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Yewoor - Airforce station

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  • Kanwar B Singh
    Hi Mohina, Cdr. Sreeram and I reached the Airforce station near Yewoor village for birding early on Sunday morning. We were joined there for our bird walk
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2006
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      Mohina, Cdr. Sreeram and I reached the Airforce
      station near Yewoor village for birding early on
      Sunday morning. We were joined there for our bird walk
      towards the technical facility at the top of the hill
      by two very enthusiastic Airforce Officers, Sqn.
      Leaders Sreenidhi and Hemant.
      The daylight was yet to develop when we reached the
      campus and the early morning visibility was further
      spoiled by a low mist hanging in the air. Waiting for
      the light to improve we busied ourselves with enjoying
      the antics of the birds feeding on the nearby silk
      cotton tree in bloom.
      The day began with a bang when, amongst the other
      birds in the tree caopy, we saw a flock of thrushes
      feeding on the flowers of the silk cotton tree. As it
      was difficult to notice the features in poor light at
      that time, so I id-ed them to be the Eurasian
      Blackbird by the jizz and darker appearance. Later
      however the flock flew in to the canopy of nearby
      shrubberry where we had a better look at closer range
      and noticed their smaller size and more uniform grey
      colours compared to the Eurasian Blackbirds. One
      individual, nearest to us, was seen particularly well.
      It was uniformly brown on the upperparts with an
      orangish bill. Thrush like in manner, no doubt, it was
      comaparitively slimmer and smaller than a Eurasian
      Blackbird. It was a female Tickell's Thrush.
      Tickell's Thrush are rare winter visitors to our
      region. I have seen them a few times in Oct/Nov 2002
      at Lonavla and Khandala. Outside their breeding season
      which coincides with monsoons, Eurasian Blackbirds are
      shy and found generally singly in undergrowth (I refer
      to ssp. nigropileus here which are found here and I
      know them very well from my years at Lonavla, where
      they are extremely common during monsoons). In
      contrast, my own observations are that the Tickell's
      Thrush are observed to associate in flocks feeding on
      canopy and medium sized shrubbery .The present
      observation also follows the same pattern.
      This patch of shrubbery growing over a small ravine
      has been very rewarding to me. Earlier, about 02 years
      ago, I have seen here a pair of White-bellied Blue
      Flycatchers and a Baybanded Cuckoo as also Forest
      Wagtails rightnext to it!
      The start being so nice, things continued go rather
      well after that. As the light began to develop and we
      began the walk, we were immediatly rewarded by the
      sight of a brilliant male of Blue-capped Rock Thrush.
      The forest here is one of the finest in the National
      Park. At this time of the year the leaves have fallen
      and the undergrowth dried up giving good views all
      around. During the scenic walk which winds up through
      lovely forest to the the top of the hill we saw
      Greater Racket-tailed, Ashy, White-bellied and Bronzed
      Drongoes, Golden & Black-hooded Orioles, many Common
      Ioras, Gold-fronted Chloropsis, Jungle Owlets,
      Pale-billed Flowerpeckers, Greenish Warblers, a big
      party of Rufous Treepies, Large Cuckooshrikes,
      Grey-breasted Prinias, Common Woodshrikes, Red
      spurfowls amongst many others. In fact, with many of
      the resident birds beginning to sing, its a magical
      experience in the forest these days!
      Amongst the raptors we were lucky to spot a Eurasian
      Sparrohawk, Shikra, Black Eagle, a couple of Crested
      Serpent Eagles, a Steppe Eagle high up in the air, a
      pale phase Booted Eagle, Black-eared Kite and later,
      near Chembur, a Marsh Harrier.
      There is a BNHS walk scheduled towards Yewoor the
      coming Sunday. So all those attending please do keep a
      look out for the Tickell's Thrushes in the area. Its a
      very interesting record for Bombay region.
      Best wishes

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