Sunday, 15 April 2018

Day 13 to 15 – Kaziranga – 6th to 9th April

Day 13 – Kaziranga – 6th April
am Kaziranga, Central Range – pm Kaziranga, Eastern Range

All the birding in Kaziranga was from the back of Jeeps or Gypses and the Indians call their models of Jeep! We had a good mornings birding but it wasn’t easy from the back of a Jeep. On entering the park we stopped to scan for birds when a thundering noise erupted from our left, we turned to see a large Bull Rhino being chased by an even larger Bull Rhino! Our driver got the Jeep moving pronto, with the two beasts crossing the road just about where we had originally stopped!

The rear of the hotel
Bird wise new species were starting to dry up with just Blossom-headed Parakeet and Striated Babbler added this morning. At lunch a group from Cardiff and Bristol took great delight in relaying tales of the three Tiger they had been watching all morning. On hearing this Leo changed our plans and we headed for the Eastern Ranges where the Tigers had made a kill.


Bloody Large Spider, with nearly 10 days of veg only I didn’t know whether to run or barbecue it!

The numbers of birds was quite staggering and we recorded well in excess of 100 species during the course of the day. We added Slender-billed Vulture to my new species list, as it and several Himalayan Vultures sat in attendance of an unfortunately carcass that lay in an open area and was attracting a hoard of scavengers.

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

Oriental Turtle Dove

Asian Barred Owlet

Blue-bearded Bee-eater

After an hour or so it was starting to get late, no-one had any idea of where the Tiger were, but a Rhino across the way from us stopped and sniffed the air, then a head popped up, then another and that was Tiger in the bag. The female then walked towards its kill, which was being snaffled by a Wild Boar who’s head was deep inside the carcass. The Tiger could not have been more than 100 yards from it when the Wild Boar, realising the danger he was in bolted! The Tiger didn’t seem bothered, walked up sniffed the carcass then moved off!

One of the near full grown cubs sat sunning itself in full view and as night time drew in we left them in peace.

Day 14 – 7th April
early am Tea Plantation – am Kaziranga, Central Range – pm Kaziranga, Western Range

There was a Tea Plantation within walking distance of the hotel so after a coffee we walked there and birded for an hour or so, the target was Blue-naped Pitta, but unfortunately we didn’t connect but I did add the new species: Indian Cuckoo, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler and Rufous-necked Laughingthrush plus in addition a couple more to the holiday total.

Then we headed to the Central Range at Kariranga for the rest of the morning where yet again the birding was good but no new species were seen.

This was a fruitless afternoon with the only species being added being Swamp Francolin which we saw first in flight before pinning two down at a distance of 200 yards. We searched for Finn’s Weaver and Himalayan Rubythroat without success. We devoted the rest of the day searching areas of grass for Pied Harrier and any other Harriers we could find, unfortunately we couldn’t find any.

Day 15 – 8th April
am Kaziranga, Easter Range – pm Kaziranga, Central Range

Our proposed visit to the Tea Plantation was abandoned when rain stopped play, we sat on the veranda as a group drinking coffee and having a good natter. After breakfast we tried another site for Blue-naped Pitta but all we got was bitten by Mosquito's.

In true Indian tradition, I give you a “Selfie”

The mighty Bhramapurta
Asian Elephant
One-horned Rhino

Green-billed Malkoha

The birding was very similar to the previous days and we were struggling to add new species with just Tytler’s Leaf Warbler being added. We paid a visit the might Brahmaputra River which was impressive, with the Bionic Swede picking a pod of Ganges River Dolphin.

We saw a Common Woodshrike feeding fledged young, it then became apparent why the birding had been difficult with few birds singing. Most birds had begun breeding a few weeks early this year, which accounted for the lack of activity and the muted response we were receiving when playing tapes.

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