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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tickell's Blue Flycatcher

Monday was Adu's birthday. He cooled off in Jungle Lodges and Resorts' Bannerughatta property overnight on Sunday and we joined him on Monday.

The searing heat beat down on us relentlesslly squashing our enthusiasm thoroughly. Sweating profusely we set out almost as soon as we arrived to see if there were any birds insane enough to venture out into the mid-morning sun.

The bag was a Tickell's Blue Flycatcher and a solitary White Cheeked Barbet besides the ubiquitous Tickell's Flowerpecker.

The Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, wearing of ever seeing the last of us, decided he might as well sing to us and serenaded us with beautiful, fluting notes. He was soon joined by another male and both proceeded to breakfast on the summer insects. They flitted up and down at ground level baring a lovely golden brown color under their wings and then disappeared into a clump of bamboo. We gave up and went around the bamboo only to find that one of them had emerged on the other side.

The flowerpecker treated us with disdain preferring to turn his back on us while he leapt from limb to limb refusing to remain still for even one moment.

A dull "thok, thok, thok" sound alerted us to a white cheeked barbet that was busy drilling into a tree near our tent. He spotted us before we spotted him and watched us with as much interest as we watched him. Just as we got that little bit closer for a good photograph, he took off and didn't return until we had returned hot and thirsty from our stalking of the flycatcher.

Somewhere in the bushes surrounding the camp, a bulbul coyly sang in carrying notes. We didn't find him though we heard him all the time we were there.

Adu inveigled us out for a walk around the camp after lunch and we dragged ourselves off on his trail. A small quick movement on the ground caught our attention and we found ourselves staring at a young lizard. The bright colours and its posture told us we might be looking at an agama but I could be wrong. Please post a comment if you know what this lizard could be.

UPDATE: For those of you interested, Karthik was kind enough to identify the lizard for me. It turns out to be a Snake Skink (Riiopa punctata).


Sanna said...

Such a beautiful flycatcher! Ours are only gray, black and white.

I like your blog, it's like a window into another world. :)

couch potato said...

Thank you Sanna. India is home to some lovely birds and, unfortunately, I have only now begun to appreciate them.