Friday, 12 February 2010

North West India... Dawn till dusk birding

The next port of call on our busy India circuit was a real gem of a place called CEDO which acts as a good base to bird the surrounding area with great food, guides accommodation and local knowledgeable birders/scientists operated and run by Jugal Tiwari. I would thoroughly recommend a visit here armed with a hit list of species or simply for a relaxing week visiting the areas and targeting different species of bird and mammal either to watch and study or photograph (see the website for stunning images of the wildlife). We decided to leave Gir early as we had pretty much achieved what we set out to do ie. see Lion and there was a large number of target species at CEDO. The site is nearing the Pakistan border and the birding very different from one locality to another as a result of the varying habitat zones.
The first photo depicts a Grey-necked Bunting which was sen in large numbers at a couple of sites a short drive away from CEDO, whereas the Hypocolius above is very much a speciality which requires access to a local village and enlisting the help of one of the villagers who knows exactly which toothbrush bushes the birds roost in. Sure enough at dawn there they were waking u and feeding before venturing further afield and out of sight.
Bimaculated Lark. This was a bird which was a lifer for me on the trip and I had manged to miss a few on the trip already but once we were in the correct areas for the winter flocks we saw literally thousands and thousands in flocks of which I've never witnessed before of Larks, very impressive.

Common Crane was indeed Common and a lovely evocative sound heard regularly on our travels. Not always easy to approach the vehicle acted as a great base to photograph them though sadly all the Demoiselles had already left the area

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