Arriving in Uttarkhand and birding at Sattal

"Ramnagar, Ramnagar has come" yells our coach attendant and all of us half dozing - half dazed alight from the Ranikhet Express. it is 4.30 a.m. in the morning.There is a perceptible nip in the air - a real change from the March heat of Delhi and the hustle and bustle of Old Delhi railway station the night before. A hot cup of tea at the very quiet station helps to open our eyes a bit wider and we head towards the 4 waiting Innovas that will drive us around the hills for the next two days. Our Group leader Adesh Shivkar introduces us to the local expert Ornithologist Manoj Sharma.Like Adesh and his partner Mandar, Manoj belongs to one of those rare human species who have given up a high flying corporate marketing career in the city to give his time to live in Nature. He lives close to Ramnagar and now leads expert birding tours for hard core birders from India and overseas. Together Adesh and Manoj make a great team to unveil the beautiful birdlife of Uttarkhand to us 14 eager birders.

It is still dark as we vend our way from the small town of Ramnagar into the countryside - all of us excited about our trip. I meet some old friends - Len and Reggie D'costa from my Borneo trip, Bhoopat and Mrudulla Jadeja from the Kenya trip & Dr. Ravi Rajagopal from my Sikkim trip. However, many of us are meeting for the first time and we have already introduced ourselves to each other. A stop at a very interesting resort to refuel our bodies helps to start birding with some interesting birds - Spangled Drongo, Pied Hornbills and much more. However, we have to be on our way to reach Sattal before noon. On the way we stop at a rubbish dump - ugh you might say but the best place to watch some raptors - we get the Steppe Eagle and the Eurasian Griffon.

The day at Sattal yeilds some goood birdlife and these are just few of the many birds that were spotted throughout the trip
Steppe eagle on the way from Ramnagar
Eurasian Griffon
Emerald Dove - near the lake opposte the guest House
Verditer Flycatcher
a very common Bird of the Himalayas - Green-backed Tit
Experts pls ID this
Romance is in the air!  Mating of the Slaty-headed Parakeets
Black-throated Sunbird hidden in the canopy
Another commoner - Blue Whistling Thrush
Black Bulbul
Himalayan Bulbul
Lesser Yellow nape - see the title of this blog for another picture. This is part of the Woodpecker family
this handsome guy is the Red-billed Blue Magpie - found a pair of them at a small restaurant just outside Sattal

Red-billed Blue Magpie

1 comment:

phiroza Tafti said...

loved the story line and such an array of birds!!