2015-12-03 - 10:34 p.m.
I didn't realize people who didn't use photobucket couldn't see videos hosted there. Oopsy. Here are a couple of ridiculous videos for your entertainment dollar that I have now hosted on YouTube.
Nov. 18, 2015...Chitwan
This was a day that I saw a great many species of woodpeckers. Actually, I gained a tremendous number of new life woodpecker species in Nepal. I'm anxious to add them all up, but I haven't yet had the chance. The real birders among us took a morning bird walk and spotted endless species, especially of the woodpeck variety, so many that I tried to avoid scribbling down anything that wasn't a new trip bird.Hmmm. There was Fulvous-Breasted, Lesser Yellow-Naped, GREY capped Pygmy, Streaked-throated, and maybe our first Himalayan Woodpecker, as well as some of the regulars like Black-rumped... I really liked Lesser Yellow-naped. I'm always a fan of blonde woodpeckers!
No new raptors today, although we had a much better look at the Grey-headed Fish Eagle who was sitting on the nest during the day. The female, I presume? At one point, she did get off the nest and flew around a little into better light. I never saw any evidence of hatchlings, so I'm thinking... November, winter breeding raptor similar to our southern Bald Eagle, maybe they're just eggs at the moment?Some other new birds were Blythe's warbler, Grey-breasted Prinia, Striated Babbler, Crow-billed Drongo -- oh, and a great look at Black-naped Oriole, which is evidently not well documented in Nepal. But we have the photos to prove it was there.
One cool sighting was a tree full of Black Ibis-- with a Peregrine sitting quietly among the flock for all the world as if he wasn't waiting to pounce on something. Probably not something quite the size of a Black Ibis though!Nov. 19, 2015...Chitwan to Kathmandu
A final morning to stroll around the resort area, which is sort of a wooded buffer zone to the park. A very close encounter with the most amazing Changeable Hawk Eagle with the most ridiculous little crest. The encounter could have gone on for some time, as the bird knew it was in a park and didn't care a flying about the telephoto lens. However, a bold Rufous Treepie was already zooming the bird, and a number of Drongos were gathering in the background, ready to attack. Eventually, the poor Hawk Eagle was escorted on his merry way.A pair of Shikras, a Peregrine. Not nearly as good for small stuff as it had been the day before, but a pretty nifty morning for the raptor watcher.
The drive back to Kathmandu was hilarious. I know, I'm awful. But we have a driver, so kind and careful that he brakes for baby chickens and Muscovy ducklings. We have rural fourth world roads filled with people doubled up on motorbikes and even regular bikes. We have trucks that advise you to honk if you're coming up behind them, presumably because they don't have rearview mirrors. We have cows allowed to walk into the middle of the road and stand there and nobody is allowed to tell them boo and cook them up for a steak dinner. In fact, we have everything you need to have to estimate that you'll be traveling around 20 miles an hour to your destination.
So the unpleasant person announced that she had an appointment in Kathmandu for 3 PM -- only four hours later. Um, good luck with that one.This person screamed, "NO!" and kept trying to order us to skip lunch. Well, I don't need a huge breakfast & a lunch...but the man driving us certainly had to eat. So we stalled and pretended to debate the issue, and eventually the driver finished his sandwich and tried to speed things up as much as he could. I wouldn't have bothered, myself, since unpleasant people don't tend to care about how hard you're trying. But I certainly noticed that he was one of those careful individuals who always pull off to the side of the road to answer the phone but, once UP started bitching and moaning, he manfully tried to answer the phone and keep driving at the same time. Sometimes, if you're trying to bend over backwards to do the right thing, you get put in these double binds. Twenty miles an hour is twenty miles an hour. And of course we hit Kathmandu itself at rush hour. There were the usual buses packed with young men on top of them, as well as inside of them, and plenty of buses or vans with guys just hanging on the outside.Once I looked over and saw hanging out of the bus next to us a guy wearing a classic 90s style hip hop saggy jeans to show his gray boxers-- the "it will always be Atlanta 1999 in my mind" vibe was a little spoiled by the very long (three inches?) scarlet fingernail on his left pinky...I mean, keep it realz, dude, but I'm pretty sure a genuine crack dealer from a Britney Spears music video would have to break a few nails to get the job...
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