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North Cachar Hills (Barail Range), Assam, India (1 Viewer)

madpitta

Well-known member
Recently there was an all-India Big Bird Day event on 8th March. Basically birders from around the country go birding in different locations on the same day and try to find as many species as they can. Then they enter the data on ebird and the stats/results are compiled after that. I wanted to visit a new area which would not only be a write-in for the BBD but also be exploratory at the same time. The Barail hill range in southern Assam fit the bill perfectly. I had always wanted to go birding there but never did because of security issues. Now on a last moment whim that is where I decided to go, with no prior planning.

The effort involved hiking to the top of Hempeupet Peak (1750 masl) from the southern end of Jatinga (700 masl). 109 species were recorded and though this is much less than the 207 from last year's BBD in Kaziranga, I still consider it quite successful, having recorded several montane rarities seldom reported from Assam and some confirmations of continued existence in the state. Highlights include (only hill birds noted):

Beautiful Nuthatch
Rufous-backed Sibia
Grey Sibia
Spot-breasted Laughingthrush
Blue-winged Laughingthrush
Assam Laughingthrush
Red-faced Liocichla
Rufous-fronted Barwing
Streak-throated Barwing
Black-headed Shrike-Babbler
White-browed Shrike-Babbler
Black-eared Shrike-Babbler
Striated Yuhina
Black-chinned Yuhina
White-naped Yuhina
Whiskered Yuhina
Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler
Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler
Streaked Wren Babbler
Flavescent Bulbul
Crimson-breasted Woodpecker
Purple Cochoa (heard only)
Mrs Gould's Sunbird
Green-tailed Sunbird
Sapphire Flycatcher
Russet Bush Warbler
Several Phylloscopus & Seicercus species.
Collared Owlet

A short walk on 9th morning (wont count for BBD) in the vicinity yielded an Asian Stubtail - possibly a first for Assam (considered a vagrant to India but that could be because of it getting overlooked).

Detailed trip report with maps, images, annotated trip list in the link below:

http://www.cloudbirders.com/tripreport/repository/BARUAH_Assam_03_2015.pdf

Thanks,
Pritam.
 
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