Birding the Backpacker Trail

Northern India, November-December 2000

Siberian White Cranes, Bharatpur

Bird List


Black Francolin, Francolinus francolinus

Single male in a Chaur near Dhikala in Corbett NP, 16/11/00

Grey Francolin, F. pondicerianus
Party of six on a dry area of the Kosi River-bed, Ramnagar, 14/11/00 Fairly common at most dry lowland sites. Also seen at Taj Mahal, 24/11/00, Keoladeo Ghana NP, Ranthambore, between Jaipur & Sambah Lake

Barred Buttonquail, Turnix suscitator
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP especially along the verges of the main, central path. See photo below.


Painted Spurfowl, Galloperdix lunulata
2 at Ranthambore, 30/11/00.

Red Junglefowl, Gallus gallus
Very common at Corbett NP.

Kalij Pheasant, Lophura leucomelanos
3 at Corbett NP, 16/11/00 and 9 (including 3 males) at McLeod Ganj, 19/11/00.

Indian Peafowl, Pavo cristatus
Commonly seen bird in rural areas- presumably feral.

Greylag Goose, Anser anser Abundant at Keoladeo Ghana NP. Also at Bund Baretha.

Bar-headed Goose, A. indicus
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP in mixed flocks with Greylag Goose.

Ruddy Shelduck, Tadorna ferruginea
8 at Ramnagar on the Kosi River, 10/11/00. Also at Ranthambore.

Shelduck, Tadorna tadorna
At least 1at Sambhar Salt Lake.

Lesser Whistling-duck, Dendrocygna javanica Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Comb Duck, Sarkidiornis melanotos
Present in small numbers at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Cotton Pygmy-goose, Nettapus coromandelianus
Present in small numbers at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Gadwall, Anas strepera
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP. One lost-looking female seen on lake at Naini Tal, 14/11/00.

Eurasian Wigeon, A. penelope
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Mallard, A. platyrhynchos Very common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Spot-billed Duck, A. poecilorhyncha
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Common Teal, A. crecca
Very common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Garganey, A. querquedula
Small numbers among Teal at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Northern Pintail, A. acuta
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Northern Shoveler, A. clypeata
One at Kosi River dam, 14/11/00. Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Red-crested Pochard, Rhodonessa rufina
Small numbers at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Common Pochard, Aythya ferina
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Ferruginous Duck, A. nyroca
Present in small numbers at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Tufted Duck, A. fuligula
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Dendrocopos nanus
One seen near between Naini Tal and Ramnagar, 10/11/00. Two at Dhikala, Corbett NP, 16/11/00.

Brown-fronted Woodpecker, D. auriceps
One in Arvinda Gorge, Naini Tal, 11/11/00. Two at McLeod Ganj on 21/11/00.

Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, D. mahrattensis
Three at Keoladeo Ghana NP on 25/11/00.

Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, D. hyperythrus
Three approximately 2km west of Naini Peak, Naini Tal, 12/11/00.

Himalayan Woodpecker, D. himalayensis
Common in forest around Naini Tal. See photo below.


Streak-throated Woodpecker, Picus xanthopygaeus
Common at Corbett NP.

Scaly-bellied Woodpecker, P. squamatus
Two at Naini Tal, 11/11/00. One at McLeod Ganj, 21/11/00.

Grey-headed Woodpecker, P. canus
Common at McLeod Ganj.

Himalayan Flameback, Dinopium shorii
Two seen at Corbett NP, 07/11/00.

Black-rumped Flameback, D. benghalense
Common at Agra and Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Great Barbet, Megalaima virens
Common around McLeod Ganj, with up to 6 feeding in a fruiting tree viewable from the Kailash Restaurant window, 18/11/00.

Brown-headed Barbet, M. zeylanica
Common in Rajasthan at Agra and Keoladeo Ghana NP for example.

Blue-throated Barbet, M. asiatica One seen at McLeod Ganj 18-19/11/00.

Coppersmith Barbet, M.haemacephala
Common at Agra and Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Indian Grey Hornbill, Ocyeros birostris One at Keoladeo Ghana NP, 24-25/11/00. See photo below.


Common Hoopoe, Upupa epops
Very common at all lowland sites.

Indian Roller, Coracias benghalensis
Very common in cultivated areas.

Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis
Common at Ramnagar and Keoladeo Ghana NP.

White-breasted Kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis
3 on the beach by the hotel, Colombo. Common in Keoladeo Ghana NP and in most open areas.

Crested Kingfisher, Megaceryle lugubris
Two watched at close range fishing from the Kosi River Dam, 14/11/00.

