A Wildlife & Birding Tour of Northern India December 1st-15th 2022

Participants:- Julia Burton, Judith Cavey, Pete Dolton, John & Dolores Fletcher, Amanda Myers & Andrew Stirrat.

Tour guides:– Chris Mills, Sumantha Ghosh, Brijendra Singh & Jaypee

Red-billed Blue Magpie

NORTH INDIA TOUR  1st-15st December 2022.

The tour took in four areas each with its own character brought about by habitat and altitude and thus we encountered a wide variety of avifauna, mammals and other aspects of Natural History.

Firstly, we arrived in Delhi and then visited Bharatpur – set in a vast, flat plain, a World Heritage site and a wetland home to large numbers of nesting egrets, herons, ibis and storks against a backdrop of raptors, owls and passerines in the drier areas. We stayed at The Birders’ Inn for 4 nights situated just three hundred metres from the entrance gates and spent just over 3 and half days in this area.

We then travelled North and spent one night in River’s Edge Hotel, before we moved onto the Corbett National Park, staying about a mile from the park entrance at The Golden Tusk. For three mornings and three afternoons we were transported by safari jeep with mammals featuring as high on our agenda as birds.

Next we moved on to Vangat Lodge for 2 nights in the Corbett buffer zone. Vangat has no vehicle access and we walked just over a mile to reach the camp and then took the rather exciting river crossing to the camp on a raft! Vangat is far away from the bustle, dust and noise of Indian towns, set in a stunning surroundings, in a steep sided forested river valley next to the glacial waters of the Ramganga river.

Finally, we climbed higher towards the foothills of the Himalayas and birded the forest areas around Sattal staying at the appropriately named Birders’ Den complete with bird feed station and hides.


The accommodation during the trip was of a high standard. All provided hot water and clean, Western style toilets. Staff were very friendly and went out of their way to help us. Food would be categorised as curry but while not as hot as what might be available in your local UK curry house, all of it  was tasty and plentiful.

TOUR IMAGES – All images in this report are copyrighted and should not be use without our permission.

Thursday 1st December 2022 – UK Heathrow Departure

The group met up at Heathrow in good time to get through the required formalities which was made easier by the assistance of Sacha Barbato of Travel Counsellours (our preferred Travel Agent for flights) emailing our boarding passes to us. Our Virgin Atlantic flight was direct to Delhi. The flight was incident free and comfortable.

Friday 2nd December – Dehli to Bharatpur

With a time difference of five and a half hours, we arrived in Delhi just before 0200 local time.  We exchanged sterling for rupees before meeting our local guide Ceejay and then our driver with minbus. The first impression of Delhi was of very busy streets considering the hour. We were soon at the gates of the Ashok Country Resort Hotel arriving at 0345 and straightway retired to our rooms.

0715 saw the first members of the group out for pre-breakfast birding in the grounds of the hotel. Indian eafowl, Red-wattled Lapwing and House Crow strutted around on a lawn amongst the remnants of an Indian wedding, the trees held Oriental White-eye, Brown-headed Barbet, Black Drongo and both Red-whiskered and Red-vented Bulbul and Oriental Magpie Robin. Overhead, a procession of Black Kites made their way across the city together with a Black-shouldered Kite and a small number of Little Swifts. Common Myna and Jungle Babbler were prominent around the buildings.

Departure was soon after breakfast as we started the long drive towards Bharatpur. With rainfall in recent weeks having been higher than average, there were a number of pools alongside the roads. Black-winged Stilt was the dominant wader but also present were Common, Green and Wood Sandpipers plus several Spot-billed Ducks. Around the waterside edges were Indian Pond Herons, Great and Little Egrets, Purple Heron, White-breasted Waterhen and Purple Swamphens. Two Sarus Cranes were the highlight and gave prolonged views to appreciate their size especially when spreading wings wide.

A roadside lunch stop had us looking upwards as more Black and Black-shouldered Kites drifted above us together with four Egyptian Vultures, Painted and Black Storks and Red-rumped and Wire-tailed Swallows. An Oriental Honey Buzzard refused to come close but showed enough of its distinctive shape. 

Continuing our journey, there were flocks of Cattle Egrets, a couple of Greater Coucal, Common Hoopoe, Black Drongo, Asian Pied and Brahminy Starlings. Numerous White-throated Kingfishers were perched on roadside wires.

Darkness was falling as we arrived at the Birders’ Inn in Bharatpur. We settled into our rooms and after a welcome hot shower.  We appreciated  a meal of various vegetarian curries.

 Top to bottom – Shikra & Sarus Cranes
Top to Bottom – Black-winged Kite & Welcome to India!
Top to Bottom – Indian Magpie-robin & Brahminy Starling
Top to Bottom – Indian Python & Black-headed Ibis

Saturday 3rd December – Bharatpur/Keoladeo NP

An early breakfast ensured that we were ready at first light to meet our guide Brijendra Singh and our three rickshaw drivers. Brijendra was very knowledgeable with regard to all aspects of the natural history of the reserve and also able at cycling along it tracks with extended tripod and telescope over a shoulder!!

As we assembled, a mist descended and in the time it took us to cover the three hundred yards to the park entrance visibility was down to 50 yards. Our drivers informed us that the mist would clear at nine o’clock. We decided to start off on foot and by concerted pishing, we were able to encourage Long-tailed Shrike, Bluethroat, Orphean Warbler, Purple Sunbird and both Hume’s and Greenish Warblers into view.

