Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Best Birding spots in Kanha National Park

It can be a bit difficult birding at Kanha Tiger Reserve without prior information on best spots. Albeit the birds are spread all over the park some places are more fruitful for targeted birds. In winters dense canopy makes bird watching an arduous task. Nevertheless it is ideal time for forest birding due to arrival of migrants.  Birds can be seen anywhere I am just highlighting my favorite spots below. 

Some of the areas I prefer are the mixed forest zones within the park confines those at Indri Road. One can come across many species here. Scaly Munia, Red Avadavat, White Throated Kingfisher,  Red Rumped Swallows, Indian Silver Bill, Green Sandpiper, Temminck's Stint, Wooly Necked Stork, Common Snipe, Painted Snipe, Black Stork and other water birds can be seen at the pond near the beat guard's hut. Further ahead one can come across Indian Scimitar Babbler, Sirkeer Malkoha,  Brown Cheek Fulvetta, Long Tailed Minivet, Tickell's Flowerpecker, Purple Sunbird, Little Minivet, Grey Headed Canary Flycatcher,  White Eye, Crimson Breasted Barbet, Asian Koel, Barred Jungle Owlet, White Backed Vulture, Long Billed Vulture and many warblers. 

The canopy differs much at Bamni Dadar Road it is more mixed forest with high altitude species and mreo fruiting trees. This area is inhabited by Indian Scimitar Babbler, Honey Buzzard, White Eyed Buzzard, Shama (bamboo) Bronze Winged Dove, Yellow Footed Green Pigeon, Quails, Painted Francolin, Shikra, Common Kestrel, Common Kestrel and more. 

Grassland species best seen at Parsa Tola include Common Stone Chat, Pied Bush Chat, Pipits, other birds seen are Ashy Prinia, Plain Prinia, Long Tailed, Little and Scarlet Minivet, Tickell's  Blue Flycatcher, Brown Capped Pigmy Woodpecker, Grey Bush Chat and more.

White Rumped Shama, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, and Tawny Babbler has definite affinity for Bamboo Clumps and perhaps. Puff Throated Babbler, Tickell's and Orange Headed Thrush prefer sandy stony areas with moisture.     

Link No 7 and 8 are also good birding grounds one should visit. The White Rumped Vulture and Palas's Fish Eagle can be seen near the bridge over the pond on approach to Kanha Rest House from grasslands.  One can see Red and Yellow Wattled Lapwings, Red Rumped Swallows, Pipits and Larks at the grasslands of Kisli near the Rest house.

The reservoir at Nakti Ghati near the Kopedabri Camp is excellent birding spot where on can see birds such as White Backed Munia, Crested Hawk Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Verditor Flycatcher, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Peacock, Koel, Tickells Blue Flycatcher, White Throated Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Common Blue Kingfisher, Black Naped Flycatcher, Lesser Whistling Teal, Cormorant, Red Wattled Lapwing, Purple Heron, Grey Heron  etc can be seen often.          

Malabar Pied Hornbill are less seen at Kanha as compared to Bandhavgarh National Park in Umaria District in MP. Grey Hornbill like many places in Madhya Pradesh are a common sight. 

The water bodies at Kanha, Sarvan Taal, Sondhar and Bishanpura harbor many wetland birds of which most common are Egrets, sandpipers, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Lesser Whistling Teal,  Nakta, Wooly Necked Stork, Open Billed Stork, etc. Kanha is a poor representative of wetland species. 

On the outskirts I have had good birding at Lake near Boda Chhapri and Kahtia Mukki Road and some other nearby places. It is a must to go bird  watching on the outskirts as you are allowed a leisurely trek with ample of time to seek out the magnificent species that inhabit this wonderland.  

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