Posts Tagged ‘email’

I’m RICH! (Part 2)

December 31, 2013

I received a loving email (which made it past the spam filters!)


Dear Beloved,

I am Mrs. Stacy Russell.I am writing you this email from my sick bed, I know my message will come to you as a surprise But don’t worry. When I heard from the doctor that my condition has become so critical, I had to reach out to a Christian sister, who assisted me in searching for your contact in order to help me utilize this wealth the way I am going to instruct herein, and even the sister that helped me in this regard doesn’t know the purpose for which I intend to use it I have prayed about it and it has been revealed to me that you can make judicious use of the resources for its intended purpose.

My husband earned these funds, (TEN MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND) but he died in a plane crash and left everything behind for me and I will join him soon due to my ill health. Due to my infertility resulting from medical problems I became barren. God has a reason for everything. I would want you to contact my lawyer; he will inform you on what to do. Reply to this email and email my Lawyer:
Barrister Sina HOK
Email: (

Ensure to use a greater portion of the funds for its purpose in fulfillment of my last wish. Furthermore you will never have any problem with the law as far as my lawyer is in concern. The most major part you will use to bless Helpless and Needy Children all over the world

May God Keep you alive and bless you as you help.


Somehow I feel that the barrister (and the lady herself) is not “Hok” but “Hoks”!

Email to bngbirds egroup, about the Eaglenest WLS trip

December 4, 2013

On a tour organized by Geetanjali Dhar’s IT Nature Club, ten of us visited Nameri (a morning’s birding) and Eaglenest Wild Life Sanctuary (WLS) at Lama and Bompu Camps.

Though several experienced birders asked us why we were going at the end of November, the birding exceeded all our expectations. On the very first day, I saw two Buguns, and a couple of days later, we got to see seven of the birds, so I cannot but feel that these birds are thriving in the areas around Eaglenest, if a bunch of amateurs like us could see so many!

Other highlights were the Fire-tailed Myzornis, the Chestnut-headed Tesia, the Red-headed Trogon and a female Ward’s Trogon…I think it was only the Tragopan (on the list of some of the “focus” birders) that eluded us. I don’t think any of us have ever had such a list of lifers before this!

Our guides were excellent. Binanda, who is a regular guide with Geetanjali, made sure that all of us (or at least, as many as possible) saw each bird, even though most of the birds of Eaglenest are in-the-clutter skulkers, and small-sized, too, sometimes. Khandu, the guide at Lama Camp, has incredible spotting skills. We were equally lucky to have Lobsang Tsering as a guide. He was at Bompu Camp, training the staff there…a six-month project after which he will move on. On the day we were driving back to Lama Camp, he took us to a place where he said he would find the Fire-tailed Myzornis….found it…and all of us were able to have a look at it (alas, no chance of observing any behaviour…we were thrilled at our sighting!). The bazooka-bearers, of course, had several field days with their photographs, but the rest of us (some of us did not even carry cameras, only binoculars) were extremely pleased at the sightings, and we know that the DSLR photos will be shared….so that saves us the bother of lugging around heavy cameras, and looking for ways to charge them overnight!

One of my personal favourites was watching a Wallcreeper bathing and disporting itself in the waters of the Kameng river, and I also took videos of a far-away Forktail, and a Trogon, on the opposite bank of the river, both of which we watched for a while. The Beautiful Nuthatch and the Beautiful Sibia are truly beautiful…but how can this adjective be applied only to a few of the birds? All of them are stunningly beautiful! I also mistook the Black-faced Warbler for the Yellow-bellied Fantail, and was corrected by Binanda.

Two major “dips” for me at Nameri were the Wreathed and Rufous-necked Hornbills, which I had seen in plenty just past the Eco-camp walking towards the Jia Bharolli river on my last visit. We also arrived at Pakke far too late to do any birding, and the awful roads mandated a very early departure, in order to catch flights at Guwahati later in the day.

For the most part, this time, I was content to just see the incredibly beautiful birds that Subbu and Mohanram treated us to in 2008 ( the time from whichn I date my “Eaglenest Itch”!) by word and image. I did not miss my DSLR or the 300mm lens. Since the others’ bazooka shots will also be up shortly, I am very happy to say that I used the two best cameras in the world, that Nature has provided me with…..and enjoyed the birds, the many butterflies, the beautiful wildflowers, and the superb, awe-inspiring scenery.

