Rare bird captured on lens for first time in NCR
A large-billed leaf-warbler, a passage migrant bird rarely spotted in Delhi, was photographed for the first time near Mangar Bani on the Delhi-Haryana border on Sunday.
Before this, birders have spotted large-billed leaf-warblers only two times in the national capital and its surrounding areas around the same time of the year. While the first one was spotted in the Ridge on September 9, 2000, the second one was spotted in Mangar on September 8, 2011. This time it was spotted on September 8 again.
The birders had failed to take photographs of the bird on earlier two occasions. This time it was photographed by Amit Sharma, a Gurugram-based birder who spotted it perched on a kikar tree, around two kilometers from Mangar Bani.
“The bird was found in a kikar forest. It was jumping from one branch to another. It is a very normal behaviour for the bird. It is this behavioor of the bird which makes it difficult to locate and photograph,” Sharma said.
Experts said Delhi falls on the route of several migratory birds, which travel from the Himalayas to the south Indian peninsula and make their way back.
“On all three occasions, the bird was spotted around the same dates – September 8 and 9. This suggests the time gap to spot and photograph it in Delhi-NCR could be very small,” said Pankaj Gupta, a birder from the Delhi Bird Foundation.
Large-billed leaf-warblers are found in the Himalayas. They migrate to south India and Sri Lanka during this time of the year to avoid the harsh Himalayan winter.
“Sometimes they come from China and fly all across Kolkata. But this time it seems to have come straight from the Himalayas and was flying southwards,” Gupta said.
It is found in thick vegetation and birders mostly get to hear its calls rather than spotting it or taking its photo.