Feb 23, 2012

Bird Checklist for Yamuna Biodiversity Park

The Birds Checklist for Yamuna Biodiversity Park!

Yamuna Biodiversity Park
Jharoda Majra (Near Village Jagatpur)
Wazirabad, Delhi
Tel: +91 11 2761 6569
Email: ybp@biodiversityparks.org

1.                               Alexandrine Parakeet
2.                               Ashy Prinia
3.                               Ashy Wood Swallow
4.                               Asian Koel
5.                               Asian paradise Flycatcher
6.                               Asian Pied Startling
7.                               Bank Myna
8.                               Bar-headed Geese
9.                               Barn Owl
10.                           Barn Swallow
11.                           Baya Weaver
12.                           Bay-backed Shrike
13.                           Black Bittern
14.                           Black Drongo
15.                           Black Ibis
16.                           Black Kite
17.                           Black Redstart
18.                           Black-breasted Weaver
19.                           Black-crowned Night Heron
20.                           Black-headed Gull
21.                           Black-headed Munia
22.                           Blackrumped Flameback Woodpecker
23.                           Black-shouldered Kite
24.                           Black-winged Stilt
25.                           Bluethroat

Feb 10, 2012

The Big Bird Day was a surprise, Ranjit Lal was a bigger surprise and the snake capturing was the final surprise!!
Birding at Yamuna Biodiversity Park on 5th Feb, 2012.

The plan was to set out from Noida at 7.30 am. We set out at 7.45 am, excellent by any standards. We took just 20 minutes to reach the Yamuna Biodiversity Park (YBP) as there was hardly any traffic. A note for others who go to YBP, when you see the first road sign proclaiming ‘Yamuna Biodiversity Park’ and see a bridge over the ‘nallah’ on your right, leave that one, and move ahead. Within 200-250 meters, you will see another small bridge across the ‘nallah’ and a similar road sign. This is the one you should take, and for that you need to go down the road for some distance and take a U-turn. Then go straight down the bridge and along the straight road till after about 200 meters you see YBP to your left. By the way, the first bridge takes you to the same Jagatpur area but you have to follow a very narrow and bumpy service road along the ‘nallah’ to reach the other bridge and then turn right, therefore better to take the second bridge after the U-turn.

Phew! Direction instructions over, now I can get down to the actual birding experience. Me and an office colleague Koushik had planned this trip for Saturday, but I wasn’t able to make it, so we went the next day, Sunday. When we reached YBP, Dr. A K Singh, with whom I had spoken to the previous evening, was at the gate. The first thing he said was, “Will you wait for the Big Bird Day group?”.

I literally jumped with joy as did my friend, because we had no clue that it was the Big Bird Day (the day every year, when a bird count happens all across Delhi’s main birding areas). Of course we waited, and soon met up with at least 20 birders, and amongst them a well known birder Dr. Oswal.  However, at the helm of things was Dr. Faiyaz A. Khudsar, scientist in-charge of YBP. A very impressive person who quickly handed out bird-lists for YBP and started to mobilise the birding forces. He quickly and efficiently organised everyone into 3 groups. I and Koushik got attached to a group that would go through all the wooded areas, and would have three other birders and a guide from YBP, Mr. Mohan.

The Big Bird Day walk in progress, Mohan is right in front.

As we started to walk, I enthusiastically pointed out an Indian Koel hiding between the branches of a tree, and wondered who the three people with us were. Mohan, a wonderful naturalist and person,  started to spot birds with great expertise, as we began our walk. A short , bespectacled slightly elderly gentleman with us, was making quite amusing remarks about the birds. He described one as wont to do a lot of make-up, especially with the lipstick. We were looking at the red-crested pochard which is found only in the YBP in the Delhi region. As I peered through the binocs I did notice that they looked like they had applied quite a bit of red lipstick.

A Red Crested Pochard, this photo is from the
FlevoBirdwatching site, specifically from this page - 

At one point, to make some conversation, I asked one of the birders, a tall pepper haired person, if Dr. Oswal the well known birder was in the other group. He said, yes, and then he said, “There’s a famous birder amongst us too…”.

As I wondered who it was, he pointed at the short bespectacled gentleman and said, “That’s Ranjit Lal”.