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A Report from


Willy Aelvoet

Full versions of the pictures on this report can be found at:

1. General information.

Notice to Dutch speaking readers : Omdat de voertaal in het tripreportswereldje hoofdzakelijk Engels is, werd de tekst volledig in het Engels vertaald. Wie geïnteresseerd is in het volledig Nederlandstalig rapport kan mij contacteren. Willy Aelvoet. Adres, zie verder.

This report is based upon a trip to Goa from January 28th till February 19th. 2000. The tour members were Willy Aelvoet, Paul De Potter, Luc De Rutter, Andrea Dhondt, Gerard Mornie, Ann Vandriessche, and Philippe Vermeulen.

Goa is situated on the West coast of the Indian subcontinent, some 600 km. south of Mumbay (Bombay). The surface is 3.800 sq. km. The longest distance from N. to S. is 100 km. ; from E. to W. is 60 km.

The landscape features 3 very different types :

1. The coastal area, with sandy beaches, dunes, estuaries, tidal areas, mangroves, marshes, paddyfields (rice), etc...

2. The inland plateau, cut through by a few rivers and covered by lowland jungle. There are some lakes and savanna - like areas.

3. The eastern border is formed by the Western Ghats, a mountain - ridge, here reaching up to 1.000 m. Thanks to the southwest monsoons, the slopes are covered with tropical rainforest.

2. Flight and Visa.

We booked a package holiday with the Belgian tour - operator "Sunair".

Our Hotel : Prazeres Resort, Marquis Waddo, Candolim, Goa . Tel. 0091 - 832 - 277064, Fax : 0091-832-279238

Flight and hotel cost 30.750 BEF. for three weeks. Total price (all included) of the trip was about 50.000 BEF. per person.

We had a good direct flight from Amsterdam to Dabolim (Goa) on a Martinair - Boeing 757. A refueling - stop was held at Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). Total flight - time, including the 90 minutes stop - over, was about 12 hours.

An international passport and a visa (delivered by the Indian Embassy) are required to visit India.

3. Money.

The Indian currency is the Rupee, which was at the time of our visit almost equal to 1 BEF. Money exchange offices are plentiful at the coast and in the main cities.  All coastal hotels have a change - desk as well but rates are a bit more expensive. Take U.S. dollars or British Pounds. You can obtain cash advance with a credit card (Visa,...) in the major bank offices.

4. Accommodation.

The package holiday hotels are all situated at the seaside. As Goa is rather small, it doesn't matter where your hotel is situated to visit all the "birding - hotspots".  All hotels seem to be o.k. but ours was certainly situated in the most quiet part of the busy coastal resorts.  No complaints at all on this front !

We had some overnight stays in the inland. There, we slept in basic but good accommodation. See useful addresses.

5. Food and drink.

Generally quite good to very good and inexpensive, with a good meal costing less then 100 Rps. I enjoyed even the hottest stuff ! A bottle of beer (Kingfisher, Belo, Arlem, Sandpiper,...) was priced 35 to 45 Rps. ( 650 ml. bottles !). Food did not cause us any health - problems, but care is to be taken....

6. Health and safety.

No vaccinations are inquired, although it is advised to take Malaria - tablets (e.g. Lariam - 1.100 BEF.), especially in the monsoon season.

People are extremely friendly.  Beggars are rarely encountered, very unlike the rest of India.

Regarded to safety there is only one point : there seem to be no traffic - rulesSo don't try to drive a car by yourself.  Don't even think about it...

7. Language.

English is spoken everywhere. No problem at all. No need to learn Hindi or the local "Konkani" - language.

8. Weather and best time to visit Goa.

As we visited Goa in the dry season (November to March - also the best time to visit), we had pleasant weather all the time with temperatures reaching far in the 30's ° C. every day.  Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. it is advised to take a break.  So do the birds, You won't miss a thing.  Best time for birding was from 6.30 a.m. (dawn) till 11 a.m. and from 3 p.m. till 7 p.m. (dusk) and that's what we did every day !

9. Transport and roads.

Taxi's are cheap.  Prices are negotiated before getting in. We always paid about 20 Rps. per km. for 3 or 4 people. Taxi's are found near the hotels or you can flag them down along the road.  Some drivers (e.g. at the Beira Mar Hotel in Baga - also the best place to meet other birders) know what You - birder - are looking for ! "Shall I take You to the Pitta - bird, Sir ?"

For the first 2 weeks we had a deal with Lloyd Fernandez (see useful addresses - photo : the family). We were charged 5.000 Rps per person for a big minibus (11 places), including breakfast. That gave us a comfortable vehicle during two weeks, and a good driver (Abdul Kudnekar - see useful addresses) who knew all the sites. Lloyd Fernandez is a "mister fix it all" who arranges everything, such as boat trips, inland accommodation, jeep - tours in the jungle, etc. And he is a keen birder ! Recommended !

Another company (Back Woods) picks you up at your hotel and takes you for a 2 or 3 days - tour to Tambdi Surla Woods. We were charged 1.500 Rps. p.p. for two days, which included food and accommodation (well equipped tents, each with 2 beds, shower and toilet !), plus the services of an excellent birdguide : Loven Pereira. See useful addresses. Strongly recommended.

You won't drive by yourself, the basic "tourist map" (available everywhere at the coast) is OK. You can find a series of maps at .

10. Nomenclature.

The English names follow the Grimmett, Inskipp & Inskipp guide. See references. De Nederlandse namen zijn volgens "Complete Checklist Vogels van de Wereld", M.Walters in vertaling A.J. Van Loon. Uitg. Tirion.

