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A Report from

Goa, India: December 20 -30 , 2003,

Gary and Marlene Babic


On December 20 - 30, we flew from Bangkok to Goa via Mumbai for birding. Unless coming in on a charter flight from the UK, most flights to Goa go via Mumbai (Bombay) or Delhi. Currently there are three airlines flying these routes - Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, and Sahara Air. The last two are recent entrants into the market and tend to provide better service and have newer planes than Indian Airlines. Another airline, Deccan Air, is set to start service in early 2004 but I think they will fly turboprops instead of jets. The flights from Mumbai to Goa take an hour, and depart almost hourly from 6AM to 3PM.

Because of India's position between the major Eastern and Western time zones, most international flights arrive in India in the late evening, making a connection to Goa impossible without an overnight stop. We stayed at a very nice airport hotel, Crown Meridien, for US$ 80, for four hours' sleep. There are several very nice airport hotels around the Mumbai airport, and one advantage of staying there for even a brief rest is they will pick you up at the international airport and bring you to the domestic airport.  There are not many alternatives unless you like to sleep on the floor of the airport. There are different international and domestic terminals in Mumbai, but I am not sure about in Delhi. This further complicates logistics as it may not be possible to check bags from departure all the way through to Goa on the local airlines. 

Because the incoming flights arrive at the same time, be prepared for chaos and long waits at Indian immigration. The same is true for outbound international flights which all leave around midnight - it is necessary to arrive at least two hours' ahead - and earlier is better - to check in and clear Immigration. It took us over an hour to get through the Immigration lines.

If you are making an overnight stop in either Mumbai or Delhi, it is critical to pre-arrange airport pick-up from the hotel. Under no circumstances accept a ride from one of the touts offering taxi service. There are many well-founded stories about travelers using these "taxis" and getting into serious trouble.

At one time India had a 500 rupee per person airport departure tax, but this is now included in the cost of most tickets (there is no departure tax for internal flights). However, please check so that you do not end up short on rupees at the airport. It is technically illegal to take Indian currency out of India, but it can be exchanged at the airport.

If you have never been to India before, it can be an assault on your senses. You immediately are aware that this is a country with over a billion people. Take precautions to ensure that you and your valuables are not separated - there are pickpockets everywhere. In cities, expect to encounter beggars, many of whom are disfigured and/or children; it seems callous to ignore them, but Indian friends tell me that most of these people are parts of gangs. 

I also want to warn first-time visitors that India is a dirty country. There is trash everywhere. Much of the countryside is considered to be one big public toilet, and on two occasions while birding we encountered men defecating in fields. Hardly pristine birding conditions. Most of the roads outside major cities are dirt, and everything is coated with a layer of dust. That is simply India. Goa is certainly better than most other places in India.      


We took the first flight from Mumbai to Goa, arriving at 6:45AM and were promptly picked up by Pramod of Backwoods.  Backwoods is a camp in eastern Goa, at the foot of the Western Ghats (mountains). It is an excellent base for a few days' birding. We stayed four days / three nights, which was probably one day too long as we did not see any new birds on the last day. Backwoods is run by Loven, Leio, and Pramod, who are also the birding guides. Apparently they alternate who is "on-duty" at the lodge.

Most birding groups arrive on a Saturday or a Tuesday for a three-day, two-night visit. The other nights Backwoods hosts other groups interested in culture / nature. Because we made our own arrangements, we arrived on a Sunday. This was a bit of a problem, because there were already 12 birders at the camp. We were assured that the birding groups would not be more than 12, and suddenly we were part of a group of 14 for two days. This made finding skulking birds during forest bird walks impossible. This was probably our biggest disappointment at Backwoods. Later, after the large group left and a group of four arrived, we had a much better experience.

