Chakki Mor, 6 January , 2013
- I was Chandigarh for some work and it was grey, foggy and very cold. To beat this weather Rima Dhillon and I decided to head to the hills. We left at 7.30 in the morning and reached Chakki Mor by about 8.30. Sun was shining, the skies were a clear cerulean blue and the mountains covered with thick foliage. It was much warmer even though a thin layer of frost covered some of the grass growing in shadier parts.
A party of warblers, hovering Lemon Rumped, numerous Grey Headed, Hume's and Lesser Whitethroats, gangs of Oriental White Eyes, and Plain Prinias were seen on a hillside and thereafter thru the day. A Yellow Bellied Fantail was following this activity. A Verditer Flycatcher kept popping out of the foliage while Whiskered Yuhinas went busily on their way. A single Crimson Sunbird, and a couple of Western Crowned Warblers were also seen. Noisy Himalayan Parakeets kept flying across the sky.
Near the first bridge a White Capped River Chat perched on a parapet. A small movement in a bushy tree across the bouldered stream revealed a Crested Kingfisher which then flew across and up a nallah. A short drive later we saw a Eurasian Sparrowhawk with a dark head and a faintly barred pale body perched high on a dry tree. A little further we saw an Asian Barred Owlet sunning itself atop a bare tree. The resounding calls of Great Barbets could be heard and two were sitting still amidst a leafy tree.
In a group of broad leaved trees a large group of Red Fronted Tits was busy flitting around, a couple of Great Tits and the usual gang of warblers and Prinias. A few Red Billed Blue Magpies, Indian Grey Hornbills and Rufous Treepies were also seen. By the roadside a Striated Prinia was calling and hopping incessantly. Occasionally a Grey Breasted Prinia was seen.
Most of the fallow fields were checked for buntings and accentors, with White Capped Buntings being by far the most numerous. At one of the fields about thirty odd Fire Fronted Serins were calling and flying in tree canopies and bushes in twos and threes and then gathering into waves of chattering groups. A couple of Rufous Throated Accentors, male and female were lurking about in bushes. An accentor with hardly any markings but a very prominent, whitish supercilium had me puzzled for a while till I realized that it was a juvenile Black Throated Accentor. Soon enough an adult bird turned up, clearing all doubts. These birds had been seen in a nearby field last year. A couple of Russet Sparrows were perched on electrical cables.
After turning back, we stopped at a pine grove where a Grey Faced Woodpecker was drumming and calling loudly from the base of a pine tree. On the other side of the road, a Brown Fronted Pied Woodpecker was flying around in the mid branches while a Bar Tailed Treecreeper crept along with a soft call. On the forest floor and on top of low bushes and rocks a Blue Capped Redstart was quietly hopping and flying.
Strangely we didn’t see any babblers and laughingthrushes apart from Jungle Babblers that day.
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