Saturday 31 July 1982

ASIA 1982: Trip highlights

It is hard to pick highlights from a long trip in which I saw about 870 species but the following that I managed to photograph were amongst them:

4 February: Colin Winyard, me and Steve Gantlett rafting for finfoots at Taman Negara, unsuccessfully but great fun (photo taken by Dave Mills)
10 February: Hooded Pitta in 'the ravine' at Taman Negara, I saw six new pittas on the trip
18 February: Lanceolated Warbler in Thailand, one of many wintering 'Sibes' seen
18 March: Guldenstadt's Redstart on the Jomson Trek, perhaps the most striking of the 10 redstart species seen
18 March (again): Wallcreeper on the Jomson Trek, an all time favourite of mine
4 April: White's Thrush in the Kathmandu Valley, the commonest of 8 species of Zoothera seen
11 April: Indian Courser at Kosi Barrage
22 April: Thyangboche Monastery, Everest Trek, the most atmospheric place I've been
23 April: Impeyan Pheasant on the Everest Trek, along with Satyr Tragopan this was the most spectacular pheasant we saw
24 April: Tibetan Snowcock on the Everest Trek, we also saw Himalayan in Ladakh
25 April: Rufous-breasted Accentor on the Everest Trek.  Nepal is perhaps the place to see a variety of accentors
26 April: Chomolongma (Earth Mother), Mount Everest to us in the west
27 April: Blood Pheasant on the Everest Trek
3 May: Pied Ground Thrush on the Everest walk-out
11 May: Nepal Cutia near Kathmandu
14 May: Indian Pitta at Chitwan, the only pitta I've got an identifiable photograph of
23 May: Ibisbill at the top of the Langtang Trek
29 May: Snow Partridge at Gosainkund
29 May: Nick Preston, me and Dave Mills at Gosainkund
29 May (again): Grandala at Gosainkund
29 May (a very good day!): Gould's Shortwing near Gosainkund, a poor photo of a stunning species
30 May: very remote country near Gosainkund, and our 'accommodation'
15 June: White-cheeked Nuthatch near Manali
24 June: Tikse Monastery, Ladakh from afar
30 June: Hemis festival about to begin
4 July: Lesser Sandplover breeding in Zanskar
4 July (again): Great Rosefinch in Zanskar
14 July: Orange Bullfinch in Kashmir, another photo that doesn't do the species justice

[blogged January-July 2012]

Sunday 25 July 1982

30 years ago: 21-25 July 1982, Srinagar to Delhi and journey home

Wednesday 21st July 1982:  Srinagar to Jammu
The journey home begins.  We were up at 06:00 with breakfast on houseboat at 06:20.  Dave was better, but sensibly not eating.  We got to bus station just before 07:00 for a 07:30 departure which left at 07:55, quite an achievement for Jammu and Kashmir buses, but it was not to last.  We had a brief halt for tea and again at a tunnel, then an horrendous traffic jam/roadworks which held us up from 12:15 to 16:00 during which time we covered less than 10 kms!  This effectively blew our chance of connecting with the Delhi train we’d been at great pains to book, however to keep us on a knife edge we then made very good time until a ‘lunch’ break at 17:30 and 90 minutes after that a 20 minute tea stop, within 50 kms of Jammu.  By now it was well past the 19:00 arrival time we had been told at Srinagar (more fool us for believing it!).  We were also told in Srinagar that the bus went to Jammu Railway Station but it didn’t, along with our last chance of catching the train.  We arrived in Jammu at 22:25 but it took 35 minutes to get the gear off the bus and cross town to the station, where we missed the train by 20 minutes.  What a day.  We crashed out on the railway platform but it was too hot for a sleeping bag, although I was in mine most of the time for protection against insects.

