INDIA spring 2001: annotated trip list

by Don Roberson

This is a list of 432 birds found by our group in India in between 11 Mar-4 Apr 2001. There were four of us: Rita Carratello, Dan Singer, Steve Bailey, and me. I personally recorded 421 of these (160 of which were lifers for me and are marked by "**" on the list); another 11 were seen by at least two others while the group was together but not by me, or were heard only and would have been lifers for me (e.g., Great Barbet) or I don't have experience with the vocalization (e.g., Siberian Rubythroat), or were just too distant to be sure (e.g., Eurasian Craig-Martin). I have included a few birds on the main list that I heard only but with which I have sufficient prior experience (e.g., Common Hawk-Cuckoo). There are 11 species on this list that were seen only by me (labeled "[DR only]" in the annotations). I have not included those birds reported by only one other observer, or those seen by two others while our group was not together, but these are usually noted in the annotations. If such species are included the group total approaches 445. A mammal list follows the bird list.

The taxonomic order follows that of Clements (1991) but species-level taxonomy is revised somewhat to follow Sibley & Monroe (1990) or that used by Grimmett et al. (1998, 1999) and Kazmierczak (2000), and conforms to the taxonomy used in Birdlife International (2000).

Those species in brackets were seen by at least two others on the trip but not by me. Those species that I photographed on this particular trip are marked by "[ph]" -- I did not try to photograph everything we saw but mostly those birds in decent light that I had not previously photographed. Not much effort went into photographing ducks or waders that I'd taken elsewhere before. A number of the photos from this trip will appear on this website over time, often in family pages.


