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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Birding, wildlife and tourist trip to Rajasthan, India,
January 13th to 26th, 2001
Participants on this two week trip to Rajasthan were Jan & Stephen Mawby, Neil Osborne and Gillian Webster.
Flights from London [Heathrow] to Delhi were direct with Virgin Airlines with the onward internal flight to Jaipur with Jet Airways, India. All flights were pre-booked in the UK by Wildwings. All ground arrangements were made locally as required. Flight re-confirmation had to be made through the UK from Delhi.
This included bus [airport transfer at Delhi]; pre-paid taxi [Jaipur airport to city]; car [or jeep] with driver [Jaipur, Ranthambhor, Bharatpur & Delhi] and train [Jaipur to Ranthambhor (Sawai Madhopur) and Bharatpur to Delhi]. All taxi and car/driver journeys were at a price agreed beforehand, with tipping used to show appreciation of successful trips. Where trains were used, booking prior to the day of travel from Jaipur ensured seats [2nd class a/c coach], whilst an "on train" upgrade was required for the Bharatpur to Delhi journey as no prior booking arrangements were available. Trains were of the "express" or "mail" type which ensured the quickest possible journey time. [Jaipur - Bangalore City Express and "The Golden Temple Mail" (Bombay - Amritsar)].
All accommodation was pre-booked [by fax] from the UK with hotels chosen from the Lonely Planet Guide. Visa card details ensured security of booking except with Indian Adventures [Tiger Moon Resort, Ranthambhor] who required full payment in advance for accommodation, food and jeep safaris. Barclays Bank [with some initial difficulty] arranged the necessary transfer of monies with 50% required as an initial deposit to secure the booking, with the remainder payable 30 days prior to arrival.
Pocket Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Grimmett, Inskipp & Inskipp, Helm. ISBN 0713651652.
Field Guide to Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Kazmierczak & van Perlo.
A Birdwatchers Guide to India. Kazmierczak & Singh.
Prion. ISBN 1871104084.
Rajasthan & Agra, India. Mike Watson. Oriental Bird Club.
13th January - Arrival from UK; Delhi Airport and Jaipur.
14th January - Jaipur (Wind Palace, City Palace, Janta Manta); Jal Mahal tank; Amber Fort;Nahargarh Biological Park, Ramsagar.
15th January - Grass Farm Nursery, Jaipur; Jaigarh Fort; Tiger Fort ridge.
16th January - Ranthambhor NP; semi-desert at rear of Tiger Moon Resort; Ranthambhor NP.
17th January - Ranthambhor NP; semi-desert by heli-pads and NP road junction; Ranthambhor NP; semi-desert at rear of Tiger Moon Resort (dusk).
18th January - Ranthambhor NP; Soorwal Lake & surrounding semi-desert; semi-desert at rear of Tiger Moon Resort (dusk).
19th January - Tiger Moon Resort; road journey to Bharatpur.
20th January - Keoladeo Ghana NP, Bharatpur.
21st January - Keoladeo Ghana NP, Bharatpur.
22nd January - Bund Baretta (1/2 day pm).
23rd January - Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.
24th January - Keoladeo Ghana NP, Bharatpur.
25th January - Scrub opposite Laxmi Vilas Hotel, Bharatpur; rail journey to Delhi.
26th January - Okhla barrage; east bank of Yamuna River, Noida; Okhla Island.
27th January - Depart for UK.
Systematic List of Species Seen
Taxonomy, sequence and nomenclature follow A World Species Checklist by M.G.Wells (1998).
New species indicated by *
LITTLE GREBE Tachybaptus ruficollis
A minimum of 50 noted on the Jal Mahal (Summer Palace) tank, Jaipur on the 14th, with smaller numbers on other suitable waters at Ranthambhor, Soorwal Lake, Keoladeo Ghana NP (Bharatpur) and on the Yamuna River at Okhla, Delhi.
ORIENTAL DARTER Anhinga melanogaster
Noted at Ranthambhor (max.4 on the 16th) and Bharatpur (max.20 on 20th) with a single noted o n the Yamuna River at Okhla on the 26th.
GREAT CORMORANT Phalacrocorax carbo
Only positively identified around the Yamuna River at Okhla on the 26th.
INDIAN CORMORANT Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
Good numbers noted both around Ranthambhor, Bharatpur and the Yamuna River.
LITTLE CORMORANT Phalacrocorax niger
Noted in similar numbers to the previous species and at the same sites.
WHITE PELICAN Pelecanus onocrotalus
A minimum of 200 although probably many more, were seen at Bharatpur on all visits. Most afternoons they would take flight and simply circle over the reserve before returning to what water there was available to them.
GREY HERON Ardea cinerea
Widespread and noted on most dates in suitable habitats.
PURPLE HERON Ardea purpurea
A single noted on both the 16th and 17th on a lake within the Ranthambhor reserve, with a further single at Bharatpur on the 20th and 21st and 2 on the Yamuna River on the 26th.
CATTLE EGRET Bubulcus ibis
Widespread and common and noted on most dates.
GREAT EGRET Casmerodius albus
No specific note made of numbers, but a relatively widespread species.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET Egretta intermedia
Widespread and seen in good numbers.
LITTLE EGRET Egretta garzetta
Widespread and common.
INDIAN POND-HERON Ardeola grayii
Noted on most dates, but never in great numbers probably due to the overall habitat not being to their liking.
STRIATED HERON Butorides striatus
A single, in flight, at Bharatpur on the 20th was the only sighting.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON Nycticorax nycticorax
The only birds noted were in the colony close to the temple within Bharatpur and consisted of a minimum of 25 birds.
BLACK BITTERN Dupetor flavicollis
A single, seen to take a fish, was found under a jheel-side bush close to the temple at Bharatpur on the 20th. The views of this bird were mostly obscured by branches and it remained in subdued lighting throughout.
GREATER FLAMINGO Phoenicopterus ruber
At least 150 birds were noted in shallows along the Yamuna River near Okhla on the 26th.
PAINTED STORK Mycteria leucocephala *
Up to 35 birds noted on one of the lakes within the Ranthambhor reserve on both the 16th and 17th and were the first sightings of this species, with 8 noted the following day (18th) at Soorwal Lake near to Sawai Madhopur Junction. Four at Bharatpur on the 21st and 15 close to the east bank of the Yamuna River opposite Okhla on the 26th were the only other sightings. The colony at Bharatpur where there are normally good numbers of birds has been completely deserted due to the extremely low water levels occasioned by the failure of the monsoon in 2000.
ASIAN OPENBILL Anastomus oscitans
Three were noted on islands at Bund Baretta, south-west of Bharatpur on the 22nd.
BLACK STORK Ciconia nigra
The only sighting of this species was of a single within the Ranthambhor reserve on the 16th.
