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CORBETT NATIONAL PARK, RAMNAGAR, KOSI RIVER & LIST 
INDIA

UTTARANCHAL (Nainital district) (N)

Lat:29o32´N/78o56´E 120,000ha 400-1210msl hilly and riparian areas, temporary marshy depressions, plateaus and ravines, grasslands and bamboo 

Protected/registered status 

From November 15 to June 15 (14.02.1994). Corbett remains closed between June 16 and November 14, during the monsoons. Winter temperature can go down to 4 degrees centigrade at night and in the dry summer months as high as 44 degrees centigrade. Rainfall: 1400mm-2800mm. 

(14.02.94 to 19.02.94)

 

Birding Site Guide

 

Road, Dhikala is about 300km from Delhi, 145 km from Lucknow and 51 km from Ramnagar. Ramnagar is served by frequent buses to and from Nainital and Ranikhet, 112 km north. Buses arrive every half hour or so after the eight hour trip from Delhi; Delhi Transport corporation also runs semi deluxe. 


Air, Phoolbagh, Pantnagar at a distance of 50 km is the nearest airport. Delhi at a distance of 300 km is the nearest international airport. 


Rail, Ramnagar is on the broad gauge track from where the road transport options have to be availed to reach the park. For faster trains and connections to other parts of India change at Moradabad. 


Accommodation is available at Ramnagar as well as at the Park. There are a variety of hotels, lodges and rest houses to choose from. The Forest Dept. has accommodation at 24 rest houses in the reserve that are located at Khinna, Bijrani, Dhikala, Ghairal and Khinnanaul, Lohachaur, Halduparao and Sarapduli. There are also log huts, tourist huts and tented lodges at Dhikala. 

Accommodation in Corbett National Park includes the following lodges: Claridges Corbett Hideaway, Corbett Riverside Resort, Quality Inn Corbett Jungle Resort, Tiger Tops Corbett Lodge, Sarapduli Forest Rest House, Hornbill's Nest, Corbett, The Wild Safari Lodge, Corbett, Infinity Resorts, Corbett, Corbett Ramganga Resort. 


A place to stay outside but close to the main park gate is the Quality Inn, which at that time was £20 a night each (so not cheap). We decided to try elsewhere despite the people there saying there was nowhere else close outside the park, and found the idyllic Corbett Riverside Resort (£23 per night each but can negotiate as we did getting it for £13 a night) on the lower side banks of the Kosi River. The place is a couple of nicely built challis. The opposite side were high forested sand cliffs, in which several pairs of Wallcreeper distracted us as we were unpacking. Seeing 6 of these stunningly beautiful and difficult birds at once was a sight never to forget as we sat drinking cold drinks in front of the hotel. Birding along the crystal clear boulder strewn Kosi River we saw Lineated Barbet, Large Wood-Shrike, Black-crested Yellow Bulbul, Blue Rock Thrush, Ashy, Indian Little Ringed Pover, Red-whiskered Bulbul and Rufous-fronted Prinia. The road outside produced Crested Honey Buzzard, Golden-fronted Chloropsis and Black-headed Oriole. 


Daytime visitors are only permitted to travel in the Bijrani sector and day permits are issued at the Ramnagar office. Overnight visitors to Corbett require an entry permit as well as reserved accommodation in one of the guesthouses. Advance reservations are available at the Field Director's office in Ramnagar.

 
Inside the park we took an elephant ride to look for the tigress that had been seen by a group that morning (first refusal for rides is to people staying in the park lodges, we were not so had to take what we could get, sometimes it is worth paying extra as we realised today!). New birds were Kalij Pheasant on the road, Hodgsons Hawk-Eagle, Rufous and Fulvous-Breasted Woodpeckers and Red-Billed Leothryx. Mammals included Leopard Cat, Wild Boar and Himalayan Yellow-throated Martin before the ride. Birds were everywhere. After the elephant ride, on which we saw tiger spoor but no tiger we birded a bit and found Peking Robin and Stork-billed Kingfisher. On the jeep ride out we were shown 2 huge rare Gharial crocodiles as well as the common Mugger. 


Safaris used either jeep, elephant or horses. Jeeps Safari can be arranged at the Tourist Centre. Although jeeps penetrate deeper into the forest than elephants, they cannot get nearly as close to the wild animals. The jeeps can be rented for the park trips from Ramnagar, from the KMVN Tourist Lodge and other travel agencies. 


Ramnagar 

This is a good place to look for Ibisbill in winter. It is situated in the rich farm belt of Terai, on the southeastern fringes of the great forests, Ramnagar is the main administrative centre for Corbett National Park. Walk the boulder strew river (used as open toilet by locals) either way for a few kilometres to quieter areas. These grey birds can be extremely difficult to spot but are quite confiding and close approach may be possible.Also seen were Indian Roller, Little Green Bee-eater, Osprey, Temminck's Stint, Tawny Pipits and Spotted Doves. 


Species seen 

Birding along the crystal clear boulder strewn Kosi River, the highlights were thestunning Ibisbill, Lineated Barbet, Large Wood-Shrike, Black-crested Yellow Bulbul, Blue Rock Thrush, Ashy and Rufous-fronted Prinia. The road outside produced Crested Honey Buzzard, Golden-fronted Chloropsis and Black-headed Oriole. 





KEY



Mammals seen



Herptiles seen



Butterflies seen (all sites)



The park boasts 582 species of bird in total and other fauna is impressive with 50 mammals species, Tiger is the most famous. Corbett is a haven for Tigers as well as its prey, which include four kinds of Deer, Wild Boar and some lesser-known animals. Apart from Tigers, Elephants, Leopards / Panthers, Jungle cats, Fishing Cats, Leopard cats, Himalayan black bears, Sloth bears, Jackals, Martens, Dholes, Civets, Mongooses, Otters, Hares, Porcupines, Chital (spotted deer), Sambar deer, Hog deer, Barking deer, Ghorals, Wild Boars, Pangolins, Macaques, Langurs and Blue Bulls (Nilgais) are some of the species which are found here. 

The 26 reptile species include Gharials, Mugger Crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, turtles, Cobras, Pythons and the Sal forest Tortoise. 

Amphibian species number 7. 

Fish in the Corbett National Park include Goonch, Mahaseer, Trout and many other smaller species. 

Flora 

There are 110 tree species, but the majority of the vegetation in the lower regions of Corbett consists mainly of Sal trees (Shorea robusta). The higher regions are more varied. Here there are Chir (Pinus roxburghii), anauri (Legestroemia paruiflora) and Bakli (Anogeissus latifolia). There are many different varieties of bamboo. 

There is a huge amount of information on the internet on this fabulous national park. Try the links below. 

References 

Indian Wildlife Portal www.indianwildlifeportal.com/national-parks/corbett-national-park.html Corbett Park www.corbettpark.com/ India Travel Logue www.indiatravelogue.com/dest/up/up1.html 

Author: BSG

 

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