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Field Guides Tour Report
Northeast India: Eaglenest, Kaziranga & More 2018
Apr 21, 2018 to May 9, 2018
Phil Gregory & local guide

We had many adventures on this first Field Guides tour to Northeast India. One of these was the opportunity to bird from elephant-back at Kaziranga! The ride was not long, but not many people can say they've done this! Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

The inaugural Field Guides NE India/Kaziranga trip proved adventurous, with some great birds and mammals and spectacular scenery, but beset by some unusually poor weather in the mountains.

We began by birding at a wetland area called Rajarhat in Kolkata, which gave us Asian Openbill, Watercock, Greater Painted Snipe, Bengal Bushlark and Red Avadavat, all valuable additions to the triplist and a nice easy start.

Next day was the somewhat chaotic check-in for our flight to Lilabari, where we hit the first of the rainstorms, fortunately after landing, and met the inimitable and ever-cheerful Lobsang, who was to be our local guide, waiting for us with the vehicles and drivers. A wetland nearby produced our only Fulvous Whistling Ducks, but we lost time due to rain and poor roads and checked in late afternoon at Abor Lodge.

Day 3 was the boat trip on the Siang River after some of the riparian specials, and it was very successful, but proved difficult of access for some. Rufous-necked Laughing-thrush showed nicely, and a White-tailed Stonechat was an unexpected pick-up. A few of us braved the rain shower and saw Swamp Prinia and Marsh Babbler, and more joined us for amazing views of the rare Black-breasted Parrotbill, braving the mud and elephant grass. Then it was a long drive on bad roads to Dibrugarh, to get ready for the next day at the Elephant Reserve on the Digboi oilfields.

This gave us our first encounter with impossible to see Laughing-thrushes, in this case, the regional specialty, Chestnut-backed. We also found Asian Emerald Cuckoo, Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo, Black-backed Forktail in the road, the spectacular and rather wonderful Sultan Tit, plus the first of a number of heard only partridges, this one the White-cheeked, with great vocals from the invisible Hoolock Gibbons, too.

Then we had another lengthy drive to Kaziranga, again on poor roads, so much so that we will not be doing this initial section of the tour again next year, but will have extra days at Kaziranga and Dirang. The group kept remarkably good spirits and we enjoyed what we saw, whilst getting a real eyeful of rural India and its people, itself a memorable experience. The crossing of the vast Brahmaputra was astonishing; the vehicles being loaded across a small barge via plank gangways, and chugging the 45 minutes across, all quite astonishing and a long way from Kansas, Dorothy!

Our two nights at Kaziranga were excellent; the park is world-class and the Great Indian Rhinos are fantastic, great silver-colored aquatic creatures that showed really well. We saw up to 30 one day! We almost saw a Tiger too, if only our guide had said "in the road" and not "there, there......." Birding was good, and we had lovely looks at both Great and Oriental Pied Hornbill, Greater and Lesser Adjutant, Black-necked Stork, Garganey (yay for Marcia!), Spotted Owlet, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, White-rumped Vulture, Gray-headed Fish-Eagle, the rare Finn's Weaver, and some of us got a brief look at Indian Grassbird from Elephant-back! Everyone took the elephant ride, which was fun and did not last too long, and another day here next time will be very worthwhile.

Nameri Eco Camp was a nice little spot, with the large comfortable walk-in tents, and very noisy Blue-throated barbets on the grounds, plus Great Hornbill nesting again in the big dead tree there and obliging Brown Boobook at dusk. A late afternoon walk down to the river gave us River Lapwing, the beautiful River Tern, and great looks at a total of 7 Wreathed Hornbills that flew more or less overhead.

We crossed the river by small boat next day and did some birding in the forest reserve, seeing a fine Hooded Pitta, Great Stone Curlew, Sand Lark and Greater Flameback. That afternoon saw us make a raft trip downriver, with fine views of River Terns, River Lapwings and a noisy colony of Small Pratincole. We finished with a total of 16 Wreathed Hornbills going over in the late pm, a lovely photo op.

The journey over to Lama Camp at Eaglenest took the morning, with Yellow-breasted Greenfinch for all, and Tickell's Thrush for some en route, and began with a major frisson of excitement when about half our group got to see Bugun Liocichla right by the camp, found just as they were coming up to meet us. It was a bust for those of us not there of course, but hope springs eternal......Nice birds this afternoon included good looks at Bhutan Laughing-thrush, Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Lemon-rumped Warbler, Rufous-throated and Streaked Barwing, Rufous-crowned Laughing-thrush and Striated Laughing-thrush.

The drive from Assam to Arunachal was absorbing, and I was amazed at how heavily militarized it is. Each town has a huge garrison with exhortatory slogans everywhere, but a very different attitude to the over-bearing paranoid western military models I am used to- this one seems to be based on service to the community, and we never felt intimidated or uncomfortable around the numerous convoys and camps we encountered. The Border Roads Organization (BRO) keep the roads open, in the case of the Eaglenest and Sela roads, an impressive achievement, as the terrain is unbelievably steep and rainfall so high. They employ large numbers of mainly female road workers too, living in dire conditions by the roads, some of the poorest folk we saw.

Monday, April 30, saw us bird below Lama Camp, the initial check for the Bugun Liocichla drawing a blank at the site that had difficult access, but amazingly coming good later, when two birds were calling close to the road. Everyone got views, some even good views and photos to prove it, so that was a major relief, as this rare bird is easily missed. A Ward's Trogon was vocal but stayed hidden, but Rufous-breasted Bush-Robin showed nicely.

Heading up to Eaglenest Pass got us into some gorgeous mixed pine-broadleaf forest, and continuing wonderment at how they keep the road open. A male Ward's Trogon sat out obligingly in the open for us, some reward after its skulking that morning, Hoary-throated Barwing showed well, one of three barwing species today, and we had great luck with all 4 local species of shrike-babblers, seeing Black-headed, Blyth's, Black-breasted and Green. Regrettably, it then came on to rain and we drove down to the camp in atrocious conditions. The drivers did really well as the road turned into a stream. Happily for us, it eased as we got to Bompu Camp, and we got unloaded in the dry and settled into the large fixed tents which were home for the next 3 nights. The staff here looked after us well, with hot water buckets if required for the showers and good meals catering to our unusual and varied dietary regime.

This rain was regrettably the precursor for next day below Bompu, where we hit mist, fog and rain, and most birds proved to be distant silhouettes; color was just not an option in these conditions. I have to say it was one of the most dire day's birding I've had in very long time, but the group spirits stayed high and we toughed it out.

Thankfully, May 2 provided good conditions, and some folks got onto Kalij Pheasant on the drive, others saw a Gray Peacock-Pheasant walk across the track at Sessni, Long-tailed Sibia and Silver-eared Mesia showed well, most folks got to see Green Cochoa and all heard Purple Cochoa, Long-tailed Broadbill showed nicely, and Pale-headed Woodpecker performed well in the bamboo zone. A male Rufous-necked Hornbill was seen by almost everyone, and Lobsang tried heroically for Beautiful Nuthatch, finally getting us 2 fine birds near Sessni.

May 3 was back up to Eaglenest, with Tickell's Warbler, Black-throated Parrotbill and Lesser Cuckoo en route and glimpses of Gray-bellied Tesia, and we almost saw the noisy Blue-winged Laughing-thrush. Some of us came back up that afternoon and nabbed Spotted Laughing-thrush and Mrs Gould's Sunbird for our trouble.

May 4 saw the descent to Dirang, with Black-throated Prinia, Gold-naped Finch and both Chestnut-bellied and Blue-capped Rock-thrush en route. Our hotel was a bizarre, huge, ornate place resembling a temple, with the only White-browed wagtails of the trip on the roof there. A short trip that afternoon to the Sengti Valley was very enjoyable and rewarding, with Long-billed Plover, Brown Dipper, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Hodgson's White Wagtail, Rosy Pipit, and a major bonus in a spring plumage male Yellow-breasted Bunting. An obliging Black-tailed Crake in damp grassland rounded off the day nicely.

May 5 was Sela Pass day, the real high-altitude stuff, and we made a very early start, but sadly the snow had fallen and the spectacular heights were blanketed and quiet, with treacherous black ice on the roads. I almost abandoned it, but decided it was better to go on up than try and go back down, which was a good decision as it thawed later. We did manage a few good birds, with a flock of 40+ Grandala a big thrill, Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch, Blue-fronted Redstart, the gorgeous White-capped Redstart, Dark-breasted Rosefinch for a few, Plain Mountain Finch and a fine hovering Himalayan Buzzard. Fire-tailed Sunbird was a major trip addition too, a gorgeous bird. Again the weather gods were against us, as around 10:30 the clouds came rolling up the valley and essentially put a stop to the birding.