11. Acknowledgement.

Special thanks to Paul Willoughby, Leeds, U.K. who inspired us to do this trip (we met in Texas - April 1998) and gave us a lot of information. See useful addresses.

Also thanks to Jan Vermeulen, Chaam, The Netherlands, and his "crew" (Willemien van Ginneken, Vital en Riet Van Gorp, Eric Wille), whom we met overthere and with whom we shared three very nice days and the long flight back home.

12. References.

A) General literature

1) GOA - The Rough Guide. David Abram.

Rough Guides Ltd, 1 Mercer Street, London WC2H9QJ. U.K.

600 BEF. ISBN 1-85828-275-6

2) GOA - Lonely Planet. D. Streatfeild - James and Bryn Thomas.

Lonely Planet Publications, 10a Spring Place, London NW5 3BH. U.K.

610 BEF. ISBN 0-86442-488-4

3) GOA - Footprint Handbooks. Robert and Roma Bradnock.

Footprints Handbooks, 6 Riverside Court, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3DZ. U.K.

670 BEF. ISBN 1-900949-17-2

B) Birding guides.

1) The Pictoral Guide to the birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Ali and Ripley.

2) Birds of the Indian subcontinent. Grimmett, Inskipp & Inskipp.(1998).

3) Pocket Guide to the Birds of the Indian subcontinent. Grimmett, Inskipp & Inskipp.(1999).

This book is indispensable !

4) GOA - A Birder's Guide. Paul J. Willoughby. See useful addresses.

C) Cassettes.

The Bird Sounds of Sri Lanka, An Identification Guide. Part 1 (Non-Passerines) and Part 2 (Passerines). Deepal WARAKAGODA. (2 cassettes.) These cassettes include some 100 species of Goa. Very useful. Published by DHW Library of Nature Sounds, 9/2A, Station First Lane, Udahamulla, Nugegoda, SRI LANKA. Bought in London (Foyles, Charing Cross Road). Price : £ 11,95 per part.

D) Trip Reports.

1. Bird Holidays trip to Goa, India from 12th. to 27th. February 1998. Paul Willoughby, U.K.

2. Bird Holidays trip to Goa, India from 13th. to 28th. November 1999. Paul Willoughby, U.K.

3. Notes on a visit to Goa in 1997. Tom Tarrant, Australia. (Internet).

4. Trip Report : Goa, March 1 - 14, 1997. Joakim Djerf, Sweden. (Internet).

13. Useful addresses.

Department of Tourism
Government of Goa
Tourist Home, Patto III
Panaji 403001
GOA India

Chief Wildlife Warden
Forest Department
Floor, Junta House
Panaji 403001
GOA India

Paul J. Willoughby
55 Holt Park Crescent
Leeds LS16 7SL
Tel.: 0044 (0)1132 611723

Mr. Lloyd Fernandez
House N° 160, Gauravado
Calangute, Bardez
GOA 403516 - INDIA
Tel.: 0091 (0)832 276711
Fax : 0091 (0)832 279550

Back Woods
E-499 Travasso de Cruz
31st January Road, St. Tome
Panjim - Goa 403001
Tel.: (0091)-0832-436109
E-Mail :
or :
Accommodation, guides, transport, etc...

Instituut voor Tropische Geneeskunde
Nationalestraat 155
2000 Antwerpen
Tel.: +32 (0) 3/247.66.66
Travelfoon : 0900/10.110
Travelfax : 0900/35.106

Mr. Abdul Kudnekar
Bardez, GOA - India
Tel.: 0091 (0)832 278060
Our driver who works for Lloyd Fernandez.  He knows all the sites and can arrange transport.

Passive - Active Tourism
C/O Hotel 4 Pillars
Rua de Ourem
Panaji, GOA
Tel.: 0091 (0) 832 225240
Fax : 0091 (0) 832 229463
Accommodation at the Tambdi Surla tempel, Nice place !

Tel.: (0091) 0834 643082
Fax.: (0091) 0834 643081
Good hotel near Cotigao.

If You need more information about this trip (sites, species,...) :


Nederholbeekstraat 136


Tel. +32 (0) 55/31.67.30

A slide - show of this trip (with lots of birds !) will be available in October 2000. Inquiries :


Sint Amandusstraat 1


Tel. +32 (0) 55/31.80.67

14. Itinerary

28/1/00 - travel

29/1/00 - a.m. arrive Goa, transfer to Hotel
- p.m. beachwalk to Fort Aguada Resort, Pitta Site.

30/1/00 - a.m. Candolim paddyfields + wood.
- p.m. Fort Aguada Lighthouse, walk down to Pitta Site.

31/1/00 - a.m. Baga Hill,
- p.m. Baga River and Beira Mar Hotel.

01/2/00 - a.m. Carambolim Lake,
- p.m. Carambolim plain + wood

02/2/00 - all day Bondla , night : Shanti Nature Resort.

03/2/00 - a.m. Tambdi Surla ,
- p.m. Molem : Devil's Canyon Track, night : Shanti Nature Resort.

04/2/00 - all day : Dudhsagar falls. Drive back to Candolim.

05/2/00 - all day : Maem Lake

06/2/00 - a.m. Pilerne Lake, p.m. Saligao Spring

07/2/00 - a.m. Dona Paula, Santa Cruz,
- p.m. Chorao Island (cano trip)

08/2/00 - a.m. Crocodile Trip (Banastari - Agassaïm)
- p.m. drive to Canacona, walk Molyma Hotel surroundings

09/2/00 - all day : Cotigao Wildlife Reserve. Night : Molyma Hotel.