There are two types of lodging at Backwoods - tents and bungalows. Each has two beds. The tents are nice and clean, with an attached toilet area. However, they are not at African safari-level. No hot water is delivered for showers, and unless you ask for extra blankets it can be cold in the evenings (it was approx 15 C at night). No amenities are provided - bring your own soap and shampoo, although towels are available upon request. The concrete-walled bungalows were of similar layout, and had an attached front porch with a bench, and were set in the wooded areas. But they seemed to be a bit colder as well. The main advantage of the bungalows is that they are farther from the main meeting areas, so the birding is quite good from the front porch. None of the bungalows are fully-enclosed, and we heard complaints about strong drafts, and animals such as frogs getting in. One day, a snake dropped from a tree into one of the toilets, thoroughly frightening both the snake and the woman who was using the toilet at the time.       

The food at Backwoods was very good, and they have a very good bar. Breakfast alternated between Western-style (eggs, toast) and Indian style. Lunch was vegetarian. Supper usually featured chicken. The meals are included in the cost of the lodging.

The routine was coffee/tea and biscuits at dawn, then a walk until approximately 9:30AM, when breakfast was served. Many people brought along snacks to tide them over until breakfast. There was another walk after breakfast until about 1:30PM, when lunch was served. Between lunch at 3:30PM was break time, but most people still tried a bit of birding. The final walk of the day started about 4PM until dusk, except for one day we stayed out after dusk for spotlighting. Supper was normally at 7:30PM. Not every "walk" was a walk around the Backwoods area, several were drives to local sites within an hour from the camp.   

When we were trying to arrange our lodging directly with Backwoods, we had a lot of trouble reaching them. Each of the partners has a mobile phone, but there is no coverage at Backwoods so you can only reach them when they are in town. Furthermore, in mid-2003, the phone numbers were slightly changed for Goa: a "2" was added to the beginning of all six-digit land-line numbers, e.g., so that 123-456 became 2123-456. Until I figured this out, I could not understand why I could not reach anyone in Goa !

Contact information for Backwoods:

Mobile phones:
Loven: (91) 9822144939
Leio:    (91) 9822139859
Pramod: (91) 9822387434
Fax: (91) 832 2224904
Office: (91) 832 2436109

Our rate was 11,000 rupees for two persons, three nights, including transport from the airport and to Baga, which is approximately two hours' away. As this was holiday season, I do not know if that was higher than normal. When I reached the office number, the person there simply referred me to the mobile numbers which did not go through. I finally found that fax was the most reliable approach; e-mail was OK once someone was in the office to reply.

Beira Mar

We were transferred from Backwoods to Beira Mar Hotel in Baga. This is a tourist area on the beach in north Goa. The beach is nice here, but very crowded: wall-to-wall beach chairs, five or six deep. None of the Baga hotels is actually on the beach. The beach is across the road and a few hundred meters away. This area is packed with restaurants and shops. The birders we met were staying at the Beira Mar or the Ronil Beach Resort, which is almost next door to the Beira Mar. We did not see any of the rooms at the Ronil, but the hotel seemed nicer than the Beira Mar, with a nicer pool area. I have to admit my initial impression of the Beira Mar was not favorable. The Beira Mar is very basic, rated by most as 2-star. However, the staff was very helpful and friendly. I recommend asking for a room in the new wing, with an upper-level balcony facing the back (where the fields are).

The hotel itself had a passable restaurant but few amenities. Each room did have a refrigerator, which was great. There are air-conditioned rooms, but we heard these were very noisy. Our room had fans and they were fine. Despite being only a two-star hotel, the Beira Mar has several advantages:

1)      The rooms themselves were fine and cleaned daily. There was almost no hot water for the shower, but the beds were comfortable.

2)      The pool at the Beira Mar is THE place for the birders to congregate. This is because just behind the elevated pool area is a reedy area that can be easily observed from the pool. This area held wonderful birds - crakes, rails, bitterns and painted-snipe. It was possible to watch these birds while holding a cold Kingfisher Beer and exchanging notes about birding. This is especially useful for finding out what birds are being seen where, which taxi drivers know the spots, etc.

3)      Because many birders stay at the Beira Mar or the adjacent Ronil Beach Resort, most of the taxi drivers who cater to the birders also hang around the main entrance to the hotel by the road (more about this below).