May 6 was the Mandala Road day, in the lovely Himalayan hill forests, and we got off to a good start with Rufous-throated Laughing-thrush showing quite well, and excellent looks at Russet Bush Warbler, Common Cuckoo, Streak-breasted Grosbeak, Red-billed Leiothrix, White-collared Blackbird and Sikkim Tree-creeper. Regrettably, our weather curse struck again at lunch, with a wet walk to the Mandala Birding Lodge where we ate, and then waited for the clouds to lift. This did not eventuate so we went back down to try and get out of it, without much success; a shame, as we had a lot to get here.

May 7 was basically the homeward trek, but with some birding along the way past the hundreds of mainly female road builders living in awful conditions in the tin shacks made out of recycled oil cans along great stretches of precipitous landslide-prone road. A Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo posed amazingly well, and both Hume's and Brownish-flanked Bush Warblers showed nicely, and a skulking Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler gave brief views, whilst Lobsang came good with Grey-throated Babbler and the striking Yellow-vented Warbler, in hot sunny weather in dense vegetation right by the road.

Wild Mahseer Lodge at Tezpur was a lovely place to end up, with terrific food and nice rooms, and our final trip addition came with a co-operative Coppersmith Barbet here. Next day we, of course, left early to be sure of our flight, doing a quick stop at Deepor Beel to see both Greater and Lesser Adjutant at a distant rubbish tip. Rather nicer was fabulous flock of immaculate summer plumaged Whiskered Terns over a paddyfield, and a couple of Ashy Woodswallow nearby. The flight proved on time and uneventful, and we were back at The Pipal Tree in good time to get ready for the homeward journey.

My thanks to the group for being the guinea-pigs on the inaugural tour; you all went with the flow very well, and I was impressed by how well everyone coped with the fixed tent camping. Our drivers were also excellent, with particular thanks to Umesh, Muntesar and Ali and Raj who endured ridiculously early mornings and long drives without demur, and drove very safely on extremely difficult mountain roads. Lobsang, our guide, was enthusiastic and irrepressible, and we started to train him how to direct us onto birds by banning the use of "there there". We thank him for his finding skills and good eyesight. Avijit was an exemplary guide, patient and good-humored and very good with logistics, and did wonders with the most complex dietary regime I have ever had on tour.

I look forward to working with him again in 2019 when we will have fine-tuned the trip in the light of this year. Also, thanks to the office staff: Mandy at Field Guides, and Sue and Rowan at Sicklebill Safaris, who dealt patiently with an unusual number of late changes to rooming and group size.

Good birding and hope to see you somewhere, sometime.

Phil in Kuranda, Hong Kong and Ulan Bataar


Day 1 Sun April 22 Kolkata Pipal Tree/ Rajarhat wetlands 1515-1730. Overcast but dry.

Day 2 Mon April 23 Kolkata to Lilabari via flight on Alliance Air, Siang River wetlands then Pasighat 1645, Overcast and rainy.

Day 3 Tues Apr 24 Siang River boat-trip am/ Baghibeel/Brahmaputra ferry crossing/Dibrugarh Tea Hotel 1830. Intermittent early rain.

Day 4 Wed Apr 25 Digboi Dening Patka Elephant Reserve 0800-1000/ then 5 hours drive to Kaziranga. Dry and mainly sunny.

Day 5 Thurs Apr 26 Jupur tea estate 0500-0600/ Kaziranga E 0730-1130/ Kaziranga Central 1430-1730. Fine weather.

Day 6 Fri Apr 27 Kaziranga elephant ride 0515-0615/ Kaziranga West 0715-1015/ Drive to Nameri Eco Camp via Tezpur 2 hrs. Jia Bhoreli River 1600-1730. Fine weather.

Day 7 Sat Apr 28 Nameri FR 0630-1100; pm Raft trip on Jia Bhoreli then birding at riverside and Nameri camp area. Good weather.

Day 8 Sun Apr 29 Birding at Nameri pre-breakfast then depart 0630 for Sessni/Tenga/ Lama Camp (7700' or 2300 m) arrive 1330. Birding around Camp pm. Overcast but good.

Day 9 Mon Apr 30 Lama Camp to 3 km below 0500-1100, overcast, then Eaglenest Pass (2900 m 9500 ') and into heavy rain all the way to Bompu Camp (1900 m 6200 ')

Day 10 Tues May 1 Dire conditions all day with mist, fog and rain, birding below Bompu Camp.

Day 11 Wed May 2 Bompu/Sessni /road towards Khellong. Good conditions.

Day 12 Thurs May 3 Depart Bompu Camp 0600 and birding up to Eaglenest Pass/ Lama Camp 1300 and birding again at Eaglenest Pass for most that afternoon. Overcast.

Day 13 Fri May 4 Lama Camp area 0500-0800/ Tenga/Dirang 1200/ Sengti Valley 1500-1700, clear after rain at lunch.

Day 14 Sat May 5 Depart 0300 for Sela Pass (13700' or 4200 m), dawn 0415 with snow cover and black ice but clear. Clouds rolled in at 1030/ birding below Sela and back to Dirang by 1700.

Day 15 Sun May 6 Mandala Road to Mandala Birding Lodge at 2940 m or 9600') but fog and rain from late morning on. Dirang 1600.

Day 16 Mon May 7 Depart Dirang 1600/ birding towards Tenga/Tezpur and Wild Mahseer 1330 on. Overcast

Day 17 Tues May 8 Depart 0500 for Guwahati and flight to Kolkata on IndiGo Air. Birding at Deepor Beel 1000-1030 en route. Kolkata 1330 and flights home later.

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

This Lesser Adjutant Stork was one of a few that we saw, first at Kaziranga, and then we saw more at Deepor Beel. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor) – A small group of about 15 on a wetland near Lilabari were a good find.
LESSER WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna javanica) – Widespread in small numbers, first seen at Rajarhat.
RUDDY SHELDUCK (Tadorna ferruginea) – 6 on the boat trip on the Siang River near Pasighat, and 8 in Kaziranga,
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus coromandelianus coromandelianus) – 2 near Lilabari, 4 in Kaziranga and 1 at Deepor Beel, clearly not at all common.
GARGANEY (Spatula querquedula) – A couple of fine drakes and a duck at Kaziranga were one of Marcia's most wanted species at last.
EURASIAN WIGEON (Mareca penelope) – 4 in Kaziranga, getting a bit late for them here.
INDIAN SPOT-BILLED DUCK (Anas poecilorhyncha) – Just 3 day records from Kaziranga and Nameri, max 8 birds.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
HILL PARTRIDGE (Arborophila torqueola) – Heard at Bompu and Lama. [*]
CHESTNUT-BREASTED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila mandellii) – Heard at Bompu. All these hill-partridge are very hard to see. [*]
RUFOUS-THROATED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila rufogularis) – A few folks got to see 2 scurry across the road in front of one vehicle, and it was heard at Bompu.
WHITE-CHEEKED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila atrogularis) – Heard at Nameri. [*]
GRAY PEACOCK-PHEASANT (Polyplectron bicalcaratum) – Lorena found a lucky few of you one bird of this species, walking across a track below Bompu, but sadly I'd just turned away...... We heard it calling well at Sessni later, but it is a tough one to see.
SWAMP FRANCOLIN (Francolinus gularis) – Heard at Kaziranga, a tricky species to see. [*]
RED JUNGLEFOWL (Gallus gallus) – Good views at Kaziranga.
KALIJ PHEASANT (Lophura leucomelanos) – Two car loads saw a pair on the track below Bompu.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Seen at Rajarhat and Deepor Beel, singles only.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
ASIAN OPENBILL (Anastomus oscitans) – Widespread and seen at many lowland sites.
WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (ASIAN) (Ciconia episcopus episcopus) – A few seen in Kaziranga. Split as Asian Woollyneck by HBW/Birdlife.
BLACK-NECKED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus asiaticus) – Some nice views from Kaziranga but only a handful of individuals.
LESSER ADJUTANT (Leptoptilos javanicus) – A few in Kaziranga and then at Deepor Beel.
GREATER ADJUTANT (Leptoptilos dubius) – This rare bird was seen in Kaziranga with 3 or 4 individuals, the grey wing coverts showing nicely, then there were a dozen or more on a rooftop at the Deepor Beel rubbish tip which is the famous site for it.

We also had great views of Chestnut-headed Bee-eater in Kaziranga. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LITTLE CORMORANT (Microcarbo niger) – Widespread in small numbers, the stubby bill is distinctive.
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo) – Just a single bird at the Siang River at Pasighat.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ORIENTAL DARTER (Anhinga melanogaster) – A few from Kaziranga, another rare waterbird.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
GREAT WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus onocrotalus) – A single at Kaziranga.
SPOT-BILLED PELICAN (Pelecanus philippensis) – A few seen at Kaziranga, quite a rare species overall.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
YELLOW BITTERN (Ixobrychus sinensis) – Seen very nicely at Rajarhat on our first outing.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Just 2 at Kaziranga.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – Five at Kaziranga and 2 at the beel near Guwahati.
GREAT EGRET (EURASIAN) (Ardea alba alba) – A few from Rajarhat and Kaziranga.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (INTERMEDIATE) (Ardea intermedia intermedia) – Singles at Rajarhat and Kaziranga.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – One from the Siang River and up to 6 in Kaziranga.
CATTLE EGRET (WESTERN) (Bubulcus ibis ibis) – Small numbers were widespread in the lowlands.
INDIAN POND-HERON (Ardeola grayii) – Widespread in the lowlands of Assam.
STRIATED HERON (OLD WORLD) (Butorides striata chloriceps) – Seen at Digboi, en route to Kaziranga and at Nameri along the river.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Seen at Rajarhat.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – A few seen in Kaziranga only.
BLACK-HEADED IBIS (Threskiornis melanocephalus) – Small numbers of this endangered bird in Kaziranga, and 1 near Tezpur.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Just one over the river at Nameri.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Just one at Kaziranga.
ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis ptilorhynchus) – Two day records of singles from Digboi and Kaziranga.

