I visited Fort Aguada twice with Ads and Len with the sole intention of finding the Indian Pitta that winters there, as I had not seen this bird at three sites at Backwoods where they are known to be and at the site in Arpora Wood where a Pitta had been seen. |
We must have parked somewhere close to the parking place indicated in the Harris guide, then crossed the road and walked down some old steps onto a path which ran left and right along what appeared to be a dried up stream bed or ditch. Abhi indicated that we should walk left checking under the heavy undergrowth either side of the path.
At this point you will understand why the bird is affectionately known as the Pitta in the shitta. There is a definite odour in the air and you will probably see several locals visiting the dried up stream bed with small pots of water as this the local toilet for Fort Aguada.
Ignore the smells and sites leave any women in the taxi unless they are ardent birders and persevere.|
Our first visit turned a blank as far as the Pitta was concerned but we saw a large flock of Baya Weavers in the fields opposite and Orange-headed Thrush in the ditch.
Our second visit was more fruitful. Abhi crouching down indicated to us that he had found the Pitta under some dense foliage on the opposite side of the path to the ditch. My initial views were of three white stripes in the gloom as the Pitta moved its head about whilst preening. However, a few moments later the bird hopped out of the undergrowth into to the light, totally unconcerned by our presence. It then proceeded to hop round giving excellent views from all angles. Thank goodness for that, we wouldn't have to visit the stinky place for a third time. If you should venture into the ditch to look for the bird as some intrepid birders have been known to do, please watch out for the local Water Buffalo that frequent the area as these beasts have been known to accidentally tread the odd birder into the unspeakable delights under the bushes so beware!
On the first visit to Fort Aguada we drove up to the fort and walked towards the cliffs behind it. Here we saw our only Common Buzzard of the holiday circling the trees with Oriental Honey Buzzard. A large roost of Little Green Bee Eaters was gathering in the trees at the top of the hill as we left in the dusk.
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