Friday 12th March 1982: Kalopani to Marpha (10 miles), Jomson Trek,
Left Kalopani at 08:00. An excellent day, though cool until we passed the ‘bottle neck’ where the Kali Gandaki valley opens out. Here we met a Swede who had been at Taman Negara. We crossed to east of the Thak Khola soon after Kalopani and back to west again at Larjung (8400 ft) where there were good fields and we saw our first Brown Accentor. We stopped at Tukche for lunch (excellent apple bread and jam at Sunkil Lodge) then slowly continued on to Marpha. An easy day's walking as pretty much flat. Really into dry Tibetan plateau habitat now, having left conifers behind. We arrived in Marpha (8800 ft) at 16:00 and left our bags in the New Dhulagiri Lodge before spending the remaining daylight birding the fields there. The ‘stubble’ type grassy ones were good for Pine Buntings and a female Yellowhammer was also present too, a species Dave had added to the Nepali list with Nick Preston on their previous visit. A long wait for food when we got back to the lodge and vegetables were a bit spicy but pleasantly the daal was not.
Birds seen: Goosander 2, Black Kite 3, Lammergeyer 1, Himalayan Griffon Vulture 10, Sparrowhawk 1, Ruddy Shelduck 1, Common Sandpiper 1, Rock Dove 30, Chukar 10, Fork-tailed Swift 25, Darjeeling Pied Woodpecker 1, Crag Martin 3, Rosy Pipit 2, Grey Wagtail 10, Pied Wagtail 10, Wren 2, Brown Accentor 20, Robin Accentor 1, Blue-headed Redstart 10, Hodgson’s Redstart 2, Blue-fronted Redstart 2, White-throated Redstart 20, Plumbeous Redstart 1, Stonechat 2, Red-throated Thrush 20, Black-throated Thrush 1, Stoliczka’s Tit Warbler 2, Streaked Laughingthrush 1, Variegated Laughingthrush 5, White-browed Fulvetta 1, Red-headed Tit 2, Green-backed Tit 8, Wallcreeper 3, Brown Shrike 1, Grey-backed Shrike 1, Alpine Chough 20, Chough 3, Large-billed Crow 10, Raven 2, Tree Sparrow 30, Russet Sparrow 5, Beautiful Rosefinch 15, Eastern Great Rosefinch 10, White-winged Grosbeak 20, Pine Bunting 75, Yellowhammer 1 female, Rock Bunting 10+.
|the trail north to Tukche|
|following the Thak Khola north, here the gravel plain is at one of its widest points|
|Goosanders on the Thak Khola, no scaly sides unfortunately|
|me by Thak Khola, north of Kalopani looking south|
|White-winged Grosbeak at Tukche|
|Brown Accentor on route to Marpha|
|very much smarter than depicted in Flemming's Birds of Nepal, as a result Brown Accentor took me a while to identify on my previous visit to Jomson|
|Robin Accentor at Marpha|
|Rock Buntings at Marpha|
|Pine Buntings at Marpha|