Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bhindawas Lake Bird Sanctuary on 17 Nov 09

Nomad tribals passing through the sanctuary.
Purple Swamphens and Common Coots.
Great Cormorants and Black-headed Ibises nesting.
Crested Serpent-Eagle waiting for some slithing snake.
Oriental Honey-buzzard on a brick wall, on way to the sanctuary.
With my son Gaggu, I spent some hours at Bhindawas Lake on 17 Nov 09, Tuesday. Morning was foggy, but it cleared by noon. Wintering waterfowl has still not reached. Water hyacinth is a big menace. Dirt track around the lake is a shambles., lot of gullies. Staff is not interested, only two persons posted and they too were sitting in the rest house, no one bothers about the maintenance of the sanctuary.
Great Cormorants were looking after their babies in the nests, about a dozen of White-headed Ibises also on nests. A lonely Marsh Harrier, 2 aquila Eagles (possibly Imperial) in over head fight, Honey Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Shikra. Indian Eagle Owl, Spotted Owlet.
A disappointing visit.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Whistler's Warbler at Sultanpur Jheel - a new record

Clive, Abhijit, Vijay Sethi, Pankaj Gupta and others watched two Whistler's Warblers at Sultanpur National Park, Gurgaon on 15 Nov 09, Sunday. A record shot was posted by Vijay Sethi, which confirmed the ID without doubt.
This is not only a new addition for Sultanpur, but also a new record for the Delhi region.
Congrats to the delhibirders who reported this bird.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sarus Crane on 14th Nov 09 - village pond

What a handsome stonechat, though a little wary of my presence, obliged me with a good shot.
A female Danaid Eggfly Butterfly (Identified by Dr Surya Prakash). What is the meaning of a 'butterfly smile'?
Sarus Crane pair. I was told my two youngsters who are familiar with me that a pair was seen a few days before with two chicks. But today, only a pair! If this is the same parent pair, then what happened to the chicks?

This creature (Tiger Centipede according to Swapna Prabhu) was lying on the road, injured... dogs would come, sniff it and move away. My son Gaggu told me to put an end to the pains of the poor creature... and I obliged. Don't know, if I did good or bad, but it was out of compassion for this creature.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Spotted Creeper (by S.S. Poonia)

This photograph of a very uncommon bird Spotted Creeper was taken by Ch. Surat Singh Poonia, a wildlife officer posted at Tal Chhapar, Rajasthan. He spotted the Spotted Creeper inside the Tal Chhapar sanctuary on 5th Nov 09. Pooniaji is a passionate birdwatcher and highly motivated officer. I am all admires for him. Within a short span of 3 months, he has spotted, photographed and informed the world about some rarities like Yellow-eyed Pigeons, Great Indian Bustard, Caspitan Plover, White-browed Bushchats etc from Tal Chhapar.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Brown Fish Owl - one more rarity in Haryana

While walking along the largish canal near Gohana town, a big owl flying to and fro in the eucalyptus trees, feeling uncomfortable with me in his territory, eventually got settled in his perch across the canal. It was April 2007. This was not an uncommon owl till early 80s in suitable habitat in my countryside, always along the various branches of Western Yamuna Canal and Drain Number 8. I had seen this owl species nesting in Bhindwas Lake also. But in the last 20 years or so, this is the only sighting; perhaps in the entire Delhi region.

Tawny Eagle - extinct in the Delhi region and Haryana

This is the Tawny Eagle which I had photographed in January 2007 in the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer. This resident eagle, was not uncommon in the Delhi/Haryana region till 70s, but today, it is extinct in these parts of the country.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Countryside this morning (25 Oct 09)

Indian Roller's population is declining due to habitat loss and massive use of chemicals in the farming sector. Nice to see this one perched on electric wire.
This Rufous-tailed Shrike, was sitting next to the Indian Roller and when I was going to click, it emitted this tiny bomb. Sure, not out of fear of man.

White-tailed Lapwing, probably a pair, is a wintering migrant to my countryside.

