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Update and corrections to A Birdwatcher's Guide to India by Krys Kazmierczak & Raj Singh.

March 2004

First published by Prion Books Ltd., Huntingdon, UK in 1998. Reprinted with corrections by Oxford University Press India in 2001. Available from Books from India. ISBN: 0195652851.

The senior author welcomes additional information.


p. i: The illustrator's name should be written Carl D'Silva.

p. ii: In addition to those mentioned in the Acknowledgements we would like to thank the following for information they kindly supplied: Nick Dymond, Ole Jakobsen, Anand Prasad, Duncan Wilson and Ray Ziarno.

p. 1: Please note: we have given telephone numbers wherever possible throughout the book, but these are frequently subject to change.

p. 2: The telephone number of the Indian High Commission in London is now 020-7836-8484.

p. 2: The address of the Indian Embassy in Eire is Embassy of India, 6 Lesson Park, Dublin 6; Tel: 01-497-0843/0806.

p. 4: Indian nationals do not need a permit to visit Sikkim except in the case of border areas, Tsomgo, Yumthang and farther north. Officially, it is still necessary for non-Indians to be in a group of four to go trekking north of Yuksom in Sikkim. In practice, if two of your group, say, happen to go sick, it is unlikely that the remainder of the group will be prevented from carrying out the trek.

p. 8: Although a diesel-powered hire vehicle works out cheaper, if taking it up to higher altitude, even in South India (e.g. Ooty), you may experience problems starting the engine early in the morning when it is very cold. For this reason it may be better to use a petrol-driven car.

p. 20: The 352-page A Field Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Krys Kazmierczak, with illustrations by Ber van Perlo, was published in May 2000. Since it follows the same nomenclature and systematic order, it can be used as a companion volume.

p. 20: Late 1998 saw the landmark publication of the excellent 888-page handbook Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp with illustrations by Clive Byers, Daniel Cole, John Cox, Grerald Driessens, Carl D'Silva, Martin Elliott, Kim Franklin, Alan Harris, Peter Hayman, Craig Robson, Jan Wilczur & Tim Worfolk.

p. 20: The authors of Birds of Nepal are Robert L. Fleming Sr., Robert L. Fleming Jr. and Lain Singh Bangdel.

p. 20: The Field Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka by John Harrison, illustrated by Tim Worfolk, has now been published.

p. 21: Although Bharat Bhushan et al are credited on the cover of A Field Guide to the Waterbirds of Asia, the correct by-line is Sonobe, K. and Ushui, S. (editors).

p. 21: The author of Butterflies of Sikkim Himalaya and their Natural History is Meena Haribal.

p. 22: The shop 'Books from India' (final paragraph) has since closed. [JW: Books from India is now a name used by]

p. 25: Add 'We have tried to give the current rules and regulations governing each site in this book, but these are often subject to change as well as varying interpretation by individual officers in charge. What may be possible one day may suddenly become impossible the next and vice versa.'

p. 36: Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary is proving to be a very good wetland site and well worth a visit. It's now a major site for Sind Sparrows with 20+ pairs breeding there. At 1074 acres it is much larger than the better-known Sultanpur although more difficult to do as a day-trip from Delhi. It is in the Jajjar District of Haryana about 15km from the town of Jajjar and 3-and-a-half hours' drive from Delhi.

p. 38: Sultanpur: Dusky Eagle Owls are now regular; Brooks's Leaf Warblers winter around the car park area; Sind Sparrows have been seen recently, this species apparently expanding its range.

p. 40: Number 17 on the map is Gir NP.

p. 41: Only two wild Siberian Cranes spent the winters of 1998/99 and 1999/2000 at Bharatpur. Two arrived back there again in October 2000.

p. 52: Ranthambhor: the tourist class Tiger Moon Resort has been recommended. There is a pool nearby which is good for Painted Sandgrouse at dusk. Both Jungle and Rock Bush Quails can be seen in the scrub just outside the resort.

p. 57: White-naped Tits are apparently no longer seen at Nahargarh.

p. 70: White-bellied Minivet also occurs at Jaisamand.

