Cryptic bird clues

Just back from an amazing birding trip to Sikkim, along with the BAT (Bulbs And Tubes). The birding was fantastic, more on that in the coming days. The company was thoroughly enjoyable, and the long road journeys were enlivened by some roaring sessions of cryptic bird clues! All the clues require bending your thinking a little bit. Try your hand! Hint: All are either bird species (complete or partial names) or family names. Answers later 🙂

1. A demure surgeon with crooked goon doesn’t have a racket (4,6)
2. Fight, fight, little bird (7)
3. Ex-president who steals from the rich (4,5)
4. Overcast leader making small talk for a Himalayan commoner (4,8)
5. Pain in to the ass, initially (5)
6. Ordinary Greek character dancing in wild rain (5,6)
7. Buddhist monk doesn’t drive an automatic? (11)
8. It sings in praise of India’s greatest all-rounder (4,9)
9. You don’t need to go to Cherrapunji to get this (8)
10. Clue from Madhavi: “I do this a lot, with an H” (6)
11. Parrot scurries high up in the air (6)
12. Mixed target it is a common bird of black-and-white plumage. (5,3)
13. Saw these birds do very irritating things within (7,4)
14. Enforcing leaper a migrating bird of prey (9,6)
15. Small cutlery to follow near the streams (6,8)

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9 Responses to Cryptic bird clues

  1. Anu says:

    There was a time when I would spend hours solving cryptic clues in every newspaper I could find…. now it seems such a long time ago, but thanks for putting this up and enticing me to take it up again, and in such an interesting manner… i enjoyed trying it our, and here are the only ones i can think of right now…

    1. ashy drongo, 2. sparrow? 3. Bush robin,4. Grey? Babbler 12 Great tit? 14. Peregrine Falcon 15.Lesser Flamingo?

  2. bonerpakhi says:

    Thanks for your comment, Anu! Glad I made you get back to cryptic clues again 🙂 You got several of them right, will post answers to the set later!

  3. Umesh says:

    5. Pitta; 15. Little Forktail.
    Hope to come back with more answers later!

  4. Umesh says:

    4. Grey Bushchat

  5. Umesh says:

    6. Plain Prinia

    Sorry to put down the answers one at a time…inspiration seems to come in bits and pieces! If you like, please delete these comments and I can consolidate them in one response.

  6. bonerpakhi says:

    Hi Umesh, No problem about the comments… glad you’re enjoying the clues 🙂

  7. bonerpakhi says:

    So you decided to create them yourself, Deponti! 🙂 Nice clues… maybe I should post those here as well.

  8. bonerpakhi says:

    Oops, completely forgot to give out the answers here. FWIW, here they are:

    1. A demure surgeon with crooked goon doesn’t have a racket (4,6)
    Ans: Ashy drongo (A-shy dr + “goon” anagram)

    2. Fight, fight, little bird (7)
    Ans: Sparrow (spar-row)

    3. Ex-president who steals from the rich (4,5)
    Ans: Bush robin (as in hood)

    4. Overcast leader making small talk for a Himalayan commoner (4,8)
    Ans: Grey bushchat

    5. Pain in to the ass, initially (5)
    Ans: PITTA

    6. Ordinary Greek character dancing in wild rain (5,6)
    Ans: Plain prinia (anagram of “Pi+rain”)

    7. Buddhist monk doesn’t drive an automatic? (11)
    Ans: Lammergeier (on pronunciation… Lama+gear 🙂

    8. It sings in praise of India’s greatest all-rounder (4,9)
    Ans: Grey francolin (its call sounds like “Kapil Dev”!)

    9. You don’t need to go to Cherrapunji to get this (8)
    Ans: Fulvetta (full wet aa?)

    10. Clue from Madhavi: “I do this a lot, with an H” (6)
    Ans: Chough (“cough” + h, for those who know M)

    11. Parrot scurries high up in the air (6)
    Ans: Raptor

    12. Mixed target it is a common bird of black-and-white plumage. (5,3)
    Ans: Great tit (anagram of “Target it”)

    13. Saw these birds do very irritating things within (7,4)
    Ans: Spotted dove (semi-microscopic)

    14. Enforcing leaper a migrating bird of prey (9,6)
    Ans: Peregrine falcon (anagram)

    15. Small cutlery to follow near the streams (6,8)
    Ans: Little forktail

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