Ten minutes before nine, the sun broke through and by nine, the mist had cleared. Taking our rickshaws, we followed the main track through areas of scrub with some mature trees. Bluethroats were now sitting out in the open; a small flock of Yellow-footed Green Pigeons became far more colourful and, in general, bird activity increased. A small wooded area gave us three Flycatchers within ten minutes –Grey-headed Canary, Red-breasted and then the brilliant Ultramarine which at one point was sat, front on to us, showing its white underparts with intense deep blue sides of neck and breast. An absolute stunner!

With the hotel being so close by we were able to return there for lunch and were soon back in the park. This time pedal power took us further into the park, away from the area of scrub and where grassland has areas of open water. This is traversed by tree lined tracks on raised up banks. The numbers and variety of water birds was staggering; Painted Storks, Asian Openbills, Woolly-necked Stork, Black-headed Ibis, four species of Egret, Purple and Grey Herons, Indian, Little and Great Cormorants all giving excellent prolonged views. Raptors were represented by Crested Serpent Eagle, Marsh Harrier, both Indian and Greater Spotted Eagle and White-eyed Buzzard as well as Common Hawk Cuckoo

Along the lines of trees there was Lesser Golden-backed Woodpecker and Indian Grey Hornbill. Our guide knew exactly which tree to find Spotted Owlets. Towards the end of the afternoon, flocks of Citrine Wagtails gathered prior to roosting. We returned to the hotel after an amazing day but realising that there was still more to see.

Sunday 4th December  Bharatpur

There was not so much fog as the previous day as we left the hotel at 7am. Again we had a morning and then an afternoon session on the park. On arrival, we went in search of a reported Siberian Rubythroat alongside a track side pool. After brief views were obtained as it skulked through a clump of undergrowth, the Siberian Rubythroat was seen making its way down a tree trunk in full view.

We then moved to a part of the wetland area we did not visit the day before. A highlight was a flock of Pintail. They all took to the air at the same time probably due to the presence of Eastern Imperial Eagles. The sound of the wingbeats of more than a thousand birds resembled a long and distant rumble of thunder. Also seen were groups of Teal, small numbers of Shoveler, Comb Ducks, a single Red-crested Pochard and fly over Bar-headed Geese.

As well as the Storks, Herons and Egrets from yesterday, there were Yellow Bittern and Striated Heron, – both close to the edge of the track but both inconveniently half hidden by vegetation. More prominent were Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill and Black-crowned Night Heron. Sarus Cranes were heard but distant. The patterning the tertials and coverts on a spread-winged Darter gave it a prehistoric air. With the season being wetter than normal, there were fewer waders than in previous visits. A Spotted Redshank was heard and a Common Sandpiper seen. Pheasant-tailed Jacanas and White-breasted Waterhen were present in good numbers.

Of the mammals, packs of Rhesus Macaques were seen along with a family of Wild Boar. Spotted Deer were numerous. Roosting Fruit Bats were suspended from the trees surrounding a small temple

We went off on a side track from the main one. A Wryneck was feeding at the base of a line of tree stumps and was obliging enough to give everyone telescope views. A loud fluty call alerted us to the presence of Indian Golden Oriole which then sat out in full view. Its black eye patch looking like its Eurasian cousin that had over done the black eye-shadow.

After Clamorous Reed Warblers giving calls from deep in bushes, Grey Francolins along the track and a Dusky Eagle Owl roosting against a trunk of a tree we headed back reaching the main gate with a few minutes to spare before the park shut.

Monday 5th December Kumher and Bharatpur.

The day started with a Shikra flying through the garden of the hotel. We set off through the town towards the dry plains of Kumher. En route, a lake in the city of Bharatpur, totally surrounded by houses around its edge, was home to a group of 400 or more Shoveler looking totally out of place in such urban surroundings. On arrival at Kumher, the area of suitable habitat had decreased with large areas now ploughed up and with crops set. In what remained, we managed excellent views of Indian Bush-Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark and Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark as well as having side by side comparison of Isabelline and Desert Wheatears and several Tawny Pipits. Also present, were two Hoopoes, Indian Roller and Large Grey Bulbul.

An area of scrub produced Bay-breasted Shrike and Siberian Stonechat and an Egyptian Vulture was stood in a field.

It is disappointing the remainder of this suitable Lark habitat is likely to be built on in the next year and so many of the species we saw will be lost to the area.

We returned to the hotel for lunch and then for our last visit to the park.

Additions to our park list included Gadwall, Pochard and Ruddy Shelduck. A surprise was an Indian Nightjar roosting along a branch. Two White-tailed Lapwings were in company of

Red-wattled Lapwing. We climbed an observation tower where, with dusk approaching, we had a view that epitomised Bharatpur with a pair of Eastern Imperial Eagles high in a tree and below Egrets and Indian Pond Heron, Sarus Crane called in the distance with Nilgai, a large antelope, wading through the flooded grassland. A fitting, final view of Bharatpur.

Tuesday 6th December Bharatpur to Corbett NP.

With bags packed and minibus loaded, we said our farewells to Birders’ Inn staff and headed northwards. Minibus birding gave views, albeit fleeting, of Black and Black-shouldered Kites, Egyptian Vulture and Shikra. White-throated Kingfishers were encountered frequently on road side wires. We encountered the full range of traffic using Indian roads; tractors pulling trailers loaded so high with harvested sugar cane, it came as no surprise that one had toppled over, motor bikes carrying up to four people and a range of unexpected goods. Memorable were two up with the passenger holding a double bed mattress in front of him.