p. 71: Green Munia has been seen again on at least a couple of occasions at Kumbhalgarh. The nearby temple town of Ranakpur also provides good birding.

p. 76: Little Rann of Kutch – new phone no. for Desert Coursers, Zainabad is 41333.

p. 79: Entrance fees to National Parks and Sanctuaries in Gujarat have been raised to the rupee equivalent of US$5 per day; accommodation at Velavadar to US$30 per day. Permission to visit the latter during the monsoon, when displaying male Lesser Floricans are easy to see, can be obtained from the ACF in Bhavnagar.

p. 83: Corbett – Nepal Wren Babblers Pnoepyga immaculata were reported near the river at Kumeria in the winter of 98/99. At the time of writing, this first record for India was still 'unofficial'.

p. 95: 'Himalayan Greenfinch' (line 2) should read Yellow-breasted Greenfinch.

p. 106: Status of Grey-winged Blackbird (line 2) should be UW.

p. 124: Foreigners trying to visit Mahananda have been told they need a written permit from the Chief Wildlife Warden, Directorate of Forest, Govt of West Bengal, Bikash Bhavan, North Block 3rd.floor, Calcutta 700 091.

p. 126: Sandakphu Trek – at Megma, the Sailung Tea House, the small 3-room lodge just past the small monastery on the left has been recommended. Pradeep Tamang, the owner, knows where to find and call in Satyr Tragopan. The Hotel Indira has moved to Jaubari.

p. 131: A Grey-sided Thrush was reported from Lava on 3/5/99.

p. 135: 'Black-chinned Babbler' (last two lines) should be Grey-throated Babbler.

pp. 141, 155, 158, 159, 283 & 311: Status of Snowy-throated Babbler should be amended to (*), near endemic, as it has also been recorded in N Myanmar.

p. 142: The office of the CCF in Guwahati has moved to A.K. Azad Road, Rehabari, Guwahati 8.

p. 146: Status of Black-naped Oriole (line 6) should be RW.

p. 146: 'Crow-billed (U)' (line 6) should be Crow-billed Drongo (U).

p. 147: Foreigners trying to visit Buxa have been told they need a written permit from the Chief Wildlife Warden in Calcutta. (Address as for Mahananda, p. 124 above.)

p. 149: The fax number for reservations for Wild Grass at Kaziranga is now 0361-630465.

p. 151: Status of Slaty-backed Flycatcher (line 8 from bottom) should be R.

p. 151: 'Thick-billed' (line 2 from bottom) should be Thick-billed Flowerpecker.

p. 152: The contact phone numbers for the Eco Camp at Nameri WLS are now 03712-20004 and 037142-4246.

 Dibru-Saikhowa's status has been upgraded to National Park and it is no longer possible to overnight at Kolomi.

p. 160: At Digboi the new phone number for Chief Admin Manager is 03751-64715. New email: Please delete the Dy. Gen. Manager as a contact.

p. 163: 'Buff-bellied Flowerpecker' (line 8) should read Fire-breasted Flowerpecker.

p. 164: To visit Balpakram NP you need a permit from the DFO in Baghmara on the Bangladeshi border south of Williamnagar and Nengkhra Agalgiri. You must take all your food. There are I.B.s but no Meghalaya Tourism facility.

p. 166, line 16: Banded Crake (old name) should read Slaty-legged Crake.

p. 173: The catamaran to Elephanta now only goes once a day at 11.00. The ferry crossing takes 45mins to one hour. The caves are closed on Mondays.

p. 189: On the map Fort Chapora should be on the southern side of the estuary.

p. 190: There is a convenient new train, the Mumbai-Madgaon Konkan Kanya Express, departing Mumbai (Bombay) at 22.30 and arriving at Madgaon (Margao, Goa) at 10.25 the following morning. It continues on to Trivandrum.

p. 197: In Goa there is a good new 'tented camp' called Backwoods at Shanti, between Bondla and Molem. It is run by local birders and reservations can be made by phone 0832-436109 or fax 0832-272341. Most of the Molem/Bondla specialities can be shown to you here by the local guides. The Merck Meat Factory tip (line 4) is more-or-less closed and it no longer attracts vultures. Altogether, there has been a disastrous crash in vulture numbers throughout many parts of India in the last few years.

