Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Species list

Text only


Day 1 (Friday, 2nd February)

As usual necks were craned for views outside the aeroplane porthole to find the first birds of the trip, but the absence of a window, and the fact that we were delayed for an hour on the runway as we landed didn't help a great deal. Things improved enormously on the walk from the plane to the terminal building - when we had ignored the already monotonous House Crows, a White-bellied Sea Eagle drifted across, making it a much more fitting first bird for the trip. Once through the mayhem that was the terminal building, with inordinately long queues to get through passport control, and bags littering the woefully inadequate conveyor belt area, we saw our cases hefted on to the top of an ancient bus, and set up station about 20 metres away before the journey began. Raptors were showing quite well, with the soon to be numerous Black & Brahminy Kites joined by an Oriental Honey Buzzard. The hour long bus ride to Arpora, passing masses of humanity and litter, as well as the Goan capital, Panjim, also had plenty of woodland and wetland, with raptors the main birds seen (most of which couldn't be reliably identified on the move). As we neared Baga and Arpora, we then had mouth watering views of Indian Roller and Stork-billed Kingfishers close by.

Brahminy Kite

Brahminy Kite


Map of Arpora and Baga area

After extensive unpacking and settling in to the hotel room, we hit the dust tracks of Arpora within five minutes, with the first find a Purple-rumped Sunbird nest near the reception. As often happens, birds were found at regular intervals, which meant that the plan to go further than the village and explore the wet paddies opposite the Marinha Dourada hotel were cut short. This was only after the introduction to Magpie-robin and White-rumped Munias, with White-breasted Kingfisher already proving to be both numerous and happy with both dry and wet habitat.

Oriental Magpie-robin

Stork-billed Kingfisher

Oriental Magpie-robin

Stork-billed Kingfisher

We decided to catch the hotel's free bus service into Baga, and while waiting for this to leave, poked our noses over to the nearby Baga River to see Striated Heron, Night Heron, Jungle Mynahs, and the only Terek Sandpiper of the trip. The bus dropped us at the hive of activity that is the beach, but we escaped within minutes to the nearby fields, for a cracking walk which would eventually lead to the Beira Mar. Despite a game of football nearby, various pipits and larks were seen immediately, with a couple of White-browed Wagtails on a small patch of open mud, and Tailorbird in the overhanging bush. The open fields had us stopping every few minutes for Black Drongos, Indian Roller, Hoopoes, and yet more Jungle Mynahs. We were aiming for the road again, when a small copse overlooking a vegetation covered pond caught our attention, as did the Brahminy Starlings, singing Coppersmith Barbet, and mixed hirundines.

Green Bee-eater

White-browed Wagtail

Green Bee-eaters

White-browed Wagtail

We actually made it to the Beira Mar an hour before dusk, and found ourselves on the swimming pool balcony with a number of other birders, and tan happy tourists trying to swim and sunbathe. An hour and a quarter was spent there, scanning from the balcony over the marsh. A couple of snakes being grappled and tugged by Purple & Indian Pond-Herons provided the floor show. The best birds seemed to be in a particularly wet and litter strewn copse with small bushes directly below us - 2 male Cinnamon Bitterns, 3 White-breasted Waterhens, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Purple Gallinule, and a few Blue-tailed Bee-eaters overhead.

Beira Mar marsh

Painted Snipe

Marsh from balcony of Beira Mar hotel

Painted Snipe

Cinnamon Bittern

White-breasted Waterhen

Cinammon Bittern

White-breasted Waterhen

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Species list

Text only