A stop at a roadside pool produced two dainty Marsh Sandpipers, Black-winged Stilts and Common Redshank together with Woolly-necked and Painted Storks

A second more urgent stop was made when a tyre punctured. The wheel was expertly changed by our driver in less time than it took us to eat our packed lunch and see White-breasted Waterhen, White Wagtail, Indian Pond Heron and Green Sandpiper on a small, roadside pool.

A later stop for legs stretch produced Little Bee-eaters, Hoopoe, Long-tailed Shrike and Grey Hornbill.

It was late afternoon when we reached the River Edge Hotel on the edge of Corbett NP. On arrival, all members of the group were presented with a traditional garland of marigolds.

Top to Bottom – Yellow Bittern & Indian Scops Owl
Top to Bottom – Indian Spotted Eagle & Indian Golden Oriole
Top to Bottom – Indian Flying Fox/Great Indian Fruit Bat & Spotted Owlets
Top to Bottom – Painted Stork & Indian Grey Nightjar

Wednesday 7th December Ramganga River and Corbett NP.

After breakfast and a short journey, we were on the edge of the boulder field that is exposed in the dry season leaving a narrow channel of water. Our main target eluded us (read on to 12th December) but there was still much to see. River Lapwing, Plumbeous Water Redstart and White-capped Water Redstart gave excellent views. Andy picked out a Collared Falconet perched at the top of a tree- an unexpected find here. Crested Kingfishers patrolled the water edges and a Wallcreeper was feeding between boulders. A White-browed Wagtail could be compared with a near-by White Wagtail.

We moved downstream a few kilometres where a bridge crossed high above the river. A group of seven Goosander were diving for food and a pair of Wallcreepers displayed below us – not the views expected of these.

Coffee was taken back at the hotel before loading the minibus, during this time our attention was drawn to a calling phylloscopus warbler. It gave only brief views but showed a double wing bar but no crown stripe. The call did not seem to match any of the likely suspects but a recording was taken and sonogram analysis showed it to be a Hume’s Warbler albeit with slightly off-key call.

A short drive took us to the Golden Tusk Hotel close to the entrance to the Corbett NP. After an excellent lunch- especially the desserts, we set off in three safari jeeps with drivers and guide. At the gate, formalities were completed quickly and we were able to enter the park.

We entered an area of grassland, scrub and woodland with dried up river beds. Not far from the gate we had our first views of Red Jungle Fowl skulking through the undergrowth. Being our first day in woodland we met with a whole range of new species with woodpeckers to the fore.  In the course of the afternoon we saw Rufous, Great Slaty, and Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpeckers in addition to close relatives Greater Yellow-nape and both Himalayan and Lesser Goldenback. Alarm calls of Spotted Deer are often an indicator of a Tiger nearby. Despite hearing these on three occasions, all that appeared were several other jeeps also altered by the call. Realistically with the tall, straw coloured grasses around us, we would only see a Tiger should it cross the track in front of us. Colour was provided by small flocks of Red-breasted, Plum-headed and Slaty-headed Parakeet as well as Black-headed Oriole and Blue-bearded Bee-eater. On a more mundane level, we saw the only Wood Pigeons of the trip.

The park has very strict rules about staying in the vehicles except at fenced in compounds. A stop at one allowed close up views of an obliging Taiga Flycatcher. Overhead both Himalayan and Griffon Vultures circled along with a single Steppe Eagle. A Spangled Drongo gave tantalising views until it perched in the open to see the full extent of the twists in its tail.

Bengal Bush Lark, Grey-cheeked Prinia and Red-vented Bulbul were seen in an area of scrub and then a group of Elephant appeared at a pace that could only be described as a saunter. This group contained both adult females and younger ones. After they had passed, an adult bull moving with much more urgency crossed the track in front of us. Grey-headed Warbler, Common Tailorbird, Scaly-breasted Munia and Chestnut-breasted Nuthatch completed the day. But the final bird of the day was a Jungle Owlet perched on wires just by the hotel.

Thursday 8th December  Corbett NP.

After an early morning tea in our rooms, we were on our jeeps for a 6.15 departure from the hotel. The Jungle Owlet was in exactly the same place as thirteen hours before. At 6.30, the gates of the park opened. At first, the track took us through a well wooded area where several Red Junglefowl were seen. After a short distance, this opened out with grassland interspersed with scrub either side of the track. All in an instant, a Tiger appeared, crossed the track and disappeared. With the three jeeps in convoy, half of the group managed a view and the other half wondered what might have been. Compensation was in the form of a spectacular performance by a group of Great Hornbills. A deep and loud ‘gronk’ call would be heard and then a crashing sound as a bird emerged from the near the top of a tree and flew. This would be followed by another then another until we had seen twelve. B

ack into the woodland a range of forest birds were seen including Coppersmith Barbets, Blue-throated and Lineated Barbets, Fulvous Woodpecker and Common Iora. Both Black-hooded and Maroon Orioles gave their own variations of the fluty notes we associate with Golden Orioles in Europe. Above the trees, parties of Crested Tree Swifts hawked for insects and higher still there were soaring a group of Himalayan Vultures in the company of a single Cinereous Vulture, distinctive with its thinner wings and shorter and squarer tail. An Oriental Honey Buzzards drifted over as did a Steppe Eagle. With much to see, our packed breakfast was not taken until 10.30. Indian Roller and Ashy Drongo gave good views before we had to leave the park before 11.30.