Tachybaptus ruficollis LITTLE GREBE
 Several in roadside ponds north of Agra but we saw many fewer than expected, perhaps due to drought
Phalacrocorax niger LITTLE CORMORANT [ph]
 Common and widespread throughout on lakes, ponds, and rivers
Phalacrocorax fuscicollis INDIAN CORMORANT [ph]
 Good numbers (50+) at a cormorant roost on the Ganges north of Agra, and a few at Bharatpur
Phalacrocorax carbo GREAT CORMORANT
 Small numbers widespread throughout northwest India but none recorded in Assam
Anhinga melanogaster DARTER [ph]
 A few at Bharatpur and in northwest India (e.g., Corbett) but common at Kaziranga (roosts of 20+)
Pelecanus onocrotalus GREAT WHITE PELICAN [ph]
 Flock of 34 on Lake Soorwal near Ranthambhor; Steve & Dan saw more on a lake at Jodhpur
Pelecanus philippensis SPOT-BILLED PELICAN ** [ph]
 The resident pelican at Kaziranga (they nest in the autumn) where we had 10+/day on game drives
Phoenicopterus ruber GREATER FLAMINGO
 Local: 30 on Sulanpur Jheel, 14 on Lake Soorwal, and ~20 more on a lake enroute to Jodhpur
Egretta garzetta LITTLE EGRET
 Common and widespread throughout lowlands and foothills (up to Corbett, east to Kaziranga)
Egretta intermedia INTERMEDIATE EGRET
 I paid scant attention to egrets but there were often small numbers daily at Bharatpur & Kaziranga
Ardea cinerea GRAY HERON [ph]
 Small numbers widespread throughout lowlands and foothills, very like distribution of Great Blue Herons in U.S.
Ardea purpurea PURPLE HERON [ph]
 A few daily at Kaziranga (including one interacting with a huge Water Monitor) but elsewhere scarce where only a couple encountered at Bharatpur or on roadside ponds n. of Agra
Ardea alba GREAT EGRET
 Common and widespread throughout lowlands and foothills
Bubulcus ibis CATTLE EGRET [ph]
 Abundant throughout lowlands
Ardeola grayii INDIAN POND-HERON [ph]
 Common on ponds and lakes throughout lowlands
Butorides striatus STRIATED HERON
 Only a scattered few in lowlands (mostly Bharatpur) but one at Bhimtal well up in the mountains
Nycticorax nycticorax BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON
 A roost of 20+ at Bharatpur; the only other was day-roosting in Dhakala compound in Corbett NP
Ixobrychus flavicollis BLACK BITTERN
 Our rickshaw drivers found one roosting in dense waterside thickets at Bharatpur and after quite some effort we all got good views
Threskiornis melanocephalus BLACK-HEADED IBIS [ph]
 Reasonably common at Bharatpur and Ranthambhor but the only others were on the Ganges River
Pseudibis papillosa RED-NAPED (Black) IBIS **
 Two scoped as they fed on far side of Lake Mansarovar s. of Ranthambhor; Steve had another during a drive n. of Delhi. This subcontinental endemic does not regularly frequent the usual reserves so one must search for them in dry fields outsides the parks
Platalea leucorodia EURASIAN SPOONBILL
 Common at Bharatpur and on Lake Soorwal; a few scattered elsewhere (Corbett NP, Ganges R.)
Mycteria leucocephala PAINTED STORK [ph]
 Only a few of this lovely species which were concentrated at remaining water at Sultanpur Jheel, Bharatpur & Ranthambhor; they nest in impressive numbers at Bharatpur during the monsoon (where I'd enjoyed them in July 1978).
Anastomus oscitans ASIAN OPEN-BILLED STORK [ph]
 Daily at Kaziranga (including a roost of 57) but scarce elsewhere (a few on Ganges R. & L. Mansarovar)
Ciconia episcopus WOOLLY-NECKED STORK [ph]
 Small numbers in grasslands at Corbett, on the Ganges and at Ranthambhor, and at Kaziranga
Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus BLACK-NECKED STORK [ph]
 Never common but singles of this very impressive stork encountered daily at Corbett NP, at Bharatpur, and at Kaziranga
Leptoptilos javanicus LESSER ADJUTANT STORK
 A few daily in Kaziranga; small nesting colonies were in roadside trees at two sites e. of Guwati and one was in a marsh right near the Guwati airport
Leptoptilos dubius GREATER ADJUTANT STORK ** [ph]
 Our only encounter with this seriously declining species were 27 on the garbage tip in Guwati; a hell-hole of a spot in one of the armpit cities of the subcontinent
 Up to 20 were still lingering from winter at Bharatpur
Anser indicus BAR-HEADED GOOSE ** [ph]
 Surprising numbers (up to 700/day) still present at Bharatpur
Tadorna ferruginea RUDDY SHELDUCK ** [ph]
 Widely distributed in northwestern India at all locales with water (even Kosi R.) but scarce at Kaziranga
Sarkidiornis melanotos COMB DUCK
 Two sleeping in a waterbird roost on Ganges R. island; Steve & Dan scoped more at Jodhpur
Nettapus coromandelianus COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE [ph]
 Our only birds were small groups on the lakes at Ranthambhor
 Lingering winterers or migrants were widespread throughout lowlands (Sultanpur to Kaziranga)
Anas strepera GADWALL
 Much less common than wigeon but widely distributed at the small lowland sites
 Lingering winterers or migrants were widespread throughout lowlands (Sultanpur to Kaziranga)
Anas poecilorhycnha SPOT-BILLED DUCK [ph]
 Widespread in lowlands (and esp. common at Kaziranga); surprisingly, we encountered no Mallards at all
 Late winterers or migrants widely distributed in lowlands but local and few at Kaziranga
Anas querquedula GARGANEY
 Much less common than teal but widely encountered in lowlands although none at Kaziranga
 The most common of the late winter or migrant puddle ducks with thousands on some shallow wetlands in northwest but only a handful still present at Kaziranga
Rhodonessa rufina RED-CRESTED POCHARD **
 A group of 8 on the Ganges River north of Agra was our only encounter
Aythya ferina COMMON POCHARD
 Four were with Tufted Ducks on the Ganges River north of Agra
Aythya fuligula TUFTED DUCK
 A dozen on the Ganges River n. of Agra and one first-yr male at Kaziranga on 4 Apr (which seemed late); presumably most diving ducks had headed north before we arrived
Pandion haliaetus OSPREY
 Just a few singles encountered at Corbett NP, one at Ranthambhor, and one at Kaziranga
Pernis ptilorhynchus ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD
 Just a couple up in the foothill forests (e.g., Corbett) but then 2-5 daily in Bharatpur, Ranthambhor and Kaziranga; light morphs predominated by several dark morphs seen. At several sites they were hanging around large honeybee hives and some honey-buzzard damage was apparent on one of them
 Singles encountered widely in lowlands but less than a dozen seen during the entire trip
Milvus migrans BLACK KITE
 Abundant "trash bird" over major cities (Delhi, Agra, Jodhpur, Guwati), with roosts of hundreds on some power poles, but much less common elsewhere
Haliastur indus BRAHMINY KITE
 Only a few encountered around the lake at Corbett NP and in Kaziranga
Haliaeetus leucoryphus PALLAS'S FISH-EAGLE ** [ph]
 We probably visited the world's best sites for this threatened & declined eagle: we had several daily in Corbett NP (including a nest) and in Kaziranga (up to 6/day) plus another nest from which young had recently fledged along the Kosi River near Quality Inn
Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus GRAY-HEADED FISH-EAGLE [ph]
 A single adult in Corbett NP and then a couple each day on game drives in Kaziranga; this is another scarce and declining species
Ichthyophaga humilis LESSER FISH-EAGLE **
 One adult watched in flight at Corbett NP
Neophron percnopterus EGYPTIAN VULTURE [ph]
 Widespread roadside vulture in lowlands and foothills but absent from Assam and not seen in the desert
Gyps bengalensis WHITE-RUMPED VULTURE [ph]
 Once a very common and widespread vulture throughout lowland India (many seen back in 1978), this species and other lowland Asian Gyps have recently suffered catastrophic declines. Birdlife International's new (2000) Threatened Birds of the World book estimates the population at less than 10,000 birds. The cause has been debated but seems likely linked to a viral infection that kills adults (an avian version of Ebola, if you will). Given these problems, we were surprised at the number of White-rumped Vultures we found: 21 in a morning roost with other vultures west of Kaladhungi near the foothills; up to 14 daily on a roost tree in Ranthambhor; 18 circling overhead with other vultures at Desert NP; two over the fort at Jodhpur; and six at a roost tree in Kaziranga. About a third of those seen appeared to be adults. While our numbers were higher than we expected, this vulture was still many magnitudes less common than in 1978
Gyps indicus CLIFF (Indian Long-billed) VULTURE
 Along with White-backed Vulture, this species has suffered recent serious declines. Coincidentally, new research by Pamela C. Rasmussen & Steven J. Parry has shown that the old "Long-billed Vulture" complex is actually composed of two distinct species: the lowland bird south of the Ganges G. indicus and the foothill bird on the Gangetic plain and northwards G. tenuirostris. We had with us Per Alstrom's i.d. paper which helped us sort these out, and Internet postings from Rasmussen & Parry pointing out that indicus nests on cliffs whilst tenuirostris nests in trees. We had only few of this southern taxon: one at a Ranthambhor roost, six circling with White-rumps over Desert NP, and ~15 sitting on or flying over the Fort at Jodhpur
Gyps tenuirostris SLENDER-BILLED (Himalayan Long-billed) VULTURE ** [ph]
 See the preceding discussion for taxonomic notes. This northern bird was seen more often than its southern counterpart: a few around Corbett NP & Kosi River; 3 in a vulture roost west of Kaladhungi, and then daily in Kaziranga NP where the road in the central ranges passes below a nest tree with a baby in it. The adults were usually perched nearby
Gyps himalayensis HIMALAYAN GRIFFON **
 We had trouble sorting this species from the following bird but at least one along the Kosi River near Corbett NP fit the characters nicely as did several above Naini Tal, and others seen more distantly at Corbett were likely this taxa
Gyps fulvus EURASIAN GRIFFON [ph]
 A few daily in the foothills of Corbett NP and along the Kosi River with additional individuals in a vulture roost west of Kaladhungi, and at various spots around Kaziranga
Aegypius monachus CINEREOUS VULTURE ** [ph]
 More common than anticipated in Corbett NP with up to 12 at one roost; another in Desert NP
Sarcogyps calvus RED-HEADED VULTURE [ph]
 Although only a few seen on any day it was seen widely: Corbett NP, Kosi R., Bharatpur & Kaziranga
Circaetus gallicus SHORT-TOED SNAKE-EAGLE ** [ph]
 Single light-morph birds in Corbett NP and over Panbari Forest, Kaziranga
Spilornis cheela CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE [ph]
 A few daily in the wet foothill forests (Corbett, Kosi R., Sat Tal) and at Kaziranga but not in the dry forests of Rajasthan
Circus aeruginosus WESTERN MARSH-HARRIER
 One or two each day over the wetlands at Bharatpur
 Several female-plumaged birds cantering over the wetlands at Kaziranga; we also hoped for Pied Harrior C. melanoleucos there but were unable to find any. A distant female harrier scoped from Naini Tal (a migrant starting to cross the Himalaya) was in the Northern C. cyaneus/Pallid C. macrourus/Montagu's C. pygargus group but the distance was too great to do more than that with our limited experience
Circus pygargus MONTAGU'S HARRIER
 A nice male was migrating north near Sam as we were enroute to Desert NP
Accipiter trivirgatus CRESTED GOSHAWK
 Two or three birds were around Kaziranga including one that flew by our jeep in the central range and another in Panbari Forest
Accipiter badius SHIKRA [ph]
 The common roadside Accipiter throughout, recorded up to Bhimtal and east to Kaziranga and seen several times from our bus in small towns or on power lines
Accipiter virgatus BESRA
 One perched female studied at length in Kaziranga; this species does not appear on the Kaziranga checklist by Barua & Sharma (1999) but seems likely a regular migrant there in small numbers
Butastur teesa WHITE-EYED BUZZARD **
 A compact buteo with steady deep accipiter or falcon-like wingbeats that flew over our jeep and straight away just east of Jaisalmer was undoubtedly this species; better views would have been nice
 One dark-morph individual was migrating over Corbett NP
Buteo hemilasius UPLAND BUZZARD **
 One "classic" light-morph was with a flock of migrant raptors near Sat Tal. While we lack much experience with Eurasian buteos we had studied a Common Buzzard the day before and Long-legged Buzzard B. rufinus in the UAE. This bird matched the plates in Kazmierczak well
Aquila pomarina LESSER SPOTTED EAGLE [ph]
 Up to 3 each day were perched about the wetlands at Bharatpur; this species nests here in small numbers. An unidentified spotted eagle was over Sultanpur Jheel. I had a lot of trouble sorting out the Aquila eagles in the UAE and India and could have used the fine photos & details in Forsman (1999) but had opted not to bring it due to its heft
Aquila clanga GREATER SPOTTED EAGLE [ph]
 Two different individuals were studied at Bharatpur; one of them a young  'fulvescens' morph
Aquila rapax TAWNY EAGLE [ph]
 The resident eagle at Desert NP and vicinity where a few seen each day; other migrant Tawny/Steppe types migrating in the Himalaya were left unidentified by me
Aquila nipalensis STEPPE EAGLE [ph]
 Wintering or migrant eagles widely encountered in early March in the lowlands and foothills seemed mostly to be this species, including birds studied at close range with vultures on a carcass, but I was unsure of the i.d. of migrants in the mountains in late March
Aquila heliaca IMPERIAL EAGLE
 One stake-out juv was perched near the "temple" at Bharatpur
Aquila chrysetos GOLDEN EAGLE
 An adult watched at some distance from the Cheena Peak trail above Naini Tal was regularly doing "barrel roll" courtship dives for over 20 minutes [DR only]; these maneuvers were like those seen in California and I am presuming that this behavior is characteristic of this species
Hieraaetus pennatus BOOTED EAGLE [ph]
 One dark morph photographed over the Kosi River dam at Ramnagar (with its diagnostic "headlights" on the leading edge of the wing) and a light morph over Bharatpur were migrants; we were aware that Bonelli's Eagle H. fasciatus is said to nest at Ranthambhor but never had a hint of one
Spizaetus cirrhatus CHANGEABLE HAWK-EAGLE
 One dark morph in Corbett NP allowed good views
Spizaetus nipalensis MOUNTAIN HAWK-EAGLE **
 One light morph circling in an updraft with vultures near Ramnagar was over foothill forest
Microhierax caerulescens COLLARED FALCONET **
 The same pair perched daily over a waterhole visible from the Dhikala watchtower in Corbett
Falco tinnunculus EURASIAN KESTREL
 A few, presumably migrants (?), encountered throughout the lowlands (Desert NP to Corbett) and nearly daily over the grasslands at Kaziranga
Falco chicquera RED-NECKED FALCON **
 This striking, elegant, and declining falcon dashed over the dry courser field at the s. end of Sutanpur Jheel on 11 Mar; we had been aware there was one in the area for a month from the "delhibird" chat line [DR only]
Falco jugger LAGGAR FALCON **
 One-two daily around Jaisalmer or enroute to Desert NP where they perched on telephone poles like Prairie Falcons do in similar dry habitat in the American West
Falco peregrinus PEREGRINE FALCON
 Close views of one flying over a small lake at Kaziranga
Francolinus pondicerianus GRAY FRANCOLIN [ph]
 Common and widespread in the dry lowlands of Rajasthan (Bharatpur, Ranthambhor, Desert NP) and at Sultanpur Jheel but heard more often than seen; they are very noisy!
