For this week's post I headed to Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to see the birds and the Silk Cotton trees in bloom. Although we see these trees in the city, seeing them in the wild without the posts, pylons, and the wires of human habitation, makes it extra special. The drive (my husband was at the wheel) is beautiful. We passed through small villages and rice fields. In the distance were the low hills that's a feature of this area. Nearly every kilometre stretch had either the Coral Tree/Erythrina stricta var. suberosa or the Silk Cotton trees/Bombax ceiba in bloom. In some places there were several clumps all in full bloom. Ideally I'd have loved to spend the entire day under those gorgeous trees but we had another commitment...But it was a morning well spent. The distance was about 45 kms but it was at such a leisurely pace that we went, stopping wherever there were birds and blooming trees.
I'm afraid I haven't been able to identify the birds in the first two photos. The same birds are seen in my seventh photo also. The bill is blue. I think I'll need to spend more time with my latest buy, The Book Of Indian Birds by Salim Ali.
|The Jungle Myna|
Although the Jungle Myna doesn't look very different from the Common Myna, it's most prominent feature is the tuft of feathers on its forehead. These birds usually keep away from human habitation. They are largely omnivorous feeding on grasshoppers, other insects, wild figs, berries, and nectar.
|Silk Cotton tree in full bloom|
Some of the most charming and enjoyable venues for bird watching are certainly afforded by the Silk Cotton, Coral Flower, or Flame of the Forest(Butea) trees in bloom. Their particular attractiveness lies in the fact that the trees, or the branches bearing the gorgeous flowers, are bare and leafless at this season, allowing a clear and unobstructed view of the visitors. Almost every small bird of the surrounding countryside flocks to the blossoms for the sake of the sugary nectar which they produce in such abundance.
|Wonderfully sweet moments for the Asian Pied Starling|
Pobitora is most famous for its rhinos and the periphery of the park is low-lying. In our region, the low-lying areas are usually flooded during the rainy season. But in the dry season there are stretches of water with dense growth of aquatic plants in between. So hundreds of birds are always seen here. We had a field day watching the ducks, the storks, and several other aquatic species. I'll be posting those pictures next week.
A blurry picture of the Red-vented bulbul feeding on the blooms of the Corky Coral tree in our neighbourhood.
I hope you've enjoyed going through the pictures. Although there were several other species, they were too fast for me!:( Who knows what I might be able to capture on the blooms of the Silk Cotton trees next year?! It's a thought that makes me feel really g-o-o-d!
To see more of our feathered friends, click here.