Thursday, December 30, 2010

Birds of Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, North East India

Last month, I was at Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary to do some birding and boy, it was a fantastic birding experience. Though, I have to inform you that it was tough going for me as these birds were small and hence either super elusive or very restless.

White tailed Nuthatch

They were hardly stationary and kept themselves busy in undergrowth or in dense thicket. It took me three full days, close to forty (40) kilometres of trek, a couple of jeep safaris, a sore neck (as I kept looking up), biceps in pain (as I was holding my 3 kilogram camera + lens without a tripod) to come up with..if I may, a super rich haul.

Stripe Throated Yuhina

I covered quite a few birding routes from the Lama birding camp. These included: Sundar View (Alpine and Montane Forests), Chakku (Tropical Montane Forests), Bhampu (Bamboo Forests) and a couple of routes that went both uphill and downhill from Lama birding camp.

Golden Bush Robin (Female)

And to see these birds in action, I covered a variety of altitudes varying from 6,000 feet above MSL to about 10,000 feet above MSL. And braved bitter cold temperatures. You can imagine my plight holding my camera steady at close to freezing weather and tracking the bird through my view finder. Next time, I will remember to carry a good pair of camera gloves.

Rufus Vented Yuhina

But, as we all say, all’s well that end’s well. Here is a detailed birding report of my three days at Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary.
Chestnut Tailed Milna

My rich catch of birds include (though not in any order): Whiskered Yuhina, Striated Laughing thrush, Fire-chested flowerpecker, Chestnut headed Tesia, Black Bulbul, Rufus winged Fulvetta, Verditer Flycatcher, Black throated Tit, Mrs Gould’s Sunbird, Stripe Throated Yuhina, Chestnut Crowned Laughing Thrush, White throated Laughing thrush, Black faced Warbler, Ashy throated Warbler, Lemon rumped Warbler, Green backed Tit, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Rufus Gorgetted Flycatcher, White throated fantail, Slender Bill (only calling), Striated Bulbul, Chestnut Tailed Milna, Green Tailed Sunbird, Rusty Fronted Barwing, Beautiful Sibia, Streak breasted Scimitar Babbler, Yellow Cheeked Tit, Rufus vented Yuhina, Ferrigunous Flycatcher, Hill Partridge, Khalid Pheasant (Female), White Capped Water Redstart, Ashy throated Warbler, Yellow Throated Fulvetta, Orange Bellied Leafbird (calling), Rufus necked Hornbill (calling), Great Barbet, Yellow billed Blue Magpie (calling), Grey Striated Laughing Thrush (calling), Yellow Browed Tit, Paddyfield Pipit, Common Ketrel, Bay Woodpecker (calling), Rufu capped Babbler, White tailed Nuthatch and Golden Bush Robin (Female).

Beautiful Sibia

Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the Western border of Arunachal Pradesh. It has Bhutan to its West and the town of Tenga to its East. It is located in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. Lama birding camp is the only place to offer any sort of accommodation in the near-abouts.

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