Posts Tagged ‘reptiles’

Snake in the grass….

August 6, 2012

Once in a while, these phrases come alive….on Saturday, while we were watching a field of Egrets, we saw one…

It was an amazing sighting watching a snake actually moving steadily through the birds!

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Creve Coeur, BioBlitz, 260512

May 26, 2012

I’d signed up for the

Bio Blitz

walks in Creve Coeur (the name means, “Broken Heart”, I’ve posted more about it in

this post

I put up the photos and a narrative on Facebook,

click here to see them

I also got the following videos:

Un id Snake in the Grass:

Un id Rollerblader on the path:

Indigo Bunting calling:

Prothonotary Warbler calling (what a name!)

(The American Goldfinch is slightly smaller than this bird and has a black patch on its head…and a different beak, too.)

Hope you enjoyed the Bio Blitz outing as much as I did!

The March of the Chameleon

September 5, 2011

We (Bhavita, Kannan and I…the smallest group I’ve gone on, in a long time!) were returning from Nandi Hills when the sight of this

Chameleon

brought us to a screeching halt.

cham on rd nh 030911

What a beauty! Luckily, it had not been flattened by traffic on the other side of the road, and was already on our side. It goose-stepped, or should I say, chameleon-stepped, into the grass verge. Watch this video, the progress of the reptile is funny, to say the least!

Here it is, closer to the grass verge:

cham near edge 030911 nh

It then climbed on to a rock:

cham on rock 030911 nh

And disappeared into the shelter of the leaves and greenery:

cham in bush 030911 nh

From there, we could see its moving cone of an eye peeping out at us, as if to ask, “Have you people still not gone?”

cham eye in bush 030911 nandi

A delightful interlude in the morning!

Bannerghatta Zoo area, 280811

August 30, 2011

Though I had planned to go on the Bird Watchers’ Field Club 4th Sunday outing to Sarjapura, several friends persuaded me to go to the Zoo area instead (which is, anyway, a great favourite with me!)…so off we went in the cool, cloudy, misty morning.

ALL of my photos are on the Facebook album,

here

…but here are some of the things we sighted, and I captured.

After meeting up (the usual starting point is Shoppers’ Stop, on Bannerghatta Road), we had our mandatory chai stop at the Bannerghatta Police Station (not AT…near!) and when we started our trail, the very first bird to greet us was this

SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA

Photobucket

The NTP members were:

Chandu
Gopal
Radha

and myself;

The other friends were:

Apoorva
Chantu
Deepu
Sanjeev
Vaibhav

Chandu took a lot of trouble to come…he lives quite a distance away!

Alas, we were not allowed to go on the path towards the Butterfly Park, so we walked along the Hill View restuarant perimeter, and it was nice to see the mark of an elephant’s presence:

Photobucket

You can see the human foot for size reference!

The monsoon has brought out the

GIANT WOOD SPIDERS

all over the paths, and here’s one variety, the

Nephila maculata

Photobucket

enjoying Sunday breakfast.

Another variety,

Nephila kuhli

Photobucket

also looked beautiful with its black body and orange-red legs!

Apoorva, Sanjeev’s daughter, is very sharp-eyed, and spotted this “jigsaw” of

MILLIPEDES

Photobucket

in the ditch.

A little later, it was lovely to see two camp elephant calves, walking around, grazing, under the watchful eyes of their mahout:

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Even when we wound up the outing and went for breakfast (our usual venue now is Upahara Banashree, near the NICE Road junction), we found a lot of interesting things just outside the restaurant, such as an almost-part-of-the-landscape Rock Agama, and these lovely

MUSHOOMS

mushroom large 280811 bgz

Dr Sanjeev told us that these are called “art mushrooms” as very often, artists paint them and give them to visitors, in the UK!

In the grass nearby, we spotted these two mating Damselflies,

COROMANDEL MARSH DARTS:

LRG 280811 dmslfly mtg

When we dropped off Radha at her apartment complex, the road was strewn with flowers from the

AKASHA MALLIGE

(Indian Cork)

trees….

