The last few weeks have been very exciting, I am meeting amazing people and learning a lot of things but on the flip side I have hardly taken my camera out! I am re processing old images , I liked this one better than the older color version. I am even planning to print this one 🙂
Green Bee-eater in Rain
which one do you like? This one or the earlier one?
Last weekend, I went looking for Bar Headed geese , whose sighting had been reported from Hassan. Unfortunately, since I couldn’t get the transport to get there, I had to spend two days in my village. My bad knee didn’t allow me walk so I was pretty much at home the whole time, watching the winged visitors in my backyard.
Now about my backyard, picture this — the last wall of my house also acts as a compound on one side, on the other end of this is a barbed wire fence, hardly visible as the Lantana has covered it completely. To the left there is lifeless wall made of mud, only about knee-length in height and doesn’t serve any function a compound should; to the right is the wall of our Rice Mill. It is big and has quite a few trees. To the left of the house wall, Hibiscus has grown into a tree, next to which is a big Neem tree and farther away from it are two Coconut trees. On the south west left corner of the plot, there are two Teak trees and to its right is another Neem tree, surrounded by Lantana. On the top right side corner of the plot, there’s a heap of Paddy husk from the mill and this attracts lot of birds that come in search of food.
From August to October the birds I’ve noticed are Baya weaver, Indian silverbill, Black headed munia, Scaly breasted munia , House sparrow ,White throated Munia etc . There were at least a 100 baya weaver birds which would come to feed on the paddy husk. They had built their beautiful nests next to our plot on a Tamarind tree. Scaly Breasted munia also came in large numbers and I think along with silverbills and other munias,they had built their nest in the lantana or the nearby bushes , as I spotted them there most of the time.Baya weavers, munias and sparrows later in the evening would sit on the electric wires in front of the rice mill , some used to preen their feathers and most of them simply sat and used to sing . It was quite a sightto watch 100s of birds sitting almost next to each other.
In november , I made a single visit to this place , and other than the above mentioned birds , I could hear the pecking sound of the woodpecker on the coconut tree – but before I could get to see it, it had gone. I am guessing it could be a Flameback Woodpecker, as I have seen one not far away from my place on a coconut tree.
During my last two visits, I saw new visitors to this place . I could see a Brown Shrike happily singing, on the top left corner of the plot where the dry corn stalks are dumped.Also, I saw an Asian Koel pair. They are usually seen on the plot next to ours which has more trees and bushes, but they do visit our plot regularly. Red whiskered bulbul was seen on a Neem tree whereas its cousin Red vented Bulbul was spotted on a Lantana. House Sparrows which used to restrict themselves to the Rice mill can now be seen near the paddy husk and also near the front side of the home. I also saw
a White cheeked barbet on a dead tree next to our plot. Blue Rock pigeons, which have made the Temple Gopuram (close to my plot) its house, comes in a gang to feed. Purple rumped Sunbird pair calling to each other was seen on lantana and also near the Hibiscus tree. Ashy prinias call can be heard but I haven’t seen it yet.
Apart from the above birds, Common Mynas and Yellow bellied Babler can be seen anytime near the bush on the top right corner of the plot close to paddy husk. House Crows are always seen either cleaning the plot or attacking the Three striped palm squirrel present near the Teak tree. Apart from these there are other small birds which I couldn’t Identify.
These are the Birds which I have seen in my backyard to date. I am sure that there are more birds which I have not spotted as yet, will update as and when I see. Though I saw all these birds here, this place is not good for photography (Lantana and bushes never give you the background which you want and the tall trees doesn’t help you either.
Baya weavers and Scaly Breasted Munias were happily feeding on paddy husk. The moment they saw me, they all were up flying with great speed.
Last Sunday, I went around my village looking for birds. I could spot 37 dfferent kinds of birds of which the highlights were White wagtail(First Timer for me ) and Grey Francolin (First time I saw this here) .It is so much fun to go to a place without knowing what to expect and find everything on your own.
Have a Happy Weekend 🙂
The Red Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) is a widespread resident in India. It is so called for the vivid red ,fleshly ,wrinkled skin or wattle ,in front of each eye.
It is also known as the ‘Did you do it’ bird, as the bird’s call sounds like ” did you do it”.
Nikon D300s,Nikkor 70 – 300 mm VR, in Shantigrama.
Remember What a Day?? (click HERE ,if you don’t! ). It happened on that day(and on last weekend) .
Birds are very good posers, but unfortunately only for those who sit inside a car and click. For someone like me (who is on foot most of the time), they spot you before you see them and fly off. Having said that, I won’t complain. Its fun this way and I enjoy every bit of it.
Common Kingfisher is one of the many colorful and beautiful birds which every photographer likes to have a shot in his collection.Till this day, though I had seen it many times, I didn’t have even one good shot of this for some reason.
