Tiger Tops is famous for its wildlife, its up-market food and lodging, and its elephants that take its guests on wildlife-seeking excursions.
We only stayed at Tiger Tops for two nights, so only got to bird one complete day and the morning of the next. Because you can walk around the extensive wooded areas of Tiger Tops (there are tigers but not in the immediate area -- so they say), we saw far more birds in a given time than at Ranthambhor or Corbett National Parks in India. It was also much warmer than in India during this time.
We were fortunate in having Sukre, a super bird guide, with us throughout our stay. There's supposedly another great birding guide but did not meet him. We seemed to be the only serious birders staying at Tiger Tops so that is why Sukre was assigned to us.
Birding is always good at Chitwan NP (Tiger Tops) but am sure later in the year it gets hot. From the grounds you can see a portion of the white Himalayans in the distance. Our only handicap -- besides our limited stay -- was the annual (10-14 days) burning and cutting of the elephant-high grasses in many areas of Chitwan by residences of a number of villages. This event had no bearing on forest species but did affect some of the riverine species such as Red-naped Ibis (that we dipped on) because of boat activity and people along the shore with their many bundles of thick-stemmed grasses. (Interestingly, we should have missed this annual event but it was postponed because of a visit by the king to Chitwan several weeks before we arrived.)
One of the highlights for wildlife enthusiasts at Chitwan is sighting an Indian (one-horned) Rhino. It is larger than the Black Rhino of Africa (but not the White Rhino), and riding an elephant is the best way to see one. We saw two this way (and one by boat). Non-birders saw more rhinos because they went on more elephant rides. Tigers are seldom seen because of the extensive tall grasses they use to seek cover.
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea (12-20) Little Egret Egretta garzetta (1) Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia (1) Great Egret Ardea alba (1) Indian Pond-Heron Ardeola grayii (2) Striated Heron Butorides striatus (1) Osprey Pandion haliaetus (1 flying) F Gray-headed Fish-Eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus (1 in tree, nice view) Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus (2 males) Kalij Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos (female) Brown Crake Amaurornis akool (1) Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio (1) Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus (several) Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula (1) River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii (1) Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus (2) F Great Black-headed Gull Larus ichthyaetus (1) Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis (1 sitting) Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto (1) Yellow-footed Pigeon Treron phoenicoptera (2 plus 20-30 flying) Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria (1) Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala (male sitting) Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum (1, super view in great light) White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis (2) Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis (3 or 4) Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata (1) Gray-capped Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus (2) Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos macei (1) F Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus (male) Streak-throated Woodpecker Picus xanthopygaeus (female and a male) Gray-faced Woodpecker Picus canus (female; later a male) F Himalayan Flameback Dinopium shorii (female and then a male) F Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus (1) F Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae (pair) White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis (2) Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus (1) Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus (1 plus several flying over) Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus (1) Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda (pair displaying) Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos (2) Common Iora Aegithina tiphia (female) F Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus (several) Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus (2 males and a female together) Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus (2 or 3) Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach (3) F Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis gularis (fem.; next day 3 males w.1 fem.) Blue Whistling-Thrush Myiophoneus caeruleus (1) F Indian Gray Thrush Turdus unicolor (pair) Red-throated Flycatcher Ficedula parva (2 males) F Pale-chinned Blue-Flycatcher Cyornis poliogenys (1, great view) Gray-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis (2) White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus (female twice, prob. same bird) Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros (female) Plumbeous Redstart Rhyacornis fuliginosus (male) F Black-backed Forktail Enicurus immaculatus (1, super view) F White-tailed Stonechat Saxicola leucura (1 plus a pair) Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata (male) Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch Sitta castanea (1 and then another) Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis (2 plus 2 more) Sand Martin Riparia riparia (6-10) Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica (2) Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus (2) Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer (15-25) F Gray-crowned Prinia Prinia cinereocapilla (1) F Aberrant Bush-Warbler Cettia flavolivacea(1) Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius (2) F White-spectacled Warbler Seicercus affinis(1) F Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax monileger (several together) Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax pectoralis (1 plus 3 quickly fly. across path) F Rufous-necked Laughingthrush Garrulax ruficollis (4 together) Striped Tit-Babbler Macronous gularis (1, great view) F Chestnut-capped Babbler Timalia pileata (6 together) Striated Babbler Turdoides earlei (at least 5) Great Tit Parus major (2 or 3) F Sand Lark Calandrella raytal (1 along river shore) House Sparrow Passer domesticus (pair) White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata (2 plus over 50 in a tree) Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata (15 plus several) White Wagtail Motacilla alba (1 plus 1 dark-backed form) White-browed Wagtail Motacilla madaraspatensis (3) Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus (50-70 together; next day over 100) 81 SPECIES
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