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Trip Report - Gujarat & Kutch (Western India) Birding Tour - 18 to 30-11-2007 (1 Viewer)


Published by Arpit Deomurari (deomurari AT gmail.com),

Participants: Arpit Deomurari (Birding Expert), Mr. Ken Hatshorn (UK) and Mr. John Hollyer (UK).

Birds: 283 Species


Fly this morning on Jet Airways from Mumbai to Bhuj. Met on arrival and transferred 1 ½ hours to KERC at Tera Village.


Full day birding looking particularly for Great Indian Bustard.


Full day birding in consultation

DAY 5 Wed 21st Nov: CHARI DAND – BHUJ

Full day birding before driving back to spend the night in Bhuj – 1 hr 15 minutes.


Drive about 6 hours to the Little Rann of Kutch where the last of the Indian Wild Ass has been given protection in a dedicated sanctuary. The Rann is a fascinating terrain – essentially the shallow bed of the sea that drains out in the dry months and gets flooded during the monsoon by the sea surging inland on the one hand and the seasonal streams in monsoon flood bringing in fresh water on the other. This mix of salt and sweet water provides ideal conditions for the prolific growth of crustaceans and other aquatic food for the flamingoes and other birds that breed and winter here in enormous numbers. Apart from the Wild Ass the Little Rann is also the home for a wide variety of species that include wolf, chinkara gazelle, nilgai, blackbuck antelope, desert fox and Asiatic Wild Cat.

In addition to the game drives this evening and the next morning you can visit Kharapat Rabari and Bahrwadi villages, tribes who have their own distinctive style of embroidery; then there are the nomadic Bajanias and Mirs, and the Paddhars, a tribe of fisher folk. Your accommodation here is in pleasant and comfortable rooms based on the local mud hut architecture.

DAY 7/8 Fri/Sat 23rd/24th Nov: LITTLE RANN
Rann Riders/Dasada

DAY 9 Sun 25th Nov: LITTLE RANN – GIR

Drive 4 – 5 hours to Gir and check-in at Lon Safari Camp. Game viewing to begin from the PM drive.

DAY 9/10 Mon/Tue 26th/27th Nov: GIR

Two full days of game viewing and bird watching


At one of the good hotels in Bhavnagar. Pm: visit Velavadar


Full day Velavadar


Drive 4 hours to Ahmedabad. Overnight at House of Mangaldas.

DAY 14 Sat 1st Dec: AHMEDABAD

Tour Ends

Illustrated Report is here.

Some Notable Sightings:

Kutch (Great Rann of Kutch):

As we have started from Kutch (Great Rann of Kutch), We had very good sightings of 5 White napped tit, 2 pairs were on the same Bush and another single individual was 5-8 mt. away on the other bush. But they had given us very good view also opportunity to shoot such beautiful bird.

Another important sighting for Kutch was the Red-throated Pipit. We came across this very dark pipit on the coastal wetland near Pingleshwar in Kutch region of Gujarat India on 19-11-2007.
After seeing this bird only two species come to our notice Pechora Pipit Anthus gustavi and Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus. But Pechora PipitRed-throated pipit. And Red-throated pipit have rather plainer upper parts than shown by Pechora pipit. This is the first authentic record for the Gujarat state. have brightish pink base to the lower mandible typically rather yellowish in

After visiting Naliya Done and other area on the last day we had visited Chari Dhandh, A famous hot spot in Kutch for Raptors and Grey Hypocolious, We sighted 12 Grey Hypocolious on the roosting time. And in the morning in the same area we had seen many raptor species including Steppe Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Common Buzzard, Long legged buzzard, Marsh Harriers, Oriental Hobby etc. This seasonal wetland has also large population of White Storks, and other wetland birds.

Also the Rock Eagle Owl, A recent split form Eurasian Eagle Owl was seen nesting on the “PAKHI BHEET” area of chari dhandh. This small hill in the Rann provides very good habitat for many species which also include Red-tailed Wheatear, Brown Rock Chat etc. A pair of Jungle cat with its kitten was observed on both days at PAKHI BHEET area.

Other notable species in Kutch were, Dusky warbler, Desert Whitethroat, Desert Warbler, Common Buzzard, Pin-tailed Snipe, Huge Flock of Greater Short toed Lark etc.

LRK ( Little Rann of Kutch):

After spending 4 days in Kutch we drove 7 hours to reach the Little rann of kutch area. We stayed at Rann Riders resort at Dasada.

