Peregrine Bird Tours
Bird Tours
Peregrine Bird Tours

Northeastern India


PEREGRINE BIRD TOURS


NORTHEASTERN INDIA

8 - 27 MARCH 2014

TOUR REPORT


Our tour to Northeastern India proved to be extremely enjoyable and hugely successful; the weather was kind to us and we saw a very respectable 339 different species of birds and 23 species of mammals. The tour was in two parts; firstly we travelled to the lowlands of Assam, visiting Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks and the Holongapar Gibbon Sanctuary. In Kaziranga we concentrated on the wetlands, where 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 these birds choose to winter throughout the Indian subcontinent. We observed large flocks of the following species, the endangered Spot-billed Pelican, Great Cormorant, Asian Openbill, endangered Lesser and Greater Adjutants, Black-headed Ibis, Lesser Whistling-Duck, Bar-headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Northern Pintails, Northern Shoveler, Common Redshank, Temminck's Stint and Grey-throated Martin. We spent the second half of the tour birding in the oak- rhododendron forests of the mid Himalayas, in West Bengal. Around the small mountain village of Lava, we observed a staggering array of tropical rainforest inhabiting birds. As usual, highlights throughout the tour were many and varied, just some of the more conspicuous ones that readily spring to mind include: a gathering of 450 plus Greater Adjutants at Guwahati, a single Common Shelduck, stunning looks at a swimming and critically endangered White-winged Duck, a small flock of Ferruginous Ducks, several endangered Pallas' Fish-Eagles, good numbers of Grey-headed Fish-Eagles, stunningly beautiful male Hen and Pied Harriers, a couple of endangered Greater Spotted Eagles, a couple of endangered Swamp Francolins, great close looks at half a dozen or so uncommon Ibisbill, a few Barred Cuckoo-Doves, the rarely observed Himalayan Wood-Owl, a small flock of Maroon-backed Accentors, no less than three species of bush-warblers, all seen well, Brown-flanked, Aberrant and Russet, Broad-billed and White-spectacled Warblers, the rarely observed White-gorgeted Flycatcher, the localised Spotted Laughingthrush, the rarely seen Red-faced Liocichla, no less than three species of wren-babblers, Scaly-breasted, Pygmy and Rufous-throated, the stunning Himalayan Cutia, the rarely observed Yellow-throated Fulvetta, absolutely stunning Sultan Tits, Golden-naped and Scarlet Finches and best of all, super looks at the near mythical, Blue-fronted Robin. Rarities included Rufous-bellied Eagle and Tibetan Siskin. The mammals were equally spectacular, highlights included the three specialities of Kaziranga National Park, three endangered species, Swamp Deer, Wild Water Buffalo and Indian Rhinoceros. We also had two very enjoyable encounters with the endangered Hoolock Gibbon and a few encounters with the range restricted Capped Langur. Without doubt, the groups favourite mammal sighting, was of a family party of three Yellow-throated Martens, which we watched interacting, for a considerable amount of time. We also saw Smooth-coated Otter, a rather distant Tiger, good numbers of Asian Elephants and a quick sighting of the very rarely encountered Hog Badger.

Following a series of long and tiring flights from Australia, we finally reached the airport at Guwahati, the capital city of Assam in far northeastern India, in the early hours of the morning. We then spent the rest of the morning driving west to the world famous Kaziranga National Park. The drive yielded up a good variety of the more common birds of the small towns and agricultural areas of Assam. We saw a few Great Egrets, lots of Cattle Egrets, good numbers of Asian Openbills, a couple of Woolly-necked Storks and several endangered Lesser Adjutants. Black Kites circled above small villages and other raptors included a solitary Shikra and a Common Kestrel which was hawking insects along the edge of a controlled burn. Feral Pigeons crowded the villages, along with plenty of Spotted Doves, a small flock of Asian Palm-Swifts flew around the tops of a grove of palm trees, splendid White-throated Kingfishers sat on power lines, along with a pair of Green Bee-eaters. Flying India Rollers dazzled us with their luminescent coloured wings, we admired a few Red-vented Bulbuls, as well as a couple of striking Oriental Magpie-Robins. Several Long-tailed Shrikes and a good number of Black Drongos dotted the roadside power lines. House Crows squabbled for scraps along the roadside and we also saw a solitary Eastern Jungle Crow. Flocks of Jungle and Common Mynas and beautiful Asian Pied Starlings lined the roadside, alongside a few House Sparrows. We made a quick stop at a small roadside cafe, in order to sample the local tea and we found a few Eurasian Tree Sparrows nesting in the building. Continuing our journey westwards we found a colony of Indian Flying Foxes in a grove of roadside trees. Around midday, we arrived at our very fine lodge, on the outskirts of Kaziranga National Park, where we settled ourselves in and then enjoyed a particularly fine Assamese lunch.

While gathering for an afternoon game drive in the park, the grounds of the lodge provided us with good looks at Blue-throated Barbet, Plain Flowerpecker, Oriental White-eye, Black-hooded Oriole and our first of many Irrawaddy Squirrels. On our first foray into the park, we concentrated on the wetlands of the Western Ranges, we travelled in open-topped Jeeps and we enjoyed great looks at the three highly localised and special mammals of the park, Indian Rhinoceros, Swamp Deer and Wild Water Buffalo. Wetland birds came thick and fast, we saw large numbers of the endangered Spot-billed Pelican, several Oriental Darters, a few Grey Herons, a single Intermediate Egret and a couple of Little Egrets. A lone Striated Heron popped into view, we observed a few Black-necked Storks and very large flocks of wintering wildfowl, which included Bar-headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall and Eurasian Teal. We enjoyed close looks at a good number of Indian Spot-billed Ducks and raptors put in a particularly good showing, with great looks at Osprey, the endangered Pallas' Fish-Eagle, Grey-headed Fish-Eagle and Crested Serpent-Eagle. A male Red Junglefowl showed well, as did both Northern and Red-wattled Lapwings. Waders included Common Greenshank, Common Redshank, Green and Wood Sandpipers and Temminck's Stint. We enjoyed super looks at a small flock of Yellow-footed Green-Pigeons and we also saw Alexandrine, Rose-ringed and Red-breasted Parakeets. An Asian Barred Owlet was greatly appreciated, a Pied Kingfisher performed well for us and a Common Hoopoe was greatly admired. We also saw a few Lineated Barbets, large flocks of Barn Swallows, smartly attired White Wagtails, a few Citrine Wagtails, a Taiga Flycatcher flitted around in a nearby tree, we saw a solitary Blue Rock- Thrush, good numbers of Siberian Stonechats, several Grey-backed Shrikes, a Hair-crested Drongo, a few very beautiful Rufous Treepies, the localised Great Myna and a Baya Weaver. Other mammals which we saw in the park included a family party of Smooth-coated Otters, one or two Eurasian Wild Boars and good numbers of Hog Deer.

On our first full day in Kaziranga National Park we concentrated on the Central Ranges, travelling through the park in our open-topped Jeeps. The wetlands were teaming with both local birds and many hundreds of winter visitors from northern Europe and Asia. The many Great Cormorants, looked resplendent, in full breeding plumage, we saw a couple of Purple Herons, a single Greater Adjutant, a large flock of Black-headed Ibis, a few Mallards and large numbers of Northern Pintail and Northern Shoveler, amongst them, we also found four Ferruginous Ducks. A good number of raptors were also present in the park, these included large numbers of immature Himalayan Vultures, a single Indian Spotted Eagle, a few Greater Spotted Eagles and a single Steppe Eagle, we enjoyed great looks at a Changeable Hawk-Eagle and a Red-necked Falcon flew right past us. We encountered a pair of endangered Swamp Francolins, a few White-breasted Waterhens, a couple of Eurasian Moorhens, several Bronze-winged Jacanas, a few River Lapwings and a couple of uncommon Grey-headed Lapwings. We observed several Little Ringed Plovers, a single Eurasian Collared-Dove and a few Red Collared-Doves. Green Imperial-Pigeons were particularly numerous and we enjoyed watching the antics of a flock of colourful Blossom-headed Parakeets. Other new birds included Greater Coucal, Spotted Owlet, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Dollarbird, Oriental and Great Pied Hornbills, Blue-eared and Coppersmith Barbets, Grey-capped Pygmy-Woodpecker, Streak-throated and Grey-headed Woodpeckers, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Bengal Bushlark, Sand Martin, Rosy Pipit, Western Yellow Wagtail, Long-tailed and Scarlet Minivets, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Common Iora, Blue Whistling-Thrush, Dusky and Greenish Warblers, Striated Grassbird, Great Tit, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Brown Shrike, Bronzed Drongo, Ashy Woodswallow and Common Hill Myna. New mammals for the trip included Rhesus Macaque, Asian Elephant, Indian Muntjac and Sambar.

We began the following day with an elephant back safari in Kaziranga National Park, it was greatly enjoyed by everyone and it even produced a few new birds for the tour. Some of the group saw a superb adult male Pied Harrier flying above the elephant grass, some of us were lucky enough to watch a family party of four rarely observed King Quail, three females and a superbly plumaged adult male. We flushed several Paddyfield Pipits from cover and saw the diminutive Zitting Cisticola, surprisingly well. We spent the rest of the day driving quietly along forest trails, searching for woodland birds. New birds for the tour included a very close Oriental Honey-buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, the beautiful Black-winged Stilt, Common Sandpiper, Emerald Dove, a splendid Brown Fish-Owl at its daytime roost site, the stunningly attired Common Kingfisher, gorgeous Blue-bearded Bee-eaters, both Lesser and Greater Goldenbacks and a small flock of Olive-backed Pipits. We also saw Large Cuckoo-shrike, Common Tailorbird, Whistler's Warbler, Verditer Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher, the beautiful White-rumped Shama, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, the dazzling Eastern Crimson Sunbird, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker and Ashy Drongo. New mammals today included a troop of Capped Langurs, the diminutive Himalayan Striped Squirrel and best of all, a quick look at the very infrequently observed Hog Badger.

On our third and final day in Kaziranga National Park, we spent the day birding in the Eastern Ranges, where we birded some wetland areas and a large patchwork of forest. In the wetlands we found a large flock of Lesser Whistling-Ducks and a surprise Common Shelduck, which is an uncommon winter visitor, anywhere in India, but particularly in eastern India. We watched an adult male Hen Harrier sail above a large reedbed, this species is also another uncommon winter visitor to India. On a track that travelled through the reedbed, a beautiful Bluethroat in full breeding plumage, popped out of the reed beds and onto the track, unfortunately, it did not stay for very long, before it disappeared into the reedbed. In the forested areas of the Eastern Ranges new birds included the secretive Large Hawk-Cuckoo, the very large Green-billed Malkoha, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Fulvous-breasted and Rufous Woodpeckers, Black-crested and Himalayan Black Bulbuls, Black Redstart, the gorgeous Asian Fairy-bluebird and the equally attractive Greater Racket-tailed Drongo. The highlight of the day was not a bird at all! It was a superb Tiger; although distant, it was sprawled out in short grass and we were able to get out of our Jeeps and watch the Tiger through the scope. Other new mammals for the tour today included Assam Macaque, a splendid family party of Hoolock Gibbons and the well named Black Giant Squirrel.

We spent the following morning birding in the Hathikuli Tea Plantation, which is situated close to Kaziranga National Park. Fortunately, not all of the land owned by the tea company had been converted to tea plantations, some of the original forest still remains and this is where we concentrated out efforts. Along a small stream, we watched a pair of Brown Crakes and a Grey Wagtail, we also enjoyed good looks at a Plaintive Cuckoo in a nearby tree, a Thick-billed Warbler skulked around in the undergrowth and a small flock of Himalayan Swiftlets fluttered around above us. A Yellow-browed Leaf-Warbler showed well, we enjoyed watching a beautiful male Daurian Redstart, played hide-and-seek with a flock of beautiful Rufous-necked Laughingthrushes, observed a pair of Puff-throated Babblers very well, somewhat surprising, for a species that is normally very secretive. We also added two more species of diminutive babblers, a Buff-chested Babbler and a Pin-striped Tit-Babbler.

