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A Report from birdtours.co.uk

Goa Trip Report - 24th January to 8th February 2002,

Rhion Pritchard

Goa, a state about half way down the west coast of India, can supply some excellent birding. Apart from having many of the usual Asian species the area has a number of species endemic to south India: Red Spurfowl, Grey Junglefowl, Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon, Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-cheeked Barbet, Spot-breasted Fantail, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Nilgiri Flycatcher, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, Grey-headed Bulbul, Rufous Babbler, Malabar Lark and Crimson-backed Sunbird. There are also a number of Indian endemics such as Yellow-wattled Lapwing.

Goa's advantage over the rest of southern India is that it is a popular winter sun destination, with cheap charter flights and packages available, plenty of reasonably priced hotels and restaurants, taxis etc. As it is also a popular birding destination, there are well-known stakeouts for several species and many of the taxi drivers have a good idea of where to find birds. This report describes a visit from 24th January to 8th February 2002 by four of us: John Barnes, Dafydd Ellis, Gareth Jones and myself.

Getting There

We took a package with Manos Holidays, involving a charter flight from Manchester Airport and a stay at the Riverside Hotel at Baga on a room and breakfast basis, costing 570. In practice we did not get many breakfasts as this was served at 7:30 a.m. - the peak birding time.

The Riverside is in an excellent location for birding, within less than 100 metres of the start of the path up Baga Hill and giving immediate access to Baga Fields, with kingfishers and herons on the river. We recorded 132 species within a radius of about 1.5 Km of the hotel.

Required for the trip are:

Visas: we got ours from the Indian High Commission at Birmingham, as I was able to call there while on a business trip. Personal callers can get a visa in about one hour, at a charge of around 30. There are also offices in London and Glasgow.
Details are available at www.hcilondon.org/visaindx.htm

Vaccinations etc: Jabs for Hepatitis A, Polio, Typhoid and Tetanus. We also took Chloroquine and Proguanil tablets for Malaria. Mosquitoes were few and far between however.

Other things you should take along include a torch (street lighting is poor and there are frequent short power cuts) and sun screen. Most things can be purchased locally, often more cheaply than at home.

Getting About

We used the Tourist Vans, small Susuki minibuses which could take four of us in reasonable comfort (as long as the three in the back seat breathed alternately). One driver we used who knows a good many bird sites was Paresh M. Salgaonkar, mobile tel. no. 9822382976. The going rate for a day's hire, including up to about 80 km free, is currently around 900 Rupees; more distant sites such as Bondla would be about 1300 Rupees. (1 = 67 Rupees at current rates)

BOOKS

The field guide we used was:
Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp. Pocket guide to the birds of the Indian subcontinent. Christopher Helm, 1999

Another guide available is:
Krys Kazmierczak. A field guide to the birds of the Indian subcontinent. Pica, 2000
This was in use by several other birders, and comparing the two we decided that each was better for certain groups of birds - there would be something to be said for taking both.

The main site guide used was:
Peter Harris. Goa: the independent birders' guide. Eastern Publications, 1996.
This is very useful, though the information for a few sites is now somewhat dated.

Trip Reports A number of trip reports are available. The one we found most useful were:

Jan Vermeulen. Goa - India - Feb 2000.
www.birdtours.co.uk/tripreports/india/india3-goa/GOA1.htm

Sites

The main sites are described in detail in the Harris book, and I will not repeat this information here. There have been changes at a few of the sites, and there are one or two other sites not mentioned by Harris which are worth a visit.

Update on Sites

CIBA-GEIGY
There is now no access to the Ciba - Geigy pools, as the company has now been taken over and a new policy introduced. We wrote in advance to request access but were told that this was not possible. It is possible to see a little through the fence near the second entrance.

Merck Meat Factory Dump
No longer exists, and there are now virtually no vultures in any case.

Indian Pitta site on Baga Hill
There is what appears to be a reliable Indian Pitta site on Baga Hill which could save a trip to Fort Aguada. Take the path up Baga Hill which passes Hilda's Beauty Parlour. About 50m past the last houses, there is a short side path leading to a small clearing - the path is marked by a pile of plastic bottles. Watch from the main path. The Pitta appeared regularly in the clearing at about 6:15 to 6:30 every evening, sometimes giving excellent views.

New Sites (not mentioned in Harris)

Arambol

Thanks to Anand Prasad for bringing this to our attention. Walk down to the beach at Arambol then turn right, walk past the rocks to reach the freshwater pool by the shore. Take the path following the stream which feeds this pool. The site is said to have Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher among other species. We did not see very much here apart from Blue Rock Thrush, and Western Reef Egret on the rocks, but this was probably because we did not arrive until 11:00 a.m. when almost everywhere is quiet anyway. It looks an attractive area and is well worth a visit.

Backwoods Camp

Very highly recommended. We enjoyed our 2 night stay here more than anything else on the holiday, and the all inclusive cost of c. 50 is excellent value. Early booking is a good idea - we booked almost 6 months in advance by e-mail.

Backwoods
E-499, Travasso de Cruz,
31st January Road
St. Tome
Panjim, Goa, India

Tel: 0091 832 436109
Fax: 0091 832 224904
e-mail : Loven@goa1.dot.net.in

Baga Woods

Cross the bridge over the river at Baga and turn right. Pass the salt pans and the Marinha Dourada hotel complex, and at the junction turn left. Continue about 0.7 km until the main road bends left, and take the side road leading off to the right signposted "Club Cubana". Pass the club and carry straight on along the track which later becomes a path. As it is some distance from Baga centre you may wish to take a taxi - ask for "Club Cubana". This had much the same birds as Baga Hill with the addition of Bronzed Drongo, but is easier birding as it is more open.

