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  • Writer's pictureLaksh Arora

Birds of Mashobra - An amateur guide

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

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.

Kalij/Khaleej Pheasant

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.

Himalayan Griffon

This vulture holds the record for one of the largest wingspan of any bird. Found soaring on thermals all throughout the year.

Blue Whistling-thrush

Common resident, the blue hits you when the bird is facing the light or perching near a snowy landscape.

Green-Backet Tit

Tiny yet easy to spot hopping from branches in groups of 2-8

Great Barbet

A riot of colours, this bird is loud and create quite a ruckus in the forest. Always a pleasure to observe.

Black Francolin

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.

Red Junglefowl

I would always assume that some domestic fowls were crowing before I chanced about a beautiful large male.

Himalayan Bulbul

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.

Black-headed Jay

Spotted it once in the reserve sanctuary. And then a flock of 20 behind The Nilaya!

Slaty-headed Parakeet

Flying in loud flocks of 3-6 overhead. Can be heard first and then spotted easily.

Verditer Flycatcher

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?

Rufous Sibia

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.

Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush

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.

Grey Bushchat

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)


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