Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Bund Baretha, near Bharatpur (North India - Day 6)

For our second day in the Bharatpur area our guide decided we should visit Bund Baretha, a massive reservoir built to provide freshwater to Bharatpur.

On the way we spotted what looked like a group of Weavers but in fact turned out to be a party of Buntings, including Black-headed and this Red-headed Bunting:

We stopped again just after a bridge and located White-capped Bunting:

A male Red Avadavat checked us out:

In the same area a female Common Stonechat was flicking around:

At the Bund itself the main area of water was quiet for this time of year, however we did locate another Citrine Wagtail on the shoreline:

And a small group of Barred Buttonquails on a grassy slope:

We stopped here for a bit, eating some very spicy pakoras the guide had bought on the way, which were delicious, then drove on to a trial leading up to an abandoned hunting lodge.

More Bluethroats abounded here:

An Asian Open-Bill Stork was browsing on one patch of a pond:

In the bushes a Great Reed Warbler:

As we walked along the trial I experienced a recurrence of a weird phenomena whereby horses, cows and in this case buffalo seem to catch scent of me and get afraid. We'd already had one group of Buffalo run half a field to get away, these two were tied-up but were clearly nervous and watched me approach and pass with fixed interest. It was only at this distance that the first one stopped watching me:

As you can see they were hauling some of the pink sandstone which is excavated from the area and is famous in fact for carving and use in buildings, including the former hunting lodge we then walked up to:

It's a spooky place being abandoned but with a couple of watchmen still milling around. A group of teenagers off school briefly drove up so we were denied access, but when they had gone we were let in to wander around.

I fed the meat we'd been given in error in our lunch to the mangy dogs and we generally soaked up the atmosphere of this weird place.

After lunch we walked back down to the car then stopped to watch this Indian Vulture on the route back to the hotel to pack for the next next leg of our trip:

And so for our final dinner at The Bagh. This time they had really pushed the boat out. The soup was very hot but the curry I ordered was the hottest thing I have and probably ever will eat. Each mouthful had two or three pieces of cooked green or red chillies in it. It was amazingly hot but still edible. This time the chef came out to watch and when I finished it, it was again smiles all round. Amazing food and tailored to each visitor, spot on!

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