Sunday, May 16, 2004

Tadoba - Birding in the Tiger Realm

Hi Birds,

Back on the group after a long time with some good memories of Waghoba, I mean

Nyass-National youth for sports & science, Dombivili organizes Nature education
camps every year & even this year I had an oppurtunity to go as a resource
person with them to Tadoba from 11th to 15th May 2004.

Tadoba National Park is under "Project Tiger" with an area of 645 Sq.kms , a
typical Central Indian deciduos forest which is situated just 45 kms from

Belive it or not I sighted my first Wild Tiger after 14-15 years that I have
been with nature......Yes atlasssst after visiting 6 Tiger reserves (including
Ranthambore , Kanha , Nagzira.....etc) and nearly missing on nine occasions I
spotted my first Wild Tiger in Tadoba and the feeling is really
grrreaaattttttt..........With all the anxiety & frustration, I had nearly given
up seeing a Wild Tiger even here.

Even here I spotted this particular Tigeress on the Last day by sheer
coincidence ( I was only one of the two persons amongst 54 participants who had
not seen the tiger till the very last day, as I was with different groups
showing birds to them) with a thought already developed in my mind of what an
unlucky person I have been.

Anyways.....The birdlife was difenitely very rich in Tadoba with the list
extending to nearly 103 species in 4 days (A complete list is given at the end).

There were some highlights though like Twany fish owl , seen from a machan (
Katezari Machan) in the early morning hours.All the three species of nightjars
found in Tadoba namely the Savana Nightjar , Grey nightjar & the Longtailed
Nightjar were calling continously almost thro'out the night. Many birds visited
the waterhole in the morning like the ever so elegant Paradise flycathers (
males , females & sub adult males) , Black naped Monarch , Indian Pittas,
W.Breasted & C.Blue kingfishers , Drongos.

Among raptors sighted were Grey headed Eagles , Plenty of Oriental Honey
buzzards,White eyed buzzards,Crested serpent eagles ( Also sighted one, near a
waterhole from Jeep at a distance of not more than 10 feet) , Shikras & One
immature Changable hawk Eagle.

Shrikes were represented by Bay backed shrikes and common wood
shrikes.Shightings of woodpeckers however were very few with only Lesser Golden
backed & Rufous woodpeckers , however one group was lucky with the rare Lesser
yellow naped woodpecker.

The forest resounded with the calls of Indian Pittas , Common hawk cuckoos &
Indian cuckoos. Incidently one of the members of the local organization"Green
pigeons" which is doing some excellent conservation efforts along with the
forest department informed that they have been studing Indian pittas for the
last four years and have been trying to locate / count nests of Indian pittas,
The numbers of which were really impressive with 28 , 56 & 157 nests in the last
three years respectively.

Some other sightings included Asian Brown flycather, Crested tree swifts , Pied
kingfishers ( The founder of the organization "Green Pigeons" Mr.Atul Dhamankar
is coming up with a book in Marathi on the Life of Pied kingfisher very soon,He
also has an Excellent book "Wagh" to his credit) Yellow footed Green pigeons ,
Eurasian Thicknee, Red Spur fowls, Oriental Darter , Asian openbilled storks,
Large Cuckoo shrikes, Grey Hornbills, W.T.O.H. ground Thrush.......

Interestingly all the birds sighted were the resident birds and with the
Breeding season which is just about to commence for most of them,the breeding
displays & breeding calls echoed all over, making us (Humans) feel so inferior.


