Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thol, Gujarat

Thol wildlife sanctuary is a fresh water lake a mere 20kms from Ahmedabad. We spent fewer than a couple of hours and still returned with some fantastic sightings. The light wasn't great for photography, though.

280. Knob-billed Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos)
281. White Spotted Fantail (Rhipidura albogularis)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blackbuck Sanctuary, Velavadar

278. Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus)
Velavadar prides itself on being the world's largest community roosting ground for harriers. We didn't get to see what surely must be an awesome sight of 600 harriers roosting together, but we did spot several individuals of three species - montagu's, pallid and marsh.
279. Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
76. Purple Sunbird - Male (Cynnirus asiaticus)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Zainabad - Little Rann of Kutch

Zainabad, at the edge of the Little Rann of Kutch, is a fantastic place for birding. These are pictures from a recent trip there.
262. Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus)
While I was stalking a common kestrel, this shrike was sitting down right next to me and offered this shot from 10 ft away.
190. Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)

263. Pallid Scops Owl (Otus brucei)
This owl was a regular visitor in the resort that we stayed in. It was so well camouflaged that you would struggle to spot it from two metres away.

264. Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris)
So hard to tell this apart from Richard's or Blyth's. I'm trusting my guide's judgment on this one.

265. Common Crane (Grus grus)

266.Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus)
267. Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)

268. Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)
269. Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
This seems to be the first winter plumage.

270. Brown Rockchat (Cercomela fusca)
271. Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquatos)
272. Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
273. Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)

274.Indian Courser (Cursorius coromandelicus)
It felt miraculous that our guide actually spotted these while driving the car. After he pointed it out to us, it took at least 5 mins before wee caught them ourselves. 
275. Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra Avosetta)
276. Rosy Starling (Pastor roseus)
277. Syke's Nightjar (Caprimulgus mahrattensis)
And finally, this beauty froze when our headlights fell on him right on our path.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dandeli - White-rumped Shama

261. White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus)
A western Ghat special, this. Spotted at Dandeli national park. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Roadtrip to Shimoga

On the way from Amruthapura to Hadikere (both villages in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka), I saw this spotted owlet sitting on a twig by the side of the road, probably drying itself up. SpottedOwlet

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Aravalli Biodiversity Park, Gurgaon

Call it Gurgaon's best-kept secret. The 600-acre Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurgaon is a treasure for bird watching. In my hour-long walk there I must have spotted at least 20-30 unique species of birds. Unfortunately the steady drizzle prevented any photography. Still managed a couple of shots.
259. White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis)
260. Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ladakh - 2013

I found myself in Ladakh again, the place where I began this project four years ago.
254. Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinu)
These delightfully colored finches are found all over the valleys here. This one  was shot in a wheat field in a village called Rumbak.
255. Hill Pigeon or Eastern Rock Dove (Columba rupestris)
Looks a lot like the common Rock Pigeon but can be distinguished based on the white band on the tail which become visible when the bird is in flight.
256. Red-fronted Serin or Fire-fronted Serin (Serinus pusillus)
257. Robin Accentor (Prunella rubeculoides)
258. White-winged Redstart or Güldenstädt's Redstart (Phoenicurus erythrogastrus)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Basai Wetlands, Haryana

The wetlands around Basai in Gurgaon are a surprisingly good spot for birding. (My original destination was Sultanpur which was closed for Monsoons.) While driving in one of the non-asphalted roads in Basai we encountered this pair of Grey Francolins running gracefully in front of us.

253. Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus)
Replaced by a photo I took in Velavadar, Gujarat.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


252. Jacobin CuckooPied Cuckoo, or Pied Crested Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus
We saw this Pied Cuckoo near the Bhootanahalli Village on the outskirts of the Bannerughatta national park. It was accompanied by his female. After a short burst of rain, he was drying himself in the sun, and was so preoccupied with preening his feathers that he didn't care when I got really close to him.