Sunday, 21 January 2018

India Day 13 - Khumeria & Kosi River

Once again we began our morning by birding from the hotel rooftop before we headed off to a site called Kumeria where we might find Little Forktail, so we were told by the French tour leader. Our journey there was somewhat disjointed and when we did finally arrive we only had two hours before our drivers needed to leave.
However, as it happened two hours was all we needed to connect with a good number of species, including Little Forktail and Brown Dipper; the species the site had been recommended to us for. We parked up at a hotel, the Den, and from there walked through some woodland down to the bank of the Kosi River. It was about a 20 minute walk down the track to the river but the birding in the woodland was good. We did feel a little rushed in our birding here, but we saw so much more than we had hoped, so can’t even consider complaining.

Little Forktail - Our second Forktail species of the trip was a bit trickier to come by but we did find one at Kumeria. It was a little distant, on the other side of the river to us, but JHF and I waded out across the river in order to get better views. It was well worth getting wet feet for.
Brown Fish Owl - We had just about wrapped up at the site and a few of our group had already headed back to the cars, when a radio message came through from PC that there was a Brown Fish Owl showing above the track. Those of us still by the river raced up to see the bird, which we must have simply overlooked on our way down. Apparently PC had noticed it when a pellet had dropped next to him whilst he was watching a sunbird.
-Brown Dipper 
-Little Forktail
-Brown Fish Owl

Species List:
Kumeria: Olive-backed Pipit, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Peregrine, Common Myna, Indian Grey Hornbill, Large-billed Crow, Oriental White-eye, Cattle Egret, Little Cormorant, Red-breasted Parakeet, White-throated Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, White-capped Water Redstart, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Indian Pond Heron, Grey Wagtail, White-throated Fantail, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Brown Dipper, Little Forktail, Brown Fish Owl, Crested Kingfisher, Yellow Fantail, Little Fish Eagle, Grey-hooded Warbler, White-browed Wagtail, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Wild Boar, Spotted Deer,

Ramnagar - Kosi River
We left Kumeria at around midday, so decided to get dropped off at the temple where the Ibisbill were, and then walk back to the digs from there. We spent a bit scoping the far river bank on this occasion and were rewarded with a few more species for our trip list, as well as many of the goodies we had seen the previous day. We began walking back along the river but then took a path up to the road, to cut out the areas where it would have been a scramble to get back.
Once back at the digs we spent the last few hours of daylight on the rooftop. The nightjar we had seen the previous two evenings finally gave us a bit of a show, and we were able to identify it to species; Indian Nightjar. Also there were a few birds moving round the garden; without doubt the best of these being a stunning White’s Thrush not a species I expected to see on the trip.

Whites Thrush - Not a species we expected to see on the trip, but certainly a trip highlight. A bird desired by many British birders, it was nice to see one here in its main range area. The way it bobbed from side to side as it moved was extremely comical, and exactly the kind of behaviour I had seen in videos of British birds.
Ibisbill - The two birds from yesterday were still present, but yesterday we had to share them with another tour. Today we had them all to ourselves so I was able to get much closer to them. As before, they spent no time sleeping, as I feared they might, and were busy feeding all the time we were watching them.
Kingfishers -  Stork-billed Kingfisher was a new bird for the trip, and as we also managed to see the other four species; Crested, Pied, White-throated and Common it made for a five Kingfisher day!
Collard Falconet - Despite seeing one the previous evening, many people were still to connect with one. When one was picked up hunting distantly across the river it was a great relief to many in our contingent. It was then a great surprise when JHF picked it up flying overhead in the Hirundine flock. Not how I expected to see one at all!
-Blue-bearded Bee-eater
-Blue Tiger
-Crested Kingfisher
-Collard Falconet

Species List:
Ramnagar - Kosi River: Black Kite, Crested Treeswift, Yellow Fantail, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Himalayan Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul, Indian Pond Heron, River Lapwing, Ibisbill, Plumbeous Water Redstart, White-capped Water Redstart, White-browed Wagtail, Collard Falconet, Amur Wagtail, Red-rumped Swallow, Wallcreeper, White-rumped Spinetail, Common House Martin, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Common Myna, Common Sandpiper, Brown-throated Martin, Red-breasted Parakeet, Large-billed Crow, Grey Wagtail, Long-billed Pipit, Grey-hooded Warbler, Pied Kingfisher, Brown Rock Chat, Feral Pigeon, Indian Peafowl, Hanuman Langur, Rhesus Macaque, Spotted Deer, Blue Tiger, Freshwater Crab sp.,

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