Birdie Log


It’s impressive how widely some species, especially birds, are distributed. This isn’t influenced only by latitude & longitude, but also by terrain. For example, in open country, we see kestrels in the UK through to Kyrgyzstan. We didn’t see them in e.g. Austria,  but there we were mostly in woodland. In India we started going into nature reserves with guides,  which meant we spotted a whole lot more.

At the bottom are the things we haven’t identified yet, although in some cases it’s in a notebook somewhere…

Photography note: We can’t carry long lenses on this trip. Most distant creatures we shot with Gideon’s Olympus MFT with a 45mm lens, or Clare’s Nikon APSC with a 55mm zoom. There are some pretty extreme crops below!



Raptors, Vultures, Owls

Kestrels. England to Tajikistan. India.

Buzzards. England t Kazakhstan, but especially in Germany where they seem to beat the crows and seagulls to the follow-the-tractor eco-niche. From Hungary, we’re increasingly doubtful they are all actually buzzards.

Asian Honey Buzzard (Which AFAIK is not, actually any kind of buzzard). India.


Asian Honey Buzzard


Steppe Eagle. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan. Numerous in desert, but very confusable with buzzard.

Buzzardy thing but chestnutish and maybe smaller. Hungary, Croatia.

Buzzardy thing but distinct black underside wingtips. Hungary?

Golden Eagle. Tajikistan (Panj). Seemed to be followed by magpies, and mobbed by crows. Once it was seated, we watched it for a while through our monocular, and saw it quite clearly in profile.

Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier). Tajikistan (Pamirs).

Large soarer, three together, big square wings, short rounded tail, short neck, TODO Add Gid photos. India (Thar).

Wedge Tailed Eagle. Australia.

White Bellied Sea Eagle. Australia (Below)

.Medium sized raptor, buzzard habits (maybe lower, a bit harrier like?).

Red kite. England (not this trip). Maybe France (memory unclear!).

Kite, maybe red. Kazakhstan, seem to be a lot of raptors up on the steppes.

Black Kite. India. Very numerous over Delhi. Scavengers of detritus, and apparently known to the old British Army in India as “Shite Hawk”. Australia. Singly overhead and many on carcass. Rather plain mousy brown, darker tail. 

Black Winged Kite (Black Shouldered Kite). India.

Whistling Kite (“M” markings). Australia.

Brahminy Kite. Thailand (I think, maybe it was Malaysia), Australia (below, think juvenile BK)..


I’m ignoring you. Think it’s an immature Brahminy Kite.

Marsh Harrier. India.


Big falcon pair. Croatia.

Bird with slim sharp tipped falcony wings and straight tail, dark, bigger than kestrel,  smaller than buzzard, swooping and swerving erratically low over steppe. Look to be trying to flush prey. Kazakhstan.

Pale hawky falcony thing, seen twice, second time both got photos bigger than kestrel, smaller than buzzard. Also dark falcony thing, very slender pointed maybe crescent wings, slightly smaller Day or two later, three raptors together, on ground tho no visible carcass, all big, two light coloured, one quite dark. India (Thar). TODO Add photos.

Unidentified raptors. Thailand. Four photos, two birds. Not certain the two are the same species. Long tail. Long wings, usually pointed wingtips, but occasionally “fingers”. Wings pale underneath with black wingtips. Pale under head and breast. Usually patrolling slow and low over southern Thailand rainforest/rubber or palm plantations. We’ve seen at least four, so not rare. Cannot work out what it is, doesn’t match anything in Wikipedia’s Birds of Thailand.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnknown raptor. Indonesia (Sumatra), seen in the distance patrolling low over the edge of the palm oil plantation, beach, and sea.





American Kestrel. All western states USA. Doesn’t often sit still enough for a photo.

Bald Eagle. NM, USA.Bald Eagle

Large raptor brown with white band about rump. All western states, USA.

Peregrine falcon (we were told). California, USA, on sea cliffs.

Unidentified raptors. Western states, USA, as photos.

Spotted Owl? New Mexico, USA. The day trip into Gila National Forest to see the cliff dwellings was also scenic and good for wildlife watching. This (we’re told) lady was inside the monument.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Storks and Herons

Black stork. Hungary, Serbia.

