Thursday, January 17, 2013

2 days in Raptor Paradise - Tal Chappar

Demoiselle Cranes
If you've been following bird watching scenario in Indian Subcontinent and reading trip reports and have been flooded with pictures over the past half a decade or so, you would already know most or all of what follows in the paragraphs below. I am talking about birds sighted at Tal Chappar : The famous Raptor Paradise that every birder loves to talk about. If you are a birder from India, you have either visited Tal Chappar or have been longing to visit it. There isn't a third alternate ( ok ... may be you have never heard of the place ... in which case, you are my best audience as I can trust you to read my report from start to finish...others I know will hop, skip and jump between pages ... yes it's a long report ... so all your patience is solicited )

The place

Tal Chappar is a protected area for Black Bucks, unarguably the most handsome antelope of our region, though now classified as "Near Threatened" by IUCN and one that is protected under Wildlife protection Act of 1972. The Sanctuary falls under Churu district in Rajasthan.
The area was a private hunting reserve of Maharaja of Bikaner which was declared as Sanctuary in 1962. It's one of the rare pieces of Grasslands remaining within our country's dwindling natural resources and a treat for any nature lover. The size of protected area is 719 hectares.
We set out on a 3 days, 2 nights expedition to explore Tal Chappar in November 2012. Sep - March is a great time to see multitudes of migrants either on passage through the area or those that are wintering within the park.

Day 1

We reached Ratangarh, which is 40 kms from Sanctuary, by an overnight train from Delhi. With 2 of the most resilient birder souls for company, Abhishek and Sudeshna, sleeper coach that we could muster at the last moment wasn't any deterrent. Temperature within the coach kept dipping in direct correlation with train's proximity to destination. We could barely sleep and apart from thawing out our hands and toes to keep ourselves busy, we kept finding reasons all along the way as to why it was getting colder and colder with each passing hour (someone left the coach door open, was the most obvious one). It was not untill the auntiji on lower berth, sleeping blissfully in her mink blanket, chose to open her eyes and asked us if we had crossed Churu. "About to reach", informed three of us in unison, as we sat with eyes wide open, feigning deep interest in every passing station. Churu is one of the coldest regions of North India, she casually informed us before slipping back in her mink house. We looked at each other. So, that was it. We should have read better about our destination, we thought almost aloud. I learnt later that Churu has had a record of -6 deg C to boot. Ratangarh is the next station from Churu and hence by applied common sense, as cold if not more.
Welcome signboard outside the Sanctuary gates
We reached Ratangarh alright and immediately called out for our Taxi guy. Since the place is a small town, it's better to book for your stay and taxi in advance. There aren't many options within the town itself. Apart from Ratangarh route, you can also reach Tal Chappar via Sujangarh, which is only 14 kms away from the Sanctuary with few more options for lodging. More details on how to reach Sanctuary can be found on www.talchapar.com.
Taxi driver (I am forgetting his name) was a friendly guy with an impressive resume to boast. He had been driving for ~12 years in Dubai before deciding to return to his motherland. For his driving instincts well honed for driving Mercedes on well paved roads of Dubai, road to Tal Chappar wouldn't have been any match, but surprisingly it was. The bypass road from Ratangarh to Tal Chappar is well paved and a breeze to drive. En route, the good Samaritan stopped the vehicle in a village asking if we would like to drink fresh milk. Bewildered, we didn't know what to make of the offer. He probably guessed our confusion and went on to explain that it was his own house with a joint family and several cattle and that there was ample fresh milk for everyone. We started feeling gratitude already but politely refused since we were more keen to reach the Sanctuary before dawn broke. On the way, we picked up some chips and biscuits after knowing that this was the last stop before one could get anything decent to eat.
Rest House
As we kept looking at small villages and winding roads through them, taxi suddenly stopped at a small gate in what seemed like middle of nowhere in the still dark surroundings. Aa gaye ji, driver announced. Waking up to reality, we gingerly explored our surroundings. We were entering the forest rest house that is made in a traditional rajasthani style, with pink stone and carvings and curiously, a small but beautiful amphitheatre in the middle. There are 4 + 2 rooms in the rest house but plenty of open space to stroll around. Rest house adjoins the sanctuary. Finding our room, we were impressed by it's sheer size and the subtlety of decor that was a mix of traditional and modern. Rest house is dotted with frames of mammals and birds clicked within the sanctuary, that make you drool even before you start birding yourself.
Open Grassland habitat with Kejri trees in between
After having a cup of sweet milk tea, that was to be our only beverage for the next 3 days, we were greeted by Praful, the 6 feet something inches tall, driver who would take us around the Sanctuary. Dumping all our gear and ourselves into the Bolero, we started. Day light was making an attempt to break in, when we entered the gates of Sanctuary, immediately to be greeted by a handsome Black Buck walking up to our vehicle. A couple of shrieks later, we realised these were domesticated and raised by forest guards. So, there was every chance we could come back to them and they would snuggle unto us, which frankly they did later. Anyways, as we moved, the vast grassland ecosystem could be seen till the end of world, it seemed. Golden grass (locally called Mothi, for the pearl shaped seeds) standing waist high, with many Kejri trees interspersed like a painting, was on all sides. There are several water holes with ample shade that act as good spots to watch many birds. There's one in particular where we spotted most of the big eagles.
Indian Roller
Indian Rollers and Black Drongos deserve a special mention before I go on with other birds. I can say with unfailing confidence that almost every bird, near or distant, that looks like a roller, IS a roller here. No questions asked and no doubts raised. In pairs or solitary, they are just about everywhere and they pose for you, compelling you to lift your camera, even if you didn't plan on clicking them earlier. They do seem to be smug in the realisation of how pretty their colours look as they shine in golden light.
Black Drongos are plenty too as we kept discovering them through our entire trip. Most remarkable is their loud demeanour despite the small size and the sheer audacity with which they rule their territories. We even witnessed a Drongo congress later, with almost 10 of them sitting together surveying, in what seemed like a board meeting deciding to take over the grassland.

