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Rajasthan

18 February - 10 March 2000

by Mike Prince

Demoiselle Cranes, Khichan

Introduction

This report describes a two-week tour of Rajasthan in late winter 2000. This was our honeymoon, following a wedding in Bombay, and was generally a sightseeing trip rather than a birding trip. We chose our own itinerary based around the main sightseeing destinations, but with a few birding excursions included. The main target for the birding was to visit the Desert National Park, a restricted area close to the Pakistan border and home to Indian Bustard, amongst other species.

We stayed in some fairly luxurious hotels (it was our honeymoon after all!) and so the cost of the trip was relatively expensive. However, it would be very easy to follow the same itinerary with a car and driver similarly, but stay at basic accommodation and hence the whole trip could work out at a very reasonable cost. As an example of the expense we went to, the Lake Palace hotel in Udaipur cost us $156 per person per night for a very ordinary standard room. The location and romance of the place made this definitely worthwhile for a honeymoon, although hardly value for money otherwise!

All the arrangements for the tour we made in India, through Swagatam Tours and Travels in Bombay. They specialise in Rajasthan and proved a good choice. The trip (including internal flights, car and driver, hotel rooms, guided sightseeing tours but not including external flights and food) cost approximately 2,100 for the two of us. The tour proved very successful and the itinerary we followed would make a good base to follow for any tour of Rajasthan.

Daily Log and Site Information

Day 1 - Bombay to Udaipur (flight)

Walk around town, see Crystal Gallery at Fateh Prakash Palace and evening boat trip.

Large numbers of waterfowl on Lake Pichola, viewable from Lake Palance and boat trip, but ideally need a visit to the southern side of the lake. Highlights included over a hundred Cotton Pygmy Geese, close views of River Tern and Wire-tailed Swallow and Indian Grey Hornbill in Udaipur.

Stay at Lake Palace. Suggest either splash out on one of the special suites, or try Fateh Prakash hotel.

Day 2 - Udaipur

Guided sightseeing tour in Udaipur City Palace, Jagdish Temple, Museum, Sahelion-ki-Bari, Shilpgram (village).

Visited a sanctuary (can't remember the name) near the Monsoon Palace. Although in the heat of the day, saw Wild Boar, Baya Weaver and lots of Indian Silverbills. Also Orphean Warbler at Shilpgram.

Stay at Lake Palace.

Day 3 - Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh

Travel to Kumbhalgarh Fort via Nagda and Eklingji - beautiful temples.

Sulphur-bellied Warbler and Spotted Owlet at Nagda, Red-headed Vulture, White-eyed Buzzard and White-capped Bunting at Kumbhalgarh.

Stay at Kumbhalgarh Fort Hotel. Aodhi Hunting Lodge is probably a bit better.

Day 4 - Kumbhalgarh to Ranakpur

See Kumbhalgarh Fort am and Ranakpur Jain Temple pm.

Early morning jeep trip into Kumbhalgarh reserve was good. Grey Junglefowl, Red Spurfowl, Jungle Bush-quail, Yellow-fronted Green Pigeon and Tawny-bellied Babbler.

Stay at Maharani Bagh Orchard. Very relaxing place, good service. Indian Nightjar heard here at dusk.

Day 5 - Ranakpur to Luni

Have lunch at Sardar Samand Lodge; walk around Luni - nothing to see!

Sardar Samand deserves close attention for birds. Without seriously birding we saw Bar-headed Geese, Greater Flamingos, Ruddy Shelduck, Sarus and Common Cranes, Dalmatian Pelican, Tawny and Imperial Eagles and Small Pratincole.

Stay at Fort Chanwa. Service was average - could have happily avoided Luni and gone straight to Jodhpur.

Day 6 - Luni to Jodhpur

Guided sightseeing tour in Jodhpur Meharangarh Fort, Jaswanthada, Clock Tower, Old City.

Stay at Umaid Bhawan. Very nice, good service.

Day 7 - Jodhpur

See Jodhpur Umaid Bhavan Museum, village safari, wander around Clock Tower, silver/furniture shopping.

Variable Wheatear in the desert area, as well as several Chinkara, Blackbuck and Nilgai.

Stay at Umaid Bhawan.

Day 8 - Jodhpur to Osiyan

Stop at Mandore Gardens; see Osiyan temples, camel village safari.