Itinerary

24/1 : depart Manchester (evening)
25/1 : arrive Dabolim airport midday.
p.m. Baga Hill and Fields.
26/1 : a.m. Baga Hill; p.m. Beira Mar
27/1 : a.m. Morji Beach and Arambol; p.m. Baga Hill
28/1 : a.m. Saligao Zor and Carambolim Lake; p.m. Baga Fields
29/1 : Backwoods
30/1 : Backwoods, Tamdi Surla
31/1 : Backwoods
1/2 : a.m. Baga Fields; p.m. Beira Mar
2/2 : a.m. Chorao Island, Maem Lake; early p.m. Panjim Salt Pans, late p.m, Baga Fields and river
3/2 : a.m. Dona Paula and Santa Cruz; early p.m. Fort Aguada
4/2 : a.m. Ciba Geigy, Carambolim Lake, Dharjo village; p.m. Baga Woods
5/2 : Baga Hill and Fields.
6/2 : a.m. Saligao Zor and Baga Woods; p.m. Baga Fields
7/2 : Baga Hill and Fields
8/2 : Depart Dabolim airport.

We did not visit any of the three Forest Sanctuaries, Bondla, Molem and Cotigao. Visits would probably have produced a few new species, but we had already recorded most of the forest species at Backwoods.

Daily Highlights

Day 1 24/1/02

We departed Manchester Airport in the evening.

Day 2 25/1/02

Arrival at Dabolim Airport was at about 11.30 a.m. We were collected by the tour company bus and set off for Baga. On the way, it was soon clear that there were plenty of birds about. From the bus we saw Little Cormorant, Indian Cormorant, Green Heron, Indian Pond Heron, large numbers of egrets and Common Kingfisher. Arriving at the hotel, we found Common Tailorbird, Purple-rumped Sunbird, Spotted Dove, Green Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Tawny Pipit, Spotted Owlet, Little Swift and Ring-necked Parakeet around the grounds or very close by. Therewas just time for a quick visit to Baga Hill before dark, which produced Golden Oriole, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Oriental Magpie Robin, Common Iora, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Puff-throated Babbler, Black-lored Tit and Black-headed Munia.

Day 3 26/1/02

We headed for Baga Hill again in the morning. New species were Loten's Sunbird, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Coppersmith Barbet, Black-rumped Flameback, Black-hooded Oriole, Scarlet Minivet, Large-billed Crow, Blue-winged Leafbird, White-browed Bulbul, Plain Prinia, Indian Robin and Chestnut-tailed Starling.

We then walked along to the salt pans, where we found Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Black-winged Stilt, Little, Intermediate and Great Egrets, Palm Swift and Wire-tailed Swallow.

Late afternoon saw us at the Beira Mar Hotel, drinking Kingfisher beer and watching the marshy ground behind the hotel. New birds were Pallid Harrier, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, White-breasted Waterhen, Pintail Snipe and Asian Koel.

Day 4 27/1/02

In the morning we took a trip to Morji beach. The tide was well up, and we found a roost of gulls containing Pallas's Gull, Heuglin's Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Brown-headed Gull and Black-headed Gull, Lesser Crested Tern and Sandwich Tern. Waders included 300+ Lesser Sand Plovers, a few Greater Sand Plover and 50+ Kentish Plover.

We then went on to Arambol. By now it was past 11:00 a.m. and things were rather quiet, but we added Blue Rock Thrush and Western Reef Heron here.

Returning to Morji Beach, the tide was now on the way down, and there was a large roost of gullsand terns on a sandbank. We added Greater Crested Tern and Gull-billed Tern, but were mystified by a group of four gulls, similar to Herring Gull in size, with long bright red legs.

A late afternoon visit to Baga Hill added Tawny-bellied Babbler, Black-shouldered Kite, Indian Pitta, White-throated Fantail and Orange-headed Thrush.

Day 5 28/1/02

An early morning visit to Saligao Zor produced some excellent birding. We quickly found the resident Brown Wood Owl by the spring, followed by a Blue-capped Rock Thrush. Other new birds added here were Jungle Babbler, Thick-billed Flowerpecker, Greater Coucal, Common Woodshrike, Brown-headed Barbet, Black-naped Oriole, Ashy Drongo, White-bellied Drongo, Rufous Treepie and Red-vented Bulbul.

We then moved to Carambolim Lake, which despite being at a low level was full of birds. New species were Lesser Whistling Duck, Cotton Pygmy-goose, Comb Duck, Marsh Harrier, Purple Heron, Purple Swamphen, Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Ashy Wood-swallow and Baya Weaver. The northern duck species were absent from the lake, though a flock of c. 200 Pintail flew over. As road repairs made access to the area difficult, we did not go to see the mystery chat nearby.

Day 6 29/1/02

We were picked up by the Backwoods minibus from our hotel at 5:30 a.m.. On the way to Backwoods we stopped to see Malabar Grey Hornbill, and shortly afterwards Malabar Pied Hornbill. Two Sri Lanka Frogmouths were roosting in a bamboo clump just round the corner from the camp.

