Nepal: Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Dhulikhel India: Pollachi
It makes you feel like a jerk when it happens, but at some point on a foreign trip you reach a church/museum–or in our case, temple–saturation point. I don’t know how other travelers handle this, but birding is Erin and my go-to when the offerings of civilization become…repetitive?
On this trip we are packing a Canon Powershot SX60 HS superzoom camera. For the first time, we have a proper zoom lens and so we will be interspersing travel stories with bird lists and hopefully some decent photos.
If you are interested in identifying the birds near you, or wherever you travel, we highly recommend that you download the Merlin app for your smartphone. It’s great for beginners and bird-nerds alike.
The companion app is eBird, which allows people to make and share lists. eBird is one of the world’s largest biodiversity-related science projects thanks to all of the users adding their bird lists, and it is run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, same as Merlin.
But enough with the boring stuff! No wait, a little more: this is the link to my eBird profile. But let’s be honest, you want to look at Erin’s eBird profile if you are really interested. Okay, to the birds!!!!
There are some birds to be found in the mostly treeless tourist area of Thamel, Kathmandu, but the bulk of these came from a short urban walk north to Ranibari Community Forest:
Himalayan Black-lored Tit
Our next stop after Kathmandu was Bhaktapur. Our second day we left the historic Darbur Square area of Bhaktapur, where most of the photos from my previous post Then and Now (Kathmandu and Bhaktapur) were taken and walked 9 miles round trip through mostly farmland to the Changu Narayan temple (one of the oldest in Nepal).
Next stop: Dhulikhel, an eastern “suburb” of Kathmandu. It is in the hills, above most of the worst of the Valley air pollution, and largely agricultural with some protected forest reserves.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
A tourist visa in Nepal is a maximum of 90 days, so we always knew that we’d make a visa run into India at some point on the trip. At first we considered a short overland trip to the holiest of holy Hindu cities, Varanasi, but then we learned that India will not issue overland e-visas. So long story short, we decided to go from Kathmandu to the town of Pollachi, Tamil Nadu state, in southern India. As Erin wrote in her post Happy Pongal!, Pollachi was a fantastic first destination.
Asian Green Bee-eater
Large Gray Babbler
Stay tuned for more bird nerd reports!
Loved the pics. Dad
Hey, happy birthday, Alex! (I don’t think our txt connection is working)
Totally surprised to start getting messages from you again! Brought me joy. It’s fun to follow you going on another adventure.
Your birding photos and references to Kathmandu and Tamil Nadu brought back memories. My brother, David and wife, and I traveled the Western Ghats in 2016. Great food, interesting tea, rice and coffee plantations, warmer people. Saw wild elephants and tiger scat- highlight of trip.
It’s worthwhile to absorb the the cultures while birding. Makes memories complete. I love your blogs.
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Amazing photography! Another trip of a lifetime! Enjoy! Linda Denslow, friend of Erin’s mom