Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Tiny Spider for Nature Notes

I often come across spiders of all sizes amid my plants But some time ago as I was about to pluck some basil leaves, this small black and white spider jumped on a leaf giving me a few seconds to take this shot. This image has been cropped because the creature was so tiny. I was startled to see this shiny black spider...I'm more used to seeing the grey ones. It's a good feeling to see or notice anything new in one's surroundings. A garden, no matter how small, brings so much joy in these little discoveries.

Check out other Nature Notes posts at Michelle's Rambling Woods.

The Red-vented Bulbul

The Red-vented Bulbul /Pycnonotus cafer is another bird that we see on a daily basis. You can see how it gets its name--from the small but very prominent crimson patch at the base of its tail. 

In India, bulbuls are seen as cute little birds. Bulbul and Bulbuli are common names here. But despite its size, the bird can be aggressive. Wherever it has been introduced outside India, it has damaged crops and caused a major drop in the native bird population.

A cloudy afternoon shot of a lone bulbul in July last year. 

This photo was taken last year on an early morning walk in my hometown. It was a misty morning in January and the only birds around were these two.

I'm linking up to World Bird Wednesday.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Nature Notes/Stray Dragonfly

The area I live in  has plenty of dragonflies in summer but once it starts to get cooler, they are rarely seen. The other day while I was in the kitchen I heard the unmistakable whirring of dragonfly wings from the tiny ledge near the ventilator. Most probably it must have been stuck in a piece of cobweb and couldn't fly away. When I rescued it, it seemed fine so I took it outside and placed it on this cluster of blooms. I didn't think I'd be successful but it stayed there for a few minutes even after I had clicked this picture. I'd have taken more shots but a pair of flycatchers landed on the coconut tree....

Linking up to Michelle's Nature Notes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Spotted Dove for WBW

High up on the tallest of trees, on the electrical wires or on the ground, the Spotted Dove makes its presence known by its gentle and soothing calls. Last year a pair built a nest on our mango tree but the crows did let them have a moment's peace. The pleasure of having doves nesting on one the few trees in our compound seems to be dim. But not the sight of these pretty birds. These photos were taken in the last couple of days. I found one preening on a cloudy day, one perched on a tree and the last one was foraging on the ground.

To see the most amazing birds head over to World Bird Wednesday.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Nature Notes/Loss Of Habitat

Recently I had posted pictures of egrets seen in the marshy plot of land near our house. Yesterday there was this lone bird foraging amid the vegetation and I realized with a pang that this could well be the last year I'll be seeing them here. This patch will soon have a structure coming up. The trucks have been coming and one side of the land is already filled with tons of soil. Since New Year's day we have had light showers and cloudy days and the droplets of rain on the colocasia leaves are the first thing that catch my eye as I look down from our balcony. Otherwise this season is usually very dusty.But these birds are not the only ones who will be deprived of their feeding ground. The white-breasted water hen is another and the worst affected might be the marsh mongoose.

This photo of this small Indian mongoose was taken at the local zoo today. Although we see the marsh mongoose in our yard, it moves very fast and it's near impossible to get a decent shot. In only a few months' time our landscape will change and another habitat, will be destroyed forever.

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

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Asian Pied Starling

Welcome back to my blog in 2012!:) Hope you all had a wonderful New Year's celebration with family/friends. Continuing with my posts of backyard birds, prominent on that list, is the Asian Pied Starling. They usually come here in  pairs or in small groups and forage on the ground. They also keep calling so you never really miss them. The photo (above) was taken last year when my neighbour's Corky Coral tree was blooming in March. Right now, the medium-sized tree is covered with large rough leaves but the leaves will soon fall and the tree will be covered with blooms. These red spiky flowers attract many insects and birds. 

I found this one on a vacant plot near our house. Wiki says that these starlings are usually found in small groups,foraging mainly on the ground but perching on trees and buildings. Birds in a group call frequently with a wide repertoire that includes whistles, trills, buzzes, clicks, and warbling calls. They forage in the open ground on grains, fruit, insects, earthworms and molluscs. Like many other starlings, they often use a prying action in order to dislodge the food from the ground.

This post is for World Bird Wednesday. Click on the link to see the most amazing photos of birds from across the world. Happy blogging, happy birding, and of course, have a wonderful 2012!

Enjoy and Participate!