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.