Spotted Flycatcher


Muscicapa striata

We spend our one of the best days in Kutch. So we always feel connected with Kutch somehow. Every year we tried to visit Kutch to recall such golden memories along with birding. Before going to Kutch at this season, I had a chat with my friend Nirav Pomal at Bhuj. As per his opinion  we can most possibly see passage migrants like Spotted Flycatcher, Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin , European Roller etc. in good number. Spotted Flycatcher and Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin are on the top of our wishlist. We started our journey at early morning after pick-up Nirav from his resident.  We move towards ‘Fot Mahadev’ – a famous birding scrub area near Nakhatrana. When we take a final turn from state highway towards Fot Mahadev, we really don’t know what a fortunate events waiting for us...!  It is like shower of Spotted Flycatcher on us. We were able to spot around 20 + Spotted Flycatcher on that unforgettable day. It looks like they are scattered everywhere in that area. It is not that we did not see Spotted Flycatcher before but clearly, we never see them plentiful…!
When we came out of our vehicle, this bird shy out so we decided to remain in vehicle and try out window photography…! After some minutes Spotted Flycatcher settled down, looks like get used to presence of our vehicle. We were able to observe some specific details.

Muscicapa striata

This is an ordinary looking small bird with noticeable streaked crown and breast with brown, giving it significant name Spotted Flycatcher. It is winter passage migrant in Gujarat, appears around Diwali times, so its Guajarati name is ‘Diwali-Makhimar’ (દિવાળી માખીમાર), which is also appropriate. It has short and black legs; bill is black and broad pointed shape typical of aerial insectivores and dull grey-brown upperparts plus off-white underparts.
We observed this Spotted Flycatcher hunt from exposed lower perches, mostly catches passing by flying insects in the bill and often returning to the same perch. Sometimes it hunts from the ground but remain in same area all the time. Its upright posture is very beautiful. It has a thin, soft and high-pitched call like wee weeppp…
We also sighted the Common Cuckoo juvenile, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Minivets, White-naped Tit, Indian Bushlark, Barred Button Quail and plenty of other locals. We take plenty of beautiful shots and move ahead in search of Rufous-tailed scrub robin.

18th Septmber 2016
Kutch, Gujarat, India

Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500

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