Friday, 13 April 2018

India – Birmingham to Nameri via Guwahati

Friday 23rd March saw the Captain and I board our flight to India. The flight was uneventful and we both struggled to sleep, we arrived early morning and passed the customs rather quickly compared to last time. It would appear that as we went two years ago there was no need for photographs or fingerprint taking!

We were met but our driver from India Nature and within half an hour we were in our hotel room. We were both knackered and lay down for an hours sleep. We were awoken by a call from Leo our guide with instructions on meeting for our evening meal with the rest of the tour participants.

The last time we were in Delhi the hotel had some gardens and we spent the afternoon birding in the grounds familiarising ourselves with the common Indian birds. However, when I drew the curtains it was apparent that it wasn’t going to happen this time. Whilst the Shanti Palace was quite comfortable there were no gardens and the view from the window was – well see for yourself.
The view from the window of the hotel – yuk!

Day 1 – 24th March – Guwahati to Dirange

We met at 6.30pm for dinner where we met the others: Christian and Hans from Malmo in Sweden, Nick and Raj from Ipswich and finally Joyce and Terry from the USA. Within days it was easier to refer to them and Terry and June!

We then had a 2.30am rise as we had an early flight to Guwahati in Assam in the far north east of the country. The flight took just over two hours, on the way it took us along the southern border with Nepal where we had distance views of Mount Everest.

Distant views of Mount Everest from the plane.

On landing we collected our cases and headed out to meet Lakpa our other guide and board the transportation that was to be with us for the next 12 days. The first bird seen was Oriental Magpie Robin in the car park.

We then drove to Guwahati rubbish dump to search for the rare and localised Greater Adjutant which makes a living out of eating our left overs! As a birder it is a rare bird, but it is ugly, I doubt it has a face even its mothers could love!

The rubbish dump was crawling with Adjutants and cows and loads of people who make a living recycling waste, its a hard way to make a living, and there but for the grace of god! Nick whom I got on famously with, remarked that he felt uncomfortable carrying a few thousand pounds of optical equipment when the people there had very little!

Great Adjutant, Cows and children recyclers!

Black Kite

Christian and the Captain and Guwahati rubbish tip, those shacks are houses.

t was a five hour drive to our first destination Nameri where we were staying at Lamilou Camp, our base for the next three nights, it was in comfortable tents which were attached to a changing room and a toilet and shower – a strange arrangement, but nonetheless it was set in comfortable and pleasant surroundings.

We were shown to the tents then birded the road to the river which was approximately a mile away, we saw our first birds in the camp including our first new species: Wreathed Hornbill and Plain Flowerpecker. Other species seen included Siberian Rubythroat.

The dining area with a few of the participants.

Siberian Rubythroat

Our accommodation in wonderful surroundings.

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