At the end of a hectic and stressful week, Hassath and I spent a
pleasant morning at Basai.
While driving to Basai, we saw a fat White-throated Kingfisher trying to
kill a very large (and very resilient) insect. It grabbed the bug from a
puddle in the road in front of us and smashed it repeatedly on the road;
but the unwilling victim kept trying to crawl away, only to be grabbed
and subjected to the same harsh treatment again.
A little further on, I almost overlooked my first pair of Greater
Painted-snipe in a shallow pond by the road. I've been hearing reports
of this species for years, but never had any luck looking for
them, so it was a pleasant surprise to get such a nice view.
Other highlights included a lone Whiskered Tern in flight over Basai, an
adult and a juvenile Oriental Pratincole, Pheasant-tailed Jaçanas
everywhere, some very dark Ruffs, and dozens of Little Egrets—some still
with plumes and a patch of purple skin in front of the eye—fighting each
other in a flooded paddy field.
Apart from the Ruffs, there were a number of other waders, including
Wood, Green, and Marsh Sandpipers, Little Stints, and Redshanks. There
was also an unusually large number of Cormorants at Basai—I guess these
are the birds that usually feed at Sultanpur, but have been forced away
because the lake was drained.
Speaking of which, Sultanpur is still closed.