about-about Rs 1,200/- to 1,500/- per day. You can call up the resort or the hotel where you are staying and ask for a scooter, motorcycle or car - all are available. Do give your details if you intend visiting outside Goa as the vehicles have gps tracking and the car can be remotely disabled.




video ... the road to OMG...
3. I was lucky in a sense that even though I booked the resort for a very short night halt sitting at Mumbai Airport - I got it at a very good price. The point was that we would have reached late evening and had intended to start very early morning - 0300 am so it would have been just a sleep halt. The resort was Kesarval Garden Retreat and the night cost us Rs 1,674/- plus an additional cost of dinner (incl beer) for two of us for 1,850/- or so. The resort had a great picture of a swimming pool and I was already imagining ourselves sipping beer on the pool side - unfortunately, the pool was under repairs so that was that. The stay was comfortable. The room was neat clean and so were the bathrooms. We had asked for separate beds and that was done by the bell boy by pulling out the joined beds to two. The food was not extraordinary but fairly good though I would not rate it too high.


4. After checking in I took the car for topping up with gas (petrol) as we intended starting very early and to buy some knick-knacks for the route. The top up costed Rs 1,850/- and the snacks cost Rs 390/-
Route to OMG


5. Our stay in Ganeshgudi was in the Old Magazine House. When I was looking for options to book the rooms online some months back the rooms were undergoing renovation so only the Dormitory was available. When I finally booked I did not explore the option of rooms and straight out booked dormitory. When I contacted on the phone for the reservations I was told that rooms too are available. The rooms cost about Rs 3,000/- per person per day and dormitory Rs 1,612/- per person per day. I was told that rooms too were available and can be upgraded after reaching. After reaching however the dormitory turned out to be a pleasant surprise with Neat clean bunk beds, clean toilets - so much so that we decided to stay in dormitory only. The cost included all three meals of the day. Before I move on I will express my vote of thanks for a very pleasant stay, a great and helpful staff, bird guides and simple but great food. The experience was outstanding. The bookings are online and the link to the site is http://www.junglelodges.com/old-magazine-house/

Picture of the resort clicked by me
6. We moved to Goa next afternoon and we were booked in Terra Paraiso Beach Resort.  Again I got the bookings through MakeMyTrip at a very reasonable price. Room for two nights cost Rs 9,505/- The bookings were for couples only and required some convincing to let both of us in - other than that was that once again the online images appeared to be an open resort with good spaces - it turned out that they did not have any parking available and the vehicles were parked on the street itself and to juggle around other vehicles passing in and out - the keys were kept at the reception. My bookings were without the breakfast and the meals.

We hardly had any meal there in those two days. The Rooms were good, ambience good, bathrooms good, meals okay okay - nothing to talk home about. All in all one can surely stay at these resorts if you do not mind the food part. The cost of one Lunch and a dinner was Rs 1,710/-.



Selfie-officially part of our Culture

Just another boat

Awaiting sunset...

Ah the magical moment...

The place...
...and the beer....

7. The first evening we went for a walk on the back and had a great experience of finally sipping beer on the beach in one of the Seaside Shacks. The snacks to go along the beer were not worth mentioning - but that sunset and the beer was worth every penny and moment spent there. This was the first time I got an idea as to what is so great with Goa that everyone gets drawn to that place.


8. The point for us to reach was the Cortalim Ferry point on River Zuari at 0745 hrs. I did a quick search for the point in google and marked the spot for use the next day. The google marked the point rightly but the road to arrive at the point was not correct.

video
video
9. The boat ride cost us 1,200/- per person. We two were the only passengers and Mr Frankie first took us down west towards the sea for the point where the expectation of the White-bellied Sea Eagles was there. Though not an uncommon bird in it's huge range -still it was my target species and lifer and when I saw two of them sitting in the far distance - I was jumping with joy (okay - I did not really jump on the boat - take it metamorphically). Mr Frankie was the boatman with one Mr Kamat. He has been spoken very highly on the various forums. Mr Kamat is no more and Mr Frankie took his place and conducts the boat rides. I would like to put on record that in his own way Mr Frankie did a great job and only two of the species targeted by me here were missed. I had some great sightings of The White-bellied Sea Eagle, Osprey, Lesser and Greater Crested Terns among others. The detailed list is given at the end.


