Saturday, 22 January 2022

Butterflies at my Backyard

Common Mormon Female

 Butterflies in my Backyard

We can safely assume that there may not be too many people who would not smile upon seeing these colourful little flying objects that are the butterflies!

It comes in all shapes, sizes and colours that are amazing! Apart from the bringing a smile the butterflies are quite important in the ecosystem! Just like the bees, the butterflies too play an extremely important role in the pollination process.

Common Emigrant - Male

Unfortunately, use of pesticides, loss of habitat due to deforestation have a taken a toll on butterflies. The need for conservation of these small and beautiful creatures do not attract the same kind of attention like the larger animals like Tigers or Rhinos. The lack of knowledge of butterflies amongst general public (including myself) is also not helping much towards conservation.

Common Emigrant - Female

So, if you are in an environment where you get to see a lot of butterflies, consider yourself lucky as there is a good chance that the environment is still friendly for these gentle creatures. I happen to be in one such neighbourhood where there seems to be a decent amount of butterfly population.

Common Grass Yellow

Here are some of the butterflies which I was able observe and document over a period of time in my backyard! These are collected over a period of 4 years or so. The search has never stopped and it will continue...

Common Bushbrown

Indian Jezebel

Common Mormon - Male

Common Castor bunched up

Common Crow

Dark Blue Tiger

Lemon Pansy

Yellow Pansy

Oriental Eggfly

Lime Swallowtail

Tailed Palmfly

It is not just the bigger ones. There are really tiny butterflies, which if one observes can be seen in almost every place!

Common Cerulean

Pea Blue

Indian Zebra Blue

Tiny Grass Blue

Red Pierrot

If you too have been lucky enough to see these beautiful creatures, do share what you see!

Three-spot Grass Yellow

Saturday, 23 October 2021

The Soulful Tree


The Soulful Tree

I am what the humans call a dead tree! I had been full of "life" once, like my other siblings. But all of us have our time, don't we? Once our time arrives we will be dead, but that only makes us "lifeless" and not really "soulless"!

Coconut Tree at its prime

Right enough of spirituality and philosophy, but the point is that in nature, nothing is actually dead! Though I can longer be beneficial to the humans, in a way I used to be, I still have my purpose in nature.

For those who ask how that is possible, here are a few examples with pictures to assure you that nothing is down and out in nature!

First, it was the Common Myna that built a home.

Common Myna (நாகணவாய்) has started to build

Common Myna (நாகணவாய்) feeding the chick and cleaning the nest

Then came the noisy Rose-ringed parakeets after a few days.

 The arrival of Rose-ringed parakeet pair - செந்தார்ப் பைங்கிளி

The watchful female Rose-ringed Parakeet - செந்தார்ப் பைங்கிளி

Somehow these guys also co-existed with a pair of White-cheeked Barbets for sometime. Does not happen usually, but not uncommon as well.

Rose-ringed parakeet and a pair of White-cheeked Barbet - செந்தார்ப் பைங்கிளி and சின்னக் குக்குறுப்பான்

Then for a brief period, I had been the home for the barbets exclusively! Wonderful fellows to have around.

White-cheeked barbet (சின்னக் குக்குறுப்பான்) examining the burrow

On this instance the White-cheeked Barbet (சின்னக் குக்குறுப்பான்) was chipping off the bark to make the burrow big enough.

These extremely alert and colourful ones too call me home now and then, though they don't tend to stay for a long tenure.
These guys are quite territorial and do not allow others to come near when they are there!

The Indian Roller (பனங்காடை) protecting its territory

Indian Roller (பனங்காடை) with its morning breakfast

Recently there was these pair of Jungle mynas which made a home out of me and brought up their family.

Interesting to see the male and female taking turns to go out in search of food.

Change of guard for the Jungle myna (காட்டு நாகணவாய்)

The long beaked on guarding the home. What the hell are you looking at? Jungle myna (காட்டு நாகணவாய்)

The songbird, Oriental Magpie Robin, has never stayed with me, but often rests on me during its foraging for food.

