Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010-12-26 Talawe

The high tide was at 3am and me & my friend Dr Saurabh Jindal decided to reach the sea shore at Talawe, Nerul by 7am.

We were there on time and the fisherman just getting ready to wrap up their catch as the tide started receding.
With receding tide the birds had also gathered to have their morning catch.
There were painted storks, large & intermediate egrets, Eurasian Curlew and many other waders mostly red shanks, plovers and stints.

Nearby there were many little ringed plovers and temminck's stints.

Common Redshank

Little Ringed Plover

Temminck's Stint

As every year there were around 3-4 beautiful waders the Pacific golden plovers.
Pacific golden Plover

Oriental White Ibis

After the waders we moved inwards towards the land birds.
On the fields besides the sea shore there were red vented and whiskered bulbuls, spotted dove, Indian robin, magpie robin, small green beeeaters, Golden oriole, Black drongo, Greater coucal and Common Hoppooe.

Black Drongo

We were looking for the Talawe special the red munias.
As we were trying to find them in the grasses we observed a hoping bird on the ground who was also cocking the tail.
It was the Bluethroat. There were 3 of them.
We sat still for a long time near the grass and got very good views of the the blue throat.
Also came he red avadavats and settled right in the front of us.
But once they settle they are very difficult the spot.

Red Munia

Red Munia (Female)

Blue throat

Now was the time to search for another regulars here the larks.
But no larks were seen. There were the usual Prinias everwhere. There was a lone greenshank and few common sandpipers.

To search for the larks decided to take a detour to explore one of the grasslands at Talawe.
There we could see many long tailed shrikes and Common Stonechats. There were also the red wattled lapwings.

Long Tailed shrike

Common Stonechat

Just then I saw an unusual bird and it was the red headed bunting.
This was the first time I saw it hear. It was very silent and afraid.
It was hiding within the tall grass and was not moving much.
May be had got lost but it was also feeding in between on the seeds of the grass.

Red headed Bunting

Red Headed Bunting

Brown Shrike

Then there was also the brown shrike and finally the rufous tailed larks.
But no ashy crowned sparrow larks.

But all in all Talawe did not dissapoint!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

7th Dec 2010 Dandeli

Next morning the last day of the trip was for safari. It was good, not many sightings but some new sightings in terms of a common hawk-cuckoo right at the gate.

At a water body we saw a oriental honey buzzard.

Some distance ahead on the way to observation point we encountered a mixed hunting party consisting of black headed cuckooshrike, large woodshrike, minivets, pied flycatchershrike, startlings, etc.

Black headed cuckooshrike

Large Woodshrike

At the observation point down in the valley we were searching for the great pied hornbills.In the nearby bushes a purple sunbird, common iora, small minivets were seen and also a plain flower pecker.
Plain Flowerpecker

Common Iora

Small Minivet

On the way back just on the road a jackal was walking in front of the jeep.

A little ahead on the right hand side water body shore we saw a family of wild boars.
This ended the safari and we came to our favorite restaurant for breakfast.
Today was poha and shira. As usual very very tasty.

While we were just starting the breakfast a few who were yet to join came in calling for us.
It was a pair of lorikeets sitting in the open at a very close distance. They gave us good views. Fantastic birds!!
Lorikeet (Vernal Hanging Parrot)

Back to the camp we packed our luggage and dumped it into a single tent as we had to checkout.
We had time till around 5pm before we started our journey back.
So before lunch we decided to have a quick round till Bommanhalli intake (intake meaning backwaters).

On the way we stopped at the spot because as usaual we had encountered a mixed hunting party.
There was lot of comotion and a pair of drongos was driving away a shikra. More deeper we could see the yellow browed bulbuls and a paradise flycatcher white morph male.
Here we spotted the rufous woodpecker, greater flameback, large cuckooshrike, velvet fronted nuthatch, brown cheeked fulvetta, scarlet minivets,etc.

Asian Paradise Flycatcher

Velvet Fronted Nuthatch

At the intake we took group photos scanned the coast for birds. There were mainly the cormorants, egrets, river terns and thats it.
We turned back from here for a lunch at the camp.

There was some time before the lunch was ready. So we were sitting and discussing about different topics when someone spotted a large cuckoo shrike.
After that what started was a huge hunting party which was an ultimate closing session to our trip.
Following were the birds in this party and all not at a distance of more than 20feet: Scarlet minivet, chestnut tailed starlings, brown cheeked fulvetta, common woodshrike, black headed cuckooshrike, bronzed drongo, brown capped pygmy woodpecker, velvet fronted nuthatch, black naped monarch, verditer flycatcher, greater flameback, gold fronted chloropsis, black lored tit.

Golden-fronted Leafbird

Large Cuckooshrike

Brown capped pygmy woodpecker

Drongo Cuckoo (thanks Adesh for correcting ID)

Black lored Tit

Velvet Fronted Nuthatch

After lunch when we were stitting we saw an interesting bonnet macaque behavior. There were some onions kept in the open and the macaques were filling whole onions in their mouth and also carrying it away.

Mokey eating an Onion

We started back for Dharwad at around 4:30. On the way back encountered 10-15 crested tree swifts sitting on a wire.
Also some distance ahead near a water body there were a few wonderful surprises waiting. A maratha woodpecker was drumming away ona a bamboo branch for a long time. A lesser adjutant came and sat on a tree behind us, a green sandpiper on a water log in the water, a paradise flycatcher male and female and the best and the last surprise a forest wagtail spotted fantastically by Mandar.

Crested Treeswift

Lesser Adjutant Stork

Yellow-crowned Woodpecker

Forest Wagtail

A mindblowing end to a fantastic trip!!