Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Northeast India Trip - Nameri

From Kaziranga we headed out towards our next stop at the KRC Palace Hotel in Tezpur.

Heading outside of the area of the park you can't help but stop for a final look around.   We saw Asian Openbill:


Grey-headed Lapwings:


Bronze-winged Jacana:


and Indian Spot-billed Ducks:


It wasn't too bad a drive but we dawdled on the way to the hotel, had lunch and then kicked our heels for the afternoon.   We were going to go out but on arrival at the KRC Palace we realised our passports hadn't been returned at the Iora Palace so our driver had to head back to collect them.  What should been a three hour round trip took seven due to an accident.  We didn't find this out until I borrowed the mobile phone of the receptionist at the hotel to call the guide for an update (twice).  I may have mentioned this but we really didn't get our guide at all, he just seemed to be going through the motions rather than being engaged with us and interested in our experience.

The following morning we set off to an Eco-lodge at Nameri.  On arrival we had to wait an hour for it to get light enough that we could see to walk without a torch (an hour more asleep would have been appreciated), then we headed down to the riverside to get a boat across to Nameri.

On the way we encountered White-rumped Shama:


Dawn broke across the river:


The new lifejackets verily glowed in this light.   We were punted across the river and dropped off on an area of beach for our walk to the forest base camp and beyond.


This morning proved to be the best, in my opinion, of the whole trip, for birding.  The forest was alive with birds, we weren't on a road and there were only a few other groups around, all interested in the local bird species.  It was a delight to be there.

We again saw a number of species including Brown Shrike:


Some beautiful butterflies:



      

Chestnut-tailed Starling:


Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker:


A variation on the Malabar Giant Squirrel from the Southern hills (see previous posts), this is the Himalayan species:


Pale-chinned Flycatcher:


Wreathed Hornbills:


And our target bird for this particular day, the White-winged Wood Duck


The Wood Ducks are very sensitive to disturbance, hence the forest guards and the river crossing, it still took four approaches to various ponds to locate one, so we were chuffed to find this bird at our last stop.

Then the hike back.  The sandy walk was particularly tough in the heat of the day, and again our guide was falling behind struggling with both the effects of his injury and our walk earlier in the trip.

We had lunch back the Eco-lodge and then wandered about a bit.   Great Hornbills are nesting in the tree right outside the lodge:


That afternoon we went rafting down the river.   Basically we get driven up the river, dropped off and two men sit on the inflatable dingy, paddling the boat while we sat on the board in place as a seat.   It was lovely - calming and cooling if a little tough on the posterior after three hours!

From the raft we saw Goosander:


Great Thick-knee:


Ruddy Shelducks, i wish i'd been just a bit sharper on the eye with this image:


Ibisbill doing a good job of looking like a river rock with a decurved red bill:


Indian Cormorant:


Plumbeous Water-Redstart:


We got off the raft in the fading afternoon light:


And headed back to our hotel creaking but happy, Nameri really was one of the highlights of the trip.

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