Harshit Singhal is a young birder from India who sent in this account of his observation on 15th March 2008.
“I have kept a 3 inch deep bath tub on the ground just besides the guava tree (Psidium guajava) and birds such as fantail flycatcher, Jungle babbler (Turdoides striata), Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) have often been seen bathing in it.
“But on 10th March, an Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) perched on the guava tree and then hesitantly moved to the top of the bath tub (left below)
“It appeared very vigilant and cautious and after making sure that there was no enemies nearby, it plunged into the water and took a fanatical bath. After flapping its wings four to five times, it flew to the nearby Chakotra tree (Citrus maxima) and started grooming its feathers.
“It was a fascinating sight for me as I have read in field guides that white-eyes are completely arboreal and do not descend on the ground.”
It may be arboreal but the bird needs a bath and it needs to come to the ground for it.
Image of white-eye by YC while that of basin with white-eye perching along the rim by Harshit.