Saturday, August 15, 2009

Heronry in a village, Sonepat

In a small village pool, a few Cattle Egrets have successfully nested on the Prosopis juliflora. Name of the village was Nakloi.

Seepage marshes along the canals

Black-breasted Weavers are nesting in the reeds along the canal. Here are some of the pix I took today. Black-breasted Weaver - how confiding!
This one is an adult Black-breasted Weaver - rain drops on the blades can be seen.

Pheasant-tailed Jacana in a marshy pool along the canal, today, near village Garhi Bala.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nesting Birds along the Canals

Here is the photo of the nest. Strange thing was that two Common Mynas were also flying behind a parent eagle and when both eagles left the nest, the mynas perched nearby looking around silently. I think that the eagle might have caught a myna chick from their nest and brought it to feed to the baby eagle, so mynas were in fact looking for their own baby.

Indian Spotted Eagle nesting in Sonepat on an eucalyptus tree, 45 feet above the ground along the Western Yamuna Canal on 15th August. While biking in the light drizzle, with my son Gaggu sitting behind, he spotted a raptor perched on a tree. I never dreamt that we would be watching a pair of Indian Spotted Eagles nest, with a chick inside and making some movement in the large nest. Took a few snaps.

Canal - Western Yamuna Canal - its branches

Foot path/cart track along the canal in Sonepat, 9 August 2009.
These parths and nearby vegetation and seepage marsh provide nesting, roosting and feeding habitats to various birds.. But these fragmented but important bird habtiats are burnt during summer after the wheat harvest by the farmers/cattle grazers, resulting in total destructions of nests, nestlings, fledglings, chicks and other animal life.

Seepage Marsh along the Munak-Delhi Water Supply Channel, Sonepat, 9 August 2009. This kind of habitat is created by the seepage water of the canals and other irrigation channels. This provides suitable habitat to many species of birds. Prinias, Cisticolas, White-breasted Waterhens, Streaked and Black-breasted Weaver, Yellow-eyed Babblers nest there.

Bridge over the Munak-Delhi Water Supply Channel, Sonepat, 9 August 09. These bridges/culverts are used by Streak-throated Swallows in large number for building their nesting colonies. Sometimes, these are also used by White-browed Wagtails and Wire-tailed Swallows for nesting.

A recently constructed canal 'Munak-Delhi Water Supply Channel'
Sonepat, 9 August 2009. If suitable native species of trees and shrubs are planted along both sides of this channel, this can result in providing suitable habitats to many species of birds.

Delhi Branch of Western Yamuna Canal, Sonepat, 9 August 2009. Tall grasses and trees on the banks are bird-friendly.

Delhi Branch of Western Yamuna Canal, Sonepat, 9 August 2009. Indian Spotted Eagles, Red-necked Falcons, cormorants, mynas, babblers, crows have started nesting on eucalyptus growing along the canals.


Peafowls were enjoy rains. A few individual birds were resting atop the concrete houses in the villages, visible from the road. These two were foraging in the green paddy field.

15 August 09, overcast sky, light drizzle. On electric line, I saw large gathering of Rosy & Pied Starlings, Bank & Common Mynas, a few House Crows and one European Roller.

Sarus Crane family landing in a field near Bhatgaon village of Sonepat district on 23 December 2008. Seen from the road.

Sarus Cranes, same date, same site.

Gathering of the Sarus Cranes in a wheat field near Bhatgaon village of Sonepat on 23 December 2008, seen from the road.

15 Sarus Cranes can be seen, 3 others were nearby, same date, same site.

Drain Number Eight

Grey Herons quite common in Drain Number Eight.

Little Heron is an uncommon resident breeder in the trees of Drain Number Eight.

Painted Stork is a fairly common bird in and around Drain Number Eight.

This is Diversion Drain Number 8 near Kharkhoda, Sonepat, Haryana. I began my birding here. In Sonepat district itself, it runs about 70 kms and then discharges into the Yamuna river.
Lot of birds in all seasons.
These two photographs were taken in December 2008.

Canal - Gurgaon Water Supply Channel in Sonepat

Common Kingfisher on the edge of Gurgaon Water Supply Channel on 28 December 2009.

House Sparrows gleaning seeds on the dirt-track along the Gurgaon Water Supply Channel on 28 December 2009.

Indian Peafowl cock on the dirt-track along Gurgaon Water Supply Channel on 17 January 2009.

Indian Peafowl (male) on the edge of the Gurgaon Water Supply Channel, 17 January 2009.

On 10th March 2009, a pair of Sind Sparrow was making its nest on a tree in a field 50 meters from the Gurgaon Water Supply Channel with a small marshy patch underneath. Here is the female collecting nesting material.

The same pair on the nest, 10th March 2009.

A Black Ibis near the channel, 10th March 2009.

A female Black-ncekd Stork on the edge of a water pool near the Channel, 10th March 09.

A family of Black-necked Stork, a pair with 2 sub-adult birds, same place on 10th March 09.

Gurgaon Water Supply Channel originates in Sonepat at Kakroi village water regulator. Biking on the bikable dirt track between it and the adjacent Pai Irrigation Channel yields numerable bird species in all seasons. Photographed on 8th January 2009.

Sind Sparrow

Sind Sparrow - female outside the nest in the tree

Same female Sind Sparrow on the tree.