A question from Matheran!: It is (or it was) perceived that Malabar Whistling Thrushs are breeding visitors in Mumbai wildlife region. Particularly in Monsson they are seen and observed near the flowing streams. They are sometimes located and identified through their typical whistling call adn sometimes through their quick flight type appearance, in the wild.

Today (i.e. 2nd March`12) my team were on our regular field visit and sat near a small dam where water was leaking through a broken channel. Apart from Asian Paradise Flycatchers (male & females), Red Whiskered Bulbuls, Verditer Flycatcher, Yellow Wagtail, Golden Chloropsis, Orange Headed Thrush, Blue Capped Rock Thrush & Asian Brown Flycatcher, we observed the continuous calls of Emerald Dove but as usual, this patch of evergreen forest made us no ease in locating them. All of sudden a bluish bird appeared from bushes with whistling note. The quick hit, in my mind, was Malabar Whistling Thrush. But this is not the season for this bird to appear, I argued myself. We all scanned the area and waited there for good 10 minutes.

.. & … were told to keep their eyes open from opposite side of the bushes and me & … were looking at this side of the bushes. The bird , with its typical whistling call, appeared from bushes and went inside the structure of damaged dam. And thereafter it didnt appeared at all. All we could understand that it had something, which we assumed to be, nesting materiel. Now the question or the query is (a) Are they observed in this season, earlier? (b) Do they breed at this time of the year, as well?

The rest of the day was with few more good surprises such as 3 individual Nilgiri wood Pigeons were observed. A long battle (fight for food) was observed between Common Kestrel, Common Buzzard and Black Shouldered Kite, subsequently. The Bombax cieba were in full bloom. The lone Bombax insigne had no flowers today. Butea monosperma are fading now. Among several Kusum trees (Schleichera oleosa), one had started flowering now.

Here is the link of Nilgiri Wood Pigeon (Columba elphinstonii), an IUCN red listed species (as vulnerable) and endemic to Western Ghats complex. Photographed yesterday at Matheran.
Photo courtesy by …