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Water (and Birds!) at Bharatpur
|Bharatpur: After the recent
drought, the jheels are now full of water. (Photo: Mike
||Bharatpur: The mass of birds at
Bharatpur can be a spectacle to match any in the world. (Photo:
Further to Dave Dunfordís article from last winter High and Dry
in Bharatpur I thought it would be helpful to provide an update on the
situation for the forthcoming winter. The good news is that, after four
years of drought in this part of India, the summerís monsoon has been
excellent. Rainfall has been above average, with torrential rain falling
on many days, including up to 10cm on a single day.
|Common Cranes: (Photo: Mike
||Intermediate Egret: (Photo:
Thankfully, the scenes from last winter of what are normally bird-rich,
well-vegetated jheels being completely dry, cattle-grazed fields are no
more. Instead, these are lush green once again and are proving an
excellent feeding ground for hundreds of waders and wildfowl, as well as
the likes of Purple Swamphens and both Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged
|Bar-headed Geese: Some of the few
waterbirds present in the dry winter of 2002/2003. (Photo: Mike
||Painted Stork: (Photo: Mike
Consequently the breeding season for hundreds of pairs of Painted
Storks and Asian Openbills, plus Darters, Spoonbills and the various
herons, egrets and cormorants is in full swing.
With autumn migration in full flow the numbers and variety of birds at
Bharatpur will continue to rise. So, the outlook is good for an excellent
winterís birding. What would round it off perfectly would be if any
Siberian Cranes return after a blank year. Local birders will be looking
out expectantly over the next few weeks!
|Large-tailed Nightjar: (Photo:
||Spotted Owlet: (Photo: Mike
Wednesday 22 October 2003
For more information about birds and birding in India, including
occasional reports from Bharatpur, check out the Northern India Bird
Network and the Delhi Bird Club at Delhibird and Mike's own web page https://bubo.org/.
Stop Press: Recent reports at Bharatpur include three new
species for the park: Plain-backed Thrush, Blue-capped Rock Thrush and
Lesser Fish Eagle, plus the first Black-capped Kingfisher since 1996.
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