Francolinus francolinus BLACK FRANCOLIN **
 One male crossed the road in the western range of Kaziranga; this species is not listed on the Kaziranga checklist by Barua & Sharma (1999) but its range does include Assam, the male is distinctive, and the more-regular Swamp Francolin seen later was not similar
Francolinus pictus PAINTED FRANCOLIN **
 A pair of this distinctive francolin was seen in a dry brushy gully from the bus, some miles southeast of Tonk, enroute from Ranthambhor to Jaipur [DR only]
Francolinus gularis SWAMP FRANCOLIN **
 Pairs were seen in the road or on edges of drying channels on a couple drives in the central range of Kaziranga; this is a declining species worldwide but has its stronghold here
Galloperdix lunulata PAINTED SPURFOWL **
 At least three pairs of this engaging chicken were scratching in the undergrowth along the road up to Ranthambhor Fort but not otherwise found inside the park
Gallus gallus RED JUNGLEFOWL [ph]
 Good numbers (12-25/day) daily in the forest of Corbett NP with smaller numbers (5-8/day) on drives inside Kaziranga National Park. A new paper by Brisbin & Peterson (1999) opines that the only "pure" wild stock remaining on earth are in extreme northeast India but that is disputed by others who believe stocks in Uttar Pradesh (as in Corbett NP) as essentially untarnished by poultry genes
Lophura leucomelana KALIJ PHEASANT
 One to three pairs were seen every day on drives in the forests of Corbett National Park
Pavo creistatus INDIAN PEAFOWL [ph]
 Common and widespread in northwestern India from Corbett foothills to Sultanpur, Bharatpur, Ranthambhor and Jodhpur; they were especially conspicuous in Ranthambhor. We were well before the breeding season so did not see males displaying (as I had seen back in July 1978)
[Turnix sylvatica SMALL BUTTONQUAIL
 One glimpsed by Rita & Dan in Corbett was thought likely this species on size & range]
Amaurornis phoenicurus WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN
 Common at Bharatpur and regular elsewhere (e.g., Kaziranga, Soorwal Lake, Sultanpur Jheel)
Amaurornis akool BROWN CRAKE **
 One at Bharatpur but several birds seen along a creek in Ranthambhor; one was flushed by a tiger (!); also regular at Kaziranga (up to 4/day) feeding at the edge of drying water channels
Porzana fusca RUDDY-BREASTED CRAKE ** [ph]
 One photographed as it fed from the edges of reeds along a rocky rivulet in Corbett NP
Porphryio porphyrio PURPLE SWAMPHEN
 Very common at Bharatpur (up to 300/day) but many fewer elsewhere (e.g., roadside pools n. of Agra or in Kaziranga). The Indian birds (race poliocephalus) are frosted with whitish on their heads giving them a different look from African or New Zealand populations
Gallinula chloropus COMMON MOORHEN
 Widespread and common in the lowlands (Sultanpur Jheel & Bharatpur to Kaziranga)
 Only a very few late winterers or migrants left; I only saw one at Lake Mansarovar but others had more elsewhere
Grus grus COMMON CRANE ** [ph]
 Flocks of 140 at Sultanpur Jheel and 90 at Bharatpur could have been late lingering winterers but 7 overhead at Desert NP and 42 the next day near Jaisalmer were migrating north rapidly
Grus antigone SARUS CRANE [ph]
 Pairs widely scattered in Bharatpur and vicinity; others seen enroute to Agra and at Lake Mansarovar
Grus virgo DEMOISELLE CRANE ** [ph]
 A party of 5 of these elegant cranes were standing by roadside just east of Jaisalmer early in the morning; these were briefly resting migrants. Hundreds winter at the town of Keechan but our finding of these migrants on 29 March avoided a visit to that site. The villagers in Keechan feed the wintering cranes but our driver said all had left by the time of his visit the previous week
Ardeotis nigriceps GREAT INDIAN BUSTARD ** [ph]
 Seven of these huge stately bustards were wary of us and other disturbances in Desert NP. They were initially flushed by feral dogs but eventually Dan & I crept close enough from sand dune to sand dune to snap some distant photos. One of the highlight birds of the trip, now seriously endangered
Eupodotis bengalensis BENGAL FLORICAN **
 This striking black-bodied white-winged regal bustard is one of the best birds in the world, now restricted to ever-declining patches of verdant grassland in northeast India. We had two males on Debeswari in the eastern range of Kaziranga one day, and two more (or the same two -- likely so) a couple days later. All were elusive and seen well but comparatively briefly as they stalked through the very tall grass; efforts at photography failed
Metopidius indicus BRONZE-WINGED JAÇANA
 Widespread in lowlands (roadside pools, Bharatpur, Ranthambhor, Kaziranga) but never in numbers; the drought seemed to have reduced them throughout. We entirely missed Pheasant-tailed Jaçana Hydrophasianus chirurgus despite a glimpse of a bird in flight early in the trip that might have been this species (in retrospect it was not seen well enough to be sure); this was a surprising miss
Gallinago stenura PIN-TAILED SNIPE
 One individual flushed several times along the little stream behind Aranya Lodge, Kaziranga; its flight is quite weak and direct compared to Common Snipe; it also lacked the white trailing edge to the secondaries, had a different upperwing covert and back pattern, and did not call as Common Snipes invariably do when flushed
Gallinago gallinago COMMON SNIPE
 A few still lingered at Bharatpur, one was at Soorwal Lake, and others had a late bird at Kaziranga
 Good numbers at Sultanpur Jheel in early March but many fewer in mid-month at Bharatpur, Ranthambhor, or in pools enroute to Jaipur
Numenius arquata EURASIAN CURLEW
 A couple on the Ganges R. in early March and 3 at Soorwal Lake were the only migrants encountered
Tringa erythropus SPOTTED REDSHANK [ph]
 Dan Singer became our "spotshank" specialist by locating 13 birds at Bharatpur 21 Mar; singles were seen at various sites nearby thereafter and at Ranthambhor
Tringa totanus COMMON REDSHANK
 Common in lowland wetlands to mid-March (Sultanpur, Bharatpur, etc.) but only a few were left at Kaziranga by early April
Tringa stagnatilis MARSH SANDPIPER [ph]
 Just a few scattered birds at Bharatpur, Ranthambhor, Soorwal Lake, and the river behind the Taj Mahal, Agra; the Soorwal Lake bird was well along in pre-alternate molt
Tringa nebularia COMMON GREENSHANK
 Small numbers widespread in lowlands through late March but only a few left at Kaziranga by April
Tringa ochropus GREEN SANDPIPER
 A few scattered migrants at Bharatpur, Ranthambhor, and the river behind the Taj Mahal, Agra; others also had a handful at Kaziranga
Tringa glareola WOOD SANDPIPER [ph]
 Still reasonably common at Bharatpur & Ranthambhor & Jodhpur to late March but only a few left at Kaziranga, including one frequented the little stream behind Aranya Lodge
Actitis hypoleucos COMMON SANDPIPER
 Singles here and there: Corbett, Bharatpur, Soorwal L., Jodhpur, and Kaziranga
Calidris minuta LITTLE STINT
 Good numbers flocking at Soorwal Lake but many fewer elsewhere (e.g., Bharatpur)
Calidris temminckii TEMMINCK’S STINT
 Surprising numbers (60/day) in Bharatpur but very few elsewhere (Soorwal L., Kaziranga); one seemingly lost migrant flew by us far from water in Desert NP
Calidris alpina DUNLIN
 Big flocks still on Soorwal Lake but that was about it
Philomachus pugnax RUFF
 Substantial numbers in the western lowlands throughout (including large numbers at Soorwal L. and at Jodhpur) but I ran into none in Assam at all
Burhinus oedicnemus EURASIAN THICK-KNEE
 Three birds in and around Bharatpur: one day-resting in thornscrub inside the park and two along a drying channel south of the park boundary
Esacus recurvirostris GREAT THICK-KNEE ** [ph]
 I was surprised to find this big cool bird at so many sites: along a Corbett river, more on the Ganges, at waterholes and lakes in Ranthambhor, and Lake Soorwal
Ibidorhyncha struthersi IBISBILL ** [ph]
 My choice for "bird of the trip!" We had structured the trip to search for Ibisbill as our first destination but we were concerned that the earliest date we could get to the Kosi River at Ramnagar -- 12 March -- would be too late and the wintering birds would have departed. We only had trip reports showing their presence at this lower elevation into late February; our guide Karan Pradhan told us later that 17 had been counted on the 10 mile stretch of the Kosi R. above Ramnagar that winter. It was therefore both exhilarating and a great relief to locate our one bird on the Kosi River -- and then to photograph it the next day was a double pleasure [more details on-line on my Ibisbill family page]
Himantopus himantopus BLACK-WINGED STILT
 Common and widespread in w. lowlands & foothills (up to Corbett) but not in Assam
Recurvirostra avosetta PIED AVOCET
 Good numbers at Lake Soorwal and on ponds enroute Ranthambhor to Jaipur but that was all
Cursorius coromandelicus INDIAN COURSER **
 Two of these cool sleek birds were foraging in the dry field at the south end of Sultanpur Jheel
Glareola lactea SMALL PRATINCOLE **
 A flashy small pratincole seen along the Ramganga R. in Corbett NP and again at L. Soorwal
Charadrius dubius LITTLE RINGED PLOVER
 A few scattered about (Corbett, Bharatpur, one in Kaziranga) but fair numbers on L. Soorwal
Charadrius alexandrinus SNOWY PLOVER
 Lots on the sandy flats of Lake Soorwal but these were the only ones recorded
Chettusia leucurus WHITE-TAILED PLOVER
 A few of these migrants daily at Bharatpur and a couple on Sultanpur Jheel
Vanellus vanellus NORTHERN LAPWING
 A party of 3 on a lake in Kaziranga were unexpected
Vanellus malabricus YELLOW-WATTLED LAPWING **
 We went to a dry and desolate field outside the Bharatpur boundary; there were 4 in this field
Vanellus duvaucelli RIVER LAPWING ** [ph]
 A very striking lapwing found mostly along rushing rivers in the foothills (Corbett, Kosi R.) but a few elsewhere in w. lowlands (e.g., Ganges R. crossings)
Vanellus indicus RED-WATTLED LAPWING [ph]
 Common and widespread throughout on water edges, in grasslands, and in ag fields; the Killdeer of India
Larus brunnicephalus BROWN-HEADED GULL **
 A dozen over the Ganges on our way north from Delhi in early March were the only gulls I saw; others had a lone Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus along the Kosi River the next day
Childonias hybridus WHISKERED TERN
 One or two foraging over Jogi Mahal lake in Ranthambhor each day
Sterna acuticauda BLACK-BELLIED TERN **
 A few were seen at each Ganges River crossings; another two were over Lake Soorwal
Sterna aurantia RIVER TERN [ph]
 Widespread in the lowlands over rivers and lakes, including in Kaziranga
 Scattered pairs or small groups in drier country including L. Soorwal (15), nr Jaisalmer, and nr Tonk enroute to Jaipur; others had a pair flying over Sultanpur Jheel
Pterocles indicus PAINTED SANDGROUSE **
 All sightings were in the semi-desert behind Tiger Moon Resort near Ranthambhor. First Rita flushed one the first day, then Steve saw fly-bys at dusk another day at a dried-up waterhole (which we learned was a dawn-dusk stake-out spot when there is water present), and then on our final day the three guys found a male behind the little rocky hill above the dry waterhole and, while stalking that bird, I flushed a female from her nest on the hill! The nest had three camouflaged green eggs. We left quickly so she could return to her brooding. This is a fancy sandgrounse reminding me of Double-banded Sandgrouse P. bicinctus in South Africa
Columba livia ROCK DOVE
 Common and widespread in urban areas; unlike most birds introduced to North American cities the vast majority here retained a "pure" phenotype appearance
Streptopelia orientalis ORIENTAL TURTLE-DOVE
 A dozen or more were streaming through the pass above Naini Tal heading to roost; others had add'l birds in Corbett
Streptopelia senegaliensis LAUGHING (Palm) DOVE [ph]
 Common and widespread in w. lowlands, esp. urban areas, but not in Assam
Streptopelia chinensis SPOTTED DOVE [ph]
 Common in the foothills and mountains up to Naini Tal, and in Assam, where this species seems to replace the preceding dove. The Spotted Doves in India (race suratensis) are very spotted and unlike the introduced nominate populations in California
Streptopelia tranquebarica RED COLLARED-DOVE
 Just a few scattered individuals or pairs at Bharatpur, Lake Soorwal, and Kaziranga
Streptopelia decaocto EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE
 Very common and widespread in lowlands, esp. urban areas and villages, but fewer in Assam
Treron curvirostris THICK-BILLED PIGEON
 One perched in the Panbari Forest for fine views
Treron phoenicoptera YELLOW-FOOTED GREEN PIGEON **
 Small flocks perched or overhead in widely scattered areas, including Corbett, Bharatpur, Delhi and Ranthambhor, but large flocks overhead daily at Aranya Lodge, Kaziranga, heading to or from roosts
 Fairly common in Kaziranga (10-25/day) but usually simply flying by
Chalcophaps indica EMERALD DOVE
 A few most days in the Kaziranga area, including Panbari Forest; fairly shy and near the ground
Psittacula eupatria ALEXANDRINE PARAKEET ** [ph]
 A few seen in Corbett or L. Mansarovar nr Ranthambhor but then recorded more regularly daily (8-12/day) in Kaziranga after their calls were learned
Psittacula krameri ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET [ph]
 Common and widespread everywhere in lowlands and foothills (but not up at Naini Tal); seemed most common in Bharatpur & Ranthambhor and scarcest out around Jaisalmer
Psittacula alexandri RED-BREASTED (Moustached) PARAKEET [ph]
 Very common in foothill forests near Quality Inn but then none encountered until Kaziranga where hundreds were seen or heard daily; their calls dominate the aural landscape in Kaziranga woods
Psittacula cyanocephala PLUM-HEADED PARAKEET **
 These are gorgeous parakeets when seen feeding on thistle-heads in the sun; common in foothills around Quality Inn and in Corbett NP, and daily in Ranthambhor
Psittacula himalayna SLATY-HEADED PARAKEET **
 A mid-montane species with one in Mongoli Valley and a small flock at Sat Tal
 Characteristic "brain-fever" songs were heard daily in the thornscrub of Bharatpur but typically only early in the morning; it seemed to me these may have been early arrivals. At some point Steve chased one down visually but the rest of us only heard them. I've seen them elsewhere & know the call well. Steve had an Oriental Cuckoo C. saturatus in Bharatpur but in general we were too early for cuckoos and missed a variety of other possible species [e.g., Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii and Drongo Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris are said to be common in Panbari Forest; maybe they weren't yet vocalizing in the drought?]
Phaenicophaeus tristis GREEN-BILLED MALKOHA **
 A few daily slipping through the scrub at Panbari Forest or in the Mikir Hills behind Aranya Lodge, Kaziranga. Big and floppy with a cool vocalization
Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii SIRKEER MALKOHA **
 Our only one was in Corbett NP and it was seen during the elephant ride -- the only bird or mammal that I saw only from elephant-back on the trip; someone had another in Ranthambhor
Eudynamys scolopacea ASIAN KOEL
 Heard daily in the woods at Bharatpur and Kaziranga; a few also seen at the latter park and five more were seen in a garden at Jodhpur
Centropus sinensis GREATER COUCAL [ph]
