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plumheaded parakeets on a grasshead eating rampage

2015-12-02 - 1:17 p.m.

Nov. 17, 2015...Chitwan, Day Two

We saw & did so much today that I am going to resort to bullet points. This is pretty much a transcript of my unedited scribble from my notebook...

  • An early morning bird walk...
  • Tiger tracks, at least two different tigers, disturbingly near the camp
  • We didn't mean to sneak up on a One-Horned Rhino soaking in the river for a nice bath but, when we found out what we did, we all went running backwards. That stick the guide carries does not much look like it would discourage the truly peeved-off male rhino...
  • A ride as far as we could go through the park in search of excitement...
  • Our first Red Junglefowl male was too near the village to encourage me to count it, but we'd soon enough see convincingly wild birds...
  • We were never to see a "real" elephant, they were all working animals rather than wild animals
  • Our first barking deer/muntjac appeared to be stealing grain from the elephant shelter...
  • A noisy, perhaps food-begging Changeable Hawk Eagle...the parents, if they were still around, paid no attention to the cries of this bird perfectly well big enough and old enough to feed itself
  • Cute lil crest on these Changeable guys...
  • Bad light on a nesting pair of Grey-headed Fish Eagles. One bird (female?) sat tight on the nest. The second bird posted guard on a tree across the water. Not sure how tough of a guard he was perceived to be, as at one point a male Indian Peafowl happily sat in the same tree not all that far from him.
  • New birds joined the trip list such as Common Kingfisher and Black-backed Forktail
  • We found a weary older One Horn Rhino which was really a No Horn Rhino at this stage of his life. Poor boy was being pecked by Common Mynas. Old age is not for sissies!
  • Maybe our first perched close Oriental Honey-Buzzard gave me the chance to see how pigeonlike its head really is. Wowsers.
  • Two better views desired...super brief glimpse of Sloth Bear, leaving me only with the impression that it was both HUGE and fast, and Red-breasted Parakeet, in such poor light that the key fieldmark (the red breast) could not really be seen...
  • Our first Hog Deer
  • A wonderful look at Jungle Owlet in the scope, esp. after it turned its golden eyes and seemed to look right into my soul
  • My first White-Rumped Shama was a female
  • Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike flycatching...
  • White-rumped Munia joins the list which already held Scaly-breasted Munia ("Spice Finch") & Tri-colored Nun -- there are never as many finches as I expect but maybe because the grasslands are so extensive they don't have to congregate at feeders the way they do in North America?
  • The first of many good looks at Alexandrine Parakeet
  • The first of many good looks at Langar Monkey, prompting the question of why monkeys always seem to have so many babies
  • Another mama One Horned Rhino with her baby. So cute how she moved to put herself between the vehicle and the baby...just in case.
  • Our first Lesser Coucal (I think, one of the first anyways)
  • Lots & lots of low flying Plumheaded Parakeets feasting on the seeding grasses. A splendid sight in the afternoon sunlight!
  • A forest treat -- a flock of Pompadour Green Pigeons
  • Looking down as we crossed an almost dry creek, I saw a baffled Brown Crake walking about
  • A pair of Hoopoes were playing in the dirt on the road in front of us. Great views. But what is it about Hoopoes perching in dirt on the road? They were doing this exact same thing in Spain. Seems a tad counter-evolutionary.
  • A bare tree decorated in a flock of snuggled-up Ashy Woodswallows. Can you say awwwww?
  • The first of many Black Francolins in the grass
  • A deep forest Red Junglefowl male
  • A juvenile Crested Serpent Eagle

Whew! All in all, it was a full day stuffed with beauty & images hard to put into words...

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