18 Jan 2014

18 Jan 18 - On The Move

The next site we wanted to visit was the Greater Rann of Kutch part of Gujarat. Ideally, we wanted to be based at CEDO, the Centre for Desert & Ocean camp, which is run by Jugal Tiwari. But Bill hadn't been able to contact Jugal yet to see if he had free accommodation at CEDO. Therefore, the plan was to get as far as the town of Bhuj & find a hotel there, with some roadside birding en route. That way we could either stay at CEDO over the next couple of days or commute the hour or so from Bhuj to the CEDO area (if necessary). So after saying goodbye to Dhanraj & his team at Desert Coursers we were finally on our way. We weren't the only people on the move today. At our first roadside stop, we saw a group of camel herders on the move, just walking across the fields.
Camel herders: The party were just walking straight across the fields
But at least we weren't taking our beds
I liked the juxtaposition of the old & the new
Plain Prinia: A dull coloured Prinia which lived up to its name
Plain Prinia
The second roadside stop was a small reedbed which surrounded a wet pool. We spent about 45 minutes there as the sun was starting to go down. As we were fairly close to Bhuj, we decided we might as well get some birding in rather than get to the hotel in daylight. One of the good things about trips to countries like India are seeing birds which are UK rarities as it helps to remind me of their features & jizz. These roadside pools produced another good species to see again: several Paddyfield Warblers.
Paddyfield Warbler: Look at the really short primaries
Paddyfield Warbler: A good view of the wing formula
Chiffchaff: Siberian Chiffchaff (tristis) in the late afternoon sun
Bluethroat: Male, but frustratingly never close
Bluethroat: This looks like the nominate svecica subspecies
Indian Silverbill