It was a sultry afternoon of hot April month..I signed up for bird watching .I was walking slowly along the trail that led to the thickets, sacred groves around Manissery near Ottappalam.Our fethered freiends were already active along the groves..The Magpie robins were bending the last rays of the sun with its sharp whistling.Red whiskered Bulbul’s sharp bubbling musical notes resonated in the summer after noon. The thickets were almost bare shedding their last leaves except a few evergreen shrubs.
A grey hornbill flapped its wings and flew to west making flapping sound resembling the reduced sound of a taking off helicopter..Does this grey horn bill take special routes?I have been observing this Hornbill for the last two years!!!!The sound of the the bird common Cuckoo was reverberating in the valley.Vithum Kaikottum,,the melodious notes that thrilled generations..I longed to see the bird once,,I haven’t seen or taken snaps of that once..
Suddenly I spoted a Cuckoo like bird on the branch of a tree in the groves..It was gazing the sun that s about to set.. I took snaps hastily.. I walked stealthily , so as to reach the bird walked in small steps holding the breath..The bird felt my presence..
But it just came down into a partly denuded thicket with dried shrubs and the Cuckoo bird in with strange blue coloured ring perched on a twig.. I took snaps reaching a few yards away from the bird…The wire net was a main obstacle ,The blue beaks and blue rings around the eyes impressed me,..I felt as if I were shooting in a dream..the bird was not so sensitive as orioles or barbets.
Later my ornithologist friend c identified it as small green faced Malkoha and observed that it was very historical as nobody hasn’t spotted the bird from Ottappalam area.It has been sighted in Walayar,Mukkali,Malampuzha,Dhoni,and Choolannur.The bird blue faced Malkoha is found in the midlands of Kasarkode and Kannur districts..K K Neelakandan found the bird breeding in the scrub jungle around Kavassery in Palakkad district..from March to may in the 1940s.