4)      Two prime birding sites of Baga - Baga Hill and the paddyfields behind the Beira Mar - are easy walking distance (same is true for staying at the Ronil).

For these reasons, we recommend staying at the Beira Mar, or at the Ronil Beach Resort.

We paid 2000 rupees / night for two persons, which I understand is double the normal rate because it was holiday season. This was still only US$ 45 / night. 

Beira Mar Hotel, Baga: e-mail:
Tel: 91-832-2276246

Ronil Beach Resort, Baga:
Tel: 91-832-2276183
Fax: 91-832-2276068

Taxi Drivers / Guides

The taxis here are actually small vans and quite comfortable, and most are in good condition. If you leave the Beira Mar with binoculars around your neck, every taxi driver will say he is a bird guide. It is true that most taxi drivers will know the main birding sites; some will know specific places where birds are found, but we only found one who actually was a birding guide who knew the birds. His name is Abhi Naik. He charged a bit more than the other taxi drivers, but he could locate and identify the birds, and recommend places to go to see specific birds. If at all possible, try to pre-arrange Abhi because everyone knows he is the best and he is often booked.

Abhi Naik: Mobile number: (91) 9822137098  
Residence: (91) 9822150272

We were referred to Abhi while walking to Baga Hill, when we were approached by "Greenman", a driver who is a friend of Abhi. Greenman is a nice fellow, who knows some birds, but simply is not in the same league as Abhi. Others used a driver named Bruno. All of the taxi drivers we used were very professional and reliable. The fares are all negotiated beforehand, and depend on the total time and the length driven. Typical fares were:

Beira Mar to Baga Hill: 50 rupees one-way
Beira Mar to Morjim Beach, stay for four hours, return: 600-700 rupees
Beira Mar to Maem Lake, total of six hours, 1000 rupees        

Birding Locations (see map 108kb pdf)

We spent our time in two main birding areas: the Backwoods camp and short trips around it, and Baga at the Beira Mar Hotel and short trips from there.


The Backwoods Camp is on the edge of an open forest, making for relatively easy forest birding. There were two or three main trails we took, several times each, through the forest. We also went on these trails ourselves during break times, though I do not think this is encouraged due to the chance of getting lost. However, armed with a few notes and a sense of direction, this is not likely. The trails provided excellent views of many common forest birds such as flycatchers, leafbirds, etc. "Special" birds seen here included Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Crimson-fronted Barbet (often seen in bare trees along the river), Brown-breasted Flycatcher and Malabar Whistling Thrush (both near small streams), Malabar Parakeet (usually flight views), Gray-headed Bulbuls (located by their "chink" call), White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, White-bellied Woodpecker, and Dark-fronted Babblers. 

Some of these birds could also be seen in the camp itself. Yellow-browed Bulbul and Crimson-backed Sunbirds were common.

We made four trips to the nearby Temple site. This is apparently a known site for Blue-eared Kingfisher, which we did not see (but the next group did). However, be careful walking along the rocky riverbed; my wife narrowly escaped serious injury when she slipped. Ironically, one of the best birds we saw here was a Black-backed (Oriental Dwarf) Kingfisher as we waited while Pramod went ahead to look for the Blue-eared Kingfisher. The Temple site is adjacent to the forest near Backwoods, so most birds were similar.

The only key bird we did not see in this general area was Malabar Trogon, which was not calling or responding. I believe one of the reasons we went back to the Temple so often is that it is a known site for the Trogon. However, we ended up spending a lot of time there with few birds not seen elsewhere.  One evening, we stayed here until dusk and Pramod spotlighted a Brown Hawk-Owl plus some nightjars, including two distant Jerdon's Nightjars. Later groups did see the Trogon.  

This same evening we returned to the camp to try to locate a Ceylon Frogmouth. In the past, they had been easily seen. However, recent groups of noisy hikers had disrupted the roost, and the birds had dispersed. It was therefore with a lot of patience and skill that Pramod and others were able to track down a single perched bird that responded to the tape. We all got passable views.

