Birding is a great hobby, it makes you go places looking for birds. From the internet I learnt about the Black and Orange Flycatcher and soon me and my wife were on our way to the Nilgiris looking for them. We stayed at Wellington (Military Station) near Coonoor. I was stationed here in 1984 while attending the Staff Course at Staff College Wellington.
The place is still as serene and quiet as 30 years ago but the near by towns of Coonoor and Ooty are fast becoming concrete jungles. We had arrived at our destination late evening so we just relaxed and met old friends in the evening. The adventure began the next morning. I was up just before sunrise, got my Canon 70D and the 400mm f5.6 lens ready and was out on a walk looking for birds. I could here the chirping of birds all around and spotted a tree which had plenty of bird activity and manged to get few shots.
he Red Cheeked Bulbul’s were very active on this Bottle Brush Tree. It was fun watching them chase each other.
In close vicinity we spotted a pair of Common Hoope digging for insects.
Occasionally we came across few Oriental White Eyes.
..and then off-course the House Sparrow and the Indian Robins were all over.
Still trying to find the ID of this bird. Tickell’s Leaf Warbler ??? or Brown Breasted Flycatcher ???
….and then we moved to the Sim’s Park in Coonoor as we were informed that this is the place to site the Black and Orange Fly Catcher’s.
The entry fee here is Rs 30.00 per person and you have to shell out Rs 50.00 for each camera you carry.
As we walked around in the park, we could notice bird activity but the Black and Orange Fly Catcher remained elusive. This is what we came across after few steps.
Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher
Then we saw two Malabar Giant Squirrel’s…
As we walked around the park, we came across few more species of birds but the Black and Orange Flycatcher remained elusive.
Indian Black Bird
White Browed Fantail
Grey Canary Flycatcher
Blue Capped Rockthrush
It was nearing 11.00 am and we had not spotted the Black and Orange Flycatcher. Feeling quite disappointed, we started walking towards the exit entrance of the park and then saw few people peeping in a bush. We halted and inquired and were informed that they had seen the Black and Orange Flycatcher . So we waited along with them and were rewarded, we sited them perched on a branch many a times. Our mission had been accomplished. Lovely birds indeed !!
Black and Orange (female). Females have a grayish crown were as males have black.
God was kind and we went back to our room thrilled and happy.
We made a trip to Ooty Botanical Garden the next day looking for these but being a holiday the park was too crowded.
There are many more species of birds in the Nilgiris. You need to walk the beaten path in the wilderness, stop were you see some water and flower or fruit tree and wait patiently for them to perch.
During a walk in Wellington we spotted this Besra up in the trees as if bidding us farewell. We left for Pune in the afternoon happy and satisfied.