Olive-backed Pipit, though could identify with certainty as it was perched high on the wire.

Two spiders in my house. Caught one in my camera. Don't know its name, though.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My village pond - Diwali morning

Flowery heads of the tall grasses (Kaans) alluring the weavers and the sparrows.
Some kind of wild rice nourishing Black-headed Munias.

National Bird - looking sad at the noise pollusion on the Diwali.
Woolly-necked Stork - does not trust the mankind.

These are Great Cormorants flying southwards from the North.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My village pond this morning

I spent about 2 hours this morning scanning my village pond at Fatehpur village. Water has subsided substantially, water lilies are at their obliging best. Was delighted to see 2 Black-necked Storks, 2 Painted, a few Woolly-necked also, but Openbill were absent. Cormorants were drying their wings, lot of herons. On the peepal tree, I did see a Siberian Chiffchaff, vociferous Clamourous Reed Warblers, Lesser Whitethroats, a few Little Grebes enjoying their 'dive and show up' behaviour. Surprisingly, no tern. Flying Oriental Skylarks pouring melodies from the heavens.
Many weavers were making noise in the tall grasses. By the end of the months, their clouds will be very conspicuous, flying here and there feeding on the flowery heads of these grasses.

Water Lily, small lotus, was the dominant flower of the pond.
This Little Grebe was quite confiding and allowed me to take many a photograph.
Black-necked Stork, a local rarity - there were two of them.
Forgot the name of this butterfly - Peacock Pansy?
This Long-tailed Shrike was quite noisy.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Village Pond, Fatehpur (Sonepat) on 3rd Oct 09

A walk on the earthen bund produced lot of birds. Quite dense spread of the flowering water lilies, presence of ducks, herons, cormorants, a pair of Sarus Cranes, 3 species of storks, small waders, moorhens made the pond very attractice. Lot of chattering, chirping, squqwking, trilling and cheeping calls. Scaly-breasted Munias still nesting - football like nest, I saw three birds near it; while one entered the hole, the otherone came close and peeped into it.
On the electricity transmission line passing over the nearby Delhi Canal (a sub-branch of Western Yamuna Canal) produced lot of birds. A pair of Crested Kingfishers (male is to the left with two breast bands, while the female is to the right with one breast band) were perched, lot of Streak-throated Swallws. I also saw a few Barn Swallows.

Out of the three resident species of kingfishers in my area, the Common Kingfisher is the least common and a jewel. I saw it today.
I saw Indian Silverbills, Scaly-breasted Munias, Red Avadavats and this one "Black-headed Munia" which the least common.
Behaviour of Painted Storks indicates that they are about to nest.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Panipat Refinery on 28 Sep 09

The wetland of Panipar Refinery attract remarkable concetration of waterfowl during winter. Today, I saw 14 species of raptors here including Eurasian Hobby; Booted and Indian Spotted Eagle, Short-toed Snake Eagles, White-eyed Buzzard, Oriental Honey Buzzards, Osprey, Black-shouldred, Black and Brahminy Kites, Egyptian Vultures, Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel and Shikras.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My village pond on 27 Sep 09

Water Lily flower, Pond Heron, Golden Oriole.

I do not know the name of the insect who made this. But this looks wonderful, gluing the thorns around.

A village boy collecting Water Lily flowers on the request of Dr Sudhir Oswal who wants to plant them in the water pond of his farm house near Badkhal Lake, Faridabad.

Moustached Warbler

This Moustached Warbler was chased by the nesting Streaked Weaver, but it managed to re-appear quite close to the nest.
This warbler is a shy and elusive bird, but obliged us with extended decent view.

At Mohamedabad fish pond, while watching birds with Nitu and Sudhir Oswal, I heard its call from the typha reed and quickly we spotted the warbler. After a few movements here and there in the reeds, the bird became restive and started preening its feathers with apparent pleasure.

A Streaked Weaver was nesting nearby in the reed and did not like the warbler's presence within 1 meter of its nest. The warbler was chased away, but it again turned up and began to inspect the weaver's nest from close quarters.