Birds of Nepal


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Birds are everywhere. Waking up in Kathmandu during our first few weeks, it was a surprise hearing birds in the morning. On the 21st floor of a high rise tower in Manila we never heard them at all. In fact, we rarely saw birds at all in Manila. Kathmandu is packed with crows (that probably deserve a post all of their own)…but they are loud, obnoxious, and omnipresent. Many of Kathmandu’s religious sites are packed with swarms of pooping pigeons so, between Kathmandu’s two biggest bird populations, there aren’t the best examples of bird life. But fortunately they aren’t alone. I’ve seen green parrots in the mango tree, elegant yellow birds digging for worms on our lawn and little black tits flying around our yard.

But the best birds – and there are some amazing ones – are outside of the city. Chitwan was teeming with beautiful peacocks and tropical varieties, and birds of prey are everywhere here.  Here are some pictures from our travels:

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The omnipresent crow…there always one looking down on you from somewhere…

black crows

…always. They are just waiting from a moment to fly down and swoop the food from your plate

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….and they sneak up on you when you’re not looking. The farmers here had left their lunch unattended. Spot the crow!

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In Shivapuri, we marveled at the incredible number of birds of prey in flight all at the same time: hawks, kytes and vultures circled overhead. Just look at them all….

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white egret

My favorites though are the egrets, who just arrive and hang out for a while. They aren’t skiddish unlike most birds and loved to pose for pictures

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Missing here are some photos of the beautiful, colourful Chitwan birds…so part two needs to follow later…

Pokhara: Last Stop!


As interesting as it was to visit Lumbini, it was a good feeling to drive out of the dust and heat, and slowly make our way up from south to north through Nepalese hill country. For about six hours we wound up and down hillsides on narrow roads, drove through small roadside small villages, and finally arrived in Pokhara in the late afternoon.

This was my fifth or sixth visit to the city and I wanted to try a new location away from the hustle and bustle of Lakeside. So I picked Maya Devi Resort on the north shore of Phewa lake. Its a quiet, undeveloped location with just the occasional paragliders who drop out of the sky on to the small beach and, unexpectedly, a very good Thai restaurant.

The resort is small and laid back, and specializes in parahawking, a unique type of paragliding.  The owner rescues birds of prey and trains them to lead paragliders to the best thermals, and the paragliders gets a very cool flight experience with a bird.

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The little hut where we stayed

But we were just there for the relaxation and scenery. And made a few animal friends anyway:

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One of the Egyptian parahawking vultures – Bob, I think?!

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….and one of his kyte friends.

It was a quiet, relaxing 3 days. The downside was that Susie barely got a glimpse of the Himalayas — she should have had panoramic views – but we did get to spend time rowing on the lake, gossiping in cafes, and trolling around the shops at a much more leisurely pace than normal.

What a great trip!  From jungle to dusty Indian border towns to quiet lakeside silence…..I’ve had worse weeks. ;o)

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Loved the emptiness of the lake beach at night

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