Red Collared Doves at Umaid Bhawan, Brahminy and Rose-coloured Starlings on camel ride.

Stay at The Camel Camp. Nice place, nice temples nearby, enjoyable camel ride (although quite uncomfortable!).

Day 9 - Osiyan to Jaisalmer via Khichan

Leave Osiyan early to Khichan (see Cranes!), then Jaisalmer; Explore Jaisalmer Fort.

Khichan is one of the most spectacular avian sights and sounds I have ever experienced. Several thousands of Demoiselle Cranes feeding on grain laid down in a 60m by 60m fenced-off area. Later stops en-route to Jaisalmer produced Desert Warbler and Tawny Pipit.

Stay at Gorbandh Palace. Not a real palace but nice enough!

Day 10 - Jaisalmer

Guided sightseeing tour of Jain Temple, Fort, Patva ki Haveli, Salim Singh Haveli, Badal Niwas Palace. Also arranged permits for the Thar Desert. This is a tedious process and it is definitely recommended to get the help of a local travel agent to ferry you around to get the necessary signatures.

Stay at Gorbandh Palace.

Day 11 - Jaisalmer

Thar Desert birding trip by jeep and camel cart.

Excellent birding, although a bit restricted by not being able to travel far and having to go by camel cart from the huts at the Sudaseri Bustard Enclosure. Hundreds of Short-toed Larks, lots of Desert Wheatears, Black-crowned Finch-larks, four Indian Bustards, Laggar Falcons, Eagle Owl, Long-billed Pipit and Desert Lesser Whitethroat were the highlights.

Stay at Gorbandh Palace.

Day 12 - Jaisalmer to Bikaner

See Bikaner Lalgarh Palace museum.

Stay at Lalgarh Palace. Pleasant converted palace hotel.

Day 13 - Bikaner to Mandawa

See Bikaner Jhunagar Fort.

Stay at Mandawa Castle. Service was very poor and atmosphere contrived. Suggest looking at smaller places like Dunlodh.

Day 14 - Mandawa to Samode

Stop at Nawalgarh, Dunlodh, etc. to see Shekhawati paintings. See Samodh Palace.

Stay at Samode Palace. Excellent all round.

Day 15 - Samode to Jaipur

See Amber Fort, Jaipur sites.

Stay at Jai Mahal. Nice atmosphere, nice rooms (we had a free upgrade to a suite!).

Day 16 - Jaipur to Bombay (flight)

We spent some time in Bombay at either end of our trip. Some bird sightings from Elephanta Island are included in the systematic list from this time.

Systematic List

'*' indicates a tick for MGP.

  1. Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
  2. Seen at Udaipur, Kumbhalghar, Sardar Samand, Umaid Bhavan and Gadi Sagar with maximum counts being 45 at Udaipur on 24/02 and 100 at Gadi Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  3. Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus
  4. Two at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  5. Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
  6. Quite common throughout, including 30 at Udaipur on 23/02 and 20 at Gadi Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  7. Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger
  8. Small numbers throughout, including one at Elephanta Island on 22/02 and up to 20 at both Udaipur and Sardar Samand.

  9. Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster
  10. One at Nagda on 25/02, one at Kumbhalghar on 26/02 and two at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  11. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
  12. Up to five seen at Udaipur and Sardar Samand, with at Gadi Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  13. Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
  14. Two at Udaipur on 24/02, one at Udaipur on 25/02 and one at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  15. Great White Egret Casmerodius albus
  16. One at Elephanta Island on 22/02, twos at Udaipur and Nagda and five at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  17. Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia
  18. Seen daily at Udaipur where there were four on 25/02 but not noted elsewhere.

  19. Little Egret Egretta garzetta
  20. Three at Elephanta Island on 22/02, five at Udaipur and 20 at Gadi Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  21. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
  22. Two at Udaipur on 24/02, one at Sardar Samand on 27/02 and 20 at Amar Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  23. Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii
  24. Small numbers seen throughout.

  25. Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
  26. Three seen at Udaipur on 24/02, in flight over Lake Pichola at night.

  27. Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala
  28. Eight at Udaipur on 23/02.

  29. Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans
  30. Three at Udaipur on 24/02 and four at Nagda on 25/02.

  31. Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus
  32. One at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  33. Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus
  34. One at Udaipur, four at Nagda on 25/02 and two at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  35. Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
  36. Up to 40 at Udaipur and one at Sardar Samand.