Black Bucks crossing over in a queue...Abhishek in the foreground
 Blackbucks were everywhere we went, from miniature kids to handsome adult males, from teenagers play fighting with their fresh horns to one horned males that had lost their horns during some serious fight. They were just about everywhere, displaying every stage of their life to visitors. Very beautiful animals. They had this incredible instinct to queue up and cross over from one area to another placidly, generating many picturesque moments on the field.
Black Buck Adult Male
After showing the mandatory Rollers and Doves, Praful decidedly started moving towards a certain clearing in the field. Checking with binoculars, we realised there were several raptors sitting on ground in the clearing. Reaching closer, we found it to be a group of Egyptian Vultures, both adult and juveniles feeding on a Carcass. Later in the day, an Imperial Eagle juvenile joined them too at the same spot and next day a Tawny Eagle as well.
There were scores of Desert and Isabelline wheatears in the fields and flocks of Greater Short-toed and Bimaculated larks. Couple of Variable Wheatears (ssp. picata) were also seen but they are not as numerous as the other 2 species. Also few Sand Larks which need to be confirmed from the photographs.
We spotted several Common Kestrels, curiously all females, at close quarters. In a bid to get the rarer Lesser Kestrel, that passes through the region, we would keenly look at the claws of every Kestrel we saw (Common has them all black) and on discovering it was black, kept sighing to each other. Finally we reconciled to the fact that they had probably already moved on.
Common Kestrel Female
But let me state, that in Tal Chappar, even the Common Kestrels look more splendid, probably due to their confiding behaviour and proximity to humans here. The closest we got one sitting was at less than 10 ft from our vehicle. Next up were 2 Laggar Falcons, one subadult and one adult male looking as gorgeous as a Laggar can look with it's cryptic plumage. Imperial Eagle Juvenile sat in the tree at one of the water holes as several Little Grebes swam obliviously in the water below. A Desert Fox came to drink and gave delightful views to all of us as well.
As Sun notched up it's intensity, it was time to round up and head back to rest house for some quick grubs and a quicker nap, if possible. Lunch was a basic but tasty fare that was laid out in a meticulous english manner by a very humble chef.
Immediately after lunch, we started out for 2nd round of the day. This time we went to the area adjoining the core Sanctuary. Passing through a village, we reached a small village pond where a flock of c.47 Damoiselle Cranes was resting. These wintering beauties with ruby red eyes gave us ample time to admire them before taking off. Other highlights at the waterbody were River Tern, White Wagtail and White-tailed Lapwing.
Imperial Eagle Juvenile
Little ahead, there was another enigmatic endemic of our subcontinent to be seen. Stoliczka's Bushchat or White-browed Bushchat. Though we would have loved to see the puff and roll display that's unique to the bird, it wasn't meant to be. Not on Day 1 at least.
Content, we started backwards to witness the harriers at dusk within the park, when a dark morph Common Buzzard, flew past. Once within the park, we saw all those magnificent stories of harriers unfolding before our eyes. A Juvenile of Montague's Harrier was the first to show up, followed by juveniles of Pallid and then more Montagues and more Pallids interspersed with Common Kestrels. They would fly in their typical V shaped wing pattern, dive to the ground, rest on the wire fence and again take off looking for the right spot for roosting. Harriers as we learnt, roost on ground. The light was fading away with as much alacrity as these magnificent raptors were rising in numbers. By the time we left, we had approx c.50 different raptors coming in for roost and it was impossible to put a name to all. A priceless sight to watch.
Finally as we were calling off the day, another Big raptor with a cryptically patterned facial disk flew into the trees. Hen Harrier we assumed, that was proven wrong on our subsequent trips though. Dusk had given way to night and we returned very content to our rooms but not before feeling the itch to check if the enigmatic Mr. Poonia was back in rest house and could take us with him next morning.
For the uninitiated, Mr. Surat Singh Poonia is the man behind Tal Chappar that we see today. With his unstained love for nature and admirable planning and discipline, he has single handed transformed the sanctuary into the birding paradise that we see today. Poonia ji as he's lovingly referred by his staff and everyone else, brought the birding potential of this otherwise Black Buck sanctuary to the notice of thousands of birders not just within the country but worldwide. As we learnt on our interaction with him later, the humility and commitment that he carries is rare. If we have to protect our forests and other habitats for wildlife, we need many more like Mr. Poonia. He's a rare species no doubt and deserves every credit that can be bestowed upon him.

