Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Northern India and the Himalayan foothills Day One

Day One Friday 16th January 2009

After arriving late on Thursday evening after a 8 hour flight from Amsterdam with KLM, we spent the night at a transfer hotel in Delhi. On friday morning we caught 0745 'Golden Temple Train' which runs from Amritsar to Mumbai, from H Nizamuddin station in Delhi, arriving in Sawai Madhopur at 1310. Sawai Madhopur is a town on the edge of the famlous Ranthambhore National Park.

Sawai Madhopur Station
A number of birds were seen from the train between sleeps, including bank mynas at every station, numerous long-tailed shrikes, pied starlings, indian rollers and common babblers.
Bank Myna

After checking into the Ranthambhore Safari Lodge we birded around the outskirts of the town in a semi-desert habitat. This was a good introduction to many of the species that would be common over the next 15 days such as white-browed fantails, large grey babblers, long-billed indian vulture, plum headed parakeet, common tailorbird etc.

Plum-headed parakeet

Indian Robin
Out in the desert area we caught up with some target species too, including at least 12 painted sandgrouse, ashy-crowned sparrow lark, bay-backed shrike, grey francolin, jungle bush quail and brown rock chat. Other interesting birds included desert wheatears, isabelline wheatear, plain and ashy prinias and tawny pipit.

Painted Sandgrouse

Mammals seen included hanuman langur monkeys, nilgai and grey mongoose.

Hanuman Langurs

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