Thursday, 28 January 2016

Big Spotty Cat

One of the non-avian highlights in India was undoubtedly the stunning Indian Leopard we saw whilst up in Corbett National Park. Hot on the heals of the Bengal Tiger we'd seen a few days previously, and not to forget the two Jungle Cats we'd also seen prior to this new cat sighting.

It was a huge beast and lay totally unconcerned on a huge boulder beside the river where we watched it for a good 20 minutes, unlike the Tiger where there was a crowd of people all jostling for position here we had the big cat to ourselves. Spectacular. We also had another Leopard trying to get inside our camp for a deer tea too!

IPhone-scoped Indian Leopard

Friday, 22 January 2016


Sorry for the delay in posts/news over the last three weeks. Internet and time during my tour was hit and miss, will catch up with posts on India soon (It was great! - 400+ species including some of the best birds in the world, and some more feline activity...), but for now I'm back in Thailand. Have been having a bit of R&R in Bangkok the last couple of days and have just started a 10 day trip to a few places.

First up on the list of places to go was Bueng Boraphet about 4 hours north of Bangkok, for one reason. Baer's Pochard. One of the rarest ducks in the world. Three birds had turned up on the lake whilst I was in India and I decided to head straight across for them once I'd organised myself. Baer's Pochard used to be fairly frequent, even a common winter visitor to Thailand but the recent population crash (last 20 or so years) has seen this species become listed as Critically Endangered - I think there's only been a couple of records in Thailand in the last 5 years.

I heard an interesting talk by Dr Debbie Pain (Director of Conservation at the WWT) whilst at the Oriental Bird Clubs AGM in September last year and afterwards thought my chances of seeing this species were getting lower and lower by the minute! Lets hope all the work going into conserving this species works...

So late yesterday afternoon I got a boat out onto the lake and saw the three birds with a flock of Ferruginous Ducks, Common Pochard and Tufted Duck. Views were distant and not great and the light was practically gone so I decided to go back again this morning...

I headed out just after first light and after an hour or so of twisting through the various channels seeing numerous really nice birds we picked up the Aythya flock. It was apparent that the Baer's were not with them! After an hour or so of searching the surrounding area we picked them out and manoeuvred the boat towards them a little.

There was a pair of birds present, the third bird was out of sight still. I managed to get the following shots on my Iphone through my Swarovski ATX95 - not an easy task handheld on a rocking boat with moving ducks! But at least I've seen them and hopefully they are clear enough. I didn't want to be the one to flush them!

Baer's Pochard (male)

Baer's Pochard (female)

Baer's Pochard (male left and female right)

Sunday, 10 January 2016


After the tiger mentioned in the previous post we had incredible views of a female Tiger the following morning. Here are a couple of photos...

We first had her walking about along a lake edge, before she walked out and across a plain - fantastic views. Something I'll not forget!

Monday, 4 January 2016

The (Rare) Owl and the Pussy Cat (TIGER)

Just taking a quick opportunity to write a blog post while I have some internet. The first two days of the Birding Ecotours Northern India Tour that I'm leading have got off to a great start with the finding of a bit or a rarity in the form of a Pallid Scops-Owl in Delhi yesterday, and today with a sun-bathing Bengal Tiger! No pressure for Day 3 then....

All photos from my IPhone and reduced to upload due to internet speed.

Pallid Scops-Owl in Delhi - a bit of a rarity!

Pallid Scops-Owl in Delhi - a bit of a rarity!

Bengal Tiger having a siesta! 

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Enjoying a Citrine Wagtail

Spent some time today enjoying fairly close views of a Citrine Wagtail in Sultanapur, India. Here are a few photos of it... just one of many birds enjoyed today.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Bharatpur Bird Photos

Here are a few more photos from my time at Bharatpur ahead of  the tour commencing in a couple of days. Having some great birds here, with very little effort!

Indian Courser - stunner! (IPhone-scoped)

Eastern Great Egret

Bar-headed Goose - wild ones for once!

 Common Myna

Grey Wagtail

House Crow

Spot-billed Duck

Jungle Babbler

Little Cormorant

Oriental Magpie-Robin

Purple Heron

Ruddy Shelduck

White-throated Kingfisher

Yellow-footed Green Pigeon