Friday, 10 April 2015

Classic Himalayas - They Think It's All Over.....

Following an overnight train journey we arrived in Delhi and went to a nearby hotel for a shower and breakfast before heading to Okhla Bird Sanctuary. We arrived just after sunrise and I was very surprised to see the Yamuna River totally empty – I mean no water at all! However, we picked up numerous new birds for the trip including the four species I always target here. First of all, there were more Yellow-bellied Prinias around than I have ever seen before here, followed by Striated Babbler which was equally as numerous. 

Striated Babbler

Yellow-bellied Prinia

It took a while longer to catch up with Striated Grassbird, but eventually we had decent looks at a displaying bird. The final key species wasn’t seen until we decided to return to the shade of the trees, and boy was it hot here today. But after a distant scope view of a probable female White-tailed Stonechat, a cracking male appeared much closer and began to sing and display by fanning its tail revealing the white inner webs….

Yep, definitely a White-tailed Stonechat...!

There were numerous other good birds this morning and particular favourites were some Red-naped (Indian Black) Ibis, Painted Stork, Yellow-footed Green-Pigeon, flocks of Bar-headed Goose flying over, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Dusky Warbler, Taiga Flycatcher, and Brown-headed Barbet.

Bar-headed Geese

Indian Spot-billed Ducks

There was also Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Western Marsh Harrier, Asian Koel, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Ashy Prinia, Indian Robin, Baya Weaver, Citrine Wagtail, and some Nilgai as well.

Yellow-footed Green-Pigeon

And that was our birding finished in incredible India and we ended up with 311 species seen in 10 days…   
Looking forward to returning to India next year for a Snow Leopard expedition, as well as our South India & Andamans tour......

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