Thursday, 9 February 2012

From Kolkata

Sujan and I had jobs to do around Kolkata today, so there was little time for wildlife. This said, almost every vertebrate seen today has been new for my yearlist. Two species, coppersmith barbet and five-striped palm-squirrel, I only heard (rhythmic, sonorous boops and bickering psssks respectively), but both are so common that I have high hopes of seeing them soon. In addition to vertebrates, today I saw my first Indian butterflies of the year, indeed my first butterflies anywhere: two common crows flapping incongruously over the bustling streets of Kolkata (yes, common crow really is the name of a butterfly). Along the city’s leafy streets, almost the only trees in flower, of many planted here, are African tulips, mangoes and a lovely, gentle pink Tabebuia.

The coppersmith is a bird who makes a noise exactly like the beating of a little hammer on a copper pot, and the reason he is always making it is because he is the town-crier to every Indian garden, and tells all the news to everybody who cares to listen.

Rudyard Kipling
The Jungle Book


Asian palm swift
Cypsiurus balasiensis
yellow-footed green-pigeon
Treron phoenicoptera
little cormorant 
Phalacrocorax niger

2012 Totals
Mammals: 10
Birds: 137
Reptiles: 0
Amphibians: 0
Fish: 0

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