Saturday, November 9, 2013

Birds at IIP Dehradun Campus : Blue-bearded Bee-eaters, Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters, Green Bee-eaters and Lineated Barbet

Bringing you another post on the birds of IIP Dehradun. We spotted a few Bee-eaters on the Eucalyptus trees that line up the long road. We actually get a strong whiff of Eucalyptus oil when we reach this spot, a very pleasant start of a long walk I must add.

The Bee-eaters that made a racket on top of the tall trees, looked excited as Bee-eaters always feel like. We could see the beautifully spread out wings and their characteristic flight, excitedly taking a small flight taking a round and then coming back to the same spot. Often a coupe of them would perch on the same branch, do some talking and start flying in the characteristic manner. It's a pleasure to watch Bee-eaters when you have enough time..

This is the Green Bee-eater with that unmistakable elongated central tail feathers, as if a stick juts out from the tail.

You would see them almost all over India except very high altitude but to see them in wilderness is so much fun.

They keep showing up here and there, often knowing someone is keeping an eye on them.

And there are these Chestnut-headed bee-eaters found in foothills of Himalayas and forests of the southern India. These are marginally larger than the Green Bee-eaters.

Beautifully feathered, lovely eyes.

The most delightful sighting was the Blue-bearded Bee-eater. We saw them in large numbers but always too high up on the trees and it was only their silhouette that gave away their identity. These are larger birds than the other Bee-eaters and the blue beard shines beautifully again light. The beak is a bit longer too.

We were hoping to see a lot of Barbets there in Dehradun and I was particularly expecting the Great Barbet that we spotted once in Simla.

We did get to spot a Lineated Barbet which we don;t find in Delhi so it was quite an achievement. Actually one fellow lived on a smallish Banyan tree right in front of the guest house canteen so we could spot him many times.

And they were found to like these berries very much.

An avid birder friend recognised these berries as Turkey berries. I wish I had known these berries earlier. Would have plucked some and cooked for the record :-)

The Brown -headed Barbet comes to drink water from my rock garden and a Coppersmith-barbet is often seen on a wild fig tree near my house, these two are the only Barbets we see in Delhi. The great Barbet was seen in Simla and Blue-throated Barbet once in Palampur Iwish I could see other Barbets soon in different parts of India.

And yes, I was expecting the Blue-tailed Bee-eater as well in Dehradun but could not spot them. May be next time?

I am hoping I will be there every year for the bird count.

1 comment:

  1. Dear sangeeta,

    Bee eaters are a feast to the eyes, the way they flyaround to catch a bee or a dragon fly is a sight to watch. We spotted the Blue tailed bee eater at the icrisat campus, Larger than the green bee eater, with a bluish tail , he too was a sight to watch. His call is different and so do his flight. When i came to hyd first in 2006, the neighbourhood had lots of bee eaters,. The tree close to my house, housed them for the night and they sit in groups all thro the electric cable. The numbers decreased and we see only a few of them now. Probably they have migrated or changed their style. .
    Ever since our peepul was chopped of, iam deprived of the CSbarbets that occupy the tree in large numbers. This post is a feast to me, and ima enjoying every bit of it. Keep posting