Blue-throated barbet (Margalla Hills)

Blue-throated barbet observed at Margalla Hills, Trail No. 5 in Islamabad.

 

Blue-throated barbet is a barbet which can be seen in the forests spread throughout from the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia. It has a very distinct beautiful bright blue colored face and throat.

 

In Pakistan, Blue-throated barbet can only be seen in the forest around Murree hills.

Photo : Mariko SAWADA Text :Mariko SAWADA & Sarosh HADI
Observation : End of OCT, Margalla Hills National Park – Trail No5, Islamabad
Reference : Helm Field Guide “Birds of Pakistan”

Category : # Islamabad Capital Territory > ** Birds of Pakistan > - Margalla Hills
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Rufous-bellied niltava (Margalla Hills)

This is Rufous-bellied niltava that I encountered at Margalla Hills, Trail No.5.

 

Rufous-bellied niltava is found in temperate forests from South China to Southeast Asia and South Asia.

In Pakistan, it is found in Murree and Kaghan Valley, which are the southern foot of the Himalayas at an altitude of 1,800m to 2,600m . In winter it descends down to a lower place.

 

I went on Saturday at 7 am, before going to Office, but already many people were walking on the trail.

Photo : Mariko SAWADA Text : Mariko SAWADA & Sarosh HADI
Observation : End of OCT, Margalla Hills National Park – Trail.No.5, Islamabad
Reference : Helm Field Guides “Birds of Pakistan”

Category : # Islamabad Capital Territory > ** Birds of Pakistan > - Margalla Hills
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Black-winged Stilt – Soon Valley

A Black-winged Stilt observed at Uchhali lake in the Soon Valley. It was feeding on the underwater invertebrates in the shallow water.
Black-winged Stilt is a widely spread water bird; mainly found in Europe, Africa, and South Asia, and is characterized by its long red foot.
When it flies, its feet resemble the tail feathers.
In Pakistan, it travels as a summer bird in northern Punjab. Moreover, it is observed all year round in the waters of southern Punjab, Sindh and on the coast of Balochistan.

 

Uchhali Lake with black saltwater reflecting the exquisite scenery around the lake.

 

The lake is surrounded by lush green mountains and tranquil villages.

 

If there is no wind, the lake surface reflects the view as a clear mirror.

 

A beautiful and crystal-clear sight of Black-winged Stilt reflected on the surface of the lake, just like a mirror.

 

Photo: MARIKO  Text: MARIKO & SAROSH
Observation: end of March 2019, Uchhali Lake, Soon Valley, Punjab
Reference: Birds of Pakistan, Birds of the Indian Subcontinents (Helm Field Guides)

Category : # Punjab > ** Birds of Pakistan > - Soon Valley
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Pied Avocet –Soon Valley

A flock of Pied Avocets observed in Uchhali Lake, Soon Valley.
Pied Avocet breeds in Europe and Central Asia and travels to Africa and South Asia in the winter season.
In Pakistan, Pied Avocet’s wintering starts on the Indus river basin, lakes, wetlands, and the Arabian Sea coast. Breeding has also been observed in the lagoons of Balochistan coast.

We could not observe it nearby, but its characteristic feathers; black and white wing and the long beak that had warped, and the gray leg, it was undoubtedly a Pied Avocet.

A person in the background herding camels and Pied Avocet in the foreground… It was a very unique and gorgeous view of nature and people together.

Photo: MARIKO  Text: MARIKO & SAROSH
Observation: end of March 2019, Uchhali Lake, Soon Valley, Punjab
Reference: Birds of Pakistan, Birds of the Indian Subcontinents (Helm Field Guides)

Category : # Punjab > ** Birds of Pakistan > - Soon Valley > - Soon Valley
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Greater Flamingo in sunset – Soon Valley

We visited Uchhali Lake located in Soon Valley, from Islamabad. The trip’s duration was 1 night and 2 days.
Blessed with the weather, we were able to observe the Greater Flamingos in the gorgeous evening golden light.

Northern Shoveler and Greater Flamingo.

Greater Flamingos flying on a sparkling golden lake’s surface.

Greater Flamingos on the lake’s shore.

Greater Flamingos taking off.

A flock of Greater flamingos flying above Uchhali Lake.

