Thursday, March 31, 2011

The White-breasted Water Hen

Around this time of the year we wake up to the loud and raucous calls of the White-breasted Water hen. When we first moved here, in the area we are living in, I remember being fascinated by these beautiful birds. A pair even nested on our bamboo grove years ago. Although they still nest in the vicinity, it's a comforting thought to know that they are still around. More land is being cleared and there's less open space now but the marshy land near our house is a good feeding ground. So are the small gardens in my neighbourhood.

The white-breasted water hen/Amauromis phoenicurus belongs to the Rail  family. As you can see from the picture above, they have a  white face, neck and breast. The upper part of the body and flanks are dark grey whereas the lower belly and undertail are the colour of rust.  I often see a pair in my yard feeding on the grain that I leave for the birds. Their diet also includes worms, small snails and fish. They like to forage in the mud in shallow water but roost on low bushes and trees.
According to Wiki, White-breasted water hens nest in a dry location on the ground in marsh vegetation laying 6-7 eggs. It takes about 19 days for the eggs to hatch. The bird is found throughout Asia near streams and lakes, near rice fields, and in marshy areas.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekend Reflections

My small garden is my joy! Here's a portion of it with a bit of the foliage reflected on the window panes.

If you click on the picture, you'll see some lights from my neighbourhood reflected on the glass.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekend Reflections

It's been raining since the past two days. But last week, when this shot was taken, the skies were clear. You can see the blue and the fluffy white clouds reflected on our car window. Some of the bromeliads and mother-in-law's tongue, mango blossoms, guava tree and my neighbour's jackfruit tree on the left complete the picture.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Baby Skink

The other day while I was repotting a few plants, I took out some soil from a large container. Guess what wriggled out? A baby skink! I picked it up in a trowel along with the soil and placed it on a rock where it lay still but only for as long as I could take these three shots. Then in a flash of the eye, it was gone amidst the plants. I hope I'll see it again, as an adult with all the patterns on its body that'll surely stand out against that grey. You might be interested in an article about skinks on this site...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekend Reflections

I caught this reflection about two weeks ago. It was late afternoon and as I was looking around, I saw these three boys walking on the sandy stretch.
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