Posts Tagged ‘birdwatching’

Camouflage of the Draco (Flying Lizard)

July 4, 2008

It’s my turn to post another “where is it” picture….this one’s much easier (and of course, a far fouler photograph!) than kalyan‘s though! Here’s the Draco or the Flying Lizard in the Salim Ali bird sanctuary in Thattekad, Kerala:

Here it is, after it’s scuttled a bit around the tree-trunk, just look at the beauty of its neck-fan:

And a view of another lizard, the following morning:

Uploading more pictures…will get around to posting soon..but right now, things are hectic and very mixed-up…

The Private Detectives’ Diet, and Very Rare Birds in Kodai….

May 28, 2008

Have you ever wondered what snoops have to eat?

And do you know that I really, really, DID see penguins in Kodaikanal? Here they are:

The camera never lies!… But it need not show you the entire back of the Volvo bus where the birds appeared!

Some more (common) birds of Kodai….

May 28, 2008

It was fun watching bird behaviour rather than looking for new birds; and here are some more photos, which I warn you are of variable quality (it’s all the birds’ fault of course.)

Here’s the VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH; they are quick, restless birds and it is very difficult to capture them as they flit about on the tree-trunks, now in sight, now not….

velvet-fronted nuthatch on branch of tree kodai 240508

more birds…click here

Back Home… here are some bird photographs

May 27, 2008

Feels great to be back home though I am dealing with a flooded bathroom. Our friend went to have a shower at 5.30am, before leaving to take the flight to Mumbai….and the bathroom, in true Murphy style, developed a huge leak from the pipes…. AND the control valve, which would shut off the water to the bathroom, is also broken) and a mass of contusions and bruises from three falls in Kodaikanal (alas, I wish they were waterfalls, but they are my-body falls to the pavement or road!)

Looking at my friends’ list in between the cooking and the firefighting, er, waterfighting,…. and what a lot of interesting stuff there seems to be, to read and digest….I do miss LJ when I am out of town, though I can do without email or anything else…and I do miss being able to post my pictures “as and when”…I don’t want to sit in some parlour, so I end up having to wait till I get home.

Here are two birds that I loved watching in Kodai. One was a mother PIED BUSHCHAT …here she is, flying off from the rubber tree near her cottage to find food…

bushchat flying off to find food kodai lake

I enjoyed watching her and her baby, very near our cottage; here’s the collage of the bird, the baby asking for food, the mother going off to get it, and coming back to say, in typical “Mommy” style, “now open your mouth, for goodness’ sake!”

pied bushchat mom and baby kodai 230508

And here’s the LITTLE GREBE…a single family, with two chicks, which managed to find food even amongst the crowds of tourists on the lake.

Here, first, are the beautiful babies, swimming along…

grebe babies kodai lake 230508

Here’s the adult, catching a fish on the lake, you can see the war going on:

grebe actually catching the fish kodai lake 240508

And here’s the successful predator:

grebe with fish kodai lake 240508

And here’s the adult with the baby nearby, I posted this to INW with the title, “Put breakfast on our bill”….

grebe and chick with fish kodai lake 240508

I managed to see both the Kodaikanal-famous birds…..ORANGE-AND-BLACK FLYCATCHER and the LAUGHING THRUSH on the last evening, quite close to the lake, but when I had no camera with me, and to use the golf jargon that I have been exposed to for the past week, that’s par for the course!

Next, the “paravai kAvadi” (the penance of the bird) festival at the Kodai mAriamman temple….must upload the video to Flickr now….

Birding notes from Kodaikanal

May 25, 2008

One of the things I have noticed in the town is that though there is a large lake, with plenty of fish, and lots of tall trees, I have not seen any PARIAH KITES, BRAHMINY KITES, nor have I seen any raptors, even 10km away from the town. I find this very intriguing. Is it something to do with the altitude of the place? Or is it because garbage is cleaned up well?

The lake is also not prolific for birds, because of the presence, in large numbers, of Homo touristus; I am now intimate friends with the two POND HERONS and the two WHITE-BREASTED KINGFISHERS that swoop down on the fish.

I also got shots of the single family of LITTLE GREBES (the two young ones are awfully cute, scuttering along the surface of the lake behind their mother, with little cries!), and the mother grebe is a great fisher…she manages her food-finding in spite of all the boats on the lake!

And the first day, I got some not-nice (yes, typical deponti) shots of the VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH on the trees near the lake, and then couldn’t sight them for sometime…and yesterday, after a heavy shower of rain, they were all around our garden, climbing up and down the tree trunks as they looked for insects! They are very pretty birds….

And of course, there are plenty of WHITE-BROWED WAGTAILS and RED-WHISKERED BULBULS, all over the place…

I met up with a birder, and hope to visit his guest house today, and see if I can find some more birds. But given the huge crowds in Kodaikanal at this time, I am happy to have got even these shots of the few birds that I have seen!