Kaziranga was a wonderful place, full of all sorts of wildlife, including large numbers of Asian One-horned Rhinoceros. Here are two, two posing with Cattle Egrets. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

WHITE-RUMPED VULTURE (Gyps bengalensis) – Distant views of 5 on one day in Kaziranga, with one much closer next day, a Critically Endangered species due to the toxic effects of the veterinary drug Diclofenac.
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE (Spilornis cheela) – Good views in Kaziranga and Nameri, a vocal species too.
CRESTED HAWK-EAGLE (Nisaetus cirrhatus) – Two day records of two birds from Kaziranga.
BLACK EAGLE (Ictinaetus malaiensis) – Just one in the foothills near Tenga.
EURASIAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus aeruginosus) – One from Kaziranga.
CRESTED GOSHAWK (Accipiter trivirgatus) – One from Nameri, and one below Bompu.
SHIKRA (Accipiter badius) – One from Rajarhat, and one at Kaziranga, these eastern taxa are split by HBW/BirdLife from the African birds.
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans) – Ten at Rajarhat, then none until the last day near Guwahati.
GRAY-HEADED FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus ichthyaetus) – Seen well in Kaziranga.
HIMALAYAN BUZZARD (Buteo refectus) – One lovely bird at Sela Pass at 13700', which hovered over the hillside at one point.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN (Amaurornis phoenicurus) – Small numbers from Kaziranga.
BLACK-TAILED CRAKE (Zapornia bicolor) – Great looks in the Sengti Valley, looking down on a marshy spot via the scopes.
WATERCOCK (Gallicrex cinerea) – Two seen at Rajarhat in Kolkata, a good pick-up, and breeding dress males, too.
GRAY-HEADED SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio poliocephalus) – Small numbers at various wetlands.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – Just one at Rajarhat.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
GREAT THICK-KNEE (Esacus recurvirostris) – Great views from the river at Nameri, with 3 plus 2 plus 1 on one day.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – Seen at Rajarhat.

This lovely Red-breasted Parakeet was seen in Kaziranga; we also saw them at Nameri. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – One in Kaziranga late one afternoon.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
NORTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus vanellus) – Those in Avi's vehicle saw one in Kaziranga.
RIVER LAPWING (Vanellus duvaucelii) – Fantastic views along the Siang River at Nameri where it is low density, we had 4 by the ferry crossing and 7 on the raft trip.
GRAY-HEADED LAPWING (Vanellus cinereus) – One was seen in Kaziranga by some of us.
RED-WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus indicus atronuchalis) – This taxon with the white neck stripe was quite widespread in the lowlands.
LONG-BILLED PLOVER (Charadrius placidus) – Nice views of 2 in the E Sengti Valley, it was new for most folks.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (DUBIUS/JERDONI) (Charadrius dubius jerdoni) – Singles from Siang River and Nameri.
Rostratulidae (Painted-Snipes)
GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE (Rostratula benghalensis) – A pair skulking in the wet grass at Rajarhat were a very nice find.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) – Spectacular, in breeding dress and quite widespread at wetlands.
BRONZE-WINGED JACANA (Metopidius indicus) – Much less common than its relative, but also in breeding dress, we saw small numbers on 4 days.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
TEMMINCK'S STINT (Calidris temminckii) – One from the boat on the Swamp Prinia trip was a good find, the yellow legs are quite distinctive.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – Singles from the Siang River, Nameri and Sengti valley.
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus) – Heard at Nameri. [*]
SPOTTED REDSHANK (Tringa erythropus) – Great views from Kaziranga included some fantastic summer plumage, black and silver spotted birds.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – One in Kaziranga.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – Up to 10 in Kaziranga.
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus) – Singles from the Siang River and at Kaziranga.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
ORIENTAL PRATINCOLE (Glareola maldivarum) – Just two at Rajarhat marshes.
SMALL PRATINCOLE (Glareola lactea) – Good views from the river at Nameri, with 15 on the first day and some 30 on the raft trip.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – Seen in Kaziranga, then 6 in immaculate summer plumage with narrow white sides to the silvery-grey tail and blackish bodies over a paddy near Guwahati, the most beautifully plumaged I have ever seen.
RIVER TERN (Sterna aurantia) – Another stunning tern, this one has an orange bill and gorgeous pale silvery grey upperparts; we only saw it on the river at Nameri.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Widespread in the urban areas. [I]
SPECKLED WOOD-PIGEON (Columba hodgsonii) – 6 fine birds at Lama Camp, they even perched briefly and were the only ones we saw.
ORIENTAL TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia orientalis) – Great views in the Sengti Valley, this taxon is very richly coloured and rather dark compared to Japanese birds.
RED COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia tranquebarica) – A few at Rajarhat.
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) – A few in disturbed areas at lower elevations.
BARRED CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia unchall) – Three day records below Bompu Camp, with 2 on the most seen.
ASIAN EMERALD DOVE (Chalcophaps indica) – A couple of sightings of singles from Nameri and then below Lama Camp.
THICK-BILLED PIGEON (Treron curvirostra) – Two at Jurpur tea estate near Kaziranga, with good scope views showing the pale eye-ring.

In addition to seeing many wonderful birds and mammals, we got to experience the people and places of rural India. One of the interesting sights was the crossing of the Brahmaputra River on the way to Kaziranga. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

YELLOW-FOOTED PIGEON (Treron phoenicopterus) – Good looks at Kaziranga.
WEDGE-TAILED PIGEON (Treron sphenurus) – Heard around Bompu with 3 seen one day below the Camp.
GREEN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula aenea) – A couple of day records from Nameri.
MOUNTAIN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula badia) – Ones and twos from the Eaglenest area.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
LESSER COUCAL (Centropus bengalensis) – A few sightings from Digboi and Kaziranga.
ASIAN KOEL (Eudynamys scolopaceus) – One male from Rajarhat and then seen once and frequently heard at Kaziranga and Nameri.
ASIAN EMERALD CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx maculatus) – A female at Digboi Reserve, the yellow bill was distinctive.
PLAINTIVE CUCKOO (Cacomantis merulinus) – Commonly heard in the lowlands. [*]
SQUARE-TAILED DRONGO-CUCKOO (Surniculus lugubris) – A single at Digboi Reserve gave good looks. There is confusion and disagreement about the taxonomy of this species. Most treat the birds here as Square-tailed, but Payne 2005 and the IOC list seem to treat them as Fork-tailed dicruroides, (these two groups are increasingly split). Our bird had a small notch to the tail, which is OK for Square-tailed, as opposed to a deep fork.
LARGE HAWK-CUCKOO (Hierococcyx sparverioides) – Heard daily at Eaglenest and seen well at Bompu late one afternoon.
HODGSON'S HAWK-CUCKOO (Hierococcyx nisicolor) – This bird with the whistled call was seen below Lama Camp, then sat perched by the road above Dirang for great photo ops en route to Tezpur.
LESSER CUCKOO (Cuculus poliocephalus) – Lobsang came up trumps with this one, calling in 2 birds above Bompu which showed quite nicely and was a long-overdue lifer for Phil.
INDIAN CUCKOO (Cuculus micropterus) – Heard on many days and a jinx for Marcia for some while until we finally lifted it at Nameri.
HIMALAYAN CUCKOO (Cuculus saturatus) – Frustratingly, this was only heard in the mountains and would not come to the recording, the hoopoe-like hooting is quite distinctive. [*]
COMMON CUCKOO (Cuculus canorus) – Lovely to hear this at Dirang and then to see it on the Mandala road, THE Cuckoo of course.
Strigidae (Owls)
COLLARED SCOPS-OWL (Otus lettia) – Heard at Lama Camp but not responsive. [*]
ORIENTAL SCOPS-OWL (Otus sunia) – Heard at Nameri Camp but only briefly. [*]
COLLARED OWLET (Glaucidium brodiei) – A major want for Tom, and Lobsang's mob-tape of choice, but it worked out with an amazing almost orange-coloured bird below Lama camp, which sat for ages. I have never seen one this color before, they are usually dark brown.

