Goa, Day 1, 10 February 2012 - Baga area

This trip wasn't a tour as such, more of a holiday and a crafty recce with a future tour in mind!

After a long and tiring journey we didn't arrive at our hotel (the Biera Mar in Baga) until 3am so we didn't make an early start on day 1!

The Biera Mar has the advantage of backing onto some prime marshland habitat and this can be viewed easily from the swimming pool and terrace bar area. Despite recent reports of the marsh being drained and building work meaning a serious degredation of the habitat I can't say I noticed. There we always plenty of birds to look at. On this first morning the wires held Malabar Lark (my only one of the trip), 2 Ashy Woodswallows, 30+ White-rumped Munias, the ubiqitous Black Drongos, 50+ Rose-coloured Starlings, 2 Chestnut-tailed Starlings, Indian Roller and White-throated Kingfisher while several Brahminy Kites and loads of Black Kites where floating about. It also quickly became obvious how common Indian Pond Herons are! The hotel grounds held Common Tailorbird and Purple-rumped Sunbird. A walk along the road north to Baga Bridge and then eastwards towards Arpora village then produced my first Jungle Mynas, Common Myna, Little Green Bee-eaters, Red-wattled Lapwings, Intermediate Egrets, Little Swift, House Crows (the first and last time I mention these as they are mega common!), Common Kingfisher, Indian Cormorant and Ring-necked Parakeets. On a side road I managed to get close enough to a pair of Purple Sunbirds to get some snaps and we also had 2 Indian Golden Orioles close to Baga Bridge.

Little Green Bee-eater 

Jungle Myna

Common Myna

Black Drongo

Rose-coloured Starling

Common Kingfisher

Purple Sunbird

Purple Sunbird

That evening, back on the hotel terrace a small shaded pool immediately over the wall produced soem great views of Cinnamon Bittern and White-breasted Waterhen whilst Long-tailed Shrike, Black-shouldered Kite and Greater Coucal were also close by on the marsh.

White-breasted Waterhen

Cinnamon Bittern

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