Traveling birding en route for the Corbett National Park


Entry of the Jungle Lore Birding Lodge where we stayed. ©Gyorgy Szimuly

This morning we made a short birding walk before our departure for the Corbett National Park. It was a really pleasant and beautifully calm morning with bird songs all around. We saw some nice birds including a perching a nice flock of Black-headed JaysGreen-backed TitsStriated Prinia (lifer), Chestnut-bellied Rock ThrushBlue-capped Redstart, White-throated Laughingthrushes, Russet Sparrows, Olive-backed PipitPink-browed Rosefinch, a big flock of Yellow-breasted Greenfinch and local race of Rock Bunting. We also saw an overflying flock of Red-throated Thrush.

The idea for the rest of the day was to slowly descend from Pangot and reaching the border of Corbett National Park. We’ve got an open 4 wheel car which made or birding really enjoyable and easy.


Some Red-vented Bulbuls perched nicely just after Nainital but light was too harsh ten for a pleasant shot. © Gyorgy Szimuly


A pair of Grey-capped Pygmy-Woodpecker provided a nice view. © Gyorgy Szimuly


We had a nice birding at this stop in the Mangoli Valley. © Gyorgy Szimuly

From Pangot we drove through the Mangoli Valley via Nainital and Sariyatal which produced different birds and some beautiful lifers. The mixed forests and rocky hills with arid slopes made the birdlife diverse so our birding more interesting. Lifers included Besra, Golden Eagle, Blue-throated BarbetBrown-headed Barbet, Speckled Piculet, Fulvous-breasted WoodpeckerRed-billed Blue-MagpiePied Shrike-babbler, Himalayan Black-lored Tit, Red-vented Bulbul, Plain MartinNepal House Martin, Black-throated Bushtit, Western Crowned Warbler, White-tailed Nuthatch, Tickell’s Thrush, Red-throated Thrush, Plumbeous Water Redstart, White-tailed Stonechat, Hume’s Warbler and Brown Dipper. One of the most beautiful bird and my favorite of these was the Black-throated Bushtit. That cute species is simply gorgeous.

I was really confused when stopping at some exciting bird flocks in the Mangoli Valley. It was hard to decide whether I should have taken my camera for some dubious quality record shots of the birds we saw or I should have enjoyed using the borrowed Swarovski optics. Since my friend shot on everything I decided to ‘just watch‘ the birds. Following the movement of the awesome Black-throated Bushtits from 2 meters, via the SwaroVision, was a lifetime experience. Its very short close focus made burning every details to my brain possible.

Late afternoon we reached a major city, the Ramnagar which is very close to the Corbett National Park. On our way we made some birding from the car, while crossing lowlands, without stopping for longer times. We saw two Red-headed Vultures, several Steppe Eagles, a Greater Spotted Eagle, a Short-toed Snake-Eagle. At a plantation we saw our firstIndian Grey HornbillsLarge Grey Babblers and a few Baya Weavers at a nest colony.


Life in Ramnagar. © Gyorgy Szimuly


Cheerful family with kids at the Kosi River park. © Gyorgy Szimuly


Experiencing the Ramnagar traffic in late afternoon. © Gyorgy Szimuly


Street life in Ramnagar. © Gyorgy Szimuly

We reached Ramnagar by crossing the Kosi River. Before some birding, we had a fast late lunch and then returned to the river. Notable birds were many roosting Little Cormorants, Ruddy Shelducks, Little Egrets, a few Indian Pond Herons, River Lapwings, White-throated Kingfisher, Pied Kingfishers, Plumberous Water-Redstart, White-capped Water-Redstarts, Oriental Magpie Robin, Brown Dipper, White-browed Wagtail. We saw a few hundreds Rose-ringed Parakets flying over the city for night roosting.


Little Cormorant roosting on the bridge over the Kosi River. © Gyorgy Szimuly


Winter plumaged Indian Pond Heron at the Kosi River. © Gyorgy Szimuly 


Flocking Ruddy Shellducks on the Kosi River. © Gyorgy Szimuly

By leaving the Kosi River bridge we entered a wildlife area on the left side of the river where we saw our first Indian Peafowls and also a male Red Junglefowl. The number of overflying Rose-ringed Parakeets increased on with a few Plum-headed Parakeet which was moving separately. Other bird we saw here was a Grey Treepie. We stayed there till dawn.


Nice dawn alongside the Kosi River. © Gyorgy Szimuly

In the evening we arrived our hotel just next to the Corbett National Park. The Tiger Camp Hotel was a nice and quality place to stay. We enjoyed its service and the food.



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