For photos of the Fire-tailed Myzornis:

In similar fashion, you can see photographs of all of the long list below…and I hope it will inspire you to visit Eaglenest WLS, a paradise on earth that the Bugun tribe cares for.

I have put up the only four videos I took, all on the last day of birding, at

My SMS (Shamelessly Mediocre Shots) are on my FB album at

Cheers, Deepa.


Binanda, Khandu and Lobsang, guides. (Our Sumo driver Noren, was also very good!)

Albin and Manjula
Balaji and Deepa
Dr Anil and Dr Koushik (Kanpur)
Nandita (Baroda) and Shobna (Delhi)
Kshama and yours truly (the rest of uf from Bangalore)

The bird list was prepared by Deepa Jayaraman…with inputs from everyone. I have (I think) corrected some id’s (eg she’d listed the Lesser Yellownape as Woodpecker, Lesser Yellownape.) If there are any mistakes, I take the responsibility.

1. Accentor, Maroon-backed

2. Adjutant, Lesser

3. Adjutant, Greater

4. Babbler, Golden

5. Babbler, Rufous-capped

6. Babbler, Slender-billed Scimitar

7. Babbler, Streak Throated Scimitar

8. Babbler, Streaked Wren

9. Barbet, Blue-throated

10. Barbet, Golden-throated

11. Barbet, Great

12. Barbet, Lineated

13. Barwing, Hoary -throated

14. Barwing, Rusty Fronted

15. Bee-Eater, Chestnut Headed

16. Bee-Eater, Green

17. Blackbird, Grey-winged

18. Blackbird, White-collared

19. Bluetail, Himalayan (aka. Robin , Orange Flanked Bush)

20. Bulbul, Black-crested

21. Bulbul, Mountain

22. Bulbul, Red-vented

23. Bulbul, Striated

24. Bullfinch, Grey-headed

25. Buzzard, Upland

26. Cormorant

27. Crow, House

28. Crow, Thick-billed

29. Cuckoo , Grey-bellied

30. Cuckoo-Shrike , Black-winged

31. Darter

32. Dipper, Brown

33. Drongo, Black

34. Drongo, Bronzed

35. Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed

36. Duck, Tufted

37. Eagle , Mountain Hawk

38. Eagle, Black

39. Egret, Cattle

40. Egret, Little

41. Fantail , Yellow-bellied

42. Fantail, White-throated

43. Finch, Crimson-browed

44. Finch, Gold-naped

45. Finch, Scarlet

46. Flameback, un id

47. Flowerpecker, Fire Breasted

48. Flycatcher, Grey Headed Canary

49. Flycatcher, Red-breasted (Heard)

50. Flycatcher, Rufous-gorgeted

51. Flycatcher, Ultramarine

52. Flycatcher, White-gorgeted

53. Forktail, Little

54. Forktail, Spotted

55. Fulvetta, Brown-throated

56. Fulvetta, Golden-breasted

57. Fulvetta, Yellow-throated

58. Grebe, Greater Crested

59. Greenfinch, Black-headed

60. Greenfinch, Yellow-breasted

61. Hornbill, Great

62. Hornbill, Rufous-necked (seen flying over Bompu Camp)

63. Ibisbill

64. Iora, Common

65. Kingfisher, Pied

66. KingFisher, Small Blue

67. KingFisher, White-throated

68. Kite, Black

69. Lapwing, River

70. Laughing Thrush, Bhutan

71. Laughing Thrush, Greysided

72. Laughing Thrush, Spotted

73. Laughingthrush, Streaked

74. Laughingthrush, Striated

75. Leafbird, Golden-fronted

76. LeafBird, Orange-bellied

77. Liocichla, Bugun

78. Magpie, Yellow-billed Blue

79. Malkhoa, Green-billed

80. Malkoha, Sirkeer

81. Minivet, Grey-chinned

82. Minivet, Scarlet

83. Minla, Red-tailed

84. Muniya, Scaly-breasted

85. Myna, Common

86. Myna, Hill

87. Myzornis, Fire-tailed

88. Niltava, Large

89. Niltava, Small

90. Nuthatch, Beautiful

91. Nuthatch, White-tailed

92. Openbill, Asian

93. Oriole, Black-hooded

94. Owlet, Asian Barred

95. Parakeet, Red-breasted

96. Parrot, Vernal Hanging

97. Parrotbill, Greater Rufous-headed

98. Parrotbill, Grey-headed