Painted Stork. India.

Lesser Adjutant. India (Bandhavgarh). Not certain the ones flying are the same.

Spoonbill. India.

Storky thing, Turkey sized, dark, long downcurved bill, on ground, pair. India (Thar).



Open Billed Stork. Thailand. The bill is specially for eating snails, apparently. Very numerous in paddy fields.

Cranes. Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Georgia. Seen some stork nests in Uzbekistan, too.

Stork or Crane, not sure. India (Delhi, picture).img_1262-2


Australian White Ibis. Australia, Cairns.

Straw Necked Ibis. Australia, Cairns.

Large egret. Croatia, Kyrgyzstan. India. NM/TX border, USA.

Little egret. India, Myanmar, Thailand.

Grey heron. England thru Serbia. India. Also something very like it near the NM/TX border in USA.



Purple Heron. India.

Cattle Egret. Serbia. Thailand.

Indian Pond Heron. India. Myanmar. Possibly also Thailand, but that looks a bit darker on the back. Or it maybe was juvenile or breeding plumage. Or a night heron.


Chinese Pond Heron. Thailand. Or maybe it was Indian, but in breeding plumage (April). Look, how many herons do you want?


? Heron. Australia. Todo: Add photo from Cairns esplanade. Identify. All dark small heron.

Australian Pelican. Australia._CTF6543-1

Pelican. California, USA. A big white & black one like the Australian above, and a smaller brown one. Possibly a smaller black and white one too – can’t entirely remember.

Jungle Birds

Indian Grey Hornbill. India.

Pied Hornbill. Thailand.


Orange Footed Scrubfowl. Indonesia (Rinka), Australia.

Australian Brush Turkey. Australia.


Kingfisher (Common). India.


Common Kingfisher


Pied Kingfisher. India.

White Breasted Kingfisher. India.

Kookaburra. Australia. Lots of different sorts. Todo: add Clare’s photos.


Lapwing (or something like) Serbia, Romania

Red Wattled Lapwing. India, Thailand.


Red Wattled Lapwing

Masked Lapwing. Australia, Cairns. Yellow wattles. 

Grey with orange legs. Serbia (wetlands)

Crow Family

Crows/rooks. England thru Austria. Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, India (not Thar). Myanmar, Thailand.

Hooded crow. Austria thru Serbia. Turkey. Georgia. Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, India (Thar, maybe slightly smaller?).


Hooded Crow, Thar Desert

Raven. Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan

Chough. Tajikistan (Panj valley)

Jackdaws. England, Romania, Turkey

Jays. Germany, Austria. And probably further east as far as Georgia, but some potential for confusion with Hoopooe or Roller. Azerbaijan.

Magpies. Sporadically, fewer France to Hungary. More again from Croatia. Georgia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgistan, Tajikistan (loads, and seen mobbing crows).

Like a magpie, but all dark (dark brown/black), a bit smaller, smaller bill, same noise and shape and flight. India.

Australian Magpie.



Crows with blue eyes (like Jackdaws in England). Australia.

Crow-like thing with hooked beak tip. Australia.

Parrotty and Parakeety Things

Green Parakeets. India.


Parakeets at the Taj Mahal Mosque

Lorikeets. Australia.

Galah. Australia

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. Australia.

Cockatoo, Black with red marks on tail. Australia.

Birds of the Open

European Roller. Georgia (extreme East). Uzbekistan, Thailand.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Asian Roller. India, Thailand.

Hoopooe. Serbia, Romania, Georgia. Thailand.

Quail. Arizona, NM, USA.


Sparrows. Everywhere.

LBJ. Everywhere. (The Zebra Dove is here as a placeholder for a limitation in WordPress).

Skylark. Europe, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nuthatch. Uzbekistan, at a teahouse. Not sure the photos are of it, though… Are we sure?

Small greenish bird. Most countries in Europe.

Plump small bird (bigger than Robin, shorter than European starling, dark, rusty red rump, white flashes, small bill. Tajikistan (Panj and high plains).