Photobucket

We returned home after a very pleasant morning, with memories of this pavilion in the Zoo area:

Snake in the Grass

July 31, 2011

This morning, a group of us went to Valley School, and we saw a baby

COBRA

slithering across the path:

bg snk in grss 310711 vs

All of us who had cameras whipped them out to document it:

big cobra 1 310711 vs

A baby cobra is apparently no less deadly than an adult one, but this one had no menace at all; it was simply scurrying for cover.

big cobra 2 310711 vs

It was quite stressed, and put up its hood a little bit:

cobra3 310711 vs big

The hood came up even more as it slithered past:

cobra 4 310711 bg vs

Here’s the video:

The Red-eared Sliders of Forest Park

June 5, 2011

It was almost exactly a year ago that I posted about

these beautiful turtles

in Forest Park,

and precisely on the same date (what a coincidence!) I went for a 3 hour stroll around the park, and came back with

these pictures on Facebook

….to share with my non-Facebook friends, here’s one of the Red-eared Sliders:

r-e slider flpr fp 020611

I just learnt that Photobucket is now giving unlimited space…so that’s great news for me! (though it is still more painful to post there, give the caption, take the URL, post it on LJ and add the narrative…than it is to quickly post the hi-res pics on Facebook and add the text!)

The Mammals, and other creatures, of Kabini: 14 and 150511

May 25, 2011

The creatures of Kabini…well, the large ones are what I am talking about here (remember the yellow-thighed tarantula that I photographed in

this post

or the Southern Birdwing?

Well, anyway…the larger creatures of Kabini come in an astonishing variety of sizes and shapes, too. I think the one mammal that everyone goes to Kabini to see is the

ASIAN ELEPHANT:

(not much chance of seeing an African one here, I must add)

yng tskr 140511 kbni

These majestic animals can be found in herds, especially on the banks of the backwaters:

elphnts bmbo 150511

Here’s another magnificient tusker:

tskr 150511

Of course, it’s several people’s ultimate dream to be able to sight a big cat. On the first safari, we got a sighting of an

INDIAN LEOPARD

rather far away in the forest:

farwy lpd 140511 kbni

It stayed there until we saw it again on our way back from the safari, and then slowly moved off:

lpd mving off 140511

Several jeeps were able to get a glimpse of the animal:

lpd 1 40511

More shots of our second leopard sighting, which was far closer, are

here

One of the animals that acts as a “Early Warning System” of the forest, giving alarm calls at the nearness of any big cat, is the

HANUMAN LANGUR

…here are two, at a salt lick; you can see one actually licking!

langur slt lck 140511

It was great watching this one actually bringing a figure of speech to life…”showing a clean pair of heels” is to run away…and that’s exactly what this one is doing!

langur 140511

Several times, we spotted the

MALABAR GIANT SQUIRREL

in the canopy…can you spot it in this distant shot?

mlbr sqrl 140511

The

SAMBAR

is a variety of deer which has a glandular secretion in its neck:

smbr 140511

Here’e another one. a young male showing the antler buds:

sambar 150511

The

GAUR

or wild bison, are also seen in both the jungle and the river banks:

gr 140511

Here’s a young one, taken as our jeep lurched forward over rough terrain:

juv gr 140511 kbni

And an adult, reaching up to the leaves to feed:

gr fding 140511

When near the backwaters, it was lovely to watch many animals at once, in such mixed groups:

mixed grp 140511

A particularly lovely sighting for me, this time, was being able to watch a

SMOOTH-COATED (RIVER) OTTER

at work, catching its breakfast.