WOOLLY-NECKED STORK Ciconia episcopus
Two seen at Bharatpur on the 20th with one noted the following day were the only sightings. Again, the low water levels are probably the cause of this species absence from this site.
WHITE STORK Ciconia ciconia
A single of what was believed to be this species, was seen in flight over the Taj Mahal on the 23rd.
BLACK-NECKED STORK Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus
A maximum of 5 birds noted at Bharatpur on the 20th with 3 noted the following day. A huge bird that fulfilled all expectations and they were seen at relatively close range.
BLACK-HEADED IBIS Threskiornis melanocephalus
Noted at Ranthambhor, Soorwal Lake and Bharatpur with a minimum of 20 birds at the latter site on both the 20th and 21st.
GLOSSY IBIS Plegadis falcinellus
Only noted at Bharatpur with a minimum of 20 on the 20th.
SPOONBILL Platalea leucorodia
At least 30 were noted at Soorwal Lake on the 18th with un-counted numbers seen at Bharatpur on the 20th and 21st and Bund Beretta on the 22nd. Three in shallows of the Yamuna River on the 26th was the only other sighting.
GREYLAG GOOSE Anser anser
Noted at Ranthambhor, Bharatpur and Bund Baretta. No specific counts made.
BAR-HEADED GOOSE Anser indicus *
At least 13 were noted distantly at Soorwal Lake on the 18th, with greater numbers seen at Bharatpur on both the 20th and 21st.
RUDDY SHELDUCK Tadorna ferruginea
Noted in small numbers on inland lakes/jheels, with 4 in Ranthambhor reserve on the 16th, 2 at Soorwal Lake on the 18th, singles at Bharatpur on the 21st and 24th, 4 at Bund Baretta on the 23rd. In different habitat, a minimum of 100 were noted on the east side of the Yamuna River opposite Okhla on the 26th.
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE Nettapus coromandelianus
Only noted on the lakes within Ranthambhor reserve on the 16th, 17th and 18th (no specific count) and in small numbers at Bund Baretta on the 22nd. A species that was totally absent from Bharatpur due to the low water levels.
EURASIAN WIGEON Anas penelope
Widespread and noted on suitable waters throughout.
GADWALL Anas strepera
Noted in small numbers at Bharatpur on the 20th and the Yamuna River off Okhla barrage on the 26th.
COMMON TEAL Anas crecca
Widespread and common in suitable habitat.
SPOTBILLED DUCK Anas poecilorhyncha *
About 20 noted at Bharatpur on the 20th with no count made on subsequent visits and good numbers noted at Bund Baretta on the 18th, mostly roosting on the lake shore below the deserted Kishen Mahal palace. A few on the Yamuna River opposite Okhla on the 26th was the only other sighting.
NORTHERN PINTAIL Anas acuta
Noted throughout in reasonable numbers.
NORTHERN SHOVELER Anas clypeata
Widespread and common on suitable waters.
RED-CRESTED POCHARD Netta rufina
Only noted at Bund Baretta on the 22nd.
COMMON POCHARD Aythya ferina
A single at Bharatpur on the 24th was the only sighting.
FERRUGINOUS DUCK Aythya nyroca
Five in Ranthambhor reserve on the 17th, with the only other sighting being of un-counted numbers on the Yamuna River off Okhla barrage on the 26th.
OSPREY Pandion haliatus
One at Bund Baretta on the 22nd was the only sighting. (It wouldn't be a holiday without seeing at least one of this species).
ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD Pernis ptilorhyncus
A minimum of 2 noted in flight on both the 17th and 18th within Ranthambhor reserve with good views of a perched bird within a forested area close to the nursey at Bharatpur on the 24th.
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE Elanus caeruleus
Two seen in Ranthambhor on the 16th, with two seen on the taxi journey between Ranthambhor and Bharatpur on the 19th. Two around Bharatpur on both the 20th and 21st with a single noted on the 24th.
BLACK KITE Milvus migrans
Widespread and common around habitation with good numbers in Jaipur, Agra and particularly Delhi with up to 10 birds seen in the sky at any one time from our hotel roof terrace. In Jaipur they frequented the trees in the hotel garden.
BLACK-EARED KITE Milvus lineatus
At least 2 of this (sub) species noted around Jaipur on the 15th.
BRAHMINY KITE Haliastur indus
One around the Jal Mahal tank at Jaipur on the 14th, with an immature bird seen at Bharatpur on both the 20th and 21st. Apparently, a good record from this site as they do not normally occur.
RED-HEADED VULTURE Sarcogyps calvus *
Two over Jaipur on the 14th, 2 over Ranthambhor on the 16th, with one noted on the 17th with the final sighting being of one over Bharatpur on the 20th. One of the birds over Jaipur (near the Jal Mahal tank) was particularly low, giving good views of all its features.
LONG-BILLED VULTURE Gyps indicus
Only noted over the Ranthambhor reserve, with a minimum of 20 on the 16th. The population of this species in the reserve area appears to be quite healthy.
WHITE-RUMPED VULTURE Gyps bengalensis
At least 15 birds noted, again over Ranthambhor on both the 16th and 17th with one over Bharatpur on the 21st. As with the previous species, the numbers at Ranthambhor seem healthy. Of note, none were noted around the Delhi or Agra areas.
EGYPTIAN VULTURE Neophron percnopterus
Two over Ranthambhor on the 16th with further sightings of individuals over Bharatpur on the 21st and 24th. At least 20, in varying plumage phases, were noted over Agra on the 23rd.
SHORT-TOED EAGLE Circaetus gallicus
One noted over Amber Fort, Jaipur on the 15th, up to 5 in the vicinity of Soorwal Lake on the 18th with a single over Bharatpur on the 24th.
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE Spilornis cheela
Singles noted both perched and in flight at Ranthambhor on the 16th and 17th, with 3 noted on the 18th. The final records were of one sat in a treetop at Bharatpur at dusk on the 20th (pretending to be a Dusky Eagle Owl [Bubo coromandus] and nearly fooling us!) and one in a jheel-side tree on the 24th.
HEN HARRIER Circus cyaneus
Brief flight views of an adult male bird was considered, on the views had, to have been this species, although we later heard it had been claimed as a Montagu's. Although the upper wing was not seen well at all, size and jizz alone made Hen seem more probable.
EURASIAN MARSH HARRIER Circus aeruginosus
Singles noted around Bharatpur on all dates with good numbers around the Yamuna River at Okhla on the 26th.
SHIKRA Accipiter badius
Singles noted on two dates (both Jaipur and Bharatpur) with two around Jaipur on the 15th.
EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK Accipiter nisus
Two at Ranthambhor on the 18th and 2 at Bharatpur on the 24th.