Rosefinch. Tentative id from a car, of a bright pink are diving into a bush. Dark wings and head. Mountain valley, Kyrgyzstan.

Goldfinches. Germany thru Serbia. Georgia

Pied wagtail. England thru Georgia. Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan. India (maybe, but see below).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Grey wagtail (ie, yellow, but not a yellow wagtail). Errr – forgot where!

White Browed Wagtail (India).



Unknown. Arizona (tree), NM (by snow), USA


Pigeon. Every town. And in the Panj valley, here is a mixed flock of pigeons and either crows or choughs, at dawn near Langar.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Collared doves. Increasing as further south.

Small slim collared doves without collars. Rosier tinted and darker into the ‘stans. Not sure if always same bird. Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgistan, Tajikistan, India.

Dove similar to above, with dark collar, darker and much more rosy. Thailand.

Zebra dove. Thailand

Miscellaneous Birds

Honey Eater? Flores, Indonesia. Below left.

Pretty little green bird, sadly in cages. Bali, Indonesia. Below right.

Bluebirds. NM, USA (in mountain pine forest).





Starlings, Mynahs, Dollarbirds, Drongos


Dollarbird (maybe). Thailand.

Starling. Europe, New Zealand.


Vinous Breasted Starling?

Vinous Breasted Starling. Thailand. Maybe. Looks like some mynah, but no mynahs we can find have grey heads. Quite numerous around villages in the west/south.

Leatherhead. Australia.

Unknown, Australia.


Near the 12 Apostles, Victoria, Australia

Common Mynah. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan. India, Myanmar, Thailand.

Bank Mynah. India.

Mynah/Starling-like things. Arizona, NM, USA.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Black Drongo. India. Thailand.

Racket Tailed Drongo. India (Bandhavgarh)


Swifts (swiftlets?). Indonesia. Of course there have been swallow and swift type things all the way through, but too fast for us to photograph. But these little birds were nesting in a shop, so slowed down for me. They are possibly the same species that the locals from Thailand onwards try to tempt to nest in big concrete structures which continually play a loud recording of birds on the nest. Presumably to make birds nest soup.


Ducks (mallard). England thru Serbia. India (but not common).

Ducks (other). A few, Hungary? India.

Gosander. Austria?

Geese. Occasionally.

White breasted (TBC) waterfowl. India.

Some kind of Moorhen that’s not the same as European. India. Thailand.

Cormorants. Germany. Tajikistan (Panj). India (Greater Cormorant). Thailand. Unlike most in the UK, these (and the other cormorants) were inland.

Lesser Cormorant. India.

Indian Cormorant (Snake Bird, distinct green eye). India, Myanmar (esp Inle).



Silver Gull. Australia.

Grebe. Germany?

Little Grebe. India.

Swans. England thru Serbia.

Terns (Grey). Romania. Maybe Uzbekistan.

Terns. India. Australia.


Things Waiting To Be Added/Identified




Keoladeo – Magpie Robin maybe?


Keoladeo. Various herons. On tree, Marsh Harrier


Seen in Thar Desert. Gerbil? Small athletic Deer, dust coloured, small straight horns? dark markings on head or are (can’t remember). Storky thing, Turkey sized, dark, long downcurved bill, on ground, pair (Gid photo). pale hawky falcony thing, seen twice, second time both got photos bigger than kestrel, smaller than buzzard. Also dark falcony thing, very slender pointed maybe crescent wings, slightly smaller. Large soarer, three together, big square wings, short rounded tail, short neck, Gid photos. 13th, three raptors together, on ground tho no visible carcass, all big, two light coloured, one quite dark, some reasonable photos. Hoopooe both days. Rollers, blue/green but seem small.

On way to Pali, quite large Deer, small herd, poss females and young. About red deer size. Adults plain, light tan, maybe a little striping beside tail. Young maybe light speckled.

In the unsorted photos below, the flying eagles (?) are not the same occasion as the eagle’s (?) nest. The birds on the ground are Egyptian Vulture (white, pretty certain) and probably the same, juvenile (they seemed closely associated).

Unsorted 1 – Thar Desert

Unsorted 2 – South Eastern Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh

Bandhavgarh and nearby.