  37. Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
  38. Up to 25 at Udaipur and 30 at Sardar Samand.

  39. Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber
  40. 185 at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  41. Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica
  42. Up to 90 at Udaipur (24/02).

  43. Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus
  44. 1630 at Sardar Samand on 27/02 and one in flight at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur earlier the same day.

  45. Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
  46. 30 at Udaipur, 12 in flight at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur on 26/02 and 125 at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  47. Cotton Pygmy Goose Nettapus coromandelianus
  48. Daily at Udaipur where 120 were counted on 24/02.

  49. Wigeon Anas penelope
  50. 300 estimated at Udaipur on 23/02, 50 at Kumbhalghar on 25/02 and several also at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  51. Gadwall Anas strepera
  52. At least 200 at Udaipur.

  53. Teal Anas crecca
  54. Up to 50 at Udaipur, 30 at Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur and eight at Gadi Sagar, Jaisalmer.

  55. Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha
  56. 300 estimated at Udaipur (23/02), with four seen at Kumbhalghar on 25/02.

  57. Pintail Anas acuta
  58. 50 seen at Udaipur, 50 at Nagda on 25/02 and 40 at Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur on 01/03. Also seen at Kumbhalghar on 25/02 and Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  59. Garganey Anas querquedula
  60. Up to 30 at Udaipur.

  61. Shoveler Anas clypeata
  62. Common at Udaipur (at least 300) with 100 also at Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur on 01/03 and 20 at Gadi Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  63. Pochard Aythya ferina
  64. About 100 seen daily at Udaipur with smaller numbers at Nagda, Kumbhalghar, Sardar Samand and Gadi Sagar, Jaisalmer.

  65. Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
  66. At least 200 seen daily at Udaipur, with smaller numbers at Nagda, Kumbhalghar, Sardar Samand and one at Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur.

  67. Osprey Pandion haliaetus
  68. Two at Elephanta Island on 22/02.

  69. Oriental Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus
  70. One at Sahiya ki Bari, Udaipur on 24/02 and one at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur on 27/02.

  71. Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus
  72. Singles at Kumbhalghar on 25/02, en-route on 26/02, Kumbhalghar on 26/02 and between Jaisalmer and Bikaner on 05/03.

  73. Black Kite Milvus migrans
  74. Common in many areas.

  75. Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
  76. Two at Elephanta Island on 22/02.

  77. Red-headed Vulture Aegypius calvus
  78. One at Kumbhalghar on 25/02 with one there the following day, and one in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  79. Long-billed Vulture Gyps indicus
  80. Small numbers at Udaipur, Kumbhalghar, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, with 10 in the Desert National Park the highest count.

  81. White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis
  82. Common in Udaipur where 50 were seen on both 23/02 and 24/02. Small numbers also at Maharani Bagh, Kumbhalghar, Sardar Samand, Umaid Bhavan, and 10 in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  83. Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus
  84. 20 around the Bishoi Villages, Jodhpur on 29/02 was the best count, with other sightings including three in the Desert National Park on 04/03 and 10 between Jaisalmer and Bikaner on 05/03.

  85. Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
  86. One at Nagda, one at Kumbhalghar, two in the Desert National Park and two between Jaisalmer and Bikaner.

  87. White-eyed Buzzard Butastur teesa
  88. One at Kumbhalghar on 25/02.

  89. Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus
  90. Two adult males between Phalodi and Jaisalmer on 02/03.

  91. Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
  92. One at Udaipur on 24/02 and 25/02, two at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  93. Shikra Accipiter badius
  94. Ones or twos at Elephanta Island, Kumbhalghar and Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur.

  95. Buzzard Buteo buteo
  96. Two at Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  97. Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus
  98. One at Bikaner Fort on 06/03.

  99. *Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax
  100. One at Sardar Samand on 27/02, two between Phalodi and Jaisalmer on 02/03, six in the Desert National Park on 04/03, eight between Jaisalmer and Bikaner on 05/03 and one at Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner on 06/03.

  101. Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca
  102. One at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  103. Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
  104. One in the Desert National Park on 04/03 and one at Bikaner Fort on 06/03.

  105. *Lagger Falcon Falco jugger
  106. Three seen very well in the Desert National Park on 04/03 and three also between Jaisalmer and Bikaner on 05/03.

