“Chhoto Penga”, this is what the bengali name of the bird is. But I never dreamed of sighting this bird enywhere in any jungle of west bengal. I have heard the chirping of this bird along with its bigger counterpart, i,e, “Boro Penga” or Greater Necklaced Laughing-thrush invery lowly lit bushes of some deep forests in Manas. This time it is no other than Bungkulung where we have arrived in search of these birds. And this seems to be never a ending search. They are very much unwilling to come in the open out of the dense forest.
I combed the hilly area along serpentine and bushy footpaths with the gigantic lens on my shoulder in search of these birds for two square days. All of a suddenI heard faint chirping of the birds and guessed that they will be not less than ten in number. Being excited i moved on along the damp foot trails infested with ieeches, mosquitos, spiders and being stung by small tree branches with a hope to sight them. The next moment it became all quiet. They are expert in camouflaging in the dry leaves and small branches of trees to such an extent that it is hardly possible to spot them. And however best you try not to let them feel your presence, they somehow become aware that you are there. At that moment their tendency is to remain quiet. And at that situation you have no choice other than waiting surreptitiously. They collect their food generally from damp and dense bushes under thick coverings created by large tree tops. That is where they move around as well. In some exceptional instances and when they see no danger around, they come out over the bushes as when they desperately pursue some insects. That is only when it is possible to spot them clearly. I have gathered all these experiences following them in the forest hours after hours for two whole days from dawn to dusk.