Goa 2010/11

Goa 2010/11

Jungleland II

December 21st 2010 - January 11th 2011

Species Total For Trip 000
Please Note That A Very Extensive Trip Report From 2009 Is Recommended To Be Used In Conjunction With This Report As Details, Maps, And Other Details Will Be Spread Over The Two Reports. Just Click On The Left Menu Choosing Goa 2009.

Goa Videos

A few videos of places we visited can be found on our YouTube channel
Hampi Trip HERE    Hospet Taxi Ride HERE     Hospet Walkabout HERE      Train Ride From Goa to Karnataka HERE 

View Birding in Goa in a larger map 

Deatails Of Things of Interest & Information ETC.
Qatar Airlines HERE        Marinha Dourada HERE
Backwoods Camp HERE           Althams Travel HERE
Tourist Trips While In Goa HERE           Goa Discussion Forum HERE
HCI London HERE        VFS Global (visa outsourcing company) HERE
Goa Visa forum discussion HERE         A completed Visa application is available to viewHERE
Items of use in preparing and in use for the trip.

Managed to get hold of a copy of this as it seems a very good site guide. I have photocopied over 70 pages of what I think will be handy info and maps so if anybody is struggling to get their hands on one click on the link below where you can view and download pages.

Peter Harris Goa Guide >HERE<
Cost Breakdown
The holiday was booked through Althams travel using Thomson as the tour company. We also purchased the option of a taxi service to and from Manchester airport using Althams comfortable transport.
Package holiday with Thomson stopping at Marinha Dourada on a B&B basis for 21 nights £2640 for both of us
Upgraded seating on plane to premier cabin £660 for both of us
Transport to and from Manchester Airport  £66 for both of us.
Visa Cost £ 78.10 for both of us.
Travel Insurance for couple £77 (yearly worldwide cover inc a pre-existing illness)
Stay at Backwoods Camp for 3 night/4 days £125 per person
Flight Details & Experience
Flight Times
Man-Goa Tues 21st Dec 01:45 - 17:00 (advertised) 
Man-Goa Wed 23rd Dec 10:30 - 01:30 (actual)
Goa-Man Tues 11th Jan 19:00 - 0:30 (advertised)  
Goa-Man Tues 11th Jan 19:30 - 01:10 (actual)
Disaster Hit Trip
Not for everybody but it's a record of our trip so skip this as no details of birding in this section.
First up was the massive set back of a 32 hour delay. On arrival we were asked "did you not get a call telling you not to come?" Silly silly question.....would I now be stood at the desk? This was at 22:45 on the 20th Dec ready for check in for the flight to leave at 01:45 the following morning. We were now told that the flight would not go until 15:35 on the 21st Dec. There was no plan from Thomson on what to do with anybody that turned up. The flight had been cancelled at 05:00 that day so they had time to plan. Eventually after a lot of people with steam coming out of their ears complaining and not being happy to be told go home....home some had come from Glasgow, Nottingham etc. They agreed to take us to a hotel for the night. They would not do this though until the flight had closed at 01:00 as we were told more people may turn up....yes but why not take us now and bring any body else later? No no no, so we eventually got on the coach at 01:00. After a 45min trip to a hotel in Warrington we checked in and told we would be picked up at 12:00 midday for the flight at 15:35. A short sleep was had. I checked the ceefax and noted that the plane they had earmarked for our flight was coming from Cancun and was already delayed by two hours! Non the less we were told that the time had not changed. It became obvious that we would not be taking off as the plane I was suspecting would be ours was, and so we were told of a 3 hour delay. We were finally at the boarding gate and could see the plane.....then the captain came out..gulp! He told us that damage had been found on the plane but it could be repaired. He was almost throttled but Many and I just thought it more unlucky than anything to do with a reluctance to get us on the plane. Captain Alan Harris said he would be back out at 19:30 to give us some more details. As promised the Captain came out and told us that more damage had been found and that the repair would take longer than expected. That was not the bad news....he told us that by the time the repair was finished the crew will have run out of time and that GOA would not accept the flight at the time we would arrive due to it being a naval airport. He said that it would be best to call it a day now and come back tomorrow with the plane repaired and the crew good as new. To be honest I did not run with the wolves instead I approached the Captain and held my hand out to shake his, as I explained that I appreciated his honesty and acknowledged that he himself did not have to come out and tell us this news, but he did.
