We returned to Keoladeo this morning and called into the forested area known as The Nursery briefly but didn’t pick up anything new apart from Coppersmith Barbet, before walking along a different trail for the rest of the morning. At the start of the trail, around the Forest Rest House, a Tickell’s Thrush proved elusive to everyone and we vowed to return later in the day. This area of the park was totally dry, contrary to my previous visits when it was full of water – I do fear the park authorities do not have a conservation minded approach these days. Anyway, we did find some new birds including Oriental Honey Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Bay-backed Shrike, Common Woodshrike, a singing Brooks’s Leaf Warbler, Indian Silverbill and a Yellow-crowned Woodpecker was a new trip bird for most of us. Nearing the end of the trail we came upon a pair of Sarus Cranes feeding next to the path and I cannot quite believe how tame they were as they kept feeding and totally ignored us. I had to take off my converter to get a full frame shot – amazing. They fed in the marsh totally unconcerned by us, preened, displayed, began bugling in response to some distant crane calls and eventually they flew off to investigate another pair of cranes encroaching on their feeding area. Wow!
Lunch was again taken at the Temple where some cold drinks and hot chai were much appreciated. This turned out to be a productive session for raptors as we saw Crested Serpent-Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, and a possible Tawny Eagle, as well as both Indian and Greater Spotted Eagles again. A check from the viewing platform revealed much the same as yesterday and the lake and marsh were still choc full of birds including Eurasian Spoonbills, Temminck’s Stints, and numerous ducks and egrets stretched out over a vast area in front of us.
|Eurasian Spoonbill with Lesser Whistling-Ducks|
|Oriental Honey Buzzard|
In the afternoon we went by rickshaw around Mansarovar seeing an Indian Vulture – a huge surprise here considering there population crash over the past decade. We then returned to stake out the Tickell’s Thrush and quickly found it, but again it was extremely shy and only some of us had decent views. So we left and returned to our hotel for an early shower and dinner.