Day 2

Day 2 started with a little banter with the rest house staff over how we wanted to maximise our time in field and didn't want to come back for Breakfast, Lunch etc. etc. Considering our unfailing love for field and diminishing interest in food, the rest house manager gave in to our whims and agreed to get us some grub on field at B'fast time. So it was settled.
We had our mandatory beverage (read milk tea) and got into the already revved up Bolero with a charged up Praful, who by now we had learnt, was a stoic character. He would speak more with gestures and less with tongue and sadistically, he liked us to reach peaks of anxiety before providing a solution, which admirably he always did. He knew all the hot spots within and outside the sanctuary and is beginning to learn names of birds.
Laggar Falcon
We drove inside the Sanctuary once more and this time instead of going on the usual tracks, Praful landed us at the small house right after entering the gate. This is where Poonia Ji stays, alone, with the subjects he loves the most. He was finishing his tea when we reached. After the usual pleasantries, Poonia Ji got behind the wheel himself, relegating Praful (remember standing at 6 feet some inches ? ) to the back of Bolero. Praful was cramped for the rest of the day unfortunately but didn't seem to mind somehow. Anything for piling on with Poonia Ji, I guessed.
Praful was soon replaced with another group of photographers in the back of Bolero though.
The difference in experience was very apparent. This was now slow and more mature, knowledgeable birding. With Poonia Ji in charge, the vehicle moved slowly without making noise and stopped only where a bird was perched, at an angle where bird would never be disturbed. Surprise of surprise, he even helped photographers with better angles all the while without disturbing the bird.
Tree Pipits and Red-collared Doves were the first ones to be spotted. More Common Kestrels and Rollers appeared. A Steppe Eagle followed by the Common Buzzard showed up. Suddenly what was earlier assumed to be Hen Harrier, flew into the tree. Poonia ji veered towards it and spotted the big cryptic raptor sitting well concealed. Many more shots and strained binoc visions later, we started to incline more towards an Oriental Honey Buzzard but in a very distinct cryptic plumage not very commonly seen. With our Hen Harrier gone, we doused our disappointment with fresh parathas and Chai sent over by rest house folks.
Tawny Eagle
We then started for Goshala, a spot known for raptors and Spotted Creeper. Greater Spotted Eagle, more Egyptian Vultures, Tawny and a Steppe Eagle all greeted us here along with a Southern Grey Shrike showing it's fresh white belly. Lesser Whitethroats were plenty and an apparent Desert Whitethroat which couldn't be confirmed on field.
Spotted Creeper eluded us for a fairly long time when we decided to head back and check it out later. It was while returning back that Sudeshna and Poonia Ji heard the distinctive long call. The bird flew from one Kejri tree to another. We jumped down from the vehicle and then there was no looking back. c.3 birds were seen feeding and moving from one tree to another in their distinctive creeper style but unlike treecreepers, they move without using their tail for support and mostly by using legs and thereby keeping distance between their belly and the bark of the tree.
