Trip Report

home  I  galleries  I  trip reports  I  checklists  I  beginners  I  sites  I  articles  I  guestbook  I   misc


Trip Report symbol © Sumit Sen

by Sujan Chatterjee
27 April - 30 April 2009

 © Sujan  © Sujan
                       Olive Bulbul                                              Spot-throated Babbler                 

The northeastern state of Tripura is tucked away at one corner of India. Covering 10490 sq. kms, this mainly hilly area is surrounded by the deltaic basin of Bangladesh. Being situated at the south-western extremity of northeastern region of the country, landlocked Tripura is cut-off from the mainstream and very little is known about the birds of the area.

The mystique of the unknown is always a great temptation, and I succumbed to it in April 2009 when I visited Tripura in the company of Apurba Chakraborty to complete a reconnaissance for future trips. The planning and logistical support was provided by Help Tourism who also sponsored the trip.

Our visit covered two protected areas – Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary in south Tripura and Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary near the capital, Agartala.

Trishna wildlife Sanctuary: Trishna covers 194.704 Sq. Km. Located 95 kms away from Agartala, the sanctuary is accessed with permission from the office of the Wildlife Warden, at Joychandpur, 13 Km from Belonia. The forest type found here are Tropical Semi-Evergreen Forest; East Himalayan lower bhabar sal; moist mixed deciduous forest; savannah wood land.

Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary is located 35 km from Agartala on National Highway 44. The sanctuary is spread over an area of 18.53 sq km. Its famous for its Leaf Monkeys which can be easily seen. The area has some natural forests and a small area of Rubber plantation. Rest of the area has a well wooded zoo and a Botanical Garden. There are a few waterbodies in the area which hosts some resident whistling ducks and moorhens.

> 26th April: We flew to Agartala over Bangladesh and were received by Mr Pralay Ray. Mr Ray is a local, and has very good insight into Tripura.
A three hour drive over bumpy roads took us from the airport to Rajnagar. The main FRH (with great view & with forest cover) was under renovation so we settled for the one without the view. In the afternoon we visited a local pond and Sanctuary lake no 3. The birds seen there were Lesser Whistling Teals, Greyheaded Lapwing (I found it very strange to find it there in the end of April. Other birds seen & heard were Red Jungle Fowl, ever calling Indian Cuckoo, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Bengal Bush Lark, White-rumped Shama, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker.

> 27th April: This morning we visited the main sanctuary with a very tall watchtower. The track goes through a large Bamboo forest. Some of the highlight here were Hooded Pitta, Hooded Pitta  © Sujan Olive Bulbul, Drongo Cuckoo, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, and Crested Goshawk. We spent the afternoon near Lake no 1 and was rewarded with a family of Brown Fish Owls and Little Grebes.

> 28th April: Today we made decision to do a full trail of the Sanctuary (bad decision). We started with a single Male Phayre’s Leaf Monkey, Olive bulbuls and a Crow-billed Drongo. We also saw a large troop of Stump-tailed Macaques and a lone Hoolock Gibbon. Later we came across a Pale Blue Flycatcher. Then, after trekking for a few hours we reached a point where the forest became extremely degraded and finally we came out on series of encroached paddy fields within Sanctuary area. We then walked for 2 hours in the scorching mid-day heat and to return to the pick-up point.
This afternoon we packed our bags and headed towards the Sipahijala Wildlife Sanctuary. We reached the gates in the evening and got ourselves parked in the beautiful bungalow on the side of the picturesque lake. Here we took a short walk and saw the Phayre’s Leaf Monkey and a troop of Capped langurs. The lake fringes were full of Greater Racket tailed Drongos and Red-breasted Parakeet.

> 29th April: We started early and went walking and found a large troop of Leaf monkeys. We then found a Blyth’s Kingfisher on the edge of Lake. The afternoon was spent roaming around in the zoo which houses some reclusive Clouded Leopards. In the evening we made an optimistic attempt to look for a Clouded Leopard in the wild. We were guided by a local forest chowkidar, but of course we knew we can’t be all that lucky. Instead we saw some wild boars and a muntjac.

> 30th April: We drove an hour back to the airport and took a flight back home.

Hopefully a winter visit will produce more birds and waterfowl, considering the location of the state it could produce some interesting species.

Bird List:

1.White-cheeked Partridge Arborophila atrogularis
2.Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus
3.Lesser Whistling-duck Dendrocygna javanica
4.Cotton Pygmy-goose Nettapus coromandelianus
5.Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus
6.Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus
7.Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata
8.Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris
9.Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis
10.Blyth's Kingfisher Alcedo hercules
11.Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
12.Stork-billed Kingfisher Halcyon capensis
13.White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
14.Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
15.Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni
16.Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
17.Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus
18.Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus
19.Drongo Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris
20.Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopacea
21.Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis
22.Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis
23.Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis
24.Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri
25.Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis
26.House Swift Apus affinis
27.Oriental Scops Owl Otus sunia
28.Collared Scops Owl Otus bakkamoena
29.Brown Fish Owl Ketupa zeylonensis
30.Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides
31.Spotted Owlet Athene brama
32.Brown Hawk Owl Ninox scutulata
33.Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis
34.Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica
35.Pompadour Green Pigeon Treron pompadora
36.White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
37.Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
38.Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
39.Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus
40.Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus
41.Grey-headed Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus
42.Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela
43.Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus
44.Little Grebe Podiceps ruficollis
45.Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger
46.Little Egret Egretta garzetta
47.Great Egret Casmerodius albus
48.Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia
49.Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
50.Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii
51.Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus
52.Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans
53.Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons
54.Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach
55.Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus
56.Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda
57.Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae
58.Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
59.Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus
60.Large Cuckooshrike Coracina macei
61.Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
62.White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis
63.Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus
64.Crow-billed Drongo Dicrurus annectans
65.Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus
66.Spangled Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus
67.Greater Racket Tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus
68.Asian Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi
69.Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
70.Pale-chinned Flycatcher Cyornis poliogenys
71.Pale Blue Flycatcher Cyornis unicolor
72.Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis
73.White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus
74.Black-backed Forktail Enicurus immaculatus
75.Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus
76.Asian Pied Starling Sturnus contra
77.Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
78.Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus
79.White-vented Myna Acridotheres cinereus
80.Hill Myna Gracula religiosa
81.Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus
82.Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer
83.White-throated Bulbul Alophoixus flaveolus
84.Olive Bulbul Iola virescens
85.Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris
86.Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus
87.Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius
88.Dark-necked Tailorbird Orthotomus atrogularis
89.Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides
90.Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax pectoralis
91.Spot-throated Babbler Pellorneum albiventre
92.White-browed Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus schisticeps
93.Bengal Bushlark Mirafra assamica
94.Pale-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum erythrorynchos
95.Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum
96.Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Anthreptes singalensis
97.Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra
98.House Sparrow Passer domesticus
99.Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus
100.White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata

© Sujan Chatterjee;
Contact: East India Birding



Sumit K Sen 2001 - 2009    I   
All rights reserved    I    Last updated 01 May 2011    I    Contact Us