  107. Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus
  108. Seen at Kumbhalghar, Maharani Bagh, the Bishoi Villages (up to 50), Osian (up to 40) and two in the Desert National Park.

  109. Jungle Bush Quail Perdicula asiatica
  110. 12 at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  111. *Red Spurfowl Galloperdix spadicea
  112. Three at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  113. Grey Junglefowl Gallus sonneratii
  114. 12 at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  115. Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus
  116. Seen at several places throughout Rajasthan with the main count being 60 at Osian on 01/03.

  117. Crane Grus grus
  118. Four at Udaipur on 23/02, 15 at Sardar Samand on 27/02 and two between Phalodi and Jaisalmer on 02/03.

  119. Sarus Crane Grus antigone
  120. Nine at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  121. *Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo
  122. Approximately 4000 at Khichan on 02/03 was one of the most spectacular birding sights and sounds I have ever experienced! I arrived an hour or so after dawn to find several thousands feeding on grain laid out for them. On 05/03 a thermalling flock of about 350 was seen just east of Jaisalmer.

  123. Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  124. 15 at Kumbhalghar on 26/02

  125. Purple Gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio
  126. 70 at Udaipur on 24/02

  127. Coot Fulica atra
  128. Approximately 4000 on Lake Pichola, Udaipur on 24/02, with others seen at Kumbhalghar, Sardar Samand, Umaid Bhavan and Gadi Sagar, Jaisalmer.

  129. *Indian Bustard Choriotis nigriceps
  130. Very good views of two pairs seen in the Sudaseri Bustard Enclosure in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  131. Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
  132. Up to 15 at Udaipur and one at Nagda.

  133. Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
  134. Common, with up to 100 at Udaipur, 40 at Sardar Samand, 10 at Umaid Bhavan and 10 at Gadi Sagar, Jaisalmer the double-figure counts.

  135. Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
  136. Three at the Bishoi Villages, Jodhpur on 29/02 and four at Umaid Bhavan on 01/03.

  137. Little Pratincole Glareola lactea
  138. 50 in flight over the lake at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  139. Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus
  140. Seen on several dates but no counts noted.

  141. Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
  142. 15 at Elephanta Island on 22/02.

  143. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
  144. One at Elephanta Island on 22/02, one at Nagda on 25/02 and seven at Amar Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  145. Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
  146. Two at Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur on 01/03.

  147. Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
  148. Two at Udaipur, 14 in flight at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur and 200 at Sardar Samand.

  149. Curlew Numenius arquata
  150. One at Udaipur on 23/02.

  151. Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
  152. One at Osian on 01/03 and 14 at Gadi Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  153. Redshank Tringa totanus
  154. Four at Elephanta Island on 22/02, one at Udaipur on 25/02 and one at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  155. Greenshank Tringa nebularia
  156. One at Elephanta Island on 22/02 and one at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  157. Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
  158. One or two at Udaipur, Kumbhalghar and Sardar Samand.

  159. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
  160. Five at Elephanta Island on 22/02, one at Sardar Samand on 27/02 and one at Gadi Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  161. Little Stint Calidris minuta
  162. 10 at Elephanta Island on 22/02, two at Sardar Samand on 27/02 and three at Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur on 01/03.

  163. Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii
  164. 90 at Elephanta Island on 22/02.

  165. Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
  166. 25 at Elephanta Island on 22/02.

  167. Ruff Philomachus pugnax
  168. Six in flight at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur on 26/02 and an impressive flock of 1500 at Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur on 01/03.

  169. Heuglin's Gull Larus heuglini
  170. 15 at Elephanta Island on 22/02.

  171. Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus
  172. 40 at Elephanta Island on 22/02. The Brown-headeds were nearly all seen close to Elephanta with Black-headeds being seen nearer Bombay.

  173. Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
  174. 800 between Bombay and Elephanta Island on 22/02, four at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  175. Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
  176. Two at Elephanta Island on 22/02, one at Udaipur on 24/02 and two there on 25/02.

  177. Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
  178. Four at Elephanta Island on 22/02.

  179. Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia
  180. One at Elephanta Island on 22/02.

  181. River Tern Sterna aurantia
  182. Up to 15 daily at Udaipur, four at Nagda on 25/02, four at Sardar Samand on 27/02 and four at Gadi Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  183. Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus
  184. 80 in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  185. Feral Pigeon Columba livia
  186. Very common throughout.

