Birds of Mashobra - An amateur guide
Updated: Jan 25
Mashobra and the adjoining areas are a pleasure for birding! Apart from The Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary, you can take any of the trails and lookout for the local avifauna. Here's the list of the all the birds I have spotter.
As I am not a photographer, all these pictures are sourced from Instagram but the sightings were very much my own.
Resident flocks that you chance upon every few weeks.
Red-Billed Blue Magpie
A striking yet common resident of the forest patches. Loud and big, easy to spot.
This vulture holds the record for one of the largest wingspan of any bird. Found soaring on thermals all throughout the year.
Common resident, the blue hits you when the bird is facing the light or perching near a snowy landscape.
Tiny yet easy to spot hopping from branches in groups of 2-8
A riot of colours, this bird is loud and create quite a ruckus in the forest. Always a pleasure to observe.
Commonly known as Teetar, swarms come up the hills during monsoon and be heard easily. Spotting my first one took me a few months.
Oriental Turtle Dove
Common visitor during the summer months. Easy to differentiate from other doves and pigeons.
I would always assume that some domestic fowls were crowing before I chanced about a beautiful large male.
The sweetest singer of the area. Common to spot in the fringes, easy to get close to. The mohawk is kinda cool too with the yellow rump.
Spotted it once in the reserve sanctuary. And then a flock of 20 behind The Nilaya!
Flying in loud flocks of 3-6 overhead. Can be heard first and then spotted easily.
This one has an unreal shade of blue and the first sighting often leaves you speechless. Common from the spring to the monsoons.
Scaly Bellied Woodpecker
The only woodpecker I have been able to identify correctly, thanks to some good birders that stayed at The Nilaya and took me out birding.
Streaked Laughing Thrush
Fairly common resident of the thickets. Probably observed this bird the most - roosting, nesting, mating, feeding.
Long Tailed Minivet
One of my favourite birds that I have seen in Mashobra. How amazing is that scarlet/red?
Winter visitor! And all of them in the flock were really plump.
Himalayan Blue Tail
Lucky to spot this colourful bird, after chasing it for half the trail, it finally settled on the path itself and I could ID it in peace.
I first spotted something similar near Theog, stopped by car and tried to ID it but with no luck. Thankfully, recently in Mashobra found a calm pair.
One of our guests who took me birding introduced me to this summer visitor. Often perching at ideal spot for photographers are staying still.
I keep updating the list as and when I spot birds/confirm the ID. I have spotted many more wagtails, tits, a rosefinch, owls, woodpeckers, treecreepers, I think a wallcreeper, sparrows, crows, doves, parakeets, cuckoos, and some raptors but without a confirmed ID.
If you are in Mashobra and want to go out birding, hit us up! We can take you for a walk around and maybe learn a thing or two together.
The Nilaya offers nature walks daily which can be tweaked to time the best hours for birding (dawn and dusk)