 Common at ponds at forest edge in Bharatpur and Kaziranga, plus a few in Ranthambhor
[Centropus bengalensis LESSER COUCAL
 A single bird was seen by some in Kaziranga during a game drive but surprisingly that was it]
 One calling repeatedly on the grounds of Quality Inn above Ramnagar was spotlighted for superb views
Otus bakkamoena COLLARED SCOPS-OWL ** [ph]
 Two were seen pre-dawn near the Bharatpur Forest Lodge in Keoladeo Ghana NP; we watched one bird go into its day-roost. I checked it after lunch and it was still there for photos
Bubo coromandus DUSKY EAGLE-OWL ** [ph]
 Our guide at Bharatpur, Answar Khan, took us to a known nest but the young had just fledged. We found a downy youngster nearby (photos) but never laid eyes on an adult
Ketupa zeylonensis BROWN FISH-OWL ** [ph]
 In Corbett NP our guide, Karan Pradhan, drove us right under a stake-out day roost for great views and photos; given this experience we passed up opportunities to go to stake-outs elsewhere
Ketupa flavipes TAWNY FISH-OWL ** [ph]
 In Corbett NP we studied a fine individual at its usual day-roost; given this experience we passed up opportunities to go to stake-outs elsewhere
Glaucidium radiatum JUNGLE OWLET **
 Enroute to Quality Inn from Ramnagar at dusk, I spotted one perched in a roadside tree where we scoped it to confirm this i.d.; a couple more found at mid-day in Corbett NP
Glaucidium cucloides ASIAN BARRED OWLET ** [ph]
 A pair were found just after dawn in a bare tree in Naini Tal where they were mobbed by warblers. Surprisingly common around Kaziranga where it was seen on several game drives late in the afternoon just sitting in roadside trees; a pair was perched over the pool at Wild Grass Lodge during our one visit there in late afternoon
Ninox scutulata BROWN HAWK-OWL **
 We watched one hunt at dusk as we walked from the watchtower back to Dhikala compound in Corbett NP; another was seen near dusk in the final line of roadside trees at the end of a couple day's game drives in the central range of Kaziranga
Athene brama SPOTTED OWLET [ph]
 Several were seen in Bharatpur (usually spotted by rickshaw drivers) plus one was very obliging for photos at Tiger Moon Resort near Ranthambhor
Asio flammeus SHORT-EARED OWL
 One was flushed by running Hog Deer in grasslands of Corbett NP
Caprimulgus macrurus LARGE-TAILED NIGHTJAR
 Our only nightjar in India was heard daily in grasslands around Dhikala compound, Corbett NP, and seen reasonably well on our dusk walk from the watchtower back to our rooms
Hemiprocne coronata CRESTED TREESWIFT **
 Fair numbers found daily in Corbett NP (up to 75 on one day) or along the Kosi River in the foothills, almost always in flight
Collocalia brevirostris HIMALAYAN SWIFTLET **
 A few overhead in Corbett NP and in Kaziranga, usually single individuals in flocks of other swifts or swallows
Hirundapus giganteus BROWN-BACKED NEEDLETAIL **
 Two over the Panbari Forest on our final visit [DR only]
Hirundapus cochinchinensis SILVER-BACKED NEEDLETAIL **
 One over Kaziranga NP during a game drive in the central range
Zoonavena sylvatica WHITE-RUMPED SPINETAIL **
 Fair numbers (12-15) on most days in Corbett NP
Cypsiurus batasiensis ASIAN PALM-SWIFT
 Common daily in Kaziranga but not elsewhere
Apus nipalensis HOUSE SWIFT
 Locally common at Bharatpur, Ranthambhor, and Jodhpur; a few elsewhere (e.g., Corbett)
 A few daily along the Ramganga River in Corbett, and scattered birds elsewhere (Ranthambhor, Kaziranga, Mandore Gardens in Jodhpur)
Pelargopsis capensis STORK-BILLED KINGFISHER
 Singles encountered from time to time in Corbett, Ranthambhor or Kaziranga; has a great call which Rita recorded on her tiny dictating tape-machine
Halycon smyrnensis WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER [ph]
 Widespread in woods near water and found at most places we visited, usually about 4-12/day
Megaceryle lugubris CRESTED KINGFISHER ** [ph]
 Regular along the Kosi River and then the Ramganga R. in Corbett NP
Ceryle rudis PIED KINGFISHER [ph]
 Widespread but in small numbers over water throughout, similar to status of Belted Kingfisher in California and, like that species, this kingfishers hovers
Merops orientalis GREEN BEE-EATER [ph]
 Common and widespread throughout, especially along roadsides on wires; recorded everywhere except Naini Tal and vicinity
Merops philippinus BLUE-TAILED BEE-EATER
 Fair numbers daily in Kaziranga (4-16/day) where it preferred grasslands such as on Debeswari
 Just a very few locally in Corbett NP, on the Kosi R., and one locale in Kaziranga
Coracias benghalensis INDIAN ROLLER [ph]
 Like Green Bee-eater, common and widespread throughout, and often along roadsides, except up at Naini Tal and (unlike the bee-eater) not seen in the deserts of w. Rajasthan
 One or two birds seen on most days, often foraging on the ground in parks or ag land; a small group of 5 were at Lake Soorwal
Ocyceros birostris INDIAN GRAY HORNBILL [ph]
 Small numbers daily (3-6/day was typical) along the Kosi R., in Corbett NP, and at Bharatpur
Anthrococeros albirostris ORIENTAL PIED-HORNBILL
 Just one or two on each visit to Panbari Forest plus a couple along rivers inside Kaziranga NP
Buceros bicornis GREAT HORNBILL ** [ph]
 This highly-prized and quite wonderful hornbill was in Corbett NP (group of 6 in one fruiting tree) and in Kaziranga, especially in Panbari Forest where we watched birds frequent fruiting trees at close range; the huge whooshing of their wings in flight is dramatic and one gliding towards me there looked and sounded like a landing jet approaching
[Megalaima virens GREAT BARBET
 Our guide Karan Pradhan pointed out the calls of one to us but we could never spot it at higher elevations in Corbett NP, so we all missed this one and it is not included in the list total]
Megalaima zeylanica BROWN-HEADED BARBET ** [ph]
 A pair of this subcontinental endemic were at Ramnagar; a couple others seen or heard at Bharatpur
Megalaima lineata LINEATED BARBET
 Regularly heard, and a few seen, in Corbett NP and daily in Kaziranga
Megalaima asiatica BLUE-THROATED BARBET
 This colorful small barbet was seen a couple times in Corbett and then fair numbers seen or heard daily in and around Kaziranga
Megalaima haemacephala COPPERSMITH BARBET
 Heard widely in lowlands and foothills but many fewer seen, yet good views of up to 6 in the Bharatpur nursery and others watched elsewhere (e.g., Ranthambhor, "Hornbills" e. of Guwati in Assam)
Picumnus innominatus SPECKLED PICULET
 One foraged at the base of a twisted scrub in a mixed flock at Mongoli Valley
Dendrocopos nanus BROWN-CAPPED WOODPECKER **
 One at Bharatpur was our only encounter
Dendrocopos canicapillus GRAY-CAPPED WOODPECKER **
 The pgymy-woodpecker was found daily in Corbett NP and along Kosi River, often in mixed flocks; just a couple were seen around Kaziranga
Dendrocopos auriceps BROWN-FRONTED WOODPECKER **
 This montane woodpecker was in Mongoli Valley and a male was nest-building at Sat Tal
 One or two daily in Corbett NP and another near Naini Tal
Dendrocopos mahrattensis YELLOW-CROWNED WOODPECKER [ph]
 A pair was nest-building at Bharatpur; someone had another at Ranthambhor
Dendrocopos himalayensis HIMALAYAN WOODPECKER
 Three individuals were found above Naini Tal (Kilbury Road and Cheena Peak trail); rather like a Hairy Woodpecker
Picus chlorolophus LESSER YELLOWNAPE
 Singles on most days in Corbett NP, another at Sat Tal, and another behind "Hornbills" e. of Guwati in Assam; on each bird the crest was much more apparent than painted by field guides; these are snazzy woodpeckers
Picus flavinucha GREATER YELLOWNAPE **
 Good studies of one female at Sat Tal shortly after studying a Lesser Yellownape
 Several in Corbett NP and another in Kaziranga
 Rita and our guide Karan Pradhan had one in Corbett NP but the rest of us missed it]
 The common mid-sized woodpecker in Corbett NP (2-3/daily); another couple around Kaziranga
Dinopium shorii HIMALAYAN FLAMEBACK **
 One in nice forest at Corbett NP
Diniopium benghalense BLACK-RUMPED FLAMEBACK
 The dry forest flameback of Bharatpur and Ranthambhor where several seen each day, and a few more at Kaziranga
Chrysocolaptes lucidus GREATER FLAMEBACK
 The commonest flameback in Kaziranga with up to 4/day inside Panbari Forest or on game drives
Chrysocolaptes festivus WHITE-NAPED WOODPECKER ** [ph]
 The most impressive woodpecker of the trip. One was in scrub thorn-forest below L. Mansarovar dam and then two were photographed at Tiger Moon Resort nr Ranthambhor; I had originally thought these two were a pair but my photos show the female-plumaged bird feeding the red-naped bird -- is this an adult feeding a full-grown youngster?
Celeus brachyrus RUFOUS WOODPECKER **
 Two seen during one drive in Corbett NP on the east side of the Ramganga River
 A fabulous little bird sitting quietly and then foraging inside Panbari Forest. Rita spotted this female deep in the thickets -- a very impressive find -- and then we tried the tape we had from Malaysia. It seemed to respond only briefly by looking our way and then ignored the tape
 One along the Kosi River below Quality Inn and then six at Sat Tal, including one carrying food for young
Rhipidura hypoxantha YELLOW-BELLIED FANTAIL **
 One or two daily in Corbett NP, usually in mixed flocks
Rhipidura albicollis WHITE-THROATED FANTAIL
 Singles daily in Corbett NP and then 4 in a flock at Sat Tal
Rhipidura aureola WHITE-BROWED FANTAIL **
 Fairly common (3-4/day) on game drives in Ranthambhor
Hypothymis azurea BLACK-NAPED MONARCH
 Common inside Panbari Forest, Kaziranga
Terpsiphone paradisi ASIAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER [ph]
 First arriving males of the spring were at Bharatpur 22 Mar & Ranthambhor 24 Mar; by early April females were present in Panbari Forest
Dicrurus macrocercus BLACK DRONGO [ph]
 Widespread and common in lowlands and foothills but not mountains nor deserts; in open land, often riding on cattle or (in Kaziranga) wild buffalo or rhinos
Dicrurus leucophaeus ASHY DRONGO
 One along the Kosi R. below Quality Inn of the race longicaudatus was not nearly as pale as those I'd seen in Borneo years before
Dicrurus caerulescens WHITE-BELLIED DRONGO ** [ph]
 One in woods along the Kosi R. below Quality Inn and then a few daily at Ranthambhor, including the courtyard at Tiger Moon Resort
Dicrurus aeneus BRONZED DRONGO
 A forest drongo that often looks very bluebird-blue seen at higher elevations in Corbett NP and in Panbari Forest and other wooded areas of Kaziranga NP
 One without rackets in woods at Corbett NP, and then a fine male at Sat Tal
Dicururus bracteatus SPANGLED DRONGO
 Singles or pairs of this broad-tailed woodland drongo were found daily on the Kosi R., in Corbett NP, and in wooded parts of Kaziranga including Panbari Forest
 A fabulous full-tailed male was with a large mixed flock inside Panbari Forest
Garrulus glandarius EURASIAN JAY
 Four were on the path to "snow view" in conifers above Naini Tal
Garrulus lanceolatus BLACK-HEADED JAY **
 Three in woods around Sat Tal
Urocissa erythrorhyncha RED-BILLED BLUE MAGPIE **
 A loose party of 8+ was in Mongoli Valley, and 2 were on the path to "snow view" in conifers above Naini Tal; these are big and striking birds
Dendrocitta vagabunda RUFOUS TREEPIE [ph]
 Widespread in wooded lowlands and foothills (Corbett to Kaziranga), including at the Taj Mahal, and very tame and common in Ranthambhor NP. Somewhat surprisingly we entirely missed Gray Treepie D. formosae
Corvus splendens HOUSE CROW [ph]
 Abundant in lowlands, especially in urban & village environments; none in foothills or mountains
Corvus macrorhynchus LARGE-BILLED CROW
 Common and widespread throughout, including foothills and mountains where individuals looked larger, bigger-billed and more raven-like. Some authorities (e.g., Madge & Burn 1994) split these montane birds (we saw the race intermedius) from the lowland birds (we saw individuals of race culminatus in peninsular India and of race levaillantii in Assam) with the latter known as Jungle Crow C. levaillantii
Corvus corax COMMON RAVEN
 A pair seen from the bus near Naini Tal seemed too large to be the preceding species; others had another pair in Desert NP
Artamus fuscus ASHY WOOD-SWALLOW **
 Seen daily in Kaziranga (up to 15/day)
Aegithina tiphia COMMON IORA
 Two at Quality Inn and several daily in wooded areas around Kaziranga such as Panbari Forest
Aegithina nigrolutea MARSHALL'S IORA ** [ph]
 Pairs of this subcontinental endemic were seen working a palm tree inside Ranthambhor park and on the grounds of Tiger Moon Resort
Oriolus xanthornus BLACK-HOODED ORIOLE **
 A very few were found in Corbett NP (including Dhikala compound) but more were seen daily in Kaziranga NP
Coracina macei LARGE CUCKOO-SHRIKE **
 A bird of open savanna and dry woods found in small numbers at Ranthambhor (including Tiger Moon Resort) and Kaziranga
 One bird inside Panbari Forest [DR only]
Pericrocotus cinnamomeus SMALL MINIVET [ph]
 Small groups on single days in Corbett, Bharatpur, and Ranthambhor
Pericrocotus ethologus LONG-TAILED MINIVET
 A foothill bird found in loose flocks several times in Corbett, at Mongoli Valley, and at Sat Tal
Pericrocotus brevirostris SHORT-BILLED MINIVET ** [ph]
 Small flocks each visit to Panbari Forest
Pericrocotus flammeus SCARLET MINIVET
 The common minivet in Corbett NP, also recorded at Sat Tal and Panbari Forest
 Widely scattered individuals or pairs along Kosi R. nr Quality Inn, at Mongoli Valley, and in Panbari Forest
Irena puella ASIAN FAIRY-BLUEBIRD [ph]
 A few pairs brightened each visit to Panbari Forest; additional birds were in riverine forest elsewhere in Kaziranga
Chloropsis aurifrons GOLDEN-FRONTED LEAFBIRD ** [ph]
 Several feeding on flowering bottlebrush at Quality Inn (photo on my Leafbirds page); a few more in Panbari Forest
Chloropsis cochinchinensis BLUE-WINGED LEAFBIRD **
 One male and one female in different areas of Panbari Forest
Lanius cristatus BROWN SHRIKE
 One was perched in a village at the entrance to the central range of Kaziranga; it was a late migrant or winterer as we found no others
Lanius vittatus BAY-BACKED SHRIKE [ph]
 Singles in various dry woodlands: Sultanpur, Bharatpur, and Tiger Moon Resort
 A roadside shrike seen widely in small numbers from Corbett & Delhi to Kaziranga
Lanius tephronotus GRAY-BACKED SHRIKE **
 A few daily around Kaziranga, including a bird always at the entrance to Aranya Lodge
Lanius meridionalis SOUTHERN GRAY SHRIKE
 A desert shrike found daily (2-3/day) in Desert NP or around Jaisalmer
[Tephrodornis gularis LARGE WOOD-SHRIKE
 Rita saw one in the tea plantation near Aranya Lodge but it flew before the rest of us got on it]
Tephrodornis pondicerianus COMMON WOOD-SHRIKE [ph]
 A pair was watched nest-building at Sultanpur; a few more were spotted irregularly in Corbett, Bharatpur, or Ranthambhor
Saraglossa spiloptera SPOT-WINGED STARLING **
 Two were feeding in a flowering Bomba tree at roadside in Mongoli town; these were entirely unexpected here although it must be on the migration route between their wintering grounds in northeast India and their breeding grounds up in Kashmir
Sturnus malabaricus CHESTNUT-TAILED STARLING ** [ph]
 Two were feeding in flowering bottlebrush at Quality Inn were of the nominate race; individuals of the grayer race nemoricola were common in Kaziranga and, as they were much less chestnut-bellied, had a quite different look to them
Sturnus pagodarum BRAHMINY STARLING [ph]