10/2/00 - a.m. Cabo de Rama, Chandranath Hill.
- p.m. Agassaïm, Baga (Beira Mar hotel)

11/2/00 - a.m. Chapora Estuary (boat),
- p.m. Pilerne Lake

12/2/00 - a.m. Carambolim Lake, p.m. Santa Cruz

13/2/00 - all day : Bondla

14/2/00 - a.m. Pilerne Lake, p.m. Maem Lake

15/2/00 - a.m. Baga Hill, p.m. Fort Aguada Lighthouse

16/2/00 - all day : Tambdi Surla Woods, night : Back Woods Camp.

17/2/00 - a.m. Tambdi Surla Woods, p.m. drive to Candolim

18/2/00 - a.m. Baga Woods, Beira Mar Hotel, p.m. Baga Woods

19/2/00 - travel

15. Systematic list of birds and comments upon some species.

Legend :

1 : Pilerne Lake.
2 : Santa Cruz.
3 : Chorao Island.
4 : Carambolim Lake, C. Plain and C. Wood.
5 : Crocodile Trip on Cumbarjua Canal.
6 : Baga Hill, Baga Wood, Baga River and Beira Mar Hotel.
7 : Candolim, the paddyfields and the wood near our hotel.
8 : Saligao Spring.
9 : Maem Lake.
10 : Fort Aguada, incl. Lighthouse, "Pitta Site" and the beach behind Fort Aguada Resort.
11 : Dona Paula plateau and Cidade de Goa Hotel.
12 : Chapora Estuary and Morjim Beach.
13 : Bondla.
14 : Molem, incl. Tambdi Surla, Dudhsagar Falls, Colem.
15 : Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary.
16 : Chandranath Hill.
17 : Cabo de Rama.
18 : Agassaim.

1. Little Grebe, Tachibaptus ruficollis, Dodaars.


2. Indian Cormorant, Phalacrocorax fuscicollis, Indische Aalscholver.

2 birds only : 1 on a lake near Santa Cruz en 1 on Pilerne Lake.

3. Little Cormorant, Phalacrocorax niger, Indische Dwergaalscholver.


4. Darter, Anhinga melanogaster, Slangenhalsvogel.

1 bird on Carambolim Lake.

5. Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea, Blauwe Reiger.


6. Purple Heron, Ardea Purpurea, Purperreiger.


7. Little Heron, Butorides striatus, Mangrovereiger.


8. Indian Pond Heron, Ardeola grayii, Indische Ralreiger.

Common and widespread

Indian Pond Heron, Ardeola grayii, Indische Ralreiger
picture : Gerard Mornie

9. Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, Koereiger.

Common and widespread

10. Great White Egret, Casmerodius albus, Grote Zilverreiger.


11. Intermediate Egret, Mesophoyx intermedia, Middelst Zilverreiger.


12. Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, Kleine Zilverreiger.

Common and widespread

13. Western Reef Egret, Egretta gularis, Westelijke Rifreiger.


14. Black Crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, Kwak.


15. Cinnamon Bittern, Ixobrychus cinnamomeus, Rossige Woudaap.

1 bird present behind the Beira Mar Hotel (Baga). We saw it on both evening visits.

16. Yellow Bittern, Ixobrychus sinensis, Chinese Woudaap.

Seen on both visits : resp. 1 bird and 2 birds flying out at dusk in the marsh at the back of the lake.

17. Woolly Necked Stork, Ciconia episcopus, Bisschopsooievaar.

A large group soaring above Banastari Bridge. 10 birds in a paddyfield along the Margao - Canacona road near Cuncolim. 1 bird near the Molymar Hotel (Galgibaga).

18. Asian Openbill, Anastomus oscitans, Indische Gaper.

> 50 birds soaring above Banastari Bridge.

19. Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, Zwarte Ibis.

1 bird at Carambolim Lake.

20. Lesser Whistling Duck, Dendrocygna javanica, Indische Fluiteend.

Common on Carambolim Lake, a fem in the Panaji Saltpans/Paddyfields.

21. Ruddy Shellduck, Tadorna ferruginea, Casarca.

4 birds on Carambolim Lake. According to Lloyd, good birds for Goa !

22. Pintail, Anas acuta, Pijlstaart.


23. Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos, Wilde Eend.

1 female on Carambolim Lake and that's all !

24. Garganey, Anas querquedula, Zomertaling.


25. Shoveler, Anas Clypeata, Slobeend.


26. Pygmy Goose, Nettapus coromandelianus, Coromandeleend.

Common on Carambolim Lake and a few on Pilerne Lake.

27. Comb Duck, Sarkidiornis melanotos, Knobbeleend.

About 10 birds on Carambolim Lake.

28. Black Shouldered Kite, Elanus caeruleus, Grijze Wouw.


29. Oriental Honey Buzzard, Pernis ptilorhyncus, Aziatische Wespendief.


30. Black Kite, Milvus migrans, Zwarte Wouw.

Very common and widespread

31. Brahminy Kite, Haliastur indus, Brahmaanse Wouw.

Very common and widespread

32. Shikra, Accipiter badius, Shikra.


33. Crested Goshawk, Accipiter trivirgatus, Kuifhavik.

1 bird in typical display flight above Bondla Zoo.

34. Besra, Accipiter virgatus, Besrasperwer.

1 bird along the road to Tambdi Surla, near Back Woods Camp. 1 bird along the Chaudi - Cotigao road (near the large bridge over the river).

35. Buzzard, Buteo buteo, Buizerd.


36. White Eyed Buzzard, Batastur teesa, Witoogbuizerd.


37. Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Spizaetus cirrhatus, Indische Kuifarend.