Lunch was taken at the hotel and there was time for a brief walk around the hotel grounds seeing Red-breasted Flycatcher and Lemon-rumped Warbler before returning to the park when it reopened at 1.30. Most of the afternoon was spent watching above a bend in the river which gave good views both upstream and downstream. We waited for birds and one mammal in particular to show.The aptly named Stork-billed Kingfisher perched high up in a tree while Crested, Pied and Common sat on the riverside rocks. A distant Black Stork passed the afternoon in the same fashion as us across the valley.

A troop of Himalayan Langurs went about their business in trees alongside the jeeps but there were no sightings of the hoped for Tiger. Retracing our track towards the main gate, we saw a Peregrine of the subspecies  peregrinator with rufous underparts and six Elephants, presumably of the group seen the previous day. Back at the hotel tea was taken on the lawn as the sun went down.

Friday 9th December Corbett National Park.

Again into the park at 6.30. Initially, woodpeckers dominated with Himalayan and Lesser Goldenbacks, Lesser Yellownape plus Grey-headed, Grey-capped Pygmy and Fulvous Woodpeckers seen. A Drongo, half hidden in a tree, finally gave a view of its twisted tail feathers that showed it to be Racket-tailed. Later White-bellied and Ashy completed a Drongo trio. A group of Great Hornbills were heard in flight, some while before they were seen. Later, a group of six Oriental Pied Hornbills looked diminutive in comparison with their larger cousins. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch and Plain-backed Thrush were new for the trip. As the morning warmed up, vultures took to the air- at one point thirty Himalayan and two Cinereous were in a kettle together. In several places, we saw Tiger prints along the track. Then, retracing our route where we had passed some ninety minutes before, there was a very fresh pile that could only have been left by a Tiger.

During a post lunch stroll in the hotel grounds, a Brown Shrike was seen on rough ground just outside the fence. While watching the Shrike, a Wallcreeper was seen flicking over rocks in the dried up stream bed. Then overhead, a King Vulture glided by, with obvious white on upper thighs and around neck, and finally a Taiga Flycatcher taking prey on the lawn.

In the afternoon, the Black Stork and Stork-billed Kingfisher were on the same perches as the previous day. Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Black-crested Bulbul and White-crested Laughing Thrush were the final highlights.

Saturday 10th December Corbett NP to Vangat

For our last morning in Corbett were in the park soon after 6.30am passing the Jungle Owlet on its usual wire. Black-headed Orioles were calling and an Oriental Honey Buzzard drifted over. A Himalayan Rubythroat was seen briefly and a Golden Jackal stalked across the track in front of us. Again, we saw signs of Tiger– on this occasion pug marks alongside which was a furrow indicating prey being dragged. Then, as it was almost time to leave the park, there was continuous alarming from Spotted Deer for over two minutes but no sightings. Also seen were Ashy, Spangled and Whitebellied Drongos and Grey-capped Pygmy, Grey-headed and Streak-throated Woodpeckers. At the river, there were Crested, Pied and Common Kingfishers. Overhead, a kettle of Himalayan Griffon Vultures numbered ten together with two Cinereous Vultures. Also seen were a Changeable Hawk Eagle, a Steppe Eagle and a Shikra. A single Great Hornbill thundered its way through the tree tops. A Small Minivet posed for photographs. Soon we had to leave the park.

Returning to the hotel with luggage loaded, we said our goodbyes to drivers and guides and departed after a quick brunch. Our journey took us around a side of the National Park and although we were on a busy road, two Elephants were devouring and uprooting forest vegetation less than a hundred yards away. A Blue-bearded Bee-eater was perched on a water tower in Randagar.

The road to Vangat followed the course of a river before rising steeply with multiple hairpin bends before dropping down again. Finally, the road ended alongside a metal suspension bridge across a river. From here, we set off on foot. Our bags followed us thanks staff from the camp. After a mile, the path reached the bank of the river. A wooden raft carried us across two or three at a time before we walked the final stretch to the camp. It is run by Ghosh predominately for birders.  The accommodation consists of a number of thatched chalets spread across the grounds with a covered eating area next to an outdoor area where we were given drinks on arrival.

A bucket of hot water was brought to our rooms for washing. Owing to the altitude, in the evening each of us was given a hot water bottle. It turned out to be a luxury rather than an essential.

Top to Bottom – Jungle Owlet & Plum-headed Parakeet
Top to Bottom – Grey-headed Swamphen & Large Hawk Cuckoo
Top to Bottom – Wallcreeper & Ibisbill
Top to Bottom – Indian Elephant & Hanuman Langur
Top to Bottom – Vangat Camp and river crossing

Sunday 11th December Vangat

With our chalets set on the edge of woodland, there was an opportunity for some first light birding. This produced sightings of Himalayan and Red-vented Bulbul and Rufous Treepie. After early morning tea, we left the compound and headed through an area of scrub towards the river. We managed to get brief but conclusive views of a skulking White-tailed Rubythoat and a Great Hornbill made its presence obvious by calling from the hillside above the camp. Along the river, Plumbeous and White-capped Water Redstarts were prominent on boulders along the banks of the river while Crested, Pied and Common Kingfishers patrolled up and down. A Brown Dipper was seen before flying up stream. A Little Forktail appeared down stream of us but then a quiet and the remarkably calm voice of Dolores’ was heard to say ‘THERE’S A TIGER, A TIGER OVER THERE’!!