10. The ferry took roughly 3 hours and as we came back to Cortalim Ferry point the next appointment was with Mr Omkar. I was given to understand that he was one of the best birders in Goa. He had planned out a circuit for us for the rest of the day. His charges are Rs 2,000/- for half a day and 3,000/- for full day. He took us to first to Morjim Beach, the target were the waders and Yellow-legged Buttonquails. Though we could not find the Yellow-legged Buttonquails - I did manage to photograph the Barred Buttonquail in the open. The waders more or less had gone back from the Indian Subcontinent but still I could log a single Sanderling in a flock of Lesser and Greater Sand Plovers. We the moved to Carambolim Lake area (IBA). The target species there too seemed to have given us a miss. Next we gave a quick visit to Batim Lake. We had huge flocks of ducks and birds there - but nothing that I had not seen before. I was not very happy - but not for lack of effort by Mr Omkar or self - it was just that the migratory birds expected here had flown back.

11. We dropped Mr Omkar on one of the Bus stands en-route to our Resort, reached back, sipped the untouched bottle of Single malt I had been carrying so far, had a very healthy discussion on a lot of subjects other than birding too and slept. I would recommend Mr Omkar as a birding guide in Goa.

12. Early Next day at 0400 we were ready to check out. The cab (Booked previous night) cost us Rs 1,500/- for drop to the airport. We checked in and I was already dreaming of the wonderful trip as I dropped dead asleep on our way back.


Okay as a summary we spent Rs 34,000/- roughly on the entire stay visit and misc other than the air fare. That is 17,000/- per head and I was absolutely thrilled at the entire circuit.







List of Birds seen...

Old Magazine House, Ganeshgudi, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka, IN
Mar 8, 2017 7:17 AM - 3:21 PM
Protocol: Stationary
39 species

Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)  1
Asian Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica)  1
Malabar Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros griseus)  1
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)  4
Malabar Barbet (Crimson-throated Barbet) (Psilopogon malabaricus)  4
White-cheeked Barbet (Small Green Barbet) (Psilopogon viridis)  1
Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus)  1
Black-rumped Flameback (Lesser Goldenbacked Woodpecker) (Dinopium benghalense)  1
Rufous Woodpecker (Micropternus brachyurus)  2
Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala)  4
Malabar Parakeet (Blue-winged Parakeet) (Psittacula columboides)  2
Malabar Woodshrike (Tephrodornis sylvicola)  3
Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)  1
Orange Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus)  1
Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)  1
Bronzed Drongo (Dicrurus aeneus)  1
Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea)  4
Indian Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)  1
Indian Tit (Indian Yellow Tit) (Machlolophus aplonotus)  3
Flame-throated Bulbul (Ruby-throated Bulbul) (Pycnonotus gularis)  1
Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)  10
Yellow-browed Bulbul (Iole indica)  2
Blyth's Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum)  3
Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus)  4
Puff-throated Babbler (Pellorneum ruficeps)  4
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta (Alcippe poioicephala)  2
Brown-breasted Flycatcher (Muscicapa muttui)  1
Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis)  1
White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus)  1
White-bellied Blue-Flycatcher (Cyornis pallipes)  1
Tickell's Blue-Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae)  1
Rusty-tailed Flycatcher (Ficedula ruficauda)  1
Blue-capped Rock-Thrush (Monticola cinclorhynchus)  1
Orange-headed Thrush (Geokichla citrina)  2
Southern Hill Myna (Gracula indica)  3
Malabar Starling (Blyth’s Starling) (Sturnia blythii)  4
Crimson-backed Sunbird (Small Sunbird) (Leptocoma minima)  1
Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra)  1
White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata)  5

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35038806

IN-Karnataka-Kali Nadi - 15.2751x74.5389 - 08-Mar-2017, 17:13, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka, IN
Mar 8, 2017 5:13 PM - 5:57 PM
Protocol: Stationary
8 species

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)  2
Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)  2
Malabar Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros griseus)  2
Malabar Pied-Hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus)  2
Orange Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus)  2
Indian Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)  1
Dark-fronted Babbler (Rhopocichla atriceps)  4
Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus)  1

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35039532

Old Magazine House, Ganeshgudi, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka, IN
Mar 9, 2017 7:20 AM - 9:00 AM
Protocol: Stationary
35 species

Grey Junglefowl (Gallus sonneratii)  2
Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malaiensis)  1
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)  2
White-rumped Needletail (White-rumped Spinetail) (Zoonavena sylvatica)  10
Malabar Trogon (Harpactes fasciatus)  1
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)  5
Malabar Barbet (Crimson-throated Barbet) (Psilopogon malabaricus)  10
White-cheeked Barbet (Small Green Barbet) (Psilopogon viridis)  2
Rufous Woodpecker (Micropternus brachyurus)  2
Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala)  1
Vernal Hanging-Parrot (Indian Lorikeet) (Loriculus vernalis)  2
Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura)  1
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus picatus)  2
Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)  1
Orange Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus)  12
Black-headed Cuckooshrike (Lalage melanoptera)  2
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)  1
Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)  2
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)  2
Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos)  2
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  X     Many
Flame-throated Bulbul (Ruby-throated Bulbul) (Pycnonotus gularis)  3
Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)  1
Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)  2
Yellow-browed Bulbul (Iole indica)  7
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta (Alcippe poioicephala)  2
Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella)  2
Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis)  1
White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus)  1
White-bellied Blue-Flycatcher (Cyornis pallipes)  1
Blue-capped Rock-Thrush (Monticola cinclorhynchus)  1
Indian Blackbird (Turdus simillimus)  1
Southern Hill Myna (Gracula indica)  9
Malabar Starling (Blyth’s Starling) (Sturnia blythii)  4
Crimson-backed Sunbird (Small Sunbird) (Leptocoma minima)  6

