Little Bittern sighted in Ranthambhore national park on 22/23 May 2010

A Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) was sighted and photographed for the first time in the plains of India. A keen birder from Delhi Wing Commander Vijay Sethi photographed it on the 22nd and 23rd May 2010. He found the bird near Malik Talao in the heart of the park. He was accompanied by local naturalist Salim Ali. This is the first time ever that this bird has been photographed in the plains of India.

Nikhil Devasar, founder of Delhi Bird Club commented “this is the only Indian
report outside Kashmir in 10 years! According to Birds of South Asia, by
Pamela Rasmussen, it is a summer visitor to Afghanistan and parts of
Pakistan as well as Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Records from elsewhere
in India are very questionable but as it is one of the Eastern African winterers
odd birds must pass through Northwest India occasionally, though their rarity
suggests they move north further west. This is presumably a late passage
migrant en route from Eastern Africa.”

The pictures were sent to Pamela Rasmussen who confirmed the Identity of
the bird. She commented – “Interesting, confirmed the record! Of course they
may be more regular than proven in other areas than Kashmir, as the species
is easy to overlook. But most likely a late migrant.”

Sighting and Pictures by Vijay Sethi 22 – 23rd May 2010, Malik Talao,
Ranthambhore national park, Rajasthan, India.