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Old 11th May 2013, 10:45   #46
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Default re: Mystical Borong - A Birder's Paradise

Was left speechless by the stunning pics.That is what makes this forum great, first is that you get to see such incredible pictures and second is that one gets to know about the hidden gems in our country.I have been to Sikkim only once it is really beautiful.For many of us living in Northern part of the country east is an alien part country.Thanx once again for sharing.
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Old 11th May 2013, 15:22   #47
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Super Travelogue especially since it brings out your passion for observing these creatures and then snapping them, to top that, the distance and the patience of waiting for the subject to arrive, be comfortable and give you a performance to capture. Superb.
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Old 31st May 2013, 10:41   #48
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Default re: Mystical Borong - A Birder's Paradise

hi what to say?Was spellbound by those pics.you should have been a professional photographer by profession if you are still not.Superb, and i congratulate on your dedication to shoot waiting all day along,for it you have been rewarded with something your generations and others viewing it will cherish.Staying in tvm down south it is too difficult for me to drive all along to sikkim.I envy people who are residing centrally in our country ,Our land is great we people must see that it remains that way .Once again great work and please post more of it also.You seem to post less.
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Old 2nd June 2013, 01:17   #49
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Default re: Mystical Borong - A Birder's Paradise

Thanks Ramanjit, 1100D and Vindrider2626 for the kind comments.
Just back from another trip to Sikkim, this time it was more like searching for new remote birding areas.

Borong was just for two nights.
First the map with exact coordinates, Resort Wild Flower Retreat, Borong, (27.353083,88.342973)
Name:  Borong Location.jpg
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Few interesting updates enroute Borong.
Left Kolkata 8pm in the night, reached Siliguri at 6am next morning via the conventional NH34.
65% (approx) of the road is in very good condition. Rest 35% of road condition is average, I am not saying 'bad'.
Around 10kms approaching Malda, most of Malda to Raiganj is average but one can easily maintain a average speed of 60kmph.

Regarding traffic, avoiding day time is the best bet. This road till date looks very safe to me.
I had once taken the Bhagalpur, Purnia road, promised never to pass through it again.

It takes around 6 hours from Siliguri to Borong but we generally always reach there by evening. Love the stretch between Singtam to Ravangla or
the Damthang to Ravangla section depending on which route one chooses.
You can always stop by on the road itself to cook, take a short trek or do what ever suits you the best.

A video clip(posted earlier in another threas) of the route from Rabangla to Borong, there was hardly any road or tarmac even till last year.
Conditions though are changing for the better after the opening of Buddha park.


From the paradise itself..
Blue-capped Rock thrush
Name:  Raw 61 Borong may DSC_9899 Bluecapped Rock thrush.jpg
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Plumbeous water redstart
Name:  Raw 44 Puri Borong DSC_3005 Plumbeous water redstart.jpg
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Whiskered Yuhina
Name:  Raw 44 Puri Borong DSC_3814 Whiskered Yuhnia.jpg
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Black-Throated sunbird
Name:  Raw 54 Borong Mar12 DSC_7885 Black Throated Sunbird.jpg
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Black-throated Tit
Name:  Raw 60 Borong DSC_9590 Blackthroated Tit.jpg
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Fire-Tailed Sunbird
Name:  Raw 58 Jan DSC_9050.jpg
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A bit of conservation work, rescued, Blue-capped Rock Thrush.
Relocated safely just below the nest which are generally on slopes of mountains and safely spotted by the adult pair.
Word of caution: relocating directly to the nest may cause the other chicks to fly off from the nest in panic
as they would consider it to be an intrusion, their eyesight being developed now.

Blue-capped Rock thrush, chick
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Somewhere in the outskirts of Singalila National park, after Sombaria, Sikkim side.
Name:  Raw 62 Sikkim DSC_0014.jpg
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Last edited by himadrimondal : 2nd June 2013 at 01:24.
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Old 2nd June 2013, 01:53   #50
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Default re: Mystical Borong - A Birder's Paradise

Quote:
Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
I had once taken the Bhagalpur, Purnia road, promised never to pass through it again.

Just out of curiosity why you do not want to take the Bhagalpur , purnea route? I found this route to be more convenient than Nh34. Nh 34 road surface is rough plus you can't predict traffic jams on this route. Kaliachowk is a nightmare for me. Through Nh34 it took 16 hours for me to reach Siliguri where as by Purnea , Bhagalpur route i managed to do it in 14 hours with reasonable stops.

And now about your travelogue am just speechless seeing your pictures. You deserve to be a National Geographic photographer! I know how tough bird photography is and you made that look so easy. I can image how much hard work you did behind the scene. Just hats off to you. I will be obliged if i can get few photography tips from you some day.
Rated 5 stars to your thread. You deserve something more for your photography skills.
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Old 3rd June 2013, 14:10   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Just out of curiosity why you do not want to take the Bhagalpur , purnea route? I found this route to be more convenient than Nh34. Nh 34 road surface is rough plus you can't predict traffic jams on this route. Kaliachowk is a nightmare for me.
Why I do not want to take the Bhagalpur , purnea route?

