Posts Tagged ‘migration’

Forest Park Forever/St.Louis Audubon Society, Bird Walk, 041014

October 8, 2014

It was a nice chill morning as I set out early to Forest Park.

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The rising sun lit up the grasses:

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A pair of
WOOD DUCKS

were my first sighting:

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A
MALLARD

couple also appeared:

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The Mallard male is a bird of colour!

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The beauty of Forest Park never fails to enthral me.

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I enjoyed the perky

HOUSE SPARROWS

while waiting for the walk to start.

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Mark was leading the walk, and we set off.

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It was great to see a female

KESTREL:

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Scopes and cameras were trained on the raptor.

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Notice that fall apparel is being worn!

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Three

MOURNING DOVES

made a nice composition:

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I liked these flowers, too!

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This ground-cover plant (I’d like to know the name) makes for a carpet of tiny pink flowers:

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We gathered on the bank of the creek as we watched a

BELTED KINGFISHER:

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An

EASTERN PHOEBE

delighted us in the Prairie area:

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Mitch Leachman ,

as always, was a fount of information about the birds.

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He told us how watching even the everyday, backyard birds, and learning about their behaviour, would be very satisfying; something I agree with, heartily!

We spotted two

GREBES

in the water.

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When a bird sat high up on a tree, giving the Deepa Mohan pose, it took a while for me to realize it was the

AMERICAN ROBIN:

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We had such a lovely time that the walk extended quite a bit!

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A migrating

MONARCH

alighted on my sleeve, and I realized, looking at its damaged wing, that it would not make the full journey…

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I think this was a

SAVANNAH SPARROW

but I am not sure:

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We saw the Kestrel again, eating a quick breakfast:

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We also sighted a mating ritual:

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Here’s Mitch, in front of the Muny, sharing his knowledge:

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We wound up looking at the

RED-EARED SLIDERS:

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I bid good-bye to yet another Monarch as I set off home:

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click here

for the bird list on eBird.

All the photos from my FB album are

here

A very enjoyable morning, thanks to the efforts of Mark for FPF, and Mitch for SLAB!

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Riverlands Bird Sanctuary, with Edge and June, 230914 (Part 2: Confluence nature trail)

September 25, 2014

When we finished at the dam, and had our coffee (thankfully, they didn’t say it tasted odd!) Edge suggested we go to the Confluence Point.

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We had lunch (I completely forgot to take a photo of it…phulka/veg wraps, and soft drinks to go with it) Here are Edge and June with the coffee, instead!

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Here they after lunch, just before starting on the trail.

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We started on the trail; the time of day, possibly, was not the best for birding, and we didn’t see any. But that bothered me not at all, as both Edge and June are so knowledgeable about everything else I saw, and I got such a lot of information!

The beginning of the trail had a lot of information:

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The pioneers of the westward expansion:

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So too did the end point, where the two rivers meet:

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Imagine the water being that high!

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Butterflies:

I watched a lot of Monarch butterflies. They weren’t migrating in clouds, like the nature documentaries showed; there was one, here and there, flying around…

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Here are a couple of un id butterflies:

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Wildflowers:

Several delighted me..

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This plant belongs to the Nightshade family:

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We found this plant had a strange aroma, but June couldn’t place the name.

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This is Bindweed, considered a pest in gardens:

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Clover family:

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Wild Gentian:

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Autumn is coming, and the plants let us know:

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Here’s a burr that inspired Velcro:

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A wildflower from the pea family:

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This is Illinois Bundleweed, in its dry form.

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Here’s the fresh variety:

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And the leaves:

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Insects:

June pointed out these larvae, which were eating the plants around:

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Several very large grasshoppers had me hopping after them!

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Can you spot the damselfly?

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Well, I managed to get a close-up:

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Several beetles zipped along our path:

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This fat spider swung in the sunshine:

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and this little jewel closer to the ground:

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Tent caterpillars are considered pests, but that doesn’t take away the marvel of their engineering!

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I got a Hornet on a wildflower:

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And, later, on a bench:

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Here’s a ground beetle on the Goldenrod:

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We discussed centipedes and whether they were poisonous:

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A Harvestman (Daddy Long Legs…just LOOK at those legs!) was a treat to see.

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So was a Cranefly.

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Amphibians:

This beautiful toad was not easy to see.

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It took a lot of effort to take a pic where the creature is not melding into the surrounding leaf litter!

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Edge caught one so I could get him (or her):

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Then I managed to get it on the path:

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The scenery:

The weather and the open countryside were both beautiful.

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The Mississippi:
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The confluence of the mighty Mississippi and the Missouri rivers:

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Here’s Edge on the trail, with those 3 extra legs of hers:

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Here’s June, trying out her new attachment, which allows her to take pics on the phone through her scope:

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The two steadfast friends walk the paths of Nature and Life together:

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We finally went to the Audubon Center to have a look around:

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Edge, my heartfelt thanks to you!

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Bangalore Bird Race, 190114: Of Flycatchers, Kingfishers…. and Thrushes

January 20, 2014

As the sun came up,

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six teams (and one family who was with us for a while) gathered together

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to participate in the annual bird “race”. This time, there was even less reason to call it a race, as it was non-competitive.

