Skip to main content

Featured Post

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

Some Unexpected Birding in West Sikkim

“Amma, there is a black, white and red bird!” Samhith exclaimed. He had just ventured to the river , which flowed through the Club Mahindra’s property at Baiguney, Sikkim, and was excited to have seen a bird without me! Shankar, returning after a long walk, said he had seen the bird too. That left me, the only enthusiastic birder among the three of us, to have not seen the bird, during my short walk to the river bed. That had to be rectified, so off I went to the river again, and there it was, sitting on a rock, as if waiting for me.

White Capped Water Redstart



That was the first time I saw the White Capped Water Redstart, though we saw it often over the next few days. Sitting by the river was an incredibly peaceful experience, one which made our stay at Baiguney even more memorable. The turquoise blue of the water, the rounded stones, and the utter silence are still with me as I sit and write this post.



A flock of birds flew past, and others pecked around for food on the other bank, too far to be captured with my camera. A movement captured my attention, and there was a small bird quite near me, frolicking in the water. It didn’t seem to be disturbed by my presence, and soon I realized that it wasn’t the only one. There were three of the same kind, all happily dipping into the water, and emerging every now and then to peck among the rocks…

Plumbeous Water Redstart


These were the Plumbeous Water Redstarts, getting their name from their colour which resembles lead (anything containing lead is referred to as plumbeous), and the photo above is my favourite among all those I clicked of the bird.

Plumbeous Water Redstart


One of the birds on the other bank came towards the river, and I managed to get a click, though this is the best I could do in the fading light.

Slaty-Backed Forktail


I had assumed it to be a wagtail, but a closer look told me that it could possibly be a Slaty –Backed Forktail!

A Hill Myna alighted on a stone nearby, and though we had seen many of these before, I had to click it again!

Hill Myna


Later,  when we visited Khecheopalri Lake, we spotted another variety of redstart – the Blue Fronted Redstart….

Blue Fronted Redstart


…And another bird, which I haven’t been able to identify….



As well as these ducks, which I haven’t been able to identify either…



I hadn’t planned on doing any birding on my Sikkim trip. It was meant to be a family holiday after all, and we visited all the usual places tourists do. Which is why, spotting these birds, all of which were new to me, only made the trip even more memorable!



Information:
  • We saw most of these birds during our stay at the Club Mahindra’s Baiguney Resort. The property stretches to the banks of the Rangeet river, and it is possible to walk to the river, and in winter, when the flow is less, sit on the rocks on the river bed.
  • Khecheopalri Lake is the other place where we saw birds without making any effort. I have written a detailed post on the lake here


Comments

  1. Wah! I had photographed the redstarts in Rajaji. Nice to see the, here again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Param. I have seen redstarts during my visit to Corbett, but this time I had a much better look as well as some decent photos.

      Delete
  2. Great shots
    But I would like to add some little things,hope U won`t mind
    1.The Bird U identified as Myna is a Blue Whistling Thrush
    2.Bard in the Bamboo pole is probably a Olive-backed Pipit
    3.The Duck was a great catch-it`s a Common Merganser.Yet to see one myself.
    Great sightings 7 shots.
    TFS
    regards
    Partha Sen
    Kolkata,Westbengal
    15.10.2015

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

The Havelis of Bikaner - A Photo Post

The lanes are narrow , twisting and turning amidst buildings old and new. Crumbling old structures with intricate workmanship stand side by side with art deco buildings, and more modern constructions, which follow no particular style. Autos, bicycles, motorcycles and vans rush past, blowing their horns as loudly as possible, while cows saunter past peacefully, completely unaffected by the noise. In the midst of all this chaos, children play by the side, and women go about their chores, as we explore these by-lanes of Bikaner, and its beautiful Havelis. Facade of one of the Rampuria Havelis

Bhedaghat - Home of the 81 Yoginis

The Narmada flows down the mountains , carving out a path for herself as she makes her way down to the plains of Central India. She cascades from the rocks, her fine spray making it appear as if billows of smoke (dhuan) arise from the flowing streams of water (dhaar), giving it the name Dhuandhar. Dhuandhar Falls The force of her flow creates a gorge , smoothening and carving out the rocks into fantastic shapes, the pure white of the rocks standing starkly against the shades of the water. It is a joy to cruise down the river in a boat, seeing the natural contours created by the river, now famous as the Marble Rocks. We are at Bhedaghat, located on the banks of the Narmada near Jabalpur, where thousands of visitors turn up to see these natural landscapes, creations of the sacred Narmada, and pay obeisance to her. However, to me, the most interesting thing about Bhedaghat, isn’t the falls or the rocks, or even the river. What makes Bhedaghat special is t

Kabini Part 3 - After the Rains

Visiting Kabini in peak summer, we hadn’t bargained for the rains, which dominated our three days at the Lodge. While animal sightings were understandably lesser than usual, seeing the forest in the rain was an interesting experience in its own way. However, as we headed back into the forest for our second and third safaris, we hoped the rains would let up, and allow us to see more animals! Winding jungle paths