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

Sunday 14 March 2021

Kabini - The Tiger haven of South

A adult female tiger. Mother of 3 grown up cubs


Kabini wildlife photography trip

This destination has been a long pending one for me. Finally when it was about to get materialized last March, corona decided to play the spoil sport. So had to wait for one more year to make this trip.

Finally it did happen in the last weekend of February and it was worth the wait! We used to often hear that tiger sighting in the forests of South India is extremely rare. But luck was on our side as we had tiger sighting in all the 3 jungle safaris we did.

Osprey (வராலடிப்பான்) with a fish for its dinner!

On the afternoon of the first day, we took to the boat ride in the backwaters and it was just a visual treat! The backwaters has a very rich diversity of birds and mammals.

Spending more time in the boat will definitely give opportunity for some very good action shots of the birds! Well taking a photo with a mildly rocking boat might be a bit difficult, but you will get there with practice!

Here are some of the bird photos to start with.

Great Cormorant (பெரிய நீர்க்காகம்) waiting for the right prey!

Indian Darter (நெடுங்கிளாத்தி / பாம்புத் தாரா) chasing another one

Painted Stork - மஞ்சள் மூக்கு நாரை

Wooly-necked Stork - செங்கால் நாரை

Red-naped Ibis - கரிய அரிவாள் மூக்கன்

Apart from the birds, there were some mammals as well. A family of otters were playing in the water and every now and then would peep out curiously to see if the new visitors are a threat or not.

Otter - நீர்நாய்

At the far western shores were a herd of elephants and a lone tusker, which is probably one of the biggest in the country!

The tusker!

The entire second day and third morning we took the safari into the jungle. We were hoping to get a glimpse of the black panther, but were treated with tigers in all the safari. I think I will have to wait for the panther. Surprisingly we did not get to see any leopards as well!

Female adult tiger leading the way for her grown up cubs

But it is not just the tigers or leopards. Sometime this tends to get a bit overrated! The jungle is full of life with other animals as well. We need to ensure that we take in and observe all of them and not just get stuck with the tigers.

Here are a few more photos from the safari!

The place was full of peacocks!

A stag perfectly camouflaged in its habitat

A watchful female gaur

Sambar stag - See it to believe its size

Sambar with its fawn


The curious Indian roller - பனங்காடை

Grey junglefowl - காட்டுக்கோழி

Apart from the jungle safari, the JLR resort where we stayed itself had a very good variety of birds. But one need to spend time if good photographs are to be taken. With the limited time that I spent within the resort, I was able to take photos of some birds.

Lesser flameback woodpecker - பொன்முதுகு மரம்கொத்தி

Greater coucal - செண்பகம் / செம்போத்து

Asian brown flycatcher - பழுப்பு ஈ பிடிப்பான்

I would recommend everyone to come into the wild with an open mind and no expectations and just enjoy the wild and the nature!
Some more photos from the boat ride, safari and the resort. Enjoy!

Streak-throated Woodpecker - செதில் வயிற்று மரம்கொத்தி

Great Egret - பெரிய கொக்கு

Purple Heron - செந்நாரை

Oriental magpie robin - கருப்பு வெள்ளைக் குருவி

Hope you enjoyed the virtual tour. Yet another addition to my never ending list of places to be visited again for its sheer wilderness!

Sunset over the kabini backwaters