Bush-quail makes unexpected reappearance
The poorly known Manipur Bush-quail Perdicula manipurensis has been seen in India, the first confirmed sighting of this small gamebird for over seventy years.
On 6 June 2006, the Embankment & Drainage Department had to undertake some engineering works in and around Manas National Park, a world heritage site in Assam.
The team was accompanied by the region’s Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, Dr Anwaruddin Choudhury, a noted ornithologist, who was present to inspect the works.
As access to the park during the monsoon season is notoriously difficult, this was a rare opportunity to enter the area at this time of year.
“Driving was very slow as in places the road was invisible, being entirely overgrown with tall grass.
At 2.30 pm, a quail was flushed which flew in front of our vehicle for about 15 metres and dropped into the grass in the middle of the road.
I was familiar with flushing quails, buttonquails and rails in the grassland sanctuaries of Assam but the larger size of this bird and its rather slaty-grey colour surprised me,” described Dr Choudhury.
“The bird took off again and flew for another 15 metres confirming that it could be only one species – the Manipur Bush-quail.
See also here.
And, let’s hope, for the sake of hunters’ health in India, that Dick Cheney does not find out.
Quail in New Zealand: here.