Satisfied, we moved back to the area where we had spotted Stoliczka's Bushchat earlier, only this time it was puffing up it's chest and rolling sideways like a perfect ballerina as we watched in awe. A Desert Fox stood guard at the highest point and upon seeing the big canons (photographic canons), ran towards the side, keeping an eye on us intermittently. This individual was healthier compared to the one we had spotted on previous day.
We also looked for owls in the area but couldn't find any. Subsequently Poonia Ji took us further down into an area that started to resemble like Little Rann of Kutch to me, what with it's salt pans and cracked soil but it didn't last long enough. Several miles ahead and into the winding village tracks, we came across small puddles of fresh water which had another enigma, the Water Pipit and Buff-bellied Pipits in store. Here we also spotted a Eurasian Wryneck sitting on the ground in open, unlike I had seen anytime before. Several waders like Common Redshank, Ruffs, Green Sandpiper were also feeding in the water.
Finally, after several warnings sounded from the rest house ranging from "Lunch is served" to "Lunch is dead cold", we headed back. I was beginning to get numb with contentment by now. I didn't even know what more to expect and decided to go with the flow (and my fellow birders) from here on. In the 1.5 days we had been here, this trip had already beaten my expectations to the hilt.
After lunch, we lost the company of Poonia Ji but Praful had recharged his failing batteries by now and looked all eager to show us more raptors. Now while I am at it, let me take the liberty of explaining that Praful is a keen observer and could spot Poonia Ji in his Jeep some 200 mtrs away tucked amidst the tall grass, with Sun throwing harsh light from the wrong side. We asked him if we could get down to click the beautiful Tawny Eagle next to our vehicle but such is the discipline instilled by Poonia Ji, that one sight of him and Praful knew what was right and what was wrong. No getting down from the vehicle, he told us firmly. We obeyed meekly.
Slightly ahead, he himself got down, leaving me very annoyed at the discrepancy in standards but he came back as quickly as he had got down, only holding a waste polythene that he picked from the ground. More enquiring eyes from us and he explained as a matter of fact that this is exactly what Poonia Ji would have done himself. Later by talking to other staff, we learnt what high regard the staff has for it's humble officer. If the Sanctuary is pristine clean, it's thanks to the team spirit inculcated by Poonia Ji himself. Leadership rightly begins at the top.
Sociable Lapwing
Happy, we circled around the grasslands and spotted c.3 Sociable Lapwings that are wintering in the Sanctuary. Truly sociable and docile birds. Very unlike their Red-wattled cousins who scream at every given pretext. One of the lapwings had a limping leg, that was apparently hurt in an encounter with Red-necked Falcon (more on them in Day 3). In my heart of heart, I prayed for their survival, which is hinging on very fragile conditions for this wonderfully social bird.
We called off the day with some good humoured discussions in the rest house over behaviours of birders and also missed some of our more experienced birder friends. At night, another group of photographer spotted a resident Hedgehog in the rest house campus and tried photographing it under harsh flashlight, to which Abhishek objected vociferously, dampening their spirits. Hats off. In the morning, the spiny little creature was transported to the Sanctuary by Praful, to avoid further damages by over enthusiastic photographers.