Back to a different hotel having returned to the carousel to collect our luggage. Crammed on to coaches we arrived at another hotel in Northenden at about 22:00. A bite to eat and in bed for about 23:30 to be picked up by coach at 04:00 for an 08:00 flight. Not nearly enough sleep due to a couple of Scouse women that must have been hard of hearing. Then at about 02:00 the fire alarm went off.....God that wakes you up alright....false alarm as police were swarming the hotel as a drunk woman had destroyed the hotel kitchen looking for her partner that was with another woman somewhere so failing to find him she decided to hit the fire alarm! So no sleep really, back on the coach, checked in and at boarding gate only to be told that our plane that was promised had gone elsewhere but they were bringing a plane from Luton but it was delayed due to it being frozen!!!!! Finally at about 09:30 we boarded the plane and at 10:30 the wheels of the plane (which strangely felt like they had come off after a 32 hour delay) left Manchester tarmac.
Having missed a few birds I really would have liked to have seen we always wanted to return and December was good for us on several counts not least to catch some of the passage birds I missed going in February in 2009. I really wanted to see Small Pratincole, Indian Blue Robin and Blue Faced Malkoha. We found the Marinha Dourada to be a great base as it is outside the unbearable hustle, bustle and constant noise of the main resorts of Baga, Calangute and Candolim. The setting is superb, good restaurants nearby and it's central, and walkable to Baga Hill, Arpora Wood, Arpora Saltpans as well as having tidal pools close by. 
GPS Mapping Of Birding Places In Goa
I logged via GPS a few places I visited whilst out birding. Places like Siolim, Mayem, and Arpora Woods are amongst them along with many more. Just click on the link which takes you to my GPS trip site. From there choose which mapping data/trip you want to see.
Guides Used And Other Info
Lloyd Fernandes was our main guide and whilst he is more expensive (800rps per person) than others we never felt we did not have value for money. His trips out all included a home made simple breakfast of bread, honey, mango jam, boiled eggs, bananas, tea or coffee. You also get plenty of time and never felt hurried. He is extremely personable and knowlegable on several areas outside of birds. He carries his own scope and uses it all the time as well as his bird guide books he also has books on butterflies which was a bonus. We regularly got 6 to 8 hours out every trip and he went out of his way to accommodate us. I would strongly recommend Lloyd as a guide. His English is first class and he can be contacted via on his mobile by voice or text. Also his email is answered but not every day. His details are
Email fatimgoa@gmail.com
Telephone +91 9822 14 9002
Paresh was used on one trip to Mayem lake and was a huge disappointment. He did not hold a license to taxi at our visit and had clearly not been out birding for quite some time. He used another taxi driver to take us to the lake but whilst he went through the motions he was poor in executing being a guide. Sadly I cannot recommend him but I will put his details up as situations do change as we found him ok as a guide in 2009. It was also clear that because he used a taxi and driver the cost would be higher but on asking us for 1500rps I refused and settled on 1200rps. It was four hours birding with Paresh showing little interest in birding, rather telling us how bad his life was in various areas. His details are
Email pareshgoa@gmail.com
Telephone +91 98 2238 7494  
Weather & Temps
The weather again was mostly unbroken sunshine with the odd overcast spell but these were sometimes a welcome break to the hot midday temperatures. The wind was a small feature on several days in the mornings and evenings but never really impeded us. Humidity was about the same as in February but the notable difference was the degree or two cooler during the night and day. I say cooler but I never felt cold although Mandy did say that she felt chilled when eating outside in the evenings (but this could have more to do with being ill) Backwoods was at times cool at night but rapidly became very humid during the day which made it uncomfortable at times particularly if the birds are few. Daytime temps were on average 28.8ºC
Hi temp 30.6ºC    Low Temp 20.3ºC

Tues 21st Dec
Flight delayed In Manchester Airport
Wed 22nd Dec
Flight Delayed In Manchester Airport
Thurs 23rd Dec
The flight landed at about 01:30 and it was 04:00 when we hit our hotel. What a pain as the lack of sleep was now compounded with not many hours of darkness left. We asked for a double bed but were given singles. Quickly pushed together by the room boy and we were asleep.
As we were so tired we did not have the opportunity to do much birding as we had to go into Calangute to pay for a trip we had planned to Hampi in Karnataka. On our return we decided to chill at the hotel and rest ready for the early start tomorrow.
Hotel Grounds
Osprey / Common Tailorbird / Little Egret / Black Kite / Spotted Owlet / House Crow / White Throated Kingfisher / Blue Tailed Bee Eater / Brahminy Kite /
Calangute - Arpora Walk (no binoculars)