38. Booted Eagle, Hieraaetus pennatus, Dwergarend.


39. Rufous Bellied Eagle, Hieraaetus kienerii, Roodbuikdwergarend.

1 splendid observation (Tournée générale !) along the road to Tambdi Surla, near Back Woods Camp.

40. Tawny Eagle, Aquila rapax, Steppearend.

1 bird soaring above Pilerne Lake, 1 bird at Carambolim Wood and 1 bird at at Santa Cruz.

41. Black Eagle, Ictinaetus malayensis, Indische Zwarte Arend.

2 birds along the road to Tambdi Surla, near Back Woods Camp.

42. White Bellied Sea Eagle, Haliaetus leucogaster, Witbuikzeearend.


43. White Rumped Vulture, Gyps bengalensis, Bengaalse Gier.

1 bird above the "entrance road" near Bondla. 4 birds along the Margao - Canacona road near Cuncolim. 1 bird at the Molyma Hotel (Chaudi). Far less than expected.

44. Pallid Harrier, Circus macrourus, Steppekiekendief.

1 male on Chorao Island (during cano - trip). 1 male flying over the river at the ferry terminal in Ribandar.

45. Marsh Harrier, Circus aeruginosus, Bruine Kiekendief.


46. Crested Serpent Eagle, Spilornis cheela, Indische Slangenarend.


47. Osprey, Pandion Haliaetus, Visarend.


48. Peregrine, Falco peregrinus, Slechtvalk.


49. Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus, Torenvalk.


50. Grey Junglefowl, Gallus sonnerattii, Sonnerathoen.


51. Indian Peafowl, Pavo cristatus, Blauwe Pauw.

2 males on Baga Hill, 2 females at Pilerne Lake and one bird heard on the plateau above Saligao Spring.

52. Baillon's Crake, Porzana pusilla, Kleinst Waterhoen.

On the first visit to the Beira Mar Hotel in Baga 1 bird was seen very well at close range. Later on, the bird was not seen anymore despite being searched after bij numerous birders.

53. White Breasted Waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus, Witborstwaterhoen.


54. Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus, Waterhoen.


55. Purple Gallinule, Porphyrio porphyrio, Purperkoet.

>100 birds at Carambolim Lake. Splendid birds !

56. Coot, Fulica atra, Meerkoet.


57. Pheasant Tailed Jacana, Hydrophasianus chirurgus, Waterfazant.

Common on Carambolim Lake, a few on Pilerne Lake and a few in the Panaji Saltpans/Paddyfields.

58. Bronze Winged Jacana, Metopidius indius, Bronsvleugeljacana.

Common on Carambolim Lake, a few on Pilerne Lake and a few in the Panaji Saltpans/Paddyfields.

59. Painted Snipe, Rostratula benghalensis, Goudsnip.

4 birds at Pilerne Lake, at least 4 birds at Beira Mar Hotel (Baga) and 1 or 2 birds at the "pitta Site" near Fort Aguada Resort.

60. Red Wattled Lapwing, Vanellus indicus, Indische Kievit.

Common and widespread

61. Yellow Wattled Lapwing, Vanellus malabaricus, Malabarenkievit.

Seen on two sites : a couple near our hotel in Candolim (daily seen !) and some birds on the Dona Paula plateau .

62. Grey Plover, Pluvialis squatarola, Zilverplevier.


63. Pacific Golden Plover, Pluvialis fulva, Aziatische Goudplevier.


64. Greater Sand Plover, Charadrius leschenaultii, Woestijnplevier.


65. Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius, Kleine Plevier.


66. Kentish Plover, Charadrius alexandrinus, Strandplevier.


67. Lesser Sand Plover, Charadrius mongolus, Mongoolse Plevier.


68. Curlew, Numenius arquata, Wulp.


69. Spotted Redshank, Tringa erythropus, Zwarte Ruiter.


70. Redshank, Tringa totanus, Tureluur.


71. Marsh Sandpiper, Tringa stagnatalis, Poelruiter.


72. Greenshank, Tringa nebularia, Groenpootruiter.


73. Green Sandpiper, Tringa ochropus, Witgat.


74. Wood Sandpiper, Tringa glareola, Bosruiter.


75. Terek Sandpiper, Xenus cinereus, Terekruiter.

Nice observation of 7 birds together in Santa Cruz (East of the road to Panaji). 1 had definitely not an upturned bill !

76. Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos, Oeverloper.


77. Pintail Snipe, Gallinago stenura, Stekelstaartsnip.


78. Snipe, Gallinago gallinago, Watersnip.


79. Little Stint, Calidris minuta, Kleine Strandloper.


80. Temminck's Stint, Calidris temminckii, Temminck's Strandloper.


81. Ruff, Phylomachis pugnax, Kemphaan.


82. Black Winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus, Steltkluut.


83. Small Pratincole, Glareola lactea, Kleine Vorkstaartplevier.


84. Herring Gull, Larus argentatus, Zilvermeeuw.


85. Pallas's Gull, Larus Ichthyaetus, Reuzenzwartkopmeeuw.

A nice flock on the "Gull Roost" in the Chapora Estuary. Most birds were adults in summer plumage. Nice !

86. Brown Headed Gull, Larus brunnicephalus, Bruinkopmeeuw.


87. Black Headed Gull, Larus ridibundus, Kokmeeuw.


88. Gull Billed Tern, Gelochelidon nilotica, Lachstern.


89. Crested Tern, Sterna bergii, Grote Kuifstern.

A few birds on the poles in the water at Agassaim. Tens of birds in Chapora Estuary.

90. Lesser Crested Tern, Sterna bengalensis, Bengaalse Stern.

A few birds on the poles in the water at Agassaim. Tens of birds in Chapora Estuary.

