Monday 22nd March 1982: Ghasa and second hill opposite (7 miles)
I climbed up the second hill, starting at 08:00, and following my instincts by turning right at the S end of the village and going around the fields. Through secondary forest then more fields before dropping down to cross a ravine separating the hills. I then found a good trail to the base of a cliff then pushed up through bamboo to rhododendron forest and a clearing seeing many Koklas Pheasants in the process. I continued up into snow and then across to an area of dead trees hoping for Impeyan Pheasant but no luck. There was a hail and thunder storm while I was in the area of dead trees which made me feel a bit exposed and at 14:00 I decided to return. I worked my way lower, re-entered the rhododendrons below the snow line and found my way to the clearing. I then found a trail down through the trees on the northern side, crossing the ravine higher up. I slowly contoured down the open hillside (the south face of the first hill) and back along the usual trail returning to the lodge at 16:45. A satisfying day with lots of birds seen despite no Impeyans. Corn bread infinitely better than chapatis!
Birds recorded: Lammergeyer 1, Himalayan Griffon Vulture 6, Golden Eagle 1, Koklas Pheasant 13, Spotted Dove 2, Collared Pigmy Owl h, Scaly-bellied Green Woodpecker 1, Darjeeling Pied Woodpecker 3, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker 1, Olive-backed Pipit 15, Grey Wagtail 1, Long-tailed Minivet 10, White-cheeked Bulbul 1, Black Bulbul 10, Maroon-backed Accentor 2, Rufous-breasted Accentor 10, Blue-headed Redstart 4, Blue-fronted Redstart 4, White-throated Redstart 2, Grey Bushchat 15, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush 2, Blue Whistling Thrush 3, Plain-backed Mountain Thrush 1, White’s Thrush 1, White-collared Blackbird 2, Grey-winged Blackbird 2, Grey-hooded Warbler 8, Blyth’s Crowned Leaf Warbler 2, Ashy-throated Leaf Warbler 1, Orange-barred Leaf Warbler 1, Hume’s Leaf Warbler 1, Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher 3, Grey-headed Flycatcher 10, Yellow-bellied Fantail 1, Streaked Laughingthrush 1, Variegated Laughingthrush 15, Black-faced Laughingthrush 4, Red-headed Laughingthrush 2, Green Shrike Babbler 2, Black-capped Sibia 10, Stripe-throated Yuhina 4, White-browed Fulvetta 1, Grey-crested Tit 3, Black-crested Tit 6, Green-backed Tit 5, White-tailed Nuthatch 8, Stoliczka’s Treecreeper 1, Green-tailed Sunbird 4, Fire-tailed Sunbird 10, Oriental White-eye 3, Long-tailed Shrike 1, Gold-billed Blue Magpie 3, Large-billed Crow 4, Russet Sparrow 3, Dark-breasted Rosefinch 1, Beautiful Rosefinch 15, Red-headed Bullfinch 4, Rock Bunting 2.
|descending to Ghasa in poor weather