Bronzed Tailed Jacana / Little Egret / Cattle Egret / Intermiate Egret / Indian Pond Heron / Little Cormorant / Blue Tailed Bee Eater / Little Green Bee Eater / Black Kite / Brahminy Kite / House Crow / Common Sandpiper
White Browed Bulbul / Ashy Prinia / Indian Yellow Tit / Tawny Eagle / Ashy Woodswallow / Greater Spotted Eagle / Marsh Harrier / Black Kite / Brahminy Kite / Chestnut Tailed Starling / Peregrine Falcon / House Crow / Clamorous Redd-Warbler / Blyth's Reed Warbler / Greenish Warbler / Common Kingfisher / White Throated Kingfisher / Stork Billed Kingfisher / Common Tailorbird / Common Iora / Indian Golden Oriole / Black Hooded Oriole / Black Rumped Flameback / Purple Sunbird / Purple Rumped Sunbird / White Bellied Sea Eagle / Black Winged Stilt / Common Redshank / Common Greenshank / Purple Swamphen / Purple Heron / Grey Heron / Ruddy Shelduck / Comb Duck / Whistling Duck / Cotton Pygmy Goose / House Crow / Coppersmith Barbet / Barn Swallow / Wire Tailed Swallow / Red Vented Bulbul / Red Whiskered Bulbul / Little Green Bee Eater / Blue Tailed Bee Eater / Lotens Sunbird / Pompadour Green Pigeon / Gull Billed Tern / Black Tailed Godwit / Garganey / Northern Pintail / Pintail Snipe / Little Swift / Great White Egret / Intermediate Egret / Little Egret / Bronzed Tailed Jacana / Pheasant Tailed Jacana / Indian Pond Heron / Darter / Little Cormorant / Indian Cormorant / Long Tailed Shrike / Black Headed Ibis / Asian Openbill / Little Grebe / Common Sandpiper / Asian Koel / Greater Coucal / Rufous Treepie / Asian Paradise Flycatcher / Jungle Myna / White Browed Fantail / Ashy Drongo / Black Drongo / Paddyfield Pipit / White Browed Wagtail / Grey Wagtail / Red Wattled Lapwing / Feral Pigeon / Spotted Dove / White Breasted Waterhen / Osprey / Rose ringed Parakeet / Plumb Headed Parakeet/ Siberian Stonechat / Oriental Magpie Robin / Woolly Necked Stork / Orange Headed Thrush /
Mongoose / Monitor Lizard / Loads Of Butterflies & Dragonflies
Sat 25th Dec
Road from Arpora To Anjuna (Alexandrine Parakeet Site)
Pale Billed Flowerpecker / Crimson Sunbird / Alexandrine Parakeet / Kentish Plover / Pacific Golden Plover / Red Wattled Lapwing / Common Sandpiper / Common Kingfisher / Common Greenshank / White Throated Kingfisher / Jungle Myna / Purple Rumped Sunbird / Western Reef Egret / Little Egret / Indian Pond Heron / Asian Koel / Green Backed Heron /
Sun 26th Dec
Mayem Lake Guide Paresh Cost (asked for 1500rps actually paid) 1200rps Times 06:00 - 10:30
Asian Koel / Malabar Whistling Thrush / Golden Fronted Leafbird / Black Naped Monarch / Puff Throated Babler / Malabar Grey Hornbill / Indian Blackbird / Brown headed Barbet / White Cheeked Barbet / Red Vented Bulbul / Common Iora / Asian Paradise Flycatcher / Bronzed Drongo / Ashy Drongo / Ashy Drongo / Pompadour Green Pigeon / Rufous Treepie / Eurasian Golden Oriole / Greenish Warbler / Blyth's Reed Warbler / Indian Cormorant / Red Whiskered Bulbul / Plumb Headed Parakeet / Grey Nightjar / Barn Swallow / Wire Tailed Swallow / Asian Palm Swift / Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher /
Beira Mar Hotel (Evening)
White Throated Kingfisher / Common Kingfisher / Ruddy Breasted Crake / Indian Pond Heron / Jungle Myna / Blyth's Reed Warbler / Rose Coloured Starling  / Oriental Magpie Robin / Asian Koel / Brahminy Kite / Black kite / Siberian Stonechat / White Rumped Munia / Small Pratincole /
Mon 27th Dec
Arpora Wood (morning)
White Cheeked Barbet / Spotted Dove / Grey Headed Bulbul / Asian Koel / red Whiskered Bulbul / Mountain Imperial Pigeon / Purple Sunbird / Purple rumped Sunbird / Red Vented Bulbul / Common Iora / Eurasian Golden Oriole / White Rumped Munia / Coppersmith Barbet / Golden Froned Leafbird / Tickells Blue Flycatcher / White bellied Drongo / Ashy Drongo / White Bellied Sea Eagle / Rufous Woodpecker / Rufous Treepie / Blyth's Reed Warbler / Brahminy Kite / Black kite / Little green Bee Eater / Black Drongo /
/ Langur Monkeys /
Tues 28th Dec
Arpora Salt Pans (Mid Morning)
Marsh Sandpiper / Kentish Plover / Little Egret / Small Pratincole / Indian Pond heron / Common Redshank / Common Kingfisher / Siberian Stonechat / White Throated Kingfisher / Common Redshank /
Indian Cobra (Naja Naja)

