Day 271: Birding At 7,000 Feet

Pheasants and owls win the day.

September 28, 2015: Pangot, India — As Hari, Ramit and I ascended higher into the Himalaya this morning, we rounded a corner to find a spectacular view. In the distance, glacier-capped mountains floated above the horizon like a cloud layer. The highest visible peak, called Trishul, is, I think, the highest point of land I’ve ever seen in my lifeits summit is officially 7,120 meters (23,496 feet) above sea level. Of course that’s nothing in this part of the world, but I was impressed.

We didn’t get anywhere near that high today. The three of us spent the morning and afternoon at about 7,000 feet in a crisp pine-oak forest, where pheasants and owls won the dayspecifically a group of three endemic Koklass Pheasants and four different species of owls calling outside our room at dusk. It was a very productive day, though activity slacked off for a few slow hours in the afternoon.

Birding the Himalaya slopes has been so refreshingthe cool, temperate forests; fresh air; and quiet nights are a welcome change from the crowded Indian plains. We’re heading back down tomorrow, though, and I can feel my time in India slipping away. Is it just me, or is time accelerating? Hard to believe that September is nearly finished already!

New birds today: 21

Year list: 4543

Follow Along:

Next Day

Previous Day