1. Red Spurfowl
2. Grey Junglefowl
3. Indian Peafowl
4. Lesser Whistling-Duck (on the lake)
5. Rufous Woodpecker
6. Black-rumped Flameback
7. Lesser Yellownape ( one sighting)
8. Coppersmith Barbet
9. Brown-headed Barbet
10. Indian Grey-Hornbill
11. Indian Roller
12. Common Kingfisher
13. Pied Kingfisher (lake)
14. White-throated Kingfisher
15. Little Green Bee-eater
16. Banded Bay Cuckoo
17. Indian Cuckoo (Very vocal)
18. Common Hawk-Cuckoo (Very vocal)
19. Asian Koel
20. Greater Coucal
21. Plum-headed Parakeet
22. Alexandrine Parakeet (Calls)
23. Rose-ringed Parakeet
24. Asian Palm-Swift
25. Crested Treeswift
26. Twany Fish-Owl (Katezari Machan)
27. Shikra
28. Savana Nightjar
29. Grey Nightjar
30. Large-tailed Nightjar
31. Blue Rock Pigeon
32. Yellow-footed Green-Pigeon (Roosted on bare trees for the night)
33. Laughing Dove
34. Spotted Dove (one nest)
35. Eurasian Collared-Dove
36. Eurasian Thick-knee (One sighting)
37. Bronze-winged Jacana (lake)
38. Red-wattled Lapwing ( Four nests along the lake shore..spotted with
spottingscope from, across the other side of the lake)
39. White-eyed Buzzard (Plenty)
40. Black-winged Kite
41. Grey-headed Fish-Eagle ( 4 sightings)
42. Black Kite

43. Oriental Honey-buzzard (Many)
44. Crested Serpent-Eagle
45. Changeable Hawk-Eagle (One sighting - Immature)
46. Oriental Darter
47. Indian Cormorant
48. Little Cormorant
49. Cattle Egret
50. Great Egret
51. Little Egret
52. Purple Heron
53. Indian Pond-Heron
54. Black-headed Ibis (lake)
55. Asian Openbill (lake)
56. Indian Pitta (Many)
57. Bay-backed Shrike (2 shightings)
58. Rufous Treepie
59. Large-billed Crow
60. House Crow
61. Eurasian Golden-Oriole
62. Black-hooded Oriole
63. Large Cuckoo-shrike
64. Small Minivet
65. White-browed Fantail
66. Black Drongo
67. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
68. Black-naped Monarch
69. Asian Paradise-Flycatcher (Numerous)
70. Common Iora (Very vocal)
71. Common Woodshrike (Very vocal)
72. Orange-headed Thrush
73. Asian Brown Flycatcher (2 sightings)
74. Tickell's Blue-Flycatcher
75. Oriental Magpie-Robin (Very vocal)
76. White-rumped Shama
77. Indian Robin
78. Asian Pied Starling
79. Brahminy Starling
80. Jungle Myna
81. Common Myna
82. Red-rumped Swallow
83. Wire-tailed Swallow
84. Red-vented Bulbul
85. Red-whiskered Bulbul
86. White-browed Bulbul ( Katezari machan)
87. Grey-breasted Prinia (Very vocal)
88. Plain Prinia
89. Ashy Prinia
90. Oriental White-eye (Numerous)
91. Puff-throated Babbler
92. Jungle Babbler
93. Rufous-tailed sparrow-Lark (outside / periphery)
94. Ashy-crowned sparrow-Lark (outside / periphery)
95. Thick-billed Flowerpecker
96. Pale-billed Flowerpecker
97. Purple Sunbird (Very vocal)
98. Purple-rumped Sunbird (outside / periphery)
99. House Sparrow
100. Chestnut-shouldered Petronia (Numerous)
101. Paddyfield Pipit
102. White-throated Silverbill
103. Scaly-breasted Munia

Mammals & Reptiles

Tiger , Wild Boar , Sambar , Spotted Deer , Barking Deer , Small Indian Civet
(from machan at 1.00 p.m.) , Ruddy Mongoose (many Sightings) , Indian Wild Dog /
Dhole , Sloth Bear , Blue bull / Nilgai, Common langurs,Bats (?) , Three striped
Sqquirels,Indian Tree shrew , Marsh Crocodiles , Fan throated lizards,Forest
calotes , garden lizards...

Tadoba.........Both for Birds & Animals is very highly recommended which has a
fairly good Infrastructure.

Happy Birding,

Addi The Birde
(Adesh Shivkar)

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