Thursday, March 9, 2017

Birding in Nagaland - Part 1

Khonoma -  has a quaint ring to it and conjures up images of tall, dense evergreen forests ornamented with exotic birdsong... The reality didn't disappoint either. We stayed at the Dovipie Inn. A comfortable and very clean place with great food. 

As tied up earlier, Angulie Meyase, our guide for birding there met us at the hotel lobby at 5 am sharp. The excitement of birding for the first time in this exotic location had us all bundled up and rearing to go mindless of the freezing temperatures....

We set out on a foggy overcast morning with the sunrise still some time away. Maneuvering through the confined lanes of Khonoma with the headlights on is nothing short of scary! We zip past with centimeters to spare...

Once we are out of the village and driven some distance towards the Tragopan sanctuary, we slow down. And as if on cue, short of the next bend, Angulie tells the driver to stop. We watch with bated breath... There is this enormous Mithun standing on the road and five mountain bamboo partridges on the grassy edge! The light is terrible seeing that the sun is not yet out, but an attempt is made to record this lifer. Soon, they scamper away into the undergrowth and we move forward.

Mithun

Mithun calf

Mountain Bamboo Partridge

Past dense overhanging forest the road emerges into the open on a higher elevation. Henceforth, we stop at regular intervals and tick off many lifers, some seen well and some fleeting glimpses...

Grey Sibia

Grey Sibia

Ashy throated Warbler

White capped water Redstart
We next halted at the parking lot where we had a sumptuous breakfast of puri bhaji packed by the hotel. Well fed, the birding started again....

Part 2 is in the next post.