  187. Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
  188. Very common, the maximum count being 300 at Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur on 01/03.

  189. Red Collared Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica
  190. 15 at Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur on 01/03.

  191. Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis
  192. Up to 10 seen at Maharani Bagh, Kumbhalghar and en-route in Rajasthan.

  193. Palm Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
  194. Small numbers seen on several dates at various sites.

  195. Yellow-legged Green Pigeon Treron phoenicoptera
  196. 57 at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  197. Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria
  198. One at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur on 26/02 and three the following day.

  199. Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri
  200. Very common throughout.

  201. Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala
  202. Six at Monsoon Palace, Udaipur and up to 40 at Kumbhalghar and up to 10 at Maharani Bagh.

  203. Koel Eudynamys scolopacea
  204. Noted only from Bombay and Udaipur.

  205. Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis
  206. One at the Sanctuary near Udaipur on 24/02.

  207. Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo hemachalana
  208. One was seen roosting under an acacia at midday in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  209. Spotted Little Owl Athene brama
  210. Two on one of the temples at Nagda on 25/02.

  211. *Indian Nightjar Caprimulgus asiaticus
  212. One heard calling at dusk at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur on 26/02.

  213. Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus batasiensis
  214. 15 at Elephanta Island on 22/02.

  215. House Swift Apus affinis
  216. Fairly common throughout, including a count of 200 at Luni on 27/02.

  217. Crested Tree Swift Hemiprocne longipennis
  218. 25 at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur on 26/02

  219. Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
  220. Two at Udaipur on 23/02 and 24/02, with two also at Nagda on 25/02.

  221. Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
  222. One at Udaipur on 24/02.

  223. White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
  224. One at Udaipur on 24/02, one at Kumbhalghar on 25/02 and two at Amar Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  225. Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
  226. Small numbers seen throughout.

  227. Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis
  228. Up to five seen en-route most days.

  229. Hoopoe Upupa epops
  230. Two between Phalodi and Jaisalmer on 02/03, four at Amar Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03 and one at Mandawa on 07/03.

  231. Indian Grey Hornbill Tockus birostris
  232. One at Udaipur on 23/02, two at Kumbhalghar on 25/02 and 26/02, and up to four at Maharani Bagh.

  233. Brown-headed Barbet Megalaima zeylanica
  234. Two at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  235. Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala
  236. Three at Bombay on 18/02, two at Nagda on 25/02, two at Kumbhalghar on 26/02 and one at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur on 27/02.

  237. Black-rumped Flameback Dinopium benghalense
  238. Up to two at Kumbhalghar and one in the Mandore Gardens near Jodhpur on 01/03.

  239. Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
  240. 400 in the Desert National Park on 04/03 and about 80 seen between Jaisalmer and Bikaner on 05/03.

  241. Crested Lark Galerida cristata
  242. Two in the Bishoi Villages south of Jodhpur on 29/02, two at Khichan on 02/03, 10 between Phalodi and Jaisalmer on 02/03, one in the Desert National Park on 04/03 and a few between Jaisalmer and Bikaner on 05/03.

  243. *Black-crowned Finch Lark Eremopterix nigriceps
  244. 40 in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  245. Ashy-crowned Finch Lark Eremopterix grisea
  246. One seen en-route on 27/02.

  247. Brown-throated Sand Martin Riparia paludicola
  248. Six at Nagda on 25/02.

  249. Dusky Crag Martin Hirundo concolor
  250. Common, and seen at most sites visited: Elephanta Island, Udaipur, Nagda, Kumbhalgarh (where 30 on 26/02), Sardar Samand, Umaid Bhavan, Osian, Amar Sagar, Lalgarh Palace and Mandawa.

  251. Swallow Hirundo rustica
  252. One at Elephanta Island on 22/02, 30 at Kumbhalghar on 25/02, five at Sardar Samand on 27/02 and two between Jaisalmer and Bikaner on 05/03.

  253. Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii
  254. Two at the Lake Palace, Udaipur daily and two at Nagda.

  255. Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
  256. Fairly common, in particular with 50 at Kumbhalghar and 80 at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur.

  257. Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
  258. One at Amar Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  259. Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola
  260. Five at Amar Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  261. Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
  262. One at Kumbhalghar on 25/02.