Cotton Pygmy-goose was seen in a few locations, but these tiny geese were not common. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

ASIAN BARRED OWLET (Glaucidium cuculoides) – Good views of singles from Kaziranga on two dates.
SPOTTED OWLET (Athene brama) – A lovely, visible bird at Kaziranga on a dead tree near the main entrance, with a second below it, we learned later.
BROWN BOOBOOK (Ninox scutulata) – Calling pre-dusk at Nameri, and seen well when we went to look for it.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
GRAY NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus jotaka) – Calling at Lama Camp long before dusk, and some of us saw it in flight on the first night there.
Apodidae (Swifts)
BROWN-BACKED NEEDLETAIL (Hirundapus giganteus) – A couple of singles were seen by some folks in Kaziranga.
HIMALAYAN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus brevirostris) – Quite common in the mountains from Lama Camp on.
BLYTH'S SWIFT (Apus leuconyx) – Unexpectedly elusive, we had 2 briefly below Bompu then good views of 6 in the hills above Dirang as we were leaving. A split from what was Pacific Swift.
HOUSE SWIFT (Apus nipalensis) – Just 4 near Digboi.
ASIAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus balasiensis) – Widespread in the lowlands from Rajarhat on.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
WARD'S TROGON (Harpactes wardi) – Heard below Lama but stayed out of sight, then a great view of a male and then a female as we headed up to Eaglenest, with another as we came over the Pass on the way back on May 3.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (Upupa epops) – Three in the Sengti valley were the only ones of the trip.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
GREAT HORNBILL (Buceros bicornis) – One at a nest at a tea-estate near Kaziranga, and another at Nameri eco-camp, I have posted a recording of the whooshing wings on the IBC and XC sites.
ORIENTAL PIED-HORNBILL (Anthracoceros albirostris) – Just a single from Kaziranga.
RUFOUS-NECKED HORNBILL (Aceros nipalensis) – A male perched up in forest near Sessni was a great find of a rare bird, but unfortunately we made so much noise not everyone got to see it in the scope.
WREATHED HORNBILL (Rhyticeros undulatus) – Fantastic at the river at Nameri, late afternoon on both days, with pairs coming right over us and a total of 7 on the first day and 16 on the second. I'd not seen one this century, so was well-pleased.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis) – One on the river at Nameri.
STORK-BILLED KINGFISHER (Pelargopsis capensis) – Seen along the river at Nameri, a spectacular large bird.
WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER (Halcyon smyrnensis) – Widespread in the lowlands.

A few Woolly-necked Storks were seen in Kaziranga. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

CRESTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle lugubris) – One in Tenga as we crossed the river there, and another on wires at Dirang that posed nicely for photos.
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – Small numbers on the lowland rivers.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
BLUE-BEARDED BEE-EATER (Nyctyornis athertoni) – Seen a couple of times in Kaziranga, I know Terri got a great view here.
GREEN BEE-EATER (RUSSET-CROWNED) (Merops orientalis ferrugeiceps) – Split as Asian Green Bee-eater by HBW/BirdLife, and seen well at Rajarhat.
CHESTNUT-HEADED BEE-EATER (Merops leschenaulti) – Great views in Kaziranga.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
INDIAN ROLLER (BLACK-BILLED) (Coracias benghalensis affinis) – Another HBW/BirdLife split, this black-billed dull colored taxon is Indochinese Roller; we saw it at Kaziranga.
DOLLARBIRD (Eurystomus orientalis) – Three day records from Kaziranga.
Megalaimidae (Asian Barbets)
COPPERSMITH BARBET (Psilopogon haemacephalus) – The last addition to the triplist, one was scoped nicely at Wild Mahseer, though we had heard it once previously.
GREAT BARBET (Psilopogon virens) – Very vocal in the foothills around Lama and below Bompu, and seen a couple of times.
LINEATED BARBET (Psilopogon lineatus) – Vocal at Kaziranga and Nameri and seen well at the latter site.
GOLDEN-THROATED BARBET (Psilopogon franklinii) – Good views below Bompu.
BLUE-THROATED BARBET (Psilopogon asiaticus) – Very noisy at Nameri Camp and seen nicely, then again at Wild Mahseer.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
GRAY-CAPPED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos canicapillus) – 3 on one day at Kaziranga.
FULVOUS-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos macei) – One female at Kaziranga and then 2 from Nameri which showed much better.
RUFOUS-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos hyperythrus) – Great looks at this lovely species from near Lama camp, then again at Mandala, where one was very photogenic.
CRIMSON-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos cathpharius) – A single seen briefly below Bompu.
DARJEELING WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos darjellensis) – One was seen above Lama Camp and it was heard around Bompu.
LESSER YELLOWNAPE (Picus chlorolophus) – One was seen below Bompu.

Here is another scene from Kaziranga, with an Asian Elephant as the main subject, but also featuring a number of other creatures. We saw quite a few Asian Water Buffalos in the park, a few of which can be seen here. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

GREATER YELLOWNAPE (Picus flavinucha) – One near Lama camp.
HIMALAYAN FLAMEBACK (Dinopium shorii) – This was heard at Kaziranga but I don't think anyone saw it? [*]
BLACK-RUMPED FLAMEBACK (Dinopium benghalense) – One seen quite well near Kaziranga.
PALE-HEADED WOODPECKER (Gecinulus grantia) – Two birds were tapping in the bamboo below Sessni and proved quite responsive, so we actually got pretty good looks at this uncommon and elusive species.
GREATER FLAMEBACK (Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus) – Seen at Kaziranga and Nameri.
BAY WOODPECKER (Blythipicus pyrrhotis) – A flight view of one below Bompu, and many folks saw a perched one at Mandala.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
EURASIAN KESTREL (Falco tinnunculus) – Just a single female in the Sengti valley.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
ALEXANDRINE PARAKEET (Psittacula eupatria) – Nice looks from Nameri.
ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (Psittacula krameri) – Small numbers from Nameri.
BLOSSOM-HEADED PARAKEET (Psittacula roseata) – Just a single from Kaziranga, but seen quite nicely.
RED-BREASTED PARAKEET (Psittacula alexandri) – Seen regularly at Kaziranga and Nameri.
Eurylaimidae (Asian and Grauer's Broadbills)
LONG-TAILED BROADBILL (Psarisomus dalhousiae) – This was heard and seen by Kath at Digboi, and then we had two near Sessni, a great bird.
Pittidae (Pittas)
HOODED PITTA (CHESTNUT-CROWNED) (Pitta sordida cucullata) – One calling well and seen nicely at Nameri, this is now split by the IOC, and the call is quite unlike those in New Guinea.
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
BAR-WINGED FLYCATCHER-SHRIKE (Hemipus picatus) – One seen near Sessni.
Artamidae (Woodswallows)
ASHY WOODSWALLOW (Artamus fuscus) – Some folks saw this in Kaziranga, and we all saw 2 fine birds at a pitstop near Guwahati.
Aegithinidae (Ioras)
COMMON IORA (Aegithina tiphia) – Common by voice at Kaziranga and Nameri.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
SMALL MINIVET (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus) – Just 3 from Nameri.
GRAY-CHINNED MINIVET (Pericrocotus solaris) – Seen twice below Bompu, with both sexes showing nicely.

This Spotted Owlet showed nicely at the entrance to Kaziranga. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

SHORT-BILLED MINIVET (Pericrocotus brevirostris) – Three above Lama Camp, and singles around Bompu on two days.
LONG-TAILED MINIVET (Pericrocotus ethologus) – Seen near Lama Camp.
SCARLET MINIVET (SCARLET) (Pericrocotus speciosus speciosus) – Great views of this showy species from Kaziranga and Mandala.
BLACK-WINGED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Lalage melaschistos) – Seen a couple of times near Bompu.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
BROWN SHRIKE (Lanius cristatus) – Two at Rajarhat, 2 at Siang river and one from Kaziranga.
LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanius schach) – Five day records from widespread sites including Sengti valley.
GRAY-BACKED SHRIKE (Lanius tephronotus) – Seen on 3 days, the most obliging on the way back from Sela Pass.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BLACK-HEADED SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius rufiventer) – Unexpectedly good views at Eaglenest Pass, on a day we had 4 species of shrike-babbler.
BLYTH'S SHRIKE-BABBLER (CHESTNUT-WINGED) (Pteruthius aeralatus validirostris) – Formerly known as White-browed Shrike-Babbler, this was seen well at Lama Camp.
GREEN SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius xanthochlorus) – A nice find at Eaglenest Pass and a new species for Phil.
BLACK-EARED SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius melanotis) – Another good find near Eaglenest, it showed nicely.
WHITE-BELLIED ERPORNIS (Erpornis zantholeuca) – Just two from Digboi, formerly with Yuhinas but now thought to be apparently related to vireos!
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
SLENDER-BILLED ORIOLE (Oriolus tenuirostris) – Marcia and a few others saw this in the Sengti Valley, but Kathy and I missed it both times!
BLACK-HOODED ORIOLE (Oriolus xanthornus reubeni) – Small numbers from Digboi, Kaziranga and Nameri, quite a vocal species.
MAROON ORIOLE (Oriolus traillii) – Seen well below Lama Camp.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
BLACK DRONGO (Dicrurus macrocercus) – Common throughout the lowlands.
ASHY DRONGO (Dicrurus leucophaeus) – Common in the mountains, with a nest at Lama camp.
BRONZED DRONGO (Dicrurus aeneus) – One in the forest at Digboi.
LESSER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus remifer) – Good looks in the forest near Sessni, the lack of a crest is a good feature.
HAIR-CRESTED DRONGO (Dicrurus hottentottus) – A couple of singles from Kaziranga.
GREATER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus paradiseus) – Seen at the tea-estate near Kaziranga.