 Widespread (often in pairs) in humid lowlands except Assam. At Bharatpur I photographed crest-raising tail-fanning courtship displays by several males in what might be considered a lek. This lekking behavior is not described in Feare & Craig (1999)
Sturnus roseus ROSY STARLING **
Several migrant flocks overhead in gardens at Jodhpur; SFB had another flock at Jaisalmer
Sturnus contra ASIAN PIED STARLING [ph]
 Common in lowlands throughout; perhaps most common around Kaziranga
Acridotheres tristis COMMON MYNA
 Abundant throughout; a very common roadside species
Acridotheres ginginianus BANK MYNA
 A few scattered in western lowlands; 50+ on one day around Ranthambhor
Acridotheres fuscus JUNGLE MYNA ** [ph]
 Common roadside bird in Kaziranga, often associating with large mammals
Acridotheres grandis GREAT MYNA **
 Now split from White-vented Myna A. javanicus of Sumatra/Java, this essentially all-black crested myna was recorded daily in Kaziranga but only one or two pairs each day
Gracula religiosa HILL MYNA [ph]
 One or two pairs seen most days in Kaziranga; some incredible vocalizations heard
[Mirafra erythroptera INDIAN BUSHLARK
 Roadside Mirafra larks glimpsed in transit in western Rajasthan and another heard in song flight in Mandore gardens, Jodhpur, were likely this species but not seen well enough by me to tick]
Mirafra cantillans SINGING BUSHLARK **
 A couple singing from thornscrub in desert behind Tiger Moon resort, Ranthambhor
Mirafra assamica BENGAL BUSHLARK
 A few displaying birds in grassland on Debeswari Island, Kaziranga, were the only ones found; the three India taxa in "Rufous-winged Bushlark" were recently split by Alstrom (1998).
Eremopterix nigriceps BLACK-CROWNED SPARROW-LARK ** [ph]
 Common in Desert NP in open semi-desert; we had missed it in the UAE so this was a nice recovery
Eremopterix grisea ASHY-CROWNED SPARROW-LARK ** [ph]
 A few daily in Ranthambhor (esp. at waterhole), at Sultanpur, and at Mandore gardens, Jodhpur
Ammomanes phoenicurus RUFOUS-TAILED LARK **
 A single individual coming to water in a ditch outside Bharatpur reserve
Ammomanes deserti DESERT LARK
 A few seen in transit enroute to Desert NP; this had been a common species in the UAE so easily recognized
Callendrella brachydactyla GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK
 Sizeable flocks throughout semi-desert at Desert NP; presumably late winterers or migrants
Callendrella raytal SAND LARK **
 Nice views of one in sand dunes along the Ganges River north of Delhi enroute to Corbett NP
Galerida cristata CRESTED LARK
A few seen in transit enroute to Desert NP; this had been a common species in the UAE so easily recognized
Alauda gulgula ORIENTAL SKYLARK **
 Lengthy song flights heard daily in grasslands at Corbett NP where we also studied birds on the ground; also a few heard around Bharatpur
[Riparia riparia BANK SWALLOW (Sand Martin)
 Others had a few at Kaziranga but I missed them]
Riparia paludicola PLAIN MARTIN
 A common swallow thoughout; particularly conspicuous near water at Corbett, Bharatpur & Kaziranga
[Hirundo rupestris EURASIAN CRAG-MARTIN
 Very distant crag-martins scoped from Naini Tal were surely this species but views inconclusive]
Hirundo concolor DUSKY CRAG-MARTIN
 This is the "old fort" swallow with numbers around forts at Jaisalmer & Jodhpur; one at waterhole in Ranthambhor
Hirundo rustica BARN SWALLOW
 The white-bellied Eurasian birds were a common migrant at Kaziranga; a few recorded elsewhere
 Surprisingly scarce with a couple at Bharatpur and over Soorwal Lake west of Ranthambhor; the "wires" are exceedingly hard to see except at close range
Hirundo daurica RED-RUMPED SWALLOW
 Only a few here & there and mostly around towns (e.g., Ramnagar)
Hirundo fluvicola STREAK-THROATED SWALLOW **
 One bird at Bharatpur was the only sighting [DR only] although we visited a stake-out dusk roost
Parus melanolophus BLACK-CRESTED (Spot-winged) TIT
 A few in flocks around town at Naini Tal
Parus major GREAT TIT
 Individuals of the "gray-and-white" nipalensis race were encountered daily in Corbett NP and and in Panbari Forest; birds of the similar stupae race were around Ranthambhor  (the more familiar colorful nominate race was seen later in England enroute home)
Parus monticolus GREEN-BACKED TIT
 Common at Naini Tal where it replaces Great Tit at the center of roving flocks
Parus xanthogenys BLACK-LORED TIT **
 A pair in mixed flock along Kosi River at Quality Inn; another pair in Mongoli Valley -- these are foothill locations
Aegithalos concinnus BLACK-THROATED TIT **
 Common in small flocks in woods at Naini Tal and Sat Tal; very engaging little birds
 A familiar foothill nuthatch found daily in Corbett NP and at Sat Tal; others had singles at Bharatpur & Kaziranga
Sitta himalayensis WHITE-TAILED NUTHATCH
 The nuthatch of coniferous forest at Naini Tal where a pair was nest-building near the hotel
 Seems there was one in each large mixed flock at Corbett NP; also a couple in Panbari Forest
Tichodroma muraria WALLCREEPER ** [ph]
 Two (a pair?) were working over a rocky outcropping in the Kosi River; one watched in flight showed its spectacular rosy-red wing flash. This was a much-desired species since it is considered in a monotypic family by Handbook of Birds of the World. We searched a variety of sites around Ramnagar without success; fortunately, our guide Karan knew the alternative site several miles farther upstream at a private camp [see my Wallcreeper page]
 A few around Naini Tal where one was either feeding fledged young or doing courtship feeding
Cinclus pallasii BROWN DIPPER
 An adult and two juvs watched at close range on the Kosi River below Quality Inn; the youngsters are much more heavily spotted with whitish than American Dippers in California
 Several perched on tops of conifers in forest along road toward Kilbury from Naini Tal
Monticola solitarius BLUE ROCK-THRUSH
 One late migrant frequenting the rocky river behind Aranya Lodge at Kaziranga; others had more
Myiophoneus caeruleus BLUE WHISTLING-THRUSH
 Common and seen daily in Himalyan foothills, esp. along rivers in Corbett NP or around Sat Tal
Zoothera mollissima PLAIN-BACKED THRUSH **
 One studied as it foraged in the road toward Kilbury from Naini Tal; this was our only Zoothera (all Orange-headed Thrushes Z. citrina, for example, appeared to have left Bharatpur and Panbari, etc.)
Turdus unicolor INDIAN GREY (Tickell's) THRUSH
 One seen well in woods at Sat Tal was my only one but others had a few more in Corbett area
Turdus boulboul GRAY-WINGED BLACKBIRD **
 Up to five in the miserable gully near our Naini Tal hotel
Turdus ruficollis DARK-THROATED THRUSH ** [ph]
 A few "black-throated" forms (race atrogularis) were around Dkala compound and adjacent grasslands in Corbett NP (we puzzled for some time over a female); a "red-throated" individual (nominate race) was photographed near Sat Tal
Ficedula parva RED-THROATED (Red-breasted) FLYCATCHER **
 A reasonably common migrant throughout; recorded most days and most sites but never more than four in any day (at Sultanpur Jheel on 11 March; seemingly less common thereafter)
 This was an unexpected bird for me -- I did not have it on my pretrip checklist. First a female was seen near the Kosi River below Quality Inn, then a male the next day in Corbett NP, and another male later at Sat Tal
Ficedula westermanni LITTLE PIED FLYCATCHER
 A couple in Corbett NP in mixed flocks along the entrance road
Ficedula superciliaris ULTRAMARINE FLYCATCHER **
 A really spectacular little bird -- we saw only males and they recall a tiny flycatcher version of a male Black-throated Blue Warbler.... singles in Corbett NP, in the forest at Sat Tal, and drinking from a leaking water spigot in Naini Tal
Ficedula tricolor SLATY-BLUE FLYCATCHER **
 A female and then a fine male watched in the woods at Sat Tal
Eumyias thalassina VERDITOR FLYCATCHER
 A few daily in woodlands of Himalayan foothills from Corbett NP to Naini Tal
 The only ones were three in thickets along Kosi River below Quality Inn; generally hard to see.
Cyornis tickelliae TICKELL'S BLUE-FLYCATCHER **
 Our only Cyornis were single males on two game drives in Ranthambhor
[Luscinia calliope SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT
 A male was wintering in a Lantana patch along the stream below Aranya Lodge, Kaziranga, and though I heard it singing several times I never saw it; Steve and Dan had views at various points]
Luscinia pectoralis WHITE-TAILED RUBYTHROAT **
 Rita found a fine male in the undergrowth below the watchtower at Dhakala (she was foregoing climbing the tower at the time) and showed it to all of us; another male seen briefly in thickets near Sat Tal
Luscinia svecicus BLUETHROAT
 One or two each day at Bharatpur, presumably migrants or late winterers; usually in water-edge reeds. Two more in reedy brush at Soorwal Lake
Tarsiger cyanurus ORANGE-FLANKED BUSH ROBIN (Red-flanked Bluetail) **
 Dan had a nice male on the Cheena Peak trail above Naini Tal; another male seen by all of us near the Hotel Vikram Village the next day
Copsychus saularis ORIENTAL MAPGIE-ROBIN [ph]
 A common garden and edge species in the lowlands, often heard; most numerous at Ranthambhor and Kaziranga parks but also daily at Bharatpur; songster photo'd at Sultanpur Jheel
Copsychus malbaricus WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA
 One seen well in Corbett NP; it is likely others were heard (e.g. Panbari) but sufficient experience on vocals was lacking
Saxicoloides fulcata INDIAN ROBIN [ph]
 Common in open dry woodlands (Sulanpur Jheel and Ramnagar town) and especially so around Ranthambhor where it also inhabited quite open hot desert scrub; none in Assam
Phoenicurus coeruleocephalus BLUE-CAPPED REDSTART **
 One male singing from top of tall conifer at Naini Tal [DR only]
Phoenicurus ochruros BLACK REDSTART
 Fairly common migrant in the lowlands from Sulanpur Jheel to Kaziranga and points between; presumably most (all?) were of the eastern race rufiventris
Phoenicurus frontalis BLUE-FRONTED REDSTART ** [ph]
 One male photo'd as it sang from light woodlands near Sat Tal
Chaimarrornis leucocephalus WHITE-CAPPED REDSTART [ph]
 Locally common along rushing streams in foothills (Kosi River; Corbett); others had one in Kaziranga
Rhyacornis fuliginosus PLUMBEOUS REDSTART
 Locally common on Kosi River (including recent fledglings) but not elsewhere
Enicurus scouleri LITTLE FORKTAIL **
 One enjoyed at length along a small side stream near Quality Inn; alas, this was my only forktail of the trip (and Rita missed this one; Dan and Steve had Black-backed Forktail E. immaculatus at Kohora near Kaziranga). The extensive drought had dried up several known forktail stream-sites and we may have been a bit late for other species
Saxicola macrorhyncha WHITE-BROWED (Stoliczka’s) BUSHCHAT **
 This is a threatened species now limited to a few sites in western India. Before the trip we learned from Bill Harvey's posting to "delhibird" that was reposted on the "oriental birding" chat line of a male "moulting into breeding plumage" at Sultanpur Jheel. So we chose to go there our first afternoon in India (it is a 1.5 hour drive from Delhi but a great spot). Near dusk Dan & I found a White-browed Bushchat at the spot in Harvey's directions but it looked more like a female or fresh basic-plumaged male. We assumed that his bird had actually been molting into basic but after we returned and I posted a page on this topic we learned that the male had disappeared that day but that a female had been found. We saw the female (more details on my White-browed Bushchat page). We saw another female in Desert NP (photo also posted on my bushchat page).
Saxicola torquata COMMON STONECHAT [ph]
 A common and widespread migrant throughout the lowlands, including Assam. A pale male migrant at Ranthambhor fit the eastern taxa maura (Siberian Stonechat); there is still much debate as to whether it should be split from S. torquata
Saxicola caprata PIED BUSHCHAT
 Widespread and common in the western lowlands and foothills but not in Assam
Saxicola ferrea GRAY BUSHCHAT ** [ph]
 A few daily in the foothills of Corbett NP and along Kosi River; also at Sat Tal
Oenanthe picata VARIABLE WHEATEAR **
 One essentially all-black male perched on top of a tree in Desert NP
Oenanthe deserti DESERT WHEATEAR
 Two females found in Desert NP
Cercomela fusca BROWN ROCK-CHAT ** [ph]
 A sedate litte chat found at all the old dry-country forts (Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Ranthambhor, Fatepur Sikri) but also along roadsides north & west of Delhi
Pycnonotus melanicterus BLACK-CRESTED BULBUL ** [ph]
 Common in Panbari Forest and the Mikir Hills behind Aranya Lodge, Kaziranga
Pycnonotus jocosus RED-WHISKERED BULBUL [ph]
 Common and widespread in foothills and in Assam, often in towns and gardens, but not in the dry forests of Rajasthan
Pycnonotus leucotis WHITE-EARED BULBUL ** [ph]
 A dry county bulbul that is common at Desert NP and in Jaisalmer but scarce elsewhere with but a couple pairs noted in Bharatpur & Ranthambhor. This is a very common resident in the UAE where its abundance was likely augmented by introductions; the UAE literature does not split this taxa from the following species, and "P. leucogenys" takes precedence if they are lumped
Pycnonotus leucogenys HIMALAYAN BULBUL
 This crested bulbul is very common in the foothills and around Naini Tal
Pycnonotus cafer RED-VENTED BULBUL
 Abundant and widespread everywhere
Alophoixus flaveolus WHITE-THROATED BULBUL **
 Common in Panbari Forest where one hears them constantly but they are a bit harder to observe
Hypsipetes flavala ASHY BULBUL [ph]
 Scarce with only a couple on various days in Corbett but recorded each visit to Panbari Forest
Hypsipetes leucocephalus BLACK BULBUL
 Flowering roadside Bomba trees held hordes (50+) at Mongoli town; a few others were at Sat Tal
Zosterops palpebrosa ORIENTAL WHITE-EYE
 Common in woodlands throughout with 15-25 recorded daily at most locales
Cisticola juncidis ZITTING CISTICOLA
 One heard "zitting" away in grasslands at Bharatpur; I have much prior experience with this species and therefore am confident of the call. What was probably Golden-headed Cisticola C. exilis was glimpsed in grasslands at Corbett but not confirmed
Prinia criniger STRIATED PRINIA **
 A couple in Mongoli Valley were unexpected; this taxa has been separated from Hill Prinia P. atrogularis which ranges from Nepal to Sumatra. This bird reminded me of thistletails in the Andes of South America
Prinia buchanani RUFOUS-FRONTED PRINIA **
 A desert specialist easily located in semi-desert behind Tiger Moon Resort, Ranthambhor
 We were confused by this prinia most of which were in basic plumage and suggested more interesting species. This bird proved to be common in Corbett NP and the foothills up to Mongoli Valley
Prinia gracilis GRACEFUL PRINIA
 A few in scrub desert at Desert NP; we had more previously in the UAE
Prinia socialis ASHY PRINIA
 A prinia that was easy to identify in thickets at Ramnagar, Corbett, and Bharatpur
Prinia inornata PLAIN PRINIA
 A few widely scattered in open country (e.g., Sultanpur Jheel and Bharatpur)
Cettia flavolivacea ABERRANT BUSH-WARBLER **
 This largeish bush-warbler was the most common bush-warbler in the Sat Tal & Naini Tal vicinity; others were in Corbett NP and in Mongoli Valley. It is an altitudinal migrant so these were late winterers or migrants. We never did learn why it was the "Aberrant" bush-warbler. Sure, it is superficially colored like a Phylloscopus but big deal. Perhaps it is the song which Ali & Ripley (1987) variously label as "most amazing," "extraordinary," "striking," or "peculiar"? Of course our birds weren't singing.
