Eye to eye with Indian Blue Robin( Luscinia brunnea)   Leave a comment

Eye to eye with Indian Blue Robin( Luscinia brunnea)

I went to Nandi hills yesterday, with a young birder friend. He wanted to visit that place and so we embarked on an early morning trip to Nandi Hills. We got a little delayed and the sun was up before we reached the place. Given the delay and it being a weekend, I was quite sceptical about our chances of finding some exotic birds including its famous thrushes and fly catchers.

But we were not to be denied. At the foot of the hills we encountered a Brown shrike and we had just about ascended a few meters uphill that we encountered a Crested Serpent Eagle (CSE). Though CSEs are common occurrences in the forests of Karnataka, I had never seen one so close to the city of Bangalore. So the build up was getting intense. And the peak also did not disappoint.

We saw Asian Paradise Flycatchers, Olive backed Pipits, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Ashy Drongos, Eurasian Golden Orioles, Female Blue Caped Rock Thrushes, Grey wagtails, Oriental Magpie Robins, lots of different Bulbuls and not to forget Nilgiri Wood Pigeons and Malabar Whistling Thrushes. All in all a wonderful day of birding.

However, for me the Indian Blue Robin was a lifer and I crawled on my stomach to get close to this male. Once we were on our haunches, this bird got quite comfortable and allowed us to get quite close. Infact, it came so close that we could no longer click it and getting up from the ground was not an option. I am sure we also made an interesting sight to all the merry makers who had gathered at Nandi Hills for a Saturday picnic. I wont be surprised if there are pictures out there of us crawling on the ground 🙂

Indian Blue Robins were once considered as Thrushes but are now considered as Flycatchers. They breed in the forests of the Himalayas but migrate to peninsular India during winters. The females are olive brown above and that helps distinguish them from the males. The birds are of the size of the Bluethroat which is a close relative.

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