Saturday, February 05, 2011

Nepal photos

About a month ago I returned from a family christmas to the fantastic country that is Nepal. I had a few interesting sightings, so in the near future I should get around to writing up a proper trip report, but in the mean time, here's a brief taster of how it went.

After a few days settling into Kathmandu and seeing the usual touristy sights, we set off on a trek up the Langtang Valley. Seeing as how I was leading the family, it was difficult to do much full on birding, but I managed a few lifers, including some birds of top-class quality, and as expected, a glittering supporting cast of local goodies.

Long-billed Thrush- Lama Hotel

White-capped Water Redstart- Ubiquitous along the river

Hoary-throated Barwing-Rimche

Golden Eagle and Lammergeier above Kyanjin Gompa. Truly awesome sight

The same Lammergeier as above

Ashy-throated Warbler- Rimche

Appalling photo of the bird of the trip- Himalayan Monal, just above Langtang village. Watching the morning sun glittering off this stunning National Bird of Nepal as it fed on the mountainside was one of the highlights of my birding life so far.

Peregrine Falcon (peregrinator?) taking a breather from chasing Snow Pigeons around Mundu
Snow Pigeons taking a breather from being chased around Mundu by a Peregrine Falcon

Other highlights of the trek included Little and Spotted Forktail, Rufous-fronted Tit, White-throated, Guldenstadts and Blue-capped Redstart, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Spotted Laughingthrush and Black-faced Warbler.
Immediately after returning to Kathmandu we headed down to Chitwan National Park for the remainder of the trip. Unsurprisingly, highlight of our time here was an astonishingly close encounter with 2 Asian Rhinocerous (from the safety of the back of an elephant, unlike my previous visit to Chitwan). The only lifer for me in the park was White-rumped Needletail, but again, there were plenty of commoner local birds to enjoy, frequently at close range.
Grey-backed Shrike
Indian Pond Heron

Pied Kingfisher

Great Hornbill- the sight (and sound) of these beasts passing over a rainforest canopy is one of the many experiences that make Oriental birding so special.
Taiga Flycatcher

For more typical holiday photos, this link should take you to my Facebook album of the trip

1 comment:

Chatterbirds said...

Fantastic trip! I couldn't help but assume that illustrations of the Long-billed Thrush were exaggerated. Thanks for proving them right- what an aptly named beast! I so need to get to the Himalaya...