Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Sat Tal

A very nice morning was spent walking along the road between a couple of the lakes with some beautiful forest all around us, and we founds birds to be numerous and rather cooperative. Better views of a calling Asian Barred Owlet got the ball rolling and the first section of road produced 3 scoped Spot-winged Starlings (a major surprise again), as well as Red-breasted Flycatcher, Mountain Bulbul, Black-throated Sunbird and Fire-breasted Flowerpecker. Michael then found us a pair of Blue-winged Minlas, which we followed with another Sulphur-bellied Warbler and the main prize of the area, a pair of superb Rufous-chinned Laughingthrushes feeding in the leaf litter below us.

Then, after a short drive we followed a path down to a pond and found quite a few birds coming to bathe with Golden Bush-Robin being something of a surprise, with a few Olive-backed Pipits nearby. There was also another pair of Rufous-chinned Laughingthrushes here, two pairs of Ultramarine Flycatchers, male Rufous-bellied Niltava and a female Slaty-blue Flycatcher. Further along a pair of Red-billed Leiothrix showed well eventually and a pair of Whistler’s Warblers appeared in the same bush. A huge number of birds appeared when I played the owlet call here with many Lemon-rumped Warblers and also lots of other common species, but a Speckled Piculet was new. Returning towards the coach a pair of Slaty-headed Parakeets were inspecting a nesting hole and another mega-congregation of passerines included White-throated Fantail and Blyth’s Leaf-Warbler

Slaty-headed Parakeet

And finally a pair of Greater Flamebacks were feeding at the top of a dead tree quite avidly and looked fantastic through the telescope. It was very exciting to hear the alarm calls of Langurs and Sambar here, which betrayed the presence of a Leopard moving across the hillside opposite us. And also hearing Rufous-throated Partridge was another surprise for me here.

After lunch we had a siesta and returned to the same place although it was quieter than before. However, we did see an Asian Emerald Dove coming down to drink, along with some more leiothrix, Tickell’s Thrush and further views of previously seen species. A Pygmy Wren-Babbler was also skulking under a fallen tree, and we even had views of the often tricky Chestnut-headed Tesia as well.

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