  263. White Wagtail Motacilla alba
  264. Two at Osian on 01/03, 15 at Amar Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03 and one in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  265. White-browed Wagtail Motacilla maderaspatensis
  266. Up to 20 at Udaipur on 23/02, four at Kumbhalghar on 25/02 and one at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  267. Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus
  268. One at Amar Sagar, Jaisalmer on 03/03.

  269. Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
  270. 12 in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  271. Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis
  272. One in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  273. Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
  274. One at Kumbhalghar on 25/02.

  275. Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
  276. Four at Monsoon Palace, Udaipur on 24/02.

  277. Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus
  278. One at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  279. Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocusus
  280. Two at Elephanta Island on 22/02.

  281. White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis
  282. One at Luni on 27/02, 10 at Osian on 01/03, three at Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur on 01/03, 10 at Jaisalmer on 03/03 and 10 in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  283. Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer
  284. 80 at Sahiya ki Bari, Udaipur on 24/02 was the most counted, although 'hundreds' were seen en-route on both 26/02 and 27/02. One was in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  285. Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
  286. Up to three at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur and one at Kumbhalghar.

  287. Isabelline Shrike Lanius phoenicuroides
  288. Two in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  289. Bay-backed Shrike Lanius vittatus
  290. One in the Desert National Park on 04/03 and one between Mandawa and Samode on 07/03.

  291. Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach
  292. One at Sardar Samand on 27/02 and one at Osian on 01/03.

  293. Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis
  294. Two at Osian on 01/03, 10 between Phalodi to Jaisalmer on 02/03, six in the Desert National Park on 04/03, five between Jaisalmer and Bikaner on 05/03 and 10 between Mandawa and Samode on 07/03.

  295. Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis
  296. Two at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur on 26/02 and one at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  297. Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
  298. Two at Kumbhalghar, one at Nagda, five at Maharani Bagh and one at Bada Bagh, Jaisalmer (on 03/03).

  299. Brown Rockchat Cercomela fusca
  300. Proved to be common and widespread. Seen at Monsoon Palace, Udaipur, up to 20 at Kumbhalghar, Osian, Amar Sagar, Lalgarh Palace, Mandawa and 10 at Nawalgarh.

  301. Stonechat Saxicola torquata
  302. One at Kumbhalghar on 25/02.

  303. Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata
  304. Four seen en-route on 27/02.

  305. Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti
  306. 35 in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  307. *Variable Wheatear Oenanthe picata
  308. One seen in the Bishoi Villages, Jodhpur on 29/02, thereafter common in the desert areas. Main counts included 16 at Osian on 01/03, 10 between Phalodi and Jaisalmer on 02/03, 10 in the Desert National Park on 04/03, 20 between Jaisalmer and Bikaner on 05/03 and 10 between Bikaner and Mandawa on 06/03.

  309. Indian Robin Saxicoloides fulicata
  310. Fairly common and seen most days.

  311. Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
  312. One at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  313. *Tawny-bellied Babbler Dumetia hyperythra
  314. One at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  315. Common Babbler Turdoides caudatus
  316. 15 at Sardar Samand on 27/02, 50 at Osian on 01/03 and 40 in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  317. Jungle Babbler Turdoides striatus
  318. Eight at Monsoon Palace, Udaipur on 24/02, up to 60 at Kumbhalghar, 30 at Maharani Bagh and six at Jaisalmer.

  319. Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis
  320. One confiding male at Shilpgram, Udaipur on 24/02.

  321. Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
  322. One at Elephanta Island on 22/02, two at Nagda on 25/02, one at Kumbhalghar on 26/02, up to five at Maharani Bagh, one at Sardar Samand on 27/02, one at Umaid Bhavan on 01/03 and one at Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner on 06/03. All these appeared to be blythi. One seen well in the Desert National Park on 04/03 was of the minula subspecies (Desert Lesser Whitethroat).

  323. Desert Warbler Sylvia nana
  324. One at a stop between Phalodi and Jaisalmer on 02/03 and two in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  325. Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybitus
  326. Up to two at Kumbhalghar, one at Maharani Bagh, and up to four at Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner on 06/03. Several of these were Siberian Chiffchaffs P. c. tristis.

  327. *Sulphur-bellied Warbler Phylloscopus griseolus
  328. One at Nagda on 25/02 and two at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  329. Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides
  330. One at Elephanta Island on 22/02, one at Sahiya ki Bari, Udaipur on 24/02, one at Nagda on 25/02, two at Kumbhalghar on 26/02 and up to five at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur (26/02).

