After the exciting drive from Dhikala Grasslands in Corbett National Park, we reached camp and I was looking to do some birding around the place. Ritish told me that I should hang around the makeshift bird bath. The bird bath was basically an erstwhile tent site where water had collected and a few species of birds came by to either quench their thirst or take a quick dip. I jumped at the option and setup my camera on a chair and settled down to try my luck.
I didn’t have to wait long before my first subject, a Himalayan Bulbul, flew by and settled at the edge of the water. After confirming that I meant no harm, it settled in the water (above) and took a cool shower. It was amazing to see this bird thoroughly enjoying its bath. After the dip, it quickly shook itself dry (below) of the excess water and flew away.
As soon as the Himalayan Bulbul vacated the water body, a skittish Red-billed Leiothrix (above) came by and settled at the water’s edge. Unlike the Bulbul, the nervous Red-billed Leiothrix did not hang around for long and took a quick dip and flew away. I had told Ritish that I wanted to photograph a Rubythroat, if possible. And when one came close to the front porch of the camp, Ritish called out for me and I quickly went over and got a few portraits of this foraging Rubythroat (below) before rushing back to the makeshift bird bath.
As I settled down again, a couple of Oriental White-eye flew by and sat at the water’s edge. Soon one more joined them and they were all very excited (feature image / first image of the post) to be around the water and were waiting for one of them to take the plunge. Very soon two of them jumped into the water for their evening bath and I was happy to freeze them in the act (above). After the Oriental White-eye, it was the turn of the Rufous-bellied Niltava (below) to come by for its bath. This little fellow had an leisurely bath. However, he kept his gaze on me all the time during his bath.
The light was fast fading and that’s when I realized that I was sitting by the water tank for over two hours. In the low light conditions I captured a Slaty Blue Flycatcher (above) that came for a quick bath followed by a White-browed Fantail Flycatcher (below) for record shots. You can read more about our first sighting of a Slaty Blue Flycatcher taking bath during my previous visit to the camp. Also, click on the link to see an interesting image of a White-browed Fantail Flycatcher caught during its courtship display during one of our trips to BR Hills.