Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Birding Trip Report Kanha and Bandhavgarh

Julien Gonin
Marine Gonin  

Julien & Marine

Guests: Courtyard House Kanha
Tiger Den Resort Bandhavgarh

Courtesy Indiafootprints Tour Operator  

It was a trip for bird watching at India's Finest Reserves Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park. Well it was much more than a birding trip since we combined it with tiger safari and managed to see many animals besides the tiger. 

Julien is a professional birder from France and conducts tours in Northern India including Bharatpur and Chambal. This was his first trip to Central Indian parks, and I am sure he was not disappointed. He plans to operate birding tours in this region in near future. Marine his wife was equally enthusiastic and accompanied us throughout on the tour.    

We covered many zones of the tiger reserves including outer areas. The result in a short period was spectacular. We check-listed around 165 species. Down below is a short list of discoveries. 

  • Pale Footed Bush Warbler
  • Bonelli's Eagle
  • Tickell's Leaf Warbler
  • Hume's Warbler
  • Greenish Warbler
  • Blyth's Pipit
  • Long Billed Pipit
  • Rufus Tailed Bush Lark
  • Booted Eagle
  • Crested Serpent Eagle
  • Crested Hawk Eagle
  • White Eyed Buzzard
  • Black Naped Monarch
  • Paddyfield Warbler
  • Bronze Winged Jacana
  • White Backed Vulture
  • King Vulture
  • Long Billed Vulture
  • Little Grebe
  • Bronze Winged Dove
  • Oriental Turtle Dove
  • Zitting Sisticola
  • White Cheeked Orange Headed Thrush 
  • Common House Martin
  • Wire Tailed Swallow
  • White Tailed Needletail
  • Dusky Crag Martin
  • Barn Swallow
  • Red Rumped Swallow 
  • Alexandrine Parakeet
  • Streak Throated Woodpecker
  • Black Rumped Flameback
  • Shikra
  • Canary Flycatcher
  • Yellow Footed Green Pigeon
  • Green Sandpiper
  • Striated Heron 
  • Open Billed Stork
  • Lesser Adjutant Stork
  • Black Stork
  • Black Ibis
  • Indian Moorhen
  • Whitebreasted Waterhen
  • Indian Scops Owl
  • Mottled Wood Owl (Call)
  • Brown Fish Owl
  • Gold Fronted Chloropsis
  • Tawny Bellied Babbler
  • Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch
  • Red Breasted Flycatcher
  • Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
  • Lesser WhiteThroat
  • Shama
  • Pied Bushchat
  • Gray Bushchat
  • Tree Pipit
  • Great Tit
  • Black Lored Tit
  • Brown Cheeked Fulvetta
  • Gray Wagtail
  • Thick Billed Flowerpecker
  • Pale Billed Flowerpecker
  • White Rumped Munia
  • Petronia
  • Crested Bunting Female
  • Blue Bearded Beeeater
  • Indian Scimitar Babbler

    Among the mammals we saw:
  • Tiger
  • Gaur
  • Barking Deer
  • Swamp Deer
  • Gray Mongoose
  • Spotted Deer
  • Wild Boar
  • Langur
  • Rehsus Macaque
  • Sambar

The trip was an exciting exploration of the wild places. And could catch birders attention from around the World  to Kanha and Bandhavgarh which are only known for tigers.
Bandhavgarh Mountain


Malabar Pied Hornbill


Picks courtesy the birders..

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Bird Images - Dharma Giri

Dharma Giri looks after Jungle Home Pench and is a well known naturalist and photographer. He is from Nepal but presently based in the resort at Pench Tiger Reserve.
Ashy Crowned Finch Lark

Asian Barred Owlet


Black Naped Monarch


Common Chiff Chaff

Common Kingfisher

Coppersmith Barbet

Crimson Sumbird

Pigmy Woodpecker Gray

Great Tit

Bee Eater

Green Tailed Sunbird

Grey Winged BlackBird

Female Grey Winged Blackbird


Peregrine Falcon

Pied Kingfisher

Mottled Wood Owl

Plain Prinia

Puff Throated Babbler

Brahminy Duck

Scarlet Minivet

Shikra Juvenile

Indian Silver Bill

Spotted Owlet

White Browed Bulbul

White Eye

White Naped Woodpecker

White Wagtail

Yellow Bellied Fantail Flycather

Friday, April 22, 2016

New Bird Observations at Kanha

It was the glimpse of forest wagtail that made me stop and observe while on tiger safari at Kanha. This avian has recently been observed at Jabalpur City Nearby. Earlier we saw orange breasted green pigeon in this tiger reserve which I have mentioned before. 

The sight of Besra was thrilling event. The bird was perched on a tree at height of about ten feet off the Kanha Ghat main road. Some of the birds like Osprey are late visitors here and arrive post February. 

Another interesting find which I mentioned earlier was Oriental Scops Owl in the garden of Courtyard House Resort at Kanha. I am still waiting for Rufus Bellied Eagle to appear again here like it did last year.

Observing a gathering of lesser adjutant stork was interesting. They are usually solitary. Another encouraging sight was that of large number of juveniles of White Back Vulture in the tiger reserve. 

I am excited that during my future tours I would be able to make new observations.    

