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Trip Report - Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary Tour of Robert and Bethany

Sultanpur and Bindavas, New Delhi
Date of tour: 30th Sept and 2nd Oct 2019
Deepkul Chhetri

Delhi has one of the most fertile lands in India. For over a million years, the Yamuna has been depositing alluvial soil in Delhi flat lands from The Great Himalayas. Unfortunately, the recent boom in population has lead the city looking like a concrete jungle. The outskirts however, tell a different story. It is rich in avifauna with more than 300 species of birds.

On the morning of 30th September, we began on a fairly early note, around 0600 hrs. Robert, Vijay (our driver) and I, journeyed away from the city hustle of New Delhi, towards the calm of Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary. The park gate opens at 0700 hrs. At the gate we Sanjay, a local avifauna enthusiast, with a plethoric knowledge about birds. He was kind enough to guide us through the entire Sanctuary, all morning.

The Park also revolves around a water body, which is the breeding ground for most water birds.

The loud shrill sound of Rose Ringed Parakeet welcomed us in the Park. Flocks of Common Myna, Jungle Babbler, Large Grey Babbler, Scaly Breasted Munia, Cormorant, Common Teal, Painted stork, Red Napped Ibis, Northern Pin Tail, Northern Shovler, Knob-Billed Duck, Lesser Whistling Ducks and many more, were a delight to spot. It was nothing short of a “Bird’s Paradise”.

Then come the blues. First, the European Roller. A passage migrant to India, the European Roller perched itself on top a canopy of trees, giving us the perfect view of the colour of its wings. Second, the White Throated Kingfisher, flying close over the water with wings painted bright blue. Third, and we actually got lucky with this one, and saw the distant Indian cousin to the European Roller, the Indian Roller.

Post a quick lunch, we drove to Bindawas, looking for the Eagle Owl. I guess our luck really worked its charm; we heard our naturalist, Sanjay shout out loud, Owl Owl Owl!!…. His excitement overtook everything we were doing and that’s when we saw what we came for. Right across the stream was this big owl looking right towards us, refusing to let its gaze slip even for a second.

After sighting over a 100 species of birds, we came back to the hotel at around 1900 hrs in the evening.

However, we weren’t ready to settle with just a day’s birding trip. Came 2nd October and we began a journey to to Najafgarh Wetland and later to Sultanpur National Park. The Najafgarh wetland area really surprised us by the numbers. Thousands of waders like Timinick’s Stint, Little Stint, Ruff, Greater Painted Snipe, Wood Sanpiper, Marsh Sandpiper and a lot more.

Eurasian curlew, a bill with bird- A bird with exceptionally long beak equipped to find food at marsh land, Ruff, little ringed plover, Pheasant tailed Jacana, Bronze winged Jacana, Black winged stilt and many more.

Till 1100 hrs we managed to see 100+ bird species.

At the end of the tour we closed our bird count at 144 species.

