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21 September, 2013

Raptor Migration Summary- Thoolakharka Nepal, 20 Sept, 2013



In Nepal; raptor migration count has been started from 15 Sept and will continued through mid Dec. Last year total of 10,000 individual raptors of 30 species were migrated here. We are the only watch site in the world where we get highest number of Steppe Eagles (Aquila nipalensis nipalensis).  Also we are the only watch site where raptor migrates from east to west. Thus this is one of the rare watch site in the world located at the elevation of 2050 m asl. on the lap of Himalayas. In the first week we do not have significant migrants it means we are in the beginning of the season though we had total of more than 200 raptors migrating. This is the good time for Kite (Black-eared are Black Kite) migration here. In the first week almost 50% migrants were Kites. This year we saw kettle of kites on the thermal which is new and didn’t see last year, this means kite migration is observed better than last year. This year some species like Amur falcon, Eurasian hobby and Booted eagles are approximately 10 days earlier than previous year. Yesterday (20 Sept) total of 9 Eurasian (Northern) hobby were seen on migration, this number is the highest count in a single day.  We are also observing White-rumped Vulture and observation shows they also migrate here, because in several observation they can be seen gaining enough height and streaming to the west and same age ratio do not get next day as well number gets highly fluctuates, this is because of they are migrating here. Beside migratory raptors Black eagle, Mountain Hawk-eagle, Slender-billed Vulture and Red-headed Vulture are superb raptors to see.
Non-raptor migrants include Barn shallow (very common in this time) sometimes they come very close and you feel like they are hitting your head.  Weather is variable, bright sunny, temperature up to 30 degree C and feel like you are roasting while standing on sun. Suntan lotion is doesn’t working for me and only best way to prevent from sun is to use full sleeve cloths, hat and face mask. Sometimes it is also cloudy—and you can’t see Thoolakharka watch site from PaudurHill and cloud comes very low in the afternoon. We are getting very strong thunders and rain from last Wednesday and we hope this will over on coming Sunday.   Following is the migration highlight in the first week (till 20 Sept). 

Oriental Honey-buzzard                              12
Eurasian Sparrowhawk                                4
Booted Eagle                                                7
Crested Serpent Eagle                                  2
Bonelli's Eagle                                             2
Black Kite                                                    38
Black-Eared Kite                                         62
Peregrine Falcon                                          5
Eurasian Hobby                                           17
Amur Falcon                                                2
Common Kestrel                                          11
Egyptian Vulture                                          25
White rumped Vulture                                 16
Total      Raptors                                         208
Barn Swallow                                               1,304
Red-rumped Swallow                                  10
House Swift                                                 158
White-throated Needletail                           23

08 September, 2013

Participate in Raptor Migration Count

We are very close to the migration count that will start from 15th of September 2013. If you are interested to participate and help in raptor migration count at your own cost, I always appreciate your participation. Following is the approximate date to expect each species with the peak time frame and highest number counted in a single day, based on our last year count. *Number in parentheses in “Peak Time Frame” is the highest daily count within the peak migration period. 

Species
Total Counted
Peak Time Frame*
1.      Osprey
3
23 Sept – 25 Oct (1)
2.      Oriental Honey-buzzard        
381
25 Oct – 31 Oct (34)
3.      Black Kite
324
5 Oct – 10 Oct (18)
4.    Egyptian Vulture
24
22 Sept – 30 Sept (4)
5.    Griffon Vulture
85
25 Nov – 30 Nov (14)
6.      Himalayan Vulture
1,270
10 Nov – 20 Nov (103)
7.    Cinereous Vulture
73
20 Nov – 30 Nov (10)
8.    Hen Harrier
19
30 Oct – 7 Nov (4)
9.      Pallid Harrier
1
21 Oct (1)
10.   Eurasian Sparrowhawk
107
5 Oct – 12 Oct (7)
11.   Northern Goshawk
3
10 Oct – 5 Nov (1)
12.   Common Buzzard
180
10 Oct – 25 Oct (11)
13. Long-legged Buzzard
4
5 Oct – 10 Oct (2)
14. Upland Buzzard
4
10 Nov – 15 Nov (2)
15. Steppe Eagle
6,597
3 Nov – 16 Nov (572)
16. Booted Eagle
155
20 Oct – 31 Oct (15)
17. Greater Spotted Eagle
3
7 Nov – 16 Nov (1)
18. Indian Spotted Eagle
3
15 Oct – 25 Oct (1)
19. Short-toed Eagle
2
26 Sept – 20 Oct (1)
20. Crested Serpent -eagle
26
20 Sept – 30 Sept (4)
21. Pallas’s Fish-eagle
2
15 Oct – 22 Nov (1)
22. Bonelli’s Eagle
13
20 Nov – 30 Nov (8)
23. Golden Eagle
7
10 Nov – 15 Nov (1)
24. Mountain Hawk-eagle
1
18 Oct (1)
25. Amur Falcon
78
25 Oct – 1 Nov (18)
26. Eurasian Kestrel
83
20 Sept – 30 Sept (8)
27. Lesser Kestrel
66
20 Oct – 30 Oct (29)
28. Eurasian Hobby
80
10 Oct – 25 Oct (6)
29. Saker Falcon
5
20 Sept – 30 Sept (3)
30. Peregrine Falcon ssp. calidis
29
28 Sept – 10 Oct (3)
Unidentified Raptors
126
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       Total 2012
9,754
15 Sep. – 4 Dec.