Some birds are worth going half way round the world to see. Meet the Indian Paradise Flycatcher.
As long time readers of Country Corner may recall, I have been lucky enough to travel widely in search of the world’s wildest places and most amazing wildlife.
This time we were in Sri Lanka doing a tour which took us from the lowlands to the highlands and included a couple of national parks on the way.
Before going on such a trip I buy the local bird book and a general wildlife book and start studying..
Two illustrations in the bird book stood out above all the rest for sheer glamour. One was the Pheasant Tailed Jacana, the other was the Indian Paradise Flycatcher.
Of course you hope to see such stars of the bird book,but in wildlife travel it is best to enjoy all species.
Imagine my surprise to see the flycatcher in a tree right outside our hotel balcony early one morning!
As for the lilypad-hopping Jacana, I have numerous gorgeous photographs of one stepping from pad to pad through a golden lakescape sunset. Both are memories which will remain with me for life.
There is a natural formula whereby many species in tropical countries are more colourful and dramatic than in colder climes.
That is certainly the case in Sri lanka, whether it be bird, butterfly, mammal or reptile. Another reason to travel so widely in search of wildlife is to give it a value.
Wildlife which generates income from tourists has a value to local people and gives them a reason to conserve it.
That way hopefully my own grandchildren may one day see for themselves the impossibly beautiful Indian Paradise Flycatcher.