Andrew captured the Tigress brilliantly with this video – Tigress video

Everyone looked across the river and there, coming out from the trees and along the opposite bank of the river, was a Tiger. It was no more than 70 metres from us. Our guide told us to stay together in a close group and not to turn our backs on it. The Tiger worked its way along the edge of the river before walking into the water and then started to swim. At one point, it turned its head towards up and could be heard to utter a sharp, nasal grunt before continuing across the river. Emerging from the water, still about 70 metres from us, it shook itself before making its way towards the slopes of the forest. As the Tiger disappeared our group stood transfixed and stunned as if unable to take in what we had just witnessed. A total highlight and life-time memory!

After finding a Wallcreeper, Grey and White-browed Wagtails and a Pallas’s Fish Eagle perched in riverside tree, we returned to the camp in a state of elation for a celebratory breakfast.

The remainder of the day was spent around the camp making use of an area overlooking a feeding station and an observation tower overlooking a pool. Birds seen around the camp included Lineated and Blue-throated Barbets, Fulvous and Grey-headed Woodpeckers, Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike and Yellow-bellied Fantail plus a spectacular Red-billed Blue-tailed Magpie. Overhead, Bonelli’s and Steppe Eagles soared in company of Himalayan Griffons.

Top & Bottom – Bengal Tigress
Top to Bottom – Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike & Rufous-cheeked Scimitar babbler

Tuesday 13th December Sattal Area.

After a 6am breakfast, we took the minibus until several hundred metres higher than Birders’ Den and then birded from the roadside. On one side, we looked across a valley to the slopes beyond. Birds seen included Common Rosefinch, both Lemon-rumped and Buff-barred Warblers and Black-throated Thrush.  We looked down on Red-vented and Himalayan Bulbuls perched below us as well as an inflight Ashy Bulbul. Parking alongside a lake, it was a stream on the opposite side of the road that held our interest; a Spotted Forktail gave prolonged views feeding alongside a Grey Wagtail together with a diminutive and shy Chestnut-headed Tesia. In the same area, there was at least one Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Small Niltava and Velvet-fronted Nuthatch.

Our guide, Jaypee went off on his own and came up trumps by finding a perched up Brown Fish Owl which we all admired from a suitable distance. A Mountain Hawk Eagle soared above the

forest. After coffee at a roadside café, it was apparent that activity had dropped off with the increasing temperature and we headed back to Birders’ Den.

In the grounds of the hotel, a hide overlooks a series of well stocked feeders. With continual comings and goings, it was an excellent place to spend an hour or three but required a lot of space on cameras memory cards as excellent and prolonged views were to be had of a range of species; At times four species of Woodpecker; Lesser and Greater Yellownape, Himalayan and Grey-headed Woodpecker. Kalij Pheasants and Black Francolins crept nervously into view from undergrowth. Also present were Grey-winged Blackbird, Blue-whistling Thrush, Streaked Laughing Thrush, Grey Treepie, Russet Sparrow,  Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch. Late afternoon brought in a flock of twenty-five Oriental Turtle Doves. The real characters around the feeders were the group of White-cheeked Laughing Thrushes with their attitude and demeanour.

A Eurasian Sparrowhawk, which replaces Shikra at higher altitudes, would fly through scattering all into cover and a group of raucous Red-billed Blue-tailed Magpies took on the role as bullies of the feeders.

In the grounds, Green-tailed Sunbirds were taking nectar from flowers while a group of four Olivebacked Pipits were feeding on a lawn.

Indian Junglefowl – © Julia Burton
Top to Bottom – Spotted Forktail & Brown Fish Owl
Top to Bottom – Black-lored Tit & Black Francolin
Top to Bottom – Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush & White-crested Laughingthrush
Top to Bottom – Kalij Pheasant & Green-tailed Sunbird

Wednesday 14th December Sattal Area.

Again, we were away from hotel at 6.30 and to a different and slighty higher area than previous day. The morning was cold and the surrounding hills kept the sun off the valley floor until several hours after first light, accounting for reduced bird activity. In an open area a smart Blue-fronted Redstart was seen. Along a stream, a Slaty-backed Forktail became the third of the forktail family for the trip.  Later an Aberrant Bush Warbler was calling from roadside scrub.

The afternoon was spent around the hotel – the feeders were again prolific with additions to yesterday being Black-throated and Black-lored Tits with Long-tailed Minivet.

Thursday 15th December Sattal to Delhi.

With a long journey in front of us, an early departure from was made but not before a brief look at the feeders where both Black Francolin along with White-crested Laughing Thrushes. On the journey, stops were made, firstly unscheduled, for three Steppe Eagles soaring in the valley below us but then rising up passed us to give stunning views.

Then, there was a scheduled stop for coffee where we met Ghosh. He gave each individual member of the group a mug inscribed with their name and a photograph of an Indian bird or mammal glazed on. A lovely gesture and great memento of a wonderful trip.

Our last task was to compete with the traffic in Delhi.

The final spectacle of the trip was of Black Kites over the rubbish dump from the local fish market. Numbers would have been well into four figures. A meal was taken back at the Ashok Hotel before saying our goodbyes to our guide Jaypee who had been with us for the entire trip. Our driver dropped us off at the airport in good time for all pre-flight formalities to be completed in plenty of time for our overnight flight to Heathrow. where we went our separate ways but with many lasting memories.

