Saturday, 14 April 2018

Days 9 & 10 – Lama Camp via Eaglenest Pass to Bompu Camp – 2nd & 3rd April

Days 9 & 10 – Lama Camp via Eaglenest Pass to Bompu Camp – 2nd & 3rd April

We packed last night as we had a 5.30am start to drive over Eaglenest Pass to Bompu Camp on the other side. We birded all the way seeing new species all the time. The change in habitat was noticeable with the south side of the mountain obviously receiving more rain, it was much lusher and the cover was thicker. We caught up with a couple of Ward’s Trogon amongst others on the drive. Later in the afternoon we managed to get views of Long-billed Wren-babbler and Rufous-throated Wren-babbler both under the same bush.

After birding most of the day we arrived at Bompu Camp, at first glance it was similar to Lama, although in reality it was a little more down market, but the sleeping arrangements were similar as where the tents. The bed though was not comfortable, I likened it to sleeping on a Snooker Table, it was however, at a lower elevation and therefore not as cold at night, so I slept a lot better. The sky on the first night was amazing with the dark sky highlighting the stars on show, it took me back 40 years to when you could see them locally, with excessive light pollution nowadays star gazing is a thing of the past.

The next morning saw us head down to a much lower elevation and the birds were everywhere, with new species coming thick and fast. One of the highlights was Blyth’s Kingfisher on the river which we viewed from a very rickety bridge. We had breakfast served from the bonnet of the vehicles again, this time we had chairs. We saw Rufous-necked Hornbill, Black Eagle, Rufous-belled Eagle, Asian House Martin, Silver-backed Needletail and Lesser Racket-tailed Drone whilst trying to eat breakfast.

In the early afternoon another target species led us a merry dance with myself and the two Swedes being the only ones to connect, the bird in question was Beautiful Nuthatch, the views I got were poor as the bird was somewhat silhouetted against the sky.

By the end of the day we had seen an astounding number of birds in addition to the birds mentioned we also saw: Grey Peacock-pheasant, White-throated Needletail, Pale-headed Woodpecker, Bay Woodpecker, White-bellied Erpornis, Collared Treepie, Mountain Bulbul, Rufous-faced Warbler, White-spectacled Warbler, Silver-eared Media, Long-tailed Sibia, Striated Yuhina, Whte-naped Yuhina, White-gorgeted Flycatcher, Pale Blue Flycatcher and Sapphire Flycatcher.

On day 10 we met at 5.00am for breakfast and headed back to try and connect with the Beautiful Nuthatch, this time we were eventually successful and everyone got good views. Keith and I were in the front vehicle for the first time and on the way down we saw a couple of Long-tailed Thrushes on the verge of the track. Other species seen included Spotted Elachura which I had missed twice already. Hoary-throated Barwing was also seen, after lunch we headed back over Eaglenest Pass to return to Lama Camp for another night. On the way we saw the endemic Broad-billed Warbler and a few of us saw a Fire-capped Tit. It was a rather uneventful last few hours as we searched in vain for species we had missed previously. Soon we were sat down to Rice and Veg again, then off to bed for another early start. I struggled to sleep as it was so cold but I lived to tell the tale.

Tent mark II

The Captain test driving the wife’s new mode of transport

The toilet facilities

Beautiful Nuthatch

Sultan Tit

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