After breakfast at Backwoods we set off again around the camp. New species included Bronzed Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Crested Serpent Eagle, Grey Junglefowl, Emerald Dove, Pompadour Green-pigeon, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Crimson-fronted Barbet, Rufous Woodpecker, Brown-capped Woodpecker, Greater Flameback, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Black-crested Bulbul, Greenish Warbler, Western Crowned Warbler, Crimson-backed Sunbird, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher and Small Minivet.

After a free early afternoon around the camp, we headed for Tamdi Surla. The highlight here was a superb view of a pair of Malabar Trogon. Other new species recorded included Mountain Imperial-pigeon, Plum-headed Parakeet, White-rumped Needletail, Dusky Crag Martin, Crested Treeswift, Brown-breasted Flycatcher and Malabar Whistling Thrush. We then visited a roost of Chestnut-tailed Bee-eater nearby.

Day 7 30/1/02

As we set off before breakfast, a White-bellied Woodpecker was seen and briefly glimpsed. Loven set off in pursuit, followed by the rest of us. For a while we seemed to have lost it, but Loven refused to give up and after an hour of zig-zagging through the forest we had superb views of two birds. Other new birds added this morning were Malabar Whistling Thrush, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Brown Shrike, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Ashy-breasted Prinia, Chestnut-shouldered Petronia and Little Spiderhunter.

A raptor watch in late morning produced some interesting raptors over a nearby ridge. First to appear wasa Bonelli's Eagle, followed by Booted Eagle, Crested Goshawk, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Black Eagle and several Crested Serpent Eagles. A White-eyed Buzzard was perched nearby.

The afternoon was free, so I wandered off and sat by a pool on the nearby stream. This provided excellent birding as a feeding flock moved through, with a male Asian Paradise-flycatcher giving superb views as it bathed in the pool. The highlight however was a Blue-eared Kingfisher flying over the pool. Gareth recorded Nilgiri Woodpigeon flying over.

In the evening we went Nightjar hunting, getting excellent views of Jerdon's Nightjar on a side track, but failing to find Grey Nightjar at Tamdi Surla.

Day 8 31/01/02

Loven spent the morning trying to find the more elusive species in the area, which we had not seen so far. We added Large Woodshrike, Verditer Flycatcher, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher and Grey-headed Bulbul.

In the afternoon we headed back for Baga, and had time for a late afternoon visit to Baga Fields, where we added Common Myna and identified a Blyth's Pipit. Most spectacular was a flock of 120+ Rosy Starlings.

Day 9 01/02/02

Today was spent around Baga. A visit to Baga Fields in the morning added Pacific Golden Plover, Small Pratincole, Pied Kingfisher, Tree Pipit and Ashy Prinia, while a quail species was flushed but did not give good enough views to identify to species.

We visited the Beira Mar Hotel again in the evening, and having now been told exactly where to look soon found the Painted Snipe. As the light faded we had excellent views of a Cinnamon Bittern, and also added Green Sandpiper here.

Day 10 02/02/02

We called first at Chorao Island, where the mudflats were exposed. There were very few waders in evidence however, though we did add Dunlin to the trip list. We then moved on to Maem Lake, where we checked the tree usually favoured by the Brown Fish Owl. The bird was not to be seen however, apparently because it had been disturbed by clearance work around the path. Also looking for the owl were a Swedish couple we had met at Backwoods, and they showed us the Grey Nightjar roost a little further along the path. We then carried on along the path to bird the woodland behind the lake, but did not find many birds. On the way back however we had superb views of a Changeable Hawk Eagle which flew into a tree across the lake - one of the birds of the trip.

On the way back to the ferry we checked the shrine area on Chorao Island, but found very little, not unexpectedly as it was now midday. The marshy fields near the ferry produced a few waders, including Whimbrel, and I had a brief glimpse of a Lesser Adjutant above the mangroves as we took the ferry back.

In the early afternoon we went to Panjim Salt Pans, where there were reasonable numbers of waders, including two new species, Little Stint and Temminck's Stint. On the way back to Baga we noticed the first Indian Roller of the trip, and having stopped to view it also found Brahminy Starling and Kestrel.

After returning to Baga we took the usual late afternoon walk in the fields and by the river, and added two more new species, Paddyfield Warbler and White Wagtail.

Day 11 03/02/02

We headed for Dona Paula early in the morning, and started on the shore below the Cidade de Goa. This produced a number of species including two new ones, Asian Brown Flycatcher and Booted Warbler.

The dry fields were the next stop, and it did not take long to find one of the target species, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, with at least five present. Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark turned up shortly afterwards, though a probable sighting of Oriental Skylark could not be confirmed as the birds disappeared.

We then moved on to Santa Cruz, where the pool produced a roost of 410 Small Pratincole, with about 60 Black Kite, 20+ Brahminy Kite and a White-bellied Sea Eagle in the air nearby. A Lesser Spotted Eagle overhead was the only new species.

The last stop was at Fort Aguada, but by now it was very hot and hardly anything was moving.

Day 12 04/02/02

An early morning stop to view the Cibba Geigy pools through the fence produced 11 Lesser Adjutants roosting in a large tree. The view through the fence was very restricted however, and we soon moved on.

Carambolim Lake was the next stop. The species present were similar to those seen on our previous visit, though scanning added Little Grebe and a single Garganey. The best bird was a Black-headed Ibis which flew in.

Finally we stopped at Dharjo village, where we luckily met another group whose guide had just spotted a Banded Bay Cuckoo.

In the late afternoon I took a walk out to explore Baga Woods. This produced some good birding, though Osprey on the way there was the only new species.