Pied Kingfisher, Ceryle rudis
Common at Ramnagar, Corbett NP and Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Nyctyornis athertoni
Three seen at Corbett NP, 16/11/00.

Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis
Common at all lowland sites.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater, M. philippinus
Several around beach near hotel at Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Common Hawk Cuckoo, Hierococcyx varius
One seen next to road near Bund Baretha, 27/11/00.

Asian Koel, Eudynamys scolopacea
Common around hotel grounds, Colombo, Sri Lanka.One at near the Taj Mahal, Agra, on 24/11/00.

Greater Coucal, Centropus sinensis
Common in scrub around hotel, Colombo, Sri lanka and common in India.

Alexandrine Parakeet, Psittacula eupatria
3, Mcleod Ganj,20/11/00. Small numbers seen near Sawai Madhopur. 2+ from the taxi on the way to Delhi airport on the last day.

Rose-ringed Parakeet, P. krameri
Abundant.

Plum-headed Parakeet, P. cyanocephala
Common at Naini Tal, Corbett NP and Ranthambor.

White-rumped Needletail, Zoonavena sylvatica
Large flock over the Kosi River, Ramnagar, 10//11/00. Common in Corbett NP.

Asian Palm Swift, Cypsirus balasiensis
Many seen from road between Bharatpur and Bund Baretha, 27/11/00.

House Swift, Apus affinis
Common.

Crested Treeswift, Hemiprocne coronata
Common at Ramnagar and Corbett NP often in mixed flocks of other swift species.

Collared Scops Owl, O. bakkamoena
Pairs seen at roost-site stake-outs, at Keoladeo Ghana NP and Ranthambor.

Dusky Eagle Owl, Bubo coromandus
Single seen at roost-site at Keoladeo Ghana NP, 29/11/00.

Brown Fish Owl, Ketupa zeylonensis
Single seen and photographed in a riverside tree in Corbett NP, 16/11/00.

Asian Barred Owlet, Glaucidium cuculoides
Common at Naini Tal around the town. One seen finishing off a discarded Eurasian Sparrowhawk kill, which had been left on a tree-branch. Fairly common, Mcleod Ganj.

Spotted Owlet, Athene brama
Common at Agra and Keoladeo Ghana NP. Also on journeys to Bund Baretha, Sambah Lake.

Oriental Turtle Dove, Streptopelia orientalis
Pair seen on Snow-View Ridge, 12/11/00.

Collared Dove, S. decaoto
Fairly common in lowlands. Eg Ramnagar, Delhi

Laughing Dove, S. senegalensis
Common in lowlands.

Spotted Dove, S. chinensis
Common.

Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Treron phoenicoptera
Flock of 25 seen at Keoladeo Ghana NP, in trees adjacent to the nursery, 28/11/00.

Siberian Crane, Grus leucogeranus
Pair seen at Keoladeo Ghana NP, 25-28/11/00. See photos below.



Sarus Crane, G. antigone
Present at Keoladeo Ghana NP, with maximum 34 on 26/11/00. See photo above right.

Common Crane, G. grus
Flock of 8 at Keoladeo Ghana NP on 26/11/00 and 8 at Bund Baretha the next day, which were possibly the same birds.

Brown Crake, Amaurornis akool
Two at Bund Baretha and a further three on the road on the way back to Bharatpur, 27/11/00. 2 on the road in Ranthambore, 30/11/00.

White-breasted Waterhen, A. phoenicurus
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP, Bund Baretha and Ranthambore.

Purple Swamphen/Gallinule, Porphyrio porphyrio
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Common Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP and Ranthambor.

Common Coot, Fulica atra
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP and 500 + at Bund Baretha.

Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Black-tailed Godwit, Limosa limosa
500+ at Bund Baretha, 27/11/00. One at Sambhar Salt Lake, 02/12/00.

Spotted Redshank, Tringa erythropus
Small numbers at Keoladeo Ghana NP. Two at Sambhar Salt Lake, 02/12/00.

Common Redshank, T. totanus
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP and Sambar Salt Lake.

Marsh Sandpiper, T. stagnatilis
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP and Bund Baretha and Sambar Salt Lake.

Common Greenshank, T. nebularia
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP and Bund Baretha.

Green Sandpiper, T. ochropus
Common at Ramnagar, Keoladeo Ghana NP and Bund Baretha.

Wood Sandpiper, T. glareola
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP and Bund Baretha. Ten at Sambhar Salt Lake, 02/12/00.

Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP and Bund Baretha.

