(Nikon D500, 200-500mm lens; 1/640, f/6.3, ISO900-1250; hand-held; @Mahananda WLS, 25/02/23)
Rufous Sibia (Heterophasia capistrata), Latpanchar, Mahananda WLS: As we were waiting next to the Red Nongmangkha (Phlogacanthus pubinervius) flowers, an apparent favourite of the sunbirds, a Black-throated Sunbird male did come but it stayed in the shadows and didn’t reveal its iridescent feathers fully. But our disappointment at the inability to see the sunbird in good lighting was partially mitigated by a Rufous Sibia and an Indian White-eye who spent some time on the flowers and gave us some good photo ops. This tallish shrub with orangish-red flowers grows wildly in the North-east and Uttarakhand and is believed to have rich medicinal properties. Both the flowers and leaves of the Nongmangkha plant are consumed in local dishes. During the Covid-19 pandemic, locals had turned to this indigenous herb as a home remedy.