Goa has traditionally been one of the most popular birding destinations in Asia. With a new itinerary for the New Year ahead, our three-centre tour in January is perfectly timed - temperatures in western India are then at their coolest, and the region's abundant resident species are joined by wintering birds from further north.
Escape the long dark days of the British winter and let guide David Walsh help you to start 2020 with a tropical bang!
Beginning in south Goa, we visit the under-watched Cotigao and Netravali National Parks in the foothills of the Western Ghats, looking for Malabar Barbet, Malabar Trogon, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Indian Blue Robin and Green Imperial Pigeon; we also have a chance of seeing a herd of Indian Bison! Having moved inland to Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary, our mouth-watering targets include Indian Pitta, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Blue-faced Malkoha and Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, with the charismatic Malabar Giant Squirrel entertaining us in the treetops.
We spend the final leg of our holiday in coastal north Goa. A wide variety of gulls, terns and waders should include Pallas’s Gull and Small Pratincole, whilst the wetlands play host to some superb raptors including both Indian Spotted and Greater Spotted Eagles. Forest remnants hold further specialities including Indian Yellow Tit, Plum-headed Parakeet and Vigors’s Sunbird. A boat trip makes any tour extra special, and on the Zuari river we can expect the sought-after Black-capped and Collared Kingfishers, plus White-bellied Sea Eagle, Lesser Adjutant and no fewer than ten species of heron.
In addition to seeing 250 or more species of bird, we hope to identify around 50 species of butterfly, many of which are large and colourful, as well as a fascinating selection of beautiful dragonflies.