In the afternoon we had a long drive from Kaziranga, to Nameri National Park. It was a fairly uneventful drive, apart from Ian observing a Cinnamon Bittern, in a small pond along the roadside. We broke the long drive, with a birding stop along the Brahmaputra River, at Silghat. Here we added one new bird to our ever growing trip list, a superb Great Crested Grebe, in full breeding plumage. The main reason we had stopped here was to look for the rather bizarre Ganges Dolphin, we were not to be disappointed, and we enjoyed several good close looks at this species of river dolphin. At dusk, some members of the group observed a couple of Black-crowned Night-Herons flying overhead, at our lodge.

The following day was devoted to birding in Nameri National Park, it was a super day and was packed full of new birds. The main reason we visited Nameri, was to search for the critically endangered White-winged Duck. Much of the morning was taken up in this pursuit and fortunately for us, we enjoyed super looks at a single bird swimming around and then standing on the bank of a small pond which was surrounded by dense rainforest. Other new birds during the day included a couple of very handsome Black Storks, a few Goosanders, two sightings of a Besra in flight, a large number of beautiful Small Pratincoles, a pair of delightful River Terns, beautifully plumaged Oriental Turtle-Doves, the uncommon Barred Cuckoo-Dove, three species of green-pigeons, Ashy-headed, Wedge-tailed and the uncommon Pin-tailed. We enjoyed super close looks at a pair of Vernal Hanging-Parrots, a Lesser Yellownape popped into view, the range-restricted Sand Lark was observed very well and we watched a large flock of Grey-throated Martins, at their nesting colony in the banks of the Jia Bhareli River. A Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike was greatly admired, a couple of White-throated Bulbuls showed very well, we watched a single Black-throated Thrush, a Small Niltava was seen well, as was a Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch. However, the bird that really stole the show was the Sultan Tit, a really spectacularly plumaged bird.

We spent the following morning floating down the Jia Bhareli River, in Nameri National Park, in inflatable rafts. It was great fun, however, the main reason for doing this was to look for the very uncommon Ibisbill. It proved very successful, as we saw six of these beautiful birds, at very close quarters. Other new birds along the river and close to the lodge included a very fine Oriental Hobby, a few House Swifts and a small flock of Wreathed Hornbills flew across the river while we were enjoying our barbecue lunch. Other new birds included the range restricted Russet-bush Warbler, the stunning White-capped Redstart, the beautiful Plumbeous Water-Redstart and a Grey Bushchat. In the afternoon we had a long and uneventful drive to Jorhat, where we stayed in a very smart hotel.

We spent the following morning birding in the Holongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, where we saw several new birds. These included good looks at a Black-breasted Thrush, normally a very shy species, but this one showed particularly well. We enjoyed great looks at a Pale-chinned Flycatcher, a very obliging Abbott's Babbler and we had rather fleeting looks at a Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo. We also enjoyed watching the interactions of a family party of Hoolock Gibbons and we also added two new species of mammals for the tour. We enjoyed good close looks at a family party of Northern Pig-tailed Macaques and saw the diminutive Orange-bellied Himalayan Squirrel. Just prior to lunch we made a birding stop at a small swamp on the outskirts of Jorhat, where we added two more species of birds. We saw a large number of Grey-headed Swamphens, as well as up to half a dozen or so beautiful Greater Painted-snipe. In the afternoon we drove to Guwahati, the capital city of Assam, where we spent the night.

We started off the day with a visit to Baragaon Landfill, on the outskirts of Guwahati, it proved to be a good time to visit, as there was a huge gathering of approximately 450 Greater Adjutants present, a substantial proportion of the world population of this endangered species. This was the reason for visiting the landfill. We also found a new bird for the tour, the Plain Prinia. We then took a short flight from Guwahati, in Assam, to Bagdogra airport, in West Bengal. We then drove to the mountain village of Lava, where we stayed for the next four nights. Just outside Bagdogra airport we found several Bank Mynas sat on a fence. We stopped for lunch at the small village of Sevoke and while getting out of our vehicles, we watched a small flock of Red-naped Ibis flying overhead. In the afternoon we broke the long drive to Lava with a birding stop at a mountain stream close to the village of Ambiok. Here we added Nepal House Martin and Brown Dipper. In the late afternoon we arrived at Lava and settled in to our hotel. In the grounds of the hotel we added Rufous Sibia, Stripe-throated Yuhina and Green-backed Tit.

Lava is situated at an altitude of 2,138 metres in the mid Himalayas, it stands on a ridge top and is surrounded by an almost unbroken vista of montane forest, which is often shrouded in cloud and mist. Unfortunately, large areas of mature forest are becoming a rare sight in the eastern Himalayas. It is undoubtedly, one of the finest birding areas in the whole of India and we arrived with much anticipation, looking forward to a completely new set of rainforest inhabiting birds. This area is the only place where the near mythical Blue-fronted Robin can be seen. This ultra skulker is almost impossible to see even during the breeding season, let alone, outside of the breeding season. Nevertheless, undaunted, we were here, we would be birding in the forest where this bird lives and the great thing about birding, is that you never know what is going to turn up next! Most of the day was spent birding along the Lava-Algarah Road, in stunning moss encrusted oak-rhododendron forest. The birding was excellent and new birds came thick and fast. They included Black Eagle, Striated Bulbul, the attractive Rufous-breasted Accentor, the stunning Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush and beautiful White-collared and Grey-winged Blackbirds. The normally skulking Brown-flanked Bush-Warbler, showed particularly well, Buff-barred, Lemon-rumped and Hume's Leaf-Warblers were all seen well, as were Chestnut-crowned and Black-faced Warblers. We enjoyed watching the delightful Little Pied Flycatcher, a solitary Blue-fronted Redstart, several White-throated Fantails, Striated, Black-faced and Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrushes, Red-billed Leiothrix, the stunningly attractive Himalayan Cutia, Himalayan Shrike-Babbler, Hoary-throated Barwing, Bar-throated Siva, Rufous-winged and White-browed Fulvettas, Whiskered and Rufous-vented Yuhinas, Black-throated and Yellow-cheeked Tits, White-tailed Nuthatch, Green-tailed and Fire-tailed Sunbirds, Large-billed Crow and last but by no means least, the stunning Scarlet Finch.

Most of the following day was spent birding in the Neora Valley National Park. New birds for the tour included a soaring Mountain Hawk-Eagle, a female Satyr Tragopan, a beautiful Darjeeling Woodpecker, good close looks at Plain-backed Thrush, I was fortunate to observe a Chestnut-headed Tesia, an Ashy-throated Leaf-Warbler showed well, a Broad-billed Warbler put in a brief appearance and a Green-crowned Warbler performed much better for us. We enjoyed watching both male and female Himalayan Bluetails, a stunning Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher popped up on one occasion, the beautiful Yellow-bellied Fantail showed well, as did a couple of Rufous-capped Babblers. We were very pleased to find a flock of absolutely stunning Golden-breasted Fulvettas, the attractive Fire-tailed Myzornis popped up for us, as did both Coal and Yellow-browed Tits, a Mrs. Gould's Sunbird put in a brief appearance and we all enjoyed watching the very beautiful Yellow-billed Blue Magpie. Unfortunately, in the mid afternoon, rain stopped play and we raced back to our lodge to take shelter from a large storm. Later in the afternoon it brightened up a little and some of us saw a large flock of Yellow-breasted Greenfinches, feeding in the gardens of our lodge.

Today we birded at a couple of different areas around Lava, before rain in the afternoon, had us scurrying back to our lodge. Once again, the birding was very good and new birds for the tour included a soaring Northern Goshawk, Great Barbet, Greater Yellownape, Bay Woodpecker, Short-billed Minivet, the uncommon and range restricted Maroon-backed Accentor, Grey-hooded Warbler, Rusty-fronted Barwing and Fire-breasted Flowerpecker. We also enjoyed super sightings of both Scaly-breasted and Rufous-throated Wren-Babblers.

A morning walk in the forest close to Lava produced the Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler and prolonged very close looks at an unsuspecting family of three Yellow-throated Martens. This splendid species of mustalid is particularly beautiful and we were thrilled to get such good looks at them. Once again, rain stopped play and following lunch we drove down the valley a little to Kholakham, which would be our base for the next three nights. In the afternoon we did a little birding around the village and here we added Golden-throated Barbet, the simply stunning Russet Sparrow and Dark-breasted and Common Rosefinches.

We spent the following morning birding along the Pipeline Track, perhaps the best birding few kilometres in the whole of India. We set off at first light and we had not got very far, when I was surprised to hear a Himalayan Wood-Owl calling, so Sujan played a tape of its call and this very large species of owl flew above our heads and disappeared into the forest. Fortunately, it was light enough to see the bird very well indeed. Throughout the morning new birds were discovered at a steady pace. They included Hill Partridge, a stunning Red-headed Trogon, Grey-chinned Minivet, Mountain Tailorbird, Grey-cheeked Warbler, the particularly uncommon White-gorgeted Flycatcher, Large Niltava, Coral-billed Scimitar-Babbler, the attractive Golden Babbler, Blue-winged Siva, Red-tailed Minla, Nepal Fulvetta, a large flock of beautiful Black-throated Parrotbills, Brown-throated Treecreeper, Black-throated Sunbird, a small flock of range restricted Tibetan Siskins and best of all, both male and female Golden-naped Finches, which we saw very well. Following lunch at our lodge, we went birding close to Kholakham and here we added the very beautiful Blue-capped Rock-Thrush, the stunning Rufous-bellied Niltava and the Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike.

The following morning, we headed back up the Pipeline Track, but unfortunately a large storm blew in and we were forced to make a hasty retreat back to our lodge. We decided to have an early lunch and assess the weather situation following lunch. Fortunately for us, the storm passed over and the weather took a turn for the better. It was decided that we would go back up the Pipeline Track and everyone went to gather their birding gear together. Elva then spotted a beautiful blue bird in the courtyard of the lodge, apparently feeding on leftover rice from lunch. Elva said to me, `Chris what is this bird?` Somewhat gobsmacked, I replied `Its a Blue-fronted Robin`. It stayed for a little while longer but unfortunately, not all the group saw the bird. Well done Elva. New birds in the afternoon included Long-tailed, Common Scaly and Tickell's Thrushes, Black-throated Prinia, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, two very uncommon species of laughingthrushes, Grey-sided and Scaly, the equally uncommon and seldom seen Red-faced Liocichla, we enjoyed great looks at a Pygmy Wren-Babbler, a large flock of very uncommon Yellow-throated Fulvettas and White-naped Yuhina.

After breakfast the following morning, we began the long drive from Kholakhan to Darjeeling. On the outskirts of Kalimpong, we stopped at a large fig tree to see if any birds were feeding on the figs. This was not the case, however, Sujan heard the Green Magpie calling from a patch of forest up a very steep hillside. Try as we may, we could not see the magpie so some of us climbed up a long stretch of very steep stone steps. Although we failed to find the magpie, some of us had super looks at an immature Rufous-bellied Eagle continuously soaring overhead. This is a very uncommon bird anywhere in the world and it was very enjoyable to see the bird so well. Just prior to arriving at Darjeeling we found a perched Eurasian Buzzard and a small flock of Asian House Martins. On our arrival in Darjeeling we checked into our very splendid hotel and enjoyed a particularly fine lunch. In the afternoon we went birding at Tiger Hill, where are only new bird was the beautiful and uncommon Spotted Laughingthrush.