 One bird with a bush-warbler flock at Sat Tal
Cettia brunnifrons GRAY-SIDED BUSH-WARBLER **
 I had one in Mongoli Valley; others had additional birds in Corbett and at Sat Tal. I think Steve also reported Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler C. fortipes from Corbett or Sat Tal
Acrocephalus dumetorum BLYTH’S REED-WARBLER **
 One migrant studied for some time along the "brick path" at Bharatpur. We had initially thought it a Sykes' Warbler Hippolais rama (a recent split from Booted Warbler H. caligata) but we'd seen that species in the UAE and it didn't ring true on bill or tail length; it was sorted out some time later
Acrocephalus stentoreus CLAMOROUS REED-WARBLER
 Reasonably common at Bharatpur including a migrant working the trees
Acorcephalus aedon THICK-BILLED WARBLER **
 One skulking individual resided in the Lantana on the stream behind Aranya Lodge throughout our stay but it was misidentified as a couple different species before Dan sorted it out using Shirai's (1995) paper that I had brought along (there are good in-hand photos of this species which matched our bird perfectly). This Acro winters regularly in Kaziranga.
Orthotomus sutorius COMMON TAILORBIRD
 Widespread and common in the lowlands from Delhi to Ranthambhor to Assam
Orthotomus atrogularis DARK-NECKED TAILORBIRD
 A pair dueting in Panbari Forest
Phylloscopus collybita EURASIAN CHIFFCHAFF
 Tail-wagging individuals of the eastern race tristis were at Bhimtal and Jodhpur, and this was the common migrant Phylloscopus at Bharatpur
Phylloscopus affinis TICKELL’S LEAF-WARBLER **
 Single migrants on a couple days in Dhikala compound, Corbett NP, and a couple in Kaziranga; all were in trees at wateredge
Phylloscopus griseolus SULPHUR-BELLIED WARBLER **
 Migrants were encountered at Bharapur (3 along the "brick path"), at Ranthambhor fort, and at Fatepur Sikri
Phylloscopus pulcher BUFF-BARRED WARBLER
 Single birds seen nicely at Sat Tal and the next morning in Naini Tal
Phylloscopus proregulus LEMON-RUMPED (Pallas') WARBLER
 Very common in the woods at Sat Tal where it was the primary warbler in flocks; others in the forests around Quality Inn
Phylloscopus inornatus YELLOW-BROWED (Inornate) WARBLER **
 A bright individual among migrant Hume's at Corbett NP seemed to be this bird although it is apparently more regular farther east [DR only]
Phylloscopus humei HUME’S WARBLER [ph]
 The common migrant Phylloscopus in the foothills (Corbett, Kosi River, Bhimtal) with a few others scattered about (Sultanpur, Ranthambhor). A very dull bird. We missed Brook's Leaf-Warbler P. subviridis that is said to winter regularly at Sultanpur; we were likely too late or simply oblivious
Phylloscopus trochiloides GREENISH WARBLER ** [ph]
 Single individuals were carefully identified at Sultanpur Jheel (photo) and in Panbari Forest
Phylloscopus reguloides BLYTH’S LEAF-WARBLER **
 We may have overlooked this species among the numerous Lemon-rumped Warblers in the mountains but a singing bird, presumably a late migrant, was singing in Panbari Forest, Kaziranga
 This species occurred in pairs in dense streamside thickets in the foothills around Quality Inn; presumably these are the low-elevation taxon which I've heard will be split from upper-elevation birds on vocalizations. Our birds were giving simple querulous callnotes (not singing)
Seicercus xanthoschistos GRAY-HOODED WARBLER
 A few individuals at higher elevations in Corbett and then in Mongoli Valley, becoming very common at Naini Tal and Sat Tal
Megalurus palustris STRIATED GRASSBIRD
 Common and noisy in grasslands of Kaziranga and elsewhere in Assam (e.g., near Guwati airport)
 A migrant in scrub along the Ganges River north of Delhi had characters of the eastern race icterops
Sylvia althaea HUME'S WHITETHROAT **
 One at Sultanpur Jheel was quite dark compared to other Lesser Whitethroats and best fit this species; Steve felt he had others at Bharatpur. I admit to general confusion on the various small whitethroats
 Several migrants at Sultanpur Jheel, fairly common in thornscrub at Bharatpur, and a couple in gardens at Jodhpur
 One foraging sunbird-like in a flowering shrub in the semi-desert behind Tiger Moon Resort, Ranthambhor (we had seen more in the UAE)
Sylvia hortensis ORPHEAN WARBLER
 Ten or more migrants were encountered during one morning's walk in the scrub at Bharatpur but that was it
 Several large noisy flocks moving low through the woods at Sat Tal and also near Quality Inn
 Noisy parties were heard but not seen in foothill forest near Quality Inn and in Corbett NP; Rita & I were thus pleased to get nice views of several in a fast-moving flock at the base of the Mikir Hills behind Aranya Lodge
 One in a mixed flock dominated by White-crested Laughingthrush behind Aranya Lodge [DR only]
Garrulax lineatus STREAKED LAUGHINGTHRUSH [ph]
 Common at Naini Tal and Sat Tal where they act like pairs of California Towhees; I believe Steve had a couple Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush G. rufogularis at Sat Tal also
Malacocincla abbotti ABBOTT’S BABBLER **
 An undergrowth babbler found commonly in Panbari Forest; I watched one adult feed a fledgling that was following it around
Pellorneum ruficeps PUFF-THROATED BABBLER **
 An undergrowth babbler in small family groups that one or more of us saw on several days in Corbett and below Quality Inn; others saw more in Panbari Forest
Pomatorhinus erythrogenys RUSTY-CHEEKED SCIMITAR-BABBLER ** [ph]
 This was our only Pomatorhinus of the trip. We all watched one feed thrasher-like in a hedgerow near Sat Tal; Steve & Dan had another at Dhikala compound, Corbett
Phoepygia albiventer SCALY-BREASTED WREN-BABBLER **
 One working the underbrush at close range in the forest at Sat Tal
Stachyris rufifrons RUFOUS-FRONTED BABBLER **
 One was loosely with a mixed flock in dry scrub behind Aranya Lodge, Kaziranga
Stachyris ruficeps RUFOUS-CAPPED BABBLER **
 One in a mixed-species flock in Panbari Forest
Stachyris pyrrhops BLACK-CHINNED BABBLER
 A tiny babbler at the center of mixed-species flocks seen daily in Corbett NP, in Mongoli Valley,  and at Sat Tal
Macronous gularis STRIPED TIT-BABBLER
 Pairs were common and nosy but fairly secretive in tangled scrub behind Kaziranga lodges and inside Panbari Forest
 A reed-bed babbler seen once at Kaziranga when flushed by a tiger (!)
Chrysomma sinense YELLOW-EYED BABBLER **
 A striking "non-babbler" babbler in roadside scrub at Corbett NP; a single bird was in edge shrubs on the road into Tiger Moon Resort near Ranthambhor
Turdoides caudatus COMMON BABBLER
 The flocking babbler of semi-desert scrub outside Ranthambhor park and in Desert NP
Turdoides earlei STRIATED BABBLER **
 A small restless flock in grasslands on Debeswari, eastern range of Kaziranga; a babbler very poorly seen that was responding to a tape on Debeswari might have been Jerdon's Babbler Chrysomma altirostre but calls of this species and Chesnut-capped Babbler were also on the tape and can't be eliminated
Turdoides malcolmi LARGE GRAY BABBLER [ph]
 A dry open-woods babbler at Sultanpur and around Ranthambhor park
Turdoides striatus JUNGLE BABBLER [ph]
 Common in the foothill forests (e.g., Corbett) and in the dry forests of Bharatpur & Ranthambhor; as all Turdoides they move in restless noisy small flocks
Leiothrix lutea RED-BILLED LEIOTHRIX **
 Small groups on single days at Quality Inn and at Sat Tal; it was nice to get this as a lifer since in a previous life (first marriage) we kept one as a pet for years
Minla cyanouroptera BLUE-WINGED MINLA
 One at close range in trailside bushes at Sat Tal was a lovely sight
Alcippe poioicephala BROWN-CHEEKED FULVETTA **
 One enthusiastically singing inside Panbari Forest was taped in for superb views; I think Steve also had a Nepal Fulvetta A. nipalensis somewhere in the Kaziranga vicinity.
[Heterophasia capistrata RUFOUS SIBIA
 Dan & Steve had a couple up the Cheena Peak trail above Naini Tal; Rita & I did not make it that far.]
Yuhina zantholeuca WHITE-BELLIED YUHINA
 Two were acting like titmice at the center of a mixed flock in Panbari Forest
Paradoxornis flavirostris BLACK-BREASTED PARROTBILL ** [ph]
 Perhaps the rarest bird on the trip and right up there among the most exciting. I had obtained a tape-recording of this very local & scarce endemic before the trip and we played it on Steve's minidisk in the tallest patch of elephant-grass that we found on Debeswari "island" in the eastern range of Kaziranga. A pair responded and circled our jeep; the full story and photos on my Black-breasted Parrotbill page. It is likely only seasonally present here and there are but a handful of records from Kaziranga of this threatened species.
Motacilla alba WHITE WAGTAIL [ph]
 Fairly common migrant in lowlands throughout, including Assam where males of the race leucopsis were particularly lovely
Motacilla madaraspatensis WHITE-BROWED WAGTAIL [ph]
 Common in foothills (e.g., Corbett) and around Bharatpur; a few at Ranthambhor
Motacilla citreola YELLOW-HOODED (Citreoline) WAGTAIL [ph]
 A reasonably common migrant or late winterer at water edges in Bharatpur and Kaziranga; a few others were elsewhere in the lowlands and up to Corbett NP
Motacilla flava YELLOW WAGTAIL
 Widespread migrant in lowlands, including Assam; some spectacular alternate males of the "Blue-headed" race simillima were in western Rajasthan (including the police station at Sam)
Motacilla cinerea GRAY WAGTAIL [ph]
 A few of this elegant wagtail were located daily along rushing rivers & streams in Corbett up to Naini Tal where it was a widespread migrant; a late migrant frequented the stream behind Aranya Lodge
Anthus rufulus PADDYFIELD (Oriental) PIPIT [ph]
 The common breeding pipit in grasslands of Corbett NP and Kaziranga; a few others along roadsides in lowlands. I was surprised that we ended up seeing 8 species of pipit this late in the season.
Anthus richardi RICHARD’S PIPIT **
 This large pipit was encountered in small numbers along the Ganges River, in the grasslands of Corbett NP, and at Ranthambhor; all were presumably migrants
Anthus campestros TAWNY PIPIT
 The common pipit in Desert NP; another in the very dry open scrub behind Tiger Moon Resort near Ranthambhor
Anthus similis LONG-BILLED PIPIT
 One migrant at close range at Sultanpur on our first day was it
Anthus trivialis TREE PIPIT
 A couple studied at length at Bharatpur as they fed along a muddy puddle margin
Anthus hodgsoni OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT [ph]
 Migrants were reasonably common around Sat Tal, in Corbett NP, and in Kaziranga. It was fun that these pipits always flushed up into trees. Their call is a weak "spree" -- quite recognizable -- and not at all the explosive note given by Red-throated Pipit A. cervinus (contra some discussion within CBRC on various votes)
Anthus roseatus ROSY PIPIT **
 Up to 8 were feeding in irrigated rice fields on the entrance road to central range, Kaziranga
Prunella strophiata RUFOUS-BREASTED ACCENTOR **
 We had four still lingering around Sat Tal; this bird could be hard to view as it worked through undergrowth after flushed from the trail, but we eventually had nice views
Prunella atrogularis BLACK-THROATED ACCENTOR **
 One in open fields broken with hedgerows near Sat Tal
Ploceus benghalensis BLACK-BREASTED WEAVER **
 A flock of 40 was scoped as they fed in a wheat field in the ag land just south of Bharatpur; all in basic plumage
Ploceus philippinus BAYA WEAVER [ph]
 A few, all in basic plumage, in tall grass around Kaziranga
Prionochilus erythrorhynchos PALE-BILLED FLOWERPECKER **
 I had a single bird in a flowering tree in scrub behind Aranya Lodge, Kaziranga [DR only}; at various times others reported individual Thick-billed P. agile, Yellow-vented P. chrysorrheum, and/or Plain P. concolor flowerpeckers in this vicinity (I'm not quite sure who claimed which). The following species was by far the most common around Kaziranga but all the others are listed on the checklist. I could have benefited from longer studies
 The common flowerpecker in the canopy of flowering trees around Aranya Lodge and elsewhere in Kaziranga vicinity (e.g., common at guardhouse for Panbari Forest; around sev. towers inside park)
Anthreptes singalensis RUBY-CHEEKED SUNBIRD
 Rita & I had a female in scrub behind Wild Grass Lodge; a nice male was seen by all in Panbari Forest. Sunbirds reported by others in the Kaziranga vicinity included (I think) Gould's Aethopyga gouldiae and Black-throated A. satruata
Nectarinia asiatica PURPLE SUNBIRD [ph]
 The very common sunbird of the lowlands and foothills but not in Assam nor up at Naini Tal. The males have a variety of vocalizations that we were just beginning to learn, including a short series of notes that very much recalls Hutton's Vireo in California
Aethopyga siparaja CRIMSON SUNBIRD ** [ph]
 The male is a gorgeous gem when one gets crippling views; it was common in Panbari Forest and elsewhere around Kaziranga, and also around Quality Inn on the Kosi River
Arachnothera longirostra LITTLE SPIDERHUNTER
 One bird with a mixed flock along the little stream in the Mikir Hills behind Aranya Lodge [DR only]
Arachnothera magna STREAKED SPIDERHUNTER **
 Rita & I had fine views of this astonishing species (size of small woodcreeper!) in the Mikir Hills
Passer domesticus HOUSE SPARROW
 Abundant in towns & cities throughout, including Aranya Lodge which also had Tree Sparrows
Passer rutilans RUSSET SPARROW **
 A few in Mongoli Valley and at Sat Tal
 Locally common in Assam, including a few daily around Aranya Lodge
 Common in the Bharatpur/Ranthambhor/Jodhpur vicinity; often inside the open dry woods.
Lonchura malabarica WHITE-THROATED MUNIA (Indian Silverbill)
 Small flock along the Ganges and scattered birds elsewhere in w. lowlands (e.g., Jodhpur) but not widespread and common as it was in the UAE. I know others reported Scaly-breasted L. punctulata and White-rumped L. striata munias in open country near Kaziranga.
Serinus pusillus FIRE-FRONTED (Gold-fronted) SERIN
 Small flocks seen at close range around Naini Tal
 A single bird in fruiting bushes along the road to Sat Tal
Carpodacus erythrinus COMMON ROSEFINCH **
 Common (20+ birds) in Mongoli Valley; this was our only rosefinch of the trip -- we assume we were late in the season for the many other species that winter down to Naini Tal
Melophus lathami CRESTED BUNTING ** [ph]
 Striking males were found in Corbett NP (1 bird only) and at Ranthambhor (several at various sites including the waterhole inside the park)
Emeriza stewarti WHITE-CAPPED (Chestnut-breasted) BUNTING **
 Single males of this striking bunting were at a brushy edge of Dhaka compound and another brushy spot in Corbett NP
[Emberiza striolata HOUSE BUNTING
 Rita had a male in Mandore Gardens, Jodhpur, the only one encountered in India]
 One in Corbett NP; I was very surprised at the number of different buntings encountered this late
Emberiza bruniceps RED-HEADED BUNTING **
 A flock of 300+ were feeding in ag land south of Bharatpur; many were perched on phone lines
Emberiza spodocephala BLACK-FACED BUNTING **
 One male flushed from Lantana under a bridge at the central range entrance gate, Kaziranga; it was exceedingly shy and it took some group effort for all to view. It gave typical bunting "tic" call-notes


