Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Indian Marsh Mongoose& Other Creatures

 
I have often mentioned the marshy plot of land near our house. With its thick growth of aquatic plants,it's home to some animals and feeding ground to many. In summer, swarms of dragonflies hover above the colacasia that grows to more than a little over six feet. Then the bee-eaters come and feast on them. It's a joy to watch so many of these winged creatures. With all the insects and the worms that must be available thoughout the year, the regular birds that we see in the vicinity are the sparrows, shrikes, Indian myna, Asian pied starlings, the omnipresent crows, spotted doves, chestnut-tailed starlings, tree kingfisher, tailor birds,egrets who feed in winter, Oriental magpie robins, and the white-breasted water hen. At night you hear the constant croaking of frogs and the sight of the fireflies look like we're looking down at a suspended sky filled with hundreds of shining stars!

Aquatic plant with clusters of white blooms often visited by butterflies
As I type this, the noise of the earth-mover machine drowns almost every sound. More than half of the wetland has been filled up with tons of soil and now the levelling of the soil is being done. A small area has been left untouched so far. But I don't think it's going to remain that way for long. Yesterday I saw this mongoose from my son's bedroom window. Seeing a mongoose in its habitat reaffirmed the fact that the wetland creatures were at their most vulnerable. All the years we have lived here, we knew this area was home to the water or marsh mongoose but they are so fast we never really see them still. In fact I have never been able to get a decent photograph of them. It's only because there isn't much area left for them to run or hide that I can see them from my house across the road. 




Looking up online about the Indian marsh mongoose/Herpestes palustris, here's what I found. That they live near large but shallow water bodies that are fully or partially covered by a thick growth of aquatic plants. They live in burrows mainly along the slopes of the water bodies. They are diurnal and follow a particular route for foraging. They feed on fish and aquatic snails. Before sunset they return to their burrows. The mating season is March and there are generally two or three cubs in a litter. Below is a look at some other lives within the vicinity of this wetland.


Flocks of sparrows feed on insects (although I only got three of them here). Looks like afternoons are their favourite time of the day to feed here.


A typical summer sight would be bee-eaters catching their prey......


...and dragons and damsels embellishing most leaves or stems with Mother Nature's colours. I'll have to wait and see how much of change 'development' will bring to my nature notes. The effects of the death of a wetland will surely be evident in the coming years.


I'm linking up to Michelle's Nature Notes.

16 comments:

soho stitch said...

Oh dear - what a shame to be losing such a rich wetland. I'm glad you have managed to take some fabulous photos and hope they will not be a memory of what used to be.

Caroline Gill said...

Sadness indeed, but what a gorgeous creature that mongoose is!

NatureStop said...

Kanak,that mongoose looks so cute and you've caught the bee eater at the right moment..lovely dragonfly.

Libby Rodriguez said...

These are great shots. It is so interesting to see the mongoose. It is sad that the wetland is being filled in :( where will they go?

EG CameraGirl said...

I feel so sad for the wetland's demise. A small man-made pond near me was filled in last moth. The pond had been there for 60 0r more years but because it was man-made the owners got permission to fill it in. They didn't care that it was home to many animals!

Randy Emmitt said...

Kanak,

It is sad you are loosing your wetland next door. Everything will be changed forever. I enjoyed the photos and look forward to seeing more as always.

Carver said...

That's terrible to lose so much of the wetland. It always makes me sad when that important resource isn't protected better. Wonderful shots.

Sylvia K said...

So sorry to learn of the loss of the wetland and I do wish it could have been better protected! We need to save all that we can. Your photos are superb as always! Thanks for sharing the beauty! Hope your week is going well!

Sylvia

ShySongbird said...

Oh Kanak what a tragic loss of valuable habitat. So many beautiful creatures must be bewildere by such devastating disruption. This makes me really, really sad and I'm sure you must be too. Was there any local protest!? There would have been here but probably without success :-( although if it is proved there are any rare or endangered creatures or plants on such a site here, a preservation order would be put on it thus thwarting development. Unfortunately this might mean only the relevant part of the site would be protected though.

Anyway, I have enjoyed all your lovely photos especially the lovely, homeless :-( little mongoose and the striking bee-eater which I also enjoyed on the previous post. The lizard on the earlier post was just gorgeous :-)

lotusleaf said...

So sad that the marsh near your house is getting 'developed'. It is the same case here too. Your Mongoose picture is beautiful. The bee eater is breath taking in its beauty! Even after the marsh is gone, I'm sure you would find plenty of subjects to photograph:)

Stephanie said...

Good shot! The mongoose seems to be starring at you ;-) I hope their little homes at the swampy area are not too cold for them.

Pat said...

What wonderful wildlife inhabits your wetland! It is so sad to hear that it will be vanishing.

Shawn said...

Awww, those mongooses just look so cute and adorable! I've only seen a pair so far. Never been able to photograph them.

Rambling Woods said...

Oh I started out smiling as you describe all the wildlife and then my face turned to sadness..why can't we value wetlands and think ahead..it takes years to have that kind of habitat form and to support the varied wild things...oh I am so sorry....Michelle

Bob Bushell said...

I love the Bee Eater and the dragonfly, beautiful.

Sallie (FullTime-Life.com said...

I am heartbroken for you that you are losing your wetlands. Is that legal? It isn't moral that's for sure.