99. Parrotbill, Lesser Rufous-headed

100. Partridge, un id

101. Pigeon, Blue Rock

102. Pigeon, Yellow-footed Green

103. Pigeon, Speckled Wood

104. Pigeon, Wedge-tailed

105. Pippit, Olive-backed

106. Plover, Little Ringed

107. Pochard, Ferruginous

108. Pond Heron, Indian

109. Prinia, Black-throated

110. Redstart, Blue-fronted

111. Redstart, Plumbeous Water

112. Redstart, White-browed water

113. Robin, Orange-flanked Bush

114. Robin, White-browed Bush

115. Rock Thrush, Blue

116. Roller, Indian

117. Rosefinch, Dark-breasted

118. RubyThroat, Siberian

119. RubyThroat, White Tailed

120. Shelduck, Ruddy

121. Shikra

122. Shrike, Grey-backed

123. Shrike, Long-tailed

124. Shrike-Babbler, White-browed

125. Sibia, Beautiful

126. Sibia, Long-tailed

127. Siva, Bar-throated (aka Minla, Chestnut-tailed)

128. Siva, Blue Winged (aka Minla, Blue-winged)

129. Pipit, un id

130. Sparrow, Eurasian Tree

131. Sparrow, House

132. Starling, Asian Pied

133. Starling, Chestnut-tailed

134. Stonechat, Common

135. Stork, Black

136. Sunbird, Black-throated

137. Sunbird, Green-tailed

138. Sunbird, un id

139. Sunbird, Mrs Gould’s

140. Tailorbird, Common

141. Tesia, Chestnut-headed

142. Tesia, Slaty-breasted (heard)

143. Thrush, Chestnut-bellied Rock

144. Thrush, Plain-backed

145. Tit, Black-throated

146. Tit, Green-backed

147. Tit, Sultan

148. Tit, Yellow-cheeked

149. Treecreeper, Brown-thorated

150. Treepie, Collared

151. Treepie, Grey

152. Trogon, Red-headed

153. Trogon, Ward’s

154. Wagtail , White

155. Wagtail, White-browed

156. Wallcreeper

157. Warbler, Ashy-throated

158. Warbler, Black-faced

159. Warbler, Blyth’s Leaf

160. Warbler, Dusky

161. Warbler, Golden-spectacled

162. Warbler, Greenish

163. Warbler, Grey-cheeked

164. Whistling-Duck, Lesser

165. WoodPecker, Brown Capped Pygmy

166. Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied

167. Woodswallow, Ashy

168. Yellownape, Lesser

169. Yuhina, Rufous-vented

170. Yuhina, Stripe-throated

171. Yuhina, Whiskered

172. Yuhina, White-naped

Thanks to Amith Kumar for adding some of tbe birds missing in the original list. That, too, as he, Gowri, Kannan and PK prepare to leave for Thattekkad tomorrow!

The people whom the birds bring me in touch with!

November 15, 2013

I wrote to the MObirds listserv, mentioning a piece of doggerel that I’d written about birding.

(You can see it

here )

and also giving the link to the video I’d taken, of an Indian Blue Robin bathing

(the post is

here )

and I got a reply from someone called Ken Thompson.

He said:

“Greetings, Deepa

“Sorry i didn’t get a chance to me you when you were here in St Louis. I have to mention that besides my two main obsessions (genealogy & birding), i’m a fan of spicy food — and the samples of southern Indian food that i’ve had from Priyaa & Gokul (restaurants) have been delicious! It’s interesting to see some of the same vegetables that we grew on our farm in Ohio, prepared in totally different ways.
“I’ll be following your future posts with interest.
“Ken Thompson
“near the confluence of the Illinois, Missouri & Mississippi rivers”

I found this email very interesting, so I replied to him:

“Wow, Ken, what an interesting email! One of the vegetables I know of, made completely differently, is Okra…I’ve yet to taste gumbo, though. What other vegetables have you noticed? Eggplant, maybe? A liking for spicy food …how did you come by that?