The Nawa Talav famous wetland of Little Rann of Kutch was full with Ducks, Geese, Cranes, and many waders. Thousands of cranes coming here for roosting and also for water is really a moment to enjoy.

The marshy habitat of Vanod Saran, nr. Dasada is also a very good hotspot for birders you can find good number of species over here including, white tailed lapwing, grey lag geese, bar headed geese, cranes, crakes and rails, etc. The show master of this wetland were the rosy pastor they were atleast in 2000-5000 in strength comes here for roosting and their acrobatics are really great to see at sunset. The flocks of rosy pastor were also having small no. of Common or European Starling.

The biggest attraction of Little Rann of Kutch was sightings of 45 Sociable Plover. 22-11-2007, at Little Rann of Kutch near Vanod Village. A flock of 45 birds were seen roosting at a site where the author (Arpit Deomurari) has reported 27 same birds last(2006-2007) year also. This flock is considered as the largest flock of sociable lapwing found in India till date.

This Lapwing is also listed in the Red Data Book as a Critically Endangered Bird Species. They breed on open grassland in Russia and Kazakhstan. Three to five eggs are laid in a ground nest. These birds migrate south through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey, to key wintering sites in Israel, Syria, Eritrea, Sudan and north-west India. Birds winter occasionally in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Oman. It feeds in a similar way, picking insects and other small prey mainly from grassland or arable.

In 2004 BirdLife International categorized this bird as critically endangered, due to a rapid population decline for poorly understood reasons. The main decline took place between 1960 and 1987, when the known population halved; it is presently some 20-25% of the 1930s population levels (BirdLife International 2006). The current population was estimated to be between 600 and 1,800 mature birds in 2006 (BirdLife International), but is currently being revised to the upward ent of that scale, possibly more, following the discovery of the species' previously unknown main wintering grounds in Syria, where 1500 birds of all ages were encountered. Additionally, in October of 2007, a superflock of approximately 3,200 Sociable Lapwing was discovered in Turkey, according to Guven Eken, director of the Turkish Nature Association. The current IUCN classification is CR A3bc - meaning that the population is expected to decline in the next decade or so by 80%, but based on theoretical considerations and the known habitat destruction rather than direct observation of the birds. Thus, the new discoveries might mean that as more data becomes available, the species could be down listed to Endangered.

A Scientist working on the Sociable Lapwing Mr. Johannes Kamp has ringed 140 birds (mostly juv.) in Pavlodar region, NE Kazakhstan, this year (two colour rings on each leg, combination always starting with a yellow ring). These birds are at the easternmost distribution border and thus supposed to go to India/Pakistan. Author (Arpit Deomurari) would like to ask any future observers to check these birds for color rings? The yellow ring is quite obvious to seeing the field.

Another highlilght of the Little Rann of Kutch were 8 Macqueen's Bustard (Chlamydotis macqueenii) in a 3 hours game drive and of course the largest lark of the world, Greater Hoopoe Lark(Alaemon alaudipes)

GIR National Park:

GIR National Park the last abode of Asiatic Lions produced some very good birds, some of them …Brown breasted Flycatcher (Muscicapa muttui), Jungle Prinia, Excellent view of Mottled Wood owl Pair, etc. We had very good sightings of 2 Lioness with 2 subadult cubs.

Velavadar Blackbuck National Park:

This park is famous as the largest concentration of Blackbuck in India and also Asia’s largest Roost of Harriers. We had all the harriers eg. Pallids, Montagu’s, Hen and Marsh Harriers etc. Apart from other birds we had really great sightings of Striped Hyena in the park for 3 visits. And we had good sightings of Indian Wolf also.

Bird Checklist:

No. Scientific name Common name

1 Francolinus francolinus Black Francolin

2 Francolinus pondicerianus Grey Francolin

3 Coturnix coturnix Common Quail

4 Perdicula asiatica Jungle Bush Quail

5 Perdicula argoondah Rock Bush Quail

6 Dendrocygna javanica Lesser Whistling-duck

7 Anser anser Greylag Goose

8 Anser indicus Bar-headed Goose

9 Tadorna ferruginea Ruddy Shelduck

10 Sarkidiornis melanotos Comb Duck

11 Nettapus coromandelianus Cotton Pygmy-goose

12 Anas strepera Gadwall

13 Anas penelope Eurasian Wigeon

14 Anas platyrhynchos Mallard

15 Anas poecilorhyncha Spot-billed Duck

16 Anas clypeata Northern Shoveler

17 Anas acuta Northern Pintail

18 Anas querquedula Garganey

19 Anas crecca Common Teal

20 Aythya ferina Common Pochard

21 Aythya nyroca Ferruginous Pochard

22 Aythya fuligula Tufted Duck

23 Turnix sylvatica Small Buttonquail

24 Jynx torquilla Eurasian Wryneck

25 Dendrocopos nanus Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker

26 Dendrocopos mahrattensis Yellow-crowned Woodpecker

27 Dinopium benghalense Black-rumped Flameback

28 Megalaima haemacephala Coppersmith Barbet

29 Upupa epops Common Hoopoe

30 Coracias garrulus European Roller

31 Coracias benghalensis Indian Roller

32 Alcedo atthis Common Kingfisher

33 Halcyon smyrnensis White-throated Kingfisher

34 Ceryle rudis Pied Kingfisher

35 Merops orientalis Green Bee-eater

36 Clamator jacobinus Pied Cuckoo

37 Cuculus canorus Eurasian Cuckoo

38 Eudynamys scolopacea Asian Koel

39 Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii Sirkeer Malkoha

40 Centropus sinensis Greater Coucal

41 Psittacula krameri Rose-ringed Parakeet

42 Psittacula cyanocephala Plum-headed Parakeet

43 Cypsiurus balasiensis Asian Palm Swift

44 Apus affinis House Swift

45 Hemiprocne coronata Crested Treeswift

46 Otus bakkamoena Collared Scops Owl

47 Bubo bubo Eurasian Eagle Owl

48 Strix ocellata Mottled Wood Owl

49 Athene brama Spotted Owlet

50 Asio flammeus Short-eared Owl

51 Caprimulgus indicus Grey Nightjar

52 Caprimulgus mahrattensis Sykes's Nightjar

53 Caprimulgus macrurus Large-tailed Nightjar

54 Caprimulgus asiaticus Indian Nightjar

55 Columba livia Rock Pigeon

56 Streptopelia turtur European Turtle Dove

57 Streptopelia orientalis Oriental Turtle Dove

58 Streptopelia senegalensis laughing Dove

59 Streptopelia chinensis Spotted Dove

60 Streptopelia decaocto Eurasian Collared Dove

61 Treron phoenicoptera Yellow-footed Green Pigeon

62 Chlamydotis macqueenii Macqueen's Bustard

63 Grus antigone Sarus Crane

64 Grus virgo Demoiselle Crane

65 Grus grus Common Crane

66 Gallicrex cinerea Watercock

67 Porphyrio porphyrio Purple Swamphen

68 Gallinula chloropus Common Moorhen

69 Fulica atra Common Coot

70 Pterocles exustus Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

71 Pterocles indicus Painted Sandgrouse

72 Gallinago stenura Pintail Snipe

73 Gallinago gallinago Common Snipe

74 Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit

75 Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit

76 Numenius phaeopus Whimbrel

77 Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew

78 Tringa totanus Common Redshank

79 Tringa stagnatilis Marsh Sandpiper

80 Tringa nebularia Common Greenshank

81 Tringa ochropus Green Sandpiper

82 Tringa glareola Wood Sandpiper

83 Xenus cinereus Terek Sandpiper

84 Actitis hypoleucos Common Sandpiper

85 Arenaria interpres Ruddy Turnstone

86 Calidris minuta Little Stint

87 Calidris temminckii Temminck's Stint

88 Calidris ferruginea Curlew Sandpiper

89 Philomachus pugnax Ruff

90 Hydrophasianus chirurgus Pheasant-tailed Jacana

91 Burhinus oedicnemus Eurasian Thick-knee

92 Esacus recurvirostris Great Thick-knee

93 Himantopus himantopus Black-winged Stilt

94 Recurvirostra avosetta Pied Avocet

95 Pluvialis fulva Pacific Golden Plover

96 Charadrius dubius Little Ringed Plover