The following morning we birded in the Senchal Reserve, on the outskirts of Darjeeling, were we added three new species of warblers, Abberant Bush-Warbler and Western Crowned and White-spectacled Warblers. Unfortunately, the weather turned nasty and the cloud was so low that we could not do any birding. Following lunch at our hotel we did a little birding in forest close to Darjeeling, but once again low cloud forced us to abandon our walk.

Following breakfast at our hotel in Darjeeling, all that remained was the drive to Bagdogra airport. On the way we stopped at a tea plantation a little to the north of Siliguri, where our final new bird of the tour was a splendid pair of Crested Tree-Swifts.

We all experienced a very productive and immensely enjoyable tour to the India subcontinent, which had gone like clockwork from start to finish. All this was due to the effort of our local leader Sujan who had worked tirelessly on our behalf and who was great company throughout the tour. Well done Sujan and well done Elva for pointing out to us, the near mythical Blue-fronted Robin.  

SYSTEMATIC LIST

GREBES PODICIPEIDAE
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus An uncommon winter visitor; we saw a single bird
swimming in the Brahmaputra River, at Silghat, followed by a second sighting of a single
bird, swimming in the Jia Bhareli River, in Nameri National Park.

PELICANS PELECANIDAE
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis We found a large flock in Kaziranga National Park. 

This species was formerly common across much of Asia, but unfortunately has suffered a
widespread decline, in the last 50 years. Breeding populations are now confined to India,
Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Kaziranga National Park, in Assam, is one of a handful of
breeding sites in India. It is estimated that there are approximately 3,000 birds in Assam.
This species is classified as 'Near Threatened' by Birdlife International. Its total world
population is estimated to be between 8,777-12,000 individuals and declining. The main
threats to this species are the usual ones, habitat destruction and human disturbance at
nesting colonies.

CORMORANTS PHALACROCORACIDAE
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo In northeastern India this species is a common resident
and a widespread winter visitor, we saw large numbers, mainly in breeding plumage, during
our time in Kaziranga National Park.
Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger A common resident which we saw well at most wetland
areas we visited.

DARTERS ANHINGIDAE
Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster A common resident of northeastern India, which we saw
very well during our time in Kaziranga National Park.

HERONS, EGRETS AND BITTERNS ARDEIDAE
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea An uncommon resident of northeastern India, small numbers were
present in Kaziranga National Park.
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea Another uncommon resident of northeastern India and once again,
we saw small numbers in Kaziranga National Park.
Great Egret Ardea alba A widespread and common resident, which we saw very well at all of
the wetland areas we visited.
Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia An uncommon resident, which we saw well in small
numbers, at some of the wetlands we visited.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta A common and widespread resident, which was present in good
numbers, at all of the wetlands we visited.
Indian Pond-Heron Ardeola grayii An abundant and widespread species, which was present at
any kind of wetland habitat.
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis A common and widespread resident of wetlands and farmland.
Striated Heron Butorides striata An uncommon but widespread resident, which we saw well on a 

few occasions throughout the tour.
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax A fairly common and widespread resident, a
few were observed flying overhead, at dusk one evening, in Nameri National Park.
Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus An uncommon resident, Ian saw one at a small pond
alongside the main highway, that forms the border of Kaziranga National Park.

STORKS CICONIIDAE
Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans A fairly common and widespread resident, it proved to be
plentiful in Kaziranga National Park.
Black Stork Ciconia nigra An uncommon winter visitor to the subcontinent, we enjoyed a couple
of very good sightings along the Jia Bhareli River, in Nameri National Park.
Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus A fairly common resident, we enjoyed several good
sightings of a few pairs of birds, during our time in Kaziranga National Park.
Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus A very uncommon resident of the Indian
subcontinent, we saw up to half a dozen individuals in Kaziranga National Park.
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus An uncommon resident in northeastern India, small
numbers were liberally scattered in and around Kaziranga National Park. This species is
classified as `Vulnerable` by Birdlife International. The estimated world population is
between 5,500 - 10,000 individuals and decreasing. Several threats are contributing to this
birds decline, with their relative importance varying across its range. The loss of nest-sites
through the felling of colony nest-trees is a major threat, particularly in Assam. Extensive
nesting colonies outside protected areas in the 1990s recorded drastic declines owing to the
cutting down of trees and drying up of some feeding sites. In many areas, the threats to this
species include drainage and conversion of wetland feeding areas, agricultural
intensification, increased pesticide use, the collecting of eggs and chicks and the hunting of
adults. A recent and very serious threat, recorded in Nepal and Cambodia, is the practice of
poisoning pools to catch fish, which leads to incidental mortality of this species.
Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius In India this species only occurs in Assam, where it is a
very uncommon resident. We observed one individual in flight, in Kaziranga National Park
and then a large flock of approximately 450 individuals at the Baragaon Landfill, on the
outskirts of Guwahati. This species is classified as `Endangered` by Birdlife International
and the total population is estimated to be between 800 - 1,200 individuals and decreasing.
The key threats are direct exploitation, particularly at nesting colonies, habitat destruction,
including some felling of nest-trees, and drainage, conversion, pollution and over-
exploitation of wetlands. Additionally, the Indian population is threatened by reduced use of
open rubbish dumps for the disposal of carcasses and foodstuffs. It has been suggested that
recent nesting failures in Assam may be due to disease, which may have a negative impact
upon the species in the future. Young birds may also become entangled in fishing nets and
the species may suffer from the disturbance of arboreal animals and from competition for
nesting sites from the Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus. Poisoning of small wetlands to
catch fish in the dry forests of northern and eastern Cambodia potentially poses a significant
threat. At the Landfill site at Guwahati, India, pesticide use at the open rubbish dump,
where storks flock to feed, led to several mortalities in 2005.

IBIS AND SPOONBILLS THRESKIORNITHIDAE
Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus This species is a nomadic and occasional
summer visitor to northeastern India. Therefore we did well to find a couple of small flocks,
while birding in Kaziranga National Park.
Red-naped Ibis Pseudibis papillosa This species is a very uncommon resident in northeastern
India. Once again, we were very fortunate to observe a small flock flying overhead, during
our lunch stop at Sevoke, in West Bengal.

DUCKS, GEESE AND SWANS ANATIDAE
Lesser Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna javanica A common resident throughout India, we saw a
small flock in Kaziranga National Park, in Assam, this was followed by a second sighting of
a larger flock, at a large swamp on the outskirts of Jorhat, in West Bengal.
Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus This beautiful species is a common winter visitor to
northeastern India. Many hundreds were wintering along the edge of the many lakes in
Kaziranga National Park.
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea A common winter visitor throughout northeastern India, we
saw many large flocks in Kaziranga National Park.
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna A very scarce and erratic winter visitor to northeastern
India. We were fortunate to enjoy good scope views of a single bird at one of the wetlands
in Kaziranga National Park.
White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata In India this species only occurs in Assam, where it is a
rare and endangered species. Our main reason for visiting Nameri National Park, was to try
and observe this species. We were very fortunate to enjoy good scope views of an adult bird
at a small pool inside the Park. This species is classified as `Endangered` by Birdlife
International. Its total population is estimated to be between 250 - 999 individuals
and decreasing.
Its decline is largely attributable to the destruction, degradation and
disturbance of riverine habitats including loss of riparian forest corridors. The resultant
small, fragmented populations are vulnerable to extinction from localised environmental
problems, loss of genetic variability, disturbance, hunting and collection of eggs and chicks
for food or pets. This species is particularly susceptible to loss of large trees with nesting
holes.
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope A common winter visitor to northeastern India, we found good
numbers wintering in Kaziranga National Park.
Gadwall Anas strepera A locally common winter visitor to northeastern India, we observed small
numbers in Kaziranga National Park and along the Brahmaputra River, at Silghat.
Eurasian Teal Anas crecca A widespread and common winter visitor to northeastern India, we
observed large numbers wintering in Kaziranga National Park.
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos An uncommon winter visitor to northeastern India, we observed
small numbers in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Indian Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha A fairly common resident in northeastern India,
we saw good numbers in Kaziranga National Park and along the Brahmaputra River at
Silghat.
Northern Pintail Anas acuta A common winter visitor to northeastern India, we observed some
large flocks during our time in Kaziranga National Park.
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata A very common winter visitor to northeastern India, once
again, we observed some large flocks in Kaziranga National Park.
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca An uncommon winter visitor to northeastern India, we
observed four individuals amongst the hundreds of other wintering ducks, during our time in
Kaziranga National Park.
Goosander Mergus merganser A fairly common winter visitor to northeastern India. We found small numbers wintering along the Jia Bhareli River, in Nameri National Park.

OSPREY PANDIONIDAE
Osprey Pandion haliaetus A fairly common winter visitor to northeastern India, we enjoyed a
number of scattered sightings in wetland areas, throughout the tour.

HAWKS, EAGLES AND KITES ACCIPITRIDAE
Oriental Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus A fairly common resident throughout northeastern
India. We saw it very well on a couple of occasions in Kaziranga National Park and at the
Hathikuli Tea Plantation, close to Kaziranga National Park.
Black Kite Milvus migrans A common resident throughout northeastern India, we only observed
it in the larger towns and cities, as we were passing through them.
Pallas' Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus A rare resident of northeastern India, we enjoyed a
few good sightings in Kaziranga National Park, the stronghold for this species in
northeastern India. The Pallas' Fish-Eagle is classified as `Vulnerable` by Birdlife
International. Its total population is estimated to be between 2,500 - 9999 individuals and
decreasing. Key threats are habitat loss, degradation and disturbance. Across the Indian
subcontinent and probably most of its range, wetlands have been drained or converted for
agriculture and human settlements. The felling of large trees near wetlands has reduced the
availability of nesting and roost sites. The spread of water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes, is
a problem in India, as is the siltation of lakes due to catchment deforestation. Pollution of wetlands with pesticides and industrial effluents reduces breeding success. Habitat loss and degradation are compounded by disturbance of wetlands. Reductions in the prey base, primarily through hunting and over-fishing, are further consequences of increasing human pressure. In Myanmar, the development of oil and gas fields is a threat and in China, hunting is a localised problem. In Mongolia, during surveys in the summer of 2009, it was noted that two recently completed hydroelectric dams were severely disrupting water levels in the affected drainage basins and could potentially affect all sites where the species occurs in the Great Lake Basin. Over-fishing was also noted at several sites and low rainfall was leading to falling water levels in some areas. Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811) was a German
zoologist and one of the greatest of the 18th Century naturalists. He led numerous
expeditions throughout much of Russia between 1768-1774. He described many new
species of mammals, birds, fish and insects.
Grey-headed Fish-Eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus A rare resident of northeastern India, we
enjoyed several good sightings of this species, during our time in Kaziranga National Park.
This species is classified as `Near Threatened` by Birdlife International. It total population
is estimated to be between 10,000 - 100,000 individuals and decreasing.
Himalayan Vulture Gyps himalayensis The adults of this species are resident in the high
Himalayas, however, it has recently been realised that immature birds, come down to the
lowlands and stay there for the first two or three years. We saw a good number of these
immatures in Kaziranga National Park.
Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela A common resident throughout northeastern India, which
we saw very well on numerous occasions.
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus This species is an uncommon winter visitor to northeastern India, we
saw a magnificent adult male, which flew right by us in Kaziranga National Park.
Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos An uncommon winter visitor to India, wintering almost
exclusively to northeastern India. A stunning adult male was observed by some members of
the group, on the elephant back safari in Kaziranga National Park.
Shikra Accipiter badius A common resident of northeastern India, we saw it on a daily basis,
during our time in Kaziranga National Park.
Besra Accipiter virgatus An uncommon resident of northeastern India, we observed two birds in
flight, at very close quarters, in Nameri National Park.
Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis An uncommon resident of the Himalayas in northeastern
India. We observed two different soaring birds, close to Lava.
Eurasian Buzzard Buteo buteo A fairly common resident of the Himalayas in northeastern India.
We observed a single bird perched in a tree, not far from Darjeeling.
Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis An uncommon resident of the Himalayas in northeastern India.
We observed two separate sightings of this handsome raptor, as they glided just above the
forest, close to Lava.
Indian Spotted Eagle Aquila hastata A very scarce resident of the lowlands in northeastern India.
We observed an individual extremely well in Kaziranga National Park. This species is
classified as `Vulnerable` by Birdlife International. Its total population is estimated to be
between 2,500 - 9,999 individuals and decreasing. Although poorly known, this species is undoubtedly threatened by conversion and disturbance of forested habitats within its range.
A number of other threats have had negative impacts on many raptor populations in Asia
and further research into the threatening processes that may be affecting this species is
required.
Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga This very large species of eagle is an uncommon winter
visitor to northeastern India. We observed a couple of birds extremely well, both flying and
on the ground, during our time in Kaziranga National Park. This species is classified as
`Vulnerable` by Birdlife International. Its total population is estimated to be between 3,300
- 8,800 individuals and decreasing. There is strong evidence of hybridisation between this
species and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Aquila pomarina. In some European countries mixed
pairs can constitute 50% or more of Greater Spotted Eagle pairs. It is unclear whether this
represents a new phenomenon or a conservation concern, but Aquila pomarina is far more
numerous than Aquila clanga in the zone of overlap and the range of Aquila pomarina
appears to be spreading east, further into the range of Aquila clanga. Other key threats
include habitat destruction and disturbance, poaching and electrocution. Suitable habitat
mosaics have been lost as a result of afforestation and wetland drainage. In eastern Europe,
agricultural intensification and the abandonment of traditional floodplain management has
greatly reduced habitat quality. Birds are intolerant of permanent human presence in their
territories. Forestry operations are a major cause of disturbance. Shooting is a threat in
Russia, the Mediterranean, South-East Asia and Africa. Deliberate and accidental poisoning
across much of its range is also a significant problem. In Israel, poisoning and electrocution
are the major causes of casualties in the wintering population.
Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis A fairly common winter visitor to the lowlands of northeastern
India. We saw an immature bird extremely well on one occasion, in Kaziranga National
Park.
Rufous-bellied Eagle Lophotriorchis kienerii A scarce resident of northeastern India, we were
very fortunate to enjoy very good looks at an immature bird circling overhead, close to
Kalimpong.
Changeable Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus This attractive species is an uncommon resident
and only occurs in the northeastern part of India. We enjoyed three good sightings of this
species during our time in Kaziranga National Park.
Mountain Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus nipalensis An uncommon resident of the Himalayas, we enjoyed
up to four sightings of this species during our time at Lava and Kholakham.

