Birding in Nepal(IV) : Tiger Tops Tharu
When: November 2017 Weather: Cool 18-24C
Nikon P900 Leica M240/35mm Summilux
Staying at Tiger Tops Tharu, the nature activities are part of the very expensive all in package but you can indeed tailor your activities to your own preferences. Having done the Chitwan jeep safari, we opted to visit the ‘Vulture Restaurant’ and river safari in the afternoon and have a 4 hour early morning birding walk with DB, the resort manager, vulture conservationist and birding guide. DB is the person who initiated the vulture conservation programme in this area after the Diclofenac debacle in which many vultures perished after eating dead cattle whic had been treated with diclofenac, in turn poisoning the vultures, many of which became endangered.
The vulture restaurant is about 10km away through the Chitwan buffer zone and there’s lots to see on the way, villages, elephants, mongooses…
Most excursions leave from this back door of the lodge….
The road to the vulture restaurant was pretty quiet as it was 2pm in the afternoon, but this colourful jungle fowl led the way….what was it about why chickens cross roads?
arriving at the Vulture Restaurant, there is a large wire cage which is for holding the rehabilitated vultures prior to release….bull skeletons can be seen behind it..
the left over skeletons of aging cows who had been in a old cow nursing home till their demise….they are then left in this restaurant for the vultures to feed on…
A day or two earlier, 6 endangered white rump vultures had been released and we scoured the skies and surrounding trees to find them…
There was one in the distant trees….
and another one much closer to us…
The not very beautiful but endangered white rumped vulture making a comeback due to the untiring efforts of DB and various bird conservation projects.
And hiding in the overhead trees on the way back was this Jungle Owl…flying between a few trees
after the vulture restaurant, we headed to the river for a half hour canoe river safari back to our lodge….the sun was setting and the evening glow alluring…
The next morning, we had an early breakfast at and set off with DB in a jeep to two locations to try and find some interesting local birds…..first stop was in some local paddy fields about 15 min away to try and see the painted snipe….it was a dull and misty morn…
a misty morning with the sun struggling to break through….
and in the morning mist this large bird flew between the trees
a rather large lesser adjutant stork
and through the mist this yellow headed bird appeared….a migrant Citrine Wagtail
A scaly breasted munia
grey backed shrike
Grey breasted prinia with breakfast
Lesser adjutant storks overhead
open billed stork
leaving the padi fields, we made our way by jeep to this pristine river landscape…
In the trees, a number of brown jobs flitted about….the olive backed pipit
walking along the river side, this black and white bullet zipped past…
A pied kingfisher!
And in the distance a beautiful Shikra watched over us
black stork overhead
And on our way back to the jeep, DB spotted this green bird…
a blue throated barbet
magnificent blue throated barbet
The area around Tiger Tops Tharu is a wonderful resource for birding….highly recommended.