This Crested Hawk-Eagle was another of our sightings at Kaziranga. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
WHITE-THROATED FANTAIL (Rhipidura albicollis) – Small numbers below Bompu and at Mandala.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Hypothymis azurea) – Just one from the ecocamp at Pasighat early on.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
YELLOW-BILLED BLUE-MAGPIE (Urocissa flavirostris) – Heard up at Eaglenest Pass one afternoon but stayed far away. [*]
RUFOUS TREEPIE (Dendrocitta vagabunda) – Quite widespread around Kaziranga and one near Tezpur.
GRAY TREEPIE (Dendrocitta formosae) – Two at Jurpur tea estate at Kaziranga, and one from near Tenga.
EURASIAN NUTCRACKER (SOUTHERN) (Nucifraga caryocatactes macella) – This subspecies is one of the populations in the hemispila or Southern group. a.k.a. Spotted Nutcracker (but separate from multipunctata = Kashmir Nutcracker). We saw them at Eaglenest and 3 below Basukhia army camp.
HOUSE CROW (Corvus splendens) – Only around Kolkata, the Lilabari area.
LARGE-BILLED CROW (LARGE-BILLED) (Corvus macrorhynchos tibetosinensis) – This was the one at higher altitudes where it was much less common than its lowland relative. We saw a couple near Eaglenest entry, and then around Sela and Mandala. Clements and IOC do not yet split this species; we saw C. m. tibetosinensis; the whole complex needs unravelling.
LARGE-BILLED CROW (EASTERN) (Corvus macrorhynchos levaillantii) – The common crow in the lowlands, split as Eastern Jungle Crow by the IOC and vocally quite different to the Large-billed Crow of the mountains.
Alaudidae (Larks)
BENGAL BUSHLARK (Mirafra assamica) – Two seen well at Rajarhat, and from elephant-back at Kaziranga!
SAND LARK (Alaudala raytal) – One at the sandbank by the river at Nameri, a pale colored lark with a dry rattly call.
ORIENTAL SKYLARK (Alauda gulgula) – Singing beautifully at Rajarhat and seen nicely there.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
GRAY-THROATED MARTIN (Riparia chinensis) – Small numbers over the river at Nameri, but with about 100 on the raft trip at one area. One in the fog up at Mandala was unexpected there.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Small numbers from the Kaziranga area and 10 at Nameri.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – Some folks saw this at Kaziranga.
ASIAN HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon dasypus) – Several of the House Martins at Bompu had white throats and must be this species.
NEPAL HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon nipalense) – Marcia photographed a dark-throated bird below Bompu that must be this species; the two do mix at times.
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
YELLOW-BELLIED FAIRY-FANTAIL (Chelidorhynx hypoxantha) – Seen nicely below Lama Camp, and now in the new family of Stenostiridae or Fairy-flycatchers.
GRAY-HEADED CANARY-FLYCATCHER (Culicicapa ceylonensis) – A few sightings around Bompu and Sessni. The other member of the Stenostiridae here.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
YELLOW-BROWED TIT (Sylviparus modestus) – Great sightings above Bompu and below Lama Camp, a modest but interesting little bird with a slight crest.

Black-necked Storks were also present at Kaziranga, where this one stood for a nice portrait. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

SULTAN TIT (Melanochlora sultanea) – We had a responsive pair put on a good show at Digboi Reserve, with a single near Sessni later. A striking and distinctive species.
COAL TIT (HIMALAYAN) (Periparus ater aemodius) – Seen briefly at Sela, this race is both dark and crested.
GREEN-BACKED TIT (Parus monticolus) – Seen well on the Sela Pass day and at Mandala.
CINEREOUS TIT (Parus cinereus) – This grey and white bird, formerly part of the Great Tit complex, was seen at Kaziranga and Mandala.
YELLOW-CHEEKED TIT (Machlolophus spilonotus) – Good views at Eaglenest.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BLACK-THROATED TIT (Aegithalos concinnus) – This proved to be quite widespread and we had some 5 day records, starting as we came near Eaglenest entrance, and then around Bompu and Mandala in small groups.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
WHITE-TAILED NUTHATCH (Sitta himalayensis) – Two seen nicely on the Mandala day.
VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH (Sitta frontalis) – Seen at Digboi and Nameri.
BEAUTIFUL NUTHATCH (Sitta formosa) – Lobsang was desperate to find this and finally came good blow Sessni, with 2 fine birds coming in and showing well. This is a large nuthatch, and distinctively patterned.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
SIKKIM TREECREEPER (Certhia discolor) – This split from Brown-throated Tree-creeper showed well at Mandala and I got tape of the call.
Cinclidae (Dippers)
BROWN DIPPER (Cinclus pallasii) – Two on the river in the Sengti Valley, one walking on sandbar being atypical and initially a puzzle, until it blinked and i saw the whitish nictating membrane!
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
STRIATED BULBUL (Pycnonotus striatus) – This striking bird has a hairdo like it has been camping, and was quite common below Bompu.
BLACK-CRESTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus flaviventris) – Some folks saw this in the lowlands.
RED-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus cafer) – Common in disturbed areas at lower and middle elevations, and wild ones as opposed to feral birds in Fiji, New Caledonia, Oman etc.
RED-WHISKERED BULBUL (Pycnonotus jocosus) – A handful of sightings from the Kaziranga and Nameri areas.
HIMALAYAN BULBUL (Pycnonotus leucogenys) – Two birds as we came down from Lama Camp to Dirang, but unfortunately they did not linger.
WHITE-THROATED BULBUL (Alophoixus flaveolus) – Seen and heard at Kaziranga.
BLACK BULBUL (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) – This was one of the more common bulbuls in the mountains.
ASHY BULBUL (Hemixos flavala) – Seen at Digboi, and then en route to Eaglenest.
Pnoepygidae (Cupwings)
PYGMY CUPWING (Pnoepyga pusilla) – Heard up near Bompu but unresponsive. [*]
Scotocercidae (Bush Warblers and Allies)
GRAY-BELLIED TESIA (Tesia cyaniventer) – Seen briefly and heard near Bompu Camp.
SLATY-BELLIED TESIA (Tesia olivea) – Seen briefly above Bompu, and heard daily there.
GRAY-SIDED BUSH WARBLER (Cettia brunnifrons) – Heard near Lama Camp. [*]
CHESTNUT-HEADED TESIA (Cettia castaneocoronata) – Commonly heard, and seen several times, a very colourful, tiny furtive bird with bright yellow underparts.
YELLOW-BELLIED WARBLER (Abroscopus superciliaris) – Two in the bamboo as we began climbing up to Eaglenest.
BLACK-FACED WARBLER (Abroscopus schisticeps) – Quite widespread at the higher altitudes, with some good views near Lama and Bompu.
BROAD-BILLED WARBLER (Tickellia hodgsoni) – One of this monotypic genus above Bompu camp was hard to get into view as it skulked in the bamboo, and I only ever saw the back half! Others did better....
BROWNISH-FLANKED BUSH WARBLER (Horornis fortipes) – Vocal in the foothills, and seen well at Bompu Camp and above Dirang.
HUME'S BUSH WARBLER (Horornis brunnescens) – Heard up at Eaglenest Pass but not responsive, then a lucky find of one that showed very well above Dirang, with the larger Brownish-flanked Bush-warbler nearby for comparison.

