Goa, plus Karnataka
and Tamil Nadu, India
8 - 28 February
by Mike Prince
This is a report on a birding trip to Goa and
some other south Indian sites. I flew on a flight-only charter from London Gatwick
to Dabolim Airport, Goa with Air 2000 for three weeks. This cost £435.
I spent the first week birding in and around Goa (including a three-day, two-night
stay at Backwoods Camp) and was then joined by my wife for a tour of Karnataka.
This was aimed predominantly at the historic sites of Karnataka (including the
rock-cut temples at Badami, the ancient ruined city of Hampi, Bangalore, Mysore
and the intricately carved temples at Belur and Halebid). It also encompassed
general birding throughout with specific visits to Ranganathittu, Nagarhole
and Bandipur in Karnataka, plus Mudumulai and Masinagudi in Tamil Nadu.
The whole trip proved an excellent and successful
mix of birding and sightseeing, the former producing 273 species (24 of which
were lifers for me) with some very welcome large mammals in the wildlife sanctuaries.
In keeping with my previous trips to Periyar, Ranthambhor and Chitwan in Nepal
we saw no tigers however!
I stayed with relatives in Calangute whilst in
Goa and we used a variety of hotels on our tour, mostly not booked in advance.
In Goa most birders stay in Baga. This is ideal since there is plenty of good
birding literally (sic) on the doorstep as well as a chance to meet other birders
and get up to date information. The Beira Mar is also the best place to find
a birding taxi driver. Most of them know the key sites and some of the main
birds (e.g. which tree to look at for Brown Fish Owl at Maem Lake!). However,
my relatives have a regular driver who still knew most of the key birding sites
so I used him throughout (and his taxi driver brother-in-law for our Karnataka
I have birded in various places in India, Nepal
and Sri Lanka before but would have no hesitation in recommending Goa as a cheap
and easy introduction to birding in the Indian Subcontinent.
Friday 8 February: Arrive in Goa. Late afternoon
at Fort Aguada.
9 February: Baga Hill, Baga Fields, Beira
10 February: Carambolim Lake, Chorao Island,
Maem Lake, Arpora Woods, Beira Mar.
11 February: Morjim Beach, Chapora Fort,
Arpora Woods, Beira Mar.
12 February: Backwoods Camp, Tambdi Surla.
13 February: Backwoods Camp.
14 February: Backwoods Camp.
15 February: Karnataka tour. Drive Goa to
Badami; overnight Badami.
16 February: Badami, Pattadkal, Aihole;
17 February: Hampi; overnight Hospet.
18 February: Hospet to Bangalore; overnight
19 February: Srirangapatnam, Ranganathittu;
20 February: Nagarhole; overnight Jungle
21 February: Nagarhole, Mysore; overnight
22 February: Bandipur, Masinagudi; overnight
23 February: Mudumulai, Mysore; overnight
24 February: Mysore to Belur; overnight
25 February: Belur, Halebid, drive to Mangalore;
overnight Marganthe Beach.
26 February: Drive to Goa, Beira Mar.
27 February: Arpora Woods, Baga Saltpans.
28 February: Saligao Zor, Beira Mar.
1 March: Late morning flight to Gatwick.
Site information is well described in Harris,
Kazmierczak & Singh and other reports. The following sections provide a
Backwoods is a must for the sought-after forest
birds and is excellent value at 3500 Rupees for full board, transport and two
and a half days superb birding. If you only have a week this can replace visiting
Bondla and Molem, although at least one of these is probably worth visiting
if you are staying for longer.
This is a little known site near Baga, sometimes
referred to as Baga Forest or Baga Woods. It is a wooded valley between two
hillsides north of Arpora, approachable from the track leading to Club Cubana
nightclub, approximately 1km north of the turn off to the Marinha Dourada hotel
from the main road north from Baga. The track leads off to the right where the
main road bends to the left. This site tends to be better than Baga Hill, although
both are worth visiting.
Unfortunately it no longer seems possible to gain
access to Ciba Geigy by asking at the gate. It may be possible to obtain permission
by writing in advance but otherwise you are restricted to viewing a small portion
of the main lake from the entrance gate and looking from the wall beside a track
on the west side. Two brief visits like this were very unproductive, although
it should still be possible to see storks - including Lesser Adjutant - towards
dusk ought to be better.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
This breeding colony for storks and herons allows
unbelievable close views - take plenty of film! I hired a boat personally rather
than join a general trip. This cost 200 Rupees plus tip for 30 to 45 minutes
and gave me extreme close-up views of River Tern and a Streak-throated Swallow
breeding colony as well as various storks, herons, egrets and cormorants.
Nagarhole (Rajiv Gandhi National Park)
Nagarhole is a superb reserve for good birding
and mammals, including tiger. The main place to stay in Nagarhole is the Kabini
River Lodge, apparently an excellent wildlife viewing lodge although expensive
at $110 per night for full board plus two game drives by jeep. Instead I used
Jungle Inn, just outside the park on the Hunsur Road. It is considerably more
basic than Kabini but only costs $75 for a similar package. We had a jeep to
ourselves and the two drives we did in the park we did were excellent for mammals
and birds. Birding was surprisingly good from the jeep (get one with an open
top if possible) and being the only guests we were able to stop whenever we
wanted to. The birding along the road from Jungle Inn was also very good. It
would have been well worthwhile staying an extra night or two and venturing
deeper into the park if possible.
Since friends of my wife's family owned Bamboo
Banks we stayed here for one night, although I had a little trepidation after
reading "Bamboo Banks is best avoided unless you are a hunter" in
Kazmierczak & Singh. Our stay turned out to be superb (and cheap) and I
have no idea what justified such an unfair comment - I had visions of hunting
trophies hanging everywhere but the reality was completely different. Bamboo
Banks is set amidst excellent well-watered vegetation beside a river and produced
the birding highlight of the trip in the form of a pair of Blue-bearded Bee-eaters
seen at close range from the outdoor dining table! At Bamboo Banks they can
also arrange treks and elephant/jeep rides. Overall, thoroughly recommended.
The full board, one night stay for the two of us cost a total of 2000 Rupees
Having rested for a few hours after my flight
I decided to visit Fort Aguada. I first tried the walk alongside the
canal, seeing Western Reef Heron and the only Terek Sandpipers and Pacific Golden
Plovers of the trip. Green Heron and Stork-billed Kingfisher were also notable
here. I then headed to the fort itself where passerines included Grey-breasted
Prinia and White-browed Bulbul. Not that I saw any, but apparently Indian Peafowl
roost in a tree near the bend in the road to the fort from late afternoon. Finally
I walked through the fields and marshes opposite the Taj Holiday Resort. This
area was quite good with two Black-shouldered Kites and a Brown Flycatcher plus
several commoner species.
