Saturday, January 23, 2010

Birding at Corbett National Park

Corbett is more popular for tigers than for any other species. But Corbett is the best place to see many animals and birds. One can see Indian elephants, goral, hog deer, leopard and the sloth bear in the National Park.  Birding is popular inside the park as well as in the buffer zone.

Corbett is a rich bird habitat and around five hundred species of bird thrive in the park. The figure includes winter migrants. The best season for bird watching in Corbett tiger reserve is winter from October onwards whence the migrants start arriving. The bird species found are typical to the terai region of Himalayan foothills. 

On a bird watching tour one can see a large number of birds. It is easy to spot maroon oriole, spangled drongo, Giant horn bill, Siberian ruby throat, warblers, green billed malkoha, red breasted parakeets, Asian paradise flycatchers, Small and Rosy minivet. Corbett is the best place to see Pallas fishing eagles which inhabit the confines of Ramganga River. Another interesting species to be seen is the Ibis bill at Koshi River outside the park.   Pied falconet, Crested Serpent eagle and Hawk eagle are also seen easily. Brown Hawk Owl and Tawny Eagle Owl can be often seen. Hodgson’s Bushchat along with lesser coucal can be seen near the dam in the grasslands.

Most of winter migrants to North are found in Corbett. The resident bird is in great numbers some of them are:

Black chinned babbler, White crested laughing thrush, Black chinned Yuhina, Yellow footed green pigeon, Chestnut headed bee eater,  Black Hooded Oriole, White Bellied Drongo, Dusky fish owl,  Kaleej Pheasant,  Grey Crowned Pigmy Woodpecker, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Lesser fishing Eagle, White Rumped vulture, Chestnut headed tesia, White rumped shama, Pin Tailed Green Pigeons, Black Francolin, Oriental pied hornbill, Himalayan Bulbul, Red whiskered bulbul, Black Headed Stork, Black bulbul,  Ashy Bulbul, Lineated Barbet, Crimson Throated Barbet, Grey Bush Chat, Himalayan Flame back, Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch, Crested Kingfisher, Ruddy Shelducks, Stork Billed Kingfisher, Thick Billed Flowerpecker, Crimson Sun Bird,  Rufous Woodpecker, Brown-fronted Woodpecker, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker and Great Tit.

At Corbett a stay on bird watching trip results interesting sightings. In order to spot many birds the tour should be of long duration.  It is important that the birder is accompanied by and experienced guide from the park or one on hire.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Briding Spots in India

Some of the important topographies and zo geographical regions in India are defined as Himalayan region -  Trans Himalayan, West Himalaya, East Himalaya. Ethiopian Region - Gujarat, Thar Desert, Rann, Indian Peninsular Region - Deccan Plateau, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats Indo Malayan Region - North East India. Lakhsdeep & Andaman Nicobar Islands.

Here is a list of birding sites in India. I would be  continuously improvising the list. Some information has been taken from site: . The site is an informative birding site in India.  

North East India

Jaldapara Wildlife Reserve
Kaziranga Tiger Reserve  

Manas Tiger Reserve

Mishmi Hills     

Namdapha  National Park   

Eaglenest Sanctuary    



Henrys Is.
Chilika Lake

Bhitarkanika Mangroves - Orissa  

Nandi Hills - Bangalore
Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary 

Deeper Beel - Assam

North-West India

Ranthambore National Park - Rajasthan

Okhla Bird Sanctuary 

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary - Haryana     
Valley of Flowers National Park - Uttaranchal
Rajaji  National Park  
Nainital -Sat Tal - Pangot -

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary - Rajasthan  

(Bund Baretha - Bharatpur)

Chambal  River Sanctuary  

Nanda Devi National Park - Uttaranchal

Corbett Tiger Reserve - Uttaranchal
Tso Miriri - Jammu & Kashmir
Wular Lake - Jammu & Kashmir