97 Charadrius alexandrinus Kentish Plover

98 Charadrius mongolus Lesser Sand Plover

99 Charadrius leschenaultii Greater Sand Plover

100 Vanellus malarbaricus Yellow-wattled Lapwing

101 Vanellus indicus Red-wattled Lapwing

102 Vanellus gregarius Sociable Lapwing

103 Vanellus leucurus White-tailed Lapwing

104 Cursorius coromandelicus Indian Courser

105 Larus heuglini Heuglin's Gull

106 Larus brunnicephalus Brown-headed Gull

107 Larus ridibundus Black-headed Gull

108 Larus genei Slender-billed Gull

109 Gelochelidon nilotica Gull-billed Tern

110 Sterna caspia Caspian Tern

111 Sterna aurantia River Tern

112 Sterna hirundo Common Tern

113 Sterna albifrons Little Tern

114 Chlidonias hybridus Whiskered Tern

115 Pandion haliaetus Osprey

116 Pernis ptilorhyncus Oriental Honey-buzzard

117 Elanus caeruleus Black-shouldered Kite

118 Milvus migrans Black Kite

119 Haliastur indus Brahminy Kite

120 Gyps bengalensis White-rumped Vulture

121 Gyps indicus Long-billed Vulture

122 Gyps fulvus Eurasian Griffon

123 Aegypius monachus Cinereous Vulture

124 Circaetus gallicus Short-toed Snake Eagle

125 Spilornis cheela Crested Serpent Eagle

126 Circus aeruginosus Eurasian Marsh Harrier

127 Circus macrourus Pallid Harrier

128 Circus pygargus Montagu's Harrier

129 Accipiter badius Shikra

130 Accipiter nisus Eurasian Sparrowhawk

131 Butastur teesa White-eyed Buzzard

132 Buteo buteo Common Buzzard

133 Buteo rufinus Long-legged Buzzard

134 Aquila clanga Greater Spotted Eagle

135 Aquila rapax Tawny Eagle

136 Aquila nipalensis Steppe Eagle

137 Aquila gurneyi Gurney's Eagle

138 Hieraaetus pennatus Booted Eagle

139 Spizaetus cirrhatus Changeable Hawk Eagle

140 Falco tinnunculus Common Kestrel

141 Falco chicquera Red-necked Falcon

142 Falco subbuteo Eurasian Hobby

143 Tachybaptus ruficollis Little Grebe

144 Podiceps cristatus Great Crested Grebe

145 Anhinga melanogaster Darter

146 Phalacrocorax niger Little Cormorant

147 Phalacrocorax fuscicollis Indian Cormorant

148 Phalacrocorax carbo Great Cormorant

149 Egretta garzetta Little Egret

150 Egretta gularis Western Reef Egret

151 Ardea cinerea Grey Heron

152 Ardea purpurea Purple Heron

153 Casmerodius albus Great Egret

154 Mesophoyx intermedia Intermediate Egret

155 Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret

156 Ardeola grayii Indian Pond Heron

157 Butorides striatus Little Heron

158 Nycticorax nycticorax Black-crowned Night Heron

159 Phoenicopterus ruber Greater Flamingo

160 Phoenicopterus minor Lesser Flamingo

161 Plegadis falcinellus Glossy Ibis

162 Threskiornis melanocephalus Black-headed Ibis

163 Pseudibis papillosa Black Ibis

164 Platalea leucorodia Eurasian Spoonbill

165 Pelecanus onocrotalus Great White Pelican

166 Pelecanus crispus Dalmatian Pelican

167 Mycteria leucocephala Painted Stork

168 Anastomus oscitans Asian Openbill

169 Ciconia nigra Black Stork

170 Ciconia episcopus Woolly-necked Stork

171 Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus Black-necked Stork

172 Lanius isabellinus Rufous-tailed Shrike

173 Lanius cristatus Brown Shrike

174 Lanius schach Long-tailed Shrike

175 Lanius meridionalis Southern Grey Shrike

176 Dendrocitta vagabunda Rufous Treepie

177 Corvus splendens House Crow

178 Corvus validus Long-billed Crow

179 Oriolus oriolus Eurasian Golden Oriole

180 Pericrocotus cinnamomeus Small Minivet

181 Pericrocotus erythropygius White-bellied Minivet

182 Rhipidura aureola White-browed Fantail

183 Dicrurus macrocercus Black Drongo

184 Dicrurus leucophaeus Ashy Drongo

185 Dicrurus caerulescens White-bellied Drongo

186 Hypothymis azurea Black-naped Monarch

187 Terpsiphone paradisi Asian Paradise-flycatcher

188 Aegithina tiphia Common Iora

189 Aegithina nigrolutea Marshall's Iora

190 Tephrodornis pondicerianus Common Woodshrike

191 Muscicapa dauurica Asian Brown Flycatcher

192 Muscicapa muttui Brown-breasted Flycatcher