Walking around outside the Backwoods area, especially in a small group, was surprisingly productive. While on such walks we located three separate Indian Pittas scratching among the leaves, Leio flushed a Malabar Whistling-Thrush for great views, and we also saw flocks at Malabar Gray and Malabar Pied Hornbills at a nearby fruiting tree at dawn. 

Other side trips included a visit to a patch of open scrub woodland, a mid-day stop at a field to watch for raptors, and a stop at a bridge overlook (Tawny-bellied Babbler).

In summary, assuming good weather, three days at Backwoods will provide an excellent mix of the typical forest birds and a good chance at all the specialties.

Baga Area.

The best, and easiest, birding in Baga must be from the pool deck of the Beira Mar Hotel. Starting at about 5PM, birders arrive with scopes to watch a small patch of nearby reeds for waders. This is also a great time to exchange hot tips and advice over a cold drink. There was an amazing variety of waders in this small reedy area. In four days, in the hour from 5:30 to 6:30PM, we saw: Cinnamon Bittern, Slaty-breasted Rail, Spotted Crake, Baillon's Crake, Ruddy-breasted Crake, and Greater Painted-Snipe. What is more amazing is that we had views of ten+ seconds of each bird, often much longer, as they poked around the edges of the reeds and sometimes came well out into full view. The paddyfields behind the hotel also hold a variety of pipits, raptors, egrets, etc., including Pallid Harrier, Tawny Pipit and Malabar Lark.

A 20-minute walk, or a 50-rupee taxi, takes you to Baga Hill, which can be seen from the Beira Mar Hotel. When walking to Baga Hill from Beira Mar, take the dirt path on the right 50 meters past the Hotel Cavala, which goes through some paddyfields and to the large, boxy, concrete bridge over the Baga River. This hill has a small but productive secondary forest. Most birds can be seen by walking along one of the roads up the hill or taking a trail between the roads. We saw two Red Spurfowl (one at 5PM flushed alongside the road after hearing loud rustling, another at 9:30AM which also flushed and then briefly perched on a low branch - therefore, an early morning start is not absolutely necessary to see these birds). However, there are also many Indian Peafowl in this area so the rustling may not be a spurfowl. Pale-billed Flowerpecker was seen near the base of the hill, Black-throated Munia near the top, and others such as Purple-rumped Sunbird, Long-billed (Loten's) Sunbird, White-browed Bulbul and White-cheeked Barbet at various places on the hill.  

A forest area slightly farther away is known as Baga East. It is adjacent to the Club Cabana, which every cab driver knows. The forest here is similar to Baga Hill, but is larger. There was a large White-bellied Sea Eagle nest here. One bird we saw here that we had not seen at Baga Hill was Black-headed Cuckoo-shrike. Blue-faced Malkoha has been reported from Baga East, and Rusty-tailed Flycatcher from Baga Hill. I would recommend spending time at both Baga Hill and Baga East. These two locations will provide essentially all of the lowland forest birds.   

Dona Paula

One specialty of Goa is Yellow-wattled Lapwing, which favors dry / rocky terrain. We hired Abhi to take us to Dona Paula, a known site. The site hardly looked inviting - rocky, surrounded by buildings and trash, but it worked. The key is to arrive early: we saw at least eight Yellow-wattled Lapwings, but by 8AM they had dispersed. Other birds in this barren area included Malabar Lark, Hoopoes, White-browed Bulbul, Oriental Skylark, and Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark.

Saligao Zor

Also not far from Baga is Saligao Zor (Zor = spring). This is a known stake-out for Brown Wood-Owl, which we did see behind the well area. However, a nearby site known to Abhi is also a stake-out for Brown Fish-Owl. Unfortunately, local workers were clearing brush from beneath the normal roosting trees in preparation for cashew-nut collection in March. Although we arrived at dawn, the workers had a camp fire going and were already hacking away. This obviously disrupted the bird; we may have seen a glimpse as it flew away, but not enough for a positive identification.  We had an excellent look at a Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon here, plus some fly-by Black-throated Fantails we never relocated. Although all the taxi drivers know where Saligao Zor is, Abhi also knows the site for the Brown Fish-Owl.