FALCONS AND CARACARAS FALCONIDAE
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus A common winter visitor to northeastern India, we observed
it very well on a few occasions.
Red-necked Falcon Falco chicquera This beautiful species of falcon is an uncommon resident in
northeastern India. We saw it on two occasions, in Kaziranga National Park.
Oriental Hobby Falco severus Another beautiful species of falcon, it is an uncommon summer
visitor to northeastern India. We saw it perched close to our lodge, in Nameri National Park.
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus The Peregrine Falcon is an uncommon winter visitor to
northeastern India. We saw it once in Kaziranga National Park and then enjoyed prolonged
looks at a perched bird, in Nameri National Park.                                              

PHEASANTS AND PARTRIDGES PHASIANIDAE
Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis This is a rare resident of the lowlands of northeastern
India. Fortunately for us, the stronghold for this species is Kaziranga National Park, where
we enjoyed two sightings, of two pairs of birds. This species is classified as `Vulnerable`
by Birdlife International. Its total population is estimated to be between 10,000 - 20,000
individuals and decreasing. Most remaining habitat within its range is subject to intense
pressures from drainage for agriculture, human encroachment, fire, grass harvesting, grazing
by domestic stock (especially during chick rearing), commercial forestry plantations and
dam and irrigation schemes. Significant populations reported from outside the protected
areas in Assam in the 1990s have all but vanished in recent years, due to conversion of
habitat into farmland. Agricultural pesticides may be affecting its numbers, either through
direct mortality or the reduction in potential food sources (invertebrates) and poisoning of
wetlands for fishing is a threat reported from Nepal. The drying out of swampy areas during
the breeding season represents a threat that may become more severe owing to climate
change. A negative correlation between numbers of this species and numbers of people
present in part of Koshi Tappu suggests that disturbance and/or habitat alteration may
significantly impact this species.
King Quail Coturnix chinensis This beautiful species of quail is an uncommon resident of the
lowlands of northeastern India. During the elephant back safari in Kaziranga National Park,
some members of the tour group watched a covey of four birds, one male and three females,
at very close quarters.
Hill Partridge Arborophila torqueola This species is a fairly common resident of the Himalayan
forests of northeastern India. We flushed a bird from cover, on two separate occasions,
possibly the same bird. While birding along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Satyr Tragopan Tragopan satyra This species is an uncommon resident of the Himalayan forests
of northeastern India. I glimpsed a female bird while we were birding in the Neora Valley
National Park. This species is classified as `Near Threatened` by Birdlife International. It is
estimated that the total population is between 6,000 - 15,000 individuals and decreasing.
Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus A locally common resident in the lowlands of northeastern India,
we enjoyed many good sightings of both males and females in both Kaziranga and Nameri
National Parks.

RAILS, GALLINULES AND COOTS RALLIDAE
Brown Crake Amaurornis akool A common resident of the lowlands in northeastern India, we
enjoyed a very good sighting of a pair of birds walking along a small stream in the Hathikuli
Tea Plantation, close to Kaziranga National Park.
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus This species is a fairly common resident of
the lowlands of northeastern India, we saw it very well on several occasions, during our time
in Kaziranga National Park.
Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus This is a fairly common resident of the
lowlands of northeastern India. We saw a large number at a small swamp on the outskirts of
Jorhat, in Assam.
Eurasian Moorhen Gallinula chloropus A common resident of northeastern India. We saw it
very well in Kaziranga National Park and at a small swamp on the outskirts of Jorhat, in
Assam.

JACANAS JACANIDAE
Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus This species is a fairly common resident of
northeastern India, we enjoyed many good sightings throughout the tour.

PAINTED-SNIPE ROSTRATULIDAE
Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis An uncommon resident of northeastern India, we
were very fortunate to find half a dozen or so birds, at a small swamp on the outskirts of
Jorhat, in Assam.

IBISBILL IBIDORHYNCHIDAE
Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii This splendid bird, in a family all of its own, is a very uncommon
winter visitor to the lowlands of northeastern India. We very much enjoyed floating down
the Jia Bhareli River, in Nameri National Park, in inflatable rafts, specifically to search for
this species. We were not to be disappointed and enjoyed terrific looks at half a dozen or so
birds. It was a real treat.

AVOCETS AND STILTS RECURVIROSTRIDAE
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus In northeastern India this species is an uncommon
resident of lowland swamps. We saw a few birds very well in Kaziranga National Park and
believe it or not, at the Baragaon Landfill, at Guwahati.

PRATINCOLES AND COURSERS GLAIEOLIDAE
Small Pratincole Glareola lactea A highly localised but common resident throughout the lowland
rivers of northeastern India. It proved to be very common along the Jia Bhareli River, in
Nameri National Park.                                     

LAPWINGS AND PLOVERS CHARADRIIDAE
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus This species is a fairly common winter visitor in the
lowlands of northeastern India. We saw small numbers very well in both Kaziranga and
Nameri National Parks.
River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii This beautiful species is a fairly common resident along the
lowland rivers of northeastern India. Once again, we saw small numbers very well in both
Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus In India this species only occurs in the lowlands of the
northeast, we saw up to half a dozen birds during our time in Kaziranga National Park.
Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus A common resident throughout the lowlands of
northeastern India, it proved common in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius A common resident of the lowlands of northeastern
India, we enjoyed many good sightings in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.

SANDPIPERS AND ALLIES SCOLOPACIDAE
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos A fairly common winter visitor to the lowlands of
northeastern India, we saw small numbers in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus A common winter visitor to the lowlands of northeastern
India, we observed it very well on several occasions in both Kaziranga and Nameri National
Parks.
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia This species is also a common winter visitor to the
lowlands of northeastern India and once again, we observed small numbers in both
Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola This species is a fairly common winter visitor to the lowlands
of northeastern India. We observed small numbers during our time in Kaziranga National
Park.
Common Redshank Tringa totanus A common winter visitor to the lowlands of northeastern
India. We saw very large flocks during our time in Kaziranga National Park.
Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii A common winter visitor to the lowlands of northeastern
India. We observed large flocks in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks. Coenraad
Jacob Temminck (1778-1858) was a Dutch ornithologist, illustrator and collector. He was
appointed the first Director of the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie, in Leiden, in 1820
and held that post until his death. He was a wealthy man who had a very large collection of
specimens and live birds. His first task as an ornithologist was to catalogue his father's very
extensive collection. His father was Jacob Temminck, for whom Le Vaillant collected
specimens.

TERNS STERNIDAE
River Tern Sterna aurantia A fairly common resident of the lowland rivers in northeastern India.
We observed small numbers along the Jia Bhareli River, in Nameri National Park.

PIGEONS AND DOVES COLUMBIDAE
Feral Pigeon Columba livia Large feral populations present in all the towns and villages
throughout northeastern India.
Oriental Turtle-Dove Streptopelia orientalis This species is a common resident throughout
northeastern India, in both the lowlands and the highlands. We saw it very well on many
occasions.
Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto A common resident throughout the lowlands of
northeastern India, somewhat surprisingly, we only observed one bird and this sighting
occurred in Kaziranga National Park.
Red Collared-Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica This species is also a common resident
throughout the lowlands of northeastern India, we observed small numbers in Kaziranga
National Park.
Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis A very common resident throughout the lowlands of
northeastern India, we saw it on every day of the tour during our time in the lowlands.
Barred Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia unchall In India this species only occurs in the far northeast,
were it is an uncommon resident. We saw a few birds very well, during our time in Nameri
National Park.
Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica This species is a common localised resident, we enjoyed a
couple of sightings during our time in Kaziranga National Park.
Ashy-headed Green-Pigeon Treron phayrei A recent split from Pompadour Green-Pigeon. This
species is a fairly common resident of the lowlands of northeastern India. John saw one
through the scope, in Nameri National Park.
Yellow-footed Green-Pigeon Treron phoenicopterus A common resident of the lowlands of
northeastern India, it proved very common in Kaziranga National Park.
Pin-tailed Green-Pigeon Treron apicauda In India this species only occurs in Assam, where it is
an uncommon resident. Therefore, we were very fortunate to enjoy good scope views of
several of these birds, in Nameri National Park.
Wedge-tailed Green-Pigeon Treron sphenurus In India this species only occurs in Assam and
West Bengal, where it is a common resident and altitudinal migrant. Spending the summer
months in the Himalayas and the winter months in the lowlands. We saw wintering birds
very well in Nameri National Park and birds on their summer breeding grounds at Lava.
Green Imperial-Pigeon Ducula aenea A common resident of northeastern India, we observed
large numbers in both Kaziranga and particularly Nameri National Parks.

PARROTS PSITTACIDAE
Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria This large species of parakeet is a common resident of
the lowlands of northeastern India. We observed good numbers during our time in
Kaziranga National Park.
Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri This species is a common resident of the lowlands of
northeastern India. We saw good numbers in Kaziranga National Park and in the
Holongapar Gibbon Sanctuary.
Blossom-headed Parakeet Psittacula roseata In India this species only occurs in the far
northeast, where it is an uncommon resident of the lowlands. We enjoyed good looks at
small numbers in Kaziranga National Park.
Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri Once again, in India this species only occurs in the
far northeast, where it is a common resident of the lowlands. We observed large numbers in
both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Vernal Hanging-Parrot Loriculus vernalis This is an uncommon resident in northeastern India.
John pointed out a couple of birds in Nameri National Park, which were feeding in a
flowering tree and we were able to enjoy a very good look at them.