1. Remember the road ( a stretch of around 20km) after Massanjore dam?
I am not complaining about the condition of the road but the time it takes to cover that 20 odd kms. Bet I have never spent so much time crossing Kaliachowk since childhood.

As for Kaliachowk, one has to alter driving manners a bit.
Get on the opposite side of the road as there is hardly any oncoming traffic.
If there is, get off the road on your right to pass oncoming traffic. You have to get as close and as fast to the silly so called four point junction as possible, rest all is smooth sailing.

2. Crossing Bhagalpur town is a nightmare too, so much traffic you literally have to crawl. Moreover I do have to travel a lot more kms on this stretch.

3. I travel by night, it takes me 10 hrs to get to Siliguri via NH34 and its very safe.
Starting at 6pm or later in the evening is the best time for this stretch.
In this way you can halt at Malda if required.
Siliguri is just 6 hrs from Malda and can be covered next morning 6 am onwards.
I have never halted for night stay and do the entire stretch plus the 6-7 hrs on Sikkim at one go
but its a safe option if you are travelling with kids.

Timing the Siliguri stretch is very important. Don't just wake up at 5am and start off, chances are you may grind to a halt withing 4 hrs.
Remember this is one of the oldest stretches of road in the country, almost the entire stretch of population earns their lively hood on this road.

4. NH34 road is not bad, atleast now, infact very good. 65% to 70% of the road is in very good condition.
I did not hit a single pothole from Kolkata to Berhampur.
A couple of stretches approaching Malda and Raiganj are average but you never have to shift to first or second gear.

5. While coming back, it takes me 6 hrs to come down from Sikkim. Reach Siliguri by 11 am to 12 noon.
Most of the co called dreaded junctions go empty till 6pm hereafter.
I take this window to cross Kaliachowk, not that I don't see a long que but just alter my driving manners a bit.
Eventually reach Kolkata by midnight or 1am max.
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Old 3rd June 2013, 16:21   #52
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Default re: Mystical Borong - A Birder's Paradise

Quote:
Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
Why I do not want to take the Bhagalpur , purnea route?
Awesome pictures Himadri.Thanks for sharing and good to see you here on TBhp.
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Old 8th July 2013, 20:33   #53
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Default re: Mystical Borong - A Birder's Paradise

Incredible pictures and very useful tips. Thanks for the super informational thread. Borong definitely has gone into my list of birding places to visit. Going to be a bit of a drive from Bangalore though!
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Old 9th July 2013, 11:36   #54
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Default re: Mystical Borong - A Birder's Paradise

There's a common saying Patience Pays. Seems whoever invented it had Bird Photographers in mind!

Heavenly setting and award winning clicks.

Thanks for sharing. Rated five stars.
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Old 27th August 2013, 12:54   #55
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Name:  Rainy Borong 1.jpg
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Current update on Borong:
Its raining heavily with some land slides at places en route paradise.
Vehicles had stopped plying for a couple of days last week.

This is a fantastic time though for shooting large butterflies, minimum size is about 6 inches. They come after heavy rains and in the evenings.
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Old 11th September 2013, 14:49   #56
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HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD - SPECIAL VOLUME
A lifer for me, the book contains one of my photographs which has been selected from the HBW World Bird photo contest, 2012.

I was offered 150 Euros for the photograph or the book and I merrily choose the latter.
This is the heaviest and the largest book in my small library, the rest of the photographs are beyond words.
This photograph was taken en route Borong, only goes to speak of the diversity and variety the region has to offer.

The huge book.

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The print, one on the left, full page.

Name:  hbwphoto.jpg
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Last edited by himadrimondal : 11th September 2013 at 14:50.
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Old 11th September 2013, 14:58   #57
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Default re: Mystical Borong - A Birder's Paradise

Congrats Himadri.

In my opinion each one of your snaps can make into any top level birder book
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Old 11th September 2013, 16:50   #58
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I agree. All of your snaps are AMAZING!!!
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Old 11th September 2013, 16:57   #59
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Default re: Mystical Borong - A Birder's Paradise

I absolutely loved the one of the The viewer - Plumbeous water Redstart.
This one is plain spectacular.
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Old 12th September 2013, 15:13   #60
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Default re: Mystical Borong - A Birder's Paradise

Hi Himadrimondal, great to hear about your photos printed in this book.

I wish all the best and why not your own book, all the birds photos were amazing and award winning. Keep to continue your efforts, it is feast to us, look forward to more photos.

Also share us your technique in camera setup, shutter speed and other important setting to capture such nice images.

Good luck!
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