Friday 16th July
1982: Srinagar to Gulmarg, Kashmir
We got a bus to Tangmarg (2.65 rupees) at 10:00, arriving at
12:00. There we transferred straight
onto a minibus for the half hour run up to Gulmarg (5 rupees). We got a room (smoky when the fire was on)
for 15 rupees in the New Punjabi Hotel. We
spent the afternoon wandering around the edge of Gulmarg meadow and along the
road through some conifers seeing lots of birds. Good food in the hotel but I felt pretty
rough at night, another ‘sleep on the floor’ job.
seen included: Black Kite 20, Himalayan
Griffon Vulture 1, Whiskered Tern 12, Rufous Turtle Dove 1, Common Kingfisher
16, Hoopoe 4, Himalayan Pied Woodpecker 3, Citrine Wagtail 2, Wren 1, Long-tailed
Minivet 2, Indian Blue Robin 1 male, Red-flanked Bluetail 1, Tickell’s
Thrush 1, Chestnut Thrush 1, Western Crowned Leaf Warbler 10, Slender-billed
Leaf Warbler 8, Lemon-rumped Warbler 4, Siberian Flycatcher 1, Rufous-tailed
Flycatcher 2, Slaty-blue Flycatcher 4, Ultramarine Flycatcher 1, Streaked
Laughingthrush 4, Simla Black Tit 5, Spot-winged Black Tit 8, White-cheeked
Nuthatch 3, Himalayan Treecreeper 3, Long-tailed Shrike 5, Russet Sparrow 15,
Yellow-breasted Greenfinch 2, Black and Yellow Grosbeak 3.
Saturday 17th July
1982: Gulmarg, Kashmir
I woke up feeling unwell.
After an early morning look for Nanga Parbat (cloudy so we dipped) I
felt much the same and so only had porridge for breakfast. We left the hotel at 07:30 to climb up to the
high birch scrub. It took over three
hours and was steep in places but we saw some nice birds on the way up. We saw little on top when we got there although
Nanga Parbat was visible above the haze.
We returned through the forest stopping off to study 3 owls which turned
out to be the large biddolphi race of
Tawny. We returned to the hotel at 18:30
via the mountain lookout but Nanga Parbat was hidden by haze again.
seen included: Black Kite 5, Lammergeyer
2, Himalayan Griffon Vulture 4, Common Buzzard 2, Rufous Turtle Dove 10, Tawny
Owl 1 adult and 2 juveniles, Hoopoe 4, Himalayan Pied Woodpecker 3, Citrine
Wagtail 1, Wren 2, Rufous-breasted Accentor 4, Long-tailed Minivet 3, Indian
Blue Robin 4, Red-flanked Bluetail 4, White-bellied Redstart 1, Blue-headed
Rock Thrush 1, Blue Whistling Thrush 1, Western Crowned Leaf Warbler 15,
Slender-billed Leaf Warbler 12, Lemon-rumped Warbler 15, Siberian Flycatcher 3,
Rufous-tailed Flycatcher 4, Slaty-blue Flycatcher 4, Fire-capped Tit 8, Simla
Black Tit 8, Spot-winged Black Tit 10, White-cheeked Nuthatch 3, Himalayan
Treecreeper 3, Nutcracker 2, Russet Sparrow 30, Red-browed Finch 2,
Yellow-breasted Greenfinch 2, Scarlet Rosefinch 2, Pink-browed Rosefinch 2,
Black and Yellow Grosbeak 10, Rock Bunting 1.
|looking down on Gulmarg (in middle distance)|
|further above Gulmarg|
|meadows above Gulmarg|
|flowers at Gulmarg|
|juvenile Tawny Owl above Gulmarg, asleep|
Sunday 18th July
1982: Gulmarg to Srinagar, Kashmir
I had a beter night and seem to be back to normal. We had a quick look in the nearby forest
after breakfast then at 10:30 got the minibus to Tangmarg. It actually picked us up as we were walking
to the bus stop. The minibus took half
an hour, then just a ten minute wait for the Srinagar bus which took just over
90 minutes. We were back at Houseboat
Light at 13:20. Visited the usual
bakery, a chemists (where I got some very effective cream following the discovery
of lice, perhaps the only unpleasant consequence of our visit to Ladakh) and
restaurant in the evening.
seen included: Night Heron 3, Black Kite
20, Himalayan Griffon Vulture 3, Collared Dove 50, Whiskered Tern 7,
White-breasted Kingfisher 1, Common Kingfisher 24, Pied Kingfisher 1,
European Roller 1, Hoopoe 6, Swallow 50, Citrine Wagtail 1, Long-tailed Minivet
h, Indian Blue Robin 1, Tickell’s Thrush 8, Slender-billed Leaf Warbler 3,
Lemon-rumped Warbler 4, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher 2, Slaty-blue Flycatcher 2,
Spot-winged Black Tit 1, White-cheeked Nuthatch h, Long-tailed Shrike 10,
Russet Sparrow 2, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch 1.
Monday 19th July
1982: Shanharacharya Hill, Srinagar, Kashmir
Breakfast on houseboat where I discovered that I’d lost my
cagoule, presumably left at Gulmarg.
Really annoying to lose it this close to the end of the trip but at
least I shouldn’t need it any more as basically all that is left to do now is
travel home. Nick and I climbed up the
hill opposite the houseboat. It was cloudy
and quite cool, although the weather was fairly close while we were climbing
up. Views from the top were not up to
much as the air was not clear and few birds were seen. It was sunny and hot on the way down. We visited the bakery for lunch and I bought 500g of apples for 2
rupees. Sat on the houseboat all
afternoon. Usual meal in the
evening. Back to houseboat to read but
ended up as mosquito food. A very hot
night and mosquitoes especially bad.
seen included: Night Heron 6, Black Kite
30, Egyptian Vulture 3, Rock Dove 2, Common Kingfisher 2, Pied Kingfisher 1,
White-cheeked Bulbul 4, Stonechat 4, Tickell’s Thrush 3, Western Crowned Leaf
Warbler 1, Hume’s Lesser Whitethroat 1, Kashmir Red-breasted Flycatcher
1, Asian Paradise Flycatcher 2, Streaked Laughingthrush 4, Great Tit 2,
|view over Dal Lake from Shanharacharya Hill|
|view over Srinagar|
Tuesday 20th July
1982: Srinagar, Kashmir
A lazy morning.
Breakfast then listened to tapes and watched kingfishers from houseboat
until 11:00 when the power went off.
Read for a bit until lunch and then went to the Post Office where met
Rod Martins. Afternoon and evening with
Rod and Craig Robson (James Wolstencroft was still in Leh). Had a late night but mosquitoes not as bad as
yesterday. Dave quite badly ill all day,
probably a result of absolute overdosing on apple juices the previous day (30+)
which didn’t engender a great deal of sympathy from us! Rod and Craig had seen much the same as us
although they’d got out to a lake near Srinagar and seen lots of Little
Bitterns which would have been a nice way to finish our trip. Sadly we now have no time left to do this. The time away is definitely telling on all of
seen included: Night Heron 30, Little
Egret 20, Black Kite 30, Common Kingfisher 3, White-cheeked Bulbul 5,
Tickell’s Thrush 8, Streaked Laughingthrush 2.