CUCKOOS CUCULIDAE
Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides In northeastern India this species is a common
summer visitor to the Himalayas. We observed it in Kaziranga National Park and again at
Lava.
Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus In India this species only occurs in the northeast where it
is a fairly common resident. We only recorded this species on one occasion, we had very
good looks at one in the Hathikuli Tea Plantation, close to Kaziranga National Park.
Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis This very large species of cuckoo is a fairly
common resident in the lowlands of northeastern India. We saw a bird very well in
Kaziranga National Park and this was followed by a second good sighting, in Nameri
National Park.
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis A common resident in the lowlands of northeastern India, we
saw it very well on several occasions, in Kaziranga National Park.

OWLS STRIGIDAE
Brown Fish-Owl Ketupa zeylonensis This species is an uncommon resident of the lowlands in
northeastern India. We enjoyed super scope views of an adult bird at its daytime roost in
Kaziranga National Park.
Himalayan Wood-Owl Strix nivicola In northeastern India this super species of owl is an
uncommon resident of the Himalayas. Somewhat surprisingly, a bird responded to tape
playback early one morning along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham, by flying across the
track above our heads. We were very fortunate, as this species is rarely observed.
Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides In India this species only occurs in the extreme
northeast, were it is a common resident. It is a species of owl that is active in daytime and
we observed it daily in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Spotted Owlet Athene brama This is a common resident in northeastern India. This species is
also diurnal (active in daytime) and we saw it well on a couple of occasions in Kaziranga
National Park.

SWIFTS APODIDAE
Himalayan Swiftlet Aerodramus brevirostris A common resident of northeastern India, which we
saw well on many occasions.
Asian Palm-Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis Another common resident of northeastern India, which
we saw well in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
House Swift Apus nipalensis In India, this species only occurs in the extreme northeast, where it is
a common resident. We saw it very well on several occasions.

TREESWIFTS HEMIPROCNIDAE
Crested Treeswift Hemiprocne coronata This species was the last new bird of the tour, in
northeastern India it is an uncommon resident of the lowlands. We saw a pair very well in
flight, at a tea plantation a little to the north of Siliguri, on our way to Bagdogra airport, in
West Bengal.

TROGONS AND QUETZALS TROGONIDAE
Red-headed Trogon Harpactes erythrocephalus In India, this uncommon resident only occurs in
the lowlands and mid-Himalayas of the far northeast. We only saw it on one occasion,
along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.

KINGFISHERS ALCEDINIDAE
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis A common resident of the lowlands of northeastern India, we
saw it very well in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis A fairly common resident of the lowlands of
northeastern India, once again, we saw it very well in both Kaziranga and Nameri National
Parks.
White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis A common resident of the lowlands of
northeastern India. In the lowlands we saw it on a daily basis.
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis A common resident of the lowlands of northeastern India, which we
saw very well in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.

BEE-EATERS MEROPIDAE
Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni An uncommon resident of the forested lowlands of
northeastern India. We saw it very well on one occasion in Kaziranga National Park and
this was followed by a second sighting in Nameri National Park.
Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis A common resident of the lowlands of northeastern India, we
observed small numbers in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus This species is a fairly common summer visitor to the
lowlands of northeastern India. We observed small numbers in Kaziranga National Park.
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops leschenaulti This species is a common summer visitor to the
lowlands of northeastern India. We enjoyed large numbers in both Kaziranga and Nameri
National Parks.  

ROLLERS CORACIIDAE
Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis A common resident of the lowlands of northeastern India,
which we saw well on many occasions.
Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis An uncommon resident of the lowlands of northeastern India.
We observed a few birds in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.

HOOPOES UPUPIDAE
Common Hoopoe Upupa epops A common resident of the lowlands of northeastern India, we
observed small numbers on a daily basis, during our time in Kaziranga National Park.

HORNBILLS BUCEROTIDAE
Oriental Pied-Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris A fairly common resident of the forested
lowlands in northeastern India. We saw small numbers in Kaziranga National Park.
Great Pied Hornbill Buceros bicornis A fairly common resident of the forested lowlands in
northeastern India. This superb bird was voted `Bird of the tour` by tour participants, we
observed small numbers in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Wreathed Hornbill Aceros undulatus In India this species only occurs in the lowland forest of the
northeast. While enjoying our barbecue lunch on the banks of the Jia Bhareli River, in
Nameri National Park, a small flock of this species, flew across the river.

BARBETS CAPITONIDAE
Great Barbet Megalaima virens In northeastern India this species is a fairly common resident of
the forested Himalayas, which we saw well on a few occasions.
Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata In India, this species only occurs in the northeast where it is a
common resident of lowland forest, we saw it very well on many occasions.
Golden-throated Barbet Megalaima franklinii Once again in India, this species only occurs in the
Himalayas of the northeast. We saw it very well on once occasion, close to the village of
Kholakham.
Blue-throated Barbet Megalaima asiatica Once again in India, this species only occurs in the
lowland forest of the northeast, where we saw it very well, on numerous occasions.
Blue-eared Barbet Megalaima australis Yet again, in India, this species only occurs in lowland
forests of the far northeast, where it is an uncommon resident. We saw it very well on two
occasions in Kaziranga National Park.
Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala In northeastern India this species is a common
resident of the lowland forests. We saw it very well on a couple of occasions in Kaziranga
National Park.

WOODPECKERS AND ALLIES PICIDAE
Grey-capped Pygmy-Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus In India this common resident is
confined to the lower foothills of the Himalayas, where we saw it very well on a few
occasions.
Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos macei A common resident of northeastern India,
we saw it well in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Rufous Woodpecker Celeus brachyurus In northeastern India the Rufous Woodpecker is an
uncommon resident, we saw it well on one occasion in Kaziranga National Park.
Darjeeling Woodpecker Dendrocopos darjellensis This beautiful species of Woodpecker is
endemic to the forests of the Himalayas. We saw one individual very well in the Neora
Valley National Park.
Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus This species is an uncommon resident of forested areas
throughout northeastern India. We observed this species in Nameri National Park and then
again, along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Greater Yellownape Picus flavinucha This species is also an uncommon resident of forested
areas throughout northeastern India. We saw it very well on one occasion, at Lava.
Streak-throated Woodpecker Picus xanthopygaeus In northeastern India this species is an
uncommon resident of the forested lowlands. We saw it well in Kaziranga National Park.
Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus This species of woodpecker is a fairly common resident
throughout all forested areas of northeastern India. We observed this species in Kaziranga
National Park and again at the Hathikuli Tea Plantation, close Kaziranga National Park.
Lesser Goldenback Dinopium benghalense In northeastern India this species is confined to the
lower foothill forests of the Himalayas. We saw it first in Kaziranga National Park and then
again in Nameri National Park.
Greater Goldenback Chrysocolaptes lucidus This very large species of woodpecker is an
uncommon resident of the forested lowlands of northeastern India. We observed an
individual very well, during our time in Kaziranga National Park.
Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis In northeastern India this species is an uncommon resident
of Himalayan forests. We observed it on two different occasions, at Lava.

LARKS ALAUDIDAE
Bengal Bushlark Mirafra assamica This species is a locally common resident of the plains of
northeastern India. We saw it well on a few occasions in Kaziranga National Park.
Sand Lark Calandrella raytal This species is endemic to the Indian sub-continent where it is an
uncommon resident along the edge of the major rivers in the north of India. We enjoyed
great scope views of an individual, on the banks of the Jia Bhareli River, in Nameri National
Park.

SWALLOWS HIRUNDINIDAE
Grey-throated Martin Riparia paludicola A recent split from Plain Martin, this species is a
common resident of the lowland rivers in northeastern India. We found a large colony
nesting in the banks of the Jia Bhareli River, in Nameri National Park.
Sand Martin Riparia riparia This species is a sporadic and uncommon winter visitor to
northeastern India. Some years it will be plentiful, in other years it will be totally absent.
We saw small flocks in Kaziranga National Park.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica In northeastern India this species is an abundant winter visitor,
which we observed on most days of the tour.
Asian House-Martin Delichon dasypus In northeastern India this species is an uncommon
resident of the Himalayas. Some members of the group observed a small flock, a little to the east of Darjeeling.
Nepal House-Martin Delichon nipalense Once again, in northeastern India this species is also an
uncommon resident of the Himalayas. We observed a small flock flying above a mountain
stream, near the village of Ambiok, in the Himalayas.                                         

PIPITS AND WAGTAILS MOTACILLIDAE
Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus In northeastern India this species is a common and widespread
resident of the lowlands. We saw it well on several occasions in Kaziranga National Park.
Rosy Pipit Anthus roseatus In northeastern India this species is an altitudinal migrant; breeding in
mountain pastures, high in the Himalayas and wintering in lowland plains. We observed
several small flocks on their wintering grounds in Kaziranga National Park and then
observed a small flock including birds in full breeding plumage, at a patch of grassland on
Tiger Hill, close to Darjeeling.
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni The distribution of the Olive-backed Pipit, is very similar to
the above species. It is an altitudinal migrant; breeding in mountain pastures, high in the
Himalayas and wintering in lowland plains. We observed a few small flocks on their
wintering grounds in Kaziranga National Park and then observed small flocks on their
breeding grounds at Lava, Kholakham and at Tiger Hill, close to Darjeeling.
White Wagtail Motacilla alba Some races of White Wagtail are altitudinal migrants in
northeastern India. They breed on open plains above the snowline, high in the Himalayas
and winter on lowland plains. Other species only winter on the plains of northeastern India
breeding as far away as China and Russia. We observed several races wintering on the
lowland plains in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava A common winter visitor to the plains of northeastern
India. Some members of the group observed a small flock in Kaziranga National Park.
Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola This species is a fairly common winter visitor to the plains of
northeastern India. We saw it very well in Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks and even
at the Baragaon Landfill, at Guwahati.
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea This species is an uncommon winter visitor throughout
northeastern India. Some members of the group observed a single bird flying along a small
stream, in the Hathikuli Tea Plantation, close to Kaziranga National Park.

CUCKOO-SHRIKES CAMPEPHAGIDAE
Large Cuckoo-shrike Coracina macei This very large species of cuckoo-shrike is a common
resident of lowland forests, which we saw well on several occasions.
Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike Coracina melaschistos This species is a fairly common resident
throughout all forested areas of northeastern India, we also saw it well on several occasions.
Long-tailed Minivet Pericrocotus ethologus A common resident and winter visitor throughout the
forests of northeastern India. We saw small flocks very well, in both Kaziranga and Nameri
National Parks.
Short-billed Minivet Pericrocotus brevirostris This species is an uncommon resident of the
forests of the Himalayas, where we saw it well on several occasions.
Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus This species is a common resident of lowland forests
throughout northeastern India. We saw several family parties in both Kaziranga and Nameri
National Parks.
Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris A fairly common resident of the forested Himalayas.
We observed a couple of family parties, along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus A common resident of forested areas throughout
northeastern India. We only observed it on one occasion, in secondary forest, close to
Kholakham.