GREATER SPOTTED EAGLE Aquila clanga
Good numbers of this species at Bharatpur, with juveniles, immatures and adults all present. It is estimated that Bharatpur is holding up to 60 of this species this winter. Some of the "white tear-drop" plumaged juveniles were seen well, perched in jheel-side trees.
STEPPE EAGLE Aquila nipalensis
Several were noted of various ages during all visits to Bharatpur.
EASTERN IMPERIAL EAGLE Aquila heliaca
At least one adult and several juveniles/immatures noted perched in jheel-side trees as well as in flight.
BOOTED EAGLE Hieraaetus pennatus
Dark-phase singles noted at Bharatpur on the 20th and 24th.
EURASIAN KESTREL Falco tinnunculus
Singles noted on six dates, with 2 noted on a seventh.
RED-NECKED FALCON Falco chicquera
A particularly note-worthy find was of an adult male sat atop a pole close to the road along the east-bank of the Yamuna River at Noida, close to the causeway leading out to the temple and cremation grounds. It was seen to take a swallow sp. before disappearing from view. A globally-threatened species with my only previous sighting of the species being in The Gambia, West Africa.
PEREGRINE FALCON Falco peregrinus
One over Bharatpur on the 24th was the only large-falcon sighting of the trip.
PAINTED FRANCOLIN Francolinus pictus
Six birds seen on the 14th in the Nahargarh Biological Park, Ramsagar whilst specifically looking for White-naped Tit (Parus nuchalis) , was the only sighting of this species. Seen well, they were far more brightly marked than the Grey Francolins seen elsewhere on the trip.
GREY FRANCOLIN Francolinus pondicerianus
Noted at both Ranthambhor and Bharatpur with upwards of 10 birds seen on at least three dates. An often encountered and not particularly shy species.
JUNGLE BUSH-QUAIL Perdicula asiatica
Up to six birds seen in what appeared to be a family party at the Nahargarh Biological Park on the 14th. The only sighting of this species.
PAINTED SPURFOWL Galloperdix lunulata
A pair moved slowly across the track ahead of our stationary jeep within the Ranthambhor reserve on the 16th and then disappeared fairly quickly into long grass when we tried to get closer. Another pair were seen well on a scrubby hillside close to the entrance to the reserve the following day and gave sustained views before moving off.
INDIAN PEAFOWL Pavo cristatus *
Widespread and common, particularly around Jaipur and Ranthambhor.
BARRED BUTTONQUAIL Turnix suscitator
Two feeding under a bush alongside the track leading off east from the temple at Bharatpur on the 20th.
COMMON CRANE Grus grus
Nine noted at Soorwal Lake on the 18th was the only sighting.
SARUS CRANE Grus antigone *
Five at Soorwal Lake on the 18th was our first encounter with this, the largest of the flying birds. Both elegant and stately in appearance they dwarfed their Common Crane cousins. Two were then encountered the following day in fields north of Ranthambhor as we travelled to Bharatpur whilst at this latter site, c10 birds were noted on the 20th with only 2 noted the following day with a final record of 2 at Bund Baretta on the 22nd.
SIBERIAN WHITE CRANE Grus leucogeranus
The two over-wintering birds at Bharatpur were present throughout our stay and gave excellent views down to 100 metres at the south-eastern edge of Mansarovar, in what was one of the few muddy areas away from the temple area. Seen mostly feeding, at one stage they appeared about to display but then resumed feeding. Wing flapping was seen on one occasion which allowed the black primaries to be seen, these being totally hidden at all other times.
BROWN CRAKE Amaurornis akool *
A single was seen briefly, moving quickly between areas of cover at the edge of pools, roadside near to the entrance into the Ranthambhor reserve on the 17th. Another was seen extremely well at a roadside pool within the reserve whilst we sat in the jeep looking down on it on the 18th.
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN Amaurornis phoenicurus
Widespread and common around Bharatpur and Bund Baretta.
COMMON MOORHEN Gallinula chloropus
Noted in suitable habitat throughout the trip.
PURPLE SWAMPHEN Porphyrio porphyrio
Noted in large numbers at Bharatpur on the 20th, 21st and 24th, around Bund Baretta on the 22nd and in swampy/marshy areas along the east-bank of the Yamuna River at Noida on the 26th.
EURASIAN COOT Fulica atra
Widespread and common and seen on most dates.
BRONZE-WINGED JACANA Metopidius indicus
One on the 16th and 2 on the 17th, both on one of the lakes within the Ranthambhor reserve were the only sightings.
BLACK-WINGED STILT Himantopus himantopus
Widespread and common, found frequenting even roadside pools and stinking village ponds.
AVOCET Recurvirostra avosetta
Only noted at Jaipur, Ranthambhor and Soorwal Lake, with a maxima of 10 at the last two sites.
GREAT THICK-KNEE Esacus recurvirostris
Six around Soorwal Lake on the 18th was the only sighting of this species, although we were told they were present at Bund Baretta.
INDIAN COURSER Cursorius coromandelicus
One of the highlights was the finding of 12 birds in a field not far distant from the helicopter landing site near to the Tiger Moon Resort at Ranthambhor. A really smart "wader", with all birds being quite brightly marked.
RIVER LAPWING Vanellus duvaucellii *
Five at Soorwal Lake, feeding along the water's edge at the base of the dam was an unexpected bonus as the only other sightings were of 2 quite distant birds on the Yamuna River below the Taj Mahal, Agra on the 23rd and one in flight across the Yamuna River near Okhla on the 26th.
WHITE-TAILED LAPWING Vanellus leucurus
A species that was far commoner than expected, with the first being on a small pool in the semi-desert near to the Tiger Moon Resort on the 17th, 2 at Soorwal Lake on pools on the field side of the dam, with up to 20 birds noted around Bharatpur on both the 20th and 21st.
RED-WATTLED LAPWING Vanellus indicus
Widespread and common seen anywhere from semi-desert to lakes to farmland to villages.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER Charadrius dubius
Three at the Jal Mahal tank, Jaipur on the 14th, one at Bharatpur on the 20th and a minimum of 2 on the east-bank of the Yamuna River on the 26th.
KENTISH PLOVER Charadrius alexandrinus
A few noted at Soorwal Lake on the 18th with one on the Yamuna River on the 26th.
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT Limosa limosa
Small numbers noted on all suitable waters.
EURASIAN CURLEW Numenius arquata
Two at Soorwal Lake on the 18th was the only sighting.
SPOTTED REDSHANK Tringa erythropus
Up to 5 noted at Bharatpur on both the 20th and 21st.
COMMON REDSHANK Tringa totanus
Widespread in suitable habitat, although only noted in small numbers.
MARSH SANDPIPER Tringa stagnatilis
Reasonable numbers noted throughout with up to 10 per day at some sites.
COMMON GREENSHANK Tringa nebularia
Small numbers noted at suitable sites.