Day 13 05/02/02

The remainder of the group wanted breakfast at the hotel today, so I set off alone for Baga Hill at first light. This produced some of the best birding of the trip for an hour or so, the highlights being two Red Spurfowl, Alexandrine Parakeet flying over and excellent close-range views of a Grey-headed Bulbul and three Rufous Woodpeckers, along with a wide range of other species. Returning to the hotel I found that the rest of the group had also had a good morning in the fields, adding Bluethroat, Short-toed Lark and Scaly-breasted Munia to the trip list.

In the afternoon three of us set out again for Baga Hill to look for Indian Peafowl, which had eluded us so far. This time we had good views of three birds on the ridge, and also saw a quail which again vanished before the species could be identified. The Indian Pitta gave excellent views at the usual site on theway down. Gareth stuck to the fields, and was rewarded with a sighting of Woolly- necked Stork.

Day 14 06/02/02

We visited Saligao Zor in the early morning, but found the birding here nowhere near so good as it had been on our first visit. We carried on above the spring, where we saw four Indian Peafowl but not much else.

On the way back we called at Baga Woods, which was also rather quiet.

A late afternoon walk along the river produced Slaty-breasted Rail and a number of snipe, one of which could be identified as Common Snipe rather than Pintail.

Day 15 07/02/02

Today was spent around Baga, catching up on shopping and other activites, though I found Pale-billed Flowerpecker on Baga Hill (a species we had probably seen several times before but not had good enough views to distinguish from Plain Flowerpecker), while Gareth found the quail in Baga Fields again and was able to identify it as a Rock Bush-quail.

Day 16 08/02/02

We departed for Dabolim Airport early in the morning.

We finished with a species list of 243, a total which could probably have been increased fairly easily had we travelled around more. It was noticeable however that Baga Hill and Baga Fields were still able to produce new species even after many previous visits.

Species List

1. Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
One at Carambolim Lake 4/2/02.

2. Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger)
Small numbers seen at wetland sites, e.g. several near Panjim on 25/2/02.

3. Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fusicollis)
Rather unexpectedly more common than Little Cormorant, with several birds present at most wetland sites.

4. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Very common in all suitable habitats.

5. Western Reef Heron (Egretta gularis)
Seen at Arambol 27/1/02,

6. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Found at most wetland sites in small numbers.

7. Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
Seen at Carambolim Lake and along the River Baga on several days.

8. Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Less common than Little or Intermediate, but still present in good numbers at all wetland sites.

9. Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia)
Very common at all wetland sites.

10. Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Found everywhere in large numbers. Apparently no cow in Goa is without several attendant Cattle Egrets!

11. Indian Pond-heron (Ardeola grayii)
Another very common species at any sort of wetland.

12. Little Green Heron (Butroides striatus)
Quite common at many wetland sites, e.g. several along the River Baga.

13. Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamoneus)
One behind the Beira Mar Hotel, Baga on 1/2/02.

14. Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans)
A flock of c.50 at Carambolim Lake on 28/01/02, also small numbers seen elsewhere.

15. Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus)
Only one seen, over Baga Fields on 5/2/02 (GJ).

16. Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilops javanicus)
11 were roosting in a large tree at Ciba Geigy early in the morning on 4/2/02. One was also seen in flight at Chorao Island on 2/2/02.

17. Black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus)
One was seen at Carambolim Lake on 4/2/02.

18. Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica)
Present in large numbers at Carambolim Lake on both visits. An estimated 1,100 were counted on 4/2/02.

19. Comb Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos)
About 12 were at Carambolim Lake on 28/2/02, with 10 on 4/2/02.

20. Cotton Pygmy-goose (Nettapus coromandelianus)
About 40 at Carambolim Lake on 4/2/02.

21. Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
A flock of 200+ flew over Carambolim Lake on 28/1/02.

22. Garganey (Anas querquedula)
Surprisingly scarce at Carambolim Lake. Scoping the lake eventually produced one female on 4/2/02.

23. Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
One flew over Carambolim Lake with Pintail on 28/1/02.

24. Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus)
Seen on several dates around Baga, particularly in Baga Woods where at least two birds were present.

25. Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus)
One over Baga Hill on 27/1/02 (RP), also seen at Backwoods.

26. Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
Very common everywhere, e.g. 60+ in the air at once at Santa Cruz on 3/2/02.

27. Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)
Also very common, though in slightly smaller numbers than Black Kite.

28. White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
Seen most days around the coast, e.g. over Baga Hill, Santa Cruz, Fort Aguada.

29. Crested Serpent-eagle (Spilornis cheela)
One on Baga Hill acted as a very reliable alarm clock in the mornings. Also seen on all three days at Backwoods.

30. Eurasian Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
Seen on both visits to Carambolim Lake, with probably three birds present, also seen in the fields behind the Beira Mar at Baga.

31. Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)
Seen over Baga Fields on 26/1/02 and 1/2/02.

32. Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus)
One at Backwoods on 30/1/02; a probable over Baga Hill on 26/1/02.

33. Shikra (Accipiter badius)
Seen regularly in suitable habitats, including around the hotel at Baga.

34. Besra (Accipiter virgatus)
One was seen at Maem Lake on 2/2/02.

35. White-eyed Buzzard (Butastur teesa)
One near Backwoods on 30/1/02.

36. Indian Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malayensis)
One at Backwoods on 30/1/02.

37. Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina)
One at Santa Cruz on 3/2/01.

38. Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus)
One at Backwoods on 30/1/02.

39. Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)
Seen around Baga on several days, also seen at Backwoods.

40. Rufous-bellied Eagle (Hieraaetus kienerii)
One at Backwoods on 30/1/02.

41. Changeable Hawk-eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus)
One was seen at Maem Lake on 2/2/02.

42. Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
One near Baga Woods on 4/2/02 (RP) and one over Baga Fields on 6/2/02 (RP)

43. Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
One was seen in fields a few Km. outside Baga on 3/2/02.

44. Rock Bush-quail (Perdicula argoondah)
A quail species seen in Baga Fields on 31/1/02 was found again on 6/2/02 and identified as a Rock Bush Quail (GJ). A quail sp. was also seen on the ridge at Baga Hill.

45. Red Spurfowl (Galloperdix spadicea)
Two on Baga Hill at first light on 5/2/02 (RP).

46. Grey Junglefowl (Gallus sonneratii)
One ran across a track near Backwoods on 29/1/02.

47. Common Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)
Three on Baga Hill on 5/2/02 and at least 4 here on 6/2/02, also 4 above Saligao Zor on 6/2/02.

48. Slaty-breasted Rail (Gallirallus striatus)
One along the River Baga on 6/2/02 (RP).

49. White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)
Several were seen behind the Beira Mar Hotel and around the River Baga.

50. Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio)
870 were counted at Carambolim Lake on 28/1/02.

51. Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
Several were seen at Carambolim Lake on both visits.

52. Common Coot (Fulicula atra)
Several were seen at Carambolim Lake on both visits.

53. Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus)
Not particularly numerous at Carambolim Lake on 28/1/02, with only about 10 birds seen. Numbers had increased to about 30 on 4/2/02.

54. Bronze-winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus)
50+ at Carambolim Lake on 28/1/02/.

55. Greater Painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis)
2-3 birds at the rear of the Beira Mar Hotel on 01/02/02.

56. Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Not very numerous, but a few seen, e.g. one at Baga Salt Pans on 26/1/02.

57. Small Pratincole (Glareola lactea)
There were 410 roosting at a pool in Santa Cruz on 3/2/02, with small numbers also seen over Baga.

58. Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvials fulva)
A flock of 12 around Baga salt pans on several dates, with small numbers at other wetland sites.

59. Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Very common at all wetland sites and even on dry fields.

60. Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
About 50 at Morji Beach on 27/1/02, with smaller numbers at several sites.

61. Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus)
300+ at Morji Beach on 27/1/02.

62. Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii)
Considerably less common than Lesser Sand Plover, with about 8 birds at Morji Beach on 27/1/02.

63. Yellow-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus malabaricus)
Five on the dry fields at Dona Paula on 3/2/02.

64. Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)
Very common, both near water and in drier habitats.

65. Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura)
Snipe species were common around marshland, but were difficult to identify to species. All but one of those which could be specifically identified proved to be Pintail Snipe.

66. Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
One identified on 6/2/02 (RP) in the marshy area of Baga Fields.

67. Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
6 birds in the marshy fields by the Chorao Island ferry terminal on 2/2/02.

68. Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Fairly common around pools and salt pans.

69. Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)
Fairly common around pools, salt pans and estuaries.

70. Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis)
One of the commonest waders on any suitable area, particularly on salt pans, e.g. 30 at Baga salt pans on 26/1/02.

71. Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Less common than Marsh Sandpiper but several birds were present on Baga salt pans; also seen in small numbers at other sites.

72. Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)
1-2 birds seen on several dates around the pools in Baga Fields.

73. Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Very common around pools and at salt pans.

74. Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Another very common wader, with birds seen at many sites.

75. Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
12 at Panjim Salt Pans on 2/2/02.

76. Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii)
1-2 at Panjim Salt Pans on 2/2/02.

77. Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
Only one was seen, at Chorao Island on 2/2/02.

78. Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)
Several hundred at Morji Beach on 27/1/02.

79. Heuglin's Gull (Larus fuscus heuglini)
c. 20 at Morji Beach on 27/1/02.

80. Pallas's Gull (Larus ichthyaetus)
35+ at Morji Beach on 27/1/02.

81. Brown-headed Gull (Larus brunnicephalus)
Present in good numbers at Morji Beach on 27/1/02.

82. Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
5-6 at Morji Beach on 27/1/02.

83. Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica)
c. 15 at Morji Beach on 27/1/02, 20 at Santa Cruz on 3/2/02; also seen at Carambolim Lake.

84. Lesser Crested Tern (Sterna bengalensis)
c. 30 at Morji Beach on 27/1/02.

85. Great Crested Tern (Sterna bergii)
3 - 4 at Morji Beach on 27/1/02.

86. Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis)
20+ at Morji Beach on 27/1/02.

87. Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon (Columba livia)
Very common everywhere, with large flocks seen at Baga.

88. Nilgiri Wood-pigeon (Columba elphinstonii)
Two near Backwoods on 30/1/02 (GJ)

89. Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
Very common around the coast, including around the hotel.

90. Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica)
Seen on all three days at Backwoods, where it was regular around the camp area.

91. Pompadour Green-pigeon (Treron pmpadora)
Seen at Backwoods on 29/1/02.

92. Mountain Imperial-pigeon (Ducula badia)
Several at Tamdi Surla on 29/1/02.

93. Vernal Hanging-parrot (Loriculus vernalis)
Seen around Backwoods and at Tamdi Surla.

94. Alexandrine Parakeet (Psittacula eupatria)
One flew over Baga Hill on 5/2/02 (RP).

95. Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
Very common around Baga, but only seen in flight.

96. Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala)
Seen at a number of sites, e.g. Baga Hill, Saligao Zor and Backwoods, but usually in flight, though we finally got a good view of perched birds at Baga.

97. Malabar Parakeet (Psittacula columboides)
One at Tamdi Surla on 29/1/02.

98. Banded Bay Cuckoo (Cacomantis sonneratii)
One near Dharjo village on 4/2/02.

99. Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea)
Seen at several sites, e.g. Baga Hill, Baga Woods, Dharjo village. Max. 4 together at Cidade de Goa, Dona Paula on 3/2/02.

100. Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis)
Seen at a number of coastal sites, e.g. Baga Hill, Saligao Zor, scrub behind Morji beach.

101. Spotted Owlet (Athene brama)
Several seen, including one regularly roosting near the hotel at Baga.

102. Brown Wood Owl (Strix leptogrammica)
One at Saligao Zor 28/1/02.

103. Brown Hawk-Owl (Ninox scutulata)
Seen at Backwoods on 29/1/02.

104. Sri Lanka Frogmouth (Batrachostomus monilger)
Two birds were roosting very close to the camp at Backwoods.

105. Jerdon's Nightjar (Caprimulgus atripennis)
Seen on a track near Backwoods on 30/1/02.

106. Grey Nightjar (Caprimulgus indicus)
One roosting at Maem Lake on 2/2/02.

107. Crested Treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis)
Seen in small numbers at several sites, e.g. over Baga Wood on 6/2/02.

108. Indian Swiftlet (Collocalia unicolor)
Seen in considerable numbers over the Backwoods area, and in smaller numbers at several other sites.

109. White-rumped Spinetail (Zooavena sylvatica)
Seen in small numbers around Tamdi Surla.

110. Asian Palm-swift (Cypsiurus balasiensis)
A few birds were seen around Baga on several dates.

111. Little Swift (Apus affinis)
Quite common over Baga Fields, also seen at other sites.

112. Malabar Trogon (Harpactes fasciatus)
A pair gave superb views at Tamdi Surla on 29/1/01. Voted the best bird of the trip.

113. Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Quite common e.g. River Mandovi, Carambolim Lake, near Tamdi Surla etc.

114. Blue-eared Kingfisher (Alcedo meninting)
One seen on a stream near Backwoods on 30/1/02 (RP)

115. Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)
Seen around the Baga salt pans on several dates, but only in small numbers.

116. White-breasted Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
Very common in all suitable habitat - the most common of the kinhfishers.

117. Black-capped Kingfisher (Halcyon pileata)
Singles were seen behind the Beira Mar and near ponds in Baga Fields on several dates.

118. Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
Seen in small numbers around the River Baga, max. 3 together here on 6/2/02.

119. Little Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)
Very common everywhere in open country, e.g. Baga Fields.

120. Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)
Less numerous than the previous species, but fairly common in open country, e.g. Baga Fields.

121. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)
A roost of 20+ birds near Tamdi Surla on 29/1/02.

122. Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)
Not very common, but a few singles were seen on wires in areas of open fields while travelling, e.g. a few km. outside Baga.

123. Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
Regularly seen in small numbers in Baga Fields, max. 3 together here on 7/2/02.

124. Malabar Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros griseus)
Seen on all three days around Backwoods.

125. Malabar Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus)
Seen on all three days around Backwoods.

126. Brown-headed Barbet (Megalaima zeylanica)
Seen at Saligeo Zor on 28/1/02, also seen on Baga Hill.

127. White-cheeked Barbet (Megalaima viridis)
Seen on Baga Hill on several dates.

128. Crimson-throated Barbet (Megalaima rubricapilla)
Seen on all three days at Backwoods.

129. Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala)
Very common in woodland near the coast, e.g.Baga Hill.

130. Brown-capped Woodpecker (Dendrocopos moluccensis)
One seen at Backwoods on 29/01/02.

131. Rufous Woodpecker (Celeus brachyurus)
Three on Baga Hill on 6/2/02 (RP).

132. White-bellied Woodpecker (Dryocopus javensis)
Two seen well at Backwoods on 30/01/02.

133. Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense)
Seen on Baga Hill on several days.

134. Greater Flameback (Chryscolaptes lucidus)
Seen on all three days at Backwoods, but not elsewhere.

135. Heart-spotted Woodpecker (Hemicircus canente)
Seen on Baga Hill and frequent in the camp area at Backwoods.

136. Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura)
Regularly seen on Baga Hill in the evenings, also two different birds seen at Backwoods.

137. Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix grisea)
At least 6 birds on the dry fields at Dona Paula on 3/2/02.

138. Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla)
A flock of 30+ in Baga Fields on 6/2/02.

139. Malabar Lark (Galerida malabarica)
Commonly seen on dry fields, e.g. in the fields at Dona Paula.

140. Dusky Crag-martin (Hirundo concolor)
Seen in good numbers around Backwoods and Tambi Surla.

141. Eurasian Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Fairly common among the swallow flocks e.g.over Baga Fields and salt pans, but Never in large numbers.

142. Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii)
The second most common swallow species, seen regularly at Baga and at several other sites.

143. Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)
The most common of the swallow species, seen in large numbers at several coastal sites.