91. Sandwich Tern, Sterna sandvicensis, Grote Stern.


92. Pompadour Green Pigeon, Treron pompadora, Pompadourpapegaaiduif.


93. Green Imperial Pigeon, Ducula aenea, Groene Muskaatduif.

4 or 5 birds high in the trees near the Rubber Smoke Factory in Cotigao.

94. Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Ducula badia, Indische Muskaatduif.

A few at dusk at the Tambdi Surla temple. Impressing pigeons with a strange call.

95. Rock Dove, Columba livia, Rotsduif.


96. Spotted Dove, Streptopelia chinensis, Parelhalstortel.

Very common and widespread

97. Emerald Dove, Chalcophaps indica, Smaragdduif.

One bird only. At the Tambdi Surla temple, early inthe morning.

98. Ring Necked Parakeet, Psittacula krameri, Halsbandparkiet.


99. Blossom Headed Parakeet, Psittacula cyanocephala, Pruimkopparkiet.


100. Blue Winged Parakeet, Psittacula colomboides, Malabarenparkiet.

Only seen near Tambdi Surla. Mostly flying and only one bird was seen well ! The call was diagnostic while flying over.

101. Vernal Hanging Parrot, Loriculus vernalis, Indische Vleermuisparkiet.


102. Large Hawk Cuckoo, Hierococcyx sparveroides, Grote Sperwerkoekoek.

1 bird was seen, first sitting in the mangrove and later on, flying out over the water during our croc - trip on the Cumbarjua Canal.

103. Common Hawk Cuckoo, Hierococcyx varius, Indische Sperwerkoekoek.

1 bird seen in the woods around Back Woods Camp near Tambdi Surla. 1 bird heard during the "nightjar - walk" at Tambdi Surla temple.

104. Indian Banded Bay Cuckoo, Cacomantis sonneratii, Gestreepte Piet van Vliet.

One splendid (long and at close range !) observation at Maem Lake. Also 1 bird heard during the "nightjar - walk" at Tambdi Surla temple.

105. Asian Koel, Eudynamis scolopacea, Indische Koël.


106. Greater Coucal, Centropus sinensis, Chinese Spoorkoekoek.


107. Oriental Scops Owl, Otus sunia, Oosterse Dwergooruil.

1 bird "taped out" in Back Woods Camp. Seen very well above our tent in the light of the torches.

108. Brown Fish Owl, Ketuba zeylonensis, Bruine Visuil.

A highlight on our last day ! A female on the nest and the male flying around in broad daylight in Baga Woods. After having dipped twice at Maem Lake (people were chopping wood right under the roost - tree) a fine observation for us.

109. Jungle Owlet, Glaucidium radiatum, Jungledwerguil.

A bird was heard in the evening during our meal at Back Woods Camp. One bird was seen briefly in the adjacent woods.

110. Brown Hawk Owl, Ninox scutulata, Aziatische Valkuil.

2 birds in Carambolim Wood, right on the spot where expected.

111. Spotted Owlet, Athene brahma, Brahmaanse Steenuil.

1 bird was seen in Carambolim Wood, along the road opposite to the Hawk Owls. Heard almost daily at our hotel in Candolim (although only seen once !). 1 bird was present all the time (on three visits) at the top of its nesting tree (a leafless coconut-tree with Woodpecker-hole) behind the Beira Mar Hotel (Baga).

112. Brown Wood Owl, Strix leptogrammica, Bruine Bosuil.

1 bird was heard and seen flying in dusk at Saligao Spring. Earlier in the afternoon, the roosting bird was not found, despite thorough search...

113. Grey Nightjar, Caprimulgus indicus, Junglenachtzwaluw.

Splendid observation during the Nightjar - walk near the Tambdi Surla temple. The bird sat on a stone and was photographed at less than 5 meters !

114. Jerdon's Nightjar, Caprimulgus atripennis, Indische Nachtzwaluw.

Seen and heard at Maem Lake, Saligao Spring and Tambdi Surla Temple. The call is diagnostic.

115. Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Batrachostomus monileger, Ceylonkikkerbek.

2 birds sitting next to each other in their roost - tree near Back Woods Camp. Stunning birds in perfect camouflage - colours. Photographed at less then 5 meters. In the morning, we heard them calling at the Camp. The Back Woods - guides know where to find the birds.

116. Indian Swiftlet, Collocalia unicolor, Malabarensalangaan.

Only twice, a group was seen, both times in Baga. Not seen elsewhere...

117. Brown Backed Needletail, Hirundapus gigantea, Reuzenstekelstaartgierzwaluw.

A flock of over 50 birds above the village at the bridge in Cotigao.

118. White Rumped Needletail, Zoonavena sylvatica, Hindoegierzwaluw.

A few above Cotigao and a few above the paddyfields near Dudhsagar Falls (Molem).

119. Alpine Swift, Apus melba, Alpengierzwaluw.


120. Little Swift, Apus affinis, Huisgierzwaluw.


121. Asian Palm Swift, Cypsiurus balasiensis, Palmgierzwaluw.


122. Crested Tree Swift, Hemiprocne coronata, Gekuifde Boomzwaluw.


123. Malabar Trogon, Harpactes fasciatus, Malabarentrogon.

1 splendid male at very close range near the restaurant at the entrance of Bondla. (One of the birds of my life ! 1 female in the woods around Back Woods Camp. Gerard claims another female near Fort Aguada.

124. Lesser Pied Kingfisher, Ceryle rudis, Bonte IJsvogel.


125. Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, IJsvogel.