“Genealogy seems to be a very riveting topic, too….in India, we have not been great at documentation, so our efforts to trace our roots falter and fail after the 3rd generation preceding us. My son-in-law’s grandmother was an Eitzen, and his mother and uncle once came down to St.Louis and had great fun tracing various branches of the family tree.

“Do you have a blog or a website that I can go through?”

To which I got this reply:

“No, no blog, website, or any such. Am actually an ancient mainframe computer programmer (40+ years experience), being forced into the 21st century by my geek-boy sons. Both of whom cook up dishes too hot for me, even. Was brought up German/English, in northwest Ohio, USA. Dad’s mother still spoke German, we made our own sauerkraut (imagine, weak kimchi), ate much potatoes, cauliflower, green peas, root crops, etc. To me now, aloo gobi & mutter ANYthing are ‘comfort’ foods. The only way i’ll voluntarily eat eggplant, is baingan bharta; still not a big fan of okra, tho. Have tried many different cuisines, mainly from Europe (English, German, Bosnian, Italian, Russian) thru the Middle East (Persian, Lebanese, Afghani) to India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan & Korea. Saint Louis is nice, in that respect. My wife agrees with all of the above except Korean, and some of the very southern Indian dishes. Years ago, i decided that life is too short for dull food, and have been trying (almost) anything since.
Genealogy can easily become an obsession. I call it my socially acceptable form of OCD. On some lines, with help from other researchers, have tracked back into the 1700s in America & Germany, and in England & Scotland for my wife. On my Thompson line, have not been able to trace back past 1850 or so, in New York state. Am currently reading thru the parish records of the Roman Catholic church where my mother’s family lived, finding many relatives that i never heard of before. It’s the most that i’ve used my Latin & German language training in DECADES! And none, or very little, of this research would have been possible without the Internet. It’s rather mind-boggling, really.
“Well, i’ve rattled on enough. Must get ready for work tomorrow.”

I was chatting with and when he heard the name, he went ballistic. “You mean to say you are in touch with KEN THOMPSON?” he exclaimed in huge capitals.

“Er, yes,why, who’s Ken Thompson?” I said.

“Read those words….an ancient mainframe computer programmer (40+ years experience)” he said. “I’m sending you a link….read it.”

So he sent me the link to the

Wiki entry about Ken Thompson.

I was totally zapped when I read it.

“An American pioneer of computer science.Thompson designed and implemented the original Unix operating system. He also invented the B programming language, the direct predecessor to the C programming language.”

Amongst other awards, he’s won the Turing Award and the National Medal of Technology. WOW.

This is the person with whom I am casually discussing birds and genealogy! My toes curled.

But the wonderful part is….the fantastic people that birds bring into my life! Ken may be a supernova….but I must say that every person I meet as a birdwatcher is highly interesting and enriches my life further.

Dresser Island, Missouri, 130413

April 17, 2013

My email to Mike Grant (in charge of birding/field trips, Audubon Society of St.Louis):

Hi Mike!

I saw this message below, too late…I did try on Saturday morning, but you were already out, and I am afraid I disturbed your family.

I did not get any response to my posting on the Audubon Society’s FB page, as Mitch had suggested I do. My friend Ruth Hartsell, whom I met a couple of months ago on the monthly Forest Park beginners’ birdwalk, kindly agreed to give me a ride, and I decided we’d go to Dresser Island on our own, but since we could not leave early, we reached only as one group was actually coming out to the parking lot. One lady was kind enough to tell us about the Riverland part of the outing, but Ruth wanted to walk the trail at Dresser Island.

My problem is that if I do not go with more knowledgeable people, I am not able to id many of the birds that I see, or learn much from the outing.

It was only because the other lady showed me her list (where “Pectoral Sandpiper” was written), that I was able to id the bird when I saw it, after googling for the name. In spite of this (and in spite of reaching so late!) we did have an interesting time at Dresser Island. We got to Riverland Audubon only by about 5pm, and everyone else had left, but Mr Mugac (I am not sure if I have the spelling right) was locking up, and let us have a look around.He told us about a possible Bald Eagle sighting further up, near the fishermen’s area on the dam, but we were not lucky.