  331. Plain Prinia Prinia inornata
  332. Two at Shilpgram, Udaipur on 24/02 and two at the Sanctuary near Udaipur on 24/02.

  333. Graceful Warbler Prinia gracilis
  334. Two at Nagda on 25/02 and 10 in the Desert National Park on 04/03.

  335. Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis
  336. Two at Sahiya ki Bari, Udaipur on 24/02 and two at the Monsoon Palace the same day.

  337. Grey-breasted Prinia Prinia hodgsoni
  338. Up to two at Kumbhalghar and up to six at Maharani Bagh.

  339. Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius
  340. Two at Nagda on 25/02, one at Kumbhalghar on 26/02, one at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur on 27/02 and one at Sardar Samand on 27/02.

  341. Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva
  342. One at Nagda on 25/02 and one at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  343. Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis
  344. One at Sahiya ki Bari, Udaipur on 24/02.

  345. White-browed Fantail Rhipidura aureola
  346. One at the Sanctuary near Udaipur on 24/02, up to four at Kumbhalghar and one at Maharani Bagh.

  347. Great Tit Parus major
  348. One at Monsoon Palace, Udaipur on 24/02 and five at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  349. Purple Sunbird Nectarinia asiatica
  350. Fairly common and recorded daily.

  351. Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosa
  352. One at Sahiya ki Bari, Udaipur on 24/02, up to 30 at Maharani Bagh and 20 at Kumbhalghar.

  353. Crested Bunting Melophus lathami
  354. One at Kumbhalghar on 26/02.

  355. *White-capped Bunting Emberiza stewarti
  356. Up to four at Kumbhalghar and three at Maharani Bagh.

  357. Indian Silverbill Lonchura malabarica
  358. 70 at the Sanctuary near Udaipur, four at Maharani Bagh, four at Osian and 15 in the Desert National Park.

  359. House Sparrow Passer domesticus
  360. Common and recorded daily.

  361. Chestnut-shouldered Petronia Petronia xanthosterna
  362. Up to 40 at Kumbhalghar and 30 at Maharani Bagh.

  363. *Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus
  364. Two at Sahiya ki Bari, Udaipur on 24/02.

  365. Asian Pied Starling Sturnus contra
  366. One at Dundlod on 07/03.

  367. Brahminy Starling Sturnus pagodarum
  368. One at Udaipur on 23/02, five at Osian on 01/03 and 20 at Mandore Gardens on 01/03.

  369. Rose-coloured Starling Sturnus roseus
  370. 13 at Osian on 01/03.

  371. Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
  372. Common and recorded daily.

  373. Bank Mynah Acridotheres ginginianus
  374. One at Dundlodh on 07/03.

  375. Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
  376. One at Bombay on 10/03.

  377. Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus
  378. Small numbers recorded daily.

  379. White-bellied Drongo Dicrurus caerulescens
  380. Two at Kumbhalghar and five at Maharani Bagh.

  381. Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda
  382. Up to five at Kumbhalghar and five at Maharani Bagh, plus one at Sardar Samand.

  383. House Crow Corvus splendens
  384. Very common throughout.

  385. Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
  386. Four at Elephanta Island on 22/02, then also noted in small numbers at Udaipur and Kumbhalghar.

  387. Raven Corvus corax
  388. Six in the Desert National Park on 04/03, four between Jaisalmer and Bikaner on 05/03 and five between Bikaner and Mandawa on 06/03.

Totals

  • 194 confirmed species
  • 12 ticks

References

The main birding sites in Rajasthan are well described in the site guides we used.

  1. Birds of the Indian Subcontinent; Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp & Tim Inskipp; Christopher Helm; 1998. A very useful reference guide.
  2. Where to Watch Birds in Asia; Nigel Wheatley; Christopher Helm; 1996. Useful background planning.
  3. A Birdwatcher's Guide to India; Krys Kazmierczak & Raj Singh; Prion; 1998. Detailed site descriptions and several good maps.
  4. Rajasthan; Lonely Planet; 2nd edition, 1999. As always very useful.
  5. Although not used personally, the following have all been recommended by others.

  6. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region; T. Inskipp, N. Lindsey & W. Duckworth; Oriental Bird Club; 1996.
  7. Field Guide to the Mammals of the Indian Sub-continent; Gurung & Singh; 1996.

Contacts

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