The quest for “Dongar Dudaa”

The critically endangered Forest Owlet, Heteroglaux blewitti.
Forest Owlet, Heteroglaux blewitti

The quest had long been in the making but it was being postponed for quite some time because I knew whenever we started out we will surely complete it. Umm… will cut out the dramatics – “Dongar Duda” is the local Korkus name for the critically endangered Forest Owlet, Heteroglaux blewitti. Continue reading, 4 more photographs

Rann of Kutch: Day 7 – Last day and the Last word!

Short-eared Owl - Asio flammeus
Short-eared Owl - Asio flammeus, Grab the large size to make a widescreen wallpaper

All good things come to an end would be a cliché but then they do and today was the last day of this mega birding trip and it was a fitting end I would say!

We had reserved the morning for the McQueen’s Bustard. The day started with a close encounter with a Steppe eagle. This was soon followed by sighting of  two Indian foxes and a Desert Fox. Continue reading, some more good pictures inside 😉

Rann of Kutch: Day 6 – Republic Day

Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus
Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus

26th Jan, 2010: Roughly 250 kilometers on bumpy terrain with temperature ranging from 7 degrees Celsius to 34 degree Celsius and lots of dust. Am dead tired, my face it all chapped but it was the best Republic day celebration for me ever 🙂 Continue reading, 9 more photographs

Rann of Kutch: Day 5 – Day of nothing much.

The take off!
A flock of Great White Pelicans takes off

25th Jan, 2010: This can be termed as “The day when nothing much happened”. We left CEDO, Nakhtrana at 6:00 am and reached Rann Riders , Dasada at 12:00 a distance of 350km. Continue reading, but just 4 more photos

Rann of Kutch: Day 4 – Super speciality birding!

The critially endangered Sociable Plover - Vanellus gregarius
The critically endangered Sociable Plover - Vanellus gregarius

24th Jan, 2010: A day of “Super specialty birding” is what I would call the day! Swati and Aasim opted to stay back due to yesterday’s tiring drive. So I went along with Mr Jugal Tiwari to a thorn forest near Banni grassland searching for the first target species of the day. “White-naped Tit” – This species underwent a rapid population decline in the recent past. Its small, severely fragmented population continues to decline, although at a reduced rate, as a result of the loss, degradation and fragmentation of its tropical thorn-scrub habitat. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable. Continue reading, has 14 more photos

Rann of Kutch: Day 3 – Bonanza continues…

Crab-plover - Dromas ardeola
Crab-plover - Dromas ardeola

23rd Jan, 2010: Started the day with an excyrsion to the Naliya Grasslands. The trip started off well with spotting of a Male Pallid Harrier soaking up the heat of the early morning sun. As soon as we had enough of the Harrier we spotted another beautiful lifer Black Francolin. Continue reading, There are 24 more photos

Rann of Kutch: Day 2 – A day of plenty!

Grey Hypocolius- Hypocolius ampelinus (male)
Grey Hypocolius- Hypocolius ampelinus (male)

22nd Jan, 2010:  The night was an uneasy one for Swati, she sweated out her fever, but that had the advantage – she was feeling much better in the morning.

We were up at 6:00 and out at 6:30 as planned. It was pretty cold in the Banni Grasslands. The first target species for the day was Grey Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus. A very interesting bird that migrates all the way from Middle East to Kutch, Gujrat to spend the winter.  We had to walk about a kilometer into someone’s field to get to the spot. Our guide fro the day Mohammad, Yes – that was his name and he insisted it was just that, told us that just as the sun rises the Hypocolius will also rise to the top branches. We stood there for a while, except for White cheeked bulbuls nothing showed up. Continue reading, there are 26 more photos