BULBULS PYCNONOTIDAE
Striated Bulbul Pycnonotus striatus This uncommon resident is endemic to the forests of the
Himalayas, where we saw it well on a few occasions, at Lava.
Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus This species is an uncommon resident of the
forested lowlands and lower hills of the Himalayas. We observed it very well on a couple of
occasions in Kaziranga National Park.
Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus A common resident of the lowlands of northeastern
India, we saw it very well in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer A common and widespread resident throughout the
lowlands of northeastern India, and once again, we observed it very well in Kaziranga and
Nameri National Parks.
White-throated Bulbul Alophoixus flaveolus In India, this species only occurs in the northeast,
where it is an uncommon resident of lowland forests. We observed it very well on one
occasion in Nameri National Park and this was followed by a second sighting, in the
Holongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, close to Jorhat.
Himalayan Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus This Himalayan endemic is a fairly common
resident of all forested areas of northeastern India, where we saw it well on many occasions.

LEAFBIRDS CHLOROPSEIDAE
Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons This attractive species is a fairly common resident
of lowland forests throughout northeastern India. We saw it very well in both Kaziranga
and Nameri National Parks.

IORAS AEGITHINIDAE
Common Iora Aegithina tiphia A common resident of lowland forests throughout northeastern
India, we saw it very well in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.

DIPPERS CINCLIDAE
Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii A common Himalayan endemic of the mountain streams and
rivers of northeastern India. We observed a single bird along a fast flowing mountain
stream, close to the village of Ambiok, in West Bengal.

ACCENTORS PRUNELLIDAE
Rufous-breasted Accentor Prunella strophiata An uncommon endemic of the Himalayas, we
observed small numbers at Lava, Kholakham and at Tiger Hill, close to Darjeeling.
Maroon-backed Accentor Prunella immaculata The Maroon-backed Accentor is a scarce
endemic of the high Himalayas. As the name would suggest it is an altitudinal migrant,
breeding very high in the Himalayas. We were very fortunate to observe a pair of birds on
their wintering grounds, close to Lava.

THRUSHES AND ALLIES TURDIDAE
Blue-capped Rock-Thrush Monticola cinclorhynchus This beautiful species is an uncommon
summer visitor to northeastern India, wintering in the Western Ghats of southern India. We
observed an adult male very well on one occasion, in secondary forest, close to Kholakham.
Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush Monticola rufiventris In northeastern India, this species is a
common resident of Himalayan forests. We saw both males and females very well on a few
occasions, at Lava.
Blue Rock-Thrush Monticola solitarius This species is an uncommon winter visitor to
northeastern India. We first saw it in Kaziranga National Park and then we enjoyed a
second sighting, close to the village of Ambiok, in the Himalayas.
Blue Whistling-Thrush Myophonus caeruleus In northeastern India this species is a common
resident throughout all forested areas, usually close to rivers and streams. We observed it
very well both in the lowlands and particularly in the Himalayas.
Plain-backed Thrush Zoothera mollissima Endemic to the Himalayas, where it is a fairly
common resident, we saw it well on one occasion, in the Neora Valley National Park.
Long-tailed Thrush Zoothera dixoni This species is also endemic to the Himalayas, where it is a
fairly common resident. We observed a bird in flight along the Pipeline Track, at
Kholakham.
Common Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma In northeastern India this species is an altitudinal
migrant. We saw an individual very well on its breeding grounds in the forested Himalayas,
along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Tickell's Thrush Turdus unicolor This species is endemic to the Himalayas; Rob and myself
observed an adult male right outside our hotel, at Kholakham. Kholakham is at the extreme
eastern edge of this birds breeding range, where it is an uncommon summer visitor. It
winters throughout southern India. Colonel Samuel Richard Tickell (1811-1875) was a
British army officer, artist and ornithologist in India and Burma. He made important early
contributions to Indian ornithology while observing and collecting both bird and mammal
specimens, in the states of Bihar, Orissa, Darjeeling and Tenasserim.
Black-breasted Thrush Turdus dissimilis This beautiful species of thrush is a scarce resident of
northeastern India. Therefore, we were very fortunate to enjoy a good sighting of an adult
male at the Holongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, near Jorhat, in Assam. This is at the extreme
western edge of this birds summer breeding range, this far western race, winters in
Bangladesh.
White-collared Blackbird Turdus albocinctus This species is a locally common Himalayan
endemic. In northeastern India it is an altitudinal migrant, breeding high in the Himalayas
and wintering mainly in the Indian state of Meghalaya. We observed it on most days of the
tour during our time in the Himalayas.
Grey-winged Blackbird Turdus boulboul In northeastern India this species is a locally common
altitudinal migrant. Breeding in the Himalayan forests and wintering mainly in the Indian
state of Meghalaya. We observed this species well at Lava and again, at Kholakham.
Black-throated Thrush Turdus atrogularis In northeastern India, this species is an abundant
winter visitor from breeding grounds in central Russia. We observed one bird in Nameri
National Park, a second bird at Lava and then a large flock of 30 or so birds at Tiger Hill,
close to Darjeeling.

CISTICOLAS AND ALLIES CISTICOLIDAE
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis A fairly common resident of the lowland plains of
northeastern India. We saw a small number very well during the elephant back safari, in
Kaziranga National Park.
Black-throated Prinia Prinia atrogularis In northeastern India, this species is a common resident
of the Himalayas. We saw it well on a couple of occasions, in the grounds of our lodge at
Kholakham.
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata In northeastern India, this species is a common resident of grassland
areas, in the lowlands. We observed a pair of birds very well, somewhat surprisingly, at the
Baragaon Landfill, at Guwahati.

OLD WORLD WARBLERS
Chestnut-headed Tesia Tesia castaneocoronata In northern India this species is a fairly common
resident of Himalayan forests. It is difficult to see as it lives in thick undergrowth on the
forest floor. I saw one while having a bathroom break! In Neora Valley National Park.
Brown-flanked Bush-Warbler Cettia fortipes In northeastern India this very plainly coloured
species of bush-warbler is a locally common resident of Himalayan forests. We saw a single
bird extremely well, at very close quarters, in secondary forest close to Lava.
Aberrant Bush-Warbler Cettia flavolivacea In northeastern India this species is a fairly common
resident of the Himalayan forests. We saw an individual very well indeed, in the Senchal
Reserve, at Darjeeling.
Russet Bush-Warbler Bradypterus seebohmi In northeastern India this species is a fairly
common altitudinal migrant. In the summer months, it breeds in the Himalayan forests, in
the winter months it descends to the plains below the Himalayan foothills, where it skulks
around in dense scrub. We were very fortunate to observe this species on two different
occasions. The first sighting occurred in dense scrub, close to our lodge, on the edge of
Nameri National Park. The second sighting occurred in the Himalayan forests, close to
Lava.
Thick-billed Warbler Acrocephalus aedon This species breeds in Siberia, Mongolia and
Northeastern China. It is an uncommon winter visitor to northeastern India, where it skulks
around in overgrown gardens and scrub. We had fairly good looks at an individual, creeping
around in secondary scrub, at the Hathikuli Tea Plantation, close to Kaziranga National
Park.
Mountain Tailorbird Phyllergates cucullatus An uncommon resident of Himalayan forests. It is
at the extreme western edge of its range in West Bengal. Where we saw a bird very well,
along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham in West Bengal.
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius A common resident of the lowland plains of
northeastern India. We saw it very well in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus This rather plain phylloscopus warbler is a long- distance
migrant. In northeastern India it is a fairly common winter visitor to the forested lowlands,
from summer breeding grounds in Siberia, the Russian Far East, Mongolia and northeastern
China. We saw it well on a few occasions in Kaziranga National Park and again in the
Hathikuli Tea Plantation.
Buff-barred Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus pulcher In northeastern India this species is a common
altitudinal migrant, breeding in the mountain forests of the high Himalayas, where we saw it
well on many occasions, and wintering in the foothill forests, during the winter months.
Ashy-throated Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus maculipennis A fairly common altitudinal migrant in
northeastern India. Breeding in the mountain forests of the high Himalayas, where we saw it
well on a few occasions and wintering in the foothill forests during the winter months.
Lemon-rumped Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus chloronotus In northeastern India this species is a
common altitudinal migrant, breeding in the mountain forests of the high Himalayas, where
we saw it well on many occasions and wintering in the foothill forests, during the winter
months.
Yellow-browed Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus This species is a long-distance migrant. In northeastern India it is a fairly common winter visitor to the forested lowlands,
from summer breeding grounds in Siberia, the Russian Far East and China. We saw it well
on one occasion, in the Hathikuli Tea Plantation, close to Kaziranga National Park.
Hume's Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus humei In northeastern India this species is only a passage
migrant, from summer breeding grounds in Russia and Mongolia, to wintering grounds in
the plains of India and Myanmar. We saw a single bird close to Lava. Allan Octavian
Hume CB (1829-1912) was a famous Theosophis and poet, and also a writer on Indian birds.
He was born in London to a Radical Member of parliament, Joseph Hume. Allan Hume
joined the Bengal Civil Service at the age of 20. He wrote `The Game Birds of India` and
`Indian Oology and Ornithology`. After his retirement he was co-founder of the Indian
National Congress in 1885, and became its General Secretary until 1906.
Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides The Greenish Warbler is a long-distance migrant.
In northeastern India it is a common winter visitor of the forested lowlands, from summer
breeding grounds in Eastern Europe, Russia, Southern Central China and as close as the high
Himalayas of Northeastern India. We saw it well on a couple of occasions in Kaziranga
National Park and again at Kholakham.
Western Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus occipitalis This large species of phylloscopus warbler
is a long-distance migrant. In northeastern India this species is only a passage migrant, from
summer breeding grounds in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, to wintering grounds in the Indian
state of Madhya Pradesh and Bangladesh. We saw it well on a couple of occasions in the
Senchal Reserve, close to Darjeeling.
Green-crowned Warbler Seicercus burkii This species is a common altitudinal migrant in
northeastern India. It winters in peninsular India and breeds in the Himalayan forests during
the summer months. We saw it very well in the Neora Valley National Park and around
Lava.
Whistler's Warbler Seicercus whistleri This species is also a common altitudinal migrant in
northeastern India. It breeds in the mountain forests of the Himalayas and winters in the
foothill forests. We saw this species well in Kaziranga National Park, the Hathikuli Tea
Plantation and the Holongapar Gibbon Sanctuary. Hugh Whistler ( ?-1942) was a British
ornithologist who was attached to the British Natural History Museum and was a Fellow of
the Zoological Society. He lived at Battle, in Sussex, England, where he was a Justice of the
Peace. He spent much time in India and undertook a number of surveys there, such as one
in Rajasthan, in 1938, which listed 300 species. He published the Popular Handbook of
Indian Birds in 1928. This book has been updated many times by others and has been
regarded as the book that popularised birdwatching as a hobby, among the Indian elite.
Grey-hooded Warbler Seicercus xanthoschistos This species is a common resident of the high
Himalayan forests of northeastern India, where we saw it very well on several occasions.
White-spectacled Warbler Seicercus affinis This species is a scarce resident of the high
Himalayan forests of northeastern India, we saw it very well on one occasion, in the Senchal
Reserve, at Darjeeling.
Grey-cheeked Warbler Seicercus poliogenys The Grey-cheeked Warbler is a locally common
resident in the high Himalayan forests of northeastern India, we saw it very well on a couple
of occasions, along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Chestnut-crowned Warbler Seicercus castaniceps This very beautiful species of warbler is a
locally common altitudinal migrant in northeastern India. It breeds in the mountain forests
of Himalayas and winters in the foothill forests. We saw it very well on several occasions,
in the mountain forests of the Himalayas.
Black-faced Warbler Abroscopus schisticeps This species is a fairly common resident of the high
Himalayan forests of northeastern India, where we saw it very well on several occasions.
Broad-billed Warbler Tickellia hodgsoni The Broad-billed Warbler is a scarce resident of the
high Himalayan forests, in northeastern India. We saw it amongst a mixed species feeding
flock in the Neora Valley National Park.
Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris A locally common resident of the lowlands of
northeastern India. We saw it well in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks and again
at the Baragaon Landfill.

