Uday Patel

2 years ago · 2 min. reading time · ~10 ·

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Birding in North India

Birding in North India

Bird watching is a recreation and a healthy exercise. From small time hobby it has come to a stage where it is a major industry. Countries like India, UK, France, Gerimany, USA and countries in Africa and South America are very popular for ornithological expeditions. In these destinations it is popular as income generator and brings in much wanted revenue from tourism. 

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India has more the thirteen percent of avian species of the World. With 1300 species and two thousand including sub species it is a goldmine for the enthusiasts.  Birding expeditions are conducted all over India in noted hotspots but it is more popular is Northern India and now it is getting popularized in Eastern and Western India as well. 

The most coveted spots in North are the near Agra and then in Nainital District in Uttarakhand. New Delhi is popular as  well with people flocking around Okhla and Sultanpur in nearby Haryana district.   

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Hence birders make a stay in Delhi and visit the hotspots for a day. From here they proceed to Agra and visit Bharatpur and then Chambal River Sanctuary. A good three days should be spent here with a day for Chambal boat ride.  The former is good for shore and wetland species and one can check list at least over 150 species in two days of expedition at the bird sanctuary. At Chambal the targeted bird is the Indian Skimmer along with and many shore birds like storks, sand lark, raptors like laggar falcon, Bonelli's Eagle, Osprey so on...

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The nest destination is long drive away to Sat Tal at Nainital at height of 1400 MSL. The birds seen here are from Himalayan foothills and Higher reaches the targeted species are Koklass Pheasant, Himalayan Vultures, Bearded Vulture and number of warblers, golden bush robin, laughing thrushes, colorful sunbirds, forktails, niltavas, parakeets, woodpeckers and so on... In two days of stay more than hundred species can be checklisted.

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The next destination at a distance of 28 km is Pangot at Height of 2100 MSL. The target species are Bearded Vulture, Chir Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, ultramarine flycatcher, spot winged nuthatch, accentors, sunbirds, laughing thrushes, Himalayan Vulture, thrushes, raptors and so on....

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Following the stint  at high altitude then the tour moves on to Corbett Tiger Reserve in the foothills. There are more than five hundred species to check list along with a thrilling encounter with tiger, wild elephant and other animals. Birding here us great with sight of Osprey, red necked falcon, Ibisbill, ashy bulbul, long billed thrush, Pallas's Fish Eagle, brown dipper, paradise flycatchers, wren, tesia, Himalayan Kingfisher, stork billed kingfisher, blue throated barbet, white rumped shama, green malkoha, Great Hornbill, Great Woodpecker, Rufus woodpecker,  pied flycatcher, crimson sunbird, chestnut bellied niltava, little niltava, plumbeous redstart and many more...    

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There are many package tour available for bird watching in North India for avid birders. The package tours are conducted by expert bird guides and tour leaders. The group travel is better organized, economical more safe. These are run by organizers which have been in this field since many years. 

Photographs Courtesy Margaret Norah

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