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Western Arunachal and Nameri

This was our first official trip to Arunachal.

We started off at Nameri first. We had prepared to bare the leeches and find the White-winged Wood duck once again during this trip. But to our disappointment it was pouring in the morning and we surely thought that we were having a washout. But soon the clouds cleared and we got a 3 hour window to try our luck. We quickly set out to look for the Duck. The river seemed more difficult to cross but the boatmen navigated well to get us to the other side. We decided to go after the duck first and surely enough we got some really good views of it.

On the way we managed to tick off the Hooded Pitta and a pair of Ruddy Kingfishers which was an added bonus. Other sightings included Eurasian Hobby, Great Thick-knee, Pale-chinned Flycatcher, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Black-crested Bulbul, Lesser Yellownape, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Barred Cuckoo Dove, Dollarbird, Sand Lark and Sand Martins. We spent the evening around Nameri Eco camp and were rewarded with good images of the Great Hornbill, Great Myna, Common Hill Myna, Green Imperial Pigeon, Yellow-footed green Pigeon and Blue-throated Barbets and Indian Roller (north-eastern sub-species)

Day two also started with morning rain while we began our journey towards Dirang. No sooner did we cross in to Arunachal than we had really good views of a Collared Falconet sitting on a lifeless tree sallying to catch Dragonflies. As we went on we took multiple stops on our way wherever we felt would yield good birds and we were rewarded with Pin-tailed green Pigeons, Striated Yuhina, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Long-tailed Sibia, White-naped Yuhina, Nepal Fulvetta, Golden-throated Barbet and the best of all the Red-headed Trogon and a possible Green Cochoa. Although we did not get good views of it.

From Dirang we covered Mandala, Sangti Valley and Sela Pass. Sangti Valley is one of the places where Black-necked Cranes winter in India. But they are only there till February so it wasn't on our list of birds to be seen. Our main target was the Long-billed Plover and after scanning the rocky river bed we found about 4 individuals perfectly blending with the rocks. We also managed to sight Common Cuckoo, Yellow-breasted greenfinch and Common Redshank. While birding on the road to Senge Mrs. Gould's Sunbird, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Sikkim treecreeper, White-tailed Nuthatch, White-throated Laughingthrush and the smallest bird in India- the Fire-breasted Flowerpecker.

​Mandala was very promising with sightings like Blyth's Shrike Babbler, Spotted Nutcracker, Brown Bush Warbler, Brown-throated Fulvetta, Green-tailed Sunbird, Olive-backed Pipit, Blanford's Rosefinch, White-collared Blackbird, Red-headed and grey-headed Bullfinches, Flocks of Plain Mountain Finches, Spotted Wren Babbler, Bhutan Laughingthrush, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Rufous-vented Yuhina, Chestnut-headed tesia, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Slaty-blue Flycatcher, Red-tailed Minla, Bar-throated Siva, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Grey-crested Tit and many more.

On day 6 we started off to Sela at 3 am. hoping to get a glance at the pheasents. We managed to get the Himalayan Monal, Eurasian Wren, Gould's Shortwing, Asian House Martin, Alpine accentor, Alpine Thrush, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Golden Bush Robin. On the way back we stopped at various points to look for Fire tailed Myzornis and it was present at the exact same spot where it was spotted during the earlier trip in addition to Spotted Laughingthrush and Black-faced Laughingthrush.

On day 7 we started our travel back to Nameri for a night halt before travelling to Guwahati for our journey back to Goa. Nevertheless we stopped at places on the way back too. Some of the areas around Nichifu had cleared up which we could not cover during our onward journey due to rain and fog. We ticked off quite a few species in his area like the Emerald Cuckoo, Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo, Pale Blue Flycatcher, Long-tailed Broadbill, Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Square-tailed Drongo Cuckoo, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, Mountain Tailorbird, Yellow-bellied Warbler, Golden Babbler and so on.

The cumulative list for the entire trip came to approximately 260 species and clubbed with the earlier trip it came to 306.

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