Our group had a lot of fun,throughout the day, but for me, a time of especial delight was when we were walked along “Flycatcher Avenue” which lived up to its name, and, indeed, added the

RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER

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to the Flycatcher list (which, on this day, went: Flycatcher, Asian Brown/Asian Paradise/Black-naped Monarch/Red-breasted/Tickell’s Blue/Verditer/White-browed Fantail..only the Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher was missing!)

We then walked around “Kingfisher Pond” (yes, we sighted all three Kingfishers: the Pied, the Small Blue, and the White-breasted)

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and went to the edge of the Herbivore Safari area. Here, we sighted some birds that I have never before seen in the zoo area. One was the Black-naped Monarch, which flew off too quickly for me to photograph; and there were two more.

One was the

ORANGE-HEADED THRUSH:

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a quick video (it’s quite shaky, as I was balancing and trying to keep away from the mildly electrified fence)

BLUE-CAPPED ROCK THRUSH:

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another quick video capture of the thrush:

These birds set the seal of contentment on the day for me, and I fell in love afresh with my favouite haunt. I also realized that two assumptions of mine were wrong:

1. Thrushes do not visit south Bangalore, but stop at Nandi Hills, and one has to travel there to see them.

2. Access to this area (it used to be open, earlier, but has now become a ticketed area) after 9am is in vain, as the bird activity would have died down.

Indeed, the area of the Herbivore Safari, just beyond the fence and a small water body, seems to be a place where these birds are not disturbed by any human activity; the safaris conducted by the Forest Department pass a good distance away from the rocks and pile of bamboo leaves and other deteritus that these birds love to walk through, looking for insects.

So now, to Flycatcher Avenue and Kingfisher Pond, I’m adding the Thrush Area. Thanks to Valli, who first spotted the Monarch and the Blue-capped Rock Thrush! Feeling good, thinking about it even now!

The Marsh Harrier, 28 and 301213, Karnataka

December 30, 2013

Oh…apparently it is now called the

EURASIAN MARSH HARRIER

Its scientific name is Cirrus spilonotus….and they do remind me of the cloud that bears the same first name.

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It’s a winter visitor to our country, amongst others…it breeds in the grasslands and wetlands of southern Siberia, northern Mongolia, north-east China, Manchuria and Japan, and migrates for the northern winter to South-east Asia, the Philippines and northern Borneo.

It’s a magnficient bird, as it soars on the wind-currents.

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It’s lovely to see the “headlights” on its wings.

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You can see two of them here:

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We watched them for quite a while, on both days.

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The Wiki entry says:
Like all marsh harriers, it favours open, wet environments.

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It is frequently seen drifting low over ricefields, (and lakes!)…interspersing long, watchful circling glides with two or three slow, powerful wingbeats.

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We watched the waterbirds keeping a wary eye on the predator gliding above them at Hosakote kere (lake), when we visited on 281213:

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I got one gliding to a landing at Hennagara Lake:

I enjoyed my observation of these beautiful raptors….and I hope you do, too.

Tiring…

June 10, 2008

Some time ago,I decided that I would travel by bus, and avoid using the car…. and as yet, I don’t repent the decision. Buses are generally quite a comfortable way to travel in Bangalore. Bus stops have to be found and remembered…and routes discovered,too, especially when there can be no fixed timings for buses.

BUT….if I have to change buses, I find that it takes me two hours to get to my destination, no matter whether it is near or far. Today I went to Gandhi Krishi Vigyan Kendra to meet Dr Suhel Qader …and it took me 6 hours for a nearly-hour meeting, which tempts me to use the telephone or the mobile phone next time!

But…I got to the UAS campus, which is about 4o km away from my place, without using a polluting car, and the total round-trip fare I paid was Rs.36 for each of us! And the weather was lovely, and walking in the GKVK campus was very enjoyable.

Here’s a lovely sight on the NCBS campus:

Toooo tired to post anything more….every time I feel tired, I wonder if that incurable disease called Anno Domini is catching up with me….!

Pleasant Surprise…and Migration to other blogs…

September 6, 2007

Got a call from chirdeep_shetty (who has moved his journal to Blogspot, alas!)and am trying to maximize the very little time he has here, and see what birding we can do….completely forgot to ask him about Manasi Prasad, whom I got to know through say_yes04 and Radio Verve…and my friend in Tanzania invited her to Dar es Salaam for two concerts. She tells me that anirudhc (who has ALSO moved to Blogspot, gaaahhhh…), Chirdeep and all, were buddies in engg college…

Connections are so convoluted, and in Bengaluru they sometimes have a way of leading over the same ground again, too.

But why is everyone moving to Blogspot? Is there something that I am missing? All it means is, I have to physically visit these people’s blogs instead of having them pop up on my friends’ list…of course there is probably a technical way to solve this problem, but I am not a “software” person and I don’t know how!

Wildebeest Migration Video

August 11, 2007

Yes, yes, I know this is grainy, non-professional..and I was jostled about by KM and his brothers, all trying to take their images too…but still..when you see the line of animals stretching from one horizon to the other…it’s amazing.

By the way…that panning is only from left to right, it is NOT all around me. It is an entire length (kilometres of it) of wildebeest, as far I could see and capture…

Will be posting more videos…beware!