The Camp Corbett bird list reached 367 species this month with the sighting of the Black Naped Monarch. A pair of these beautiful birds were sighted in mixed forest along the Baur River valley near Kaladhungi on two consecutive days by Chris Salt and Surinder, our Nepalese Naturalist and expert birdwatcher. The bird resembles the much commoner Verditer Flycatcher and has similar habits; however the male Monarch can be identified by its black nape and collar. Bird number 366 was the Rufous Woodpecker.
All 367 species have been recorded within a 5 km radius of Camp Corbett since 1987. The exuberant bird life around Camp Corbett can be probably be explained by the great range of habitats, which include sal forest, mixed lowland forest, hill forest, lantana scrub, grasslands and riverine habitats, all in a relatively small area. The well-watered Baur Valley also acts as a migration pathway from the Terai plains to the Himalayan foothills.
Jim Corbett himself remarks in "Jungle Lore" that he had never seen such a diversity of bird life that existed in the Kaladhungi forests and Baur River Valley. This diversity is still evident today.
Other interesting birds recorded during October-November 2010 included Siberian and White Tailed Rubythroats. frequent sightings of Green Magpie and a the usual resident family of 7 Great Slaty Woodpeckers.
1. White Tailed Rubythroat
2. Great Slaty Woodpecker
All photographs by Kevin Smith. (c) all rights reserved