Maem Lake / Charao Island

The trip to Maem Lake takes about 1.5 hours, and winds through some small towns to give a real flavor of Indian life. Maem Lake is a semi-resort lake, but for birders it is known as a stake-out for Brown Fish-Owl. However, just as at Saligao Zor, workers were hard at work clearing brush near the roosting site and no owls were seen.  The trail along the lake did provide excellent views of Syke's Warbler, White-bellied Drongo, and Gray-headed Bulbul. 

The drive back from Maem Lake requires a ferry crossing near Charao Island, which can be good for waders at the correct tide. We were there at high tide, but did not see anything that would not be seen at any mud bank wader site. I suggest it is worth a stop as it is en route, but not as a special trip.   

Morjim Beach

This beach is only about 10 km north of Goa, but it takes 45 minutes to reach because there is no direct road. The beach itself is very nice, and not at all crowded compared to the Baga beaches. So a trip here makes for good beach time as well as good birding. The recommended approach is to hire a taxi for the entire time you plan to stay - typical rates from Baga were 600 to 700 rupees, depending on the time spent at the beach. It is also important to know the tides. At or near high tide, there is a roost of gulls and terns at the southern tip of the beach, at the mouth of the river. Before high tide, the birds roost on one of the sand bars in the middle of the river, distant even with a scope. But they gradually come to shore for close-up viewing at the highest tide. The main problem is that people walking along the beach can disturb the birds and they can take a while to come back. We found this to be a problem only on the weekend. Plovers are along this stretch of beach at most times, and we located a Caspian Plover among them (assisted by a tip gleaned at the Beira Mar pool). There was also a flock of Small Pratincole here one day. Among the trees at the entrance to the beach, we saw our only flock of Brahminy Starlings.  

At the other end of the beach, approximately one kilometer north, is a rocky promontory, where we saw a Western Reef-Heron, again at high tide. There were also many plovers on these rocks.


Goa is a popular birding destination, and there are many trip reports available. In this report, I have tried to add some updated information. Other reports include:

Many thanks to the fellow birders we met in Goa who provided a lot of useful information that helped us locate some key birds; special thanks to our new friends from the UK, Marc and Anne.

Bird List ("Special" birds seen in Goa in bold)

1)      Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger); many in fields and rivers around Baga

2)      Little Egret (Egretta garzetta); many behind Beira Mar

3)      Western Reef-Heron (Egretta gularis); one on rocks at north end of Morjim Beach

4)      Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea); several behind Beira Mar

5)      Great Egret (Ardea alba); several behind Beira Mar

6)      Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis); common everywhere

7)      Indian Pond-Heron (Ardeola grayii); many behind Beira Mar

8)      Striated Heron (Butorides striatus); one on beach at mouth of Baga River

9)      Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax); two on Baga River

10)  Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus); one behind Beira Mar

11)  Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus); one over Backwoods

12)  Black Kite (Milvus migrans); common everywhere

13)  Brahminy Kite (Haliastur Indus); common behind Beira Mar

14)  White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaetus leucogaster); nesting at Baga East, common

15)  Crested Serpent-Eagle (Spilornis cheela); several at various sites

16)  Eastern Marsh-Harrier (Circus spilonotus); one behind Beira Mar

17)  Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus); one behind Beira Mar

18)  Besra (Accipter virgatus); several at Backwoods

19)  Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipter nisus); one over Backwoods

20)  Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malayensis); one over Backwoods

21)  Rufous-bellied Eagle (Hieraaetus kienerii); two over Backwoods

22)  Changeable Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus); two at Saligao Zor

23)  Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus); several around Backwoods and Beira Mar

24)  Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus); one over Baga Hill

25)  Red Spurfowl (Galloperdix spacidea); two seen at Baga Hill, one at 9:30AM and another at 5PM on main trail

