Monday, December 21, 2009

Birds of Sat Tal & Pangot

Birding tours in Sat Tal and Pangot in Northern India

Both the destinations are equidistant from Nainital Hill Resort in the district of Nainital in Uttaranchal. Sat Tal is about 14 kilometers from Nainital while Pangot is at approximately the same distance. Pangot is at greater height of over 2000 meters MSL while Sat Tal is approximately at 1400 meters MSL.

Both the birding spot in North India display striking difference in species of birds found. The terrain at Pangot is rugged and steep but it is rewarding to work out if you wish to see:

Cheer Pheasant, Koklas Pheasant, Accentors, Peregrine Falcon, White browed shrike babbler,
Yellow browed tit, Spot winged tit, Ultra marine flycatcher, Himalyan Vulture, Dark-throated Thrush, Striated Prinia, Grosbeaks, Hill Partridge, Fire breasted flowerpecker, Himalayan Flameback, Siberian Bushchat, Lammergier, Upland Pipit, Lesser Racket Tailed Drongo, Chestnutbellied Rock Thrush,  Blue capped rock thrush, Verditor flycatcher  and many more.

Sattal is at a lesser height but offers larger number of species to be seen. Leaving the township the landscape is striking beautiful. Unfortunately the rivulets are gagged by plastic waste.  Occasional barking deer can be seen or heard in the forests.

Blue winged minla, Golden spectacled warbler, Eurasian Jay, Black headed Jay, Himalayan Bulbul, Winter Wren, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Khaleej Pheasant, Barred jungle owlet, Dollar bird, Striated laughing thrush, Grey bushchat, Green tailed sunbird,  Bar tailed tree creeper,  White tailed nuthatch, Dark throated sunbird, Blue winged shrike, blacknaped fblue lycatcher, Black eagle, Asian barred owlet, Besra, Fulvous breasted woodpecker, Long tailed broadbill, scaly wren, Lesser yellow nape, Rufus bellied woodpecker, Common Rose finch, Spotted Forktail, Bar winged flycatcher shrike, Crested Hawk Eagle, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Slaty-headed Parakeets, White throated babblers, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler,  Slaty backed Forktail, Black winged cuckoo shrike, Rufus Sibia, Lesser Yellownape, Red Billed Leiothrix, Small Niltava, Rufus Belied Niltava, Streaked Laughing Thrush, White Throated Dipper,Grey headed canary flycatcher, Grey Faced Warbler, Black Hooded Warbler, Rufus-bellied Woodpecker, Blue throated barbet, Small Minivet, Long Tailed Minivet, Great Barbet, Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch, Whiskered Yuhina,   Himalayan griffon, Steppe Eagle, Grey Treepie, Grey Winged Black Bird, Grey backed forktail, Spotted fork tail and Dollar bird.

Sattal offers greater bird checklist than mentioned here. On my frequent bird watching tours I find newer bird species. Winter is the best season to see Indian birds in the North in Himalayas and Terai

Corbett is another exciting bird destination for birding in North India with over 500 species. Birding is best done on foot at Lal Dhang, Sita Vani, Mohan and Kumeria at Koshi River. Inside Corbett National Park birding is done on jeep safaris nevertheless exciting forest birds are seen like nowhere.