Top to Bottom – Blue-fronted Redstart & Steppe Eagle
 Birds Species – Systematic list
1Lesser Whistling-Duck – Dendrocygna javanica
2Bar-headed Goose – Anser indicus
3Greylag Goose – Anser anser
4Knob-billed Duck – Sarkidiornis melanotos
5Ruddy Shelduck – Tadorna ferruginea
6Northern Shoveler – Spatula clypeata
7Gadwall – Mareca strepera
8Indian Spot-billed Duck – Anas poecilorhyncha
9Mallard – Anas platyrhynchos
10Northern Pintail – Anas acuta
11Eurasian Teal – Anas crecca
12Red-crested Pochard – Netta rufina
13Common Pochard – Aythya ferina
14Indian Peafowl – Pavo cristatus
15Black Francolin – Francolinus francolinus
16Grey Francolin – Francolinus pondicerianus
17Red Junglefowl – Gallus gallus
18Kalij Pheasant – Lophura leucomelanos
19Little Grebe – Tachybaptus ruficollis
20Goosander – Mergus merganser
21Rock Dove – Columba livia
22Collared Dove – Streptopelia decaocto
23Oriental Turtle Dove – Streptopelia orientalis
24Red Collared Dove – Streptopelia tranquebarica
25Laughing Dove – Streptopelia senegalensis
26Asian Emerald Dove – Chalcophaps indica
27Yellow-footed Pigeon – Treron phoenicopterus
28Pin-tailed Green Pigeon – Treron apicauda
29Woodpigeon – Columba palumbus
30Greater Coucal – Centropus sinensis
31Large Hawk-cuckoo – Eudynamys scolopacea
32Common Hawk-Cuckoo – Hierococcyx varius
33Himalayan Swiftlet – Aerodramus brevirostris
34Little Swift – Apus affinis
35Crested Treeswift – Hemiprocne coronata
36Common Moorhen – Gallinula chloropus
37Eurasian Coot – Fulica atra
38Grey-headed Swamphen – Porphyrio poliocephalus
39White-breasted Waterhen – Amaurornis phoenicurus
40Sarus Crane – Antigone antigone
41Black-winged Stilt – Himantopus himantopus
42Great Thick-knee – Esacus recurvirostris
43Ibisbill – Ibidorhyncha struthersii
44River Lapwing – Vanellus duvaucelii
45Red-wattled Lapwing – Vanellus indicus
46White-tailed Lapwing – Vanellus leucurus
47Pheasant-tailed Jacana – Hydrophasianus chirurgus
48Bronze-winged Jacana – Metopidius indicus
49Common Snipe – Gallinago gallinago
50Common Sandpiper – Actitis hypoleucos
51Green Sandpiper – Tringa ochropus
52Spotted Redshank – Tringa erythropus
53Common Greenshank – Tringa nebularia
54Marsh Sandpiper – Tringa stagnatilis
55Wood Sandpiper – Tringa glareola
56Curlew Sandpiper – Calidris ferruginea
57Common Redshank – Tringa totanus
58Black-headed Gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus
59Heuglin’s Gull –  Larus heuglini
60Asian Openbill – Anastomus oscitans
61Black Stork – Ciconia nigra
62Woolly-necked Stork – Ciconia episcopus
63Painted Stork – Mycteria leucocephala
64Oriental Darter – Anhinga melanogaster
65Little Cormorant – Microcarbo niger
66Great Cormorant – Phalacrocorax carbo
67Indian Cormorant – Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
68Yellow Bittern – Ixobrychus sinensis
69Black Bittern – Ixobrychus flavicollis
70Grey Heron – Ardea cinerea
71Purple Heron – Ardea purpurea
72Great White Egret – Ardea alba
73Intermediate Egret – Ardea intermedia
74Little Egret – Egretta garzetta
75Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis
76Indian Pond Heron – Ardeola grayii
77Striated Heron – Butorides striata
78Black-crowned Night-Heron – Nycticorax nycticorax
79Glossy Ibis – Plegadis falcinellus
80Black-headed Ibis – Threskiornis melanocephalus
81Red-naped Ibis – Pseudibis papillosa
82Eurasian Spoonbill – Platalea leucorodia
83Black-winged Kite – Elanus caeruleus
84Egyptian Vulture – Neophron percnopterus
85Red-headed Vulture – Sarcogyps calvus
86Cinereous Vulture – Aegypius monachus
87Himalayan Griffon – Gyps himalayensis
88Crested Serpent-Eagle – Spilornis cheela
89Changeable Hawk-Eagle – Nisaetus limnaeetus
90Indian Spotted Eagle – Clanga hastata
91Greater Spotted Eagle – Clanga clanga
92Booted Eagle – Hieraaetus pennatus
93Steppe Eagle – Aquila nipalensis
94Eastern Imperial Eagle – Aquila heliaca
95Bonelli’s Eagle – Aquila fasciata
96Western Marsh Harrier – Circus aeruginosus
97Shikra – Accipiter badius
98Eurasian Sparrowhawk – Accipiter nisus
99Black Kite – Milvus migrans
100Pallas’s Fish-Eagle – Haliaeetus leucoryphus
101Lesser Fish-Eagle – Haliaeetus humilis
102White-eyed Buzzard – Butastur teesa
103Oriental Honey-buzzard – Pernis ptilorhynchus
104Dusky Eagle Owl – Bubo coromandus
105Jungle Owlet – Glaucidium radiatum
106Spotted Owlet – Athene brama
107Eurasian Hoopoe – Upupa epops
108Great Hornbill – Buceros bicornis
