Flycatchers, Chats

Taiga Flycatcher

Generally creamy or greyish-white below, but older males have orange throat patch. Male also has greyer head and neck,  white eye-rings, small bill. White basal patches on black tail. Eastern race F. p. abicilla has black bill and rump, older males have large rounded grey throat patches.

Grey Bushchat

Male: dark grey above, streaked black; black mask; white supercilium, wing-patch and outer tail; white throat and belly; dull grey breast. Female: rufous-brown, streaked; rusty rump and outer tail; white throat; yellow-brown below. Solitary or pairs; like other chats, keeps to open country and edge of forest; perches on bush tops and poles, flirts tail often; regularly seen in an area; flies to ground on spotting insect.

Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher

Sexes alike. Ashy-grey head, throat and breast; darker crown; yellow-green back and yellow rump; yellow in browner wings and tail; yellow below breast. Solitary or in pairs, occasionally several in vicinity, especially in mixed parties; a forest bird, typical flycatcher, excitedly flitting about, launching aerial sallies and generally on the move; wherever this bird is, its cheerful unmistakable calls are heard.

Little Pied Flycatcher

Male is almost stark white above and black below; has long, broad white supercilium, white panels on wings and black tail. Female mostly grey-brown above and pale greyish below; female of eastern race australorientis has more rufous on rump and tail. Juvenile is spotted brown and buff. Can be seen singly, or in pairs; gregarious; often in mixed foraging flocks; arboreal; active hunter at canopy level.

Red-breasted Flycatcher

Male: dull-brown above; white in tail conspicuous in night or when tail is flicked; rufous-orange chin, throat; whitish below. Female: white throat; palebuff breast. Solitary or in scattered pairs in shaded areas; may descend to ground, but prefers low and middle branches; flicks wings and lifts tail; launches short aerial sallies; hunts till late in evening; calls often.

White-browed Fantail Flycatcher

Sexes alike, but female slightly duller. Dark brown above; black crown, sides of face; white forehead, broad stripe (brow) to nape; two white-spotted wing-bars, white edges to tail; black centre of throat, sides of breast; white, sides of throat, underbody. Solitary or in pairs; lively bird, flits about tirelessly in low growth and middle levels, fans tail, flicks wings or bursts into a whistling trill; makes short hunting dashes in air; quite tame and confiding.

Brown Rock Chat

Brown above, more rufous below; dark brown wings, almost blackish tail. Overall appearance like female Indian Robin. Usually pairs, around ruins, dusty villages, rocky hillsides; often approaches close; tame and confiding; captures insects on ground; rather aggressive when breeding.

Pied Bushchat

Male: black plumage; white in wing, rump and belly. Female: brown above, paler on lores; darker tail; dull yellow-brown below, with a rusty wash on breast and belly. Solitary or in pairs; perches on a bush, overhead wire, pole or some earth mound; makes short sallies on to ground, either devouring prey on ground or carrying it to perch; active, sometimes guards feeding territories in winter; flicks and spreads wings; fascinating display flight of courting male (April–May).

Black Redstart

Male: black above (marked with grey in winter); grey crown and lower back; rufous rump and sides of tail; black throat and breast; rufous below. Female: dull brown above; tail as in male; dull tawny-brown below. The eastern race rufiventris has a black crown, and is the common wintering bird of India. Mostly solitary in winter, when common all over India; easy bird to observe, in winter and in its open high-altitude summer country; perches on overhead wires, poles, rocks and stumps; characteristic shivering of tail and jerky body movements; makes short dashes to ground, soon returning to perch with catch; rather confiding insummer, breeding in houses, under roofs and in wall crevices.

Indian Robin

Several races in India. Males differ in having dark brown, blackish- brown or glossy blue-back upper body. Male: dark brown above; white wing-patch; glossy blueblack below; chestnut vent and under tail. Female: lacks white in wings; duller grey-brown below. Solitary or in pairs in open country, and often in and around habitation; rather suspicious andmaintains safe distance between man and itself; hunts on ground, hopping or running in short spurts; when on ground, holds head high and often cocks tail, right up to back, flashing the chestnut vent and under tail.