We were not able to do much birding because of the crowd of fishermen, and returned home, well satisfied with our outing. I did manage to spot a few common butterflies, and am struggling with some id’s there, too.

Since I will be here for a few more months, I wanted to know if I could somehow reach out to other Audubon Society members who reside in the U City area, and ask if I can take a ride with one of them, splitting the fuel costs. In Bangalore, where I live, we are very conscious of our carbon footprint, and ensure that we are at least four to a car. I’d like to know if you have similar initiatives here, too.

Here is my bird list from the day:

Bluebird, Eastern
Cardinal, Northern
Coot, American
Cormorant, I do not know which one
Egret, Great
Egret, Snowy
Flicker, Northern
Gull, un id (near the dam)
Hawk, Cooper’s (Or it could be Sharp-shinned, I am not sure)
Hawk, Red-tailed
Heron, Great Blue
Jay, Blue
Junco, Dark-eyed
Kestrel, American
Mockingbird, Northern
Pelican, American
Phoebe, Eastern
Sandpiper, Pectoral
Sapsucker, Yellow-bellied
Sparrow, Chipping
Sparrow, House
Sparrow, White-throated
Teal, Blue-winged
Titmouse, Tufted
Vulture, Turkey
Warbler, several un id
Waterfowl, several un id.
Woodpecker, Red-headed
Wren, Carolina
Wren, House

It was wonderful to see the numbers of Pelicans in both the water and the sky, soaring in widening circles as they climbed:

For my photos of the outing,

click here

I would be very grateful if you could let me know how I could go for outings with other, more experienced birders, and learn more. I do not have a car, and many locations are not accessible by public transport of any kind. So I tend to make the most of St.Louis’ parks, especially Forest Park, which I walk to. I am free only on weekends, as I am here to look after my grandchild while my daughter goes to work 🙂

With many thanks, and hoping to be able to participate in more of the outings,
Yours truly

Those irritating tails…

March 15, 2013

We all receive them…emails with some text, and then a long, pompous, legal-sounding warning at the tail-end of the message. We’ve learnt to ignore them, by and large, but, once in a while….

Recently, on a mail list to which I belong, someone had sent an email. It was from the organization this person belonged to, and it came with this coda:

“Confidentiality Notice: This email is confidential and may also be privileged. You should not copy the email or disclose its contents to any other person as it is solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you have received this message in error, please contact the sender on XXXXXXX and delete this message from your computer. Internet communications cannot be guaranteed to be timely, secure, error- or virus-free. General Statement: Any statements made, or intentions expressed in this communication may not necessarily reflect the view of YY . Be advised that no content herein may be held binding upon YY or any associate or any associated companies unless confirmed by the issuance of a formal contractual document.”

To this, one of the moderators of the egroup replied:

“The confidentiality notice would be irrelevant, inappropriate, and against the principles and ethos of a discussion forum. Moreover, since it is a voluntary posting to a pre-existing discussion forum, such conditions are inapplicable. Even if such emails are recieved in error, there can be no demand for the receiver to incur expenditure, effort, etc to inform a private number on phone. This might please be noted and taken as informed that mails to the egroup will be copied and will be shared. There is no implicit or explicit acceptance of the conditions put forward unilaterally on unsolicited material.”


Wiki entry about Email

does not even mention “coda” messages or disclaimers such as these, but informs me,

“Liability. Statements made in an email can be deemed legally binding and be used against a party in a court of law.”

So…what is the actual situation? Are these blocks of “Grr-don’t-come-near-me-I-will-bite” text legal? Should they be attached to every mail one sends, regardless of whom one is sending to (in the above context, it was certainly not applicable, and should not have been included.) Why do organizations promptly erect walls of legalese in impenetrable thickets, to hide behind, whether they are right…or not?

Should I tack on a confidentiality notice to this post?


October 4, 2012

I look at the pile-up of emails.
From my male friends, and females.
Amongst the whole varied lot
There is one precious one that I spot.
Like a miser, I save it away
To look at, later in the day
When my regular work is done
When I take a break from the run
I savour this mail from my friend.
It gives me joy without end.
Who is this email from, so
Blessedly dear? Wouldn’t you like to know!