GREEN SANDPIPER Tringa ochropus
Singles noted at both Jaipur and Ranthambhor with several noted at Bharatpur on all dates.
WOOD SANDPIPER Tringa glareola
Widespread and common, found almost anywhere there was water from lakes/jheels to roadside puddles.
COMMON SANDPIPER Actitis hypoleucos
Noted on four dates in small numbers (usually singles),
COMMON SNIPE Gallinago gallinago
Noted on five dates with 5 at Bharatpur on the 20th being the largest count. Many snipe sp. were not closely scrutinised (Pintail Snipe (G.stenura) seen on previous visit to the Sub-continent.
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER Limnodromus scolopaceus
A single (over-wintering?) bird on a pool just to the west of Python Gate along the Ghana Canal., Bharatpur on the 24th. It was associating with Black-tailed Godwits and although in a grey winter plumage, it's size when compared to that of the godwit amongst other features, identified it as this species rather than Asiatic Dowitcher (L.semipalmatus) which is almost the size of a godwit. At least one previous record of this species from this site (DC/JFC 1997).
LITTLE STINT Calidris minuta
Small numbers noted at the Jal Mahal tank, Jaipur on the 14th, Soorwal Lake on the 18th, roadside pools north of Sawai Madhopur on the 19th and along the east bank of the Yamuna River, Noida on the 26th. A maximum day count of 10 at this latter site was recorded.
TEMMINCK'S STINT Calidris temminckii
One on the roadside pools north of Sawai Madhopur on the 19th and one on the same pool as the Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus) at Bharatpur on the 24th.
DUNLIN Calidris alpina
Five along the east bank of the Yamuna River, Noida on the 26th was the only sighting.
CURLEW SANDPIPER Calidris ferruginea
One noted at Soorwal Lake on the 18th was an unexpected record.
RUFF Philomachus pugnax
Widespread and common, although in small numbers.
YELLOW-LEGGED GULL Larus cachinnans
A kinimum of 10 noted at Soorwal Lake on the 18th and were the only sightings of the trip.
GREAT BLACK-HEADED GULL Larus icthyaetus
A minimum of 20 in various plumages were noted at Soorwal Lake on the 18th.
INDIAN BLACK-HEADED GULL Larus brunnicephalus
A minimum of 5 birdswere noted at Soorwal Lake on the 18th with another at Okhla on the 26th.
WHISKERED TERN Chlidonias hybridus
Five on the Jal Mahal tank, Jaipur on the 14th, with at least 5 noted around Okhla Island on the 26th. All birds were in winter plumage.
GULL-BILLED TERN Gelochelidon nilotica
Two at Soorwal Lake on the 18th with a minimum of 2 noted at Bund Baretta on the 22nd.
INDIAN RIVER TERN Sterna aurantica *
One at the Jal Mahal tank, Jaipur on the 14th; a ground roosting bird on mud at the side of one of the Ranthambhor lakes on the 17th was considered to be this species; at least 10 at Soorwal Lake on the 18th were seen well both on the mud and in flight; up to 2 noted at Bharatpur on the 20th and 21st; a minimum of 20 at Bund Baretta on the 22nd; at least two along the Yamuna River at Agra on the 23rd with finally 3 on the Yamuna River at Okhla on the 26th. Larger than expected. a pleasing species to see.
BLACK-BELLIED TERN Sterna acuticauda
The only sighting of this globally threatened species was of a bird feeding over one of the lakes at Ranthambhor on the afternoon of the 17th.
PAINTED SANDGROUSE Pterocles indicus
At least 50 birds came to the pool at the rear of the Tiger Moon Resort at dusk on the two evenings of the 17th and 18th. Their similarity to Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse (P.lichtensteinii), particularly around the head was quite apparent when seen and even their appearance at dusk was very similar to that species. (Note: Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse (P.lichtensteinii) was at one time considered to be a sub-species of Painted Sandgrouse (P.indicus) and was known as Close-barred Sandgrouse (P.indicus).
ROCK DOVE Columba livia
Widespread and common.
ORIENTAL TURTLE-DOVE Streptopelia orientalis
Brief views of a bird as it took flight, whilst we were on a jeep safari within the Ranthambhor reserve on the 16th.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE Streptopelia decaocto
Noted on most dates. Widespread in small numbers.
RED COLLARED-DOVE Streptopelia tranquebarica
Two in the hotel gardens at Jaipur on the 14th and one at Ranthambhor on the 18th were the only recorded sightings.
SPOTTED TURTLE-DOVE Streptopelia chinensis
Two close to the Tiger Moon Resort on the 16th were the only specifically noted sighting.
LAUGHING TURTLE-DOVE Streptopelia senegalensis
Widespread and common and recorded on nearly every date.
YELLOW-FOOTED GREEN PIGEON Treron phoenicoptera
At least 4 flew across the gardens outside the domestic terminal at Delhi Airport on the afternoon of the 13th, about 5 were noted at Ranthambhor on the 16th, with at least 50 noted the following day, mostly roosting in tree-tops early morning. Up to 30 were noted at Bharatpur on the 20th and 24th, either feeding in a fruiting fig tree or again roosting in tree-tops early morning. A very smart, albeit fairly common species.
ALEXANDRINE PARAKEET Psittacula eupatria
One flew overhead calling whilst in the semi-desert near the helicopter landing site on the 17th with 2 perched in a tree-top within the Ranthambhor reserve on the afternoon of the following day. Noticeably larger than Rose-ringed Parakeet, it was pleasing to see perched birds on the 18th as the previous days flight only views were most unsatisfactory and un-tickable.
ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET Psittacula krameri
Widespread and common and noted on all dates.
PLUM-HEADED PARAKEET Psittacula cyanocephala
Only noted around the Nahargarh Biological Park, Jaipur on the 14th and Ranthambhor on the 16th, 17th and 18th, and then only in small numbers compared to the previous species.
GREY-BELLIED CUCKOO Cacomantis passerinus
An unexpected bonus was the sighting of this species feeding along the bushes on the east side of Mansarovar at Bharatpur on the 21st. Told of its presence by an Indian birder (but called by him an Indian Plaintive Cuckoo), it was fairly quickly located as it moved from one side of the track to the other. It was only on seeing it, that I realised that it was this species and not Plaintive Cuckoo (C.merulinus) which I had previously seen in Thailand.
ASIAN KOEL Eudynamys scolopacea
One on the 14th at the Nahargarh Biological Park, Jaipur was the only sighting.
GREATER COUCAL Centropus sinensis
Only one noted on one date at Ranthambhor, but noted every day thereafter with a day count of at least 10 at Bharatpur on the 20th.
INDIAN SCOPS-OWL Otus bakkamoena *
The only sighting was of a pair of birds sat in an exposed hole in a tree, just inside one of the entrance gates to the Ranthambhor reserve. Seen on two occasions, the second of which was from a "canter", gave us the added height to see both birds really well.
