Pindi Gheb - D.G Khan
January 28th - February 9th, 2006
By BCP member Saad Nawaz Qaisrani
Finding some 2 weeks of free time, i
decided to make a visit to Pindi gheb on 28 January and stay till 30th.
A second trip to Dera Ghazi Khan was planned from 4th February to 9th.
Birding was done, and did prove worth the effort and time, as should be
revealed by the trip list.
The 1st trip to Pindi gheb was started
on the evening of 28th of Jan. By the time we reached the destination it
was already night time. So we decided to check out rabbits after dinner.
Our decision proved worthwhile as we saw about 9 rabbits in 2 hours.
Another good thing seen that night was a pack of wolves. Due to darkness
the numbers couldn't be ascertained, but the pack must have included 5
wolves at least.
The next morning gave numerous Grey
Francolins calling and seen. It also produced a Jackal. After breakfast
we decided to take a walk to reach the river Soan to look for water
birds. The hills of Pindi gheb are immensely beautiful. The landscape is
generally rocky. One specie missing in this trip was the Painted
hills were ideal habitat for it. The scenery during the walk to the
river was exhilarating. Worth mentioning are the rocky hills, the sheer
precipice of cliffs that housed colonies of Rock Pigeons and Parakeets.
Also seen here were the Common Ravens. Also, there was a natural stream
flowing that drained into Soan. Its water was crystal clear. The trip to
the river proved great. Immediately we were rewarded with Ruddy
Shelducks, Gadwalls and Coots. Also present were the wintering
Tits. Later came the Black Storks. In the evening we came across a fox
and the same Grey Francolins.
The Trip to Dera Ghazi Khan was same
as usual. A single pond was earmarked for birding and it produced
everything we could want. Red necked Falcon, Prinias, Water Rail, Common
Coot, White breasted Waterhen, Snipes and numerous other waders were
seen. Other than this a trip was made to the desert tracts and this paid
off immensely, by rewarding me with my first Saker Falcon.
On the way back we passed from Chashma
barrage. The reservoir there revealed most of the Ducks, Egrets, Gulls
and Terns mentioned in the list. Worth mentioning is that a trip was
made to some Ancient Tombs near Proa in my area. The drive was very
hard, and after doing it I really consider myself an expert driver!
The details of the tombs are foggy,
but as per our renowned historian Professor Ahmad Hassan Dani the tombs
seem to be of Tughluq style and era, dating back to the 13th century
A trip list is attached for
3.Indian Pond Heron
9.Black Stork (More than 50 seen in the bed of river Soan in Pindi
gheb on 2 consecutive days. Also kept circling above for long hours on
10.Bar headed Goose (A single bird seen in abandoned Cotton fields
alongside a pond in Dera Ghazi Khan)
11.Ruddy Shelduck (Flocks seen in River Soan)
20.Black shouldered Kite
26.Long legged Buzzard
30.Red necked Falcon
31.Saker Falcon (It was spotted flying very high up in the air by
a falconer. He noted its presence by the fact that the falconer's
captive Laggar Falcon was feeling afraid/shy of something above. Later
it was shown to me)
33.Black Francolin (Amazingly common in the bed of River Soan.
Males were calling in January. A single female was flushed and a cousin
saw 3 more running)
36.Water Rail (A single bird seen in a pond in Dera Ghazi Khan.
Some numbers were seen on that pond last year too. This particular pond
proved to be a great birding spot, revealing 4 rail species, a Common
Teal, a Bar headed Goose, Sind Sparrows and many more waders and
39.White breasted Waterhen
40.Black winged Stilt
42.Little Ringed Plover
43.Red wattled Lapwing
44.White tailed Lapwing
46.Common Snipe (Very common but shy. Uttered beautiful sounds
53.Black bellied Tern (Common, seen at Chashma barrage)
54.Lesser Black backed Gull
55.Black headed Gull
56.Greater Black headed Gull
58.Eurasian Collared Dove
60.Rose ringed Parakeet
63.White throated Kingfisher
64.Small Blue Kingfisher
68.Black rumped Flameback
76.White eared Bulbul
77.Red vented Bulbul
80.Brown rock Chat (This specialty bird was seen in Rawalpindi
before journey started)
81.Pied Bush chat
87.Rufous fronted Prinia
Seen commonly in Pindi gheb.
Wintering in Pindi gheb.
94.Bay backed Shrike
95.Southern Grey Shrike
96.Long tailed Shrike
100.Rook (Seen just outside Rawalpindi)
101.Common Raven (Rare in Punjab. However, still survives in good
numbers in Pindi gheb)
105.Sind Sparrow (Common. Seen at many places. For example the
pond mentioned above)
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