OLD WORLD FLYCATCHERS MUSCICAPIDAE
Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata This beautiful species of flycatcher is a
common resident of the high Himalayan forests, where we saw it well on a few occasions.
Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla Another beautiful species of flycatcher, which is a common
winter visitor to the lowlands of northeastern India, from breeding grounds in Siberia. We
saw it very well on a number of occasions, in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra Yet another beautiful bird, this species is an
altitudinal migrant in northeastern India. It winters in the forested lowlands and breeds
during the summer months in the high Himalayan forests. We saw an adult male on one
occasion, along the Pipeline Track at Kholakham.
White-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula monileger In northeastern India this beautiful bird is a rare
resident of the high Himalayan forests. We were very fortunate to observe a single bird very
well, along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni In northeastern India this stunning species of
flycatcher is a locally common resident of the high Himalayan forests, where we saw it very
well on several occasions.
Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus Yet another beautiful bird, this species is an altitudinal
migrant, in northeastern India. It winters in the forested lowlands and breeds during the
summer months in the high Himalayan forests. We saw it very well both in the lowlands
and in the highlands.
Large Niltava Niltava grandis The Large Niltava is an uncommon resident of the high Himalayan
forests. We saw it well on a couple of occasions, along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Small Niltava Niltava macgrigoriae Yet another beautiful bird, this species is a common
altitudinal migrant in northeastern India. It winters in the forested lowlands and breeds
during the summer months in the high Himalayan forests. We saw it very well both in the
lowlands and in the highlands.
Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara This beautiful species is a fairly common resident of the
high Himalayan forests. We saw it well on one occasion, in secondary forest, close to
Kholakham.
Pale-chinned Flycatcher Cyornis poliogenys This rather dull species of flycatcher, is a fairly
common resident of the lowland forests of northeastern India. We saw an adult bird very
well, while birding in the Holongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, close to Jorhat.
Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis Yet another beautiful bird, this species
is a common altitudinal migrant in northeastern India. It winters in the forested lowlands
and breeds during the summer months in the high Himalayan forests. We saw it very well
both in the lowlands and in the highlands.
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica This beautiful species is a fairly common winter visitor to the
lowlands of northeastern India, from breeding grounds in Russia and China. We saw a
stunning adult male on once occasion, in Kaziranga National Park.
Himalayan Bluetail Tarsiger rufilatus Another beautiful bird, which is a common resident of the
high Himalayan forests, where we saw it well on several occasions.
Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis A common and widespread resident, throughout the
lowlands of northeastern India, which we saw very well on many occasions.
White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus This very beautiful species is an uncommon
resident of the lowland forests of northeastern India. We glimpsed this species in Kaziranga
National Park and then enjoyed several very close looks, during our time in the Holongapar
Gibbon Sanctuary.
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros The Black Redstart is an uncommon winter visitor to the
lowlands of northeastern India, from breeding grounds in southern China. We observed
single birds very well, in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus The Daurian Redstart is a scarce winter visitor to the
lowlands of northeastern India, which is at the extreme western edge of its wintering
grounds. It breeds in southern China. Therefore, we were very fortunate to observe a
beautiful adult male, in the grounds of our lodge, on the outskirts of Kaziranga National
Park.
Blue-fronted Redstart Phoenicurus frontalis Yet another beautiful bird, this species is a common
altitudinal migrant in northeastern India. It winters in the forested lowlands and breeds
during the summer months in the high Himalayan forests. We saw it very well on a few
occasions around Lava.
White-capped Redstart Chaimarrornis leucocephalus This very attractive species is a common
resident of fast flowing mountain streams and rivers, both in the Himalayan foothills and
also in the high Himalayas. We saw it very well along the Jia Bhareli River, in Nameri
National Park, in the lowlands, and close to Ambiok and along the Pipeline Track, in the
high Himalayas.
Plumbeous Water-Redstart Rhyacornis fuliginosa Another attractive species which is also a
common resident of fast flowing mountain streams and rivers, both in the Himalayan
foothills and also in the high Himalayas. We saw it very well along the Jia Bhareli River,
in Nameri National Park, in the lowlands, and close to Ambiok and along the Pipeline
Track, in the high Himalayas.
Blue-fronted Robin Cinclidium frontale The status of this very shy and retiring species is difficult
to assess, because of the birds extremely elusive behaviour. It is very local and extremely
scarce in the Himalayas of West Bengal. It is considered extremely rare in China, where
it has only been observed in the Dafending Giant Panda Reserve. The status of this species
in South East Asia, is even less clear, the handful of records may involve non-breeding
visitors. There is only one confirmed record from Laos, a handful from Northern Vietnam
and only two definite records from Thailand. It is almost never observed outside of the
breeding season. So we were extremely fortunate that Elva pointed out a bird at close
quarters in the courtyard of our lodge, eating leftover rice from lunch, at Kholakham.
Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus This beautiful species is an abundant winter visitor to the
lowlands of northeastern India, from breeding grounds in Russia. We enjoyed a great many
sightings, during our time in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
Grey Bushchat Saxicola ferreus In northeastern India, this species is a common resident,
throughout both the lowlands and the highlands, where we saw well on many occasions.   

FANTAILS RHIPIDURIDAE
Yellow-bellied Fantail Rhipidura hypoxantha Yet another beautiful bird, this species is a
common altitudinal migrant in northeastern India. It winters in the forested lowlands and
breeds during the summer months in the high Himalayan forests. We saw it very well on a
few occasions around Lava.
White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis The White-throated Fantail is a common resident
throughout northeastern India. We saw it very well on many occasions in the forests of the
high Himalayas.

BABBLERS TIMALIIDAE
Striated Laughingthrush Garrulax striatus A common resident of the high Himalayas, which we
saw very well on many occasions.
Rufous-necked Laughingthrush Garrulax ruficollis This species is an uncommon resident of the
lowlands of northeastern India. We watch a large flock in the Hathikuli Tea Plantation,
close to Kaziranga National Park.
Spotted Laughingthrush Garrulax ocellatus This attractive species of laughingthrush is an
uncommon resident of the high Himalayan forests. We observed a pair of birds at Tiger
Hill, at Darjeeling.
Grey-sided Laughingthrush Garrulax caerulatus An uncommon resident of the high Himalayan
forests. We were very fortunate to observe a small flock, extremely well, along the Pipeline
Track, at Kholakham.
Scaly Laughingthrush Garrulax subunicolor This laughingthrush is a scarce resident of the high
Himalayan forests. Fortunately, we observed a small flock very well, on one occasion,
while birding along the Pipeline Track at Kholakham.
Black-faced Laughingthrush Garrulax affinis The Black-faced Laughingthrush is a common
resident of the high Himalayan forests. We observed this attractive species on many
occasions, as it was particularly found of picking through piles of rubbish that had been
dumped by the local people. Fortunately for us, there was plenty of piles of rubbish for us to
check!
Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush Garrulax erythrocephalus This species of laughingthrush, is
less shy than most of its relatives, and as a result, we saw it well on many occasions, in the
forests of the high Himalayas, where it is a fairly common resident.
Red-faced Liocichla Liocichla phoenicea This species is an uncommon resident of the forests of
the high Himalayas. Once again, the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham, turned up trumps, as
we enjoyed watching a small flock, following a flock of Scaly Laughingthrushes.
Abbott's Babbler Malacocincla abbotti This species is a fairly common resident of the lowland
forests of northeastern India. We saw a single individual very well, in the Holongapar
Gibbon Sanctuary, close to Jorhat, in Assam. Dr William Louis Abbott (1860-1936) was a
student, naturalist and collector. He studied the wildlife of the Indo-Malayan region, using
his Singapore-based ship Terrapin, and made large collections of mammals from central and
southeast Asia for the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian) in Washington
D.C. He provided much of the Kenya material in the Smithsonian and was the author of
Ethnological Collections in the United States National Museum from Kilima-Najaro, East
Africa in their report of 1890/91. Sims described the babbler from a specimen taken in
1927.
Puff-throated Babbler Pellorneum ruficeps A common resident of the forested lowlands of
northeastern India. We observed a pair of birds very well, in the grounds of our lodge, on
the outskirts of Kaziranga National Park.
Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis The Streak-breasted Scimitar-
Babbler is a fairly common resident of the forests of the high Himalayas. We observed a
small flock, not particularly well in forest close to Lava. We then observed a second flock
much better, along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Coral-billed Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus ferruginosus A scarce resident of the high
Himalayan forests, we were fortunate indeed to enjoy good looks at a small flock, along the
Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler Pnoepyga albiventer All of the wren-babblers have very skulking
habits, making them very difficult to see well. However, on one occasion, close to Lava, we
saw one of these individuals remarkably well. It is a fairly common resident of the high
Himalayan forests.
Pygmy Wren-Babbler Pnoepyga pusilla Another fairly common resident of the high Himalayan
forests, we eventually saw one well, along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Rufous-throated Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis caudatus This species is an uncommon resident of
the high Himalayan forests. It is probably not as shy as other species of wren-babblers and
we saw one particularly well, close to Lava. This species is classified as `Near Threatened`
by Birdlife International. The estimated population is unknown, but thought to be declining.
Within its limited range, this species is threatened by the destruction and fragmentation of
forest, chiefly through logging and the clearing of forest for cultivation.
Buff-chested Babbler Stachyris ambigua A recent split from Rufous-fronted Babbler, the Buff-
chested Babbler is a locally common resident of the lowland forests of northeastern India.
We only saw it on one occasion, in the Hathikuli Tea Plantation, close to Kaziranga National
Park. Fortunately, we saw it very well.
Rufous-capped Babbler Stachyris ruficeps This species is a fairly common resident of the forests
of the high Himalayas, we saw it well on several occasions.
Golden Babbler Stachyris chrysaea This delightful species of babbler is locally fairly common in
the forests of the high Himalayas. We saw it very well on a few occasions along the
Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Pin-striped Tit-Babbler Macronous gularis A common resident of the lowland forests of
northeastern India. We observed it in the Hathikuli Tea Plantation, close to Kaziranga
National Park and also in Nameri National Park.
Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea This beautiful bird is locally common in the forests of the
high Himalayas. We saw it well on one occasion, in montane forest close to Lava.
Himalayan Cutia Cutia nipalensis This stunningly attractive species is local and uncommon in
the forests of the high Himalayas of northeastern India. This species was known as Nepal
Cutia, until it was recently discovered to be present in India. We enjoyed very good looks at
small flocks close to Lava and along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Himalayan Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius ripleyi A recent split from White-browed Shrike-Babbler,
this species is an uncommon resident in the forests of the high Himalayas, where we saw it
well on a number of occasions.
Rusty-fronted Barwing Actinodura egertoni This bird is a locally fairly common resident of the
forests of the high Himalayas. We enjoyed very good looks at small flocks close to Lava.
Hoary-throated Barwing Actinodura nipalensis This species is a fairly common resident of the
forests of the high Himalayas. We observed a small flock very well, close to Lava.
Blue-winged Siva Siva cyanouroptera A common bird throughout the forested lowlands and high
Himalayas of northeastern India. Somewhat surprisingly, it was only observed by John, in
one of the mixed species feeding flocks, along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Bar-throated Siva Minla strigula This species is one of the commonest residents in the forests of
the high Himalayas, where we recorded it on a daily basis.
Red-tailed Minla Minla ignotincta This attractive species is a fairly common resident of the
forests of the high Himalayas. We saw it well on a couple of occasions, in mixed species
feeding flocks, along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Golden-breasted Fulvetta Alcippe chrysotis This stunningly attractive but diminutive species of
babbler, is a locally fairly common resident of the forests of the high Himalayas. We
observed a few small flocks, during our time in the mountains.
Yellow-throated Fulvetta Alcippe cinerea This attractive species is a scarce resident of the
forests of the high Himalayas. We were very fortunate to observe a very large flock of this
species, keeping very low in the undergrowth, along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Rufous-winged Fulvetta Alcippe castaneceps This beautiful bird is a very common resident of
the forests of the high Himalayas, we saw it on every day of the tour, while in the
mountains.
White-browed Fulvetta Alcippe vinipectus Another common resident of the high Himalayas, we
saw several small flocks during our time in the mountains.
Nepal Fulvetta Alcippe nipalensis A common resident of the forests of the high Himalayas, this
species was only observed by John, in one of the mixed species feeding flocks, observed along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Rufous Sibia Heterophasia capistrata By far the commonest bird of the forests of the high
Himalayas. This attractive species was observed on every single day we spent in the
Himalayas.
White-naped Yuhina Yuhina bakeri This species is a locally fairly common resident of the
forests of the high Himalayas. We saw it well on one occasion, while birding the Pipeline
Track, at Kholakham.
Whiskered Yuhina Yuhina flavicollis A very common resident of the forests of the high
Himalayas. We recorded it every day that we spent in the mountains.
Stripe-throated Yuhina Yuhina gularis This species is also a very common resident of the forests
of the high Himalayas. Once again, we recorded it every day that we spent in the
mountains.
Rufous-vented Yuhina Yuhina occipitalis Another common resident of the forests of the high
Himalayas. We recorded it on most days, during our time in the mountains.
Fire-tailed Myzornis Myxornis pyrrhoura This beautiful species is a locally common resident of
the forests of the high Himalayas of northeastern India. We saw it very well on one
occasion, in the Neora Valley National Park.   

