by NEWSNER , 2021-03-09 16:42:25
A birding trip to the south of Assam among the Borail ranges of the Dima Hasao district led to a flash of pleasure for five birders of the state.
The birders, Namketeung Jeme and Ramen Das, both retired DFOs of the Assam forest department; Dhurbajyoti Borgohain, retired chief engineer of Brahmaputra Board, wildlife lovers Sapon Baruah and Bijoyananda Chowdhury alongside their driver Biren Kalita, started the trip on March 4, 2021.
With the winds of ‘Phagun’ calling out the wild towards the wilderness, the team headed towards the Cachar Hills with cameras, tripods and every one resource required for the trip to the forest in anticipation and hope to capture new species of birds.
Spending the night at Haflong, early next morning, they headed towards Mahur then a diversion from there, the team moved towards the forests of the Borail ranges, uphill through the undulating territory to succeed in an altitude of 1000 metres.
Huge patches of secondary forests with an abundance of bamboo grooves thriving with fauna and flora especially a spread of birds, this region may be a birder’s paradise.
As the evening set in throwing elongated shadows of the bamboo trees, a way of disillusionment lingered upon the team as nothing new had been seen or heard, no new species of bird sighted thus far and therefore the days are almost done.
As the silence of the forest bore upon the instant, a definite call from amongst the grooves, a sound so pure and nascent that renewed energy reverberated the evening sky and therefore the team jumped to action.
It was the Hodgson’s frogmouth (Batrachostomus hodgsoni), a species belonging to the family of Frogmouths Podargidae. These frogmouth species are distributed in Northeast India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, South China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.
And this was the primary sighting within the state of Assam. the sooner sightings had been within the state of Arunachal Pradesh within the Mishmi Hills.
The Hodgson’s frogmouth may be a highly elusive, nocturnal bird. it's alittle bird, measuring 20 to 25 cm long and weighing 50 grams. The plumage varies between male and feminine frogmouths. The male Hodgson’s frogmouth is rufous-brown on the top and pale brown on the underside.
The female is far paler. there's a necklace like pale spotting on the chest. The eyes are small, though it's a nocturnal bird. The bill is wide giving an enormous frog-like gape, which is beneficial in capturing insects. The frogmouth has bristles around the base of the bill.
The eyebrows are paler and have long bristles. The Hodgson’s frogmouth call may be a long whistling sound.
These Hodgson’s frogmouth species are distributed within the evergreen, temperate forests in Northeast India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
The frogmouth subspecies B. h. hodgsoni is distributed in Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura states in India, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The Hodgson’s frogmouth subspecies B.h. Indochina is distributed in Myanmar, South China, North Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
This trip was historic as this elusive bird let the team capture photographs and videos for the primary time within the state of Assam. Photographic evidence of the presence of Hodgson’s Frogmouth within the state of Assam might be recorded for future references.