Red Phalarope, a Rare Vagrant for India, Tal Chhapar, Rajasthan, April 2012

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The Indian subcontinent records both Red (or Grey) Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) and Red-necked Phalarope. Both are Arctic breeders that spend the non-breeding (winter) season at sea in the south Pacific, with the Red-necked Phalarope also in the Arabian Sea, and Red off West Africa. Red-necked Phalaropes migrate overland in Europe and Asia, and are encountered in inland wetlands, but Red Phalarope is a vagrant and occur inland only when storm-driven.

On 18 April 2012, Range Forest Officer (RFO) … Read More

Bean Goose: First Record from Uttarakhand, India

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The Bean Goose (Anser fabalis) is a migratory bird breeding in the high Arctic regions. It has its wintering ground in temperate and sub-tropical regions such as China, Japan, Europe, and so on. A solitary Bean Goose has recently been sighted in a wetland near Corbett Tiger Reserve by a group of bird-watchers and naturalists from The Corbett Foundation led by Ms. Anushree Bhattacharjee. This was the first recorded sighting of this species from the State of Uttarakhand. … Read More

Rare Buffy Fish Owl Photographed In Sundarbans

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On 18th March 2012, we were on a boat riding into the salty waters of Sundarbans. The breeze was just warming us up for the long day ahead, when Mridul Kanti Kar, a young fellow birder with an amazing ability to spot birds, shouted out ‘Owl! Owl!’. We were near the famous Sajnekhali Watch Tower. We were clicking pictures furiously, not realizing the rarity we were looking at. Though initially mistaken for the common Brown Fish Owl, something about it … Read More

Pale Rock Sparrow, A New Bird For India, Recorded In Kutch

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The Pale Rockfinch or Sparrow (Carpospiza brachydactyla) is the latest addition to the list of Indian birds. The bird is a native of Middle East and Central Asia and has been recently recorded wintering in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.

The bird which prefers its natural habitat of tropical dry shrub and grasslands, was discovered by four bird experts, including Jugal Tiwari, on January 27th, 2012. “I came across two flocks, and my estimate was there were … Read More

Melanistic (Black) Panther, Bhadra Tiger Reserve

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Bhadra Tiger Reserve is seeing a few melanistic (Black) Panther sightings. Just yesterday (20th Feb 2012), tourists in the backwaters of the Bhadra reservoir saw this panther from a boat at 8am. There has been a couple of earlier sightings too. Researchers at the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) report of a melanistic leopard in a camera-trap capture from Bhadra in February 2009.

A black leopard is the same species as a normal-colored leopard with a high amount of pigment … Read More

Lesser Florican Sighted In Bangalore After A Century!

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Out on a cold gloomy morning with the intent of photographing birds, Mr. Raghavendra Bhat sat in his car in the outskirts of Bangalore, waiting for the sun to warm up the day. As the day brightened-up in about 20 minutes, he observed a medium sized bird cross the kuchha road in front and walk into the grass. At first, he thought it to be a juvenile junglefowl, but on seeing the structure of the head, he thought it could … Read More

Wild Dogs (Dhole) spotted in Pungro, Eastern Nagaland

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In a rare sighting, birdwatchers Atul Jain, Manoj Sharma and Harkirat Sanga spotted a pack of 6 Dhole or Indian wild dogs (Cuon alpinus) near Pungro town in Eastern Nagaland not far from the Myanmar border. The pack had four pups and two adults. Not suprisingly, the pack appeared to be scared as it was being chased by a local villager trying to hunt it down unsuccessfully with a stone. Not much is known about wild dogs from … Read More

Three Rare Laughing Thrushes Recorded in Eastern Nagaland, May 2010

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Bird enthusiasts Shashank Dalvi and Ramki Sreenivasan made a 4-day visit to the Fakim / Saramati areas of Nagaland between 18-22 May 2010 near the Myanmar border. They were thrilled to sight, photograph and sound record three poorly known laughing thrushes. Some quick notes on these birds:

  • Moustached [Ashy] Laughing Thrush— What was interesting about the Ashy was its atypical laughing thrush behavior. It preferred pine branches in addition to the usual thick undergrowth in the degraded slopes.
  • Spot-breasted
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