Friday, January 06, 2012

Corbett National Park, Forest Birding (North India - Day 12)

After another good night's sleep at Tiger Camp (despite the smell of mould in the room) and a cold but hearty breakfast, we set off again in the gypsy to the track by the forest described yesterday as 'Forktail Creek'. It's also a good spot to see Great Hornbills, although we dipped out on this species.

The creek was empty of everything except Plumbeous Water Redstart so we walked up a trail that branched away from the junction. The first new bird of the morning was a Rufous-gorgeted Redstart:

Next Rufous-bellied Niltava:

Then a bird we thought initially was female Rufous-bellied, and turned out to be a Small Niltava:

At the end of the trail, we were very much being watched by this Jungle Owlet:

Chirping away in dense foliage around a rock before making the briefest of appearances was a Chestnut-headed Tesia:

A bird of roughly similar plumage to the Niltava, the Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush:

and this time accompanied by a female:

I really like Woodpeckers, so seeing this Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker was a treat:

As was this Brown Bullfinch, peering out of cover:

After lunch back at the Tiger Camp, we set off again in the gypsy, still searching for Great Hornbill. Our bird guide chatted with the driver and after about 20 minutes into the drive back to the same trail, they decided we should try another edge of the park, so about-turn, then a fifty minute drive - which took us through a large town and past a 20/20 senior school's cricket match - we had worked our way around to another of the park's borders and proceeded to drive slowly along the adjacent road.

A Long-billed Pipit perched surveying its domain:

We passed a tree literally covered in Honey Bees and their nests, this one still under construction:

This one was full:

We counted over 30 such nests. Not a tree to climb!

More new birds, a Spangled Drongo (formerly known as a Hair-crested Drongo):

We did find some Hornbills, not Great Honrbills, however the Oriental Pied Hornbill was still a treat:

We tried until sunset approached and then with the temperature plummeting we rode back to the Tiger Camp for dinner and some warmth.

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