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35078663

Zuari River, South Goa, Goa, IN
Mar 10, 2017 7:50 AM - 10:02 AM
Protocol: Traveling
5.0 kilometer(s)
Comments:     Boat ride with Frankie
27 species

Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus)  1
Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger)  5
Oriental Darter (Anhinga melanogaster)  2
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)  2
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  30
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)  11
Indian Pond-Heron (Ardeola grayii)  6
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)  4
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)  1
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)  5
White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)  2
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)  12
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)  1
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)  2
Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii)  10
Lesser Crested Tern (Thalasseus bengalensis)  1
Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)  1
Common Kingfisher (Small Blue Kingfisher) (Alcedo atthis)  2
Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)  2
White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)  1
Black-capped Kingfisher (Halcyon pileata)  1
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)  1
Indian Golden Oriole (Oriolus kundoo)  1
House Crow (Corvus splendens)  10
Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii)  6
Rosy Starling (Pastor roseus)  10
Purple-rumped Sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica)  2

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35078659

Morjim Beach, North Goa, Goa, IN
Mar 10, 2017 12:00 PM - 1:46 PM
Protocol: Stationary
17 species

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)  9
Lesser Sand-Plover (Charadrius mongolus)  30
Greater Sand-Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii)  6
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)  15
Sanderling (Calidris alba)  1
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)  4
Brown-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus)  2
Pallas's Gull (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus)  6
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Heuglin's) (Larus fuscus heuglini)  2
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)  8
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)  2
Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)  1
Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)  4
Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)  2
Common/Stejneger's Stonechat (Siberian/Stejneger's Stonechat) (Saxicola maurus)  1
Rosy Starling (Pastor roseus)  12
Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)  2

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35079810

Carambolim Lake & Surroundings (IBA), North Goa, Goa, IN
Mar 10, 2017 3:38 PM - 4:57 PM
Protocol: Stationary
28 species

Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger)  1
Oriental Darter (Anhinga melanogaster)  1
Western Reef-Heron (Western Reef-Egret) (Egretta gularis)  1
Indian Pond-Heron (Ardeola grayii)  8
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)  2
White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)  1
Grey-headed Swamphen (Purple Swamphen) (Porphyrio poliocephalus)  9
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)  10
Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)  10
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)  3
Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii)  2
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)  4
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)  6
Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis)  1
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)  3
Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)  4
Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)  2
White-cheeked Barbet (Small Green Barbet) (Psilopogon viridis)  X     Heard
Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)  1
House Crow (Corvus splendens)  18
Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica)  2
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)  3
Common/Stejneger's Stonechat (Siberian/Stejneger's Stonechat) (Saxicola maurus)  2
Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus)  2
Purple-rumped Sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica)  2
Western Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)  1
Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)  2
Streaked Weaver (Ploceus manyar)  50     Photo 

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35080329

Batim Lake, North Goa, Goa, IN
Mar 10, 2017 5:24 PM - 5:43 PM
Protocol: Stationary
14 species

Lesser Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna javanica)  2     More than 100
Cotton Pygmy-Goose (Cotton Teal) (Nettapus coromandelianus)  2
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  8
Garganey (Anas querquedula)  X     More than 50 visible
Green-winged Teal (Common Teal) (Anas crecca)  4
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)  1
Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia)  7
Indian Pond-Heron (Ardeola grayii)  7
Eurasian Marsh-Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)  2
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)  1
Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus)  11     Counted
Bronze-winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus)  2
Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)  2
Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)  13


View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35080601

4 comments:

Dr Arun kapoor said...

A very informative nice blog..the amazing no. of birds seen & identified..Sir what is your favorite tool to recognize and confirm the bird species..congrats and thanks

S S Cheema said...

Thank you Dr Arun. I use a multitude of tools for birding and identification. Firstly, I use eBird to see the past records of birds seen at the given place. Second is a lot of reading, have a fine collection of books and subscription to HBW live. Lastly whenever possible a good bird guide.
There are many problem areas like warblers, pipits and many a times raptors too. In those conditions - the online tools help immensely...

Newton Khaira said...

Wow...very well written and very informative.
Newton Khaira

bhanu durga said...

Thanks to your blog...You provide nice information.
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