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Kaleej pheasant: Lophura leucomelanos

Kaleej pheasant: Lophura leucomelana

Kaleej pheasant: Lophura leucomelana

The Himalayas are known for exotic birds of the pheasant family. The Blood pheasant is Sikkim's state bird. This trip wasn't for the purpose of serious birding and neither was the weather conducive for birds and birders; however, when we spotted birds clearly, we took photographs of them.

We came across this family of male and female Kaleej pheasants as we rounded a tricky corner of the mountain in very dull light. Naturally, our sudden stoppage alerted and scared away a few and this trio gave me a few precious moments to dig out my camera and lens pack out of the baggage, adjust the ISO to 5000 and take the risk of shooting them from the car as well as stepping out.

They were fidgety as it is and just when I had slunk around the tail of our car, a SUV hurtled around the corner and made the pheasants and I quickly hop back to safety. They disappeared into the undergrowth beneath the conifers down a steep-ish slope beside the road. All I had were two quick shots when the light and ISO required a extremely steady, patient arms and plenty of time. If not a tripod and a sufficiently static Kaleej pheasant.

But these are record shots for me since they are my first sighting of Khaleej pheasants in the wild.

The blue ones are males and brown one, a female.

Kaleej pheasant:   Lophura leucomelana ; Kaleej (Hindi); Kar rhyak or Kuki (Lepcha).

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Photographed at a forest near Ghoom on Hill Cart Road passing through it., West Bengal, India on 25.12.2014

Camera used: Nikon D5100 DSLR with Tamron 150-600mm Lens
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