Showing posts from September, 2013

Chestnut-tailed Starlings Reach Islamabad

Today, Sunday 29 September 2013, we decided to try Lake View Park just outside Islamabad. We thought that the tall trees might act as a magnet for migrating birds especially taking into account the time of year. We had not bargained for our first sighting, which was a flo

Back in Islamabad and Birding at Last!

At last, back to some serious birding around Islamabad. Sunrise found us at the Eastern shoreline of Rawal Lake. The water level at the lake was the highest we had witnessed. Consequently, the lake’s margins have not been attractive to waders and the passage of this grouping of birds has been poor in comparison to earlier years. Only two species were noted, a GREEN SANDPIPER and the below flyby of BLACK-WINGED STILT.
However, there was still a sense of migration in the air and some of the 57 species we found today were passage migrants and arriving winter visitors. The most obvious of these birds were the 20 or so SIBERIAN STONECHAT that we found amongst the reeds and around the stony fields that border the lake’s margins. There were some cracking males but they eluded the cameras today. So, the pictures below are of females/first winter birds.
There were several WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL, a couple of brightly coloured males but many more, drab in comparison, females and juveniles. The …

Large-billed Leaf Warbler on the Margalla Ridge

Firstly, apologies to regular followers of this Blog but I have been hard at work and have had no days off for birding until Tuesday 3 September 2013 when we walked along the Margalla Ridge. The weather here is in the mid-30s but still very humid with plenty of thunderstorms around.
Birding was pretty slow during our brief walk. However, there were plenty of HIMALAYAN BULBUL at the beginning of the trail. The blue/grey plumage and red iris differentiated the ASHY DRONGO from the Black Drongos that normally inhabit lower altitudes (we were at 3,700 feet above sea-level).
The two best birds of the afternoon were an ORIENTAL TURTLE DOVE and an addition to my Pakistan List, a LARGE-BILLED LEAF WARBLER. There was little birdsong and no calling warblers. We noticed the movement in the nearby bushes first and then the large size of the bird with its stout, dark bill. The most striking element of the bird’s plumage was the long, bright yellow supercilium that was underlined by a black eye st…