Day 3

This was our final day and we had to catch a train to Delhi at 11:20am. Factoring in the morning traffic, we decided to bird till 9:30 and then head for Ratangarh.
We started birding in the Goshala area again, to see if the much famed White-tailed Eagle was still around and if Yellow-eyed Pigeons could be spotted. In addition, Abhishek had been asking very gently for Red-necked Falcons. The list of not-seen-yet was never ending it seemed.
Red-necked Falcon - Feeding
Long-legged Buzzard
A Long-legged Buzzard sat on a mound giving very good views and a Steppe Eagle basked in the morning Sun too. Then as we sat looking at a flock of Rock Pigeons, hoping to get their Yellow-eyed cousins, a call from Poonia Ji came in. Praful stoically gestured us to get in. We obeyed meekly again. This time however it was Red-necked Falcons that had been spotted and we were going to see those. Abhishek, and by his company I and Sudeshna, couldn't have been luckier. Poonia Ji was waiting for us and quickly got behind the wheel, cramping the giant fellow again in the backseat. We quickly reached the Kejri tree where the handsome Red-necked Falcon pair sat feeding on a fresh kill. A very bizarre feeding behaviour was observed where the female would not allow male to touch the meal. Poor male had hunted and brought the kill to her though. She dismembered the dead bird and took out big pieces to feed not only herself but also her begging partner, just like a juvenile. Male would beg, female would feed. This cycle carried on till we moved our vehicles away from them and decided to do one last round of the Sanctuary with Poonia Ji at the wheel. It was a splendid idea to do so.
Within the last 1 hr that we circled in the field, we saw several Harriers, a Besra that flew from the bushes, a Eurasian Sparrowhawk around the fence and a eureka moment of all - a Barbary Falcon. Barbary Falcon flew from one bush to another but well within the confines of the Sanctuary. After getting some sketchy shots of it but having had good long look at it through binoculars, we looked at our watch only to find it was 10. No more time to spend and no better parting reward to have. We got a picture clicked with Poonia Ji as a souvenir and said Tata, Bye Bye.
Travelling from Tal Chappar to Ratangarh, our Dubai returned Driver was back doing what he does best, regaling tourists with his stories from the Arab world.
Reaching Delhi via Ratangarh in day train had it's own merits. We chatted all day long, viewed some beautiful landscape of rural Rajasthan and had the garam chai that's a trademark Indian train tradition.
Finally, as I headed back to my urban world, I had so many enigmatic birds circling within my head amidst the golden grass. I was trying hard to come back to reality, from what now seemed like a distant dream already. Only the pictures and this blog will remain as a reminder of the wonderful trip.
PS : The special grass found within the Sanctuary is called Mothiya. The word mothiya is derived from the word Moti (Hindi word for Pearl), a shape that the seeds appear to have. The grass is a favourite of Black Bucks. 

