Monday, March 12, 2012
An emerald in the stream (and rare woods in the trees)
Still in the Munnar region, Kerala, and two members of the pigeon / dove family in the same area of mid-elevation woodland: one not uncommon and relatively widespread in the right habitat, and one (here it comes again) endemic to a very restricted area.
First up, this Emerald Dove, which was frankly blinding. Despite having seen several previously, the views were typically brief and unsatisfactory as each disappeared in the blink of an eye into the forest understorey.
Not so this bird, which we found wandering around in a trackside stream; thoughtfully going against type, after it'd clocked us it trotted closer, digesting small pieces of grit and generally showing off (as you would if you looked like this). Photos, especially in the dark and shady jungle, can hardly do it justice, but still.....
Second up, the far rarer, highly sought-after Nilgiri Woodpigeon. One of maybe five we saw in the area (quite a haul), and another target species nailed; aesthetically not quite the above, but it tried.