Birds seen from bus included:  Black Kite 10, Egyptian Vulture 15, Asian White-backed Vulture 4, Collared Dove 5, Rufous Turtle Dove 1, Spotted Dove 3, Jacobin Cuckoo 1, Common Kingfisher 2, Hoopoe 4, Swallow 50, Red-rumped Swallow 2, White-cheeked Bulbul 6, Magpie Robin 1, Tickell’s Thrush 3, Long-tailed Shrike 5, Rose-coloured Starling 1 juvenile, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch 1, White-capped Bunting 3 in flight only, Rock Bunting 1, Crested Bunting 1.

Thursday 22nd July 1982:  Jammu to Pathankot
Unsurprisingly I slept poorly and dawn, at 05:00, was welcome, although with the prospect of a 12 hour wait before the next Delhi train wasn’t and a long lie in would have been preferable.  Fortunately we got reservations on the train without difficulty - the three days we spent parts of going to the Northern Railways Office in Srinagar turned out to be a complete waste of time.  We had to buy new tickets although were told we could obtain a refund on yesterday’s when we get to Delhi.  I bought a book from the local newsagents and had read over half of it when the train finally arrived.  It was a very comfortable journey, although quite hot, and I got a reasonable amount of sleep.

Birds seen from train included:  Indian Pond Heron 5, Black-shouldered Kite 2, Asian White-backed Vulture 10, Red-wattled Lapwing 6, Collared Dove 20, Red Turtle Dove 4, Spotted Dove 10, Jacobin Cuckoo 1, Little Swift 6, White-breasted Kingfisher 1, Little Green Bee-eater 10, Stonechat 8, Jungle Babbler 6, Long-tailed Shrike 5, Bank Myna 20, Crested Bunting 1.

Friday 23rd July 1982:  Delhi
The train arrived in Delhi at 05:00.  We stayed at Delhi Station, partly in the restaurant, until 07:30 when got a rickshaw into Connault Circus and Hotel Bright.  We checked in and retrieved the gear we’d left there in June before touring the book shops and milk bars.  I bought a few books and presents to take home then sat around in the room for rest of the day too tired to do much else.

Birds seen in central Delhi included:  Black Kite 5, Asian White-backed Vulture 5, Indian House Crow 5, Common Myna 5.

Saturday 24th July 1982:  Delhi/Yamuna Bund
We were up soon after 06:30 after a good nights sleep, although it was very hot.  We went out to Yamuna Bund, arriving at 07:10 for some pleasant birding before it got too hot although were soon wishing we’d been there at dawn.  By 08:50 there was little bird activity and we returned.  I wandered around emporiums for most of the rest of the day, buying a few more presents.  We got the Ex-servicemen’s bus to Delhi Airport at 21:00 (for 8 rupees).  After buying presents I will only have about £4 of rupees to change back.

Birds recorded included:  Indian Shag 3, Little Cormorant 40, Indian Pond Heron 10, Yellow-billed Egret 2, Purple Heron 4, Painted Stork 15, Spot-billed Duck 10, Black Kite 10, Egyptian Vulture 10, Black Francolin h, Pheasant-tailed Jacana 1, Black-winged Stilt 20, Red-wattled Lapwing 10, Ruff 15, Gull-billed Tern 5, River Tern 15, Black-billed Tern 2, Little Tern 20, Ring-necked Parakeet 15, Ashy-crowned Finch Lark 3, Small Skylark 5, Paddyfeld Pipit 2, Ashy Prinia 2, Graceful Prinia 3, Zitting Cisticola 4, Common Babbler 3, Striated Babbler 4, Jungle Babbler 2, Purple Sunbird 1, Brahminy Starling 3, Asian Pied Starling 5, Bank Myna 20, Black-throated Weaver 2, Avadavat 4, Indian Silverbill 4.

locusts at Yamuna Bund
Indian Silverbill looking away at the critical moment, Yamuna Bund

