AM I A CHIFFCHAFF?

Small birds are very difficult to identify especially for amateurs like me. I spotted this tiny visitor looking directly at the camera as we were rushing to see the Demoiselle Cranes at Kichan Village near Jodhpur.

straight at the camera
Who am I?

I have spent most of Sunday attempting to identify this sweet little bird seen in Kichan ,home  to the famous Demoiselle Cranes.( do read my blogs titled Winter Guests and A Feast) .

Finally I honed onto  Warblers or ChiffChaffs , but I maybe wrong.

I eliminated the Common ChiffChaff which seems to have a distinctive white underside.

Most of the warblers have a clear white line  extending from the beak  upto the eyes (supercillium)  . But all the pictures of this mysterious but well proportioned bird rule them out too.

The side profile shows a uniform rust colour all over.

perfect profile.jpg
The little bird was very cooperative

I pitched for the Mountain ChiffChaff ( Scientific Name Phylloscopus sindianus)  which is a migrant to the warmer regions of Rajasthan in the winters from Kashmir in the Himalayas.

To add to my confusion birds change their plumage in winter and when breeding as well.

The Juveniles and Adults look different too.  I need to go back to school on this one.

wren like
All brown or rust with no markings whatsoever

Wrens are eliminated as they usually hold their tails up and are relatively fewer in India.

This sweet  camera friendly visitor or resident has me stumped. Please do help me identify this feathered friend.

After many hours scouring numerous references all I am certain of is this bird  belongs to the Order of the Common House Sparrows Passiformes.

I have observed that smaller birds are very active and keep chirping and rarely stay still, however our friend above in contrast was extremely Quiet and hardly moved despite the click click of the DSLR camera.

Thanks to a fellow blogger,Badri,  the mystery has been solved.

The little bird is  THE BROWN ROCK CHAT ( English) ,  Shama (Hindi) ,Cercomela Fusca ( Scientific Name).

It is endemic or native to the Indian Subcontinent and migrates to the Himalayas during the summers.

The Little One is not a Chiff Chaff but a Chat.

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Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

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