126. Stork Billed Kingfisher, Halcyon capensis, Ooievaarsbekijsvogel.


127. White Throated Kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis, Smyrna IJsvogel.

Common and widespread

White Throated Kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis, Smyrna IJsvogel
photo : Gerard Mornie

128. Black Capped Kingfisher, Halcyon pileata, Zwartkapijsvogel.


129. White Collared Kingfisher, Halcyon chloris, Witkraagijsvogel.

First one bird and later 2 birds in the mangroves along the Cumbarjua Canal (Croc - trip).

130. Chestnut Headed Bee-eater, Merops leschenaultii, Bruinkopbijeneter.

A few above the paddyfields near our hotel in Candolim and a few during the trip to Dudhsagar falls.

131. Blue Tailed Bee-eater, Merops philippinus, Blauwstaartbijeneter.


132. Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, Kleine Groene Bijeneter.

Very common and widespread

Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, Kleine Groene Bijeneter
photo : Gerard Mornie

133. Blue Bearded Bee-eater, Nyctiornic athertoni, Blauwbaardbijeneter.

1 bird hunting insects from a treetop on the slope south of the entrance gate at Bondla (on our first visit). Not seen anymore on our second visit.

134. Indian Roller, Coracius benghalensis, Indische Scharrelaar.


135. Hoopoe, Upupa epops, Hop.


136. Malabar Grey Hornbill, Ocyceros griseus, Malabarentok.

3 or 4 birds in the flowering tree (near the house) at the entrance gate of Bondla were seen on both the 2 visits. Some noisy birds were present all the time at the Tambdi Surla temple. A few birds were sitting in the treetops near the Rubber Smoke Factory in Cotigao and two birds were seen in the woods around Back Woods Camp.

137. Malabar Pied Hornbill, Anthracoceros coronatus, Malabarenneushoornvogel.

1 bird was seen briefly, flying along the slope behind Bondla Zoo. 5 birds were sitting in a tree near the turn off to Tambdi Surla (village of Surla), one of them gave excellent views while flying just overhead !

138. Great Pied Hornbill, Buceros bicornis, Dubbelhoornige Neushoornvogel.

Very rewarding observation of 4 birds, flying and gliding together ("as Lancasters in formation" dixit Gerard) along the hills north of the Tambdi Surla temple. After landing in the trees on the slope, they gave nice (but distant) views. Again, the scopes proved their usefullness

139. Brown Headed Barbet, Megalaima zeylanica, Bruinkopbaardvogel.


140. White Cheeked Barbet, Megalaima viridis, Groene Baardvogel.


141. Crimson Fronted Barbet, Megalaima rubricapilla, Roodkeelbaardvogel.


142. Coppersmith Barbet, Megalaima haemacephala, Kopersmid.


143. Wryneck, Jynx torquila, Draaihals.

1 bird along the Devil's Canyon Track (Molem - near the tourist resort).

144. Rufous Woodpecker, Celeus brachyurus, Rosse Specht.

1 bird in Bondla, present on both visits.

145. Black Rumped Woodpecker, Dinopium benghalensis, Kleine Goudrugspecht.


146. Yellow Crowned Woodpecker, Dendrocopus mahrattensis, Indische Bonte Specht.

1 bird in Baga Woods, 1 bird at Saligao Spring and 1 bird at Maem Lake. All seen very well.

147. Brown Capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Dendrocopus nanus, Bruinkapspecht.

2 birds together in Bondla Zoo, above the Bisons.

148. Heart Spotted Woodpecker, Hemicircus canente, Hartvlekspecht.

Regularly seen at Tambdi Surla temple and in the woods around Back Woods Camp. Also some birds along the entrance road to Bondla. Their squeaky call is a useful help to detecting this smart bird.

149. Greater Flameback, Chrysocolaptes lucidus, Grote Goudrugspecht.

1 bird at the restaurant near the Bondla entrance gate.

150. Indian Pitta, Pitta brachyura, Negenkleurige Pitta.

Surprisingly more seen than expected. The "Aguada bird" gave excellent views on several occasions. It was successfully photographed at 2 meters. 3 (!) birds were present on one spot at Pilerne lake. 1 bird was sitting on the road, in late evening, halfway between Surla village and the Tambdi Surla temple. 1 bird was detected at Back Woods Camp. 1 bird was seen (on every visit) close to the Tambdi Surla temple. Another bird was walking along the path that leads to Baga Woods and finally Saligao also revealed a bird. Which totals at least 9 different birds ! Besides that, other birders saw a Pitta in the garden - between the flowers - of the Beira Mar Hotel in Baga.

Indian Pitta, Pitta brachyura, Negenkleurige Pitta
photo : Gerard Mornie

151. Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark, Eremopterix grisea, Grijskruinvinkleeuwerik.

Only one bird seen : 1 bird on a telephone wire behind the Beira Mar Hotel (Baga).

152. Malabar Lark, Galerida malabaricus, Malabarenkuifleeuwerik.


153. Oriental Skylark, Alauda gulgula, Kleine Veldleeuwerik.


154. Dusky Crag Martin, Hirundo concolor, Indische Rotszwaluw.

A small flock at the Dudhsagar Falls (Molem).

155. Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica, Boerenzwaluw.


156. Wire Tailed Swallow, Hirundo smithii, Roodkruinzwaluw.

Common and widespread

157. Streakthroated Swallow, Hirundo fluvicola, Indische Klifzwaluw.

Identified on only one single occasion : a few (3 or 4) birds during the cano - trip on Chorao Island. Although we admit we didn't examine thoroughly all the swallows all the time. Same remark applies to the sunbirds and the flowerpeckers.