DUSKY EAGLE-OWL Bubo coromandus *
Birds were heard calling from either side of the main driveway at Bharatpur at dusk on the evenings we were there. On the 20th, our "rickshaw wallah" heard one calling and directed us to walk out into the grassland and towards scattered trees some distance from the driveway, assuring us that we would find the bird sat in a tree-top. Sure enough by walking towards the calling bird, it was eventually found perched as predicted, with the fast-fading light still good enough to allow good, unobstructed 'scope views.
SPOTTED OWLET Athene brama
One noted at Ranthambhor on the 17th, with up to four noted at Bharatpur on both the 20th and 21st, with a sighting the following day at Bund Baretta.
LARGE-TAILED NIGHTJAR Caprimulgus macrurus
Very much a "wanted to see" species although unexpected, as it is considered out of range by some (Inskipp, Inskipp & Grimmett, Birds of the Indian Sub-continent, 1999) yet expected by others (Kazmierczak & Singh, A Birdwatchers' Guide to India, 1998). My only previous sighting was of distant birds in flight in the Khao Yai NP, Thailand. A bird roosting on the ground on leaf-litter was viewed through scopes at no more than 20 yards distance. It's plumage blended so well with the background that even at that close distance, it had to be pointed out to us. Watched for some time during mid-morning on the 24th within a forested area not far from a crosspath along the Jatoli Canal, Bharatpur; a return visit later in the day revealed that the bird had turned around during our absence.
COMMON INDIAN NIGHTJAR Caprimulgus asiaticus
An individual found moribund on a pathway within the Grass Nursery Farm, Khatipura Road, 6km west of Jaipur on the 15th was examined at close range. The cause of it's sad demise was not firmly established.
SAVANNA NIGHTJAR Caprimulgus affinis
An un-expected bonus were a nightjar sp. (up to 6 on the 17th) hawking over the pool at the rear of the Tiger Moon Resort at dusk on the 17th. There was conflict between us as to which species was involved as we failed to make note of the extent of white in the tail during first sighting. On the 18th, we made ourselves ready at the pool as dusk arrived and with 'scopes, were able to watch up to 3 birds well as they again hawked over the pool as the light faded. There was no doubt in our minds on seeing them for the second time that they were in fact this species and by all accounts, on the very edge of their known range.
HOUSE SWIFT Apus nipalensis
Noted around habitation only, with good numbers around Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.
LESSER PIED KINGFISHER Ceryle rudis
One at the Jal Mahal tank, Jaipur on the 14th; a maximum of 5 within the Ranthambhor reserve on the dates visited; and in excess of 10 noted at Bharatpur on the 20th and 21st.
COMMON KINGFISHER Alcedo atthis
Noted at Ranthambhor, Soorwal Lake and on the Yamuna River at Okhla.
WHITE-BREASTED KINGFISHER Halcyon smyrensis
Widespread and common and seen on nearly every date, with the largest day count being 10 at Bharatpur on the 20th.
LITTLE GREEN BEE-EATER Merops orientalis
Six noted at the Grass Nursery Farm, Jaipur on the 15th, a minimum of 10 in Ranthambhor on the 16th, with unspecified numbers seen on both the 18th and 19th around Ranthambhor with no further sightings thereafter.
INDIAN ROLLER Coracius benghalensis
Singles noted around Ranthambhor and during the journey to Bharatpur, with good numbers noted at Bharatpur itself with a maximum day count of 10 on the 20th.
EURASIAN HOOPOE Upupa epops
One at Ranthambhor on the 16th, up to 3 around Soorwal Lake on the 18th, singles at Bharatpur on the 21st and 24th, 2 at Bund Baretta on the 22nd, and 4 at Agra (Taj Mahal & Agra Fort) on the 23rd.
INDIAN GREY HORNBILL Tockus birostris
One at the Grass Nursery Farm, Jaipur on the 15th, up to 3 in a fruiting fig tree in the nursery area at Bharatpur on the 21st, 2 near the dam at Bund Baretta on the 22nd and one in Agra on the 23rd.
BROWN-HEADED BARBET Megalaima zeylandica
Disappointing views of a bird feeding in the top of a large fruiting fig tree in the nursery area at Bharatpur on the 21st, were followed by excellent reasonably low level views of 2 birds feeding and resting in trees just outside the nursery on the 24th.
COPPERSMITH BARBET Megalaima haemacephala
Noted at Bharatpur and Bund Baretta with a maximum day count of 4 on both the 21st and 24th.
EURASIAN WRYNECK Jynx torquilla
One frequenting acacia-type trees at the Grass Nursery Farm, Jaipur on the 15th with another in a twiggy field-border bush in the semi-desert opposite the road to the Ranthambhore reserve.
BROWN-CAPPED WOODPECKER Picoides nanus
One noted on the 14th at the Nahargarh Biological Park, Ramsagar with another on the 24th at Bharatpur.
YELLOW-CROWNED WOODPECKER Picoides mahrattensis
A female in the same trees as the Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) at the Grass Nursery Farm, Jaipur on the 15th was the first sighting and was followed by a pair the following day at Ranthambhor. Further sightings of singles were on the 22nd at Bund Baretta and the 24th at Bharatpur.
BLACK-RUMPED FLAMEBACK Dinopium benghalense
Noted on six dates with the largest number being at least 3 around Bharatpur on the 20th.
WHITE-NAPED WOODPECKER Chrysocolaptes festivus
A pair feeding around the chalets within the Tiger Moon Resort during the morning of the 16th gave excellent close views and was one of the trip highlights. Three birds the following day in Ranthambhor was the only other sighting of this species.
RUFOUS-TAILED LARK Ammomanes phoenicurus
Two in the semi-desert at the rear of the Tiger Moon Resort on the 16th, with 4 in the similar area opposite the Ranthambhor reserve road the following day with finally, one along the stony track on the south-west side of Bund Baretta on the 22nd.
GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK Calandrella brachydactyla
A large flock of birds (several hundred) encountered in the semi-desert beyond Soorwal Lake on the 18th, consisted of this species as far as we were able to ascertain, although lack of time prevented us from scrutinising the flock more carefully. They were very mobile and even using the jeep as a hide, they rarely stayed in one place for longer than a few seconds.
CRESTED LARK Galerida cristata
Two at Bund Baretta on the 22nd was the only sighting.
ORIENTAL SKYLARK Alauda gulgula
Up to 14 birds, both on the ground and in flight calling, were encountered on arable land close to the shore-line of Soorwal Lake on the 18th.
ASHY-CROWNED SPARROW-LARK Eremopterix grisea
Four around the pool in the semi-desert at the rear of the Tiger Moon Resort on the 16th, with another by the "heli-port" the following day, with finally, 2 in scrub opposite the Laxi Vilas Hotel at Bharatpur on the 25th.