This mammal list follows the taxonomy and order in Gurung & Singh (1996)

Macca assamensis ASSAM MACAQUE **
    At least one group inside Kaziranga NP in Assam was identified as this species
Macca mulatta RHESUS MACAQUE [ph]
    Widespread and common in the nw. India and the foothills of Corbett NP; scattered groups in and around Kaziranga NP in Assam including behind Aranya Lodge
Hylobates hoolock HOOLOCK (White-browed) GIBBON ** [ph]
    A dominant sound in Panbari Forest, we felt very lucky to come upon a group of 8+ (including babies) for photos and great views. My previous experiences with gibbons in Sumatra was that they were next to impossible to see. Bailey recorded a chorus of gibbons on his minidisk recorder; when the calls were played back they all shut up and were not interested (quite different than the typical reaction of birds to recordings of their own calls)
Presbytis entellus HANUMAN (Common) LANGUR [ph]
    Common and widespread in nw. India around Corbett NP, Ranthambhor NP and elsewhere
Presbytis pileaturs CAPPED LEAF MONKEY **
    Two on each day inside Panbari Forest
Canis aureus GOLDEN JACKAL ** [ph]
    Several daily in Corbett NP but the only other was at Lake Soorwal near Ranthambhor
Vulpes vulpes RED FOX ** [ph]
    One "Desert Fox" in Desert NP was a pale example of this widespread species
Lutra perspicillata SMOOTH-COATED OTTER (Smooth Indian Otter) ** [ph]
    A group of four in the eastern range of Kaziranga was highlight; one was carrying a huge fish almost as big as it was
Herpestes edwardsii INDIAN GRAY MONGOOSE ** [ph]
    The mid-sized plain-gray mongoose in Corbett & Bharatpur (1-2/day) was believed to be this species
Herpestes smithii RUDDY MONGOOSE ** [ph]
    The fluffy-tailed mongoose with a black tail tip seen on most game drives in Ranthambhor
Panthera tigris TIGER ** [ph]
    The ultimate highlight of the trip was watching wild tigers; we saw them on 3 or 4 game drives in Ranthambhor and saw four individual tigers there (one large male seen on two drives, one young male, and two females) including some fantastic experiences as outlined in the trip report (q.v.). Another male crossed the track in front of our jeep on the final streach of the last day's drive in the central range of Kaziranga -- a truly unexpected and wild tiger that capped off the entire trip!
Elephas maximus INDIAN ELEPHANT ** [ph]
    Small numbers daily (9-15/day) in Corbett but more wild ones each day (~25) in Kaziranga including some impressive tuskers; these parks are among the last strongholds for wild Indian Elephants. The most recent estimate for Kaziranga is 1000+
Rhinoceros unicornis INDIAN RHINOCEROS ** [ph]
    Kaziranga is the last stonghold for this magnificent beast; the most recent count was 1652. We had up to two dozen daily on game drives
Sus scrofa WILD BOAR [ph]
    Regular and common (5-12/day) in grasslands and woods at Corbett & Kaziranga; a few also in Ranthambhor
Muntiacus muntjac INDIAN MUNTJAC (Barking Deer) ** [ph]
    Found daily in Corbett & Kaziranga but they are generally alone and secretive, and dash off barking when frightened
Cervus axis CHITAL (Spotted Deer) ** [ph]
    Hundreds daily in scattered herds in grasslands and forests of Corbett NP & Ranthambhor NP
Cervus duvauceli BARASINGHA (Swamp Deer) ** [ph]
    Only in Kaziranga where there were 15-20/day out in the marshes
Cervus porcinus HOG DEER ** [ph]
    Common in the grasslands of Corbett & Kaziranga but they appear restricted to this habitat
Cervus unicolor SAMBAR ** [ph]
    Common daily in Corbett NP and many each day (~80+) in Ranthamhor; a big treat watching them foraging in the lakes there with pond herons, Black Drongos, and Rufous Treepies using them as perches
Boselaphus tragocamelus NILGAI (Blue Bull) ** [ph]
    A herd of 50 or so at Sultanpur Jheel, then smaller herds in Bharatpur and Ranthmbhor, and 2 at Jodhpur
Bubalus arnee WATER BUFFALO ** [ph]
    Common & easily seen in Kaziranga NP which is one of the last strongholds of this beast in the wild
Gazella bennettii INDIAN GAZELLE (Chinkara) ** [ph]
    One male standing in the dry forest of Ranthambhor on our final game drive; 50+ in Desert NP & vicinity
Funambulus pennantii NORTHERN PALM SQUIRREL ** [ph]
    Common in the lowland woodlands of nw. India (Sultanpur, Bharatpur, Ranthambhor)
    Rita saw one in Panbari Forest]
Callosciurus pygerythrus IRRAWADDY SQUIRREL **
    Both a mid-sized and a small brown squirrel were common in Panbari Forest; one of these must be this species as other lists state it is common here
    Singles on both visits to Panbari Forest, or at least this is the presumed i.d. of the rusty-bellied squirrel there
Lepus nigricollis INDIAN HARE **
    One near Tiger Moon Resort adjacent to Ranthambhor & three around Ranthambhor fortress