I got the driver to drop me at the west side of
Baga Hill and then spent a few hours birding the hillside before walking back
to the Beira Mar hotel via Baga Fields. Almost the first birds I saw were some
Puff-throated Babblers, Brown-cheeked Fulvettas and an Orange-headed Ground
Thrush on the walk up the hill from near the bridge. A clearing just before
the summit was very productive and waiting here for half an hour or so gave
me good views of the spot-breasted race of White-throated Fantail, a Black-lored
Tit, Crimson-backed Sunbird and Pale-billed Flowerpecker. Other good birds on
the hill included White-bellied Drongo and Tawny-bellied Babbler.
Returning to Baga Fields the area around the football
pitch had several Paddyfield Pipits as well as one Richard's (most easily distinguished
by call when it was flushed) and the first of about a dozen Malabar Larks seen
throughout the fields. Amongst the many Black and Brahminy Kites overhead I
saw two Booted Eagles, Marsh Harrier and Osprey. A Black-capped Kingfisher was
probably the one seen several times over the next three weeks from the Beira
At the Beira Mar again that evening I saw my only
Alexandrine Parakeets of the trip but failed to see the Cinnamon Bittern - this
had become very elusive and was only seen once or twice within the three weeks
(and never by me!).
I met up with an American birder and we went for
a full day out to Carambolim Lake, Chorao Island and Maem Lake. Ideally all
three sites could do with longer but it was an enjoyable day without being too
rushed. We arrived at Carambolim just before dawn to see hundreds of egrets
flying in from their roost. Lesser Whistling Ducks were very much in evidence
but otherwise the numbers and variety of ducks was a little disappointing, probably
being too late in the winter. Careful scanning did produce six Comb Ducks. The
area of bushes at the south-west of the lake, near the railway station, was
very good with a Grey-bellied Cuckoo and a nigropileus female Blackbird.
Incidentally the plate in Grimett, Inskipp and Inskipp is very poor for both
male and female Blackbird - several birders have been fooled into thinking they
are seeing Tickell's Thrushes or other species! The east side of the lake also
has good areas of trees and bushes, and a Streak-throated Swallow was seen well
perched on wires here.
Chorao Island was the next stop, via the ferry
from Ribander. Three White-bellied Sea Eagles were perched on posts in the water
and there was a very large, dense flock of Pintail on the river. The marshes
just beside the ferry landing had a good selection of waders, including Temminck's
Stint and three Little Pratincoles, and an Ashy Woodswallow flew over. I walked
across the island to the boat jetty via the road hoping to see some Lesser Adjutants
in flight and managed to see five, plus two Woolly-necked Storks.
It seemed unlikely that a boat trip would produce
any different birds so I decided to head for Maem Lake instead. Although in
the heat of the afternoon this was an excellent site. Exploring off the main
track on the east side was good for several mixed species flocks. These included
eight Coppersmiths together in a flowering 'Flame of the Forest' tree (these
attractive, bright red flowered trees were excellent for birds in all the areas
that I visited), Yellow-crowned Woodpecker and Greater Racket-tailed Drongo.
Birds can move quickly though, witnessed by the fact that I saw Grey-headed
Bulbul which my companion missed and he saw a Blue-headed Rock Thrush which
In the evening I decided to visit Baga Forest,
a site I had read about in a trip report. It's better referred to as Arpora
Woods and deserves more coverage since birds were very much in evidence. A White-bellied
Sea Eagle nest is visible here.
Rounding off the day with a well-earned Kingfisher
beer at the Beira Mar Hotel, I spent some time watching snipe to try and positively
identify them. After a while a Common lifted it's wing; I never managed to get
diagnostic views of Pintail on this or other evenings but, based on tail projection
and subtle plumage differences, did manage to convince myself that both species
were present on some occasions!
Although I didn't know what time high tide was
I decided to go to Morjim Beach for the early morning. Unfortunately my gamble
did not pay off for the tide was about three hours away from being high and
the gulls and terns were on a distant sandbank in the middle of the estuary.
Luckily three gulls were sat close on the beach so I had good views of one heuglini
and two 'yellow-legged' gulls, possibly cachinnans. Also distant scanning
and watching of birds flying in and out of the estuary made it possible to see
most species, including both Crested and Lesser Crested Terns. A large flock
of Lesser Sand Plovers on the beach allowed very close approach. In them was
a single Little Pratincole as well as a few Greater Sand Plovers. In the area
inland from the palms a flock of Scaly-breasted Munias was seen feeding on the
After this I headed to the opposite side of the
estuary and up to Chapora Fort. Annoyingly by the time I got to the top I could
see a large flock of gulls on Morjim Beach where I had been standing earlier
since the tide had now risen high enough! Blue Rock Thrush was the best bird
seen at the fort.
In the evening I went to Arpora Woods again. Following
up rustling sounds in the leaf litter was very worthwhile because I managed
to get very close views of Indian Pitta and Barred Buttonquail.
At 05:30 I was picked up by Pramod, one of the
guides from Backwoods. There were 11 of us altogether, on the standard three-day,
two-night package. We stopped en-route at a couple of places and were immediately
treated to excellent birding. Both Malabar Grey and Malabar Pied Hornbills were
seen in the same fruiting fig tree along with Pompadour Pigeons and the first
of a few Vernal Hanging-parrots, all of which called and flew over rapidly without
ever giving good views! The second stop by a bridge over a river had many good
birds, including a superb Blue-faced Malkoha perched openly in a clump of bamboo,
a Little Spiderhunter, Spangled Drongo and Dusky Crag Martin. We arrived at
Backwoods for breakfast (the food was excellent and plentiful, with cold drinks
and beer available) and then a forest walk. Despite this being in the heat of
the day it was superb and the list of species was very impressive: Sri Lanka
Frogmouth, Malabar Trogon, Indian Pitta, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Forest Wagtail,
Crested Goshawk, Changeable Hawk-eagle, Crimson-fronted Barbet, Asian Fairy
Bluebird, Indian Blue Robin. It has to be said that subsequent walks did not
live up to this one, but could not really be expected to!
