very local resident

Crested Lark

Sexes alike. Sandy-brown above, streaked blackish; pointed, upstanding crest distinctive; brown tail has dull rufous outer feathers; whitish and dull  yellowish-brown below, the breast streaked dark brown. The Malabar G. malabarica (15cm) and Sykes’s Crested Larks G. deva (13cm) are very similar, but overall plumage is darker, more rufous-brown; also both are birds of peninsular and S India. Small flocks, breaking into pairs when breeding; runs briskly on ground, the pointed crest carried upstanding; also settles on bush tops, stumps, wire fences, overhead wires.

Indian Bushlark

Sexes alike. Yellowishbrown above, streaked black; rich chestnut-rufous on wings, easily seen when bird in flight: pale white chin and throat, dull  yellowish-brown below; blackish, triangular spots on breast. Pairs or small flocks; moves quietly on ground, running about or perching on small stones or bush tops; squats tight when approached but takes to wing when intruder very close; spectacular display flight, accompanied by singing, when breeding; indulges in display flights in the night too.

Large Grey Babbler

Sexes alike. Grey-brown above; dark centres to feathers on back give streaked look; greyer forehead; long graduated tail cross-rayed with white outer feathers, conspicuous in flight; fulvous-grey below. Gregarious; flocks in open country, sometimes dozens together; extremely noisy; moves on ground and in medium-sized trees; hops about, turning over leaves on ground; weak flight, never for long; at any sign of danger, the flock comes together.

Blyth’s Reed Warbler

Plain, olive or grey-brown warbler, with the long, sloping forehead and ‘linear’ look of the typical Acrocephalus warbler; short, diffuse buff-brown supercilium, not very visible behind eye; fresh plumage is olive brown above, pale below, with buff washed flanks, breast, vent; worn plumage is olive grey above, whiter below,
with grey wash; usually solitary; moves inconspicuously through undergrowth, bushes and trees; often flicks, flares tail.

Black Francolin

Male: jet-black, spotted and marked white and fulvous; white cheeks; chestnut collar, belly and under tail-coverts. Female: browner where male is black; rufous nuchal patch; no white cheeks or chestnut collar. Solitary or small parties in high grass and edges of canals; emerges in the open in the early mornings;  sometimes cocks tail.

Red-rumped Swallow

Sexes alike. Glossy steel-blue above; chestnut supercilium, sides of head, neck-collar and rump; dull rufous-white below, streaked brown; deeply forked tail
diagnostic. Small parties spend much of the day on the wing; the migrant, winter-visiting race nipalensis, is highly gregarious; hawks insects along with other birds; freely perches on overhead wires, thin branches of bushes and trees; hunts insects amongst the most crowded areas of towns, over markets and refuse heaps, flying with amazing agility, wheeling and banking and stooping with remarkable mastery.

Great Tit

Sexes alike. Grey back; black crown continued along sides of neck to broad black band from chin along centre of underbody; white cheeks, nape-patch, wing
bar and outer feathers of black tail; ashy-white sides. The White-naped Tit P. nuchalis of W India lacks black on neck sides; has extensive white in wings and sides of body. Pairs or small bands, often with other small birds; restless, clings upside down, and indulges in all sorts of acrobatic displays as it hunts  amongst leaves and branches; holds food fast between feet and pecks at it noisily; tame and confiding.

Ultramarine Flycatcher

Male: deep blue above and sides of head, neck and breast, forming a broken breast-band; long white eyebrow; white in tail; white below. Female: dull-slaty above; grey-white below. The eastern race aestigma lacks white over eye and in tail. Solitary or in pairs; seen in mixed parties during winter; active, hunts in characteristic flycatcher style; rarely ventures into open.

Asian Paradise-flycatcher

Glossy blue-black head, crest and throat; black in wings; silvery-white body, long tail-streamers. In rufous phase white parts replaced by rufous chestnut. Female and young male: 20cm. No tail-streamers; shorter crest; rufous above; ashy-grey throat and nuchal collar; whitish below. Solitary or pairs; makes short sallies; flits through trees, the tail-streamers floating; strictly arboreal, sometimes descending into taller bushes; cheerful disposition.

Black-winged Cuckooshrike

Smaller, darker cuckooshrike; adult male has dark grey head, mantle, breast; black wings; paler grey belly, vent; tail feathers tipped white, giving impression of large white spots; darkest of the cukooshrikes; female paler grey; faint barring on undersides; sometimes has white ring above and below eye; racial variations; singly, or in pairs; gregarious; often joins other insectivores in bird waves; arboreal; actively hunts for insects in foliage of upper forest storeys, occasionally in undergrowth.