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23 October, 2018

We are Counting: Big Migration of Eagle on the Way

21 Oct 2018, My colleague Sandesh has begun migration count at Thoolakharka watch site, Nepal. This year we could set up the count little late so that we couldn't meet up our first Steppe Eagle, which is likely to come our watch site between 7 to 12 October. Based on our previous count, it is likely we missed to say Goodbye to approximately 50 (range: 10 - 110) Steppies. Therefore, this is just a beginning for Steppe Eagle migration in this part and  many more still waiting to make their first takeoff of this long journey from the Mongolian Steppes and some already did it and suffering to cross high Himalayas from the eastern Nepal and even Bhutan. Satellite tracking data shows they mostly enter from the eastern Himalayas and follow the east west extension of Himalayan Mountain chain.

Besides Steppies we get fairly good species of raptors (however in low number), previously 35 species of migrating raptors were recorded here. Additionally 11 resident raptor species are around this watch site, for e.g. these includes majestic Bearded Vulture and Mountain Hawk Eagle. In the last two days Sandesh has recorded 10 species on migration. I made a comparison on these species number with the previous counts. Although it is not a good way to compare the data for only 2 days because the variation on several factors alters the migration timing. However it is the easiest way to mapping migration trend over timing. Presenting you a list of species and number that we got during two initial days and the graph.

This year raptor migration count is sponsored by Raptours (, sincere thanks for the generous support.

List of migrating raptors counted on 21 and 22 Oct

Oriental Honey Buzzard

Himalayan Buzzard 2
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1
Steppe Eagle 33
Booted Eagle 5
Black Kite 6
Eurasian Hobby 3
Common Kestrel  3
Himalayan Vulture 9
Griffon Vulture 1