After lunch we had a couple of hours to ourselves
before another excursion. I tried another forest walk in this time, but saw
very little! We then drove to the nearby Tambdi Surla temple and spent the next
couple of hours there. Several Mountain Imperial Pigeons were seen, plus two
Rufous-bellied Eagles, a Brown-breasted Flycatcher, two Malabar Whistling-thrushes
and an unfortunately distant Blue-bearded Bee-eater. As dusk grew we heard a
Jerdon's Nightjar and saw a Grey Nightjar in torchlight in the fields nearby.
On the drive back to Backwoods we struck lucky with a Jerdon's Nightjar on the
track in front of the minibus.
On the entire trip of three weeks I had 24 ticks
and ten of them were on this one day!
A full day at Backwoods started with tea at 06:45
followed by another walk through the forest. Rufous and Heart-spotted Woodpeckers,
Malabar Parakeet and White-rumped Shama were the best sightings on a relatively
quiet walk. It was then breakfast and a raptor watch not far from the camp for
the rest of the morning. Another Rufous-bellied Eagle was good, but the unexpected
highlight was definitely a pair of Great Hornbills which gave prolonged, if
distant, views. Later an afternoon walk produced brief views of a White-bellied
Blue Flycatcher, a roosting flock of Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters and then, at
dusk, a Brown Hawk Owl. Disappointingly it failed to land on the predicted perch
where we were waiting for it, but under torchlight we did manage to see it 'hawking'
The final day at Backwoods and we talk a walk
along a nearby river a few miles from the camp. Several good birds were seen
with the highlight being fantastic views of a Brown Fish Owl. Some more excellent
home-cooked curry for breakfast was followed by another walk around the camp,
with Lesser Yellow-naped Woodpecker the most notable new sighting. Finally we
filled up on food once again before it was time to go.
The first day of the non-birding (well, partly)
stretch of my trip involved a long and fairly tedious drive because of the poor
state of the roads and the fact that we had to keep pulling off the road to
avoid head-on collisions with trucks steaming towards us! We left Calangute
just after midday and arrived in Badami at about 8:00pm. The only new birds
seen today were some Indian Grey Hornbills, although it was interesting to note
how very common Swallows were - I only saw one Swallow in Goa on the entire
Visiting the temples around Badami, Pattadkal
and Aihole produced some new birds including Hoopoe and Ashy-crowned Finch Lark.
A non birding visit to the ancient city of Hampi.
This is a fantastic place, dotted with ruined temples and palaces in a spectacular
landscape full of large, rounded boulders. Wandering around the ruins also produced
several birds, including the endemic Yellow-throated Bulbul as well as Jungle
Bush Quail, Painted Spurfowl, Yellow-eyed Babbler and a flock of Chestnut-bellied
Sandgrouse flying over at dusk.
The drive from Hospet to Bangalore went through
several good-looking dry areas, although we didn't stop. Pallid Harriers and
Short-toed Eagles were seen from the car.
A few hours were spent at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.
This is a breeding colony for storks, with numbers of Painted Storks in the
thousands and several hundred Openbills, plus numerous egrets. Also seen were
Great Stone Plover, River Tern and Streak-throated Swallow, all allowing extremely
close views from a boat. Close views were also had of several Marsh Mugger crocodiles.
After spending time in Mysore we headed to Nagarhole,
arriving in time for lunch at Jungle Inn. I took a short walk along the road
from here (all outside of the sanctuary) and saw several birds including a pair
of Greater Flameback. Later we took a jeep drive into the sanctuary. Whilst
this was predominantly for mammal-watching I was very impressed with the birding
from the jeep. The best birds included Grey Junglefowl and Red Spurfowl, Yellow-footed
Green Pigeon, Large Cuckoo-shrike and Hill Myna amongst many other typical forest
species that were seen well. The mammals were also very good with several hundred
Spotted Deer as well as Sambar and Muntjac, Gaur, Wild Boar and Elephant, including
a female with a very young calf.
Arriving back at Jungle Inn the day was rounded
off well with good views of a Savanna Nightjar in flight nearby.
Another early morning jeep drive doing the same
route as the previous evening was similarly productive. The same selection of
mammals was seen, including close views of a herd of Gaur including young, and
the birding highlights included superb views of a White-bellied Woodpecker,
plus Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch.
We returned to Mysore later in the morning.
Today we had an early start from Mysore to Bandipur
Wildlife Sanctuary on the Tamil Nadu border, passing a tank on the way that
held Spot-billed Pelican. At Bandipur it is not possible to take jeeps unless
you are staying at one of the more exclusive lodges so we joined one of the
bus tours. It is unbelievable how noisy these are, and you imagine that no wildlife
would tolerate them! However, despite being poor for birding, you can still
get good views of deer and we also saw Stripe-necked Mongoose, plus two Elephants
from the road later when we were back in our car.
We then continued south, crossing the border into
Tamil Nadu and arriving at Bamboo Banks, just outside Mudumulai, for a late
breakfast. There I had the birding highlight of the entire trip, seeing a pair
of Blue-bearded Bee-eaters from the dining-table - more than making up for the
disappointingly poor views at Tambdi Surla a few days before. The birding in
Bamboo Banks, as well as the dry scrub nearby was good, with new birds for the
trip including Oriental White-eye, Bay-backed Shrike and Alpine Swift. I had
arranged for a trek in Masinagudi for the late afternoon. It is wise (possibly
mandatory?) to go with a guide since Elephants are common in the area and can
be highly dangerous - I heard of two separate people who had lucky escapes after
disturbing close encounters that resulted in their motorbikes being trampled
and hurled by angry Elephants! We spent a couple of hours walking along a river
and I was pleased to see two new birds for me: Nilgiri and Rusty-tailed Flycatchers.
An early morning elephant ride in Mudumulai was
enjoyable but not very successful for either birds or mammals. We did manage
to see one wild Elephant, plus I had brief views of White-bellied Blue Flycatcher
and saw Pacific Swallows. Returning to Bamboo Banks a short walk around produced
excellent views of an Indian Pitta.
Little birding done, although a flock of 100 Turnstones
at Marvanthe Beach was the only sighting of the trip.
Arriving back in Goa on 26th I visited the Beira
Mar Hotel in the late afternoon and added three new birds for the trip with
a Common Buzzard, Spotted Owlet under the eaves of the hotel roof and poor views
of a Ruddy-breasted Crake through the vegetation.
Another visit to Arpora Woods produced mostly
similar species to previously but in addition good views were had of a singing
male Loten's Sunbird, the only one of the trip. I then checked the salt pans
outside the Marinha Dourada Hotel where a Broad-billed Sandpiper had been reported.
There was no sign of this amongst the waders there, which included Little and
Temminck's Stints and Marsh Sandpiper.