144. House Martin (Delichon urbica)
One seen over Baga Fields on 28/1/02.

145. Richard's Pipit (Anthus richardi)
Very common in Baga Fields. Once good scope views had been obtained of a few individuals and this species and Blyth's Pipit identified, the large pipits were not individually examined. Richard's appeared to be commoner than Blyth's however.

146. Tawny Pipit (Anthus capestris)
Singles were seen several times in Baga Fields, eg. on 25/1/02.

147. Blyth's Pipit (Anthus godlewskii)
At least two were identified in Baga Fields. See the note for Richard's Pipit above.

148. Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)
Present in good numbers around Baga Fields. Proved easier to distinguish by call than Blyth's/Richard's.

149. Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
Singles seen in Baga Fields on 1/2/02 (RP) and at Carambolim Lake on 4/2/02.

150. Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus)
Seen at Backwoods on 29/01/02.

151. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
Only one seen on several days around Baga Fields.

152. White-browed Wagtail (Motacilla madaraspatensis)
Common near water and seen at a number of sites.

153. Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)
Present in small numbers at several wetland sites, e.g. about 8 at Carambolim Lake on 4/2/02 were ofseveral different races. Those which could be identified were thunbergi and ...

154. Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
1-2 birds around the stream at Backwoods.

155. Black-headed Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina melanoptera)
Seen on Baga Hill and at Backwoods.

156. Small Minivet (Pericrocotus cinnamoneus)
Seen on several dates on Baga Hill, in Baga Woods and at several other sites.

157. Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus)
Seen on Baga Hill 26/1/02, also seen near Backwoods.

158. Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus picatus)
Seen on Baga Hill, Baga Woods and at Backwoods.

159. Grey-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus priocephalus)
One gave excellent views on Baga Hill on 5/2/02 (RP), one near Backwoods on 31/1/02.

160. Black-crested Bulbul (Pycnonotus melanicterus)
Fairly common around Backwoods; not seen around the coast.

161. Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)
The commonest of the bulbuls, seen in good numbers in any woodland.

162. Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)
Common at Baga Hill, Baga Woods, Saligao Zor and other woodland sites.

163. White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus)
Very commonly heard, and seen regularly at several sites, e.g. Baga Hill.

164. Yellow-browed Bulbul (Iole indica)
Not seen around the coast, but frequently encountered around Backwoods.

165. Black Bulbul (Hysipetes leucocephalus)
Another bulbul we saw only at Backwoods on 29/01/02.

166. Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
Common in all areas of woodland.

167. Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella)
Two seen at Backwoods on 29/01/02.

168. Blue-winged Leafbird (Chloropsis cochinchinensis)
Singles on Baga Hill on 26/1/02, Saligao Zor 28/1/02, 3 at Baga Woods on 4/2/02.

169. Golden-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons)
Seen on all three days at Backwoods, but not encountered around the coast.

170. Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)
Singles in Baga Fields on 6/2/02 and 7/2/02 (GJ, JB).

171. Indian Blue Robin (Luscinia brunnea)
Singles were seen at several woodland sites.

172. Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis)
Quite common, seen on most days at a variety of sites.

173. White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus)
Several seen around Backwoods.

174. Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)
Singles were seen at several sites, e.g. Carambolim Lake on 28/1/02, also in Baga Fields.

175. Pied Stonechat (Saxicola caprata)
Common around Baga Fields, with a few seen elsewhere.

176. Indian Robin (Saxicola fulicata)
Common in dry, stony habitats, e.g. on top of Baga Hill, at Fort Aguada.

177. Blue-capped Rock-thrush (Monticola cinclorhynchus)
One at Saligao Zor on 28/1/02.

178. Blue Rock-thrush (Monticola solitarius)
Seen at Arambol on 27/1/02.

179. Malabar Whistling Thrush (Myiophonus horsfeldii)
Several birds were seen around dried-up stream courses in the Backwoods and Tamdi Surla area.

180. Orange-headed Thrush (Zoothera citrina)
Seen frequently in areas of suitable woodland, e.g. Baga Hill, Baga Woods, around the camp at Backwoods.

181. Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Seen near Backwoods on 29/1/02.

182. Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)
One or two seen in Baga Fields on several dates.

183. Grey-breasted Prinia (Prinia hodgsonii)
Several seen near Backwoods on 30/1/02.

184. Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis)
Seen in scrub around the River Baga on several dates, also seen at Dharjo village.

185. Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata)
Seen on Baga Hill on several dates.

186. Paddyfield Warbler (Acrocephalus agricola)
One in scrub near the River Baga on 2/2/02.

187. Blyth's Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum)
There were several around the camp area at Backwoods, and a number of individuals were also seen elsewhere.

188. Booted Warbler (Hippolais caligata)
One at Cidade de Goa, Dona Paula on 3/2/02.

189. Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius)
Quite common in suitable habitat, including in the hotel garden.

190. Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
One seen on Baga Hill on 26/1/02.

191. Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides)
The commonest of the Phylloscopus warblers, seen at several sites, both coastal and inland.

192. Western Crowned Warbler (Phylloscopus occipitalis)
Only seen around Backwoods, where it appeared to be fairly common.

193. Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica)
Surpisingly only one was seen, at Cidade de Goa, Dona Paula on 3/2/02.

194. Brown-breasted Flycatcher (Muscicapa muttui)
Seen at Tamdi Surla on 29/1/02 and near Backwoods on 31/1/02.

195. Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva)
One at Cidade de Goa, Dona Paula on 3/2/02, also seen at Backwoods.

