Monday, 3 April 2017

How small can a bundle of joy be? Black-eared Shrike-babbler

11.5 to 12 cm is what is listed for this bird and it truly became a bundle of joy - as I scoured the jungles and walked relentlessly to find one bird that I can tick off as a lifer.

We had a day off and Khonoma is just a two and half hours drive, unfortunately for me, there was no bird guide as the only one, (in entire Nagaland I believe) Mr Anguilie was busy during the day. As it is my decision to start was taken late and I reached Khonoma around 1030 - the time of the day during which the bird activity ebbs to the lowest - from around 1100 to 1300hrs. Nevertheless, I was just not giving up. I entered from one forest track to another - not finding anything. The strong winds and frequent drizzle may have been to blame - but then when I sighted this tiny little bird as I was about to end the day after almost 6 hours and not finding anything that would have hang my head in disgust - this small bird hopped into my vision and lifted my spirits to the seventh heaven. 

Frankly, there were problems like the bird was too far away and down beneath the towering trees and the light was just about trickling down - but the camera at 800 iso and little bit of photoshop could bring out the colours and the gave life to this highly cropped shot.

Highly cropped shot - the original shot at 500 mm is included below

The second of the only two shots I got... 

The original shot with the bird almost non-existent in the centre...
As they say - all's well that ends well. A little about the bird now - this is a bird that has two subspecies and the one pictured above is the ssp melanotis. This bird is found in the Indian Subcontinent at 1200-2800m and recorded locally down to 300 m. Generally found singly or in pairs often with mixed flock. My sighting was with a large flock of Yellow-bellied Fantails. Handbook of the Birds lists this bird as winter immigrant in Nagaland improbable and require substantiation.

The range of the bird is fairly large...



1 comment:

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