Changeable Hawk Eagle

Indian Pitta

Lesser Adjutant Stork

Wooly Necked Stork
Photo Credits John Matthai

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Birding at Courtyard House Kanha - With Tiger Roaring

For three consecutive days the tiger was roaring throughout the night near the Courtyard House at Kanha. Forests and water body surround the resort all around and this is where the wild animals find shelter. Situated in the buffer zone the property stands isolated from the hustle and bustle of near by villages fast getting urbanized.   

The guests Tina & Bob from UK could not hear the tiger roaring placed as they were in secured rooms. Full of modern amenities the insulated accommodation does not allow outside sound to budge in.   
Courtyard House - Kanha National Park

I would ask them every day if they manged to hear the cat calling. No was their usual reply. Anyway then one day we were scheduled to go birding early morning nearby. I did not hear the roar the night before but as soon as I came out of my room I froze in my tracks. The tiger was calling from near by patch of forest. I rushed to the Coutyard House and called my guests. 

"Yes we can hear," they affirmed excited. As we were proceeding towards the Manegaon Village Road the animal moved into the deep recess as we could make out from the diminishing roars. Well a good beginning leads to good results as we saw: 

Oriental Scops Owl
Yellow Footed Green Pigeon
Barn Swallows
Plum Headed Parakeets
Brown Shrike
Great Tit
Barred Jungle Owlet
Black Headed Oriole
Large Grey Cuckoo Shrike
Purple Sunbird
Scaly Breasted Munia
Indian Silver Bill
Racket Tailed Drongo
White Bellied Drongo
Black Drongo
Black Redstart
Black Naped Monarch
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher (Calls)
Greenish Warbler (Calls)
Black Shouldered Kite
Magpie Robin
Green Sandpiper
Green Bee Eater
Large Billed Crow
Alexandrine Parakeet
Rose Ringed Parakeet
Gold Mantled Leaf Bird
Red Rumped Swallow
Rufous Treepie
White Eye
Gray Breasted Prinia
Plain Prinia
Ashy Prinia

The tiger had moved deep into the forests of Kanha by the time we finished our bird watching trip. We visited the village as part of our activity that day.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Birding in Sattal & Corbett

It was about some time back that a bird enthusiast and photographer from Auckland NZ wrote to me. He wanted me to accompany me to Sattal & Corbett in Nainital District in Northern India. This was a surprise but that we had a stint together at Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary earlier.     

We landed at Sattal after a long drive at dinner time. It was cold as usual but I was expecting some good birding in the morning. I instructed the Mountain Club manager to wake us up early and be ready with breakfast. 

Well somehow we managed things in time and headed for Christian Ashram in outskirts. This is an isolated place with a tranquil lake and surrounding forests on the slopes. The evening was spent at Kainchi Dham these are the two places all birders visiting that region are familiar with. Next day we headed for Corbett Tiger Reserve.      

In a short trip some of the avian species we saw were:

Blue Throated Barbet
Crimson Breasted Barbet
Chestnut Shoulderd Petronia
Chestnut Bellied Thrush
Great Tit
Slaty Headed Parakeets
Great Barbet
Golden Spectacled Warbler
Black Faced Warbler
Lemon Rumped Warbler
Grey Headed Warbler
Himalayan Bulbul
Black Bulbul
White Throated Laughing Thrush
Striated Laughing Thrush
White Crested Laughing Thrush
Spotted Forktail 
Greater Yellownape
Bartailed Creeper
Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch
White Tailed Nuthatch
Red Billed Blue Magpie
Scarlet Minivet
Grey Treepie
Red Jungle Fowl
Painted Spurfowl
Blue Whistling Trush
Green Backed Tit
Black Lored Tit
Orintal White Eye
Streaked Throated Woodpecker
Gray Faced Woodpecker
Brown Headed Pygmy Woodpecker
Blue Winged Minla
Streaked Laughing Trush
Russet Sparrow
Common Rosefinch
Large Gray Babbler
Jungle Babbler
Bronze Winged Jacana
Brown Dipper
Yellow Bellied Fantail Flycatcher
Kaleej Pheasant
Blue Fronted Redstart
Long Billed Thrush
Blue Whistling Thrush
Small Niltava
Steppe Eagle
Indian Roller
Asian Koel
Nepal House Martin
Streaked Throated Swallows
Alexandrine Parakeet
Yellow Footed Green Pigeon
Emerald Dove
Black Drongo
Olive Backed Pipit
White Throated Fantail Flycatcher
Ashy Prinia
Plain Prinia
Blue Capped Water Redstart
Plumbeous Redstart
White Capped Water Redstart
Black Shouldered Kite
Gray Headed Canary Flycatcher
Rufous Bellied Niltava 
Verditor Flycatcher
Lineated Barbet
Brown Headed Barbet
Gray Breasted Prinia
Purple Sunbird
Himalayan Griffon
Pariah Kite
Ruddy Shelduck
River Terns
River Lapwing
Rusty Cheeked Scimitar Babbler
Gray Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Bank Myna
Common Tailorbird
Oriental Turtle Dove
Spotted Dove
Red Billed Lieothrix
Crested Kingfisher
Rufous Sibia
Magpie Robin
Great Cormorant
Little Cormorant
Orange Headed Ground Thrush
Black Throated Tits 
Red Wattled Lapwing
Little Blue Kingfisher
Barred Jungle Owlet

At Corbett we saw a tigress on the very first round. Besides we also saw sambar, barking deer, hare, wild elephant, spotted deer, gray mongoose and jackal.