And yesterday, I walked aroud the beautiful golf course that abuts the Palani Hills forest area…and was lucky to see a GAUR, but no one else seemed happy to see it as it was crossing the road and blocked up the traffic! Several drivers complained loudly about the “kAttu mAdu” (forest cattle) that are nuisances to the traffic on the road….sigh.

The pictures? I will wait to post them when I return home….as I said, it isn’t worth sitting in a poky internet parlour when I can be out cycling or walking around. People are as fascinating as birds….!

Red Whiskered Bulbul with Catch

May 22, 2008

Caught this Bulbul, all wet after the rain, having got its lunch….
red whiskered bulbul with catch

The insect, too, must have come out after the showers….

Update: sorry for the boo-boo, now you can see it properly…I will be going to the parlour again tomorrow (this is on a friend’s Reliance card!) so perhaps more entries tomorrow….hope not too many of you have posted interesting thoughts and pics!

in the Deccan Herald today

May 18, 2008

Here’s an article I really enjoyed reading in the Sunday Herald, which is the Sunday supplement of the Deccan Herald:

All these people post their photographs regularly on INW

But Shiva, especially, has been very, very helpful to me about photography and post-processing (though I have decided not to do much of post-processing on my photos.)…and this was well before he met me personally.

However, Shiva had this comment to make:

“The press guys have messed up a lot with the content….
something and all they have written — compared to what we told them….’Bar headed geese @ TGHalli’… what the neck band ?!?!? It was supposed to be Somanathpura!”

Accurate reporting or not….great going, guys! 🙂

The only thing I really miss…

May 12, 2008

Had a somewhat hectic weekend, with the JLRNTP, an excellent photography workshop by kalyan and the monthly QuizFamilies meet (which this time was a lunch quiz)….I never missed being off the net, but one thing I do have to catch up on is…friends’ posts on both LJ and Blogger…and there is so much of interesting stuff that I feel frustrated that I don’t have the time to consider them and write commments. Me, I love to talk!

So instead of my opinions or more words…here’s a nice picture of Mr Bill and Ms Coo, on a balcony somewhere in my area….

I read somewhere once, “How nice if we were oviparious instead of viviparous…if we wanted to, we could have children, if we didn’t want to, we could have breakfast!”

Birds at Bandipur…..

April 29, 2008

Well, since That Mammal is still grimly determined that I will never see its visage (or even a twitch of its tail), let me share all the other wonderful sights of Bandipur…. Here are some of the birds (all pretty common, no Darwinian discoveries here!) that I saw.

Very common at this time of the year is the BLACK-RUMPED FLAMEBACK WOODPECKER (Dinopium benghalense…dunno why it’s called “Din-OPIUM”!!), which can be seen flying about, and boring the tree-trunks (you can see a small piece falling to the ground from its work, if you look carefully!)

Black-Rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense)bandipur

Also fairly easy to sight were the CRESTED SERPENT EAGLEs; this one was sitting not too far away for a brief while:

crested serpent eagle on brach bandipur

more…if you like…

What an Orrible Lot You Are

April 28, 2008

I go with a heart full of hope (and greed, yes…everyone ELSE has seen the SIT)…to Bandipur, and of course, how many SIT’s do I see (remember, chirdeepshetty saw 5 once)…how many? Think of a number, subtract it from itself, and that will be the answer….

Focus doesn’t help. Nothing ever helps.

But what DOESN’T help at all is helpful phone calls every now and then, full of suppressed (and not-too suppressed) glee, asking, “Saw any tigers?” “What happened?” “Seen anything?” and so on…Amogh meeting me at 4.30pm and saying, “Well, I might as well go home now, there are going to be no more tiger sightings now that you are here”, swiftly-hidden smiles from all and sundari…I have taken to grunting now instead of replying! 🙂

I may not be the only one never to have seen an SIT (er, that’s south Indian Tiger, if anyone has not yet known of My Quest), but I am certainly the funniest one. Even Swarna Venkat, who had never seen one, came over last week, and sighted one…

Oh well. But everything ELSE in Bandipur is ALWAYS awesome. And speaking of grunting….. here’s a lovely conversation I saw happening between two WILD BOAR:

“Hist! hist! You heard the latest? It seems Piggy and Porky were…..”

have you heard the latest?


you stink 270408 bandipur

“You STINK!! you rotten PIG!!!!Just stay AWAY from me!”

just keep away...

“Hmm…this solitude is WILDly BOARing…..”

boring portrait 270408

and to end this post on a beautiful note (there will be more posts about the other birds and mammals, never fear!)…here’s another portrait:

The eye of the peacock Bandipur 260408

More to follow, but off now to take care of other stuff….!