Saturday, January 20, 2018

2017-12-24 Bikaner - Birds of dryland and Water

24th Dec 2017 - Bikaner Outskirts

The second day also started at 7am and mornings plan was to visit an open dryland of larks and some abandoned  houses around for Yellow Eyed Pigeons.

The day started with huge flock of Greater Short Toed Larks and a Cinereous Vulture sitting at the top of small bush. Also spotted many Isabelline Wheatears.

Just then Jituji spotted a small raptor like bird sitting on ground far away.

On looking through and then going closer we concluded it to be a eurasian sparrowhawk.

Just then another small raptor drove the sparrowhawk away and it turned out to be a fantastic sighting of Merlin.

Next to this dry land were some abandoned houses where yellow eyed pigeons are generally seen. These pigeons are very shy and don't allow close approach.
After taking some nice pics we decided to proceed to look for Desert Jirds.

On the way we came across a small sand bank with nests of Pale Martin.

Desert Jirds are found in sandy plains with higher density of bushes.

Around this place we got shikra, paddyfield pipit.
Back at the dump ground we got another lifer Common Starling.

Along with it there were red naped ibis, bank myna and the usual vultures :-)
Before winding up the session for lunch we did a round of dry grassland around to find the desert warbler and desert fox.
In the second half of the day we visited a place called chota gajner where there is a small waterbody but it resulted in amazing birding.

We were welcomed to this place by 3 demoiselle cranes, 20+ bar headed geese, 10+ common moorhens, a common pochard, little grebe.
But the surprise of the day were a lifer water pipit and nice views of Eurasian Sparrowhawk.

Next Day Leopard Safari - Jhalana, Jaipur (2017-12-26)

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