p. 201: Status of Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher (line 4) should be RW.

p. 205: The Hotel Metropole in Mysore has closed. Kukkarahalli Lake in the grounds of Mysore University is good for waterbirds.

p. 209: The Kabini River Lodge at Nagarhole now has direct phone lines 08228-32181 and 08222-52160.

p. 219: The map caption should read 'Map of Cairnhill Forest'.

p. 228: At Munnar there is a new hotel, the Copper Castle (B), tel. 04865-30633; fax: 30438, between the small (Indian Swiftlet) cave marked on the map and the Cardamom Estate shola.

p. 229: Rajamalai no longer opens before 08.00. The world population of Nilgiri Tahr is estimated at 2000 of which approximately half are in the Eravikulam NP.

p. 237: Access to Guindy NP is now restricted. To obtain permission ask the Chief Wildlife Warden at the Forest Department, IV floor, DMS compound, Teynampet, Chennai - 600018 or the Range Officer whose office is in Children's Park adjacent to Guindy NP.

pp. 258, 260, 280 & 309: Status of Andaman Drongo should be (*), near endemic, since it is also found on the Coco Islands (Myanmar).

p. 268: Add 'Lesser Spotted Eagle (hastata) - Harike is a regular site'.

p. 269: Collared Falconet: Delete 'Kaziranga'.

p. 270: Painted Francolin: Add 'common around Velavadar (at least in August).'

p. 284: Striated Laughingthrush: delete Dachigam; add Lava.

p. 287: Tytler's Leaf Warbler – Add 'Recently discovered wintering in good numbers at Mahabaleshwar and Amboli (hill stations in Maharashtra).'

p. 289-90: White-tailed Bushchat - Add 'common at Harike'.

p. 291: Add 'White-crowned Penduline Tit - regular between October & April at Harike'.

p. 296: 'Fregatta tropica' should be Fregetta tropica; 'Fregatta grallaria' should be Fregetta grallaria.

p. 302: Delete the exclamation mark '!' in front of Long-billed Dowitcher.

p. 304: The specimens of 'Moluccan Scops Owl?' have been re-assessed and are now considered the basis for a newly-described endemic species – Nicobar Scops Owl Otus alius.

p. 305: The Forest Owlet has been reinstated to its original monotypic genus as Heteroglaux blewitti.

p. 306: Add an asterisk * after 'Crimson-fronted (Crimson-throated) Barbet'.

p. 309: Following a recent split, White-vented (Orange-billed Jungle) Myna Acridotheres cinereus is now extralimital while the ('new') species found in India is Great Myna Acridotheres grandis.

p. 309: Hill Myna Gracula religiosa has been split into Common Hill Myna Gracula religiosa (Orissa; NE Andhra Pradesh; SW Madhya Pradesh, Assam; N West Bengal; NE Hill States; Andaman & Nicobar Islands) and Southern Hill Myna Gracula indica (Western Ghats).

p. 314: Add a second asterisk * after '---Swamp Prinia*'.

p. 318: Put 'Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis' in square brackets [ ]

p. 320: Add 'v! - Japanese Grosbeak Eophona personata'

p. 320: Add an asterisk in parentheses (*) after 'Red-headed Bullfinch'.

p. 326: Delete the paragraph on Bird Link.

p. 327: Merlin Nature Club fax is now 080-6695226; email address

p. 327: Membership enquiries and payments for the Oriental Bird Club for those resident in India should no longer be addressed to Birkarm Grewal but to Col. Shyam Singh, Honorary Wildlife Warden of Keoladeo Ghana National Park, 3/475 Outside Mathura Gate, Behind the Municipal Corporation, Bharatpur 321 001, Rajasthan.

p. 327: Add 'OrientalBirding is a new Internet discussion group (mailing list) for all those with an interest in wild Asian birds. Subscription is free. To join simply surf to'

p. 328: New WPSI details are Fax: 011- 6464918 Website:

p. 330: The publication date for Birds of the Indian Subcontinent is 1998. That for A Field Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent is 2000.

Copyright © 1992-2012 John Wall