26)  Gray Junglefowl (Gallus sonneratii), two at Backwoods

27)  Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus), common on Baga Hill, also in grassy fields

28)  Slaty-breasted Rail (Gallirallus striatus), one behind Beira Mar

29)  White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus), many behind Beira Mar

30)  Baillon's Crake (Porzana pusilla), one behind Beira Mar

31)  Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana), one behind Beira Mar

32)  Ruddy-breasted Crake (Porzana fusca), two behind Beira mar

33)  Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), several in marshy areas

34)  Greater Painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis), one male behind Beira Mar

35)  Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura), several behind Beira Mar

36)  Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), several on various sandbars

37)  Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata), two at Chorao Island

38)  Common redshank (Tringa tetanus), several at Charao Island

39)  Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis), common behind Beira Mar

40)  Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus), a few behind Beira Mar

41)  Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola), a few behind Beira Mar

42)  Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), common in wet fields

43)  Little Stint (Calidris minuta), several at Charao Island

44)  Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii), several at Charao Island

45)  Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea), several at Charao Island

46)  Small Pratincole (Glareola lacteal), ten+ on the southern end of Morjim Beach

47)  Pacific Golden-Plover (Pluvialis fulva), a few at Beira Mar

48)  Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius), several at Morjim Beach

49)  Mongolian Plover (Charadrius mongolus) , several at Morjim Beach

50)  Caspian Plover (Charadrius asiaticus), one male at the south end of Morjim Beach in a mixed flock of plovers

51)  Yellow-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus malabaricus), eight at Dona Paula

52)  Red-wattled lapwing (Vanellus indicus), common in fields

53)  Yellow-legged Gull (Larus cochinnans), several at roost at south end of Morjim Beach - only at high tide

54)  Great Black-headed Gull (Larus ichthyaetus), same location as Yellow-legged Gull

55)  Brown-headed Gull (Larus brunnicephalus), same location as Yellow-legged gull

56)  Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus), same location as Yellow-legged gull

57)  Great Crested-tern (Sterna bergii), same location as Yellow-legged gull

58)  Lesser Crested-tern (Sterna bengalensis), same location as Yellow-legged gull

59)  Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis), same location as Yellow-legged Gull

60)  Rock Dove (Columba livia), common urban

61)  Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon (Columba elphinstonii), one at Backwoods, one at Saligao Zor

62)  Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis), common

63)  Pompadour Green-Pigeon (Treron pompadora), several near Backwoods, Maem Lake

64)  Mountain Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula badia), several flying over Backwoods

65)  Vernal Hanging-Parrot (Loriculus vernalis), several at Temple site near Backwoods

66)  Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula kramerii), pair at Baga Hill

67)  Malabar Parakeet (Psittacula columboides), several near Backwoods

68)  Common Hawk-Cuckoo (Cuculus varius), one in Backwoods grounds

69)  Banded Bay Cuckoo (Cocomantis sonneratii), one at Backwoods

70)  Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea), common

71)  Great Coucal (Centropus sinensis), common at Beira Mar

72)  Brown Wood-Owl (Strix leptogrammatica), one at Saligao Zor

73)  Brown Hawk-Owl (Ninox scutulata), one spotlighted at Temple site near Backwoods

74)  Ceylon Frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger), one spotlighted at Backwoods; normal roost had been disrupted, had to locate a bird that responded to tape

75)  Jungle Nightjar (Caprimulgus indicus), one spotlighted at Temple site at Backwoods

76)  Jerdon's Nightjar (Caprimulgus atripennis), two flying birds spotlighted at Temple site near Backwoods

77)  Crested Treeswift (Hemiprocne coronata), several over Backwoods

78)  Indian Swiftlet (Aerodramus unicolor), common near Backwoods

79)  Brown-backed Needletail (Hirundapus giganteus), a few over Backwoods

80)  Asian Palm-swift (Cypsiurus balasiensis), a few over Beira Mar

81)  Common Swift (Apus apus), a few over Beira Mar

82)  House Swift (Apus nipalensis), common

83)  Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), common near water

84)  Black-backed (Oriental Dwarf) Kingfisher (Ceyx erithacus), one at river near Temple site at Backwoods