South India

Mukurty National Park - Kerala
Nagarhole National Park -

Kudremukh National Park
Periyar Tiger Reserve

Point Calimere

Salim Ali WLS
Nandi Hills
Bandipur  Tiger Resevre
Top Slip        

Central India - Madhya Pradesh

Madhav National Park - Shivpuri - MP
Bandhavgarh National Park 

Kanha National Park 
Pench National Park 
Satpura Tiger Reserve
Pachmarhi Hill Resort 
Panna National Park 
Melghat Tiger Reserve - Maharastra
Indravati Tiger Reserve - Chhattisgarh

Western India

Gir National Park 

Khijidiya Bird Sanctuary 

Nal Sarovar    
Thol Sanctuary,

Little Rann of Kucth
Large Rann of Kutch  

Some of the site are Ramsar sites. I will be adding more sites and description in time to come. Most of the tiger reserves in India are excellent bird habitats. But only few are included in bird tours in India. But the tiger reserves are top birding spots as well for the forest birds in India.The reserves are more popular as wildlife watching and tiger safari destinations in India. 

Indian Birding - Rare & interesting birds

On a bird tour in India many birds are a delight to watch rare and difficult to locate. These birds excite the birders the most. Such rare and attractive birds are targeted by bird watchers on the tours in India.  

India is a heaven for the birds as well as the bird watchers. The topography of the country supports impressive number of bird species. Endemic and rare birds are found all over the country. The bird tours are therefore conducted region wise or to specific destinations. At present the bird tours of North India are the most popular followed by tours in the South and East India. Gujarat in Western India is also an upcoming destination. In South, Munnar and Western Ghats in Kerala offer the best birding. Namdapha Tiger Reserve, Kaziranga and Manas in East India offer good bird watching.

Some of the targeted bird species are:

Pink-headed Duck  - Extinct ?

Himalayan Quail
- Extinct ?

Siberian Crane - Bharatpur - Not seen since last few years.

Ibis bill - Often seen at Koshi River in Corbett National Park.

Forest Owlet - Maharastra and Central India.

Hill Myna - Chhattisgarh, South India and North India

Indian Bustard - Rare Scattered

Cheer Pheasant - Pangot - North India

Lesser Florican - Madhya Pradesh - Gujarat

Bengal Florican - UP, Assam

Greater Flamingo - Gujarat

Lesser Flamingo - Gujarat

Manipur Bush Quail -  Manas National Park, Assam, .

Rusty-throated (Mishmi) Wren-Babbler
  - Mishmi Hills of NE Assam.

Jerdon's Courser
- Sri Lankamalleshwara Sanctuary - Cuddapah District, Andhra Pradesh.

Bugun Liocichla
- North East India

White Rumped Shama  - Many Places North & Central India

White-bellied Heron

Black Necked Stork -
Bharatpur - North India 

Oriental Stork

Greater Adjutant  -

White-winged wood Duck -
North East India

Nordmann's Greenshank 

Rufous-breasted Laughingthrush

Cinereous Vulture 

White-rumped Vulture 

Long-billed Vulture

Fulvous Whistling Duck -

Blood Pheasant

Western Tragopan

Satyr Tragopan

Blyth's Tragopan

Temminck's Tragopan

Koklass Pheasant

Himalayan Monal

Sclater's Monal

Kalij Pheasant

Most of the rare and interesting birds can be seen on a bird watching tours in India. One should make a proper study of Indian birds before deciding to make a birding tour. For some birds it would require travel to far away place in India.

One should book birding tour at good package tours operators in India. The tour operators that specialize in conducting tours for bird watching offer the best. for good birding experience in India professional birding guides should accompany the tour. A birder should be well read on Indian birds. There are many bird books available in India.

Some of the best places for birding are yet unknown and cut away from the regular circuit. In coming few years lot of package tours would be available for birding in lesser known destination.  However prolific birding spots like Bharatpur, Corbett and Chilika Lake are few.