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Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Binsar - Part 2 - Armchair Birdwatching


Binsar is well known for its variety of birds, and attracts plenty of bird watchers. So, I was all set with my binoculars and camera, ready to see as many as I could! Of course, with my digicam I had no hopes of great photos, but as usual, my enthusiasm remained undiminished!

The bird calls woke me up early every morning, and there was no need to set an alarm. We were close enough to nature for our natural clock to work perfectly. There was plenty to see and observe from the room itself, and I made the most of it……

Of all the birds, the bulbuls were the most prominent… there were just too many of them flying around! We saw both, the red vented ones and the white cheeked ones, and later, our bird watching guide explained that these were the Himalayan Bulbuls. I couldn’t see much difference between these and the ones which came to our balcony back home in Bombay, except that the mountain ones seemed healthier!


White Cheeked Bulbul (Or is it Yellow vented Bulbul?)

Red Vented Bulbul

Yellow vented Bulbul

I love the crest in this one.. our city ones arent so beautiful!


One of the fattest Bulbuls we saw.. the mountain air must agree with them!



Apart from bulbuls, there were also plenty of Jungle Babblers, Hill Mynas and drongoes…. The hill mynas were completely black, unlike their city cousins…..

A Hill Myna.. or so we were told...can someone confirm????

At first I thought this was a sparrow.. but it isnt. can someone tell me which bird it is???

This is  a drongo... sitting in an unusual position... If I hadnt followed it for a while, wouldnt have known...

Drongo

Drongo

Myna???

Once we shifted to the log hut, I saw many more birds, most of which I could neither identify nor take photographs of, since they were so much faster than me and my simple camera…. It really is high time I buy a new one!

Unknown Bird.. Identification please!

See that small bird there??? maybe a flycatcher....

This beautiful plum headed parakeet was really helpful in arousing Samhith early! It was patient enough to sit still till my sleepy son woke up and opened his eyes and had a good, long look at the beautiful bird outside our window!

Plum Headed Parakeet

Plum Headed Parakeet

Plum Headed Parakeet


I also saw a Hoopoe for the first time……. one appeared outside our window for a while and I did manage to get a snap, though not a good one, and it was gone before Samhith arrived, which irritated him no end. Thankfully, we saw another one the next day, and it was patient enough to pose for a snap while my son jumped around, excited at seeing a ‘new’ bird!

Hoopoe

The next day, we heard the call of the koel and managed to spot it and take a snap. Samhith wasn’t really impressed, saying that we could see it at home! While I agreed with him, I pointed out that we could hardly have got such a good and close shot at home, something which appeased him for a while!

Female Asian Koel

The fact that we saw so many birds from the room motivated us to go looking for more…. And we signed up for a bird watching trek… but more about that in the next post……
  

Comments

  1. Good lessons on birds. Good photos. But don't ask me to name any birds.

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  2. What a wide variety of birds! You may like to spend sometime on this website http://www.birding.in/ and see if you find some of your birds there.

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  3. The bulbuls you have labeled white-cheeked/yellow vented are actually "Himalayan bulbul" and not found in the plains. The "hill myna" is a blue whistling thrush, another mountain specialty. The black/yellow bird is a black-lored tit.

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  4. The bulbuls you have labeled white-cheeked/yellow vented are actually "Himalayan bulbul" and not found in the plains. The "hill myna" is a blue whistling thrush, another mountain specialty. The black/yellow bird is a black-lored tit.

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  5. @Chitra: hey, im just the same... only since i bought Salim Ali's bird book that i have started identifying a few birds..... the others are still confusing....

    @Mridula: thanks... that was useful! shall do that soon....

    @Dr.Mahesh: thanks......

    @Shilpa: thanks... it was great!

    @bonerpakhi: thanks so much......i shall add the names to the pics soon.....

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  6. This blog has come up very well. Good photos. Overall I must say you are very lucky lady!

    Jay :)
    Jayanna.B@gmail.com

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  7. lovely sighting..am missin birdwatching..need to go for a session soon

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  8. Like that silhouette with the crest.

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  9. Enjoyed the birding. Catching up with your Binsar tales. :)

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  10. wow it was like heaven on earth this state is blessed , it was more amazing when we saw a mark of a bird taking us to a cave....where we saw unimaginable , species..guys go check out this blessed place as soon as possible . we were in a group which was arranged by , a panel of excellent manager Mr Kush from Haridwar , Shree maa ganga tour's haridwar uttrakhand...excellent knowledge which , is essential for all these terrain tour's..guys go and feel the ambience of nature

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