Drove past Cheer Point this morning, after a short walk along an open area where some Rock Buntings were seen, and scoped a pair of Koklass Pheasants on a bare hillside. We did very well again in this forest with new birds such as Himalayan Woodpecker, Chestnut Thrush, Slaty-backed Flycatcher and Great Barbet, whilst Alpine Swift and Bonelli’s Eagle were also new.
|Not a bad place to go birding....|
|Good birds up here...!|
|Scenery around Pangot|
|Bonelli's Eagle being mobbed by a Large-billed Crow|
Another highlight this morning was scope views of a flock of Altai Accentors feeding below us on a grassy slope. We also had really nice views of Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Maroon Oriole, Blyth’s Leaf Warbler, and several Ultramarine Flycatchers.
Lunchtime at the lodge produced a few Red-billed Blue Magpies, and then we were off again at 2.30pm driving down the road towards Nainital.
|Red-billed Blue Magpie|
We followed a stream for quite a way but didn’t find anything, although views of a pair of Spotted Forktails back down on the road were very nice indeed. Whilst waiting for the forktails to appear an Oriental Cuckoo began calling and we had several flight views and one brief perched view through the scope – this is a rather early returning summer breeder and the first one to be recorded here this season. Further along the road a pair of Brown Wood-Owls posed superbly quite close below us and was something of a surprise as they had not been seen for a quite some time at this traditional site.
|Brown Wood Owl|
During our walk we also saw a male Himalayan Bluetail, Black-faced Warbler and Bronzed Drongo. Not a bad day huh…?
|Better pics of Spot-winged Coal Tit today|