As soon as the sunset, the flamingos became a silhouette. We were so excited to photograph these birds until the dark. If you really want to capture the true beauty of flamingos, then the golden hour is the best time.
No doubt, it was a very lovely day at Uchhali Lake.

Photo: MARIKO  Text: MARIKO & SAROSH
Observation: end of March 2019, Uchhali Lake, Soon Valley, Punjab
Reference: Birds of Pakistan, Birds of the Indian Subcontinents (Helm Field Guides)

Category : # Punjab > ** Birds of Pakistan > - Soon Valley > - Soon Valley
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Greater Flamingo – Soon valley

There are several lakes in Soon Valley located 150 km southeast of Islamabad, some of the famous lakes in this region serving as a habitat for birds are Kallar Kahar Lake, Khabeki Lake, and Uchhali Lake. Comparatively, Uchhali Lake is the best spot for migratory birds to spend winter season. It attracts migratory flamingos due to its salty blackish shallow water.

There were almost no ducks in late March when I visited, but there were more than 200 flamingos.
According to the locals, 20 to 40 birds have been observed so far, but such a large flock is the first time.
In 2016 no flamingos came to this lake, but since mid of 2018, more than 200 birds came and were still in Uchhali Lake.

Greater flamingos flying over the village.
It is said that a Greater Flamingo has an irregular migratory pattern and the local people were also wondering that it has been staying at Uchhali Lake for about 11 months already.

I’m worried that if their habitat is lost due development, there might be nowhere for these flamingos to go…

Greater flamingos are the largest flamingos in the flamingo family at 120cm to 140 cm.
“The largest flamingo” colors Pakistan’s sky. It was an unexpected scene!

Photo: MARIKO  Text: MARIKO & SAROSH
Observation: end of March 2019, Uchhali Lake, Soon Valley, Punjab
Reference: Birds of Pakistan, Birds of the Indian Subcontinents (Helm Field Guides)

Category : # Punjab > ** Birds of Pakistan > - Soon Valley > - Soon Valley
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Grey Francolin -Balochistan

A Grey Francolin, which lives in the courtyard of a local guesthouse in Kund Malir. For a moment I was bewildered, when I heard a loud voice, she was just so close to me. It seems that this courtyard is the territory of this Grey Francolin couple, so no matter whether a person or a car is passing by, they do not care at all.

Grey Francolin lives in the dry flat area of the Indian subcontinent. It is a wild bird deprived of the place to live due to the land development.

In Haryana State of India, I went to observe Grey Francolin early in the morning. Particularly, at that time I thought Grey Francolin is a very shy bird who would not approach towards any human. Nonetheless, I was slightly surprised at how Grey Francolin is walking around the courtyard freely.

・・・Grey Francolin, rubbing her body on the ground. It was a very lovely moment to gaze at.

Photo : MARIKO   Text : MARIKO & SAROSH

Observation : Feb 2019, Kund Malir, Balochistan

Reference : Birds of Pakistan, Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Category : # Balochistan > ** Birds of Pakistan > - Makran Coast
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Egyptian Vulture -Balochistan

Egyptian Vulture sighted at the Makran Coast in Balochistan, Pakistan.

Egyptian Vultures are broadly spread from the Iberian Peninsula across North Africa and India. In Pakistan, it breeds amid the summer season in the Balochistan province. They more often feed on carrion – rotting flesh of a dead animal – and sometimes prey on small birds and reptiles. These vultures were once a common bird in Pakistan, but its number has been decreased drastically due to the loss of habitat because of infrastructure development. Consequently, it has become very rare to sight Egyptian Vulture.

Upper wing of Egyptian Vulture; It is 60 cm to 70 cm in size, smaller compared to the other vultures. Not to mention, these magnificent creatures have their own distinct features. For instance, they have a small and pointed head with a bare yellowish face, dull white feathers, and black flight feathers.

Down wing of Egyptian Vulture. An Egyptian Vulture flying over the lively fishing village of the picturesque Makran coast, Balochistan, Pakistan.

Photo : MARIKO  Text: MARIKO & SAROSH

Observation : Feb2019, Makran Coast, Balochistan

Reference : Birds of Pakistan

Category : # Balochistan > ** Birds of Pakistan > - Makran Coast
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