It was a lovely morning, I was walking on the bank of a small pond which is few km from my house, I noticed the Common Kingfisher perched on a small plant, looking for fish. Before I could do anything else it flew off from there (one more chance missed) and perched on a small distant twig. I decided to walk around the bush and stopped at a safe distance from the twig. I waited there for a while and let off few frames. From there, the bird was too small in my lens. Lying flat on the ground, I crawled slowly towards the bird. Slowly the bird started looking big (definitely not full frame) in my lens. It’s not that bird didn’t notice me, but it was probably preoccupied looking for fish.
I stopped at a comfortable distance and spent a lot time in front of it. It was worth every minute, I saw it look for the fish patiently, dive into water (they are avid divers), scaring the other Kingfisher which came towards it, catch and miss fishes, shaking the water off its body. This process kept on repeating. So amazing was the experience that though I missed many shots, I managed to take some decent ones in the end.
Let me introduce you to the bird itself,
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) is one of the most colorful and instantly recognizable birds. The upper parts are blue while the underparts are orange in color.The bill is very – long and dagger like. The Kingfisher feeds mainly on fish and invertebrates, which it catches by perching on a convenient branch. They usually sit on low-hanging branches or bushes right above the water or on small plants that spring up in the middle of shallow waters and dive into the water when prey comes within striking distance.
One strong Kingfisher:)
Well, its not about to fly or its not calling!! If you look at it carefully, there is one more Kingfisher flying towards it. This screamed and scared the other ‘fisher. This is not that good a pic, but I have put it here to show this behavior!!(how I wish the water didn’t reflect the white sky!).
This is how they look for fish.
As I mentioned earlier, Kingfishers are avid divers. After a dip into the lake and catching its prey, this is how they shiver the excess water off its body and batter the fish. This is my FAVORITE pic. For me, this represents the bird.
Click HERE to see color version of this.
On the way back home, though I wished I had an extra 100mm (which I can only wish for now 😦 ), I had a rare smile on my face. It is not often that things happen the way the you want and when they do happen, you should completely enjoy it!
Nikon D300s,Nikkor 70 – 300 mm lens, lying flat on ground.
Have a great Sunday.
Egret’s are one of the best subjects to learn new techniques in photography as they can be easily spotted and with little patience ,one can approach and move closer to them.I have applied ND filter while converting into Black n White , Shot with Nikon D300s ,Nikkor 70-300mm VR , in Shanthigrama.
Hope you liked it .
Good night 🙂
Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis) is one of the most common species of dove found across India.It is pinkish brown bird with grey upper parts with a typical black and white spotted patch on their nape are very shy and peace-loving birds.
With salary still not being Credited (which means little or no money left with me ), I had only one place to choose for this weekend, that is my house in Shathigrama. And to my luck?? It was a good a choice.
I left Bangalore around 9pm on Friday,reached here around 2 Am on Saturday morning!!! ( Thanks to the rains and long break in between) . Saturday morning was gone as I got up really late (especially for bird watching 😦 ) , evening session was good, I got a good shots of Pied Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher . Today was the best day , here goes the bird list for the day
Green bee eater ( I don’t know if this likes me but I see this whenever I come here, saw this yesterday too 🙂 ),Pied KF , Common KF ,White cheeked barbet ,Indian peafowl,Pheasant tailed jacana,Black headed munia,Scaly breasted munia,Baya weaver bird,Flame back woodpecker ( Couldn’t see properly but have a record shot ),Little cormorant,Yellow billed babbler,Red whiskered bulbul,Red vented bulbul,Ashy prinia,Spotted Dove,Laughing Dove,Brahminy kite,Egret,Painted Stork,Black Winged Stilt ,Red wattled lapwing ,Purple Swamphen,Common coot,Ibis and lot of other birds.
I was truly spoilt for choice as I did not know what to click, couldn’t get the shot of everything I saw, but made few good images .
GOOD NEWS – My father , who was not that happy with me going around with camera has started liking my photos. He had even arranged a vehicle for me to go around the village :).
After this he said , if you had shown half the interest which you are showing towards this , you would have finished Engineering with DISTINCTION!!!! (Its been almost a year since I passed of BE but he is still thinking about my BE percentage 🙂 )
This weekend has been the most unproductive one in a long time!!! It was pouring in Bangalore so I thought ill head to my native (Shanthigrama) and try something out here.But to my bad luck it started raining here as well .Here is the picture of a Green Bee eater in rain which I had taken here in Shanthigrama, last month.
The Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, (also known as Little Green Bee-eater) is a near passerine bird in the bee – eater family.They breed in South-eastern Asia, and seen during the season in most places in peninsular India.
It is a richly coloured slender bird. It is about 9 inches (16–18 cm) long with about 2 inches made up by the elongated central tail-feathers. The entire plumage is bright green and tinged with blue especially on the chin and throat. The crown and upper back tinged with golden rufous. The flight feathers are rufous washed with green and tipped with blackish. A fine black line runs in front of and behind the eye. The iris is crimson and the bill is black while the legs are dark grey.
Bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps and ants, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch. Before swallowing prey, a bee-eater removes stings and breaks the exoskeleton of the prey by repeatedly thrashing it on the perch.
Hope you like it.