Little Stint, Calidris minuta
One at Bund Baretha, 27/11/00 and one at Sambhar Salt Lake, 02/12/00.

Temminck's Stint, C. temmincki
Small numbers at Keoladeo Ghana NP and Bund Baretha. Two at Sambhar Salt Lake, 02/12/00.

Dunlin, C. alpina
Two at Bund Baretha, 27/11/00. Present in small numbers at Sambhar Salt Lake.

Ruff, Philomachus pugnax
450+ at Bund Baretha, 27/11/00. 12 at Sambhar Salt Lake, 02/12/00.

Greater Painted-snipe, Rostratula benghalensis
One seen at Bund Baretha, on the edge of the river, viewable from the road bridge just to the south of the dam, 27/11/00

Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus
Very common, often in roadside pools and wallows, even in towns.

Pied Avocet, Recurvirostra avosetta
Five at Sambhar Salt Lake, 02/12/00.

Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Hydrophasianus chirurgus
Fairly common at Keoladeo Ghana NP and 5 at Bund Baretha. All birds seen were in winter plumage and hence had no "pheasant-tail"!

Bronze-winged Jacana, Metopidius indicus
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Great Thick-knee, Esacus recurvirostris
Six at Ramnagar, on the Kosi River, 10/11/00, and seven at Bund Baretha, 27/11/00.

Grey Plover, Pluvialis squatarola
Three at Sambhar Salt Lake on 02/12/00.

Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius
Three at Ramnagar, 10/11/00.

Kentish plover, C. alexandrinus
Three at Bund Baretha, 27/11/00. Also at Sambhar Salt Lake.

River Lapwing, Vanellus duvaucelli
Present at Ramnagar, around the Kosi River. Maximum 20, 10/11/00.

Red-wattled Lapwing, V. indicus
Very common.

White-tailed Lapwing, V. leucurus
Fairly common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Brown-headed Gull, Larus brunnicephalus
One seen at the Ganges River Crossing at Gajraula, 09/11/00.

Black-headed Gull, L. ridibundus
Small numbers seen at Gajraula, 09/11/00 and Sambhar Salt Lake, 02/12/00.

Gull-billed Tern, Gelochelidon nilotica
Ten at Bund Baretha, 27/11/00.

Whiskered Tern, Chlidonias hybridus
Three at a lake in Jaipur, 03/12/00.

River Tern, Sterna aurantia
Common at Gajraula, 09/11/00 and present in small numbers at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Indian Skimmer, Rhynchops albicollis
Nine from the dam at Bund Baretha, 27/11/00, roosting on an island.

Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
One over Dhikala, Corbett NP, 16/11/00.

Black-shouldered Kite, Elanus caeruleus
Common at Corbett NP and in most open areas.

Black Kite, Milvus migrans
Very common, especially around habitation, with the centre of Delhi being a particular stonghold.

Brahminy Kite, Haliastur indus
Common around the beach at Colombo, Sri Lanka and Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Pallas's Fish Eagle, Haliaeetus leucoryphus
Several seen at Corbett NP.

Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Ichthyophaga icthyaetus
One at Corbett NP, 16/11/00.

Lammergeier, Gypaetus barbatus
Up to two seen at McLeod Ganj most days.

Egyptian Vulture, Neophron percnopterus
Common. Largest count 28, McLeod Ganj, 22/11/00

White-rumped Vulture, Gyps bengalensis
Common, largest count being 24 at Ramnagar, 10/11/00.

(Northern) Long-billed Vulture, G.( indicus) tenirostris
Two at Ramnagar, 14/11/00. Common at Ranthambor, apparently breeding on the cliffs along the entrance road.

Himalayan Griffon, G. himalayensis
Common at Naini Tal and McLeod Ganj, the highest counts respectively being 22 on 11/11/00 and 27 on 21/11/00. Superb close views are to be had from Snow View Ridge at Naini Tal, particularly mid-morning as they take to the wing for the first time.

Eurasian Griffon, G. fulvus
One at McLeod Ganj, 21/11/00.

Black Vulture, Aegypius monachus
At least two, possibly four seen most days at McLeod Ganj.

Red-headed Vulture, Sarcogyps calvus
One at Corbett NP, 15/11/00.

Short-toed Eagle, Circaetus gallicus
One at Keoladeo Ghana NP, 25/11/00.

Crested Serpent Eagle, Spilornis cheela
Present in small numbers at Keoladeo Ghana NP. One seen at Bund Baretha, 27/11/00.

Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Circus aeruginosus
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP. Hunting birds frequently robbed by Aquila eagles which tend to sit around waiting for a harrier or stork to make a kill! One at Bund Baretha, 27/11/00. One at Taj Mahal.