109Indian Grey Hornbill – Ocyceros birostris
110Oriental Pied-Hornbill – Anthracoceros albirostris
111Common Kingfisher – Alcedo atthis
112White-throated Kingfisher – Halcyon smyrnensis
113Crested Kingfisher – Megaceryle lugubris
114Pied Kingfisher – Ceryle rudis
115Stork-billed Kingfisher – Pelargopsis capensis
116Blue-bearded Bee-eater – Nyctyornis athertoni
117Green Bee-eater – Merops orientalis
118Indian Roller – Coracias benghalensis
119Coppersmith Barbet – Psilopogon haemacephalus
120Great Barbet – Psilopogon virens
121Lineated Barbet – Psilopogon lineatus
122Brown-headed Barbet – Psilopogon zeylanicus
123Blue-throated Barbet – Psilopogon asiaticus
124Eurasian Wryneck – Jynx torquilla
125Great Slaty Woodpecker – Mulleripicus pulverulentus
126Brown-capped Woodpecker – Yungipicus nanus
127Grey-capped Woodpecker – Yungipicus canicapillus
128Brown-fronted Woodpecker – Dendrocoptes auriceps
129Yellow-crowned Woodpecker – Leiopicus mahrattensis
130Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker – Dendrocopos macei
131Black-rumped Flameback – Dinopium benghalense
132Lesser Yellownape – Picus chlorolophus
133Greater Yellownape – Chrysophlegma flavinucha
134Streak-throated Woodpecker – Picus xanthopygaeus
135Grey-headed Woodpecker – Picus canus
136Collared Falconet – Microhierax caerulescens
137Common Kestrel – Falco tinnunculus
138Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus
139Ring-necked Parakeet – Psittacula krameri
140Alexandrine Parakeet – Psittacula eupatria
141Slaty-headed Parakeet – Psittacula himalayana
142Plum-headed Parakeet – Psittacula cyanocephala
143Red-breasted Parakeet – Psittacula alexandri
144Common Woodshrike – Tephrodornis pondicerianus
145Black-winged Cuckoo-shrile – Coracina melaschistos
146Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike – Hemipus picatus
147Common Iora – Aegithina tiphia
148Small Minivet – Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
149Long-tailed Minivet – Pericrocotus ethologus
150Scarlet Minivet – Pericrocotus speciosus
151Brown Shrike – Lanius cristatus
152Bay-backed Shrike – Lanius vittatus
153Long-tailed Shrike – Lanius schach
154Indian Golden Oriole – Oriolus kundoo
155Black-hooded Oriole – Oriolus xanthornus
156Maroon Oriole – Oriolus traillii
157Black Drongo – Dicrurus macrocercus
158Ashy Drongo – Dicrurus leucophaeus
159White-bellied Drongo – Dicrurus caerulescens
160Bronzed Drongo – Dicrurus aeneus
161 Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo – Dicrurus remifer
162Spangled Drongo – Dicrurus bracteatus
163Greater Racket-tailed Drongo – Dicrurus paradiseus
164White-throated Fantail – Rhipidura albicollis
165White-browed Fantail – Rhipidura aureola
166Red-billed Blue-Magpie – Urocissa erythroryncha
167Common Green-Magpie – Cissa chinensis
168Rufous Treepie – Dendrocitta vagabunda
169Grey Treepie – Dendrocitta formosae
170House Crow – Corvus splendens
171Large-billed Crow – Corvus macrorhynchos
172Eastern Jungle Crow – Corvus levaillantii
173Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark – Eremopterix griseus
174Indian Bushlark – Mirafra erythroptera
175Greater Short-toed Lark – Calandrella brachydactyla
176Crested Lark – Galerida cristata
177Grey-throated Martin – Riparia chinensis
178Dusky Crag Martin – Ptyonoprogne concolor
179Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica
180Wire-tailed Swallow – Hirundo smithii
181Red-rumped Swallow – Cecropis daurica
182Yellow-bellied Fairy-Fantail – Chelidorhynx hypoxanthus
183Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher – Culicicapa ceylonensis
184Coal Tit – Periparus ater
185Green-backed Tit – Parus monticolus
186Cinereous Tit – Parus cinereus
187Himalayan Black-lored Tit – Machlolophus xanthogenys
188Black-throated Tit – Aegithalos concinnus
189Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch – Sitta cinnamoventris
190Velvet-fronted Nuthatch – Sitta frontalis
191Wallcreeper – Tichodroma muraria
192Bar-tailed Treecreeper – Certhia himalayana
193Brown Dipper – Cinclus pallasii
194Black-crested Bulbul – Rubigula flaviventris
195Red-vented Bulbul – Pycnonotus cafer
196Red-whiskered Bulbul – Pycnonotus jocosus
197White-eared Bulbul – Pycnonotus leucotis
198Himalayan Bulbul – Pycnonotus leucogenys
199Mountain Bulbul – Ixos mcclellandii
200Black Bulbul – Hypsipetes leucocephalus
201Ashy Bulbul – Hemixos flavala
202Chestnut-headed Tesia – Cettia castaneocoronata
