Monday, October 7, 2013

Birding in Central India - Some Exciting Finds

During our younger days we would often see the chestnut bittern over head along with a number of egrets. This is a rare sight now. The bitterns are highly dependent upon the reed beds and certain plant species hence susceptible to loss of habitat.   . 

Like any other big town in India Jabalpur to is being rapidly urbanized with large number of colonies springing up every where. Hence many avian species are loosing their habitats. We recently came across a group of yellow and chestnut bitterns breeding in Jabalpur in Central India or MP. 

Two young birding enthusiasts discovered this colony near a local medical college in midst of human habitation. We keenly observed the juveniles and adult bitterns interacting with each other. This was a great sight and heartening as well. We continued birding in and around the area and came across an Isabelline Shrike, Yellow Eyed Babblers, Bronze Winged Jacana feeding their young. The checklist goes as follows:
Isabelline Shrike
Temminck's Stint
Yellow Bottern
Chestnut Bittern
Yellow Eyed Babbler
Ashy Prinia
Plain Prinia
Black Kite
Bronze Winged Jacana
Black Drongo
Rose Ringed Parakeet
Paddyfield Pipit
Pied Bush Chat
Common Stonechat
Chestnut Tailed Starling
Bank Myna
Pied Starling
Common Myna
Purple Moorhen
Indian Moorhen

Juvenile Chestnut Bittern

Yellow Bittern

Both Images are by Prayut Mandal from Jabalpur

Prayut Mandal and his bother also discovered in Jabalpur:

Bar Headed Geese 
Eurasian Curlew

Most of the natural habitats and eco niches are being converted into residential colonies hence the future for many species looks bleak in Jabalpur. Jabalpur was known to have hundred water bodies or small lakes the numbers have come down in recent times. 

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