Buff-barred Warbler in the Himalayas


The Buff-barred Warbler (Phylloscopus pulcher) or Orange-barred Leafwarbler is an arboreal bird of conifers of the middle strata in the Himalayas which could be observed on various expeditions’ trips along mountain roads in India and in China. As you can see in the image, the bird occurs above tree-level in juniper and rhododendron scrub, too. In these days, beginning of January, in India it had a strong favor for the flowering rhododendron. As much, that that the bird´s chest was covered with nectar and pollen.

A subspecies, P.p. kangrae, occurs in the north-western Himalayas of Kashmir east to Garhwal.  Otherwise the distribution of the nominate form ranges in the Himalayas from Nepal eastward to Sikang, Szechwan, south to northern Myanmar and Yunnan. The bird occurs in summer at elevations from 2,100 m above sea level (asl) to 4,300 m asl. In winter this warbler can be seen remarkably lower down to 1,700 m asl. Obviously it descends after breeding to areas with milder conditions.

 The bird could be seen on various expeditions’ trips along the road to Roing in the Mishmi Hills and on the Mandala Road in India, but also in the Nature Reserve Baihualing in the GaoligongShan – Mountains and in the XiShan – Mountains close to the city of Kunming in China. Although the global population size has not been properly quantified, the species was locally one of the most common birds. It often joins mixed species flocks. The call/ song consists of rapidly vibrating notes which is heard quite frequently and reveals the secret bird between the leafs and twigs.

The main feature, the (double) wing-bar is quite obvious. The color is more buff than orange – at least in the area, where bird-lens.com could explore it. Otherwise it is a true member of the Leafwarbler assemblage (consisting of the Phylloscopus and Seicerus – Warblers) with its dark brown greater coverts, a dark brownish-olive mantle, pale yellow rump and a sooty crown, with a another striking feature, the prominent whitish-yellow supercilium extending almost to the nape. It seems that this Phylloscopus – Warbler with another name Orange-barred Leaf Warbler, is under some taxonomic revision.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western Palearctic. Trips to remote places to capture images of rare birds of western Palearctic were very successful. The nice images of the gallery behind “photos” are only first impressions, what you will find in the galleryin the “Pictures Shop” some day when the scope of bird-lens.com (which is now restricted mainly to WP-birds) is enlarged. Just give me a message, if I could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

Other successful shootings you can see under: www.bird-lens.com

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