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Recs for India in Late November? (1 Viewer)

Hi all, hoping to pick the Forum's brain about birding in India in mid- to late-November. My wife ("bird adjacent," let's say) and I will be making our first trip to India. We'll have 15 days on the ground, and I'd like to devote approximately half of that to wildlife. Right now, the plan is to begin in Delhi and front-load our cultural sightseeing, moving south to Agra and then west to Keoladeo, Jaipur, and Udaipur. We're not sure where we'll go from there and are seeking advice from those who've been.

We're both interested in mammals too, and my wife is not an especially serious birder, so I think it makes the most sense to pick a location with abundant megafauna. Of those I am familiar with, I am especially compelled by the rhinos of Kaziranga, but it isn't the most logical jump geographically. We are also considering continuing west into Gujarat (Gir/Rann of Kutch/Blackbuck, perhaps diverging to search for bustards) or Corbett (which seems like it will have some Himalayan specialties, plus a good mix of large mammals and some interesting reptiles like Gharial). Hoping this group might have suggestions based on season and amount of time (~six days, including a travel day on either end), including for locations we haven't yet considered. TIA for any information or opinions you can offer!
 
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It is a good few years ago now but we did a trip up to Corbett's NP staying in a river lodge with Wallcreepers and Ibisbill on the rocks nearby after a tourist trip.
We saw Tigers, Gharial and lots more and many Himalayan birds here and at nearby Naini Tal Hill Station we stayed 4 nights and 3 but four and two would be OK.
 
Some random thoughts:
  • Gir / Kutch is the logical continuation when you are going to Agra, Keoladeo, Jaipur and Udaipur, but it's quite the drive. It could be tempting to fly out of e.g. Udaipur, but this involves either a stopover in Delhi, or a flight to Delhi and a pretty long drive to e.g. Corbett. If you design the trip so you end in Jaipur, you have more options to fly out.
  • If you want to see a tiger, you should include either 2 days (4 jeep safaris) in Ranthambore (very good chances), Corbett (still very good chances but maybe slightly less), or any other reliable tiger park (but most if not all of those involve a long transit: Tadoba, Bandavghar, Kanha, for example).
  • Jaipur is excellent for Leopard sightings, just near town in Jhalana.
  • A boat tour on the Chambal river is a doable side trip from Agra.
  • Pushkar (between Jaipur and Udaipur) is culturally interesting and a very good site for White-naped Tit in the surrounding Acacia forests (but Jhalana and around Udaipur are great, too).
  • Marshall's Iora can be found in downtown Jaipur, namely in the Grass farm nursery, but also around town and around Udaipur, e.g. the road to Sajjangar palace and ofcourse also in Rhantambore (note that White-naped tit isn't present at Ranthambore, as far as I know and can judge from the few ebird sightings I think are erroneous or the bird is there but a rare occurrence in any way).
 
Hi Matty and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators. You've got some good information from the above posters. You might also have a look in our Opus article for India, which has a lot of links in there too.


I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.
 
It is a good few years ago now but we did a trip up to Corbett's NP staying in a river lodge with Wallcreepers and Ibisbill on the rocks nearby after a tourist trip.
We saw Tigers, Gharial and lots more and many Himalayan birds here and at nearby Naini Tal Hill Station we stayed 4 nights and 3 but four and two would be OK.
Hi @dandsblair, thanks for your reply, and appreciate the favorable appraisal of your time at Corbett. Wallcreeper and Ibisbill both dream birds indeed! Did you have a guide at Corbett/Nainital or go it alone?
 
Some random thoughts:
  • Gir / Kutch is the logical continuation when you are going to Agra, Keoladeo, Jaipur and Udaipur, but it's quite the drive. It could be tempting to fly out of e.g. Udaipur, but this involves either a stopover in Delhi, or a flight to Delhi and a pretty long drive to e.g. Corbett. If you design the trip so you end in Jaipur, you have more options to fly out.
  • If you want to see a tiger, you should include either 2 days (4 jeep safaris) in Ranthambore (very good chances), Corbett (still very good chances but maybe slightly less), or any other reliable tiger park (but most if not all of those involve a long transit: Tadoba, Bandavghar, Kanha, for example).
  • Jaipur is excellent for Leopard sightings, just near town in Jhalana.
  • A boat tour on the Chambal river is a doable side trip from Agra.
  • Pushkar (between Jaipur and Udaipur) is culturally interesting and a very good site for White-naped Tit in the surrounding Acacia forests (but Jhalana and around Udaipur are great, too).
  • Marshall's Iora can be found in downtown Jaipur, namely in the Grass farm nursery, but also around town and around Udaipur, e.g. the road to Sajjangar palace and ofcourse also in Rhantambore (note that White-naped tit isn't present at Ranthambore, as far as I know and can judge from the few ebird sightings I think are erroneous or the bird is there but a rare occurrence in any way).
@temmie: tremendously helpful intel - much appreciated. I was unaware of the possibility for Leopard so close to Jaipur, but will certainly add Jhalana to our itinerary!
 
Appreciate Keoladeo is already on your list, but just to emphasise its unmissable from a birding perspective.

I went there with my first wife (a non-birder, but she tagged along...) decades ago and we just caught a cycle rickshaw from Bharatpur...I'm guessing things may have changed in this respect...but it was one of my all time top birding days out.
 

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