On my recent business trip to India, I went to a place I’ve always wanted to go, but never found time on my previous trips: the ruined fort at Tughluqabad (spellings differ wildly), in the southern part of the city. This fort, built in the fourteenth century, is a reminder of the long history of Delhi, which has seen the rise and fall of at least seven cities in and around the capital of India. The nearby Qutub Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret, is a remnant of an even earlier bygone Delhi city.
The driver from my hotel was able to find the fort after only a few false starts, so I had a couple of hours to roam the area, seeing what I might find. The attraction of the ruined fort is the vast acreage of acacia and scrub habitat at the site, home to many wintering bird species. Being guideless, I was able to wander where I pleased, which is always nice when searching for birds. Guides tend to want to show you what they know, which rarely includes the local avifauna. On the other hand, without a local birder as guide, I was unable to locate or ID many of the species that my bird guide suggested might be present.
The birds I did manage to see and identify are all pretty common delhibirds: Green Bee-eater, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Purple Sunbird, Indian Chat. There are a few birds I was unable to ID, and I’m sure many birds that I simply missed. Blue Rock-Thrush was the bird I’d most hoped to see there, but I was unable to find it. I also ran across a few monkeys, which is always fun. See the photo gallery below.