Goa and Karnataka - November 2014

Paul has just got back from leading a group in the Western Ghats of India. Here is a selection of the birds they saw.


Spotted Owlets

Southern Hill Myna


The enigmatic Ceylon Frogmouth - Bird of the Trip?



This immature male Indian Blue Robin showed beautifully. Click on the video to hear him sing!



Wood Sandpiper


White-bellied Woodpecker



Here's short video of the same bird.


Stork-billed Kingfisher


Red-rumped Swallow



This male Golden-fronted Leafbird was watched feeding on nectar near Dandeli.


Purple Gallinule


Peacock Pansy


Nilgiri Woodpigeon (it was very tempting to Photoshop the twig out!)



This Oriental Scops Owl was one of three fantastic night birds we saw one evening at Dandeli.



Malabar Grey Hornbill


Little Green Bee-eater



This pair of Malabar Pied Hornbills were watched preening near Bison River Resort.


Lesser Adjutant


Large Cuckoo-shrike



This Malabar Whistling Thrush was surprisingly tame.


Jungle Owlet


Indian Pond Heron


Indian Pitta at Dandeli



This beautiful Indian Pitta was watched at close range at Bondla. Click the picture to watch the short video of him!


Grey-necked Bunting


Grey-fronted Green Pigeon


Greater Coucal


Great Knot


Great Knot and Oriental Pratincole at Morjim. Have these two regionally rare birds ever been seen side by side in India before?


Eastern Stonechat


Eastern Stonechat


Cattle Egrets and domestic Water Buffalo


Oriental Garden Lizard


Fulvous Forest Skimmer


female Crested Tree Swift


Common Mormon



Chestnut-headed Bee-eater



Brown Hawk Owl


Black-hooded Oriole



This pair of Indian (Collared) Scops Owls were seen shortly after dusk near Bison River Resort.


Black Kite


Black-capped Kingfisher



This male Ceylon Frogmouth was the highlight of the trip for some of us. Click on the video to hear his strange call.






Goa and Karnataka - November 2012

Paul has just got back from leading a group in the Western Ghats of India. Here is a selection of the birds they saw.

Little Green Bee-eater at Fort Aguada



Lesser Adjutant and Indian Shag



Jungle Nightjar and Blue Mormon butterfly


This Striated Heron was disputing fishing rights with a neighbour


Blue-tailed (left) and Little Green Bee-eaters

Dark morph Western Reef Heron


Common Kingfisher at Siolim


Asian Openbill Storks specialise in eating apple snails


This smart female Bluethroat showed at close quarters


A White-bellied Sea Eagle taking advantage of the early morning sun at Dandeli, Karnataka


Malabar Giant Squirrel


Juvenile Crested Hawk-eagle


We saw eight species of woodpecker in Karnataka. This Rufous Woodpecker was very obliging.



Greater Flameback at Dandeli showing all it's features



White-bellied Woodpecker is huge compared to the other woodpeckers in the forest here.



Two very different predators. Crested Serpent Eagle and Jungle Owlet


female Savanna Nightjar - we saw at least four, including two singing males (videograb thanks to Keith Youngs)



Goa and Karnataka - November 2011

Paul has just returned from two weeks on the west coast of India and the hills of the Western Ghats. Here is a selection of his photographs.


The beautiful Malabar Parakeet is scarce but reliable in the Ghats.


Green Imperial Pigeon


This Malabar Grey Hornbill was doing a spring clean on its nest hole in preparation for the breeding season.


A flying lizard



Crested Serpent Eagle


Crimson-backed Sunbird is common inland


Once the call is learnt, Little Spiderhunter is easy to find


Vernal Hanging Parrot living up to its name!

Malabar Pied Hornbills are common in the grounds of Bison River Lodge.


Blue-capped Rock Thrush


The endemic Malabar Whistling Thrush is a shy inhabitant of forest streams. This bird displayed at point blank range at a spice farm we visited.

Blue-eared Kingfisher is always scarce and elusive.


Little Cormorant


Hoopoes were far more common than normal this year.


This juvenile Amur Falcon was watched hunting dragonflies with two other birds at Fort Aguada. They feed up in preparation for the long flight across the Indian Ocean to their wintering grounds in East Africa!

Male Indian Robin


Oriental Skylark


Eastern Stonechat


Little Green Bee-eater


Collared Kingfishers are only found in old growth mangroves.

White-eyed Buzzard is scarce in Goa.


Indian Rollers are common in the lowlands.


A boat trip at the Chapora river mouth.


This White-breasted Kingfisher was sat on a lamp at our hotel.


Jungle Owlet


Oriental Darter


Brown Hawk-owl


Common Kingfisher


Indian Pond Heron

Stork-billed Kingfisher


Asian Openbill Stork


Intermediate Egret


Indian Jungle Nightjar


Malabar Banded Peacock


A pair of displaying Blue-bearded Bee-eater


Grey Count


A male Vigors's Sunbird, a Western Ghats endemic.


Tour participant David Lingard took lots of great photographs on our 2011 trip. Here is a small selection. To see more of David's photographs, please click on the following link.


  Malabar Whistling Thrush

Small Cormorant 

  Crested Goshawk

Blue-capped Rock Thrush 




photographs by Paul Willoughby


Chestnut-headed Bee-eater is seen in small numbers in forested areas. This was one of a group of 12 birds that were feeding on bees that were nesting on a bridge over the Kali River, Karnataka.

We found a pair of Ceylon Frogmouths roosting together near our lodge at Dandeli. This is the male.

We saw another male when out spotlighting one evening.

Orange-headed Ground Thrush is fairly common in forested areas throughout.

It is always surprising to come across a European Cuckoo in the forests of the Western Ghats.

Collared Kingfisher is a rare and local breeder in mature mangrove areas.

Wire-tailed Swallows are common in wetlands throughout. Here, the thin wire tail is clearly visible.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater at Carambolim.

Striped Tiger was one of many species of butterfly we saw. With the recent publication of 'The Butterflies of Goa' we were able to identify almost 50 species.

Oriental Darter and Lesser Whistling-duck.

Lesser Whistling-duck

Great Knot was unknown in western India until recently. We found our first in Goa back in 1995 and have seen them on four or five subsequent occasions. They are still very scarce and we were thrilled to find three this year on Choroa  Island. Here two birds are seen alongside a Redshank.

Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler is rare in winter in India. This bird was our second sighting.

Indian River Tern.

Little Green Bee-eater is very common and widespread.

This Crested Hawk-eagle was one of three that we saw.

Vigors's Sunbird is endemic to the Western Ghats. This is a young male.

This Striated Heron was seen every morning as we walked from the rooms to breakfast at the Marinha Dourada Hotel.

Little Pratincole, Morjim Beach, Goa.

Stork-billed Kingfisher.

This Blue-eared Kingfisher was the sixth species of kingfisher we saw.



Here are a selection of photographs taken by friend and occasional co-leader Mark Newsome




White-bellied Sea-eagle and Terek Sandpiper



Little Pratincole and Small Minivet



Red-headed Bunting and Pallid Harrier



Orange-headed Thrush and Malabar Whistling Thrush



Malabar Pied Hornbill



Indian Pitta and Crested Tern



Coppersmith Barbet and Collared Kingfisher



Brahminy Kite and Ashy Wooodswallow


Yellow-wattled Lapwing


Little Green Bee-eater




Please note: The above photographs were taken on previous trips. Itineraries change from time to time and therefore you cannot rely on these photographs as being an exact representation of what can be expected on a future tour. For details of the each tour, you should refer to the brochure write-up.


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