Friday, 19 January 2018

India Day 11 - Corbett National Park

Corbett National Park
As the previous morning, we were up at the crack of dawn to be in the park for first light. We were in the Bijrani zone as we had been the evening before, so we were not expecting big things. As we were driving in I spoke to the driver of our jeep and informed him that this was our last chance to see tiger. That seemed to give him a purpose to the tour and we spent the next few hours tearing across all corners of the park. We were so close; following fresh pug marks along an extremely quiet road, with the smell of tiger still lingering in the air. So close but sadly no cigar. We did get Asian Elephant as compensation though, with a tuskless bull feeding in tall reeds. The quest for tiger had very much put birding on the back seat, but it was still far more enjoyable than the previous evening.

Asian Elephant - It took until our last trip but we finally saw one of the parks rare large mammals. It was nice to end our time in the park on a high, the only disappointment being that the other jeep failed to connect with anything.
-Indian Elephant

Species List:
Corbett National Park: Red-vented Bulbul, Feral Pigeon, Brown-headed Barbet, Jungle Babbler, Spotted Dove, Common Myna, Lesser Flameback, Oriental White-eye, Black Redstart, White-cheeked Bulbul, Long-tailed Minivet, Changeable Hawk-eagle, Pied Bushchat, Siberian Stonechat, Ring-necked Parakeet, Little Egret, Grey Bushchat, Green Sandpiper, Blue Whistling Thrush, Indian Elephant, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Golden Jackal, Hanuman Langur, Rhesus Macaque,

Hotel de Floresta
After the morning in the park we decided to continue birding around the hotel. We had a number of nights still to go in Ramnagar, so it seemed a good option to continue working an area that had been so productive the previous day. We retraced our steps from the day before, but continuing further upriver into a more wooded habitat. It was a fairly chilled out afternoon! We were back at the hotel for late afternoon before heading off to our next digs; Big Cat Camp Ramnagar.
It was almost dark by the time we arrived at our new accommodation, but still had enough time to be shown the roof of the hotel; a potential vis-mig hotspot. The potential was realised almost immediately when a nightjar sp. dropped out of the sky and into the neighbouring trees. It wasn’t until later in the trip that we were able to identify which species.

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch - Along the walk TDJ and JAB found a nice male Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch in a small plantation. However, when I went in after them I not only saw Chestnut-bellied but the weird looking Velvet-fronted Nuthatch. It’s quite a peculiar looking bird, but very smart.
Verditer Flycatcher - Perhaps the most stunning bird of the day, although not showy and only viewed from a distance. It flew across the river in a flash of vivid blue before alighting in a tree some distance away. It then sat out for a short while before dropping down into thicker vegetation never to reappear.
Butterflies - Not only was there a large variety of butterflies but they were all extremely beautiful. Common Tigers were abundant, as were a number of white or blue tiger species. Every garden had its own assortment of beautiful insects.
-Cinereous Tit
-Little Pied Flycatcher
-White-throated Fantail
-Crested Treeswift
-White-rumped Spinetail
-Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
-Fulvous Forest Skimmer
-Black-crested Bulbul
-Common Mormon 
-Black Bulbul
-Lizard sp. 

Species List:
Hotel de Floresta: Jungle Owlet, Long-billed Pipit, Grey Bushchat, Black Kite, Lineated Barbet, European Black Vulture, Himalayan Griffon Vulture, Steppe Eagle, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Plain Prinia, Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Yellow Fantail, Red-wattled Lapwing, White-throated Fantail, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Black Bulbul, Spangled Drongo, Barn Swallow, Oriental Magpie Robin, Greenish Warbler, Grey Wagtail, Brown-throated Martin, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Crested Treeswift, Spotted Dove, White-rumped Spinetail, Himalayan Swiftlet, White-capped Water Redstart, White-browed Wagtail, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Fulvous Breasted Woodpecker, Himalayan Bulbul, Black-crested Bulbul, Ashy Drongo, Verditer Flycatcher, Citrine Wagtail, Siberian Chiffchaff, Indian Robin, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Little Pied Flycatcher, Cattle Egret, Dusky Crag Martin, Brown-headed Barbet, Rustic, Baronet, Mottled Emigrant, Common Grass Yellow, Pallas’s Glider, Common Beak, Common Pierrot, Common Mormon,

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