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Cavelossim, South Goa, India - April 2011

Published by Mark Graham (helen.graham7 AT btinternet.com)

Participants: Mark Graham

Birdwatching is straightforward and the scenery, beaches and people at the south end of South Goa are wonderful. First timer but loved the birdwatching. Avoid April. Too humid! Saw 45 lifers and took life list to 534.

Used the Helm Guide to Birds of South India.

The most unusual bird I saw was the Black bittern near the Cavelossim paddyfield.

There are regular buses outside hotel.5 rupees a trip![7p]. Also used taxis.

Stayed at the Dona Sylvia Hotel almost a bird reserve in itself! Didn’t want to spend hours travelling around. Content to see birds locally.

Cavelossim proved to be a perfect destination. It is bounded north and south with scrubland, open tracts of flat land and thick woodland. To the west there is the unspoilt beach and to the east the River Sal. Just outside the village in the north there are some large pools and the paddyfield. It is buzzing with birds around the Dona Sylvia Hotel gardens. The vegetation is lush and the lawns at the seaward end are so well watered they are a virtual wetland site.

Birds included Purple Sunbird, Tailorbird, Red-vented Bulbul, White-rumped Munia, Red-whiskered Bulbul, House Crow, House Sparrow, Jungle Minah, Ashy Prinia, Cattle Egret, Indian Pond Heron, White-throated Kingfisher, Oriental Magpie Robin,
Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Red-wattled Lapwing, White-breasted Waterhen, Barn Swallow, Wire-tailed Swallow, House Swift, Brahminy Kite, Green Bee-eater, Koel, White-browed Wagtail and Black-rumped Flameback.

Do not miss the Lonely Place Track just north of the hotel. White-throated Kingfisher, Oriental Magpie Robin, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Red-wattled Lapwing, White-breasted Waterhen, Barn Swallow, Wire-tailed Swallow, House Swift, Red-whiskered Bulbul, House Crow, House Sparrow, Jungle Minah, Ashy Prinia, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Black Kite, Coucal, Koel, Indian Peafowl, Jungle Babbler, Orange-headed Thrush, Common Iora, Brown-headed Gull (from beach), Loten's Sunbird, Brown-headed Barbet, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Common Woodshrike, Black-rumped Flameback, White-browed Fantail, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Blyth's Reed Warbler, Thick-billed Warbler, White-browed Wagtail, Pied Bushchat, House Crow.

Spent many a happy hour at Cavellosim paddyfields at northern edge of village. Star bird was Black Bittern. Seen twice in small reedy pool surronded by shrubs and trees. Also many Brahminy Kites including 20 circling the pool. 12 Redshank, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Indian Pond Heron, Indian Cormorant, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Red-wattled Lapwing, Pied Bushchat, Paddyfield Pipit, Common Sandpiper, Common Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Wire-tailed Swallow, House Crow.

On the road to Mobor saw a Shikra above treetops.

Took a trip to Chanderath Hill. Koel, Coucal, Black Drongo, White-bellied Drongo, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Black Kite, Spotted Dove, Red-vented Bulbul, Brown Shrike.

Lesser Whistling Ducks and Indian Cormorant at Velim Lake.Would think this place would warrant a lengthy visit.

Also visited Agonda which is a beach from paradise. Saw nothing unusual there birdwise but well worth the trip.