85)  Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis), one on drive to Backwoods

86)  White-throated Kingfisher (Halycon smyrnensis), common over fields

87)  Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), one at Baga River

88)  Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis), common over fields

89)  Chestnut-headed bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti), common over fields

90)  Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis), several on power lines

91)  Hoopoe (Upupa epops), ten at Dona Paula

92)  Malabar Gray Hornbill (Ocyceros griseus), several near Backwoods

93)  Malabar Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus), several near Backwoods

94)  Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis), one at Backwoods

95)  Brown-headed Barbet (Megalaima zeylanica), two at Backwoods

96)  White-cheeked Barbet (Megalaima viridis),  a few seen at Backwoods, Baga Hill and Baga East; heard constantly

97)  Crimson-fronted Barbet (Megalaima rubricapilla); common at Backwoods, often in bare trees

98)  Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemocephala), common at Baga Hill

99)  Brown-capped Woodpecker (Dendrocopos nanus), a few at Backwoods

100)    Rufous Woodpecker (Celeus brachyurus), one at Baga Hill

101)    White-bellied Woodpecker (Dryocopus javensis); a pair at Backwoods

102)    Common Flameback (Dinopium Javanese), a pair at Backwoods

103)    Heart-spotted Woodpecker (Hemicircus canente), common at Backwoods

104)    Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura), three seen at Backwoods, but not at the normal "pig sty site"; heard scratching and then seen while walking along the paths around Backwoods

105)    White-throated Fantail (Rhipidura albicollis), several at Baga Hill

106)    Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea), common at Backwoods

107)    Asian Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradise), common at Backwoods

108)    Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaesus), common near Backwoods

109)    White-bellied Drongo (Dicrurus caerulescens), several at Maem Lake and Baga Hill

110)    Bronzed Drongo (Dicrurus aeneus), common near Backwoods

111)    Hair-crested Drongo (Dicrurus hottentottus), one at Backwoods

112)    Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus), common all forests

113)    Rufous Treepie (Dendrocitta vagabunda), several at Saligao Zor

114)    House Crow (Corvus splendens), common

115)    Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchnos), common

116)    Ashy Woodswallow (Artanus fuscus), a few over Backwoods

117)    Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia), common at Baga Hill

118)    Eurasian Golden-Oriole (Oriolus oriolus), common at Baga Hill

119)    Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis), a few at Backwoods

120)    Black-hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus), common all forests

121)    Large Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina macei), one at Baga Hill

122)    Black-headed Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina melanoptera), several at Baga East

123)    Small Minivet (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus), common at Baga Hill and Baga East

124)    Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus), common at Baga Hill and Baga East

125)    Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus picatus), several at Backwoods

126)    Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella), common at Backwoods

127)    Blue-winged Leafbird (Chloropsis cochinchinensis), a few at Backwoods

128)    Golden-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons), common at Backwoods

129)    Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus), a few in fields

130)    Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach), common in fields

131)    Malabar Whistling-Thrush (Turdus merula), one seen near the road at Backwoods, often heard along streams

132)    Orange-headed Thrush (Zoothera citrina), common at Backwoods, also at Baga Hill, subspecies cyanotus with black stripes on sides of face

133)    Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), a few at Backwoods, all-gray, probably subspecies bourdilloni

134)    Chestnut-tailed Starling (Sturnus malabaricus), a few at Saligao Zor

135)    Brahminy Starling (Sturnus pagodarum), a flock in the trees on the right side near the entrance to Morjim Beach

136)    Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis), a few mixed with Jungle Mynas

137)    Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus), common in fields

138)    Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica), several at Backwoods

139)    Brown-breasted Flycatcher (Muscicapa muttui), common at Backwoods near streams

140)    Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva), common at Backwoods

141)    Verditer Flycatcher (Eumyias thalissina), common at Backwoods

142)    White-bellied Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis pallipes), a few at Backwoods

