Category Archives: Informative

Kalij Pheasants – Our backyard Neighbours!

We are named Kalij Pheasants by our Human friends. We are a family of five who live in the neighbourhood of Camp Sparrow. But resident all around the Himalyan region . Inclusive of males and two females in total, looking and foraging around for food. Every day, we reach backyard of Camp Sparrow in the evening times around 5.30 PM looking for some food and water. Sometimes even during early morning hours we are there with the very first rays of sunlight reaching the ground. But we are very shy creatures and run away the moment we sense humans walking by or any moments or voices similar. Only camouflaged people sitting in silence for a little longer without much bodily moments will be able to sight us. You can come by and visit us. Make sure not to disturb us so that you get to sight us in our most natural behaviour. 

Travel Responsibly.

There are simple measures which can be adopted while traveling which will reduce the impact on the places we visit. There is a constant tension of the damage we are causing to environment for the sake of our travel. In order to bring it down to the least or almost null we can follow certain practices and stick by them. Few are as simple as not Littering! 

Reduce travelling by air

There are fuel efficient engines lately which have a lesser emission of gases into the atmosphere. But, try as much as possible not to take planes to reach places which are accessible through other means. 

Carry your own water bottle

In order to reduce the use of plastic in the form of packaged drinking water bottles, carry your own bottles which can be refilled and reused. Try to refill every place you have an access to clean drinking water. 

Carry your own Toiletries

Bydoing this we you can reduce using the toiletries provided at hotels, which are usually not easily degradable and are disposed within one or two uses. 

Do not Litter

That shall be the biggest contribution towards nature. By only disposing garbage at designated areas and not littering around (especially plastic) a lot of pollution can be reduced. 


Use of Public Transport

While traveling alone or just two people avoid travelling by your own vehicles instead use public transport. This way you are reducing road congestions as well as burning of more fossil fuels. 


Use a soft copy of documents

Vouchers, tickets and other such documents the hard copy of which isn’t required can be maintained in mails or drives instead of printing them. 


Stay at Hotels or accommodations following sustainable practices

 These days more and more hotels/ homestays or campsites are following Eco friendly sustainable practices as they realize their effects on the environment around. By choosing such stays you are choosing nature. 

Camp Sparrow is one such Campsite located near Nainital following eco sustainable practices to the highest extent possible. Explore and Experience Responsible living at Camp Sparrow!! 

Essentials of Birding!

Anyone and everyone can develop a passion for bird watching / birding. This is a kind of interest people usually find boring until they start doing it. It is a very beneficial and easy activity to pick up with some pretty basic essentials. 

Binoculars– You can watch the birds through a naked eye for sure. But binoculors help a lot in observing the birds, their moments, behaviour. It Is so fun and interesting at times. 

Field Guide– If you are serious about continuing the activity, a field guide is very much essential. Though it is a traditional way of referring to bird names, it is lot more user friendly, even in this era of applications and software.   

Notepad– This again is a traditional way of noting down the names and numbers of birds observed. But is the best practice, obviously it can be entered into the electronical database for a better record. 

Camouflaged outfits– Said that need not dress up in camouflaged prints top to bottom, can opt for colours like green, brown, grey and such dull colours. It’s just that flashy colours draw birds and wildlife away, which won’t benefit your birdwatching I suppose. 

That’s all Folks, you are ready to go birding!! 


Add-ons which will help in getting better at birding. 

Camera– Yes, few believe a camera is essential for birdwatching but trust me just watching them so colourful, so playful itself is mesmerizing at times. Not everything can be recorded or captured. 

Guide– It is helpful in identifying birds especially at regions you are not much aware of. Having said that it is not necessary to always hire an expert guide who charges a lot. Your friends and relatives or someone who is knowledgeable. 

E-bird account– This not just helps you stay updated with checklists, but also helps in cross-checking with identities of those which you aren’t sure of. 

Social Group of Birders- Having a group of friends with similar interests is always fun. May it be in real life, on social medias to exchange ideas and views or anywhere for that matter. 

Birding has so many benefits- it is fun, relaxing, develops responsibility towards nature, improves your eyesight, listening skills, patience and many more such attributes. So, start birding start discovering.  

