Friday, January 06, 2012

Corbett National Park (North India - Day 11)

We emerged early to grab a tea/coffee and make our planned departure time of 06:30. It was mostly dark but then the morning is the best time to see Tigers. There's roughly a 20% chance of seeing Tiger in Ranthambore and 5% or less chance in Corbett so they try and maximise the chances in every possible way. We reacted to four separate deer alarms but with no luck. The last one was a group of Spotted Deer barking at a Wild Boar. We soon settled into some quality morning birding, soaking up the atmosphere and views (and taking advantage of a blanket we'd borrowed to give us some protection at the back of the jeep!):

We approached a wooden bridge over a fast moving section of the river and spotted some Black-necked Storks with a group of ducks. One took off and flew right past us:

In early morning light and in a forest the lighting can be very tricky. This is a Blue-throated Barbet though somewhat in the dark:

Crested Serpent Eagle:

As the sun got higher the light and views improved:

A Jungle Owlet:

Long-tailed Minivet:

Lineated Barbet:

Long-tailed Shrike:

As you can see from this picture the winter light in India, away from the city smogs, has a golden quality making some images feel really warn and helping accent the various birds, wildlife, views, etc. It's a delight to have the opportunity to visit India at this time of year and escape the battleship greys and Arctic blues of the UK in winter.

Pin-tailed Pigeon:

Back in the forest though it remains dark virtually throughout the day:

A nocturnal specialist, the Brown Fish Owl:

This bird is called a Rufous-tailed Shrike in India and an Isabelline Shrike in Europe:

After some quality early-morning birding we headed back for a fine breakfast at Dikhala, and then soaked up the view from the Forest Lodge across the river:

From Dikhala we needed to head back to the gate to meet-up again with our bird guide. We took the opportunity to bird on the way, provoking a number of chasing calls from a certain someone. Sigh.

Anyway, Streak-throated Woodpecker:

Once out of the park we had lunch at the Tiger Camp, having checked in. At this point we were properly bored with our bird guide elbowing into our holiday and put our foot down, from now on we would dine alone. After a bit of resistance and a minor tantrum we got our way, which was good.

After lunch we were picked-up and headed out to look for some of the river specialists of the region. En route the driver of the gypsy spotted Red-headed Vulture:

We walked through someone's back garden to get to the river, spotting a Stoliczka's Bushchat (also known as a White-browed Bushchat - much easier to spell!), it's not a good picture but a properly rare species so worthy of inclusion:

A Grey-headed Woodpecker:

this picture is for context:

A female Grey Bushchat:

and a male Grey Bushchat:

Down on the river a female Plumbeous Water Redstart:

and then we spotted Helen's target species, a Wallcreeper:

Fabulous birds:

You can see the colours as this one unfurls its wings to move around. In breeding season they have more black to the face and chest, making the colour contrast even stronger:

We were also hoping for Ibisbill but the number of people on the river and at the temple meant a lot of disturbance and they were nowhere to be seen.

We did however get reasonably close to another White-capped Water Redstart:

That concluded the birding for day. Tomorrow morning another early start with the goal of seeing Ibisbill!

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Blogger Unknown said...

Sir,you have shot beautiful photographs.If you permit,we would like to showcase your images on our travel related website(with due credit to you as photographer).Please let us know if that is okay with you,Regards,

5:36 pm  
Blogger Michael said...

Please do, and please do credit/link when you do, thank you.

4:11 pm  

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