White-rumped Vulture is Critically Endangered, and we were lucky to see these large raptors on two days in Kaziranga. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
DUSKY WARBLER (Phylloscopus fuscatus) – Seen well at Kaziranga; sadly, the greyish bird we photographed there has proven to be this species and not Smoky Warbler.
TICKELL'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus affinis) – Good views of 2 on the Mandala day, it was seen by some earlier at Lama too.
BUFF-BARRED WARBLER (Phylloscopus pulcher) – Seen nicely at Lama and then from Sela and Mandala.
ASHY-THROATED WARBLER (Phylloscopus maculipennis) – Singles from Lama, Sessni, and Mandala.
PALE-RUMPED WARBLER (Phylloscopus chloronotus) – Good views below Lama Camp and at Mandala, a split from what was Pallas's Leaf Warbler.
GREENISH WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochiloides) – Good views from Bompu, Sela and Mandala.
LARGE-BILLED LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus magnirostris) – Seen well above Lama, and again as we came down from Sela and at Mandala.
BLYTH'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus reguloides) – The common Phyllosc in the mountains, the pale bill, call and active behavior were diagnostic.
YELLOW-VENTED WARBLER (Phylloscopus cantator) – Two near Sessni and one on the way to Tenga from Dirang, it showed very well despite the hot and sunny conditions.
GRAY-HOODED WARBLER (Phylloscopus xanthoschistos) – Nice looks at this rather distinctive species on the day at Mandala before the weather deteriorated.
WHISTLER'S WARBLER (Seicercus whistleri) – A few seen in the higher altitude forests. A study in the 1990's revealed that "Golden-spectacled" consisted of five species, two of which are altitudinal replacements in the mountains. Golden-spectacled breeds below Whistler's, but we did not find it.
GRAY-CHEEKED WARBLER (Seicercus poliogenys) – Two near Sessni and some folks saw one at Lama later.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED WARBLER (Seicercus castaniceps) – We had some very nice close views on two days above Bompu.
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
CLAMOROUS REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus stentoreus) – Avi and a few folks reported this from Kaziranga.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
STRIATED GRASSBIRD (Megalurus palustris) – Great views from Rajarhat and then in Kaziranga of this large and vocal species.
RUSSET BUSH WARBLER (Locustella mandelli) – One was heard but stayed out of sight, then what was presumably a pair later, as there were two song types, one higher and one lower pitched. Happily we got good views of one of these, and I have posted the sound cut to IBC and XC.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
ZITTING CISTICOLA (ZITTING) (Cisticola juncidis cursitans) – Five singing in the grasslands at Rajarhat, this group badly needs revision as it is clearly multiple species with distinct songs.
COMMON TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus sutorius) – Calling at Kaziranga and seen on one day, typically elusive despite being common.
DARK-NECKED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus atrogularis) – Heard at Kaziranga and one at Wild Mahseer.
SWAMP PRINIA (Prinia cinerascens) – Avi did very well to locate this rare and localised species in its specialized reedbed habitat; we spent some while tracking it and getting glimpses before it finally showed nicely. Sadly by then most had fled the rain shower or not got off the boat, but Marcia and I were well happy.

Wild Boar was another mammal we saw in Kaziranga. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

BLACK-THROATED PRINIA (Prinia atrogularis) – Great looks below Lama Camp.
PLAIN PRINIA (Prinia inornata) – Common at Rajarhat.
Paradoxornithidae (Parrotbills, Wrentit, and Allies)
WHITE-BREASTED PARROTBILL (Psittiparus ruficeps) – This large, big-headed species was seen a couple of time below Bompu.
BLACK-BREASTED PARROTBILL (Paradoxornis flavirostris) – The great prize from the river trip at Pasighat, i was amazed at how darn big it was, with a stonking, great yellow bill. Happily, we lured most folks off the boat to come see it, hardcore or what? I am sorry I missed the shot of Lorena in full mud regalia here.
PALE-BILLED PARROTBILL (Chleuasicus atrosuperciliaris) – Marcia and I saw this diminutive species (aka Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill) below Lama, and Kathy had one below Sessni. It is much smaller than the Greater Rufous-headed (or White-breasted) Parrotbill.
BLACK-THROATED PARROTBILL (Suthora nipalensis) – Wow! This was one gorgeous bird; it appeared above Bompu Camp but some of us dipped, but happily Avi refound it and I had great views, before running off to see Lesser Cuckoo and get folks back to see it. Two lifers in 2 minutes.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
WHITE-NAPED YUHINA (Yuhina bakeri) – Heard below Bompu and seen by some folks at Sessni.
WHISKERED YUHINA (Yuhina flavicollis) – Most near Lama Camp where it was quite common, with up to 6 in a walk, also at Mandala and en route from Sela.
STRIPE-THROATED YUHINA (Yuhina gularis) – Three day records of 2 birds from the Lama and Bompu areas.
RUFOUS-VENTED YUHINA (Yuhina occipitalis) – A few at upper elevations above Lama Camp and at Mandala.
BLACK-CHINNED YUHINA (Yuhina nigrimenta) – Uncommon, seen at Lama, Bompu and Mandala but only ones and two, rather smart and distinctive with that red bill.
ORIENTAL WHITE-EYE (Zosterops palpebrosus) – Seen at Tenga and Mandala, surprisingly sparse.
Timaliidae (Tree-Babblers, Scimitar-Babblers, and Allies)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BABBLER (Timalia pileata) – Heard at Digboi and Kaziranga. [*]
PIN-STRIPED TIT-BABBLER (Mixornis gularis) – Seen at Digboi Reserve and heard at Kaziranga.
GOLDEN BABBLER (Cyanoderma chrysaeum) – One seen above Bompu.
RUFOUS-CAPPED BABBLER (Cyanoderma ruficeps) – One near Lama Camp and heard at Kaziranga.
RUFOUS-THROATED WREN-BABBLER (Spelaeornis caudatus) – Another wren-babbler challenge, with singles seen well below Lama Camp and near Bompu. It is considered "Near Threatened."
SLENDER-BILLED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus superciliaris) – Heard at Bompu, then one in bamboo above Dirang which eventually sat in a window in the leaves and allowed partial views.
STREAK-BREASTED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus ruficollis) – Great views below Lama Camp.
WHITE-BROWED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus schisticeps) – Some folks thought they saw this below Lama, and we all got looks at responsive but furtive birds below Sessni.

The weather didn't always cooperate with us, and we even had snow and ice on the day we went up to Sela Pass. Even so, we had a great view of this gorgeous male Fire-tailed Sunbird, posing in the mist. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

GRAY-THROATED BABBLER (Stachyris nigriceps) – Lobsang did well to conjure this one up in the heat of the day by a busy road above Dirang, and amazingly it sat in view in the less dense vegetation for once.
BLACKISH-BREASTED BABBLER (Stachyris humei) – Elusive and skulking and a quite odd bird, we got brief views of a close vocal bird below Bompu a.k.a. Sikkim Wedge-billed Wren-Babbler.
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)
YELLOW-THROATED FULVETTA (Schoeniparus cinereus) – We had several excellent looks at close range near Lama; this species can be very responsive.
RUFOUS-WINGED FULVETTA (Schoeniparus castaneceps) – Three day records of singles from Bompu and Mandala, with some good looks at the complicated plumage pattern. Genetic studies scrambled the contents of the babblers, now putting fulvettas in at least three different families!
PUFF-THROATED BABBLER (Pellorneum ruficeps) – A single record from Kaziranga.
MARSH BABBLER (Pellorneum palustre) – One of the specials on the Pasighat river trip, this showed nicely in the reeds and I think everyone got onto it.
LONG-BILLED WREN-BABBLER (Napothera malacoptila) – A great and very odd bird, which showed fairly well down at Sessni.
ABBOTT'S BABBLER (Turdinus abbotti) – One from Kaziranga.
INDIAN GRASSBIRD (Graminicola bengalensis) – Phil and a couple of others got a tick from elephant back when this black-tailed grassbird flushed up!
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
NEPAL FULVETTA (Alcippe nipalensis) – Some folks saw this at Sessni, I think the Digboi sighting seen by some was incorrect.
STRIATED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Grammatoptila striata) – One of the more obliging laughingthrushes, seen quite well near Lama Camp.
HIMALAYAN CUTIA (Cutia nipalensis) – We did well for this striking species, with terrific looks near Lama and Bompu, with a flock of 10 on one day at the latter site.
STRIATED BABBLER (Turdoides earlei) – Seen in the riparian reeds at Pasighat and later at Kaziranga, the juvenile has a yellow bill.
SLENDER-BILLED BABBLER (Turdoides longirostris) – Heard at Kaziranga but again I don't think anyone got a countable sighting. [*]
LESSER NECKLACED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax monileger) – Another Laughingthrush, at the terminally shy end of the spectrum, so only heard at Digboi. [*]
RUFOUS-CHINNED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla rufogularis) – This was seen well by most in the valley at Mandala, calling well, but I got a very odd view and really need a better one.
SPOTTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla ocellata) – Just two above Lama one afternoon, just below the Pass.
RUFOUS-NECKED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla ruficollis) – Six seen well en route to the Siang River valley.
CHESTNUT-BACKED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla nuchalis) – Heard close by at Digboi but very elusive and none of us got a glimpse, a pity, as it's a regional endemic. Yet another heard Laughingthrush for my life list, they are getting as bad as owls for being heard but staying unseen! [*]
GRAY-SIDED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla caerulata) – Three day records and some good views from Bompu and Mandala.

