Dona Paula

I visited Dona Paula with Len and Ads early in the morning with the specific intention of catching up with Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark, a bird we had not seen at a site mentioned in Mark Dennis's trip report or in the dry fields close to the Merk Meat Factory known to Abhi for this species.
Dona Paula Plateau On our arrival we immediately saw Malabar Lark and Oriental Skylark and Abhi's keen ears picked up the flight call of the target bird.
Several Sparrow Larks flew around overhead and it took 30 minutes or so to locate birds on the ground. Watching them in flight and waiting for them to land was the best method of catching them on the ground. The male birds were intent on chasing each other round in a display flight. Eventually good views at close range were obtained of both male and female birds.
Whilst watching the Sparrow Larks Abhi attracted our attention to a passing raptor, my only Black-shouldered Kite of the holiday.
The Cidade de Goa Hotel and the marshy area near it are no longer of attraction to birders according to Abhi as most of the land including the marsh has been built on. The same is apparently true for Farmagudi Engineering College.

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