A wonderful daughter…

September 24, 2012

My daughter works, very hard, for Asha For Education….and she trains a fresh batch of runners each time, for the half-marathons. Once in a while, she gets an email like this:

“I didnt have a chance to say this before but we owe you big time. Usually during the weekend runs before the run we are just trying to wake up and prepare for the run and after the run we are way too tired and start wining but if not for you I am not sure if we would have come so far. I am pretty sure we gave you hard time. Showing up late, not downloading the route, getting lost, wining and what not. We must have effortlessly pissed you off but you were there not willing to give up on us. I dont know about others but that resilient quality of yours left a really lasting impression on me. Whenever my body starts complaining about the run I keep thinking the lady is pregnant and doing this and what am I complaining about? You are a real inspiration.
“You kept your promise and we will keep ours. We will not let you down.

“Looking forward for the run,

I am so lucky to have such an amazing daughter! :))))))))

Developing means of communication

July 4, 2012

!. Communication in the line of sight or hearing. Sign language, speech.
2. Communication beyond the line of sight or hearing. Written language.
3. Communication, instantly, by aural means,beyond the line of sight. Telegraph, telephone.
4. Communication, instantly, by aural and visual means, beyond immediate sight or hearing, only one way. Television.
5. Communication, instantly, as above, and conversation across the world. Internet, email.
6. Communication, and conversation, as above, with photographs. Attachments, digital images, video/audio phone networks.
7. Communication, and conversation as above. Blogs.
8. Communication, and conversation, on a wider platform. Social networking sites.

I joined the cyber world during the time of email, and became an enthusiastic blogger; I still keep that up, but all the discussions, comments, debates and arguments that used to take place on the blogs, have all shifted to Facebook. No doubt I will soon have to learn another form of instant communication with the world at large….

I wonder what the next step will be?

Doing things…

May 15, 2012

I do enjoy the wit wherever I find it, and on the Hasiru Usiru egroup, a civic citizens’ forum that I belong to, S. Nityananda has posted, regarding car-free walking zones in Ahmedabad, which has been recently introduced:

“at least something gets done in some cities. In Bangalore, we also do things… like deciding the dates for a preliminary meeting to discuss whether it would be advisable to consider deciding a date for discussing initial ideas for car free zones.”

I’ll probably be thinking about this at odd timed, and there will be an unexplained smile on my face!

What I wrote to my birding group in Bangalore, today…

May 14, 2012

Some of the very common birds I see in Forest Park…..

The Brown-headed Cowbirds and their mates seem to be out, and the “treeeee!” call of the Red-winged Blackbird can be heard everywhere. Mockingbirds and the immigrants….the European Starlings with their bronze-green sheen, and the House Sparrows….are briging forth families. The American Robin (called Robin Redbreast in Britain) also has babies trailing along, chirping loudly for worms.

As I walk along Des Peres Creek, the Mallards and the Green Herons look up alertly at me in case I am coming to catch them. Several Kildeer are now to be seen on the grass along the banks…… A Snowy Egret quickly spears a fish, and takes it off. I go to watch the Great Horned Owls, but can see only the mother today….the other birds, such as the Common Grackle, also show their shining plumage, and as a bonus, I see the “Woody Woodpecker” Red-headed Woodpecker, at her nest:

The migratory warblers (they arrive in St.Louis in summer; alas, Missouri is not a hot-spot birding location, but it’s great for my level of ignorance!) show themselves here and there, and once in a while, I get a lovely video like this:

This kind of nature ramble is certainly not the stuff of National Geographic…but it’s my morning “battery recharger”, and I come home by 7am, ready to take on my daily duties, with a happy smile on my face, that lasts the whole day long. Just this morning, an elderly lady (er, I mean, MORE elderly than me!) smiled back at me and remarked, “It’s so nice to see a smiling face early in the morning.)

I watch the mink family in the creek, which I’ve been following from last year:

I can’t see any young ones now, I was very lucky last year, as my friend Danny Brown informed me!

Dear Subbu…thank you for inspiring me, with your descriptive post, to write this….and Zafar Saab, I want you to know that halfway around the world, when I joined the Audubon Society’s monthly bird-watching outing (exactly like our Lalbagh outing) this time, there were THREE people who knew about you, and were awed to think that I knew you personally.