PARROTBILLS PARADOXORNITHIDAE
Black-throated Parrotbill Paradoxornis nipalensis This beautiful little bird is a common resident
of the montane forests of the high Himalayas wherever there are large tracks of bamboo.
We saw small flocks very well, along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.          

LONG-TAILED TITS AEGITHALIDAE
Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus A very beautiful and common resident of the forests of
the high Himalayas. We observed small flocks on a number of occasions.

CHICKADEES AND TITS PARIDAE
Coal Tit Periparus ater This wide ranging species is a locally common resident of the high
Himalayan forests, wherever there are large stands of native pine trees. We saw a single
individual in one such tree, in the Neora Valley National Park.
Great Tit Parus major A common resident of the lowland forests of northeastern India, which
observed well on many occasions, during the first half of the tour.
Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus This more attractive species replaces the above species in the
forests of the high Himalayas, where it is a very common resident and we saw it on a daily
basis.
Yellow-cheeked Tit Parus spilonotus This very attractive species is a locally common resident in
the forests of the high Himalayas, where we saw it well on a number of occasions.
Yellow-browed Tit Sylviparus modestus This very small species is a fairly common resident of
the montane forests of the high Himalayas. We saw it very well, but only on one occasion,
in the Neora Valley National Park.
Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea This absolutely gorgeous species is a fairly common resident
of the lowland forests of northeastern India. We saw it very well indeed, in Nameri
National Park.

NUTHATCHES SITTIDAE
Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch Sitta cinnamoventris This delightful species is a common inhabitant
of lowland forests in northeastern India. We saw it very well on a couple of occasions,
during our time in Nameri National Park.
White-tailed Nuthatch Sitta himalayensis This species of nuthatch is a common resident of the
montane forests of the high Himalayas, which we observed well on many occasions.
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis This species is a common resident of the lowland forests
of northeastern India. We saw it well in both Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.

CREEPERS CERTHIIDAE
Brown-throated Treecreeper Certhia discolor This species is a fairly common resident of the
montane forests of the high Himalayas. We saw it well on several occasions, along the
Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.                                       

SUNBIRDS AND SPIDERHUNTERS NECTARINIIDAE
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis The Ruby-cheeked Sunbird is a locally common
resident of the lowland forests of northeastern India. We observed it well in the grounds of
our lodge at Kaziranga and also in Kaziranga National Park.

Mrs Gould's Sunbird Aethopyga gouldiae This very attractive species is an uncommon resident
of the montane forests of the high Himalayas. We only observed it on one occasion, while
birding in the Neora Valley National Park. This species is named after Elizabeth Gould
(1804-1841) who was the artist wife of the famous ornithologist, John Gould (1804-1881).
Green-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga nipalensis A common resident of the montane forests of the high
Himalayas, which we saw on a daily basis, in the mountains.
Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata This species is a fairly common resident of the
montane forests of the high Himalayas, we saw it well on a couple of occasions, along the
Pipeline Track, at Kholakham.
Eastern Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja This species is a common resident of the lowland
forests of northeastern India. We saw it very well in both Kaziranga and Nameri National
Parks.
Fire-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga ignicauda This stunning species, is a fairly common altitudinal
migrant, of the Himalayan mountain range. At the time of our first arrival in the Himalayas,
around Lava, we found large numbers busily feeding, while also moulting into full breeding
plumage. A week later, only one straggler remained, all the others had moved up the
mountains, to a much higher altitude, where they would breed.

FLOWERPECKERS DICAEIDAE
Plain Flowerpecker Dicaeum concolor This bird is a common resident of the lowland forests of
northeastern India, which we saw very well, on a number of occasions.
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectum This species of flowerpecker is a common
resident of the montane forests of the high Himalayas. We observed it at Lava and again at
Kholakham.
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum This very attractive species is a common
resident of the lowland forests of northeastern India. We saw it very well in the grounds of
our lodge, on the outskirts of Kaziranga National Park.

WHITE-EYES ZOSTEROPIDAE
Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus This species of white-eye is a common resident of the
lowland forests of northeastern India. We saw it very well in the grounds of our lodge, on
the outskirts of Kaziranga National Park and also in Kaziranga National Park.

OLD WORLD ORIOLES ORIOLIDAE
Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus This splendid bird is a common resident of the lowland
forests of northeastern India, where we saw it very well, on a great many occasions.

FAIRY-BLUEBIRDS IRENIDAE
Asian Fairy-bluebird Irena puella This beautiful species is a fairly common resident of the
lowland forests of northeastern India. We saw it well in both Kaziranga and Nameri
National Parks.

SHRIKES LANIIDAE
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus This species is a fairly common winter visitor, to the lowlands of
northeastern India. From breeding grounds in China and the Russian Far East. We saw a
few of these birds, during our time in Kaziranga National Park.
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach The race erythronotus is a common resident of the lowlands of
northeastern India, which we saw well on several occasions in Kaziranga National Park.
The race tricolor, is an uncommon resident of the forests of the Himalayas, which we saw
on one occasion, at Kholakham.
Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus Throughout its range the Grey-backed Shrike is a fairly
common altitudinal migrant. We observed this species every day on its wintering grounds,
in the lowlands.

HELMETSHRIKES AND ALLIES PRIONOPIDAE
Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis gularis In northeastern India this species is a fairly common
resident of lowland forests. It was observed on one occasion in Nameri National Park.

DRONGOS DICRURIDAE
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus A common and widespread resident throughout the
lowlands of northeastern India, where we recorded it on every day of the tour.
Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus The Ashy Drongo is an altitudinal migrant wintering in the
lowlands, where we saw it on one occasion, in Kaziranga National Park. In spring, it then
migrates to higher altitude in the forests of the high Himalayas, where we saw it on every
day of the tour.
Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus The Bronze Drongo is a fairly common resident of the lowland
forests of northeastern India, where we saw it well on several occasions.
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer The Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo is a locally
common resident of the lowland forests of northeastern India. We only observed it on one
occasion, in the Holongapar Gibbon Sanctuary near Jorhat, in Assam.
Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus This species is a locally common resident of the
lowland forests of northeastern India, where we saw it well on several occasions.
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus This species is a common resident of the
lowland forests of northeastern India, where once again, we saw it well on a few occasions.   

WOODSWALLOWS ARTAMIDAE
Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus This species is a fairly common resident of the lowland
forests of northeastern India, where we enjoyed many good sightings.

CROWS, JAYS AND MAGPIES CORVIDAE
Yellow-billed Blue Magpie Urocissa flavirostris This beautiful bird is a locally common resident
in the montane forests of the high Himalayas. We saw it very well on a few occasions, at
Lava.
Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda Another beautiful species, the Rufous Treepie is a
common resident of the lowland forests of northeastern India, where we saw it very well on
many occasions.
House Crow Corvus splendens A common and widespread resident of the villages and towns, in
both the lowlands and highlands of northeastern India, which we saw well on many
occasions.
Eastern Jungle Crow Corvus Levaillantii This species is a common resident of the lowlands, of
northeastern India, where we saw it on every day of the tour.
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos In northeastern India, this species replaces the Eastern
Jungle Crow, in the montane forests, where we saw it well on every day of the tour.                  

STARLINGS STURNIDAE
Common Hill Myna Gracula religiosa This species is a common resident of the lowlands of
northeastern India, where we saw it very well, on several occasions.
Great Myna Acridotheres grandis This species is at the northwestern edge of its range in
northeastern India, where it is a fairly common resident of the lowlands. We saw it well on
several occasions.
Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus This species is an abundant resident throughout the lowlands of
northeastern India, where we recorded it on every day of the tour.
Bank Myna Acridotheres ginginianus We only saw the Bank Myna on two occasions, both
sightings occurred at Bagdogra Airport, in West Bengal. This species is right at the eastern
edge of its range here, which is why we only had two sightings.
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis An abundant resident of the lowlands of northeastern India,
where we saw it on every day of the tour.
Asian Pied Starling Gracupica contra In northeastern India this species is a very common
resident of the lowlands, where we saw it on a daily basis.
Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnia malabarica The Chestnut-tailed Starling is a fairly common
resident of the lowland forests of northeastern India. We enjoyed many good sightings,
during our time in the lowland forests.                                

OLD WORLD SPARROWS PASSERIDAE
House Sparrow Passer domesticus A common and widespread resident throughout the lowlands
of northeastern India, which we saw on numerous occasions.
Russet Sparrow Passer rutilans This species is a common resident of the villages in the high
Himalayas. We found small numbers nesting in the village of Kholakham, in West Bengal.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus This species is a common resident of towns and
villages, both in the lowlands and the highlands. We enjoyed many sightings of this
attractive species.

WEAVERS AND ALLIES PELOCEIDAE
Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus A locally abundant species of the lowlands, where we saw it
well on a few occasions.

SISKINS, CROSSBILLS AND ALLIES FRINGILLIDAE
Dark-breasted Rosefinch Carpodacus nipalensis This attractive species is a fairly common
resident of the montane forests of the Himalayas. We saw a small flock in secondary forest
at Kholakham and this was followed by a sighting of a pair of birds at Tiger Hill, at
Darjeeling.
Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus This species is a common altitudinal migrant
throughout northeast India. We saw a small flock very well, on one occasion, at
Kholakham, in West Bengal.
Yellow-breasted Greenfinch Chloris spinoides This attractive species is a fairly common
altitudinal migrant, throughout northeastern India. A very large flock was present around
Lava, during the few days we spent there and we were able to enjoy some very close
looks at this species.
Tibetan Siskin Serinus thibetanus The Tibetan Siskin is a rare altitudinal migrant in northeastern
India. It breeds at the treeline in the high Himalayas and winters at lower elevations in the
Himalayas. We were extremely fortunate that John pointed out a large flock, on their
wintering grounds, along the Pipeline Track, at Kholakham, in West Bengal.
Golden-naped Finch Pyrrhoplectes epauletta This stunning species is an uncommon resident of
the montane forests of the high Himalayas. We were very fortunate to enjoy very good
sightings of both a male and a female, in a mixed species feeding flock, along the Pipeline
Track, at Kholakham.
Scarlet Finch Haematospiza sipahi Another attractive species, the Scarlet Finch is an uncommon
resident of the montane forests of the high Himalayas. We observed a few large flocks,
which we saw very well, at both Lava and Kholakham.

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