BROWN-THROATED SAND-MARTIN Riparia paludicola
Noted on seven dates over suitable areas, with in excess of 200 at the Jal Mahal tank, Jaipur on the 14th.
EURASIAN CRAG-MARTIN Hirundo rupestris
At least 2 noted at Jaipur on the 14th and 2 over the pool at the rear of the Tiger Moon Resort, Ranthambhor on the evening of the 18th. The latter were in company with the following species.
DUSKY CRAG-MARTIN Hirundo concolor
Up to 10 birds noted around Delhi airport on the 13th, 3 around the Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur on the 15th and at least 10 around Ranthambhor on both the 16th and 17th, with uncounted numbers at Soorwal Lake on the 18th and Bund Baretta on the 22nd.
BARN SWALLOW Hirundo rustica
Small numbers noted over Soorwal Lake on the 18th and the Yamuna River, Okhla on the 26th.
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW Hirundo smithii
One noted at Soorwal Lake on the 18th was the only bird recorded.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW Hirundo daurica
Noted at Delhi and around Ranthambhor,
STREAK-THROATED SWALLOW Hirundo fluvicola
At least 5 birds noted over Soorwal Lake on the 18th, but as with the previous three species, once recorded, little further note was made of such birds.
YELLOW WAGTAIL Motacilla flava
Four birds noted at the Jal Mahal tank, Jaipur on the 14th were the only ones recorded.
CITRINE WAGTAIL Motacilla citreola
Up to 2 at the Jal Mahal tank on the 14th, and one noted by the pool at the rear of the Tiger Moon Resort on the 16th. Around Bharatpur, Bund Baretta and the Yamuna River, good numbers were recorded with a minimum of 20 seen on the 20th.
GREY WAGTAIL Motacilla cinerea
Singles noted on four dates at Ranthambhor, Bharatpur and Bund Baretta.
WHITE WAGTAIL Motacilla alba
Small numbers noted throughout, fairly widespread and common.
WHITE-BROWED WAGTAIL Motacilla madaraspatensis
One at Ranthambhor on the 16th, up to 4 at Soorwal Lake on the 18th, in excess of 10 noted around Bharatpur on the 20th, 2 at Bund Baretta on the 22nd and one across the road from the Laxmi Vilas Hotel, Bharatpur on the morning of the 25th.
RICHARD'S PIPIT Anthus richardi
Birds, considered to be this species were noted in dry, sandy fields en-route to Bund Baretta on the 22nd.
TAWNY PIPIT Anthus campestris
Widespread in semi-desert and dry field habitat, although only in small numbers. Noted at Ranthambhor, Soorwal Lake, en-route to Bund Baretta and finally across the road from the hotel in Bharatpur. Long-billed Pipit (A.similis) was the reason for close inspection of most pipits encountered, but none fitted the criteria of that hoped for species.
EURASIAN TREE-PIPIT Anthus trivialis
Up to 5 noted in the fields within the semi-desert opposite the Ranthambhor reserve road junction on the 17th.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT Anthus hodgsoni
Only noted in the forest areas and nursery at Bharatpur, with 2 noted on the 21st and 5 on the 24th.
ROSY PIPIT Anthus roseatus *
A winter plumaged bird, showing the olive green tint to the secondaries and the heavy-streaking to both upper and underpants was watched for some minutes on a muddy area along the east bank of the Yamuna River near to the temple and opposite Okhla on the 26th.
SMALL MINIVET Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
Two at the Nahargarh Biological Park, Ramsagar on the afternoon of the 14th, up to 6 at Bund Baretta on the 22nd in the acacia scrub below the Kishen Mahal Palace and finally one in the forest area at Bharatpur on the 24th.
LONG-TAILED MINIVET Pericrocotus ethologus
A minimum of 3 noted in the forest area at Bharatpur on the 24th was the only sighting.
COMMON WOODSHRIKE Tephrodornis pondicerianus
Noted on six dates at various locations, with the maximum day count of 5 at Bharatpur on the 24th. A comparatively widespread species.
WHITE-EARED BULBUL Pycnonotus leucotis
Up to 6 noted on the 20th, mainly along the main driveway at Bharatpur, with further sightings around Bharatpur on both the 21st and 24th.
RED-VENTED BULBUL Pycnonotus cafer
Widespread and common and noted throughout.
MARSHALL'S IORA Aegithina nigrolutea
Brief and un-tickable views of a bird rapidly moving through dense canopy along Ram Band at the rear of Shanti Kutir at Bharatpur on the 21st.
ISABELLINE SHRIKE Lanius isabellinus
One along the scrubby bank below the dam at Soorwal Lake on the 18th was the only one seen.
BAY-BACKED SHRIKE Lanius vittatus *
The first encounter with this species was on the 14th at the Nahargarh Biological Park, Ramsagar, with further sightings at Ranthambhor (semi-desert area) on the 17th, between Ranthambhor and Bharatpur on the 19th and at Bharatpur on the 21st.
LONG-TAILED SHRIKE Lanius schach
Noted on 10 dates and the most frequently encountered shrike sp. Maximum day count of 5 at Bharatpur on the 20th.
SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE Lanius meridionalis
Noted on 5 dates, although never at Bharatpur. Up to 4 around Soorwal Lake on the 18th was the largest day maxima.
INDIAN ROBIN Saxicoloides fulicata
Widespread and common and seen on most dates. Up to 20 on the 15th was the largest day count.
BLUE ROCK-THRUSH Monticola solitarius
A female/immature male along the rocky hillside along the south-west side of Bund Baretta on the 22nd was the only one recorded.
ORANGE-HEADED THRUSH Zoothera citrina
A single bird seen on all visits to the nursery area at Bharatpur on the 20th, 21st and 24th.
SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT Luscinia calliope
A strong candidate for bird of the trip was a stunning male frequenting an area close to the checkpoint, some 2km along the main driveway at Bharatpur. Seen on the 21st, firstly at 3 metres distance under dark bushes, it subsequently moved out into the open to a tiny marshy area (caused by a leaking tap) next to the check-point "sentry box". It was watched for several minutes both in this open area and then around the forest floor nearby, rarely out in the open but mainly under straggly bushes that in any case were devoid of foliage. A stunning bird.
BLUETHROAT Luscinia svecica
One seen at Soorwal Lake on the 18th, with further sightings around Bharatpur on the 20th, 21st and 24th and at the Yamuna River opposite Okhla on the 26th. A maximum day count of 3 on the 20th.
ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN Copsychus saularis
Singles noted on seven dates. Widespread although not as common as expected.
