We arrived at the tea plantation early. It was a pleasantly cool dawn that seemed to emphasise that it was going to get hotter later in the morning. There was that wonderful  'Indian' smell of last nights smouldering wood fires hanging in the air, the smoke itself  hanging in layers that gradually disappeared as the sun rose higher.

White-browed piculet
A strange first bird for a tea plantation was white breasted kingfisher, quickly followed by blue whistling thrush, several black-hooded orioles and large cuckooshrike. At a stand of bamboo, we had a nice white-browed piculet and then Abid heard a thin scratchy song which he seemed quite excited about. Eventually, we all managed to glimpse the mountain tailorbird which was a first record for the Kaziranga area!

Now to the hard work, looking for blue-naped pitta. The tape was played over and over again, several  likely areas were surrounded by the five of us, rustling in the undergrowth was heard, but any pittas present remained stubbornly out of view. Next up was a small gully where I had one of them half hour spells where I managed to miss virtually evertything. Paul seeing amongst other goodies striped-tit and rufous capped babblers along with white-rumped shama.

It was now getting hot and we decided to head back to the Jupuri for a couple of hours off before we headed out again in the afternoon. On the way back however, we called in at a the tea plantation shop where we bought some Assam tea and black peppers to bring back to the UK.

The school children at Jupuri
As it happened, Abid felt a bit under the weather and we agreed he should take the afternoon off while we birded the immediate environs of our cabins. This prooved to be very productive with painted and pintail snipes, citrine wagtail, verditer flycatcher and Asian barred owlet all being seen within just three hundred metres of our cabins.

There was a school right next to the digs and myself and Mandy introduced ourselves to the head who then gave us a full guided tour. the children were a delight and it was a highlight of the trip.

Next day, was to consist of a couple of jeep safaris into Kaziranga proper but not before a dawn elephant ride to look for rhinoceros. My head hit the pillow full of birds, elephants and rhinos but within seconds I was asleep.

Images for today are here

No comments:

Post a Comment