I decided to visit Saligao Zor for dawn in an
attempt to see Brown Wood Owl. Unfortunately (partly due to my driver oversleeping!)
I could not find it but did see a Malabar Pied Hornbill here. The last birding
of the trip was predictably spent over a Kingfisher beer at the Beira Mar and
pleasingly gave me better views of the Ruddy-breasted Crake.
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Several at a tank between Mysore and Bandipur.
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis
About 50 at a tank between Mysore and Bandipur on 22/2 and 18 there the
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
20 at Ranganathittu.
Indian Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
||Only seen twice, including about 40 at Ranganathittu.
Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger
Small numbers in Goa included ten at Carambolim
Lake; several elsewhere included at least 100 at Ranganathittu.
Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster
One at Carambolim Lake and five at Ranganathittu.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Two at Baga and five at Carambolim Lake.
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Four at Carambolim Lake and six at Ranganathittu.
Great White Egret Casmerodius albus
Approximately 400 seen at Carambolim Lake, mostly in flight at dawn. Otherwise
the only recorded sighting was at Ranganathittu.
Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia
||In Goa seen at Fort Aguada, in the Baga Fields
area and at Carambolim Lake. Also seen at Ranganathittu.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
||A few at Fort Aguada and noted also at Baga.
About 150 at Ranganathittu.
Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis
Five at Fort Aguada included one dark phase, five also at Chorao Island
and one at Marvanthe Beach.
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Fairly common, although I only noted them at Fort Aguada, Baga and Carambolim
Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii
Striated Heron Butorides striatus [Little Green Heron]
Two at Fort Aguada, one at Maem Lake and one at Backwoods Camp.
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
||Occasionally seen at dawn or dusk, e.g. at Beira
Mar Hotel, Fort Aguada and Morjim Beach.
Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala
||Large numbers (at least 1000) at Ranganathittu
with up to ten also seen en-route between Mysore and Bandipur.
Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans
||Nine in fields south of Carambolim Lake and
lots (about 500) at Ranganathittu.
Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus
Two seen soaring over Chorao Island and two also seen en-route between Mysore
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus
Five seen soaring over Chorao Island.
Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus
One at Carambolim Lake and one at Ranganathittu.
Black Ibis Pseudibis papillosa
Seen on three occasions in southern Karnataka.
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
50 at Carambolim Lake.
Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
||Not seen in Goa, but seven en-route to Hospet,
20 at Ranganathittu and one at a tank south of Mysore.
Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica
At least 1500 at Carambolim Lake.
Comb Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos
Six seen at Carambolim Lake.
Cotton Pygmy Goose Nettapus coromandelianus
About 50 at Carambolim Lake.
Pintail Anas acuta
A dense flock of about 2000 off Chorao Island and a few at a tank between
Mysore and Bandipur.
Garganey Anas querquedula
12 at Carambolim Lake, then 100 en-route in Karnataka and several hundreds
at a tank between Mysore and Bandipur.
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
One over Baga Fields on 9/2.
Oriental Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus
In Goa singles seen at Arpora Woods (twice) and Saligao Zor, plus up to
three at Backwoods. One also at Nagarhole.
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus
In Goa two were at Fort Aguada on 8/2 and one near Maem Lake on 10/2. Seen
en-route in Karnataka on a few occasions, with five on 18/2.
Black Kite Milvus migrans
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
A pair were seen at their nest at Arpora Woods; two young had fledged by
27/2. Also up to three seen at Chorao Island, Chapora Fort, Morjim Beach and
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis [White-backed Vulture]
Not seen in Goa, but singles seen at Srirangapatnam, Nagarhole and Masinagudi,
plus four together along the coast road just south of the Goa and Karnataka
border on 26/2.
Vulture sp Gyps sp
Two perched en-route to Badami were probably White-rumped.
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus
Single adults at Srirangapatnam and Nagarhole.
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
Two seen en-route between Hospet and Bangalore.
Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela
In Goa, three at Backwoods Camp and one at Saligao Zor; also seen at Nagarhole
on both dates.
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus
Four seen en-route between Hospet and Bangalore and one near Srirangapatnam.
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
Five at Carambolim Lake and singles over Baga Fields, from the Beira Mar,
at Hampi and perched in a tree with nesting egrets at Ranganathittu.
*Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus
Singles seen at Backwoods Camp (being mobbed by a Shikra), Tambdi Surla
and on the raptor watch near Backwoods Camp.
Shikra Accipiter badius
One or two seen on several occasions. An immature at Masinagudi landed in
stream and sat half-submerged (the tail and half the wings in the water) for
three minutes. It had been mobbed by Jungle Babblers and was possibly disorientated,
trying to land on the rocks?
Buzzard Buteo buteo
One seen at Beira Mar Hotel on both 26/2 and 28/2.
Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis
Two seen at Tambdi Surla with another two on the Backwoods Camp raptor watch.
One also at Nagarhole.
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
Two (one dark phase and one light phase) over Baga Fields on 9/2, and light
phases at Chapora Fort and Backwoods Camp.
Rufous-bellied Eagle Hieraaetus kienerii
Two adults seen well at Tambdi Surla and another on the Backwoods Camp raptor
Changeable Hawk Eagle Spizaetus cirrhatus
One at Backwoods Camp and one at Nagarhole.
Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
One at Chapora Fort, one at Hampi and one between Hospet and Bangalore.
Jungle Bush Quail Perdicula asiatica
A group of eight seen at Hampi.
Red Spurfowl Galloperdix spadicea
Three were seen at Nagarhole on 20/2.
Painted Spurfowl Galloperdix lunulata
Two pairs at Hampi and another pair at Nagarhole.
Grey Junglefowl Gallus sonneratii
Having heard them en-route to Backwoods Camp two were seen briefly at Backwoods
Camp on 13/2. Much better views at Nagarhole (including ten on 21/2), Bandipur
Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus
In Goa just one heard in Arpora Woods on 27/2; up to ten seen at Nagarhole,
Bandipur, Masinagudi and Mudumulai.
Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator
Two seen very well at Arpora Woods on 11/2.
Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca
One was seen briefly behind the Beira Mar Hotel on both 26/2 and 28/2.
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
A few seen each evening at the Beira Mar Hotel with one also on the marsh
by the Mudumulai.
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Only noted at Carambolim Lake, where fairly common.
Purple Gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio
Very common at Carambolim Lake with an estimate of about 2000 there on 10/2.
Also 20 at a tank south of Mysore.
