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Showing posts from September, 2012

Red-necked Phalaropes at Rawal Lake

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On Tuesday 11 September, before travelling away for a week, we took the opportunity to pay a morning visit to Lake View Park in an attempt to relocate the Red-headed Buntings seen and photographed a few days previously by our friend. Sadly, the Red-headed Buntings had gone but there was an exciting consolation in the form of a pair of RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. Normally, this dainty little wader passes by Pakistan in large flocks some 50 miles offshore over the ocean. Very occasionally Red-necked Phalaropes are seen in Pakistan near inland waters but this is an uncommon phenomenon. Red-necked Phalaropes spend a lot of their time swimming in a distinctive spinning motion as they pick insects of the surface of the water using their delicate bills. Phalaropes are one of a few families of birds where the female is more brightly coloured than the males. Our last encounter with Red-necked Phalaropes had been on the Outer Hebrides and it was great that we added it as species number 310 onto our …

Exciting Time For Birders But Dangerous For Cranes

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Saturday 8 September 2012 again saw us at Lake View Park, Islamabad due to it being a bit of a migrant magnet with the possibility of migrating passerines, wildfowl and waders. Again, we managed a couple of hours birding before torrential rainfall curtailed activity. It seemed that the very large aviary that had been under construction for at least a couple of years is nearing completion and the remaining open area had been closed off. In doing so wild birds had been trapped. We saw a few Bulbuls inside and a pair of BLUE-THROATED BARBET that were frantically trying to escape. We fear for whatever unfortunate captive birds are introduced and hope they do not end up in the conditions experienced by birds, particularly, the raptors, inside Islamabad zoo or in the poor state of the wing-clipped Demoiselle Cranes that wander listlessly around Lake View Park.
Interestingly, Dawn News ran an article about the Demoiselle Cranes recently or Koonj as they are known locally. It mentions that t…

Birding Before the Storm

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Today we returned to Lake View Park in the hope that we may witness migration involving passerines in the arboretum and waders moving through the marshy extremities of Rawal Lake. We were not disappointed. The first species noted was TREE PIPIT and there had been an arrival of about a dozen birds. They were typical of birds on passage, flighty but also spending time on the ground and in the tops of leafless trees. INDIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE was still in evidence but the numbers had reduced to about half the number we witnessed during our last visit, as had those of EURASIAN HOOPOE.


There were plenty of warblers but the only species present appeared to be GREENISH WARBLER. A pair of BLACK-RUMPED FLAMEBACK was nice to see and both birds were particularly vocal. A female ASIAN KOEL posed unusually and obligingly in a treetop, much more impressive than the male.
The most numerous passerine species by far was COMMON ROSEFINCH and a very large number of birds were passing through. It was difficu…