Typed up at: East West Medical Center in Delhi
Posted from: Hotel Vivek in Delhi
We came to Bharatpur to see the birds in Keoladeo Ghana National Park, and that's exactly what we did. We stayed at the Falcon Guest House, which was cheap, had awesome sheets, and a very friendly proprietor. At the park entrance we hired Baney Singh (9414344149) to be our guide. He was excellent, pointing out lots of things that we would have missed, and readily identified every bird we saw.
Over the course of 3 days we saw about 70 different species of birds, as well as deer, antelope, turtles, jackals, and we glimpsed a pair of pythons. The days felt very relaxed, waking up early, having breakfast, and watching birds for 4-6 hours. Then we'd relax in the afternoon. Some of my favorite sights were the huge amount of nesting painted storks. They would all come in to feed their young at the same time, and then take off to collect more food. We saw a carnivorous turtle swimming about and chasing away some of the birds. The white-throated kingfisher is super colorful, as is the flame-backed woodpecker.
Almost the last thing we saw was a cow corpse covered in crows. Then a steppe eagle circled down, scattering the crows, and landing on the corpse. Its wingspan was at least as big as the dead cow. Also watching were several Egyptian vultures (which the crows kept away), until a dog came and claimed the corpse. We saw lots, and I really enjoyed the entire time we spent in the park.
One afternoon Baney took me on his motorcycle to the train station to buy tickets for the next leg. I'd never ridden on one before, and it just struck me how ridiculously dangerous it felt to be riding on the backseat of a motorcycle with no helmet, with traffic rules basically non-existent, and all manner of vehicles passing each other very closely from unexpected directions. It's no wonder people use their horns so much here. It's impossible to keep track of everything that's going on around you if you can't make any assumptions about where there will and won't be any traffic.