Sunday 25th July 1982:  Delhi to Brighton
Soon after midnight we crashed out on the airport floor and I got a fair amount of sleep until 04:30 when we started the check in procedure for our Ariana Afghan flight to London via Kabul and Moscow.  Customs, immigration and security all went smothly and we were on the plane at 05:45.  We took off at 06:45, 1 hour 55 minutes to Kabul flying at 31,000 ft.  Cloudy.  Landed in Kabul at 07:55 but did not take off for Moscow until 13:15, over 4 hours late, most of the time we stayed on the plane.  The delay was apparently due to the non-arrival of joining passengers.  Flight time to Moscow was 4 hours 40 minutes and we touched down at 16:55 for an hour stop.  Left Moscow at 18:00 for 3 hours 20 minute flight to Frankfurt.  The area around Moscow very flat and green with some parts heavily forested.  I wondered how close the nearest Azure Tit might be.  We landed in Frankfurt at 18:45, sooner than anticipated, and left at 20:05, landing at London Heathrow at 20:00.  Through immigration, collected bag, customs, phoned home, said goodbye to Dave and Nick and I was on a tube into Victoria (£1) by 20:55.  I arrived at Victoria at 21:45 bought a ticket to Brighton (£2.50 with student railcard which I still had) and caught 22:06 train, 10 minutes walk up from Brighton Station and I was home at 23:30.  After nearly six and a half months away it is great to be back.  Not so good to find that I had just missed a Lesser Grey Shrike at Beachy!

Birds seen at Delhi Airport:  Indian House Crow 5, Bank Myna 8.
Birds seen at Kabul Airport:  Hoopoe 1, Swallow 1, Long-tailed Shrike 1, House Sparrow 10.
Birds seen at Moscow Airport:  Kestrel 3, Hooded Crow 8.

Over the Hindu Kush
Landing at Kabul, MIGs by the runway
leaving Kabul
approaching Moscow
Moscow suburbs

These postings reflect a personal account of the trip, almost entirely based on diary entries I made at the time, filled in with some sometimes dodgy memories (especially as to precisely where and when some of the accompanying photos were taken).   The trip cost £1300 in total and was certainly budget-conscious, it had to be for us to be away for as long as we were.  During the 28 weeks away I saw about 870 species of which over 170 were new.    

Looking back I’m disappointed at the amount of time not spent birding (perhaps inevitable on a long trip) and that food and health issues seem to feature more than the magnificent scenery or the brilliant birds.  Those were rather taken for granted as was the help given to somewhat obsessive and impatient foreign visitors by generally very friendly locals.  

The contributions of my companions and the other birders we met made the trip especially memorable for me.  In this respect I’d like to thank Steve Gantlett and in particular Colin Winyard, Dave Mills & Nick Preston for being such good travelling companions.  Without Colin & Dave the trip wouldn’t have got started, without Nick it would have finished for me a lot sooner than it did.

Tuesday 20 July 1982

30 years ago: 16-20 July 1982 Gulmarg & Srinagar

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.

Birds 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.

Birds 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

more flowers

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.

Birds 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.

Birds 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, Goldfinch 4.

view over Dal Lake from Shanharacharya Hill

houseboat land

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 our enthusiasms.

Birds 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.

Thursday 15 July 1982

30 years ago: 11-15 July 1982 Lidderwat & Srinagar

Sunday 11th July 1982:  Srinagar to Pahalgam and Aru (7 miles), Kashmir
Dave and I have been away 6 months today.  We returned to railway office immediately after breakfast to find it is closed on Sundays, should have realised that yesterday!  We left some stuff at the houseboat as we are going way for a few days on the Lolahoi Glacier trek.  We got to the bus station just as 10:15 to Pahalgam left, but got seats on 11:15.  It was a boring ride, the seats soon became hard and the window wouldn’t stay open!  We arrived at 15:15 and soon were on our way to Aru.  A pleasant walk along a road/track following quite close to the river at times.  As usual my rucksack feels unnecessarily heavy - I should have left a few more things with our houseboat proprietor.  We reached the Traveller’s Lodge in Aru at 18:45 and got a room (with no beds) for 10 rupees.  I had a bad night’s sleep due to a sore throat.

