Monday, 12 April 1982

30 years ago: 9-12 April 1982, Kosi Barrage, Nepal


Friday 9th April 1982:  Kathmandu to Kosi Barrage, Nepal
Up at 04.15 and we got to the bus at 04:35 to find it a real heap, although it seemed surprisingly comfortable.  It left only five minutes late, at 05:05, but broke down on the edge of Kathmandu after we’d only been going for half an hour.  Everybody transferred to a second bus (conveniently following?) but we were a bit slow off the mark and didn’t get seats so ended up on the roof to Muglin, where the bus burst a tyre, and Bharatpur.  It was a bit cold on the roof, and doubtless very dangerous had we been in an accident, but it was quite good fun and not uncomfortable.  At Bharatpur we were forced inside for an hour, sitting on a small cane stool for the very bumpy (and spine jarring) section to Hetauda and beyond before we returned to the roof for the run along the Terai to Kosi.  We arrived there at 16:30 with my head really spinning, I had started the day with a slight headache which had got progressively worse.  We had time for a quick look around before dark and were rewarded with three Spot-billed Pelicans, a new bird for me.  We stayed at Narian’s home (one of the larger huts in the village).  He proudly showed us a photo of Steve Whitehouse who had stayed with him that winter.  I didn’t eat and slept really badly, it being very hot with all four of us under a single mosquito net.

Birds seen from bus:  Black Ibis 5, Lesser Adjutant 3, Woolly-necked Stork 1, Asian White-backed Vulture 1, Egyptian Vulture 2, Black Kite 10, Ring-necked Parakeet 50+, Barred Owlet 1, Alpine Swift 50, Indian Roller 10, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater 1, Hoopoe 1, Golden Oriole 1, Brown Shrike 3, Red-billed Blue Magpie 4, Crested Bunting 2.

Birds seen at Kosi included:  *Spot-billed Pelican 3, Indian Pond Heron 30, Little Egret 50, Yellow-billed Egret 10, Great White Egret 2, Bronze-winged Jacana 1, Great Black-headed Gull 6, Brown-headed Gull 20, Gull-billed Tern 20, Caspian Tern 1, River Tern 5, Black-bellied Tern 20, Little Tern 10, Pied Kingfisher 4, Black Redstart 1, Brown Shrike 1.

view from bus roof heading through the Terai towards Kosi
Saturday 10th April 1982:  Kosi Barrage, Nepal
I awoke with my headache seemingly no better.  We visited the scrubby area to SW of the barrage where we found a Bengal Florican and the Pink Tower to NW.   It was very hot in the sun despite my umbrella doubling as a parasol.  I had a lazy afternoon from 14:30 onwards, with head, which had moderated during the day, relapsing and as bad at night as had been the previous day - possibly mild sunstroke from sitting on the bus roof without a hat on?  I found the daal baht awful, although it only cost 3 rupees.  I slept reasonably well outside the net and was less bothered by mosquitoes than previously.

Birds seen included:  Little Grebe 8, Little Cormorant 20, Indian Pond Heron 40, Little Egret 100, Yellow-billed Egret 20, Grey Heron 2, Purple Heron 2, Woolly-necked Stork 2, Spoonbill 8, Lesser Whistling Duck 30, Ruddy Shelduck 20, Wigeon 50, Gadwall 30, Shoveler 50, Spot-billed Duck 25, Pintail 20, Garganey 300, Black-shouldered Kite 2, Osprey 1, Bronze-winged Jacana 15, *Bengal Florican 1 male, Little Pratincole 10, Little Ringed Plover 3, Red-wattled Lapwing 3, Little Stint 8, Temminck’s Stint 5, Greenshank 70, Common Sandpiper 2, Great Black-headed Gull 3, Gull-billed Tern 5, Caspian Tern 3, River Tern 4, Black-bellied Tern 30, Little Tern 15, Collared Dove 20, Greater Coucal 1, Short-eared Owl 1, White-breasted Kingfisher 2, Common Kingfisher 1, Pied Kingfisher 8, Blue-tailed Bee-eater 22, Little Green Bee-eater 5, Indian Roller 4, Rufous-winged Bush Lark 1, Indian Sand Lark 30, Paddyfield Pipit 15, Citrine Wagtail 2, White Wagtail 5, Bluethroat 7, Black Redstart 1, Stonechat 40, Zitting Cisticola 8, Graceful Prinia 15, Blyth’s Reed Warbler 15, Clamorous Reed Warbler 1, Greenish Warbler 2, Dusky Warbler 1, Striated Babbler 3, Brown Shrike 1, Asian Pied Starling 15, House Sparrow 40, Yellow-breasted Bunting 6.

Kosi fishermen

Little Egret at Kosi

Indian Roller at Kosi

Little Green Bee-eater at Kosi
Little Pratincole at Kosi

Sunday 11th April 1982:  Kosi Barrage, Nepal
I awoke with my headache virtually gone.  We returned to the scrub area to SW where we saw Hodgson’s Stonechat and Indian Courser in quick succession -  amazing.  Back into the village for drinks then along the Eastern Earth Dam (to S of village) where my stomach got really bad - too many bananas!  We ended the day at the Pink Tower, returning at dusk.  My stomach still feeling rough so I had no food despite feeling hungry.