Pallid Harrier, C. macrourus
One at Keoladeo Ghana NP on 25/11/00.

Shikra, Accipter badius
Frequently seen at Keoladeo Ghana NP. Also at Bund Baretha.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk, A. nisus
One seen eating a bird at Naini Tal on 11/11/00.

Oriental Honey-buzzard, Pernis ptilorhyncus
Fairly common at Keoladeo Ghana NP. Also at Bund Baretha.

Lesser Spotted Eagle, Aquila pomarina
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Greater Spotted Eagle, A. clanga
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Golden Eagle, A. chrysaetos
One immature seen at McLeod Ganj, 19/11/00.

Tawny Eagle, A. rapax
One at Keoladeo Ghana NP on 28/11/00.

Steppe Eagle, A. nipalensis
Common at Ramnagar, Naini Tal, McLeod Ganj and Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Imperial Eagle, A. heliaca
Present at Keoladeo Ghana NP, maximum 2 adults and 1 immature on 24 and 28/11/00.

Bonelli's Eagle, Hieraaetus fasciatus
One at Ramnagar, 10/11/00.

Collared Falconet, Microhierax caerulescens
Three at Corbett NP (2 adults, one immature-family party?), 15/11/00. Initially watched hawking dragonflies from a dead tree within the Dhikala compound, then later presumably the same group seen from Elephant back, again feeding from the branches of a dead tree. Very approachable raptors, especially when on elephant-back. See photo below.


Common Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus
One at Corbett NP, 16/11/00. Also one at Mcleod Ganj, 18/11/00.

Peregrine, F. peregrinus perigrinator
Regularly seen hunting at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis
One at Keoladeo Ghana NP on 28/11/00. Also on Kosi River, Ramnagar.

Oriental Darter, Anhinga melanogaster
Fairly common at Keoladeo Ghana NP. See photo below.


Little Cormorant, Phalacrocorax niger
Common at Colombo and Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Indian Cormorant, P. Fuscicollis
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Great Cormorant, P. carbo
Common at Ramnagar and Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta
Very common.

Great White Egret, Casmerodius albus
Common.

Intermediate Egret, Mesophoyx intermedia
Only identified at Keoladeo Ghana NP, but presumably overlooked when flocks of egrets seen from transport.

Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis
Very common.

Indian Pond Heron, Ardeola grayii
Very common.

Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea
Common.

Purple Heron, A. purpurea
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Little/Striated Heron, Butorides striatus
One seen at Colombo, 7/11/00.

Black-crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Yellow Bittern, Ixobrychus sinensis
Prolonged views of one at Keoladeo Ghana NP on 28/11/00.

Black Bittern, Dupetor flavicollis
Flight views of one at Colombo, and up to 3 at Keoladeo Ghana NP most days. See photo below.


Greater Flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber
55, Sambhar Salt Lake, 2/12/00. The huge numbers of flamingos usually associated with Sambhar have presumably moved on due to the drought in Rajasthan which has caused the lake to mostly dry up. All flamingos and most of the waders and ducks were inhabiting the effluent lagoon and outflow from the city.

Lesser Flamingo, P. minor
24, Sambhar Salt Lake, 2/12/00.

Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Black-headed Ibis, Threskiornis melenocephalus
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP.

Black Ibis, Pseudibis papillosa
One in a field near Bharatpur, 24/11/00.

Eurasian Spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia
Common at Keoladeo Ghana NP. One over Ranthambore, 30/11/00.

Great White Pelican, Pelecanus onocrotalus
10 at Keoladeo Ghana NP, 26/11/00, and over 50 there on 28/11/00, though views unfortunately distant, so identification of all individuals not totally confident.

Painted Stork, Mycteria leucocephala
Three over Yamuna River, Delhi, 9/11/00. Seen occasionally at Keoladeo Ghana NP, with a flock of 50+ over on 25/11/00. Single soaring over Connaught Square, central Delhi, 4/12/00. Also at Ranthambore

Asian Openbill, Anastomus oscitans
One at Keoladeo Ghana NP, 24/11/00. 3 at Bund Baretha, 27/11/00.

Woolly-necked Stork, Ciconia episcopus
Fairly common at Keoladeo Ghana NP. 2 at Ranthambore

Black-necked Stork, Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus
Small numbers at Keoladeo Ghana NP, maximum 6 on 26/11/00. See photo below.


Black-necked Stork, dwarfing Grey Herons, Great White and Intermediate Egrets and a Black-headed Ibis.


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