Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Fisher Kings

With all the wetland habitats, it wasn’t really a surprise to learn that there were plenty of kingfisher species on the Goa bird list. We were lucky enough to see all 8 species available to us.

White breasted kingfisher

Probably the commonest species we saw but that may have just been down to the fact that it was large and very vocal! We saw birds in all habitats and could often be seen well away from water due their varied diet. They eat fish, small frogs but also insects in wooded areas. We even had one on the wires outside our hotel room

Common kingfisher
I am sure they are just as common as the white breasted but, probably due to being smaller, we didn’t record as many. They were only found near water and were surprisingly approachable especially around the hotel.

Pied kingfisher

Very few records. 2 over pools near the hotel, 2 over rice fields at Siolim and 2 fishing at Carambolim Lake were the only records

Stork billed kingfisher

A beast of a kingfisher being nearly as big as a jackdaw!! The bird looks pretty much in proportion until you get to its beak! Only seen singularly sitting in trees looking for food. As in white breasted, is was just as likely to be found in wooded areas near water.

Collared kingfisher

The rarest of the family and has a very restricted range within India, Goa being the best place to see them. The Zuari River trip is the only place to see them and the boat takes you deep into the mangroves looking for them. The boatmen know where the pairs are and good views can be had. We saw 2 pairs and a single female. We were also very lucky to see one sat on fishing poles near Old Goa which we were told is a rare record away from the main area.

Black capped kingfisher

The best looking of the kingfishers. We only saw them on the Zuari River with a pair and 3 singles recorded. They were hard to photograph as they feed on small crabs on the edge of the mangroves
and can be hard to find.

For the last two species we need to head inland to the hills around Backwoods.

Blue eared kingfisher

Very much a forest bird and it took a bit of walking along rocky streams in search of them. They are pretty hard to locate so we were very lucky to get good views in an open area of stream. They are a little bigger that common, slightly darker but with a brighter blue back and rump.

Oriental dwarf kingfisher

The rarest and hardest to find. While watching and photographing the blue eared, our guide went off downstream in search. 10-15 mins later he returned having found the bird. An interesting walk over slippery rocks thankfully found the bird perched on the river bank. Despite the dull conditions, the orange beak and breast stood out like a beacon!! We were vry licky to get such good views but sadly it flew off before I could get any photos.

No comments:

Post a Comment