Karnataka-Hospet-Hampi Tour
We set off doing our touristy bit under duress. We were to travel to Hospet in Karnataka the next state via train which would take about 8 hours in total. With hindsight we should have cancelled this trip due to being increasingly unwell. Non the less we decided to travel and decided we would travel light due to the nature of this trip. Due to not feeling like I wanted to do much I even decided to leave my binoculars at the hotel back in Goa!!!! I look back now and realise how ill I had become, I mean new birds to see yet not taking any bins. It transpired it was the right decision as it would have been more to worry about. Picked up early and after a long drive to Margao train station we arrived at madnesses door. It was chaos and we were instructed to stay close and watch for our two guides all the time. It was bedlam on a scale not known to us and clearly this got to some people on the trip. We heard one person out of a group of 30 throw the towel in at the train station and asked if he could leave. The guides asked why and he explained that he could not manage this sort of tension. He was told he could leave but he would have to get a taxi back on his own....so desperate he was he scarpered never to be seen!

We tried to soak up the atmosphere but the coughing and malee was hard work to ignore. Lot's of begging from children and women, watching the various colours of human excrement on each railway sleeper all added to a strange sort of wonderment. Eventually we saw our train and then we dived onto the train pushing and shoving as we reenacted the Egyptians trying to hold back the waves as Moses parted the Red Sea. We were on but it was not our carriage! Oh boy I felt for Mandy as we clung to the fact we had a seat each somewhere with our name on it. We started the haul down to find our carriage and believe you me these trains at this time of year are not what you envisage a train to be like! We got to our seats and found others in them but we managed to get in our place whereby we sat for 8 hours while we coughed, groaned and wished we had not bothered....oh boy we wish we had not bothered. We made conversation with Indians in the carriage which was quite good as we watched there antics. Anyway enough of the train as it has to be experienced to be believed...and to be well!

We arrived at the Hospet station and we were soon off to our hotel with more trepidation as we were told of a very basic hotel...to our surprise it was actuallt very good with everything looking OK. We had nothing to eat all day as my mouth problems and inability to eat just did not allow so after a quick walk out we decided that bed was the best option for the early start.
A light breakfast of eggs was had and we travelled by car to Hampi. Wow what a place, our guide for the site was a Mr Prakash whom is an archeologist on the project and what a guy he was. Very much a fountain of all things Hampi with a Westerners humour to boot. He stayed with us all day from 08:00 - 19:00. The sites were amazing from temples to structures to buildings to stories etc. Again it was hard work and there is no protection from the searing sun. I was shattered just about dragging myself around and when at 19:00 we were taken to a mountain for a sunset I fell asleep on the nearest stone slab!

Back to the hotel whereby I was becoming increasingly delirious. Nightime sleep was punctuated with periods of feeling stressed, worried...but about what I did not know. This is NOT me at all and by the time we reached the hotel in Hospet I was mentally and physically shot at. I opened my bedside cabinet whereby I lost the plot as I realised my bins had been stolen! Mandy was taken aback as I stormed off the reception to complain....I mean no bins....trip over! Trying to explain about my bins going missing to an Indian was worthy of a You Tube top ten clip but he finally understood and very nicely came up to the room. I explained I has placed them in the drawer and now they were gone......enter the room reality check as Mandy exclaimed " are you sure you brought them?" Gulp.....I apologised like never before as I remembered I had chosen not to bring them with me on this trip! Oh boy was I buggered. I mentioned to Mandy that I felt I was now suffering exhaustion, and we both said that we still had the train journey back home to contend with!!!

Up early and away with a packed breakfast. No way would I be able to eat so my plan was to give it away to beggars at the station. The boiled eggs I kept close though as I had gotten quite a hankering for these. Same journey back with an added cockroach climbing on me for good measure as I laid down thinking that I had reached an all time low point on the trip! A long trip back to the hotel in Goa and eventually we arrived back totally flat broken spirit wise. I was on auto pilot and the balcony was our only hope. I think the Gods also sighed as we made the sanctuary of the room.
The experience if well I know would have been great for several reasons so DO NOT let this put you off going. A few pictures below and a link to a few videos give you an idea of this very special and must see place.