Birds seen included:  Little Grebe 15, Great Crested Grebe 1, Little Cormorant 30, Spot-billed Pelican 3 (same), Indian Pond Heron 50, Cattle Egret 2, Little Egret 200, Yellow-billed Egret 10, Purple Heron 10, Asian Open-billed Stork 2, Lesser Adjutant 1, Oriental Ibis 12, Spoonbill 30, Lesser Whistling Duck 2000, Cotton Pigmy Goose 100, Wigeon 50, Gadwall 30, Shoveler 20, Spot-billed Duck 2, Pintail 10, Garganey 100, Red-crested Pochard 1 male, Pochard 30, Tufted Duck 12, Black Kite 30, Asian White-backed Vulture 5, Marsh Harrier 6, Steppe Eagle 1, Imperial Eagle 1, Osprey 2, Peasant-tailed Jacana 12, Bronze-winged Jacana 30, Bengal Florican 2 males, Moorhen 10, *Indian Courser 4, Little Pratincole 3, Pacific Golden Plover 1000, Red-wattled Lapwing 10, Curlew 5, Greenshank 40, Green Sandpiper 1, Great Black-headed Gull 1, Brown-headed Gull 10, Gull-billed Tern 5, Caspian Tern 3, River Tern 8, Black-bellied Tern 40, Little Tern 15, Greater Coucal 3, White-breasted Kingfisher 4, Common Kingfisher 2, Pied Kingfisher 10, Blue-tailed Bee-eater 20, Little Green Bee-eater 10, Indian Roller 6, Wryneck 1, Rufous-winged Bush Lark 2, Ashy-crowned Finch Lark 5, Brown-throated Sand Martin 100, Paddyfield Pipit c20, Richard’s Pipit 1+, Rosy Pipit 250, Yellow Wagtail 200, Citrine Wagtail 4, Large Pied Wagtail 2, Bluethroat 20, Black Redstart 1, Stonechat 20, *Hodgson’s Stonechat 2, Pied Stonechat 4, Zitting Cisticola 10, Blyth’s Reed Warbler 15, Clamorous Reed Warbler 2, Blyth’s Crowned Leaf Warbler 1, Greenish Warbler 6, Dusky Warbler 3, Tickell’s Warbler 1, Red-breasted Flycatcher 1, Striated Babbler 3, Common Myna 20, Bank Myna 6, Asian Pied Starling 10, Yellow-breasted Bunting 200.

Indian Courser at Kosi
an ambition bird for me, why do so many of the best birds have white legs?

Black Redstart at Kosi, an eastern race bird

fishermen at Kosi

Cotton Pigmy Goose at Kosi



Garganey at Kosi

Bronze-winged Jacana at Kosi

Pheasant-tailed Jacana at Kosi

Pheasant-tailed Jacana at Kosi

Indian Pond Heron ast Kosi

Blue-tailed Bee-eater at Kosi

 Monday 12th April 1982:  Kosi Barrage, Nepal
I awoke feeling OK, my stomach feeling almost normal and headache gone.  I went to the Pink Tower in the morning, returned to village for lunch and birded along to the yellow huts on NE side of barrage in the afternoon.  Here I discovered a big hole in the sole of my right shoe, my ‘pair’ for the trip - uncomfortable.  The last hour of daylight was spent along Eastern Earth Dam.  Back in our ‘hut’ I cut a foot-sized piece out of my karimat, seemed OK but I don’t know how it will stand up to trekking.

Birds seen included:  Little Grebe 10, Great Crested Grebe 1, Little Cormorant 30, Spot-billed Pelican 4 (the same 3 and a new one), Indian Pond Heron 30, Little Egret 50, Yellow-billed Egret 20, Purple Heron 10, Painted Stork 1, Asian Open-billed Stork 6, Woolly-necked Stork 6, Oriental Ibis 1, Spoonbill 25, Lesser Whistling Duck 150, Ruddy Shelduck 100, Cotton Pigmy Goose 10, Wigeon 50, Gadwall 50, Shoveler 50, Spot-billed Duck 2, Pintail 30, Garganey 20, Pochard 15, Tufted Duck 20, Brahminy Kite 2, Pied Harrier 3, Hen Harrier 1, Osprey 1, Peasant-tailed Jacana 1, Bronze-winged Jacana 30, Little Pratincole 2, Pacific Golden Plover 100, Red-wattled Lapwing 10, Temminck’s Stint 1, Greenshank 40, Green Sandpiper 1, Wood Sandpiper 3, Great Black-headed Gull 2, Brown-headed Gull 10, Gull-billed Tern 6, Caspian Tern 3, River Tern 10, Black-bellied Tern 20, Little Tern 20, Whiskered Tern 1, Greater Coucal 2, White-breasted Kingfisher 4, Common Kingfisher 1, Pied Kingfisher 8, Blue-tailed Bee-eater 20, Little Green Bee-eater 6, Indian Roller 6, Rufous-winged Bush Lark 5, Swallow 100, Paddyfield Pipit 10, Rosy Pipit 20, Citrine Wagtail 6, Red-vented Bulbul 15, Bluethroat 15, Stonechat 20, Pied Stonechat 4, Indian Prinia 2, Yellow-bellied Prinia 1, Blyth’s Reed Warbler 5, Clamorous Reed Warbler 5, Greenish Warbler 1, Dusky Warbler 10, Striated Babbler 2, Streaked Weaver 4, Black-throated Weaver 75, Yellow-breasted Bunting 250.

Brown-headed Gull on the barrage at Kosi

Little Egret on the barrage at Kosi

Black-shouldered Kite at Kosi

Plain Tiger at Kosi, unfortunately we saw no bigger tigers than this on our trip

2 of about 250 wintering Yellow-breasted Buntings at Kosi

Bluethroat at Kosi

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