Thursday, 15 March 2012

NE India 2012 pt2 a

Following a very early start (up at 2:30am) we were the only Western people waiting in the queue for our now delayed flight to Guwahati (something to do with low cloud). Eventually it left about 30mins late. The weather on the flight was clear and we had amazing views of the Himalayas as we flew east arriving in Guwahati in sunshine. The airport was very small (similar to Norwich) and we were soon through and meeting up with our guide Abid and driver Kanak. Bags were loaded onto the car and we were off.
Now every good birding trip is not complete unless you visit a rubbish dump or sewage works as the are usually great for birds. Our poison for this trip was a visit to the local dump and our quarry was the greater adjutant.
Rachael, Mandy and Abid birding the tip
Kites, adjutants and egrets
Greater adjutants
The roads were no better than Delhi and we were soon off the main road onto a track but we could see where we were heading by the large number of adjutants and black kites circling in the distance. As were arrived at the tip the scene was 'different' to say the least. Rubbish piled high with roads cut through, people everywhere sifting through looking for anything of value and birds everywhere. We had at least 180 adjutants, 100 black kites, 3-400 cattle egrets along with loads of citrine and white wagtails. Once Dave and I had got a load of photos and before we got mobbed we set off for Nameri.
Greater adjutants, cattle egrets and locals
Abid told us that the kites were black but I think that they may be black-eared, any comments?
I don't really remember much about the journey only that it seemed to take forever, something that we would get used to!
Crossing over the Brahmputra river was pretty special as the bridge (road above railway) was at least 4km long although there wasn't much water flowing at this time of year. A brief stop by some roadside pools produced 50+ lesser whistling ducks and 15 pigmy cotton geese.
A stop for tea gave us a chance to stretch our legs and we added black hooded oriole, crimson sunbird and small Indian mongoose.
We arrived fairly late (4pm) at Nameri and after having something to eat, had a bit of time to bird the local area. 3 spotted owlets were roosting in the trees by our accommodation and we picked up our first long tailed shrikes, Indian rollers and a couple of striated grassbirds.
Butterfly sp, can't remenber the name
Our first proper Indian dusk - Nameri.

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