Peregrine Bird Tours
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Peregrine Bird Tours

India and Nepal Tour Report - February-March 2009

Our tour to India and Nepal proved to be extremely enjoyable and successful; we saw a total of 378 species of birds and 28 species of mammals. However, it was the sheer volume of birds wintering in the subcontinent that was the most astonishing aspect of the tour. During the winter months, large numbers of local birds are joined by an enormous number of wintering birds, from breeding grounds in northern Europe and Asia. Literally millions of birds are forced to leave their breeding grounds at the onset of winter, as during the big freeze, there is nothing for them to eat. A large percentage of birds choose to winter throughout the Indian subcontinent. We saw huge numbers of Painted Storks, Eurasian Spoonbills, Greater Flamingos, Long-legged Buzzards, Common and Demoiselle Cranes, enormous flocks of Greater Short-toed Larks and smaller flocks of gorgeously plumaged Rosy Starlings and large flocks of the parkini race of House Sparrows, from their breeding grounds in Pakistan and Tibet. We managed to find almost all the target species which included the localised Western Reef-Egret, a staggering 36 species of raptors, the endangered Macqueen's Bustard, the spectacular Crab Plover, the beautiful Indian Courser, 9 species of owls, all seen during daylight hours, including the endangered Pallid Scops-Owl, Sykes' Nightjar, the endangered Grey Hypocolius, the recently described nepali subspecies of Rufous-vented Prinia, the endangered White-naped Tit and a new species for Nepal, the Daurian Redstart. The mammals were equally spectacular, highlights included no less than three species of cat, Lion, Jungle Cat and the rarely observed Fishing Cat, Bengal Fox, Golden Jackal the rarely observed Ratel, wild Water Buffalos and three very endangered species of mammals, the delightful Asiatic Wild Ass, the huge Indian Rhinoceros and the bazaar Ganges Dolphin.

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