Here’s the first sight of this streamlined animal:

otter first 150511

Off into the water it went:

otter head 150511

The meal was caught:

otter fish 150511

And devoured…watch those canines!

otter fngs 150511

This

WILD BOAR

was one of the several that we were able to see:

wld br 150511

A reptile which we all like to see from a safer distance than all the others, is the

CROCODILE

and here’s a large specimen, with a cormorant giving it company:

croc and cormorant 150511

Of course, I cannot miss out the mammal that also tries to live in these forest areas; here are the people of the Kabini region, who try to make their livelihood and are in constant conflict with the wildlife:

pple kbni 150511

I’ll conclude with the only mammal that goes to considerable effort and expense to go and watch other creatures…the Wildlife Tourist!

tourists 140511

I’ve posted about the people and places on the Kabini trip on my Facebook page

here

and more photographs of the mammals are

here

More photographs of the Otter are

here

AMAZING..INCREDIBLE…I’m running out of exclamation words

July 27, 2007

It’s been a phenonmenal time here in Tanzania…first at the Ngorongoro Crater, and then in the Serengeti since yesterday. We started with a superb time birding in Kilimanjaro airport while we were waiting for KM’s brothers to fly in…and then as we drove into the Ngorongoro Conservation area, we started with a night sighting of a leopard so close by…and except for the rhino, I think we have sighted all the animals,birds, reptiles and other stuff one could think of…and then some….

Two things which are fantastic…the total lack of plastic in the wilderness, and the immense discipline of the wildlife trips, which means that the animals are not afraid, and do not melt away immediately (though of course some do)…we have got some phenomenal shots and videos…the highlight being a pride of lions, including two cubs, walking down the road amongst the safari vehicles, another of two Thomson’s gazelle fighting in dead earnest, four types of vultures feasting on a carcass, two lionesses circling around a kill which they cannot eat because a band of baboons are trying to chase them off, a couple of ostriches doing a mating dance…with a couple of cheetahs as audience, the incredible line of migrating wildebeest stretching kilometers across the Serengeti plain….some of these are very far away, though….and the really colourful, splendiferous birds…the crocodiles and the hippos, the baboons and the vervet monkeys, the hyenas and the different kinds of jackals….

We have had hardly any sleep, because the power went down at night almost every day, and we had to recharge the camera batteries, and download the photos and videos….when we could.

At Kirawira camp, where we are now, the internet connection costs 10 USD for 15 minutes, so my next post is only going to be when I reach Dar es Salaam after the trip….

All my friends, I can do a lovely presentation on the Ngorogoro Crater, the Serengeti, and Lake Manyara (which we are going to day after tomorrow)…when I return…

Oh, Tanzania….words are just NOT adequate, will have to say it with the pictures. How happy I am that I took up photography!

One of the high points of today’s trip to Valley School Area, off Kanakpura Road

July 1, 2007

I very, very rarely sight snakes (I can’t say “reptiles”, having seen so many Agamas, lizards, geckos, crocs, and monitor lizards!) in the wild; probably because a) they disappear in a trice into the undergrowth and b) I have not been “trained” to spot them (I remember being as bad with birds, some months ago!)…but today,Karthik showed us a baby spectacled cobra….

 Baby Spectacled Cobra Side Pose 1 July 07 Valley School Area off Kanakapura Road

Incredible sight. The little snake was quite annoyed at being spotted, and was hissing like a heated kettle. I was certainly glad that Karthik was around to ensure that it didn’t disappear in a trice into the undergrowth before amoghavarsha,anushsh , KM and I had a good look at it.

 Baby Spectacled Cobra 1 July 07

The whole episode was over in less than a minute…but what a memorable minute it was! Other photos will follow….we saw three Grey Hornbills, and got some lovely macro shots of a plant hopper (what’s that? watch this space!)….but I just couldn’t wait to get to the net and share these snaps. No, I agree, they are not technically good, but the SPEED with which the baby cobra zipped into the undergrowth was just so fast, I am amazed that I got any shots at all! These pics are on the S3IS…KM was so glad that I didn’t keep bugging him for the Canon EOS20D, but there were a few moments when I wanted to….for birding, the EOS with the 300mm Prime is SO good! We met Prashanth Badrinath, an expert birder, along with his friend Vijay; they had just seen an Oriental Honey Buzzard.. the only Oriental thing that WE saw, apart from the landsape of the southern Indian peninsula, of course, was the Oriental Magpie Robin, which will make its appearance in the next post.