143)    Tickell's Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae), one at Backwoods

144)    Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica), several at Beira Mar

145)    Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis), common at Backwoods

146)    White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus), common at Backwoods

147)    Indian Robin (Saxicoloides fulicata), common at Saligao Zor and Dona Paula

148)    Stonechat (Saxicola torquata), several at Dona Paula

149)    Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis), several at Backwoods

150)    Black-browed Tit (Aegithalos iouschistos), several at Baga East

151)    Dusky Crag-Martin (Hirundo concolor), several near Backwoods

152)    Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), common over fields

153)    Gray-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus priocephalus), often heard at Backwoods, one seen at Maem Lake, another at Baga East

154)    Black-crested Bulbul (Pycnonotus melanicterus). Common near Backwoods

155)    Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocusus), common at Baga Hill

156)    Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer), common at Backwoods

157)    White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus buteolus), two at Dona Paula, two at  Saligao Zor, and several at Baga Hill

158)    Yellow-browed Bulbul (Iole indica), common at Backwoods

159)    Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus), common at Backwoods

160)    Ashy Prinia (Prinia socilais), common at Baga East

161)    Blyth's Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum), common near water

162)    Clamorous Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus), two at Beira Mar

163)    Syke's Warbler (Hippolais rama), several at Maem Lake

164)    Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius), common many places

165)    Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides), common many places

166)    Western Crowned-Warbler (Phylloscopus occipitalis), common at Backwoods

167)    Puff-throated Babbler (Pellorneum ruficeps), common, esp. at Baga East

168)    Tawny-bellied Babbler (Dumetica hyperythra), two seen near Backwoods

169)    Dark-fronted Babbler (Turdoides striatus), common at Backwoods

170)    Brown-cheeked Fulvetta (Alcippe poioicephala), common at Backwoods

171)    Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark (Eremopterix grisea), several at Dona Paula

172)    Greater Short-toed lark (Calendrella brachydactyla), a few at Dona Paula

173)    Malabar Lark (Galerida malabarica), several at Dona Paula and in paddies behind Beira Mar

174)    Oriental Skylark (Alauda gulgula), a few at Dona Paula

175)    House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), common

176)    Chestnut-shouldered Petronia (Petronia xanthocollis), a few at Backwoods

177)    White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata), common in fields

178)    Black-throated Munia (Lonchura kelaarti), one flock at Baga Hill

179)    Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus), one flying over at Backwoods

180)    White wagtail (Motacilla alba), one at Temple site at Backwoods

181)    Gray Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea), common near water

182)    Richard's Pipit (Anthus richardii), common in fields

183)    Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris), a few behind Beira Mar

184)    Thick-billed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum agile), a few at Backwoods and Baga Hill

185)    Pale-billed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum erythrorhynchos), a few at Baga Hill

186)    Plain Flowerpecker (Dicaeum concolor), a few at Baga Hill and Backwoods

187)    Purple-rumped Sunbird (Nectarinia zeylonica), common at Baga Hill

188)    Crimson-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia minima), common at Backwoods

189)    Purple Sunbird (Nectarinia asiatica), common at Backwoods

190)    Long-billed Sunbird (Nectarinia lotenica), a few at Baga Hill

191)    Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja), a few at Baga Hill  

ear-misses / complete misses

Malabar Trogon, not seen by us at Backwoods, nor by the preceding group, but was seen by the next group.
Black-throated Fantail, one fly-by at Saligao Zor; maddening not to find a bird from a family which normally is quite active and visible.
Brown Fish-Owl, possible bird flying away at Salogao Zor.
Indian Blue Robin, one flushed by Leio during a walk with the large group in the forest at Backwoods; repeated return visits to the site did not give another view.
Blue-faced Malkoha, we heard of a reliable location near the brick quarry at Baga East but did not see it ourselves.
Rusty-tailed Flycatcher, reported in previous trip reports from Baga Hill, no one we spoke to had seen it.

As we did not go to Carambolin Lake, our list does not contain many of the ducks and waders that are present there.


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