SL No. Common Names Scientific Names Remark
1 Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus  
2 Indian Peafowl  Pavo cristatu  
3  Lesser Whistling-duck  Dendrocyna javanica  
4  Comb Duck  Sarkidiornis melanotos  
5 Cotton Pygmy-goose  Nettapus coromandelianus  
6 Gadwall  Anas strepera  
7 Spot-billed Duck  Anas poecilorhyncha  
8 Common Teal  Anas crecca  
9 Garganey  Anas querquedula  
10 Northern Pintail  Anas acuta  
11  Northern Shoveler  Anas clypeata  
12 Black-rumped Flameback  Dinopium benghalense  
13 Coppersmith Barbet  Megalaima haemacephal  
14  Indian Grey Hornbill  Ocyceros birostris  
15 Common Hoopoe  Upupa epops  
16 European Roller  Coracias garrulus  
17 Indian Roller  Coracias benghalensis  
18 Common Kingfisher  Alcedo atthis  
19 White-throated Kingfisher  Halycon smyrnensis  
20 Pied Kingfisher  Ceryle rudis  
21 Green Bee-eater  Merops orientalis  
22 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater  Merops persicus  
23 Blue-tailed Bee-eater  Merops philippinus  
24 Pied Cuckoo  Clamator jacobinus  
25 Common Hawk-Cuckoo  Hierococcyx varius  
26 Eurasian Cuckoo  Cuculus canorus  
27 Grey-bellied Cuckoo  Cacomantis passerinus  
28 Asian Koel  Eudynamys scolopacea  
29  Greater Coucal  Centropus sinensis  
30 Alexandrine Parakeet  Psittacula eupatria  
31 Rose-ringed Parakeet  Psittacula krameri  
32 Spotted Owlet  Athene brama  
33  Rock Pigeon  Columba livia  
34 Laughing Dove  Streptopelia senegalensis  
35 Spotted Dove  Streptopelia chinensis  
36 Eurasian Collared Dove  Streptopelia decaocto  
37 Yellow-footed Green Pigeon  Treron phoenicoptera  
38  Common Crane  Grus grus  
39 Sarus Crane  Grus antigone  
40 White-breasted Waterhen  Amaurornis phoenicurus  
41 Purple Swamphen  Porphyrio porphyrio  
42  Common Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus  
43 Common Coot  Fulica atra  
44 Greater Painted-snipe  Gallinago gallinago  
45 Black-tailed Godwit  Limosa limosa  
46 Eurasian Curlew  Numenius arquata  
47 Common Redshank  Tringa tetanus  
48  Marsh Sandpiper  Tringa stagnatilis  
49 Wood Sandpiper  Tringa glareola  
50 Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos  
51 Little Stint  Calidris minuta  
52 Temminck’s Stint  Calidris temminckii  
53  Ruff  Philomachus pugnax  
54 Greater Painted-snipe  Rostratula benghalensis  
55  Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus  
56 Pheasant-tailed Jacana  Hydrophasianus chirurgus  
57 Little Ringed Plover  Charadrius alexandinus  
58 Red-wattled Lapwing  Vanellus indicus  
59 White-tailed Lapwing  Vanellus leucurus  
60 Black-headed Gull  Larus ridibundus  
61 Black-shouldered Kite  Elanus caeruleus  
62 Black Kite  Milvus migrans  
63 Eurasian Marsh Harrier  Circus aeruginosus  
64 Shikra  Accipiter badius  
65 White-eyed Buzzard  Butastur teesa  
66 Greater Spotted Eagle  Aquila clanga  
67 Common Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus  
68  Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus  
69 Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis  
70 Darter  Anhinga melanogaster  
71 Little Cormorant  Phalacrocorax niger  
72 Indian Cormorant  Phalacrocorax fuscicollis  
73 Little Egret  Egretta garzetta  
74 Great Egret  Casmerodius albus  
75 Intermediate Egret  Mesophoyx intermedia  
76 Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis  
77  Indian Pond Heron  Ardeola grayii  
78 Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea  
79 Purple Heron  Ardea purpurea  
80 Black-crowned Night Heron  Nycticorax nycticorax  
81 Greater Flamingo  Phoenicopterus ruber  
82 Black-headed Ibis  Threskiornis melanocephalus  
83 Black Ibis  Pseudibis papillos  
84 Painted Stork  Mycteria leucocephala  
85 Asian Openbill  Anastomus oscitans  
86 Woolly-necked Stork  Ciconia episcopus  
87 Black-necked Stork  Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus  
88  Bay-backed Shrike  Lanius vittatus  
89 Long-tailed Shrike  Lanius scach  
90 Rufous Treepie  Dendrocitta vagabunda  
91 House Crow  Corvus splendens  
92 Eurasian Golden Oriole  Oriolus oriolus  
93  Large Cuckooshrike  Coracina macei  
94 Black Drongo  Dicrurus macrocercus  
95 Ashy Drongo  Dicrurus leucophaeus  
96 Asian Paradise Flycatcher  Terpsiphone paradisi  
97 Oriental Magpie-robin Copsychus saulari  
98 Indian Robin Saxicoloides fulicata  
99 Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros  
100  Siberian Stonechat  Saxicola maura  
101  Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata  
102 Brown Rockchat  Cercomela fusca  
103 Brahminy Starling Sturnus pagodarum  
104 Asian Pied Starling Sturnus contra  
105 Common Mynah  Acridotheres tristis  
106  Bank Mynah Acridotheres ginginianus;  
107  Jungle Mynah Acridotheres fuscus  
108 Sand Martin  Riparia riparia  
109  Plain Martin Riparia paludicola  
110 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica  
111 Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii  
112  Streak-throated Swallow Hirundo fluvicola  
113  Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer  
114 Grey-breasted Prinia  Prinia hodgsoni  
115 Plain Prinia  Prinia inornata  
116 Ashy Prinia  Prinia socialis  
117 Zitting Cisticola Zisticola juncidis  
118 Oriental White-eye  Zosterops palpebrosus  
119 Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumeetorum  
120 Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus  
121 Common Tailorbird  Orthotomus sutorius  
122 Greenish Warbler  Phlloscopus trochiloiudes  
123  Large Grey Babbler Turdoides malcomi  
124 Jungle Babbler  Turdoides striatus  
125 Siberian Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca blyth  
126 Indian Bushlark  Mrafra erythroptera  
127 Bengal Bushlark   Mirafra assamica  
128  Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis  
129 Oriental Skylark   Alauda gulgula  
130 Purple Sunbird Nectarina asiatica  
131 House Sparrow Passer domesticus  
132 Sind Sparrow  Passer hispaniolensis  
133 Chestnut-shouldered  Petronia Petronia xanthocollis  
134 White Wagtail Motacilla alba  
135 White-browed Wagtail Motacilla maderaspatensis  
136 Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola  
137 Yellow Wagtail  Motacilla flava  
138 Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus  
139 Black-breasted Weaver Ploceus benghalensis  
140 Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus  
141 Red Avadavat  Amandava amandava  
142 Indian Silverbill  Lonchura malabarica  
143 Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata;  

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