Mammals sighted over the 2 days:
  1. Black Bucks
  2. Chinkara
  3. Desert Fox
  4. Wild Boar
  5. Bluebull aka Nilgai
  6. Hedgehog
  7. Black Camel

Complete list of birds seen at Tal Chappar Black Buck Sanctuary, Churu, Rajasthan (28th Nov - 30th Nov, 2012)
 
Sr. NoSpeciesScientific Name
1Grey FrancolinFrancolinus pondicerianus
2Indian PeafowlPavo cristatus
3Spot-billed DuckAnas poecilorhyncha
4Common TealAnas crecca
5Eurasian WryneckJynx torquilla
6Common HoopoeUpupa epops
7Green Bee-eaterMerops orientalis
8Blue-cheeked Bee-eaterMerops persicus
9Indian RollerCoracias benghalensis
10White-throated KingfisherHalcyon smyrnensis
11Alexandrine ParakeetPsittacula eupatria
12Rose-ringed ParakeetPsittacula krameri
13Rock PigeonColumba livia
14Laughing DoveStreptopelia senegalensis
15Red Collared DoveStreptopelia tranquebarica
16Eurasian Collared DoveStreptopelia decaocto
17Yellow-footed Green PigeonTreron phoenicopterus
18White-breasted WaterhenAmaurornis phoenicurus
19Purple SwamphenPorphyrio porphyrio
20Common MoorhenGallinula chloropus
21Common CootFulica atra
22Demoiselle CraneGrus virgo
23Oriental Honey-buzzardPernis ptilorhyncus
24Black-shouldered KiteElanus caeruleus
25Black KiteMilvus migrans
26Egyptian VultureNeophron percnopterus
27Eurasian Marsh HarrierCircus aeruginosus
28ShikraAccipiter badius
29Eurasian SparrowhawkAccipiter nisus
30Common BuzzardButeo buteo
31Long-legged BuzzardButeo rufinus
32Greater Spotted EagleAquila clanga
33Tawny EagleAquila rapax
34Steppe EagleAquila nipalensis
35Booted EagleHieraaetus pennatus
36Common KestrelFalco tinnunculus
37Red-necked FalconFalco chicquera
38Peregrine FalconFalco peregrinus
39Little Ringed PloverCharadrius dubius
40Red-wattled LapwingVanellus indicus
41Black-winged StiltHimantopus himantopus
42Black-tailed GodwitLimosa limosa
43Spotted RedshankTringa erythropus
44Common RedshankTringa totanus
45Common GreenshankTringa nebularia
46Green SandpiperTringa ochropus
47Common SandpiperActitis hypoleucos
48Little StintCalidris minuta
49RuffPhilomachus pugnax
50River TernSterna aurantia
51Little GrebeTachybaptus ruficollis
52DarterAnhinga melanogaster
53Little CormorantPhalacrocorax niger
54Little EgretEgretta garzetta
55Grey HeronArdea cinerea
56Great EgretCasmerodius albus
57Indian Pond HeronArdeola grayii
58Lesser WhitethroatSylvia curruca
59Large Grey BabblerTurdoides malcolmi
60Jungle BabblerTurdoides striata
61White-eared BulbulPycnonotus leucotis
62Red-vented BulbulPycnonotus cafer
63Plain MartinRiparia paludicola
64Dusky Crag MartinHirundo concolor
65Barn SwallowHirundo rustica
66Red-rumped SwallowHirundo daurica
67Booted WarblerHippolais caligata
68Common ChiffchaffPhylloscopus collybita
69Sulphur-bellied WarblerPhylloscopus griseolus
70Ashy-crowned Sparrow LarkEremopterix griseus
71Bimaculated LarkMelanocorypha bimaculata
72Greater Short-toed LarkCalandrella brachydactyla
73Oriental SkylarkAlauda gulgula
74Zitting CisticolaCisticola juncidis
75Plain PriniaPrinia inornata
76White WagtailMotacilla alba
77Paddyfield PipitAnthus rufulus
78Long-billed PipitAnthus similis
79Tree PipitAnthus trivialis
80Black DrongoDicrurus macrocercus
81Ashy DrongoDicrurus leucophaeus
82Rufous TreepieDendrocitta vagabunda
83House CrowCorvus splendens
84Rufous-tailed ShrikeLanius isabellinus
85Bay-backed ShrikeLanius vittatus
86Long-tailed ShrikeLanius schach
87Southern Grey ShrikeLanius meridionalis
88Brahminy StarlingSturnus pagodarum
89Rosy StarlingSturnus roseus
90Common StarlingSturnus vulgaris
91Asian Pied StarlingSturnus contra
92Common MynaAcridotheres tristis
93Bank MynaAcridotheres ginginianus
94Siberian StonechatSaxicola maurus
95Pied BushchatSaxicola caprata
96Variable WheatearOenanthe picata
97Desert WheatearOenanthe deserti
98Isabelline WheatearOenanthe isabellina
99Brown Rock-chatCercomela fusca
100Pallid HarrierCircus macrourus
101Montagu's HarrierCircus pygargus
102Imperial EagleAquila heliaca
103Laggar FalconFalco jugger
104Barbary FalconFalco pelegrinoides
105Sociable LapwingVanellus gregarius
106Water PipitAnthus spinoletta
107Buff-bellied PipitAnthus rubescens
108Stoliczka's BushchatSaxicola macrorhynchus
109Spotted CreeperSalpornis spilonotus

