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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wildlife and Birding at Nameri National Park, Assam, North East India

Nameri National Park is one of Assam’s main national parks situated in its North-West boundary and bordering Arunachal Pradesh to the north. Unlike the rest of Assam’s national parks where the Rhinoceros is the highlight, the sensation of Nameri National Park is the ‘Great Hornbill’.

Great Hornbill
The Nameri National Park, located in the foot hills of the Eastern Himalayas is situated about 30 kilometres from Tezpur in the Sonitpur district of Assam. Innumerable streams and rivers criss-cross through the national park, but the main river here is the Jia-Bhoroli river. The Jia-Bhoroli snakes its way through one corner of the national park.

Asian Elephant
In fact it is the Jia-Bhoroli river that sustains this national park. It was because of this river that angling became popular here. The mighty Mahseer fish is found in huge quantities here. And it was these angling trips that brought tourism into Nameri National Park.

Great Cormorant in flight
Today, rafting is done on the Jia-Bhoroli river both for angling as well as for birding. A huge number of migratory waterfowl can be found on the Jia-Bhoroli river in all seasons and especially the winters.

Malayan Giant Squirrel  
The popular waterfowl here are the great cormorant, Ibisbill, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Merganser and the Eurasian Woodcock. The Eurasian Woodcock is one of the rarest birds to be spotted here. I was lucky to see all of them during my recent visit.

Great Cormorants by the Jia-Bhoroli River
Apart from these, I also spotted the following birds here: Great Hornbill, Red Vented Bulbul, Grey Headed Fishing Eagle, Hill Myna, Common Iora, Scarlet Minivet, Fulvous breasted Woodpecker, Lesser Yellownape, Blue winged Leafbird, Indian Roller, Blue Throated Barbet, Blue tailed Bee Eater, Green Billed Malkoha, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Osprey, Spotted Dove, Pin tailed Green Pigeon, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Paddyfield Pipit, Black naped Oriole, Black Drongo, Spangled Drongo, Lesser racket tailed Drongo, Verditer Flycatcher, Grey Headed Canary Flycatcher, Little Forktail, Chestnut Tailed Starling, Sultan Tit (calling only), Pied Kingfisher, Crested Kingfisher, Pallas Fishing Eagle, Adjutant Stork, River Lapwing, Little Egret, Indian Pond Heron, Common Stonechat, Plain Martin, White Rumped Shama and Lesser Whistling Duck.

Ruddy Shelduck
All these birds were spotted either while rafting on the Jia-Bhorali river or while trekking through the multiple jungle trails available to the tourist.

Red Vented Bulbul
In addition to the birds, I also spotted some mammals. They were the Asian Elephant, Malayan Giant Squirrel, Assamese Macaque and Rhesus Macaque.

Fulvous Breasted Woodpecker  
The good forest tourist infrastructure, the vivid nature and jungles along with the rich birding and wildlife experience gives Nameri National Park a special place in India’s national park system. Whether, you are an angler, a birder or a wildlife lover, Nameri is bound to capture your heart.



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