We were up soon after 06:00, breakfasted and walking by 07:45. Great to be trekking again even though it was less than three years since I'd been on the Jomson Trek and Dave had done it with Nick Preston even more recently. One of my main motivations for revisiting the area was to get some bird photos as previously I'd been overly weight conscious and not taken a telephoto lens. Also there were some birds I was still hoping to see, plus it was a fantastic experience (birds/views/people). Perhaps because of my keeness to get innto the foothills it seemed to take ages to get out of Pokhara (2900 ft) and the endless Tibetan Camp. We then walked over very dry birdless paddyfields to the river, the Mardi Khola. The climb up to Naudanda (4800 ft) was thankfully not as steep as I remembered. We had lunch in a lodge at the end of Naudanda and after continuing for about half an hour met Craig Robson, Graham Speight, Mick Turton and Mike Parr coming the other way down the trailon their way back from Jomson. We spent two and a half hours exchanging information and opinions. They’d seen lots of Red-browed Finches which was excellent news as it was something we were very much hoping for. It then took longer than expected walk to Chandrakot (5100 ft) with the last part rather a rush. We saw very few birds, the very open forest after Lumle being best. We stayed in Buddha Lodge at Chandrakot where met two ex-RAF bods from Oman and an ex-pat trainee doctor working in Papua New Guinea.
Birds seen: Little Egret 3, Black Kite 15, Lammergeyer 3, Egyptian Vulture 10, Griffon Vulture 2, Himalayan Griffon Vulture 1, Crested Serpent Eagle 4, Goshawk 1, Steppe Eagle 1, Kestrel 4, Pintail Snipe 1, Green Sandpiper 2, Speckled Wood Pigeon 40, Common Kingfisher 3, Indian Roller 2, Brown-throated Sand Martin 2, Crag Martin 1, Swallow 20, Red-rumped Swallow 10, Nepal House Martin 2, Paddyfield Pipit 10, Rosy Pipit 1, Grey Wagtail 4, White Wagtail 8, Large Pied Wagtail 2, Large Cuckoo Shrike 2, Scarlet Minivet 3, Red-vented Bulbul 5, White-cheeked Bulbul 10, Rufous-bellied Bulbul 2, Black Bulbul 3, Magpie Robin 2, Blue-headed Redstart 2, Black Redstart 1, Blue-fronted Redstart 2, Plumbeous Redstart 1, Stonechat 10, River Chat 1, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush 1, Blue Rock Thrush 1, Blue Whistling Thrush 5, Aberrant Bush Warbler 1, Golden-spectacled Warbler 3, Grey-hooded Warbler 3, Ashy-throated Leaf Warbler 2, Lemon-rumped Warbler 1, Hume’s Leaf Warbler 3, Verditer Flycatcher 1, Grey-headed Flycatcher 2, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler 1, Black-chinned Babbler 1, White-crested Laughingthrush 6, Chestnut-tailed Minla 6, Black-lored Tit 6, Black Drongo 10, Green Magpie 1, Large-billed Crow 5, Common Myna 50, Jungle Myna 15.
|me setting off from Pokhara, Machupuchare dominating the horizon|
|Machupuchare from N of Pokhara|
|close up of Machupuchare (Fishtail mountain), a sacred mountain which it is prohibited to climb|
|Jungle Myna north of Pokhara|
|looking back down the trail on the climb up to Naudanda. Fishtail sumit in top left of shot. Terraced fields typical of Nepali foothills.|
|blurred white crested and breast of otherwise stunning White-crested Laughingthrush on our way to Chandrakot|
|very blurred Green Magpie on our way to Chandrakot|