196. Verditer Flycatcher (Eumyias thalassina)
One near Backwoods on 31/1/02.

197. White-bellied Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis pallipes)
One near Backwoods on 31/1/02.

198. Tickell's Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae)
Several seen around Backwoods, including in the camp itself.

199. White-throated Fantail (Rhipidura albicollis)
Seen frequently in areas of suitable woodland, e.g. Baga Hill, Baga Woods, Saligao Zor.

200. Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea)
Seen in small numbers on all three days around Backwoods.

201. Asian Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)
Quite common in areas of suitable woodland, e.g. Baga Hill, Baga Woods, Saligao Zor, near Backwoods.

202. Puff-throated Babbler (Pellorneum ruficeps)
Seen on Baga Hill on several dates.

203. Tawny-bellied Babbler (Dumetia hyperythra)
Seen on Baga Hill on 27/1/02,

204. Dark-fronted Babbler (Rhopocichla atriceps)
Seen at Backwoods on 29/01/02.

205. Jungle Babbler (Turdoides striatus)
Regularly encountered in areas of suitable woodland, e.g. Baga Hill, Baga Woods, Saligao Zor.

206. Brown-cheeked Fulvetta (Alcippe poioicephala)
Seen in small numbers in suitable woodland e.g. Baga Hill and Saligao Zor.

207. Black-lored Tit (Parus xanthogenys)
Regularly seen on Baga Hill.

208. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis)
Several birds seen at Backwoods, but not noted near the coast.

209. Purple-rumped Sunbird (Nectarinia zeylonica)
Very common around the coast, including birds around the hotel which could be watched while lying on the bed!

210. Crimson-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia minima)
Regularly seen around the camp area at Backwoods.

211. Purple Sunbird (Nectarinia asiatica)
Quite common around the coast, e.g. on Baga Hill and around the Cidade de Goa, Dona Paula.

212. Loten's Sunbird (Nectarinia lotenia)
4-5 near the summit of Baga Hill on 26/1/02, also seen here on other dates.

213. Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra)
One at Backwoods on 31/1/02.

214. Thick-billed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum agile)
Seen at a number of sites, including Baga Hill and Sailgao Zor.

215. Pale-billed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum erythrorhynchos)
One on Baga Hill on 07/02/02 (RP). We found this species difficult to distinguish from Plain Flowerpecker unless the views were very good.

216. Plain Flowerpecker (Dicaeum concolor)
Seen on Baga Hill and at Backwoods. See the comment for Pale-billed Flowerpecker above.

217. Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)
The most common of the oriole species, seen regularly in woodland. 12+ in a single tree at Saligao Zor on 28/1/02.

218. Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
One at Saligao Zor on 28/1/02.

219. Black-hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus)
Fairly common in woodland, e.g. Saligao Zor, Baga Hill, Baga Wood.

220. Large Woodshrike (Tephrodornis gularis)
Seen near Backwoods on 31/01/02.

221. Common Woodshrike (Tephrodornis pondicerianus)
Singles at Saligao Zor on 28/1/02, at Baga Woods on 6/2/02.

222. Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
Singles near Backwoods on 30/1/02 and 31/1/02.

223. Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)
Frequently encountered in scrubby areas, e.g. Baga Fields, Baga Woods, Baga Hill etc.

224. Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)
Very common around the coast.

225. Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)
Not seen in the coastal area, but frequent in the Backwoods area.

226. White-bellied Drongo (Dicrurus caerulescens)
4 at Saligao Zor on 6/2/02.

227. Bronzed Drongo (Dicrurus aeneus)
Seen regularly at Backwoods, also 2-3 birds in Baga Woods on 4/2/02 (RP).

228. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
Much in evidence around the camp at Backwoods, including one singing in the tree next to the tent both mornings.

229. Rufous Treepie (Dendrocitta vagabunda)
Seen at Saligao Zor, Baha Hill, Baga Woods and other sites.

230. House Crow (Corvus splendens)
Very common everywhere, often in large numbers.

231. Jungle Crow (Corvus macrorhynchus)
Seen on Baga Hill on several dates.

232. Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus)
Seen in small numbers at several sites, e.g. Carambolim Lake, Baga Woods and Baga Fields.

233. Chestnut-tailed Starling (Sturnus malabaricus)
Common around Baga Fields and Baga Hill. The white-headed race was seen at Backwoods.

234. Brahminy Starling (Sturnus pagodarum)
Much less common than the other starling species. Two were seen on wires a few Km. outside Baga on 3/2/02 and at Baga on 5/2/02.

235. Rosy Starling (Sturnus roseus)
Present in good numbers at Baga Fields, with one flock of 120+ here, also c. 40 at Fort Aguada on 3/2/02.

236. Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
A few were seen in Baga Fields on several dates, but much less common than Jungle Myna.

237. Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus)
Flocks of up to 50 in Baga Fields, with good numbers also seen elsewhere around the coastal area.

238. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Common around towns and villages.

239. Chestnut-shouldered Petronia (Petronia xanthocollis)
Seen outside a village near Backwoods on 30/01/02.

240. Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus)
A flock of 20+ near Carambolim Lake on 28/01/02, with a few seen at other sites.

241. White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata)
Fairly common around Baga Fields and open areas of Baga Hill, e.g. a flock of 20+ on Baga Hillon 6/2/02.

242. Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)
Two in Baga Fields on 5/2/02 (GJ)

243. Black-headed Munia (Lonchura malacca)
A few were seen on Baga Hill on several dates.

 

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