Coot Fulica atra
Common at Carambolim Lake (approximately 200) and also seen at a tank south
Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
Fairly common at Carambolim Lake.
Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus
Fairly common at Carambolim Lake with one also at Hampi.
Painted Snipe Rostratula benghalensis
One or two seen most evenings at Beira Mar Hotel.
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
One seen at a tank between Hospet and Bangalore and 80at a tank south of
Great Stone Plover Esacus recurvirostris
||Eight at Ranganathittu.
Little Pratincole Glareola lactea
Three seen at Chorao Island and excellent close views of one on the beach
Yellow-wattled Lapwing Vanellus malabaricus
Three seen on a dry playing field near Backwoods Camp and one also at Masinagudi.
Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
A flock of 30 at Fort Aguada was the only sighting.
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
Eight at Chorao Island.
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
20 seen at Baga Fields and three at the Mudumulai.
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Fifty with sand plovers on Morjim Beach.
Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus
A single flock of 400 on Morjim Beach with a few on Calangute Beach and
at Marvanthe Beach.
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii
Six with Lesser Sand Plovers on Morjim Beach.
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Small numbers (a maximum of eight) at Fort Aguada, Chorao Island, Morjim
Beach and Marvanthe Beach.
Curlew Numenius arquata
Eleven at Morjim Beach.
Redshank Tringa totanus
Ten at Fort Aguada, 15 at Chorao Island and four at the Marinha Dourada
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
One at Baga Fields and three at the Mudumulai.
Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Four at Fort Aguada and also seen at Baga Fields, Carambolim Lake and Mudumulai.
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Singles at Beira Mar Hotel, Carambolim Lake and Masinagudi.
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Seen most evenings at Beira Mar Hotel and also at Baga Fields, Carambolim
Lake and Mudumulai (where the maximum of five was recorded).
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus
Four seen on the canal at Fort Aguada.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Common in small numbers at various sites; a maximum of five at the Mudumulai.
Turnstone Arenaria interpres
100 seen at Marvanthe Beach.
Pintail Snipe Gallinago stenura
The only definite sighting was two at the Beira Mar Hotel on 11/2.
Snipe Gallinago gallinago
One identified bird at the Beira Mar Hotel on 10/2 and two on 11/2.
Snipe sp Gallinago sp
Either Pintail or Common Snipes seen at the Beira Mar Hotel on most evenings.
Little Stint Calidris minuta
Two at Chorao Island and seven at the Mudumulai.
Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii
Five at Chorao Island and two at the Mudumulai.
Heuglin's Gull Larus heuglini heuglini
Five, mostly sub-adults, on Morjim Beach on 11/2.
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
45, presumably cachinnans, on Morjim Beach on 11/2.
Great Black-headed Gull Larus ichthyaetus
25, including several summer-plumaged adults, at Morjim Beach on 11/2.
Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus
A few seen offshore at Fort Aguada and from Baga Hill, with 80 at Morjim
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
Relatively common offshore, with 400 at Morjim Beach.
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei
Two probable Slender-billed Gulls were seen in flight at Morjim Beach.
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
A single at Marvanthe Beach.
Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
Two at Carambolim Lake, ten at Chorao Island and four at Morjim Beach.
River Tern Sterna aurantia
||A pair with two recently-fledged young gave
incredibly close views from a boat at Ranganathittu.
Little Tern Sterna albifrons
Six at Marvanthe Beach.
Crested Tern Sterna bergii
Five at Morjim Beach and one flew past Calangute Beach.
Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis
Ten at Morjim Beach and one at Marvanthe Beach.
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
Ten seen at Morjim Beach.
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus
Forty flew over south near dusk at Hampi.
Feral Pigeon Columba livia
Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
Not seen in Goa, but two at Nagarhole and three at Bandipur.
Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis
Small numbers seen at Fort Aguada, Baga, Carambolim Lake, Nagarhole and
Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
Not seen in Goa but several seen en-route in Karnataka.
Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica
Two at Backwoods Camp and one at the river nearby, plus one in Goa near
Molem en-route to Badami.
Pompadour Green Pigeon Treron pompadora
25 in a flowering tree en-route to Backwoods Camp, then one at Tambdi Surla
and one at Backwoods Camp.
Yellow-legged Green Pigeon Treron phoenicoptera
One at Nagarhole on 20/2 and 20 there the following day.
*Mountain Imperial Pigeon Ducula badia
About 30 seen in several small pre-roost groups at Tambdi Surla.
*Vernal Hanging-parrot Loriculus vernalis
Two en-route to Backwoods Camp, one at Tambdi Surla, two at the river near
Backwoods Camp, four at Nagarhole and two at Mudumulai. Usually only seen in
Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria
Three flew over the Beira Mar Hotel on 9/2.
Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri
Fairly common although always small numbers in the Goa area.
Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala
Fairly common, the maximum being 40 at Nagarhole and 30 at Saligao Zor.
Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides
One seen at Backwoods Camp with six at Nagarhole and four at Mudumulai.
Common Hawk Cuckoo Cuculus varius
Two at Nagarhole and one at Masinagudi were the only sightings.
*Grey-bellied Cuckoo Cacomantis passerinus
Two seen well at Carambolim Lake.
Koel Eudynamys scolopacea
Fairly common and seen at most sites.
Blue-faced Malkoha Rhopodytes viridirostris
Superb views of one en-route to Backwoods Camp as it perched in the open
in a bamboo clump.
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis
Up to five seen at various sites.
Brown Fish Owl Bubo zeylonensis
One seen well at the river near Backwoods Camp.
Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum
Two at Backwoods Camp on 14/2 were the only sightings.
Spotted Owlet Athene brama
One seen on the eaves and wires at the Beira Mar Hotel at dusk on both 26/2
*Brown Hawk Owl Ninox scutulata
One regular bird at Backwoods Camp was seen at dusk on 13/2 and then observed
to hawk insects in flight.
Sri Lanka Frogmouth Batrachostomus moniliger
Regular pair at Backwoods Camp seen roosting in bamboo.
*Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus indicus
One at dusk at Tambdi Surla was spotlighted perched and in flight.
*Jerdon's Nightjar Caprimulgus atripennis
One heard at Tambdi Surla on 12/2, then one seen on the entrance track to
Backwoods Camp later that evening.
*Savannah Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis
Two seen at dusk at Nagarhole on 20/2, then one heard calling pre-dawn the
Indian Swiftlet Collocalia unicolor
One at Baga Fields on 9/2, several in the palms at Morjim Beach and about
100 at Tambdi Surla. Also seen at Nagarhole, Masinagudi and Mudumulai.
Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus batasiensis
Three at Baga Fields and one or two at the Beira Mar Hotel.
Alpine Swift Apus melba
Two seen at Masinagudi.
House Swift Apus affinis
Common, the maximum noted being 100 at Baga Fields on 9/2.
Crested Tree Swift Hemiprocne longipennis
20 seen at Tambdi Surla, one at Ciba Geigy Factory, ten at Hampi and two
Malabar Trogon Harpactes fasciatus
Excellent views of four at Backwoods Camp on 12/2 and three there on 14/2.
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
Three at or near Carambolim Lake and two between Hospet and Bangalore.
Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Common, the maximum count being eight at Fort Aguada.
Stork-billed Kingfisher Halcyon capensis
One at Fort Aguada and one en-route to Backwoods Camp.
White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata
One seen in the Baga Fields or Beira Mar Hotel area on three occasions.
*Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni
One very distant bird at Tambdi Surla was followed by excellent views of
a pair at Bamboo Banks. Probably the highlight of the trip.
Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus
Several sightings in Goa, including 20 at Carambolim Lake; also ten at Hampi.
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops leschenaulti
A flock of 80 coming in to roost at Backwoods Camp on the evening of 13/2.
Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis
A single near Maem Lake, then several en-route through Karnataka and one
Hoopoe Upupa epops
Ones or twos at various sites in Karnataka and ten at Mudumulai, but not
recorded from Goa.
Indian Grey Hornbill Tockus birostris
Three en-route to Badami and one at Srirangapatnam.
Malabar Grey Hornbill Tockus griseus
Fairly common in the Backwoods Camp area, including 20 en-route; also fairly
common at Nagarhole (a maximum of six), Masinagudi and Mudumulai.
Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus
Two en-route to Backwoods Camp and three at Backwoods Camp itself, plus
one at Saligao Zor.
Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis
A big surprise was two seen whilst on the raptor watch near Backwoods Camp
on 13/2. Although distant, good views were had of them perched and in flight.
Brown-headed Barbet Megalaima zeylanica
One or two seen in the Backwoods Camp area.
White-cheeked Barbet Megalaima viridis
Relatively common (recorded at most sites) although far more often heard
*Crimson-fronted Barbet Megalaima rubricapilla
Up to three seen daily at sites in the Backwoods Camp area.
Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala
Fairly common, including ten together in a single flowering tree at Maem
Brown-capped Woodpecker Picoides moluccensis
One near the river near Backwoods Camp, one at Nagarhole and two at Masinagudi.
Yellow-crowned Woodpecker Picoides mahrattensis
One at Maem Lake and one at Masinagudi.
Rufous Woodpecker Celeus brachyurus
One at Backwoods Camp.
*White-bellied Woodpecker Dryocopus javensis
One seen in flight at Tambdi Surla and very good views of one at Nagarhole.
Lesser Yellow-naped Woodpecker Picus chlorolophus
One seen at Backwoods Camp.
Black-rumped Flameback Dinopium benghalense
One or two seen at several different sites.
Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus
Two seen at Jungle Inn, Nagarhole.
*Heart-spotted Woodpecker Hemicircus canente
Two seen at Backwoods Camp on 13/2 and one the following day.
Indian Pitta Pitta brachyura
||Singles seen at Arpora Woods, en-route to Backwoods
Camp and at Backwoods Camp itself and at Bamboo Banks.
*Malabar Lark Galerida malabarica
12 at Baga Fields on 9/2, one at Chapora Fort and one near Backwoods Camp.
Ashy-crowned Finch Lark Eremopterix grisea
Seen in Karnataka with one at Aihole and five at Hampi.
Dusky Crag Martin Hirundo concolor
Two en-route to Backwoods Camp and about 100 around the temples at Badami,
Pattadkal and Aihole, plus similar numbers at Hampi.
Swallow Hirundo rustica
Not seen in Goa, although fairly common in Karnataka.
Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica
Two seen at Mudumulai.
Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii
Ten at Carambolim Lake, two at Morjim Beach, up to four around Backwoods
Camp, ten at Hampi and 20 at the Mudumulai.
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
Common, with about 200 seen on 9/2 around Baga.
*Streak-throated Swallow Hirundo fluvicola
||One seen well perched on a wire at Carambolim
Lake and about 20 at a breeding colony at Ranganathittu.
Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus
||Up to four at Backwoods Camp.
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
Two at Hampi, one at Beira Mar Hotel on 26/2 and 30 there on 28/2.
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
Up to three seen at Beira Mar Hotel, Carambolim Lake, en-route to Backwoods
Camp, Nagarhole and Masinagudi.
White/Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba
At least 2000 flew over near dusk at Hampi and a few also seen en-route
White-browed Wagtail Motacilla maderaspatensis
Up to three at Baga Fields, Maem Lake and the Beira Mar Hotel, 20 at Hampi
and one at Masinagudi.
Wagtail sp Motacilla sp
Five seen at Carambolim Lake were too distant to tell whether they were
Yellow or Citrine.
Richard's Pipit Anthus richardi
One at Baga Fields on 9/2, although probably under-recorded amongst Paddyfield
Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus
Fairly common, including 30 at Baga Fields on 9/2.
Large Cuckoo-shrike Coracina macei
One seen at Nagarhole.
Black-headed Cuckoo Shrike Coracina melanoptera
Singles seen at Arpora Woods, Backwoods Camp and Nagarhole.
Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
Small numbers common at most sites, the maximum being 15 at Masinagudi.
Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus
Up to two seen at Backwoods Camp and Nagarhole.
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus
Two at Tambdi Surla, two at the river near Backwoods Camp and one at Masinagudi.
*Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis gularis
Five at Backwoods Camp were seen flying down to the river to drink.
Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus
Up to three at Arpora Woods, Backwoods Camp and Saligao Zor.
Grey-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus priocephalus
Two at Maem Lake and two at Backwoods Camp on two occasions.
Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus
Two at Tambdi Surla and up to four at Backwoods Camp.
Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocusus
Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer
*Yellow-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus
Four seen at Hampi.
White-browed Bulbul Pycnonotus luteolus
Up to six seen at Fort Aguada, Baga Hill, Chapora Fort, Arpora Woods, Masinagudi
and several at Saligao Zor.
Yellow-browed Bulbul Hypsipetes indicus
Up to four at Backwoods Camp.
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus
Two seen at the raptor watch near Backwoods Camp.
Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
Small numbers common at most sites, including 12 at Arpora Woods.
Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis
Two at Nagarhole and two at Bamboo Banks.
Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons
One or two at Arpora Woods, Backwoods Camp and Nagarhole.
Asian Fairy Bluebird Irena puella
Up to three at Backwoods Camp and one at Tambdi Surla.
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
One at Backwoods Camp, one at Nagarhole and two at Masinagudi.
Bay-backed Shrike Lanius vittatus
Ten seen in the dry scrub near Bamboo Banks, Masinagudi.
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach
Fairly common in Goa including ten in the Baga Hill and Fields area; one
Indian Blue Robin Erithacus brunneus
Excellent views of a male feeding along a dry river bed at Backwoods Camp.
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
One at Baga Fields, one at Carambolim Lake and two at Beira Mar Hotel on
Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis
A few seen in the Baga area, at Carambolim Lake, Nagarhole and Masinagudi.
White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus
One at Backwoods Camp.
Stonechat Saxicola torquata
Four at Baga Fields and four at Carambolim Lake.
Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata
Seen at Baga Fields and Maem Lake in Goa, with a few more in Karnataka including
15 at Hampi.
Indian Robin Saxicoloides fulicata
Fairly common, with several especially at Masinagudi.
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
One at Chapora Fort, one at Badami and three at Hampi.
Malabar Whistling Thrush Myiophoneus horsfieldi
A pair along the stream at Tambdi Surla and one male at Masinagudi.
Orange-headed Ground Thrush Zoothera citrina
||Up to four at Backwoods Camp.
Blackbird Turdus merula nigropileus
One or two of the distinctive nigropileus subspecies were seen at
Carambolim Lake, Arpora Woods and Backwoods Camp.
*Puff-throated Babbler Pellorneum ruficeps
Six seen on Baga Hill, up to five at Arpora Woods, two at Backwoods Camp
and one at Nagarhole.
Tawny-bellied Babbler Dumetia hyperythra
Two seen on Baga Hill, two at Arpora Woods, one at Hampi, four at Nagarhole
and three at Saligao Zor.
Dark-fronted Babbler Rhopocichla atriceps
Up to two at Backwoods Camp.
*Yellow-eyed Babbler Chrysomma sinense
Three seen at Hampi.
Jungle Babbler Turdoides striatus
Common, including a maximum of 50 at Nagarhole.
Yellow-billed Babbler Turdoides affinis
A few seen at Masinagudi.
*Brown-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe poioicephala
Fairly common with sightings from Baga Hill, Maem Lake, Arpora Woods (where
up to eight), Backwoods Camp and Masinagudi.
Blyth's Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum
Common and seen at most sites, including 12 at Arpora Woods.
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curraca
Only seen at Masinagudi with eight there on Masinagudi.
Green Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides nitidus
Small numbers common in the Goa area, although typically in relatively
worn plumage and difficult to tell from Greenish. Most of the birds seen in
Goa were considered to be nitidus whereas all those seen in Karnataka
or Tamil Nadu were thought to be trochiloides.
Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides
One at Backwoods Camp on 14/1 was considered to be trochiloides.
Two were seen at Nagarhole and five at Masinagudi.
Western Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus occipitalis
Seen daily at Backwoods Camp with three on 13/2.
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata
Two at Carambolim Lake.
Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis
Fairly common, including six at Carambolim Lake and up to two at the Beira
Grey-breasted Prinia Prinia hodgsoni
One or two at Fort Aguada, Carambolim Lake, Arpora Woods and Backwoods Camp
and six at Saligao Zor.
Jungle Prinia Prinia sylvatica
One at Hampi.
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius
Up to five seen at several sites.
Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva
One male at Backwoods Camp on two dates.
*White-bellied Blue Flycatcher Niltava pallipes
One seen briefly at Backwoods Camp and two seen from elephant back at Mudumulai.
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher Niltava tickelliae
One daily at Backwoods Camp and one at Mudumulai.
Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica
Singles at Fort Aguada, Carambolim Lake, Tambdi Surla and Bamboo Banks.
Brown-breasted Flycatcher Muscicapa muttui
One by the stream at Tambdi Surla.
*Rusty-tailed Flycatcher Muscicapa ruficauda
One at Masinagudi.
Verditer Flycatcher Muscicapa thalassina
Two at Hampi and one at Masinagudi.
*Nilgiri Flycatcher Muscicapa albicaudata
One at Masinagudi.
Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea
Up to two daily at Backwoods Camp.
Asian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi
||Three daily at Backwoods Camp included one long-tailed
white male and four at Masinagudi included another white male; One other
at Saligao Zor.
White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis
Up to five at Baga Hill, Arpora Woods and Saligao Zor; 12 at Masinagudi.
Great Tit Parus major
Two at Nagarhole, two at Masinagudi and one at Mudumulai.
Black-lored Tit Parus xanthogenys
One at Baga Hill, one at Carambolim Lake and two at Arpora Woods.
Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch Sitta castanea
One at Nagarhole and two at Masinagudi.
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis
Up to two seen at Backwoods Camp.
Thick-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum agile
Up to four daily at Backwoods Camp.
Pale-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum erythrorhynchos
One at Baga Hill and two at Masinagudi.
Plain Flowerpecker Dicaeum concolor
Two daily at Backwoods Camp, two at Nagarhole and three on one date at Arpora
Purple-rumped Sunbird Nectarinia zeylonica
Common, the maximum being 15 at both Maem Lake and Arpora Woods.
*Crimson-backed Sunbird Nectarinia minima
Small numbers at Baga Hill, Maem Lake, Tambdi Surla and Arpora Woods, with
ten at Backwoods Camp.
Loten's Sunbird Nectarinia lotenia
One singing male at Arpora Woods on 10/2 was my only sighting.
Purple Sunbird Nectarinia asiatica
Common and noted at most sites.
*Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra
Two seen en-route to Backwoods Camp and two at the river near there.
Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosa
Two at Bamboo Banks, Masinagudi were the only ones of the trip.
Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus
A male at the raptor watch near Backwoods Camp and a female at Masinagudi.
Indian Silverbill Lonchura malabarica
Two at Hampi.
White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata
Seen at several sites in Goa, including ten at Fort Aguada and 20 at Carambolim
Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata
A flock of 15 feeding in the palms at Morjim Beach.
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Relatively common in urban areas.
Chestnut-shouldered Petronia Petronia xanthosterna
Three at Carambolim Lake, up to six at Backwoods Camp, four at Nagarhole,
several at Masinagudi and Mudumulai and two at Saligao Zor.
Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus
Large flocks seen at Beira Mar Hotel (200) and Saligao Zor (250) with others
at Carambolim Lake and Masinagudi.
Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus
Regularly up to 40 at Beira Mar Hotel with smaller numbers at Carambolim
Lake, Backwoods Camp and Nagarhole. Five at Backwoods were of the white-headed
Brahminy Starling Sturnus pagodarum
In Goa only three at Morjim Beach but several recorded at various sites
in Karnataka as well as 12 at Masinagudi.
Rose-coloured Starling Sturnus roseus
Up to 20 at Beira Mar Hotel on several dates.
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
Not especially common in Goa but more recorded in Karnataka.
Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus
Fairly common in Goa with a few also at Nagarhole and Bandipur.
Hill Mynah Gracula religiosa
Several seen at Nagarhole on both dates.
Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
Up to four seen at a few sites in Goa.
Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus
One or two seen at most sites.
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus
Small numbers recorded from Fort Aguada, Baga Fields, Carambolim Lake, Nagarhole
Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus
Small numbers regular at several sites in Goa as well as one at Masinagudi.
The more widespread Drongo in Goa.
White-bellied Drongo Dicrurus caerulescens
||Two at Baga Hill, one at Arpora Woods; commoner
further south with up to six at Nagarhole and four at both Bandipur and
Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus
Two at Maem Lake, two at Backwoods Camp, up to four at Nagarhole and two
Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus
One en-route to Backwoods Camp and one at Nagarhole.
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus
Three at Maem Lake, four daily at Backwoods Camp, up to six at Nagarhole
and one at Masinagudi.
Ashy Wood Swallow Artamus fuscus
One at Chorao Island and then up to three daily at Backwoods Camp.
Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda
Up to four seen at Fort Aguada, Baga Hill, Chapora Fort, Backwoods Camp,
Arpora Woods and Saligao Zor; also four at Nagarhole.
House Crow Corvus splendens
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
Seen at Backwoods Camp and a few at Nagarhole.
312 species, '*' indicates a tick for MGP.
Other species that were reported during, or shortly
before, my stay included the following. Note that these include unconfirmed
- Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha
- 1 at Carambolim Lake
- Shoveler Anas clypeata - Carambolim
- Speckled Piculet Picumnus innominatus -
one or two sightings at Backwoods Camp over the previous few weeks
- Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meningting -
1 on the river at Backwoods Camp a couple of weeks earlier
- Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx erithacus
- no known regular sites ever since the regular Bondla bird was taken
by a Shikra!
- Collared Kingfisher Todiramphos chloris -
seen on the Zuari river, although usually needs a private hire boat rather
than the organised 'crocodile cruises'
- Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii -
a pair were regular in a small wood near Carambolim village
- Drongo Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris - 1
reported from Maem Lake
- White-rumped Needletail Zoonavena sylvatica
- seen at Molem
- Brown Wood Owl Strix leptogrammica -
regular dawn and dusk at Saligao Zor (except when I tried!)
- Orange-breasted Green Pigeon Treron bicincta
- reports from Maem Lake
- Lesser Florican Sypheotides indica -
apparently 1 was seen on a number of occasions near Carambolim a few months
- Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis
- 1 reported from Chorao Island
- Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus
- 1 at Marinha Dourada Hotel on a few occasions
- Crab Plover Dromas ardeola - a taxi driver
reported seeing 1 from the ferry near Morjim
- Slender-billed Gull Larus genei - regular
at Morjim Beach
- Common Tern Sterna hirundo - Morjim Beach
- Besra Accipiter virgatus - 1 or 2 sightings
from people I met
- Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina -
1 over Baga Fields
- Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga - 1 over
- Tawny/Steppe Eagle Aquila rapax/nipalensis
- 1 of either of these two species over Baga Fields
- Peregrine Falco peregrinus - 1 from the
Beira Mar Hotel on a few occasions
- Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike Coracina melaschistos
- I heard of 1 report from Goa while I was there and have read of a couple
of sightings in trip reports. Well out of range according
to Grimmett et al.
- Blue-capped Rock Thrush Monticola cincloryhnchus
- Maem Lake, plus a couple of other reported sightings
- Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus -
reported over Tambdi Surla whilst I was there but I couldn't get onto them.
Well out of range according to Grimmett et al and much more likely to have
been Northern House Martin D. urbica.
- Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola
- Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus
- Beira Mar Hotel
- Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
- Baga Fields
- Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula
- Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja -
Baga Hill, Maem Lake amongst other sites
- Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola -
- Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris - Baga
- Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis - Beira Mar
- Black-headed Munia Lonchura malacca -
breeding pair on Baga Hill
Bonnet Macaque Macaca radiata
Grey Langur Semnopithecus priam -
Arpora Woods, Nagarhole
Grey Mongoose Herpestes edwardsi - Baga Fields
Stripe-necked Mongoose Herpestes vitticollis - Nagarhole, Bandipur
Asian Elephant Elephas maximus -
Wild Boar Sus scrofa - Backwoods Camp, Nagarhole, Masinagudi
Sambar Cervus unicolor - Nagarhole,
Spotted Deer Axis axis - Nagarhole,
Muntjac Muntiacus muntjac - Nagarhole,
Gaur Bos gaurus - Nagarhole
Malabar Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica - Backwoods Camp, Nagarhole
Three-striped Palm Squirrel Funambulus palmarum - Backwoods
Black-naped Hare Lepus nigricollis
Marsh Mugger Crocodylus palustris -
The main birding sites in the areas visited are
very well described in the site guides and trip reports we used.
- Birds of the Indian Subcontinent; Richard Grimmett,
Carol Inskipp & Tim Inskipp; Christopher Helm; 1998. A very useful
- Where to Watch Birds in Asia; Nigel Wheatley;
Christopher Helm; 1996. Useful background planning.
- A Birdwatchers' Guide to India; Krys Kazmierczak
& Raj Singh; Birdwatchers' Guides, Prion; 1998. Very good detailed
The main ones I used and found useful were by
Jan Vermuelen (February 2000) and John & Janette Martin (December 1994).
- India: A Travel Survival Kit; Lonely Planet.
As always very useful.
E- 499, Travasso De Cruz,
31st January Road
Tel: +91 832 436109
Fax: +91 832 224904
19th K.M. Hunsur-Murkal-Nagarhole Road
Office: No. 432, 8th Cross, Neethi Marga,
Siddarthanagar, Mysore, 570 011
Tel: +94 822 246022, +91 822 252781, +91
Siasp T Kothavala
Bamboo Banks Guest House
India 643 223
Tel: +91 423 526 211/606/607
Fax: +91 423 526 222