Asian Barred Owlet showed on two days in Kaziranga. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

BHUTAN LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron imbricatum) – Commensal around Lama Camp, where it was nesting, and also seen above Dirang. This is almost a Bhutanese endemic a.k.a. Bhutan Streaked Laughingthrush, as split from Streaked Laughingthrush of the western Himalaya.
SCALY LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron subunicolor) – One of the birds of the trip, we had amazingly good views of this striking yellow-eyed species at Eaglenest Pass, such a shock to have a Laughing-thrush show well!
BLUE-WINGED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron squamatum) – Aaargh, we all heard them really close by on several occasions around Bompu camp, but only Alan got a view.
BLACK-FACED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron affine) – This one showed amazingly well at Sela Pass and I know some got terrific photos of one perched on a rock there.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron erythrocephalum) – Seen well around the Lama Camp area and at Mandala.
BEAUTIFUL SIBIA (Heterophasia pulchella) – Aptly named, it is subtly gorgeous with those muted color tones, and was common in the foothill forests.
LONG-TAILED SIBIA (Heterophasia picaoides) – Great looks at Sessni with a couple of noisy parties.
SILVER-EARED MESIA (Leiothrix argentauris) – Noisy at Sessni and showed well in the weedy vegetation there; I wish I knew what had got them so stirred up! Far better than the silhouette of the dismal previous day.
RED-BILLED LEIOTHRIX (Leiothrix lutea) – One popped up in a mixed flock at Mandala, a beautiful bird and common in aviculture, as well as introduced in Hawaii, Japan, France and Reunion! Nice to see a wild one.
RED-TAILED MINLA (Minla ignotincta) – Just a single record from Eaglenest Pass, a shy and elusive bird.
RUFOUS-BACKED SIBIA (Minla annectens) – Heard at Bompu on the very wet day.
BUGUN LIOCICHLA (Liocichla bugunorum) – This was quite a drama; half the group got to see it right by Lama Camp on the first afternoon when Lobsang heard it and those there went after it, including the Tropical Birding hardcore guys. It was bit of a gut-wrencher for those of us not there at the time, and next morning we heard it but had no views on a steep and precarious slope. Happily however we got a calling pair below Lama, and everyone managed to get views and some even got photos; quite a relief- yay! This species was only described in 2006 and inhabits a very small area. HBW says: Known population tiny; in searches since 2005, best total on one day was ten, and no more than 14 individuals confidently known. In 2012–2013, habitat at Lama Camp was fragmented by the construction of a new road, which destroyed two territories and which is expected to lead to more habitat degradation in the immediate vicinity. Originally listed as Vulnerable, the tiny known population (conjectured on the basis of 14 known birds to be fewer than 250 mature individuals) and inferred population decline triggered uplisting to Critically Endangered in 2014. It may be found in nearby areas or even Bhutan, further work needed.
RED-FACED LIOCICHLA (Liocichla phoenicea) – Heard below Bompu and calling well on two days, but stayed out of view. [*]
HOARY-THROATED BARWING (Actinodura nipalensis) – Three as we came over Eaglenest pass, a good pick up as it's quite scarce here.
STREAK-THROATED BARWING (Actinodura waldeni) – Seen well below Bompu and around Lama Camp.
RUSTY-FRONTED BARWING (Actinodura egertoni) – This barwing was in fine form, with many good views above Bompu.
BLUE-WINGED MINLA (Actinodura cyanouroptera) – Seen several times below Bompu.
CHESTNUT-TAILED MINLA (Actinodura strigula) – Seen several times above Bompu and again at Mandala. a.k.a. Bar-throated Siva.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
DARK-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa sibirica) – Six day records from Eaglenest, usually as singles.
ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN (Copsychus saularis) – In disturbed areas at lower elevations from Kaziranga on, a colonist of the valleys.
WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA (Copsychus malabaricus) – A single from Kaziranga, one spectacular bird.
WHITE-GORGETED FLYCATCHER (Anthipes monileger) – Heard near Bompu by some. [*]
PALE BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis unicolor) – Just a single below Bompu, but seen well and tape-recorded.
LARGE NILTAVA (Niltava grandis) – Heard several times, and finally seen near Bompu.
SMALL NILTAVA (Niltava macgrigoriae) – Seen nicely twice below Bompu Camp.
VERDITER FLYCATCHER (Eumyias thalassinus) – A common bird of broadleaf forests below Bompu
RUSTY-BELLIED SHORTWING (Brachypteryx hyperythra) – Heard right by Lama Camp but on an inaccessible section of trail, and heard again at Mandala.

Here is another view of an Asian One-horned Rhinoceros; these magnificent beasts were apparently doing well in Kaziranga, where they are protected. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

LESSER SHORTWING (Brachypteryx leucophris) – One singing and seen below Bompu.
WHITE-BROWED SHORTWING (Brachypteryx montana) – Heard below Bompu. [*]
BLUE WHISTLING-THRUSH (Myophonus caeruleus) – Two day records, with 2 as we came down from Sela and then one in the hills after Dirang.
BLACK-BACKED FORKTAIL (Enicurus immaculatus) – A single in the track at Digboi Reserve was the only forktail of the trip.
WHITE-TAILED ROBIN (Myiomela leucura) – Heard below Bompu. [*]
BLUE-FRONTED ROBIN (Cinclidium frontale) – Heard close by at Eaglenest twice, but very skulking and elusive. [*]
GRANDALA (Grandala coelicolor) – Harsh conditions up on the Pass, but we saw a couple early on then had a flock of about 40 fly by, a very strange bird with triangular wings reminiscent of a bee-eater.
RUFOUS-BREASTED BUSH-ROBIN (Tarsiger hyperythrus) – Two sightings of this colourful bird from below Lama Camp.
WHITE-BROWED BUSH-ROBIN (Tarsiger indicus) – Some folks saw this below Lama Camp.
SLATY-BLUE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula tricolor) – A male below Sela Pass was the only sighting.
PYGMY FLYCATCHER (Ficedula hodgsoni) – This was heard at Mandala but only barely glimpsed, really a heard only. [*]
RUFOUS-GORGETED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula strophiata) – Singles near Lama and below Basukhia army camp.
SAPPHIRE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula sapphira) – Two near Lama Camp, and one at Mandala.
LITTLE PIED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula westermanni) – One down towards Sessni.
ULTRAMARINE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula superciliaris) – Two females below Lama Camp, with another for some next day below Basukhia army camp en route from Sela.
TAIGA FLYCATCHER (Ficedula albicilla) – A fine male at the ecocamp at Pasighat.
BLUE-FRONTED REDSTART (Phoenicurus frontalis) – This beauty was at Sela Pass, it showed very well and we saw up to 9 birds.
PLUMBEOUS REDSTART (Phoenicurus fuliginosus) – Up to 8 in the Sengti valley, including a spotted juvenile, and seen again in the river at Tenga.
WHITE-CAPPED REDSTART (Phoenicurus leucocephalus) – Great looks at Sela in the wet meadows; also seen on large, open rivers. This attractive bird is better known as River Chat and used to have its own genus Chaimarrornis.
HODGSON'S REDSTART (Phoenicurus hodgsoni) – A fine female in the Sengti Valley was a good find.

Green-backed Tit is a mountain bird; we got some great views of them at Sela Pass and Mandala. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

DAURIAN REDSTART (Phoenicurus auroreus) – A single female below Sela was the only sighting.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola rufiventris) – Four day records of singles from the Lama and Sengti areas, both males and females seen.
BLUE-CAPPED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola cinclorhynchus) – Seen twice below Lama camp, with some good views.
SIBERIAN STONECHAT (SIBERIAN) (Saxicola maurus indicus) – A couple seen in Kaziranga, surprisingly sparse.
WHITE-TAILED STONECHAT (Saxicola leucurus) – A fine male along the Siang River near Pasighat was an unexpected lifer for us all, very contrasting black and white with white in the tail.
GRAY BUSHCHAT (Saxicola ferreus) – Three day records from the lower altitudes starting above Tenga.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
TICKELL'S THRUSH (Turdus unicolor) – A single seen in the pine forest above Tenga en route to Eaglenest, again the only one of the trip.
WHITE-COLLARED BLACKBIRD (Turdus albocinctus) – Two from Sela and a male in the mist at Mandala.
BLACK-THROATED THRUSH (Turdus atrogularis) – A single male on the Mandala day was a good trip bird.
PURPLE COCHOA (Cochoa purpurea) – Irritatingly we heard this below Lama, then again right by Bompu Camp where we were somewhat unlucky not to see it. Also heard below Bompu but again out of sight. [*]
GREEN COCHOA (Cochoa viridis) – Most folks got to see this one below Bompu but my car was delayed and we only got to hear it, a hard species to get.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
COMMON HILL MYNA (Gracula religiosa) – Seen at Kaziranga tea estate, just a single bird.
ASIAN PIED STARLING (Gracupica contra) – Fifteen at Rajarhat then a few at Kaziranga.
CHESTNUT-TAILED STARLING (Sturnia malabarica) – Up to 8 at Digboi and Kaziranga and small numbers at Nameri.
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – Common in disturbed areas at lower elevations.
JUNGLE MYNA (Acridotheres fuscus) – Common in the lowlands from Jorhat to Nameri.
GREAT MYNA (Acridotheres grandis) – This was quite common at the lower altitudes, especially at Kaziranga and Nameri. Confusingly often called White-vented Myna.
Chloropseidae (Leafbirds)
GOLDEN-FRONTED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis aurifrons) – Seen at Kaziranga on several days.
ORANGE-BELLIED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis hardwickii) – A few sightings around Bompu, only small numbers.
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
PLAIN FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum minullum) – One seen at Nameri.

