Some days, it just doesn’t pan out as planned, but we didn’t know that as Rayman picked us up at 5.30am and we headed south to the lakes and tanks around Cutorim on December 20th.
A different side of Goa, the lakes were still stacked with birds – especially wildfowl and the sun rose and residents came to see why we were staring intently at the shallow water…
Shoveler, Pintail and Teal everywhere, Bronze Winged Jacanas, Black Drongos and White Throated Kingfishers on the wires overhead – a great way to start the day.
Pathside weeds held a fine feeding flock of Black Throated Munias, but it took some time for us to get good views of this scarce Goa resident.
Graceful River Terns floated by on pearl grey wings, and at the second tank a pair were entrancing as they fly in perfect synchronicity over the waters – incredibly beautiful.
(picture courtesy Chris Kehoe)
In the shallows Cotton Pygmy Goose sailed past White Browed wagtails feeding on the mud, while in deeper water splendid Indian Spot Billed Ducks floated about lethargically, while two big Comb Ducks squinted at us.
Appetites raw and ready, Rayman took us into the bustling town of Margao where we ordered way too many samosas, bhajis, coffee and lassis for breakfast before hitting the road.
Or rather the road hit us, as a short time later Rayman was involved in a collision with two ladies on a moped, who mercifully escaped the crash with minor injuries, despite the impact.
Shocking, and naturally Rayman spent the rest of the day filling in reports and making sure the ladies were okay at the hospital, but it brought the birding to an end and we headed back to Arpora in a hastily arranged cab, all quite subdued.
A reminder that not all those close shaves on Indian roads pass in a blur and without consequences.
Cutorim area, 20.12.18:
Coot, Moorhen, Pheasant Tailed Jacana, Bronze Winged Jacana, Grey Headed Swamphen, River Tern, Pied Kingfisher, White Throated Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Pintail, Shoveler, Teal, Cotton Pygmy Goose, White Browed Wagtail, Ashy Prinia, Black Throated Munia, Lesser Whistling Duck, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Indian Pond Heron, Small Pratincole, Indian Cormorant, Brahminy Kite, Jungle Myna, Black Kite, Glossy Ibis, Black Necked Ibis, Purple Heron, Openbill Stork, Osprey, Gull Billed Tern, Spot Billed Duck (8+), Garganey, Comb Duck, Wire Tailed Swallow, Eastern Red Rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black Drongo, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, Alpine Swift, Southern Coucal, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Rock Dove, Asian Koel, Green Warbler.