Oriental Magpie Robin - கருப்பு வெள்ளைக் குருவி

At present, it is this extremely wise and alert guy that resides with me!

Constant Vigilance - Spotted Owlet (புள்ளி ஆந்தை)

One thing about nature is that nothing is dead! Even after I am past my prime, I will continue serving. Even if I go down from here, I will only become a natural manure for the rest of my friends and siblings!

As long as I keep serving these beautiful creatures of nature, my soul will remain intact!

Pair of Indian Rollers - பனங்காடை

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Hennagara Lake

A panoramic view of the Hennagara Lake

Hennagara Lake

Bangalore has quite a few lakes within the city with a good bio-diversity. One such lake that I used to frequent is the Hennagara lake near Jigani in Bangalore. With 330 acres, this is a fairly big lake, especially considering this is within the city.

I have made a few trips, in the last couple of years, to the lake due to its proximity to where I live. The eastern part of the lake is just outside an upcoming residential layout, which has very few buildings and nothing near the banks of the lake. The bank is lined with some shrubs, plants and trees, giving the birds and butterflies some space on their own.

The western side of the lake has a agriculture field. Such diversified environment brings about a variety of birds to the place.

Wire-tailed swallow - கம்பிவால் தகைவிலான்

Black drongo - கருங்கரிச்சான்

Plain prinia - கதிர்க்குருவி

Coppersmith barbet - செம்மார்புக் குக்குறுப்பான்

Common kingfisher - சிறால் மீன்கொத்தி

Purple-rumped sunbird - ஊதாப்பிட்டு தேன்சிட்டு

The water is abundant with aquatic life makes it a good place for fishing activities. However, the birds that depend on fishes also finds the place quite co-habitable with the humans!

Indian pond heron - குருட்டுக் கொக்கு

Little egret - சின்னக் கொக்கு

A few other common birds which me and my friend spotted, but could not get a decent photograph are here. The list is quite big.

Common hawk cuckoo, Blue faced malkoha, Booted warbler, Blythe's reed warbler, Purple sunbird, Yellow billed babbler, Southern coucal, White-throated kingfisher, Pied kingfisher, Ashy prinia, Red-whiskered bulbul, White browed wagtail, Red wattled lapwings, green bee eater, paddyfield pipit, pied bushchat

Well, it is not all birds around. There are other beautiful creature around, if one cares to look for. But since I am mostly interested in the butterflies apart from the birds, that is what I was looking for.

Here are some colourful ones!

Branded evening brown

Pea blue

Indian wanderer - The female mimicking the Glassy tiger

Dakhan common gull

Lemon Pansy

There are more colourful ones, if you care to look for. But was not able to photograph everything. Some of the other common butterflies are

Common mormon
Plain tiger
Common castor
Angled castor
Common crow
Chocolate pansy

During the migratory and breeding season the lake will have a lot of bird activities. Birds from the northern part of India come here for breeding and nesting. The period between October and March is quite a busy time in this lake.

Purple heron - செந்நாரை

Spot billed pelican - கூழைக்கடா starting for the morning

Spot billed pelican - கூழைக்கடா some calm time

The Great cormorant - பெரிய நீர்க்காகம் having its morning breakfast

The Great cormorant - பெரிய நீர்க்காகம் taking off after the breakfast

Painted stork - மஞ்சள் மூக்கு நாரை

Brahminy kite - செம்பருந்து just caught a fish!

Grey heron - சாம்பல் நாரை

This is not all. As always is the case, what we see is only a fraction of the beauty of nature. The place is definitely worth a visit for anyone who wishes to see a good deal of bio-diversity without getting out of the city.

Hope you enjoyed. Do let me know if you had a chance to visit and how your visit was!

A colourful sunset at the Hennagara lake