Email to bngbirds egroup, about the Eaglenest WLS trip

On a tour organized by Geetanjali Dhar’s IT Nature Club, ten of us visited Nameri (a morning’s birding) and Eaglenest Wild Life Sanctuary (WLS) at Lama and Bompu Camps.

Though several experienced birders asked us why we were going at the end of November, the birding exceeded all our expectations. On the very first day, I saw two Buguns, and a couple of days later, we got to see seven of the birds, so I cannot but feel that these birds are thriving in the areas around Eaglenest, if a bunch of amateurs like us could see so many!

Other highlights were the Fire-tailed Myzornis, the Chestnut-headed Tesia, the Red-headed Trogon and a female Ward’s Trogon…I think it was only the Tragopan (on the list of some of the “focus” birders) that eluded us. I don’t think any of us have ever had such a list of lifers before this!

Our guides were excellent. Binanda, who is a regular guide with Geetanjali, made sure that all of us (or at least, as many as possible) saw each bird, even though most of the birds of Eaglenest are in-the-clutter skulkers, and small-sized, too, sometimes. Khandu, the guide at Lama Camp, has incredible spotting skills. We were equally lucky to have Lobsang Tsering as a guide. He was at Bompu Camp, training the staff there…a six-month project after which he will move on. On the day we were driving back to Lama Camp, he took us to a place where he said he would find the Fire-tailed Myzornis….found it…and all of us were able to have a look at it (alas, no chance of observing any behaviour…we were thrilled at our sighting!). The bazooka-bearers, of course, had several field days with their photographs, but the rest of us (some of us did not even carry cameras, only binoculars) were extremely pleased at the sightings, and we know that the DSLR photos will be shared….so that saves us the bother of lugging around heavy cameras, and looking for ways to charge them overnight!

One of my personal favourites was watching a Wallcreeper bathing and disporting itself in the waters of the Kameng river, and I also took videos of a far-away Forktail, and a Trogon, on the opposite bank of the river, both of which we watched for a while. The Beautiful Nuthatch and the Beautiful Sibia are truly beautiful…but how can this adjective be applied only to a few of the birds? All of them are stunningly beautiful! I also mistook the Black-faced Warbler for the Yellow-bellied Fantail, and was corrected by Binanda.

Two major “dips” for me at Nameri were the Wreathed and Rufous-necked Hornbills, which I had seen in plenty just past the Eco-camp walking towards the Jia Bharolli river on my last visit. We also arrived at Pakke far too late to do any birding, and the awful roads mandated a very early departure, in order to catch flights at Guwahati later in the day.

For the most part, this time, I was content to just see the incredibly beautiful birds that Subbu and Mohanram treated us to in 2008 ( the time from whichn I date my “Eaglenest Itch”!) by word and image. I did not miss my DSLR or the 300mm lens. Since the others’ bazooka shots will also be up shortly, I am very happy to say that I used the two best cameras in the world, that Nature has provided me with…..and enjoyed the birds, the many butterflies, the beautiful wildflowers, and the superb, awe-inspiring scenery.

For photos of the Fire-tailed Myzornis:

http://www.indianaturewatch.net/view_cat.php?tag=Fire-tailed%20Myzornis

In similar fashion, you can see photographs of all of the long list below…and I hope it will inspire you to visit Eaglenest WLS, a paradise on earth that the Bugun tribe cares for.

I have put up the only four videos I took, all on the last day of birding, at

http://deponti.livejournal.com/1034576.html

My SMS (Shamelessly Mediocre Shots) are on my FB album at

https://www.facebook.com/deemopahan/media_set?set=a.10151864946198878.1073742046.587058877&type=1

Cheers, Deepa.

Group:

Binanda, Khandu and Lobsang, guides. (Our Sumo driver Noren, was also very good!)

Albin and Manjula
Balaji and Deepa
Dr Anil and Dr Koushik (Kanpur)
Nandita (Baroda) and Shobna (Delhi)
Kshama and yours truly (the rest of uf from Bangalore)

The bird list was prepared by Deepa Jayaraman…with inputs from everyone. I have (I think) corrected some id’s (eg she’d listed the Lesser Yellownape as Woodpecker, Lesser Yellownape.) If there are any mistakes, I take the responsibility.

