Saturday, 20 January 2018

India Day 12 - Kosi River

Ramnagar - Kosi River
The morning started with scopes, looking out from the rooftop of the hotel. We had quite a few birds flying over or visiting the grounds of the hotel. This lasted for about an hour, before breakfast. 
Our accommodation, Camp Big Cat, was conveniently situated river on the shores of the Kosi river, the site to see Ibisbill in this area of India. As with Pangot we found ourselves well short of gen for the area. However, the hotel we had gone to the previous evening for food happened to be the same location that the French tour was stopping at, the same tour that had provided us with gen in Pangot. As a result we learned all the locations we would need for our time in Ramnagar.
We decided to walk upstream along the river bank to the Shaolin temple where the Ibisbills were being seen. It was a walk of three kilometres, and although the path seemed fit to begin with, there were a number of occasions where access along the riverbank was extremely difficult. However, we made good progress, seeing lots of new birds, and by the end of the morning we had arrived at the temple. The temple was surrounded by small stalls, and there were a lot of people around. That did not stop the Ibisbills though, and soon two located.
We decided to walk back along the road, due to the difficulty of access we had found along the river. On our way out, just before the road, we stopped off at a small tea stall for a brew. This turned out to be one of the best birding sites of the whole trip, as the woods across from us were teeming with birds, many of them new species for us. Sadly the walk back along the road was not as productive as the tea stall.

Ibisbill - Another species from my world birding bucket-list, and the main reason I was so keen to go to India in the first place. We connected almost as soon as we arrived at the Temple, with two birds showing very well feeding alongside the river, right out in the open, allowing us for great views.
Wallcreeper - One of the most popular species we saw on the trip, and we were fortunate enough to encounter multiple individuals along our walk up the river. They really are an amazing bird, and nothing like anything I have ever seen before.
Common Green Magpie - We had just settled down at the café when AAH spotted one of these striking birds in the woods. It took us a while before all those present had connected due to the bird being so mobile, and the fact that it’s difficult to describe the location of a green bird among thick foliage in the forest. We were fortunate though, and the bird continued making its way towards the forest edge. It was at that point we realised there were more than just the single bird. A really striking bird, and not one I expected to see on the trip.
Collared Falconet - Whilst most of our contingent had ventured upriver, JAB had remained on the hotel roof scanning for raptors. From there he had seen one of the most desired species for the trip; the tiny Collared Falconet. We thought we had missed them as we did not see one in Corbett, so to get one on the trip list was very exciting. Then, just as we returned to the hotel from our walk, another or the same bird flew past and landed in the trees right next to us. You could not have timed it better. What an awesome little bird!
-Common Iora
-Crested Kingfisher
-White-capped Redstart
-Amur Wagtail
-White-browed Wagtail
-Grey-headed Fish-Eagle
-Black Kite
-Lesser Flameback
-Common Green Magpie
-Common Emerald Dove
-Collard Falconet
-Indian Grey Hornbill
-Pallas's Fish-Eagle

Species List:
Ramnagar - Kosi River: Goosander, Peregrine, Cattle Egret, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Common Myna, Olive-backed Pipit, Black Kite, Great-white Egret, Little Cormorant, White-cheeked Bulbul, Long-billed Crow, Feral Pigeon, Black-throated Thrush, Red-rumped Swallow, Wallcreeper, Paddyfield Pipit, Little Egret, Dusky Crag Martin, Hoopoe, Crested Kingfisher, White-breasted Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper, Barn Swallow, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Common Iora, River Lapwing, White-capped Water Redstart, Pied Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Blue Rock Thrush, Jungle Owlet, Ibisbill, Lesser Flameback, Rufous Treepie, White-throated Fantail, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Greater Yellownape, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Little Pied Flycatcher, Common Green Magpie, Maroon Oriole, Yellow Fantail, Small Niltava, Emerald Ground Dove, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Western Crowned Warbler, Blue Whistling Thrush, White-headed Laughingthrush, Collard Falconet, Oriental White-eye, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Red-wattled Lapwing, Indian Pond Heron, Ring-necked Parakeet, Siberian Chiffchaff, Grey Wagtail, Masked Wagtail, Amur Wagtail, Red-vented Bulbul, Brown-throated Martin, Oriental Magpie Robin, Black Drongo, Black Redstart, Grey-hooded Warbler, Greenshank, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Red-breasted Parakeet, Indian Grey Hornbill, Lesser Whitethroat, Long-tailed Shrike, Hume’s Leaf Warbler, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Large Grey Babbler, Little Ringed Plover, Himalayan Swiftlet, Citrine Wagtail, Striated Heron, Spotted Deer, Rhesus Macaque, Common Mormon, Glassy Tiger, Darter sp.,

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