193 Ficedula parva Red-throated Flycatcher

194 Eumyias thalassina Verditer Flycatcher

195 Cyornis tickelliae Tickell's Blue Flycatcher

196 Culicicapa ceylonensis Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher

197 Luscinia svecica Bluethroat

198 Copsychus saularis Oriental Magpie Robin

199 Saxicoloides fulicata Indian Robin

200 Phoenicurus ochruros Black Redstart

201 Saxicola macrorhyncha Stoliczka's Bushchat

202 Saxicola torquata Common Stonechat

203 Oenanthe picata Variable Wheatear

204 Oenanthe pleschanka Pied Wheatear

205 Oenanthe xanthoprymna Rufous-tailed Wheatear

206 Oenanthe deserti Desert Wheatear

207 Oenanthe isabellina Isabelline Wheatear

208 Cercomela fusca Brown Rock-chat

209 Sturnus pagodarum Brahminy Starling

210 Sturnus roseus Rosy Starling

211 Sturnus vulgaris Common Starling

212 Acridotheres tristis Common Myna

213 Acridotheres ginginianus Bank Myna

214 Parus major Great Tit

215 Parus nuchalis White-naped Tit

216 Riparia riparia Sand Martin

217 Hirundo concolor Dusky Crag Martin

218 Hirundo rustica Barn Swallow

219 Hirundo smithii Wire-tailed Swallow

220 Hirundo daurica Red-rumped Swallow

221 Pycnonotus leucotis White-eared Bulbul

222 Pycnonotus cafer Red-vented Bulbul

223 Hypocolius ampelinus Grey Hypocolius

224 Cisticola juncidis Zitting Cisticola

225 Prinia buchanani Rufous-fronted Prinia

226 Prinia hodgsonii Grey-breasted Prinia

227 Prinia gracilis Graceful Prinia

228 Prinia sylvatica Jungle Prinia

229 Prinia socialis Ashy Prinia

230 Prinia inornata Plain Prinia

231 Zosterops palpebrosus Oriental White-eye

232 Cettia cetti Cetti's Bush Warbler

233 Acrocephalus melanopogon Moustached Warbler

234 Acrocephalus agricola Paddyfield Warbler

235 Acrocephalus dumetorum Blyth's Reed Warbler

236 Acrocephalus stentoreus Clamorous Reed Warbler

237 Hippolais caligata Booted Warbler

238 Orthotomus sutorius Common Tailorbird

239 Phylloscopus collybita Common Chiffchaff

240 Phylloscopus fuscatus Dusky Warbler

241 Phylloscopus affinis Tickell's Leaf Warbler

242 Phylloscopus trochiloides Greenish Warbler

243 Phylloscopus occipitalis Western Crowned Warbler

244 Dumetia hyperythra Tawny-bellied Babbler

245 Turdoides caudatus Common Babbler

246 Turdoides malcolmi Large Grey Babbler

247 Turdoides striatus Jungle Babbler

248 Sylvia communis Greater Whitethroat

249 Sylvia curruca Lesser Whitethroat

250 Sylvia nana Desert Warbler

251 Sylvia hortensis Orphean Warbler

252 Mirafra cantillans Singing Bushlark

253 Mirafra erythroptera Indian Bushlark

254 Eremopterix grisea Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark

255 Ammomanes phoenicurus Rufous-tailed Lark

256 Ammomanes deserti Desert Lark

257 Alaemon alaudipes Greater Hoopoe Lark

258 Melanocorypha bimaculata Bimaculated Lark

259 Calandrella brachydactyla Greater Short-toed Lark

260 Calandrella raytal Sand Lark

261 Galerida cristata Crested Lark

262 Galerida deva Sykes's Lark

263 Alauda gulgula Oriental Skylark

264 Dicaeum concolor Plain Flowerpecker

265 Nectarinia asiatica Purple Sunbird

266 Passer domesticus House Sparrow

267 Petronia xanthocollis Chestnut-shouldered Petronia

268 Dendronanthus indicus Forest Wagtail

269 Motacilla alba White Wagtail

270 Motacilla maderaspatensis White-browed Wagtail

271 Motacilla citreola Citrine Wagtail

272 Motacilla flava Yellow Wagtail

273 Motacilla cinerea Grey Wagtail

274 Anthus rufulus Paddyfield Pipit

275 Anthus campestris Tawny Pipit

276 Anthus similis Long-billed Pipit

277 Anthus cervinus Red-throated Pipit

278 Ploceus philippinus Baya Weaver

279 Lonchura malabarica Indian Silverbill

280 Lonchura punctulata Scaly-breasted Munia

281 Emberiza buchanani Grey-necked Bunting

282 Emberiza striolata House Bunting

283 Emberiza melanocephala Black-headed Bunting

By Arpit Deomurari


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