1. Accentor, Maroon-backed

2. Adjutant, Lesser

3. Adjutant, Greater

4. Babbler, Golden

5. Babbler, Rufous-capped

6. Babbler, Slender-billed Scimitar

7. Babbler, Streak Throated Scimitar

8. Babbler, Streaked Wren

9. Barbet, Blue-throated

10. Barbet, Golden-throated

11. Barbet, Great

12. Barbet, Lineated

13. Barwing, Hoary -throated

14. Barwing, Rusty Fronted

15. Bee-Eater, Chestnut Headed

16. Bee-Eater, Green

17. Blackbird, Grey-winged

18. Blackbird, White-collared

19. Bluetail, Himalayan (aka. Robin , Orange Flanked Bush)

20. Bulbul, Black-crested

21. Bulbul, Mountain

22. Bulbul, Red-vented

23. Bulbul, Striated

24. Bullfinch, Grey-headed

25. Buzzard, Upland

26. Cormorant

27. Crow, House

28. Crow, Thick-billed

29. Cuckoo , Grey-bellied

30. Cuckoo-Shrike , Black-winged

31. Darter

32. Dipper, Brown

33. Drongo, Black

34. Drongo, Bronzed

35. Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed

36. Duck, Tufted

37. Eagle , Mountain Hawk

38. Eagle, Black

39. Egret, Cattle

40. Egret, Little

41. Fantail , Yellow-bellied

42. Fantail, White-throated

43. Finch, Crimson-browed

44. Finch, Gold-naped

45. Finch, Scarlet

46. Flameback, un id

47. Flowerpecker, Fire Breasted

48. Flycatcher, Grey Headed Canary

49. Flycatcher, Red-breasted (Heard)

50. Flycatcher, Rufous-gorgeted

51. Flycatcher, Ultramarine

52. Flycatcher, White-gorgeted

53. Forktail, Little

54. Forktail, Spotted

55. Fulvetta, Brown-throated

56. Fulvetta, Golden-breasted

57. Fulvetta, Yellow-throated

58. Grebe, Greater Crested

59. Greenfinch, Black-headed

60. Greenfinch, Yellow-breasted

61. Hornbill, Great

62. Hornbill, Rufous-necked (seen flying over Bompu Camp)

63. Ibisbill

64. Iora, Common

65. Kingfisher, Pied

66. KingFisher, Small Blue

67. KingFisher, White-throated

68. Kite, Black

69. Lapwing, River

70. Laughing Thrush, Bhutan

71. Laughing Thrush, Greysided

72. Laughing Thrush, Spotted

73. Laughingthrush, Streaked

74. Laughingthrush, Striated

75. Leafbird, Golden-fronted

76. LeafBird, Orange-bellied

77. Liocichla, Bugun

78. Magpie, Yellow-billed Blue

79. Malkhoa, Green-billed

80. Malkoha, Sirkeer

81. Minivet, Grey-chinned

82. Minivet, Scarlet

83. Minla, Red-tailed

84. Muniya, Scaly-breasted

85. Myna, Common

86. Myna, Hill

87. Myzornis, Fire-tailed

88. Niltava, Large

89. Niltava, Small

90. Nuthatch, Beautiful

91. Nuthatch, White-tailed

92. Openbill, Asian

93. Oriole, Black-hooded

94. Owlet, Asian Barred

95. Parakeet, Red-breasted

96. Parrot, Vernal Hanging

97. Parrotbill, Greater Rufous-headed

98. Parrotbill, Grey-headed

99. Parrotbill, Lesser Rufous-headed

100. Partridge, un id

101. Pigeon, Blue Rock

102. Pigeon, Yellow-footed Green

103. Pigeon, Speckled Wood

104. Pigeon, Wedge-tailed

105. Pippit, Olive-backed

106. Plover, Little Ringed

107. Pochard, Ferruginous

108. Pond Heron, Indian

109. Prinia, Black-throated

110. Redstart, Blue-fronted

111. Redstart, Plumbeous Water

112. Redstart, White-browed water

113. Robin, Orange-flanked Bush

114. Robin, White-browed Bush

115. Rock Thrush, Blue

116. Roller, Indian

117. Rosefinch, Dark-breasted

118. RubyThroat, Siberian

119. RubyThroat, White Tailed

120. Shelduck, Ruddy

121. Shikra

122. Shrike, Grey-backed

123. Shrike, Long-tailed

124. Shrike-Babbler, White-browed

125. Sibia, Beautiful

126. Sibia, Long-tailed

127. Siva, Bar-throated (aka Minla, Chestnut-tailed)

128. Siva, Blue Winged (aka Minla, Blue-winged)

129. Pipit, un id

130. Sparrow, Eurasian Tree

131. Sparrow, House

132. Starling, Asian Pied

133. Starling, Chestnut-tailed

134. Stonechat, Common

135. Stork, Black

136. Sunbird, Black-throated

137. Sunbird, Green-tailed

138. Sunbird, un id

139. Sunbird, Mrs Gould’s

140. Tailorbird, Common

141. Tesia, Chestnut-headed

142. Tesia, Slaty-breasted (heard)

143. Thrush, Chestnut-bellied Rock

144. Thrush, Plain-backed

145. Tit, Black-throated

146. Tit, Green-backed

147. Tit, Sultan

148. Tit, Yellow-cheeked

149. Treecreeper, Brown-thorated

150. Treepie, Collared

151. Treepie, Grey

152. Trogon, Red-headed

153. Trogon, Ward’s

154. Wagtail , White

155. Wagtail, White-browed

156. Wallcreeper

157. Warbler, Ashy-throated

158. Warbler, Black-faced

159. Warbler, Blyth’s Leaf

160. Warbler, Dusky

161. Warbler, Golden-spectacled

162. Warbler, Greenish

163. Warbler, Grey-cheeked

164. Whistling-Duck, Lesser

165. WoodPecker, Brown Capped Pygmy

166. Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied

167. Woodswallow, Ashy

168. Yellownape, Lesser

169. Yuhina, Rufous-vented

170. Yuhina, Stripe-throated

171. Yuhina, Whiskered

172. Yuhina, White-naped

Thanks to Amith Kumar for adding some of tbe birds missing in the original list. That, too, as he, Gowri, Kannan and PK prepare to leave for Thattekkad tomorrow!

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2 Responses to “Email to bngbirds egroup, about the Eaglenest WLS trip”

  1. Badri Says:

    Wow, that’s some list, Deepa. Neat narration too. Lucky you.

  2. deponti Says:

    Thanks Badri…now it’s getting picked over and queried and I don’t like the feeling at all.

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