Saturday, October 26, 2013

Birds at IIP Dehradun Campus : White-browed Fantail and Warblers

 We traveled to Uttarakhand last week. The motto was to go for The Great Himalaya Bird count assisted by but we had booked the guest house at IIP Dehradun so we could stay there and enjoy birding ahead of the bird count. It turned out to be a good rest after a hectic week and a flu attack I was suffering. We actually were pondering over the possibility of cancelling the trip as I was not too confident of feeling well, but since we had 4 days at Dehradun to rest we decided to go ahead with our plan. It was a great decision as I got to rest properly with 2-3 hours of bird watch each morning and evening in the beautiful campus of IIP.

The straight road from one end of the campus to the other is the most beautiful road to walk and people have spotted leopards and other animals on this road. The tall trees look beautiful in the morning and you can see the tea gardens flanking both sides of this road.

It is a heaven for birds and birders both.

In fact the first morning was a sign of the times to come, I woke up with a sweet bird song, at about 4.30 AM unbelievably, and wondered which new bird I would see and whether I would be able to recognise this bird song with any of the bird I would see. The bird, in fact came to show me off her beautiful song and dance performance later in the day and I felt so blessed. It was a White-browed Fantail and the dance is synchronised with her song. It was wonderful to watch this bird several times.

The first time this bird was spotted by Arvind when he was walking alone around the other end of the guest house where some construction work was going on. I was not well so returned to our room for a short nap after a 2 hour morning walk. He came back and shown me these pictures. Seeing the bird I felt so jealous because I wanted to see this bird myself, I had seen a wonderfully shot video of Flycatchers some time ago and instantly recognised this beauty.

White-browed Fantail is a delightful bird to watch. But I had still not heard this bird so I could not associate the morning bird song yet with WBF flycatcher.

The background is not good for making the picture look good but the bird is really beautiful. Especially the way it fans the tail and turns quickly at 180 degree to fan the tail again.

Seeing these pictures I had no idea of the dance performance it does.

And then we decided to have another walk after lunch. We walked from the guest house on the beautiful road that spans from one end of the campus to the other, 4 Kms in total. Just as we crossed the turn to Director's bungalow, I could hear the song again on a tree. Looked up and here it was. Dancing and singing away in glee.

We enjoyed the song and dance performance twice more but clear pictures could not be taken. Partly it was too far and too fast moving and party because it's difficult to click pictures in thick foliage when one is standing right below the tree.

I will keep posting Birds of IIP Dehradun in a series this time. Sharing another bird in this post. We saw so many warblers and the identification of warblers is so difficult for amateur birder like me. The best I could identify this one is a Lemon-rumped Warbler.

See this series of pictures so different angles of the bird is visible. Let me know if you think it is Dusky warbler that I was contemplating regarding this one.

Lemon -warbler or Dusky warbler. Please confirm if you recognise them.

And stay tuned for more and more birds coming up. We spotted around 100 birds in this trip, some were common to make the count but some birds were spotted for the first time by us. Overall a really good good trip birding wise.


  1. Ejoying your write up as much as you enjoyed seeing them

  2. Have been seeing the pics on FB as well and love them !