Birds and Birders’ Workshop #2

In a Span of 3 days and 6 birding walks, “Birds and Birders’ Workshop #2” (25th to 28th of April) has observed a total of 114 bird species in the hotspots of Jeolikote,Pangot,Sattal,Chaffi.
This being the season for nesting and mating, ethical practice of biring was followed to observe the birds and their behaviour.

Stay updated with our FB page of “Camp Sparrow”-
https://www.facebook.com/campsparrow.jeolikote/ and Group- “Birds and Birders”-
https://www.facebook.com/groups/328926354382767/ for updates regarding the workshops similar to this or others.


Checklist-

Jungle Babbler
Rusty Cheeked Scimitar Babbler
White Browed Scimitar Babbler
Black Chined Babbler
Great Babbler
Blue Throated Barbet
Chestnut Headed Beeeater
Grey Winged Blackbird
Himalayan Bulbul
Red Vented Bulbul
Black Bulbul
Ashy Bulbul
Mountain Bulbul
Black Crested Bulbul
Grey Bushchat
Common Hawk Cuckoo
Himalayan Cuckoo
Large Billed Crow
Black Winged Cuckooshrike
Oriental Dove
Spotted Dovve
Asian Emerald Dove
Ashy Drongo
Hair Crested Drongo
Bronzed Drongo
Hawk Eagle
White Throated Fantail
Common Rosefinch
Greater Flameback
Fire Breasted Flowerpecker
Gray Headed Canary Flycatcher
Tickell Blue Flycatcher
Ultramarine Flycatcher
Verdieter Flycatcher
Paradise Flycatcher
Slaty Backed Forktail
Black Francolin
Red Jungle Fowl
Common Kestrel
Common Kingfisher
White Throated Kingfisher
Crested Kingfisher
Black Kite
Red- Wattled Lapwing
White Throated Laughingthrush
White Crested Laughingthrush
Straited Laughingthrush
Streaked Laughingthrush
Rufous Chinned Laughingthrush
Orange Bellied Leafbird
Golden Fronted Leafbird
Red Billed Leothrix
Red Billed Blue Magpie
Common Green Magpie
Scarlet Minivet
Rosy Minivet
Long Tailedd Minivet
Blue Winged Minla
Common Myna
Bank Myna
Jungle Myna
Rufous Bellied Niltava
Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch
White Cheecked Nuthatch
Bar Tailed Treecreeper
Collared Owlet
Asian Barred Owlet
Plum Headed Parakeet
Slaty Headed Parakeet
Rufous Throated Partridge
Khalij Pheasant
Cheer Pheasant
Wedge Tailed Green Pigeon
Rock Pigeon
Upland Pipit
Ultramarine Flycatcher
Jungle Prinia
Straited Prinia
Oriental Magpie Robin
White Browed Bush Robin
Rufous Sibia
Russet Sparrow
House Sparrow
Chestnut Tailed Starling
Black Throated Sunbird
Crimson Sunbird
Barn Swallow
Blue Whistlingthrush
Tickell Thrush
Scaly Thrush
Dark Side Thrush
Cinereous Tit
Black Lored Tit
Great Backed Tit
Grey Treepie
Griffon Vulture
Grey Wagtail
Greenish Warbler
Grey Hooded Warbler
Oriental White Eye
Brown Fronted Woodpecker
Fulvous Breasted Woodpecker
Greater Yellownape
Grey Headed Woodpecker
Himalayan Woodpecker
Golden Fronted Pygmy
Whiskered Yuhina
Brown Wood Owl
Rufous Turtle Dove
Blue Capped Rockthrush
Black Headed Jay
Spotted Forktail
Koklass Pheasant
Eurasian Jay

Steppe Eagle

Contributed by Ashish Singh via FB gorup- “Birds and Birders”

Shot this beautiful raptor up close in Lansdowne,Uttarakhand during a short trip in March 2019. 
The steppe eagle like all eagles,belongs to the family of Accipitridae. Steppe eagle’s diet is largely fresh carrion of all kinds, but it kills rodents and other small mammals up to the size of a hare, and birds up to the size of partridges. It also steals food from other raptors.
A crop in throat allows Steppe eagle to store food for several hours before it moves down to the stomach.

The Scaly Bellied Woodpecker.

