Friday, 13 April 2018

India – Days 2 and 3 Nameri – 25-28 March

Day 2 – 26th March 2018

We had another early start with breakfast at 5.45am, then we drove to the Jia Bhorelli river to meet the boat that would transport us onto the Nameri Tiger Reserve. The boat was little more than a hollowed out tree but looked safe enough! We were to be accompanied by two armed guards on all our visits to Nameri, one out front and one at the back. The rifles they carried looked antiquated but no doubt worked, one of the guards was with us in the vehicle and he had his finger over the end of the barrel, which considering how bumpy the road was a folly of the highest order.

We saw a lot of species but the rare White-winged Duck eluded us, new species were as follows: Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Green-billed Malkoha, Pied Falconet, Maroon Oriole, Sultan Tit, Sand Lark, White-throated Bulbul, Blyth’s Leaf Warbler, Pin-striped Tit-babbler, Pale-chinned Blue Flycatcher, Black-backed Forktail and Daurian Redstart.

Day 3 – 27th March 2018

After a really dramatic thunder storm last night we surprised to get up and see the rain had stopped, it had certainly freshened the air. We again met for breakfast at 5.45am and followed the same pattern as yesterday, with more emphasis on the White-winged Duck. However, the rain overnight had seen the water levels in the river rise.

We made for the last forest pool that we had visited yesterday where one of the group swore he saw a duck fly from the far end of the small forest pool. We made our way around and walked through the undergrowth for a further 200 yards, then on an even smaller pool there was the quarry, feeding quietly unbothered by our presence. We filled our boots for a while then moved on leaving the bird to feed on its own.

We picked up some other new species and the Swedes – Christian and Hans were proving to be very good birders with Christian having particularly sharp eyes with Hans ears equally as good! Unfortunately Joyce had started to go down with a cold that would persist for most of the holiday, but her and Terry kept up with what was to that point a gruelling schedule, which wasn’t about to ease!

After lunch we headed off in the vehicles for our raft trip which was intended to provide us with views of Ibisbill, unfortunately due to the rise in water levels, the birds preferred areas were underwater so we missed them. On our return we got packed for an early morning start to Dirang but we managed a couple of hours in the camp area with a bit of owl hunting after dinner. We heard a few species but the only one we got on was Collared Scops Owl. New species for the second day were: White-winged Duck, Barred Cuckoo-dove, Common Flameback, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Rosy Minivet, Ashy Minivet, Abbott’s Babbler, Hodgson’s Redstart and Yellow-vented Flowerpecker.

Returning to the boat from Nameri

Giant Hornbill

White-winged Duck

Abbott’s Babbler

Wreathed Hornbill

Blue-bearded Bee-eater

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