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.
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.
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.
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.