Birds recorded included:  Night Heron 5, Black Kite 100, Common Buzzard 1, Hobby 1, Rufous Turtle Dove 4, Swift 30, European Roller 1, Hoopoe 4, Himalayan Pied Woodpecker 1, Indian Blue Robin h, Plumbeous Redstart 6, Grey Bushchat 6, Blue-headed Rock Thrush 1, Blue Whistling Thrush 8, Tickell’s Thrush 1, Western Crowned Leaf Warbler 5, Slender-billed Leaf Warbler 2, Siberian Flycatcher 10, *Kashmir Red-breasted Flycatcher 1 female, Streaked Laughingthrush 6, Great Tit 5, Golden Oriole 1, Long-tailed Shrike 3, Russet Sparrow 15, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch 10, Rock Bunting 2.

leaving Pahalgam

view of the river from the track to Aru

approaching Aru
Monday 12th July 1982:  Aru to Lidderwat (6 miles), Kashmir
Cornflakes for breakfast!  We started walking slowly towards Lidderwat at 07:45.  The Pines thined out a bit, but little scrub, although six male Indian Blue Robins were excellent.  We arrived at the Traveller’s Lodge (another one) at 12:30.  I dozed off after a rice lunch to be woken at 15:30 by Nick kicking me to say he’d found Orange Bullfinch.  15 minutes later, after a stiff climb uphill, it was on my list - really good.  We returned to the lodge at 19:00 for food and crashed out soon after.

Birds recorded included:  Himalayan Griffon Vulture 8, Common Buzzard 2, Kestrel 2, Rufous Turtle Dove 8, Citrine Wagtail 1, Grey Wagtail 2, Black-backed Wagtail 4, Brown Dipper 1, Wren 2, Long-tailed Minivet 2, Indian Blue Robin 6 males, Red-flanked Bluetail 2, Plumbeous Redstart 4, White-bellied Redstart 1 male, Stonechat 4, River Chat 4, Blue Whistling Thrush 8, Western Crowned Leaf Warbler 20, Lemon-rumped Warbler 2, Brook’s Leaf Warbler 1, Hume’s Leaf Warbler 4, Large-billed Leaf Warbler h, Siberian Flycatcher 5, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher 3, Slaty-blue Flycatcher 4, Ultramarine Flycatcher 2, Kashmir Red-breasted Flycatcher 1 male, Simla Black Tit 4, Spot-winged Black Tit 1, *Kashmir Nuthatch 6, Himalayan Treecreeper 6, Alpine Chough 40, Chough 2, Large-billed Crow 10, Russet Sparrow 15, Red-browed Finch h, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch 4, Hodgson’s Mountain Finch 50, Scarlet Rosefinch 4, Pink-browed Rosefinch 1, *Orange Bullfinch 5, Rock Bunting 12.

meadows near Aru

Indian Blue Robin habitat near Aru

Indian Blue Robin near Aru

approaching Lidderwat
Tuesday 13th July 1982:  Lidderwat/Kolahoi (12 miles), Kashmir
We left Lidderwat at 07:45 and walked up towards the Kolahoi Glacier.  It was a pretty unimpressive walk in a deep U shaped valley and seemed a bit hard going, possibly due to a deceptive gradient.  We got fed up with the walk soon after 12:00, rainfall not helping, and turned around, arriving back at the lodge in Lidderwat at 16:15.  We stayed inside for the rest of day.  We had an excellent meal of rice, daal and vegetables, the latter including runner beans.