BLACK REDSTART Phoenicurus ochruros
Widespread and relatively common, albeit in small numbers. Some stunning males of the form P.o.phoenicuroides were seen at both Ranthambhor and Bharatpur.
STOLICZKA'S BUSHCHAT Saxicola macrorhyncha
An unexpected bonus was the finding of a female/immature male of this species in the semi-desert close to the pool at the rear of the Tiger Moon Resort, Ranthambhor on the morning of the 16th. Watched at some length and with video footage obtained, reference to the literature caused no hesitation in confirming this individual's identity.
COMMON STONECHAT Saxicola torquata
Birds of the form S.t.maura (Siberian Stonechat) were noted on 6 dates around Ranthambhor, Bharatpur and Bund Baretta.
PIED STONECHAT Saxicola caprata
Two noted at Soorwal Lake on the 18th with further sightings of individuals at Bharatpur, Bund Baretta and the Yamuna River shoreline opposite Okhla.
GREY BUSHCHAT Saxicola ferrea
Singles noted on three dates at Ranthambhor and Soorwal Lake.
VARIABLE WHEATEAR Oenanthe picata *
A fine male was seen near the pool in the semi-desert at the rear of the Tiger Moon Resort, Ranthambhor on the 16th, with a female seen in the semi-desert to the north-west of Soorwal Lake on the afternoon of the 18th. Having now definitely seen birds of this species, I have no doubts that this is the species that I first saw near to the salt-pans in Eilat, Israel in November 1995, and which, since that time has rather "bugged" me.
DESERT WHEATEAR Oenanthe deserti
A fine male in the semi-desert to the north-west of Soorwal Lake on the 18th was the only sighting.
ISABELLINE WHEATEAR Oenanthe isabellina
One in the semi-desert by the "heli-port" at Ranthambhor on the 17th.
BROWN ROCKCHAT Cercomela fusca *
A species that I thought may have been difficult to see proved extremely common, with at least 3 on the 14th around Amber Fort, Jaipur with more than 5 the following day at both Jaigarh and Nahargarh Forts, Jaipur. Two were seen on the 16th near the pool in the semi-desert at the rear of the Tiger Moon Resort at Ranthambhor, with final sightings at Bund Baretta on the 22nd and around the Laxmi Vilas Hotel, Bharatpur on the 25th.
TAWNY-BELLIED BABBLER Dumetia hyperythra
Three birds on the 17th were discovered in vegetation at the roadside just before the entrance archway into the Ranthambhor reserve. Having stopped to check the pools in the area for Brown Crake (Amaurornis akool), and drawn a blank, the finding of this species was a real bonus although always a potential species for the trip.
YELLOW-EYED BABBLER Chrysomma sinense
A single bird feeding as it moved through low-scrubby bush in the semi-desert at the rear of the Tiger Moon Resort, Ranthambhor on the 16th was unexpected at this site and was followed by sightings of the species on the three dates at Bharatpur, with up to 7 on the 20th, a single on the 21st and 3 on the 24th.
COMMON BABBLER Turdoides caudatus *
A party of 4 in the scrubby semi-desert at the rear of the Tiger Moon Resort, Ranthambhor on the 16th and one by the Yamuna River opposite Okhla on the 26th were the only sightings.
STRIATED BABBLER Turdoides earlei *
A minimum of 10 birds noted on the 26th, with 3 on the east bank of the Yamuna River near to the temple opposite Okhla and at least 7 on Okhla Island itself.
LARGE GREY BABBLER Turdoides malcolmi
Noted on five dates, with the first encounter being of 8 birds at the Grass Nursey Farm, Jaipur on the 15th, with further sightings thereafter at both Ranthambhor and Bharatpur.
JUNGLE-BABBLER Turdoides striatus
Widespread and relatively common with parties often encountered in both Ranthambhor and Bharatpur.
GREY-BREASTED PRINIA Prinia hodgsoni
Singles noted at the Nahargarh Biological Park, Ramsagar on the 14th and the Grass Nursery Farm, Jaipur on the 15th.
YELLOW-BELLIED PRINIA Prinia flaviventris
One, seen very briefly in the reedbeds of Okhla Island on the 26th, was unexpected.
ASHY PRINIA Prinia socialis
Only noted around Bharatpur and Delhi in small numbers.
PLAIN PRINIA Prinia inornata
Widespread and relatively common and the most frequently encountered prinia sp.
STRIATED GRASSBIRD Megalurus palustris
One seen all too briefly around one of the reedbeds on Okhla Island on the 26th was the only sighting.
BLYTH'S REED-WARBLER Acrocephalus dumetorum
Probably overlooked, the only confirmed sighting was of a single bird at Bharatpur on the 20th.
COMMON TAILORBIRD Orthotomus sutorius
One or two birds seen on eight dates.
COMMON CHIFFCHAFF Phylloscopus collybita
Three on the 17th at Ranthambhor, whilst birds were noted most dates during the second week. Birds were all of the form P.c.tristis (Siberian Chiffchaff).
SMOKY WARBLER Phylloscopus fuligiventer
One was found feeding close to and on the ground along the western waterline of the Ghana Canal, Bharatpur near to the temple and was watched for some time. It tended to keep to the understorey of the low bushes occasionally moving to the water's edge feeding all the time it was moving. A second individual was located along the track north-east of the temple. This bird spent more time out the open, actually feeding around the muddy edge of some water, occasionally moving onto branches and vegetation floating on the water.
TICKELL'S LEAF-WARBLER Phylloscopus affinis
Fairly brief but good views on the 24th, of a bird moving through the canopy at a site near to Python Gate, Bharatpur where we were looking for Marshall's Iora (Aegithina nigrolutea). With a bold yellow supercilium and with a yellow wash to the underparts, it's identity as this species of phyllosc. was never in doubt.
SULPHUR-BELLIED WARBLER Phylloscopus griseolus
The only sighting was of a bird feeding on a curved stone wall at the south-western end of the dam at Bund Baretta on the 22nd. Feeding both on the ground at the base of the wall and from between the stone blocks of the wall itself, it was in fact a very smart bird.
BROOK'S LEAF-WARBLER Phylloscopus subviridis
A single bird watched for several minutes as it fed in acacia trees near to Python Gate, Bharatpur on the 24th. Calling constantly, a distinctive high-pitched, monosyllabic "psee", this always helped to re-locate the bird as it moved between trees. A small bird, with a yellow supercilium and a pale yellowish rump, it was a pleasing addition to the list.
HUME'S WARBLER Phylloscopus humei
Noted on all dates around Bharatpur and Bund Baretta, with up to 5 noted at the latter site on the 22nd and in excess of 15 at Bharatpur on the 24th. Probably largely overlooked at other sites. All birds were very vocal.
GREENISH WARBLER Phylloscopus trochiloides
Noted at several sites but no specific numbers recorded.
