Rubythroat in Udaipur
Nandeshwar is a small shallow lake situated about 14 km from Udaipur. The shallow part of the lake is covered with patches of reeds and the shore with dense bushes.
Nandeshwar is a small shallow lake situated about 14 km from Udaipur. The shallow part of the lake is covered with patches of reeds and the shore with dense bushes. On 1 December 1986, while sitting near the shore, a bird alighted on the ground about 7 m from us. It looked like a female Indian Robin with a faint coloration on its dorsal side. But surprisingly it had a prominent white supercilium, which was clearly visible. The bird remained for a few moments and then flew away.
Puzzled by the white supercilium we returned to the spot the next day. We combed the area for about four hours and spotted two birds with while superciliums. We compared them with the descriptions in the ‘Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan’, compact edition (S. Ali and S. D. Ripley) and to our astonishment they turned out to be Rubythroats.
On 18 December 1986, at around 0930hrs we again sighted a Rubythroat in the Panchwati area of Udaipur. Panchwati is close to a nullah which carries overflow waters from the lakes of Udaipur and in places it is surrounded by thick vegetation. This time we saw it at very close quarters, for over half an hour.
There were Phalsa, Fig and Ber trees growing closely together and thick underbrush of lantana and similar bushes. The bird was seen running in short spurts after insects, fluttering its wings after each stop. Suddenly two Redvented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus cafer) appeared and persistently chased the bird from bush to bush till it disappeared from view. This behaviour of the bulbuls was possibly due to competition for food between them or due to the presence of a strange bird in their territory.
On January 14, 1987, we saw the Rubythroat near Pichola Lake of Udaipur city. It is perhaps the first sighting of the Rubythroat anywhere in Rajasthan apart from Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur.
Published in Journal of Bombay Natural History Society: Tehsin, R. & Kulshreshtha, M. (1989) Rubythroat Erithacus colliope (Pallas). In Udaipur, Rajasthan. J. Bom. Nat. Hist. Soc. 86: 246