Birds recorded included:  Lammergeyer 3, Himalayan Griffon Vulture 6, Common Buzzard 1, Kestrel 2, Rufous Turtle Dove 5, Swift 2, Hoopoe 1, Cuckoo h, Himalayan Pied Woodpecker 1, House Martin 4, Rosy Pipit 2, Citrine Wagtail 6, Grey Wagtail 15, Black-backed Wagtail 1, Dipper 2, Rufous-breasted Accentor 1, White-cheeked Bulbul 8, Plumbeous Redstart 15, White-bellied Redstart 1 male, River Chat 8, Blue Rock Thrush 3, Blue Whistling Thrush 10, Western Crowned Leaf Warbler 10, Lemon-rumped Warbler 1, Siberian Flycatcher 5, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher 1, Spot-winged Black Tit 1, Himalayan Treecreeper 1, Nutcracker 1, Chough 30, Large-billed Crow 10, Russet Sparrow 10, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch 10, Goldfinch 10, Hodgson’s Mountain Finch 50, Scarlet Rosefinch 2, Orange Bullfinch 2, Rock Bunting 5.

trail near Lidderwat
River Chat near Lidderwat
approaching Kolahoi Glacier
almost there but deteriorating weather ...
... and few birds caused us to turn back

Wednesday 14th July 1982:  Lidderwat to Aru (13 miles) and Srinagar
Usual 07:45 start when slowly walked down to Aru for lunch, then on to Pahalgam, arriving there at 16:00.  We caught the 17:25 bus to Srinagar, arriving at 20:15.  Back to the Houseboat Light and our usual room.  Quite a tiring day and glad the bus ride was reasonably fast (2 hours 45 compared to 4 hours on way out).  We have 10 days to get back to Delhi and with Gulmarg basically the only place left to visit I am beginning to feel that we are mainly killing time.  As going home gets closer I’m certainly thinking more about it.

Birds recorded included:  Black Kite 2, Lammergeyer 3, Himalayan Griffon Vulture 8, Common Buzzard 2, Kestrel 1, Common Sandpiper 1, Whiskered Tern 8, Collared Dove 50, Rufous Turtle Dove 5, White-breasted Kingfisher 1, Common Kingfisher 3, Hoopoe 4, Cuckoo h, Himalayan Pied Woodpecker 4, Citrine Wagtail 1, Grey Wagtail 6, Black-backed Wagtail 3, Brown Dipper 2, Wren 1, Long-tailed Minivet 1, White-cheeked Bulbul 5, Indian Blue Robin 4, Plumbeous Redstart 14, White-bellied Redstart 1 female, Stonechat 2, Grey Bushchat 4, River Chat 4, Blue-headed Rock Thrush 1, Blue Whistling Thrush 23, Tickell’s Thrush 6, Western Crowned Leaf Warbler 10, Slender-billed Leaf Warbler 1, Lemon-rumped Warbler 2, Large-billed Leaf Warbler h, Siberian Flycatcher 8, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher 4, Slaty-blue Flycatcher 1, Kashmir Red-breasted Flycatcher 5, Streaked Laughingthrush 2, Simla Black Tit 3, Great Tit 1, Green-backed Tit 2, Himalayan Treecreeper 1, Long-tailed Shrike 13, Alpine Chough 10, Jackdaw 20, Large-billed Crow 10, Indian House Crow 10, Starling 30, Common Myna 40, House Sparrow 250, Russet Sparrow 60, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch 10, Goldfinch 3, Orange Bullfinch 2, Rock Bunting 8.

Russet Sparrow near Lidderwat

Orange Bullfinch at Lidderwat, taken in poor light - they were much brighter than this
Thursday 15th July 1982:  Srinagar, Kashmir
Breakfast on the houseboat as usual, then showered and lazed around writing up countries on my trip list.  At 11:30 left to book train tickets from Jammu to Delhi.  The office was open, but it took an hour of queuing before we got tickets.  I returned via the Post Office where I posted a letter and found one from home, filed under R!  My slides, returned to UK by Carol Inskipp, seemed to have come out OK which was a relief.  Quiet afternoon.

Birds seen included:  Night Heron 25, Little Egret 30, Black Kite 30, Common Kingfisher 2, Pied Kingfisher 1, White-cheeked Bulbul 5, Tickell’s Thrush 2, Great Tit 2.

juvenile Swallow at Srinagar