So this was it, the last birding session of a great holiday. There was just enough time for a half hour stroll around the cabins. 'Our' nice little marshy area still held its painted and pintail snipe and the regular Asian barred owlet came out to say good bye. We said our goodbyes to the staff and amazingly, as we were getting in the car to drive to the airport we added scaly-breasted munia to the trip list.

There was however a bit more drama to come. The drive to Guwahati is 180km and we should have had plenty of time to make it in time for our flight but we hadn't bargained on the worst traffic hold up, any of us had ever seen! It didn't help that bits kept falling off our vehicle either. To cut the long story short, it took us almost six hours to get to the airport. We said heart felt 'thank yous and goodbyes' to Abid and Kanik before being rushed through check-in by the helpful airport staff.

We had about six hours to kill in Delhi which passed very slowly and we were all knackered by the time we were boarding the plane. I don't know how or why but once on board, we found our seats were of the very luxurious, reclining kind - right at the front of the plane! They might not have been first class but they were as near as damn it!

After take off and with the lights of a thousand villages glowing on the plains far below, I reflected on this, our fourth birding trip to India. To put it simply there is no where else on earth like India. The landscapes, the mountains, the forests, the villages, the way of life and the indomitablity of it's people...... they all get into your heart. I feel so envious and I'll be going back!

(If you fancy a trip like ours then contact Jo Thomas at Wild about travel on 01480 370593 or email her to fix your amazing Assam Arunachal birding experience)

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