Abor Lodge Camp, near the Siang River, was one of our first nights in India. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

FIRE-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum ignipectus) – A few records from Lama and then Mandala, a fine looking bird.
SCARLET-BACKED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum cruentatum) – Heard at Kaziranga and one from Wild Mahseer.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
RUBY-CHEEKED SUNBIRD (Chalcoparia singalensis) – Some folks saw one at Kaziranga.
FIRE-TAILED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga ignicauda) – Three fine males at Sela, a spectacular bird of the high altitudes where it is quite nomadic.
BLACK-THROATED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga saturata) – A few below Bompu, breeding at lower altitudes than several others.
GOULD'S SUNBIRD (Aethopyga gouldiae) – This stunning bird was seen at Eaglenest Pass, and then especially at Mandala. with some good views. Named for Elizabeth Gould so should be called Mrs Gould's Sunbird.
GREEN-TAILED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga nipalensis) – The most common sunbird at altitude, a really beautiful bird and a first responder to owlet recordings. We had many fine views and photos at close range.
CRIMSON SUNBIRD (Aethopyga siparaja) – Just one fine male at Hathikuli tea estate.
STREAKED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera magna) – Spiderhunters are a distinctive group, and this is a fun one, with a thick, curved bill, plenty of streaks, and those bright orange legs, seen briefly down towards Sessni and Khellong.
Prunellidae (Accentors)
RUFOUS-BREASTED ACCENTOR (Prunella strophiata) – Some folks saw this species at Sela.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (BEEMA) (Motacilla flava beema) – A few from Kaziranga, all seemed to be this race.
CITRINE WAGTAIL (GRAY-BACKED) (Motacilla citreola citreola) – Small numbers from Kaziranga, including some fine spring males, all of the grey-backed nominate taxon.
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea) – Two seen in the Sengti Valley.
WHITE WAGTAIL (HODGSON'S) (Motacilla alba alboides) – Nice views of this distinctive taxon in the Sengti Valley and at Sela Pass. The complex is long overdue for splitting.
WHITE-BROWED WAGTAIL (Motacilla maderaspatensis) – Only seen at the Norphel Retreat in Dirang, where one was singing from the rooftop each day.
PADDYFIELD PIPIT (Anthus rufulus) – The default large pipit, starting at Rajarhat in Kolkata.
ROSY PIPIT (Anthus roseatus) – Great views in the Sengti Valley where some were in full rosy-throated summer plumage.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus hodgsoni) – Seen at Mandala.
Elachuridae (Spotted Elachura)
SPOTTED ELACHURA (Elachura formosa) – Heard very well below Bompu Camp, but totally out of view in dense vegetation; a pity as this is now a monotypic family. [*]
Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)
CRESTED BUNTING (Melophus lathami) – A pair in the Sengti Valley were a nice find.
YELLOW-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza aureola) – A fine male of what is now sadly a rare and Endangered species was found by Phil in the wet meadows at the Sengti valley.

The gateway to Kaziranga National Park promises Elephants, Water Buffalo, and more. The park certainly did not disappoint us! Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
SPOT-WINGED GROSBEAK (Mycerobas melanozanthos) – Two female plumage birds perched up for ages at Mandala.
COMMON ROSEFINCH (Carpodacus erythrinus) – Nice views of a male and several females in a red ricefield near Dirang.
SCARLET FINCH (Carpodacus sipahi) – Several good looks at males after the first silhouette on the very wet day.
HIMALAYAN WHITE-BROWED ROSEFINCH (Carpodacus thura) – A female from Sela Pass.
GRAY-HEADED BULLFINCH (Pyrrhula erythaca) – Three seen well at Lama Camp were the only bullfinches we saw.
GOLD-NAPED FINCH (Pyrrhoplectes epauletta) – Also seen well by Lama Camp, a very distinctive species.
DARK-BREASTED ROSEFINCH (Procarduelis nipalensis) – Most of the group saw this when they went off with Lobsang as I was getting my gear ready, but it flew as I arrived with the scope.
PLAIN MOUNTAIN-FINCH (Leucosticte nemoricola) – Nice views at Sela Pass.
YELLOW-BREASTED GREENFINCH (Chloris spinoides) – A good find as we were leaving our lunch spot at Tenga en route to Lama, with several birds in the pine forest by the road.. Also seen later at Sessni by most, and again at Mandala.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Seen in Kolkata and around Kaziranga.
RUSSET SPARROW (Passer rutilans) – A few in the higher, agricultural valleys at Sengti and then Mandala. Known as Cinnamon Sparrow in Rasmussen.
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus) – A few at lower elevations than Russet, although overlapping at times.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
BAYA WEAVER (Ploceus philippinus) – A nesting group at Kaziranga; this is the potentially splittable eastern subspecies burmanicus.
YELLOW WEAVER (Ploceus megarhynchus) – A good view of a male and several females in Kaziranga in the tall grass, a good pick-up of what is an elusive low density species. Usually called Finn's Weaver as there is a Yellow Weaver in Africa.....
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
RED AVADAVAT (Amandava amandava) – One at Rajarhat was a nice find.

INDIAN FLYING-FOX (Pteropus giganteus) – Seen nicely at Kaziranga, but only in small numbers, one of the larger members of the family.
RHESUS MONKEY (Macaca mulatta) – Seen nicely in Kaziranga, where it was common.
WHITE-BROWED GIBBON (Hylobates hoolock) – Heard at the Digboi forest but stayed out of sight; they sound remarkably chimp-like! [*]
BLACK GIANT SQUIRREL (Ratufa bicolor) – Some folks saw this at Nameri, a huge great creature, but I had not realised this was what was being called so many missed it.
IRAWADDY SQUIRREL (Callosciurus pygerythrus) – The first squirrel of the trip, seen near the Kaziranga tea estate Usually called Hoary-bellied Squirrel.

Another view of some of the group on elephant-back. All-in-all, this tour will not be forgotten any time soon! Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

HIMALAYAN STRIPED SQUIRREL (Tamiops macclellandi) – The one that looks like a chipmunk, seen below Lama Camp.
YELLOW-THROATED MARTEN (Martes flavigula) – One seen quite well as it ran across the track below Bompu; a large marten and a lifer mammal for Phil.
SMOOTH-COATED OTTER (Lutrogale perspicillata) – Seen well in Kaziranga, with 6 just after the elephant trek, quite a large animal too.
INDIAN ELEPHANT (Elephas maximus) – Great looks at a few of these magnificent creatures in Kaziranga, but tracks, dung and trails were all over Eaglenest, and I was quite relieved we did not run into one there! I did not realize how many people they kill each year. Now of course, classified as Endangered.
ASIAN ONE-HORNED RHINOCEROS (Rhinoceros unicornis) – One of the highlights of the trip was the sighting of good numbers of this astonishing and highly aquatic creature at Kaziranga, seen really well from elephant back as well. They are a lovely silvery-grey when dry, and look like they are covered in boilerplate, with orange hairs fringing the very large ears. We saw something like 20 and 30 on the 2 days we went into the park, you can even see them from the main road outside. The rangers have a shoot to kill policy as regards poachers; so long may the rhinos survive. Some had evidently been dehorned too, which seems a wise precaution.
WILD BOAR (Sus scrofa) – A few seen in Kaziranga, quite large and very dark in colour.
MUNTJAC (BARKING DEER) (Muntiacus muntjak) – Noisy deer were heard barking at Nameri . [*]
HOG DEER (Axis porcinus) – This small, stocky, rich brown deer was common in Kaziranga.
BARASINGHA (Cervus duvauceli) – Good looks at herds of them in Kaziranga, classified as Vulnerable and >5000 in total it seems.
ASIAN WATER BUFFALO (Bubalus bubalis) – Quite good numbers of this aquatic animal at Kaziranga, with up to 70 in a day; the horns are much longer and slimmer than the domestic versions.
WATER MONITOR (Varanus salvator) – One seen nicely in Kaziranga.


Birds of the trip were pretty varied, but amazingly, 6 of us picked Fire-tailed Sunbird, just such a gorgeous creature. Bugun Liocichla featured of course, Mrs. Gould's Sunbird, Beautiful Nuthatch, that amazing pair of Scaly Laughing-thrushes that showed so atypically well, Brown Boobook, Great Stone Curlew and Wreathed Hornbill were also picked, and Great Indian Rhino gets a special mention as they are just so bizarre.


Chequered Keelback (Xenochropis piscator) was seen at Kaziranga.

Terri saw a large Cobra-type trinket snake (Coelognathus helena) at the Infinity Resort at Kaziranga.

A bamboo rat (Rhizomys sp) was seen by some in Kaziranga.

Totals for the tour: 392 bird taxa and 15 mammal taxa