Tuesday, 21 February 2012

On rafts down a river

19th February

This morning’s delight was a ride on rubber inflatables down the Jia Bhareli river in Nameri National Park, in the Himalayan foothills towards the Chinese and Bhutanese borders. This is a beautiful experience in itself and gave us the chance to see some birds we could not have encountered in the silty, sluggish waters of the Brahmaputra. Silk cotton trees flowered all along two hours’ worth of riverbank and played host to countless hundreds of sugar-supping black bulbuls and small numbers of northern hill mynas. Ibisbills crouched in the stony shallows and common mergansers (that’s Asian goosanders to you and me) poked their lipstick beaks into the glass-green water. On riverside stones plumbeous water-redstarts fanned their tails in display while a crested kingfisher called sharply from an overhanging tree. Overhead were hundreds of barn swallows, plain martins and small pratincoles, joined from time to time by river terns and Himalayan swiftlets. Damp toes and damp bottoms were worth it for the privilege of visiting such a splendid place.

New today


capped langur
Trachypithecus pileatus tenebricus


Ibidorhyncha struthersii
Himalayan swiftlet
Collocalia brevirostris
common merganser
Mergus merganser
plumbeous water-redstart
Rhyacornis fuliginosa
blue rock thrush
Monticola solitarius
crested kingfisher
Megaceryle lugubris
Anas querquedula

2012 Totals
Mammals: 29
Birds: 310
Reptiles: 2
Amphibians: 0
Fish: 0

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