203Buff-barred Warbler – Phylloscopus pulcher
204Hume’s Warbler – Phylloscopus humei
205Lemon-rumped Warbler – Phylloscopus chloronotus
206Siberian Chiffchaff – Phylloscopus collybita tristes
207Aberrant bush-warbler – Horornis flavolivaceus
208Greenish Warbler – Phylloscopus trochiloides
209Grey-hooded Warbler – Phylloscopus xanthoschistos
210Whistler’s Warbler – Seicercus whistleri
211Blyth’s Reed Warbler – Acrocephalus dumetorum
212Clamorous Reed Warbler – Acrocephalus stentoreus
213Common Tailorbird – Orthotomus sutorius
214Striated Prinia – Prinia crinigera
215Grey-breasted Prinia – Prinia hodgsonii
216Ashy Prinia – Prinia socialis
217Plain Prinia – Prinia inornata
218Lesser Whitethroat – Sylvia curruca
219Orphean Warbler – Curruca crassirostris
220Yellow-eyed Babbler – Chrysomma sinense
221Oriental White-eye – Zosterops palpebrosus
222Black-chinned Babbler – Cyanoderma pyrrhops
223Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler – Megapomatorhinus erythrogenys
224Puff-throated Babbler – Pellorneum ruficeps
225Common Babbler – Turdoides caudata
226Black-chinned Babbler – Cyanoderma pyrrhops
227Large Grey Babbler – Turdoides malcolmi
228Jungle Babbler – Turdoides striata
229White-crested Laughingthrush – Garrulax leucolophus
230White-throated Laughingthrush – Ianthocincla albogularis
231Streaked Laughingthrush – Trochalopteron lineatum
232Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush – Lanthocincla rufogularis
233Rufous Sibia – Heterophasia capistrata
234Red-billed Leiothrix – Leiothrix lutea
235Blue-winged Minla – Actinodura cyanouroptera
236Indian Robin – Copsychus fulicatus
237Oriental Magpie-Robin – Copsychus saularis
238Ultamarine Flycatcher –  Ficedula superciliaris
239Small Niltava – Niltava macgrigoriae
240Rufous-bellied Niltava – Niltava sundara
241Bluethroat – Luscinia svecica
242Blue Whistling-Thrush – Myophonus caeruleus
243Little Forktail – Enicurus scouleri
244Spotted Forktail – Enicurus maculatus
245Slaty-backed Forktail – Enicurus schistaceus
246Siberian Rubythroat – Calliope calliope
247Himalayan Rubythroat – Calliope pectoralis
248Slaty-blue Flycatcher – Ficedula tricolor
249Rusty-tailed Flycatcher – Ficedula ruficauda
250Red-breasted Flycatcher – Ficedula parva
251Taiga Flycatcher – Ficedula albicilla
252Blue-fronted Redstart – Phoenicurus frontalis
253Plumbeous Redstart – Phoenicurus fuliginosus
254White-capped Redstart – Phoenicurus leucocephalus
255White-rumped Shama – Copsychus malabaricus
256Black Redstart – Phoenicurus ochruros
257Siberian Stonechat – Saxicola maurus
258Pied Bushchat – Saxicola caprata
259Grey Bushchat – Saxicola ferreus
260Indian Chat – Cercomela fusca
261Desert Wheatear – Oenanthe deserti
262Isabelline Wheatear – Oenanthe isabellina
263Grey-winged Blackbird – Turdus boulboul
264Black-throated Thrush – Turdus atrogularis
265Asian Pied Starling – Gracupica contra
266Brahminy Starling – Sturnia pagodarum
267Common Myna – Acridotheres tristis
268Bank Myna – Acridotheres ginginianus
269Golden-fronted Leafbird – Chloropsis aurifrons
270Purple Sunbird – Cinnyris asiaticus
271Black-throated Sunbird – Aethopyga saturata
272Green-tailed Sunbird – Aethopyga nipalensis
273Crimson Sunbird – Aethopyga siparaja
274Grey Wagtail – Motacilla cinerea
275Citrine Wagtail – Motacilla citreola
276White-browed Wagtail – Motacilla maderaspatensis
277Pied Wagtail/White Wagtail – Motacilla alba
278Tawny Pipit – Anthus campestris
279Olive-backed Pipit – Anthus hodgsoni
280Tree Pipit –  Anthus trivialis
281Common Rosefinch – Carpodacus erythrinus
282Yellow-breasted Greenfinch – Chloris spinoides
283House Sparrow – Passer domesticus
284Russet Sparrow – Passer cinnamomeus
285Chestnut-shouldered Petronia –  Petronia xanthocollis
286Baya Weaver – Ploceus philippinu
287Indian Silverbill – Euodice malabarica
288Scaly-breasted Munia – Lonchura punctulata

Mammals & Others recorded

Greater Indian Fruit Bat
Rhesus Macaque
Hanuman Langur
Himalayan Langur
Golden Jackal
Indian Elephant
Wild Boar
Indian Muntjac
Spotted Deer or Chital
Nilgai or Blue Bull
Five-striped Ground Squirrel
Indian Porcupine
Yellow-throated Marten
Red Fox
Gharial Crocodile
Mugger Crocodile
Indian Rock Python
Soft-celled Roof Turtle
Garden Lizzard
Golden Mahseer (fish)

Future Tours

If you are interested in joining us in India then we have a tour in December 2023 please contact us for details.

Norfolk Birding

+44 7876 357677