-contributed by Shuvadip Som (member of facebook group Birds and Birders)

It was early morning and I had checked in a resort in Binsar, just an evening earlier and I was too tired after traveling the zigzag 120 kms from Kathgodam.  
The fast and continuous tap-tap-tap sound woke me up. Took a look outside my window and saw this beauty. My camera was ready, shot immediately. Incidentally, this is my first bird Photography before brushing my teeth … Lol. 
And the best part this guy was just 9-10 metres away from me, see exact details below. 

Name – The Scaly Bellied Woodpecker 

Location – Binsar, near Almora, Uttarakhand 

DoP – 05/04/2019 (April – 2019) 

EXIF – 1/2000, f/6.3, ISO1600 at 550 mm 

Places of Interest near Jeolikote-Nainital!

This surely is a destination to visit for any age group or for people with varied kind of interests. After bountiful of nature and birds in Jeolikote, you can head around for more natural or man-made wonders.

Nainital, Bhimtal, Sattal, Naukuchiatal and Mukteshwar are the nearest excursions from the town which are famous for their natural beauty along with the lakes making it amazingly picturesque. In addition to this they are also famous for some adventure activities like trekking, rock climbing, rappelling or some water sports.  

Nature and wildlife enthusiasts? Pangot- Killbury sanctuary, Jim Corbett national park, Almora, Kausani, Ranikhet,Bageshwar and many more are the places of interest near Nainital. Then comes the pilgrimage destinations which is a must visit in Uttarakhand, known as Dev Bhoomi in itself.  So, Jageshwar, Kaichi Dam, Hanumangarh, Pitoragarh, Rishikesh are all definetely worth a visit. 

Refresh your Mind Body and Soul!

What refreshes your mind, body and soul? A laidback vacation? A walk in the nature? Sometime off with family and friends? Just a book and a coffee all by yourself? A good session of Yoga or meditation with fresh air and greenery around? If your definition and our solution of “peace & relaxation” are similar, we can create wonders together.

Camp Sparrow has what is required for a healthy lifestyle. Nature all around, plenty of sun and wind, calm countryside yet dense forests, no noise nor pollution of any sort, books to read and plenty of coffee,teas and beverages to sip on.  In addition, its proximity to famous hill stations and adventure hubs around- Nainital, Almora, Bhimtal, Sattal, Kasardevi, Mukteshwar makes it irresistable.

You want to be a tourist but not stay in the touristy, over-crowded accommodations amidst too many other regular tourists, then Camp Sparrow- Jeolikote is the place for you. So, come and explore a
place so admirable at a price so affordable! 🙂 

Something to learn from every season of Nature!

Conversations with wise and knowledgeable people are always fruitful. In one such conversations, I came to know about this flower fondly known as “Simbhal” in the local language. It is found in plenty around the region.Ask any local person, they will point out the tree for you. It is a flower which is useful at every stage of its growth cycle. Initially, in the bud form it is of a great medicinal and nutritional value. It is of utmost beauty attracting many birds and bees for its nectar at the flowering stage. Then comes the fruits which are very much similar to ladies’ finger and used in local dishes.  

This made me realize when such a flower can be of so much use at every stage of its lifecycle, how useful can our lives be. This one is just an example, wherein that’s how every element of nature is useful to another. Understanding this and living in total harmony with our environment is the key to sustainability. So,we are giving our possible best towards the cause, you too can be part of it. Experience our sustainable living and practices by staying at Camp Sparrow,Jeolikote-Nainital, or even by taking part in our frequent workshops.   

Lakes of Kumaon!

Waterbodies in the mountains are always scenic. May it be a stream flowing or a lake that is calm and still. They are like add on accessories to the existing beauty of the place. While you are in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, it is a must to visit these Lakes or so called “tals”. Nainital, Bhimtal, Sattal, Naukuchiatal
and Krupatal are all within a proximity to each other. Lakes and rivers have always attracted birds, wildlife and civilizations alike. They are one of the major reasons these areas are rich in bird life too. This has led to flocking of birdwatchers and photographers in numbers. Jeolikote Is one such town which has a stream of its own flowing through in addition to being in proximity with these lakes. Jeolikote is in a seclusion yet rich in civilization and nature going hand in hand!!