Video footage Of our trip

 Hospet Walkabout HERE  Hospet Taxi Ride HERE  Train Journey from Goa to Karnataka HERE  Hampi Site HERE
Hampi Website HERE

Fri 31st Dec
The flight land
Sat 1st Jan
The flight land
Sun 2nd Jan
Backwoods Camp
Mon 3rd Jan
Backwoods Camp
The flight land
Tues 4th Jan
Backwoods Camp
The flight land
Wed 5th Jan
Backwoods Camp
The flight land
Thurs 6th Jan
Baga Hill Afternoon
Indian Robin / Long Tailed Shrike / Indian Oriole / Black Headed Oriole / Crimson Backed Sunbird / Purple Sunbird / Purple Rumped Sunbird / Blyth's Reed Warbler / Greenish Warbler / Small Minvet / Indian Peafowl / Asian Paradise Flycather / Spotted Dove
Fri 7th Jan
Soulor Guide Lloyd Fernandes Cost 1200rps Times 06:45-10:30
Sat 8th Jan
Morgim. Parsham. Siolim. Guide Lloyd Fernandes Cost 1200rps Times 06:45-15.00
Heuglins Gull / Black Headed Gull / Pallas' Gull / Gull Billed Tern / Lesser Sandplover / Greater Sandplover / Paddyfield Pipit / Bay Backed Shrike / Brahminy Starling / Black Kite / White Breasted Waterhen / Greater Coucal / Cattle Egret / Rose Coloured Starling / Indian Oriole / House Crow / Barn Swallow / Wire Tailed Swallow / Slender Billed Gull / Small Pratincole / Blyth's Reed Warbler / Jungle Myna / Brahminy Kite / Black Drongo / Little Green Bee Eater / Blue Tailed Bee Eater /
Pied Kingfisher / Common Kingfisher / White Throated Kingfisher / Marsh Harrier / Common Greenshank / Common Redshank / Gull Billed Tern / Ashy Prinia / Wire Tailed Swallow / Barn Swallow / Jungle Babbler / Pale Billed Flowerpecker / Black Kite / Brahminy Kite / Grey Heron / Purple heron / Striated Heron / House Crow / Blyth's Reed Warbler / Blue Tailed Bee Eater /
White Stork / Asian Openbill / Marsh Harrier / Pintail Snipe / Little Ringed Plover / Black Winged stilt / Common Redshank / Marsh Sandpiper / Little Grebe / Bronzed Winged Jacana / White Breasted Waterhen / Common Greenshank / Greater Spotted Eagle / Western Reef Egret / House Crow / Little Egret / Intermediate Egret / Great White Egret / Striated Heron / Indian Pond Heron /

Sun 9th Jan
The flight land
Mon 10th Jan
The flight land
Tues 11th Jan
Stork Billed Kingfisher / Alexandrine Parakeet / Osprey / Black Kite / Booted Eagle / Brahminy Kite / White Tailed Sea Eagle  / Blue Tailed Bee Eater / House Crow / Striated Heron / Indian Pond Heron / Little Egret / Intermediate Egret / Small Pratincole / Black Capped Night Heron / Asian Palm Swift / Little Swift / Barn Swallow / Wire Tailed Swallow / Rose Ringed Parakeet / Indian Oriole / Common Tailorbird / Black Rumped Flameback / Jungle Myna / Rose Coloured Starling / Purple Rumped Sunbird / Purple Sunbird / Common Sandpiper / Common Kingfisher / Red Whiskered Bulbul / Grey Heron / Ashy Woodswallow / Oriental Honey Buzzard / Oriental Magpie Robin / Besra / Ashy Prinia / White rumped Munia / Little Cormorant /
Fruit Bats
This was the details of a trip that was cancelled due to illness. Cost Breakdown
The flight was booked through Althams travel using Gold Medal travel as the agent. We also took out an insurance to cover any failures in our flight company as well as making sure that I used my credit card to pay for this as extra cover as at the moment travel companies are a real at risk problem. We also purchased the option of a drop off by Althams comfortable transport to and from Manchester Airport.
Flight Tickets, Flight insurance, Transport to and from Manchester Airport Total £863.46 
Accommodation at the Marinha Dourada for 18 nights on a B&B basis total is £576
Visa Cost £42 each inc postage costs.

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