plus various unidentified bat, including some fruit-bats near Quality Inn on the Kosi River

HERPS (Amphibians & Reptiles)

This herp list omits a number of small unidentified frogs, turtles & lizards but we did see:

Lissemys punctata INDIAN MUD TURTLE ** [ph]
    What was believed to be this big soft-shelled turtle was in the rivers at both Corbett & Kaziranga
Gavialis gangeticus GHARIAL ** [ph]
    This incredibly long-snouted, fish-eating crocodilian was swimming or lazing on the banks of the Ramganga River at several spots inside Corbett NP
Crocodylus palustris MUGGER CROCODILE ** [ph]
    A big impressive crocodile sunning on the banks of the Ramganga River in Corbett and in the bigger lakes at Ranthambhor
Uromastyx hardwickii SPINY-TAILED LIZARD **
    A couple of these colorful lizards, prized by shamans as medicine, in and about Desert NP
Varanus bengalensis MONITOR LIZARD ** [ph]
    A huge monitor was foraging in a Kaziranga river and seemed symbiotic with a Purple Heron that followed it about
Python molurus INDIAN ROCK PYTHON ** [ph]
    At Bharatpur we visited a hole beneath a tree that was said to be the home of seven pythons; two 10-12' pythons were out during our stop and we had fabulous views at close range
Python reticulatus RETICULATED PYTHON **
    A huge 12-15 footer was undulating through the grass at Kaziranga near dusk on one game drive in the central range; it was incredibly thick and totally impressive; a 33' example of this python is apparently the largest snake ever recorded or at least that's what I've always read (e.g., Carr 1963)

PHOTOS: All photos (if any) on this page are © 2001 Don Roberson; all rights reserved.

Literature cited:

Alstrom, P. 1998. Taxonomy of the Mirafra assamica complex. Forktail 13: 97-107.

Barua, M., and P. Sharma. 1999. Birds of Kaziranga National Park, India. Forktail 15: 47-60.

Birdlife International. 2000. Threatened Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Brisbin, L., and A. T. Peterson. 1999. Genetic endangerment of wild red jungle fowl Gallus gallus? Bird Conservation International

Carr, A. 1963. The Reptiles. Life Nature Library, Time Inc., New York.

Clements, J. 1991. Birds of the World: A Checklist. Ibis Publ., Vista, CA.

Feare, C., and A. Craig. 1999. Starlings and Mynas. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, N. J.

Forsman, D. 1999. The Raptors of Europe and the Middle East: A Handbook of Field Identification. T & A.D. Poyser, London.

Grimmett, Inskipp & Inskipp. 1998. Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Christopher Helm, London.

Grimmett, Inskipp & Inskipp. 1999. Birds of India. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, N. J.

Kazmierczak, K. 2000. A Field Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, CT.

Madge, S., and H. Burn. 1994. A Guide to the Crows, Jays and Magpies of the World. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

Shirai, H. 1995. Identification and taxonomy of large Acrocephalus warblers. Dutch Birding 17:229-239.

Sibley, C. G., and B. L. Monroe, Jr. 1990. Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, CT.







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