DESERT LESSER WHITETHROAT Sylvia minula
Lesser Whitethroat sp's. were widespread and common and encountered at all sites during the trip. However, birds studied, particularly around the semi-desert at Ranthambhor were considered to be of this form which has recently been split (by some authorities) from the nominate form S. curruca. However, others seen around Bharatpur and Bund Baretta may have been of the form S.c.blythii or S.althaea (also a recent split by some authorities) and now referred to as Hume's (Lesser) Whitethroat.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER Ficedula parva
Two noted at the Nahargarh Biological Park, Ramsagar on the 14th, with at least 10 the following day around the Jaipur forts and the Grass Nursery Farm. Noted at Bharatpur and Bund Baretta but no specific count made. Many were scrutinised for the potential Taiga Flycatcher (F.p.albicilla) but alas, none were found. Again, the species was very vocal.
TICKELL'S BLUE-FLYCATCHER Cyornis tickelliae
Singles on the 16th, 17th and 18th at Ranthambhor were the only sightings.
GREY-HEADED CANARY FLYCATCHER Culicicapa
A minimum of 3 around the Grass Nursery Farm, Jaipur on the 15th, one at Ranthambhor on the 18th and 2 at Bund Baretta on the 22nd of this widespread flycatcher.
WHITE-BROWED FANTAIL Rhipidura aureola
Singles noted on four dates with 2 seen on a fifth. First seen at the Nahargarh Biological Park on the 14th with another along the Tiger Fort ridge the following day. Birds noted on the 16th, 17th and 18th at Rhanthambhor included a very "showy" bird around the dining area at the Tiger Moon Resort.
GREAT TIT Parus major
Up to 6 noted around the Nahargarh Biological Park, Ramsagar on the 14th (whilst looking for the much scarcer White-naped Tit P.nuchalis), with singles noted on three other dates around Ranthambhor.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED NUTHATCH Sitta castanea
Singles at Bharatpur on the 21st and 24th in wooded areas within the reserve were the only sightings.
SPOTTED CREEPER Salpornis spilonotus
Highlight (for me) of the trip were the close and prolonged views of this species. Heard initially by our "guide" along the brick path at Bharatpur on the 24th, it disappeared before we could get on to it and were about to give up trying to re-locate it when NFO refound it on a path side acacia. It showed extremely well for what was several minutes before it disappeared following disturbance by passing cyclists. Appearing larger than Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) it was, I felt, more similar in build and bill length to Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria). The extensive spotting on the bird, particularly along the flanks made it a very attractive species.
PURPLE SUNBIRD Nectarinia asiatica
The only sunbird sp. to occur in the areas visited and noted on nine dates with some very smart males seen.
ORIENTAL WHITE-EYE Zosterops palpebrosus
Small numbers noted on three dates with 10 around the Grass Nursery Farm on the 15th being the highest count.
BLACK DRONGO Dicrurus macrocercus
Widespread and common and noted on most dates. A bird mainly found in open areas.
ASHY DRONGO Dicrurus leucophaeus
Two on the 21st in large trees overlooking the nursey area at Bharatpur were the only ones seen.
WHITE-BELLIED DRONGO Dicrurus caerulescens
Up to 4 noted at Ranthambhor on the 16th with singles noted the following two days also around Ranthambhor.
RUFOUS TREEPIE Dendrocitta vagabunda
Widespread and common with large groups noted around Ranthambhor on several occasions. Up to 40 birds seen on the 16th was the largest day count.
HOUSE CROW Corvus splendens
Widespread and common and noted throughout.
LARGE-BILLED CROW Corvus macrorhynchus
Noted at both Ranthambhor and Bharatpur most often in small numbers, with 10 on the 18th being the largest day count.
EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE Oriolus oriolus
A single on a branch overhanging the Ghana Canal, Bharatpur on the 20th was an unexpected sighting. The bird was only at head-height and out in the open for some time enabling good views to be had of a bird that in the UK is usually only glimpsed.
BRAHMINY STARLING Sturnus pagodarum
Noted on eight dates and encountered even in urban areas (eg. Jaipur City Palace). One of the smarter starling species.
ROSY STARLING Sturnus roseus
Up to 10 birds in a roadside tree north of Ranthambhor on the 19th and encountered at a roadside stop en route to Bharatpur.
COMMON STARLING Sturnus vulgaris
Three on the 18th at Soorwal Lake was the only sighting.
ASIAN PIED STARLING Sturnus contra
Large numbers encountered at Bharatpur, being the most common sturnus sp. seen at that site. Elsewhere, 2 in bushes at the Jal Mahal tank, Jaipur on the 14th was the first encounter with 3 at Soorwal Lake on the 18th and 6 en route to Bharatpur on the 19th.
COMMON MYNA Acridotheres tristis
Widespread and common although infrequently encountered at Bharatpur.
BANK MYNA Acridotheres ginginianus *
Noted around Delhi airport on arrival on the 13th, Sawai Madhopur on the 19th and Bharatpur town on the 25th, with 50 on the 13th being the largest count.
WHITE-CAPPED BUNTING Emberiza stewarti
One in bushes, although distant, at the Nahargarh Biological Park, Ramsagar on the 14th was an early and unexpected sighting. A minimum of six visiting a pool within the Jagarh Fort complex, Jaipur was also unexpected but being somewhat closer than the first sighting enabled reasonable views to be obtained. One in bushes at Ranthambhor on the 18th and 3 at Bund Baretta on the 22nd were at the expected sites and again, reasonable views were obtained.
RED AVADAVAT Amandava amandava
A minimum of 3 in company with Indian Silverbills (Euodice malabarica) moving between savanna grassland and a large pool alongside the mostly dry Ghana Canal, Bharatpur close to Python Gate on the 21st, included one winter plumaged male which showed some distinctive spotting although a very minimal amount of red.
INDIAN SILVERBILL Euodice malabarica
Two at Jaipur on the 14th and 4 on the 15th also around Jaipur, 2 at Soorwal Lake on the 18th and at least 6 with the Red Avadavats (Amandava amandava) at Bharatpur on the 21st.
BLACK-BREASTED WEAVER Ploceus bangalensis
A bonus of visiting Okhla Island, Delhi on the 26th was the sighting of two groups of this species totalling some 14 birds. Although males were in non-breeding plumage, the blackish breast band was their best distinguishing feature.
COMMON WEAVER Ploceus philippinus
Only seen in a cropped field alongside the Tiger Moon Resort, Ranthambhor on the 18th with up to 10 birds feeding on what appeared to be spilled grain as well as perching atop nearby bushes.
HOUSE SPARROW Passer domesticus
Widespread and common.
YELLOW-THROATED PETRONIA Petronia xanthocollis
A party of 8 inside the Ranthambhor reserve on the 16th was the only sighting.
Total species - 241
New species - 54