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Showing posts from June, 2013

A Sand Plover Headache at Rawal Lake

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Late on Friday 21 June 2013 I received a message from HGS (who from this day forth will be known as “Sand Plover Man”). It said that he had paid a quick evening visit to the Eastern shoreline of Rawal Lake and found another Sand Plover sp. Any thoughts of a birding lull lie-in the following morning were quickly dispelled. At 0445 hours on Saturday 22 June, I collected SvZ and we were off. That is until we reached a police checkpoint on the outskirts of the city. Trying to explain to the AK47-brandishing police constable that we were on a twitch didn’t quite do it. The police sergeant was summoned. Fortunately, the sergeant understood the significance of a Sand Plover sp turning up at this time of year in Islamabad and he allowed us on our way!
We arrived at the shoreline just as the sun was appearing and we stopped near a pool of water that had been left isolated by the receding water level. It was teeming with small fish and this fact had not been lost of on the large numbers of avi…

Small Pratincoles at Rawal Lake

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Another early start and the dawn of Saturday 8 June 2013 found us again at the eastern shoreline of Rawal Lake on the off chance of a late passage migrant wader. Immediately, we noticed four birds in flight that possessed distinctive black, white and sandy wing patterns and white rumps wit

New Birds in Ayubia National Park

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On Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd June 2013 we stayed in Ayubia, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We were out at 0500 hours on the wooded slopes and there were huge numbers of birds in the area. The dawn chorus had commenced with BLUE WHISTLING THRUSH singing before dawn. The familiar call of COMMON CUCKOO rang out over the valley with at least three calling males. On the lawn of our motel RUSSET SPARROW searched for insects. The males were very colourful in the early morning light.
There were literally hundreds of SPOT-WINGED TIT feverishly feeding fledged young on small green caterpillars. The activity was frenetic and non-stop. Some authorities believe that Spot-winged Tit is conspecific with Coal Tit whereas others have split the two into separate species. We also managed to pick out a few of the larger RUFOUS-NAPED TIT but they remained higher in the pines. Woodpeckers were going to figure in this alpine woodland at an altitude of around 8,500 feet above sea level. The first we saw were SCALY-B…