158. Red Rumped Swallow, Hirundo daurica, Roodstuitzwaluw.

Very common and widespread

159. House Martin, Delichon urbica, Huiszwaluw.


160. Long Tailed Shrike, Lanius schach, Langstaartklauwier.

Common and widespread

Long Tailed Shrike, Lanius schach, Langstaartklauwier
photo : Gerard Mornie

161. Brown Shrike, Lanius cristatus, Bruine Klauwier.

1 bird in the paddyfields near Dudhsagar Falls and 1 bird along the road to Tambdi Surla, opposite the Back Woods Camp turn-off.

162. Golden Oriole, Oriolus oriolus, Wielewaal.

Common and widespread

163. Black Hooded Oriole, Oriolus xanthornus, Zwartkopwielewaal.


164. Black Drongo, Dicrurus macrocercus, Koningsdrongo.

Common and widespread

165. Ashy Drongo, Dicrurus leucophaeus, Grijze Drongo.

Common and widespread

166. White Bellied Drongo, Dicrurus caerulescens, Witbuikdrongo.


167. Bronzed Drongo, Dicrurus aeneus, Bronsdrongo.


168. Spangled Drongo, Dicrurus hottentottus, Haarkuifdrongo.

A few individual birds in Cotigao were the only sightings.

169. Greater Racket Tailed Drongo, Dicrurus paradiseus, Vlaggendrongo.


170. Ashy Woodswallow, Ortamus fuscus, Grijze Spitsvogel.


171. Chestnut Tailed Starling, Sturnus m. malabaricus, Grijskopspreeuw.


172. White Headed Ch.T. Starling, Sturnus malabaricus blythii, Grijskopspreeuw ssp.


173. Rosy Starling, Sturnus roseus, Roze Spreeuw.


174. Common Myna. Acridotheres tristis, Treurmaina.

2 birds at Pilerne Lake and a few near the Molyma Hotel (Chaudi).

175. Jungle Myna, Acridotheres fuscus, Junglemaina.

Common and widespread

176. Rufous Treepie, Dendrocitta vagabunda, Rosse Boomekster.


177. House Crow, Corvus splendens, Huiskraai.

Very common and widespread

178. Large Billed Crow, Corvus macrohynchos, Dikbekkraai.


179. Pied Flycatcher Shrike, Hemipus picatus, Bonte Dwergtriller.

A few birds in the woods around Tambdi Surla.

180. Large Wood Shrike, Tephrodornis gularis, Grote Rupsklauwier.

A few individual birds in Bondla. More common in Molem, with a maximum of 5 birds together (in a huge bird - flock) at the Tambdi Surla temple.

181. Common Wood Shrike, Tephrodornis pondicerianus, Kleine Rupsklauwier.

Scarce : 1 bird at Maem Lake and 1 bird in Cotigao.

182. Large Cuckoo-Shrike, Coracina macei, Australische Rupsvogel.


183. Black Winged Cuckoo-Shrike, Caracina melaschistos, Rouwrupsvogel.


184. Black Headed Cuckoo-Shrike, Caracina melanoptera, Zwartkoprupsvogel.


185. Scarlet Minivet, Pericrocotus flammeus, Scharlaken Menievogel.

Regularly in Bondla, Molen en Cotigao. Noisy but beautiful birds !

186. Small Minivet, Pericrocotus cinnamomeus, Kleine Menievogel.


187. Common Iora, Aegithina tiphia, Gewone Iora.


188. Golden Fronted Leafbird, Chloropsis aurifrons, Goudvoorhoofdbladvogel.


189. Blue Winged Leafbird, Chloropsis cochinchinensis, Blauwvleugelbladvogel.


190. Asian Fairy Bluebird, Irena puella, Indische Blauwrug.

A few individual birds in Bondla, Molem en Cotigao.

191. Grey Headed Bulbul, Picnonotus priocephalus, Grijskopbuulbuul.

1 bird in the woods around Back Woods Camp and 1 bird in Baga Wood. Tricky bird, we only found these two at the very end of the trip !

192. Black Crested Bulbul, Picnonotus melanicterus, Goudborstbuulbuul.

Regularly in Bondla, Molen en Cotigao. Nice birds ! The local subspecies is also called : "Ruby Throated Black Capped Yellow Bulbul".

193. Red Whiskered Bulbul, Picnonotus jocosus, Roodoorbuulbuul.

Common and widespread

194. Red Vented Bulbul, Picnonotus cafer, Roodbuikbuulbuul,

Common and widespread

195. White Browed Bulbul, Picnonotus luteolus, Witbrauwbuulbuul.


196. Yellow Browed Bulbul, Iole indica, Goudbrauwbuulbuul.

Not many seen : a few birds in Bondla en Molem only.

197. Puff Throated Babbler, Pellornum ruficeps, Gevlekte Jungletimalia.


198. Tawny Bellied Babbler, Dumetia hyperythra, Roodbuikboomtimalia.


199. Dark Fronted Babbler, Rhopocichla atriceps, Zwartvoorhoofdbabbelaar,


200. Jungle Babbler, Turdiodes striatus, Junglebabbelaar.


201. Brown Cheeked Fulvetta, Alcipe poioicephala, Bruinwangnontimalia.


202. Asian Brown Flycatcher, Muscicapa daurica, Bruine Vliegenvanger.


203. Brown Breasted Flycatcher, Muscicapa muttui, Bamboevliegenvanger.


204. Red Breasted Flycatcher, Ficedula parva, Kleine Vliegenvanger.


205. White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, Cyornis pallipes, Keralaniltava.

1 bird at Tambdi Surla temple and 1 bird in the woods around Back Woods Camp.

206. Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Cyornis tickellae, Tickell's Niltava.


207. White Throated Fantail, Rhipidura albicollis, Witkeelwaaierstaart.


208. Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsichone paradisi, Aziatische Paradijsmonarch.


209. Black Naped Monarch, Hypothimis azurea, Zwartnekmonarch.


210. Fan Tailed Warbler, Cisticola juncidis, Graszanger.


211. Franklin's Prinia, Prinia Hodgsonii, Grijsborstprinia.


212. Plain Prinia, Prinia inornata, Witteugelprinia.


213. Ashy Prinia, Prinia socialis, Grijze Prinia.


214. Tailorbird, Orthotomus sutorius, Langstaartsnijdervogel.


215. Clamourous Reed Warbler, Accrocephalus stentorus, Indische Karekiet.


216. Blyth's Reed Warbler, Accrocephalus dumetorum, Struikrietzanger.


217. Lesser Whitethroat, Sylvia curruca, Braamsluiper.

1 bird in the scrub at the Cidade de Goa - hotel.

218. Booted Warbler, Hippolais caligata, Kleine Spotvogel.

A total of three birds : 1 bird at Fort Aguada Lighthouse, 1 bird at Maem Lake en 1 bird near our hotel in Candolim.

219. Greenish Warbler, Philloscopus trochiloides, Grauwe Fitis.

Common and widespread

220. Western Crowned Warbler, Philloscopus occipitalis, Streepkopboszanger.

2 birds at the reservoir along the "entrance road" at Bondla and 1 bird in the woods around Back Woods Camp.

221. Oriental Magpie Robin, Copsychus saularis, Dayalijster.


222. White Rumped Shama, Copsychus malabaricus, Shamalijster.

A few birds were seen in Bondla and 1 bird was singing in the woods around Back Woods Camp. Stunning song !

223. Stonechat, Saxicola torquata, Roodborsttapuit.


224. Pied Bushchat, Saxicola caprata, Zwarte Roodborsttapuit.


225. Indian Robin, Saxicoloides fulicata, Indisch Paapje.


226. Blue Capped Rock Thrush, Monticola cinclorhynchus, Bergrotslijster.

1 male at Maem Lake, 1 male in Bondla Zoo (above de Bisons) and 1 female at Cabo de Rama.

227. Blue Rock Thrush, Monticola solitarius, Blauwe Rotslijster.


228. Malabar Whistling Thrush, Myiophonus horsfieldii, Malabarenfluitlijster.


229. Orange Headed Ground Thrush, Zoothera citrina, Damalijster.


Orange Headed Ground Thrush, Zoothera citrina, Damalijster
photo : Gerard Mornie

230. Nilgiri Blackbird, Turdus nigropileus, Nilgirimerel.

Scarce. 1 couple at Maem Lake and 1 female at the "Pitta Site" near Fort Aguada Resort. Indeed, they do differ from our Blackbirds.

231. Black Lored Tit, Parus xanthogenys, Kroonmees.


232. Velvet Fronted Nuthatch, Sitta frontalis, Pluchekapboomklever.

2 birds in Bondla Zoo and two or three in the woods around Back Woods Camp.

233. Paddyfield Pipit, Anthus novaseelandiae rufulus, Grote Pieper ssp.


234. Tawny Pipit, Anthus campestris, Duinpieper,


235. Forest Wagtail, Dendronanthus indicus, Boomkwikstaart.

1 bird at the restaurant at Bondla entrance gate. A few during the Dudhsagar Falls trip.

236. Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla flava, Gele Kwikstaart,


237. Grey Wagtail, Motacilla cinerea, Grote Gele Kwikstaart.


238. White Wagtail, Motacilla alba, Witte Kwikstaart.


239. White Browed Wagtail, Motacilla maderaspatensis, Indische Bonte Kwikstaart.


240. Thick Billed Flowerpecker, Dicaeum agile, Dikbekhoningvogel.


241. Pale Billed Flowerpecker, Dicaeum eruthrohynchos, Geelsnavelhoningvogel.


242. Plain Flowerpecker, Dicaeum concolor, Groengrijze Honingvogel.


243. Purple Rumped Sunbird, Nectarinia zeylonica, Purperstuithoningzuiger.


244. Crimson Backed Sunbird, Nectarinia minima, Dwerghoningzuiger.


245. Loten's Sunbird, Nectarinia lotenia, Lotushoningzuiger.


246. Purple Sunbird, Nectarinia asiatica, Purperhoningzuiger.


247. Yellow Backed Sunbird, Aethopyga siparaja, Geelrughoningzuiger.

3 birds only ! : 1 stunning summer plumaged male at Pilerne Lake, 1 bird at the ruines in Old Goa and 1 eclipse male on Baga Hill.

Note : Flowerpeckers and Sunbirds were only examined thoroughly the first half of the trip. A time consuming but nevertheless very rewarding activity !

248. Little Spiderhunter, Arachnothera longirostra, Kleine Spinnenjager.


249. House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, Huismus.


250. Chestnut Shouldered Petronia, Petronia xanthocollis, Indische Rotsmus.


251. Baya Weaver, Ploceus philippinus, Bayawever.


252. White Rumped Munia, Lonchura striata, Spitsstaartbronzemannetje.


253. Black Headed Munia, Lonchura malacca, Driekleurennon.


254. Common Rosefinch, Carpodacus erythrinus, Roodmus.

After having missed this species in the Western Palearctic during all my over 28 years' birder's career, I was very happy to see my first Common Rosefinch : 1 male near the last hairpin-turn at the Bondla approach - road.

A report by Ivan Steenkiste (click here for Ivan's web site)

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