Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Road to Ranthambore (North India - Day 2)

We set off promptly from Jaipur after a hearty masala omelette breakfast to the National Park and Tiger Sanctuary in Ranthambore.

We stopped at various points along the road, spotting first a curious and vocal White-breasted Kingfisher:

A Southern Grey Shrike:

Rosy Starling:

One spot proved particularly productive, producing Tawny Pipit:

Indian Courser (a flock of about thirty of them in fact):

And Desert Wheatear:

Across the road in some bushes we found a Common Woodshrike:

Closer to Ranthambore we stopped a pond to observe waders including Little Stint:

Marsh Sandpiper:

A one-legged Little Ring Plover:

Closer still an Indian Roller perched on a post:

These are fabulously coloured birds, especially their wings when in flight. Our guide stopped us based on a call he heard, which led us to sighting our first ever Indian Grey Hornbill:

A marshy area produced the longed for (by me anyway) Citrine Wagtail:

And a bonus Paddyfield Pipit:

A Common Hawk Cuckoo watched proceedings from above:

Another roadside bird and a first was the Blue Rock Thrush:

And finally a bird that proved surprisingly common, the Black-shouldered Kite:

We arrived at our hotel ahead of lunch and settled in, having a walk around the garden before lunch. The birds were quiet but India also has lots of beautiful butterflies too:

We were staying at Khem Villas which I can recommend to anyone, they were really very good, helpful and thoughtful, hot water bottles put in your bed while you have dinner for example. The beer was a bit steep though, IRS 320 for a bottle which is about £3.50 or $5 - the same price then as central London or down-town Boston...

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