We had a full day at Tal Chappar to look for Indian Spotted Creeper, but we had no luck with this very tricky species. Our day began with a 6.15am breakfast followed by a short drive to an area outside the park. We spent a pleasant couple of hours here, once the sun had come out and we had thawed out a bit! Boy it was cold here and it had been minus three degrees over night! So we walked around a large area hoping for a sign of the creeper, but only Graham managed to see it before it disappeared for good. But we did see some good birds with species such as Common Babbler, Indian Bushlark, Variable and Desert Wheatears, Southern Grey Shrike, Rosy Starling, Tawny Pipit and Rufous-fronted Prinia all seen well.
We returned to the lodge for breakfast and then headed out into the park where it had warmed up significantly and we could shed a layer or two.
Driving around here produced numerous Blackbuck, surely the most pretty of all antelopes. I think we were all suitably impressed with the Bimaculated Larks present amongst the 500+ Greater Short-toed Larks. There was a flock of Common Cranes in the grassland, both Tawny and Steppe Eagles and even a Black Francolin for the front vehicle.
We returned to the lodge at 12.30 and some of us made the decision to skip it and go out looking for the creeper. Well, we walked our socks off and didn’t get a sniff although a Yellow-crowned Woodpecker and a flock of Indian Silverbills were a little compensation. When the rest of the group joined us we saw a flock of Common Woodshrikes and then walked some more, checking areas further and further away. Still no joy and no happy ending to today’s tale.
But a quick stop to check the lake in town yielded 12 Bar-headed Geese, Indian Spot-billed Ducks, Western Reef Heron, Intermediate Egret, Red-naped Ibis, Grey-throated Martin and a bunch of common wildfowl.