20 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Beautiful account of Tal Chapar... I am myself a great fan of the same and wish could go there more often.

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    1. Thanks Desi Traveler. Saw your blog and read your experiences of Tal Chappar too. Indeed a fine place.

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  3. Nice report.
    Some minor constructive suggestions -
    Moti is a Hindi word for Pearl , not English.
    Also cryptic is usually used for having obscure or indirect meaning!
    Enigmatic again - for a bird, no , for its behaviour - ok.

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    1. Thanks Ramgopal. I loved your feedback. Goes on to prove you really read it :)

      * Changed "English" to "Hindi" while defining Moti. That was such an obvious miss. Thanks.
      * Cryptic in this case if used to describe the grey and white plummage that obscured the identity of OHB to a large extent and hence used more loosely here.
      * Enigmatic - Let me figure this one out. I will update it suitable and respond.

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  4. Excellent travel write-up and field-report.

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  5. A chanced upon this piece of gem while looking for information on Tal Chappar, got more than enough I guess! Just one extra query, I was planning to visit the sanctuary this Independence weekend,is it open at this time of year. Your response will help plan my itinerary accordingly. Thanks

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  7. Wonderful post, the guest house link is not working for booking purpose. What are the options to book my stay there, do i need to hire a guide as well?

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  8. wonderful is a less distinctive word for the report i am looking forward to visit the place on 23rd and 24 th december do have guest house contact no and pafulla,s no with you . please pass on
    anita

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    1. Thanks. I have Mr. Poonia's number and the Driver. Sharing both. SS Poonia - 09414084910, Nikki the Driver - 08890488588

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  9. wonderful is a less distinctive word for the report i am looking forward to visit the place on 23rd and 24 th december do have guest house contact no and pafulla,s no with you . please pass on
    anita

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  10. Sir awesome trip report sir .... what lens did u use sir as am planning to visit I have no idea what lens to use si can u plz tell abt ur camera kit????

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  11. how do you boo the forest rest house at Tal Chappar?

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  12. Excellent description of the sanctuary. I am planning to go there. Can you please tell me how to contact the guide and vehicle there.

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  13. For bookings at taal Chhapar mail at jodhpurpratap@gmail.com

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  14. Excellent trip report, thank you for sharing. I am planning to visit in November, please share your Facebook id, need some guidance from you. Thank you, in anticipation!

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  15. hi,wonderful & complete description.enjoyed a lot.planning to visit soon.

    from HAPPY FEET MUMBAI

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  16. WHAT A COMPLETE & WONDERFUL DESCRIPTION. THANKE U FOR GUIDING OTERS.

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