In April 2011 Lena Chow spent ten days touring Nepal that included Chitwan National Park, the Kathmandu Valley and Dhampus. Being a birder that she is, Lena naturally took the opportunity to observe the rich bird life around. Her report below comprises a series of video clips that she documented, from birds seen to vocalisation and behaviour. This is a novel way of providing a field report – away from the usual lists of species.
1. A nesting pair of Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi) at Chitwan. The male was a pale morph with a long white tail, and looked like a flying white ribbon every time he appeared. Too bad he was not forthcoming in posing for the camera, always remaining partially blocked. The female flycatcher was much more visible, and seems to be enjoying the nest-building…
2. Indian Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii) stalking prey. After catching most probably a small fish, it fluffed it feathers.
3. A Bronze-winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus) walking on water weeds growing over the surface of a pond in Chitwan National Park. The jacana was turning over water lettuce (Pistia stratoites), rather like a turnstone turning stones, looking for insects clinging to the plants.
4. Flocks of Common Moorhens, Lesser Whistling Ducks, White-breasted Waterhens, Asian Openbills, Woolly-necked Storks and a Purple Heron were encountered at Chitwan National Park. The video clip below shows an evening scene with a flock of Asian Openbills (Anastomus oscitans) converging onto a single tree to spend the night. Try and spot the Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus) in the top left corner in the last frames.
5. Vocalisation of the Grey-headed Flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensia), a rather common species, singing for a good few minutes at Godavari forest.
6. The Great Barbet (Megalaima virens) duetting with another at Nagarkot – the siren calls went on for at least 20 minutes. The video below was shot at Godavari Botanical Gardens. We also heard the same loud vocalisations at Nagarkot, Shivapuri and generally throughout the Kathmandu valley. Note that its gular sac helps enhance the vocalisation, as also seen in an earlier post.
7. The Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) making like a fantail – repeatedly fanning its tail, which I’ve never seen our local robins… This is a rather common sight in the urban areas of Nepal
8. In this video, the Oriental Magpie Robin bursts into song atop a Star of David, also at an urban area.
9. The Grey-hooded Warbler (Seicercus xanthoschistos), a fairly common bird in the Kathmandu Valley, is more often heard than seen…
Note: This was a general sightseeing trip with birdwatching squeezed in between. Made together with Jimmy & Fance Lee and Janet Lim who made the trip possible, Lena shared many precious birding moments with her team mates.