Sunday, November 11, 2012

A morning of birding in Nagpur – October 31, 2012

Futula Lake
Sure to be one of the most memorable Halloween mornings of my trip was my second morning in Nagpur when Dr. Anil Pimpalure and Dr. Ravi Waikar took me out for an early morning of birding.  Although we only had an hour, we saw 30 odd species, right in the heart of the city.  We began at Futula Lake where the first species encountered were the Little Grebe and Indian Pond Heron.  Soon we spied a Pied Kingfisher, catching his morning breakfast.  As we continued along we saw several other marsh and wading birds at the lake’s edge including a Bronze-winged Jacana, two Purple Swamphens and Red-wattled Lapwings. An Indian Robin then led us up a path, past a small house (where a White-throated Kingfisher was perched) where we encountered a beautiful Golden Oriole, and a Common Chiffchaff. Still near the lake, two Grey-breasted Prinias popped up in the scrub—tails cocked and chattering—much like North America’s Marsh Wren.  Then, with only a half hour left we hopped in the car and went to a botanical garden associated with the agricultural college.  There, in addition to several Green Bee-eaters, and we found a rarity that even my two companions were quite excited to see: a White-browed Bulbul.  As we walked through the gardens, we met with several other birders, most of them university age and often carrying cameras with quite impressive telephoto lenses.  This was also my first encounter with the Jungle Babbler, or the “seven sisters”, as they call them here as they often travel in groups of seven chattering along the way.  Additional sightings included the Brahminy Starling, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Grey Wagtail, Shikra and Eurasian Collared Dove.

My birding guides and companions.

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