Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Birds of Sydney Botanic Gardens

Hello friends,

During my recent visit to Sydney, I was lucky to spot a few birds even after the storm. The Botanic Garden is a beautiful place to sight birds. The Cockatoos, Noisy Miners, Ravens, and Mynas are noisy birds. Silver Gulls, Ibis, Doves, and Swallows are common birds. Ibis can be bold and stalk you, if you have food with you.

A flock of the most beautiful cockatoo birds were feeding on a patch of lush Green grass! I was thrilled to see them. I stood for a long time observing them; went closer to them; kneeled on the wet grass; clicked a few photos; whispered to them. And soon I was surrounded by these big birds. What a blissful state! Also scan the Eucalyptus trees for the Cockatoos.

Walk around to spot a Kookaburra; I saw it when rushing back to Circular Quay on a cloudy evening. The bird was on the ground, foot of a tree, with the Noisy Miner investigating the reason! Lorikeets look beautiful in the setting Sun; these birds suck nectar from a variety of flowers. The aqua birds are a plenty in the swamp area/palm grove of the garden.

I was on the look out for the Powerful Owl and Nightjar, and the Flying Foxes, but couldn't find them. I heard that the foxes had migrated elsewhere. If I visited the garden repeatedly, I would have found the owl and the nightjars, and other interesting birds.

Here's the list of birds that I sighted:

  1. Australian Magpie
  2. Noisy Miner
  3. Australian White Ibis
  4. Dusky Moorhen
  5. Sulphur-crested Cockatoos
  6. White-faced Heron
  7. Little Black Cormorants
  8. Indian Myna
  9. Australian Raven
  10. Kookaburra 
  11. Rainbow Lorikeets
  12. Silver Gull
  13. Grey Teal
  14. Masked Lapwings
  15. Magpie-lark
  16. Spotted Dove
  17. Rock Dove
  18. Pacific Black Duck
  19. Tree Martin
  20. Welome Swallow
  21. Crested Pigeon
  22. Australian Wood Duck
Birds of NWS


For a detailed list of birds, download Birds of Sydney.


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Birds of Kabini Nov 2015

We drove to Kabini from Bangalore, recently. The weather was cloudy and pleasant. At certain times when the Sun came out of its hiding, the birds too came out. The sugarcane fields were filled with harvest. Everyone seemed busy even on a cloudy day. Our drive was fantastic!

Kabini has more than 300 species of birds. Winter migrant birds are worth sighting. Most of the birds can be sighted inside the forest; however, public can't wander inside the forest restricted areas; only through the jungle safaris that are arranged by Jungle Lodge resort can we sight the birds inside the forest. Sadly, the safari jeeps don't stop for birds; everyone wants to see only leopards or tigers. :-)

We sighted good amount of birds. We were early to see bar-headed geese; during late Nov/Dec, I am told that these geese visit Kabini. On the boat safari, we saw lovely raptors - Grey Headed Fish Eagle, Osprey, Crested Serpent Eagle, Peregrine Falcon. Please excuse the quality of some photos. Instead of uploading individual photos, I have made collages; easier to upload. Couldn't click photos of a few birds such as Asian Paradise Flycatcher.  I have also documented sighted of wild life during our jeep safari at Kabini.

Thanks to Anup Dutt and Divya for helping us ID a few birds!

List of birds sighted:

  1. Asian Paradise Flycatcher
  2. Black Drongo
  3. Ashy Drongo
  4. Plum-headed Parakeet
  5. Rose-ringed Parakeet
  6. White-breasted Waterhen
  7. Coot
  8. Spot-billed Duck
  9. Purple Waterhen
  10. Darter
  11. Snake Bird
  12. Red Wattled Lapwing
  13. Oriental Magpie Robin
  14. Purple-rumped Sunbird
  15. Purple Sunbird
  16. Grey Wagtail
  17. Forest Wagtail
  18. White-browed Wagtail
  19. White-throated Fantail
  20. Bushchat
  21. Bushlark
  22. Jungle Owl
  23. White-browed Bulbul
  24. Red-vented Bulbul
  25. Red-whiskered Bulbul
  26. Egret
  27. Pond Heron
  28. Black-headed Ibis
  29. Black Ibis
  30. Kite
  31. Brahminy Kite
  32. Black-shouldered Kite
  33. Osprey
  34. Peregine Falcon
  35. Grey-headed Fish Eagle
  36. Oriental Honey Buzzard
  37. Crested Serpent Eagle
  38. Greater Coucal
  39. Long-tailed Shrike
  40. Brown Shirke
  41. Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
  42. Chestnut-tailed Starling
  43. Brahminy Starling
  44. Spotted Dove
  45. Golden Oriole
  46. Common Kingfisher
  47. White-throated Kingfisher
  48. Pied Kingfisher
  49. Peacock
  50. Purple Heron
  51. Grey Heron
  52. Greater Cormorant
  53. Sand piper
  54. Black-winged Stilt
  55. Barn Swallow
  56. Egrets
  57. Malabar Pied Hornbill
  58. Painted Stork
  59. Spoonbills
  60. Bava weaver
  61. Pipit
  62. Bee Eater
  63. Sparrow
  64. Scaly-breasted Munia
  65. Tri Colored Munia
  66. Indian Roller
  67. Asian Palm Swift
  68. Asian Koel
  69. Asian Openbill
  70. Little Ringed Plover
  71. Ashy Prinia
  72. Grey Jungle Fowl
  73. Plain Flower Pecker

If any of the bird ID is incorrect, please let me know.

Here are the collages. 


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Grey-headed Fish Eagle, SG Botanical Garden, Sep 2015

Singapore Botanical Garden is an amazing place to sight birds. We saw this Grey-headed Fish Eagle sitting on the trees, for a long time. It was our first sighting of this bird, and we were excited. As the name suggests, this raptor is a fish-eater. This eagle is smaller in size when compared to the other eagles. The bird's head is grey in color; underbelly and legs are white, tip of the tail feathers is black-white, and body is brown. The bird can be seen in South Asia, India, and Sri Lanka.

For more information, see Grey-headed fish eagle Wikipedia.

Grey-headed Fish Eagle

White-throated Kingfisher at Lalbagh, Bangalore

Pelicans were not the only birds at Lalbagh today. Among the other birds that we sighted was the White-throated Kingfisher. This bird caught an insect, sat on a tree, smashed the insect against the branch, and then ate the hearty breakfast. The bird moved from one position to another, allowing the sunlight to play well. This bird seems to be a resident at the garden. Previously I observed it enjoy a dip in the lake; couldn't capture photos.

Here's a collage of the bird's breakfast ritual.

White-throated Kingfisher

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Spot-Billed Pelicans at Lalbagh Lake, Bangalore, 2015

Hello friends,

It's been a long time since I updated my blogs. Today I share photos of Spot-Billed Pelicans that have visited the Lalbagh lake, Bangalore. In fact, these birds can be seen in several lake in and around Bangalore. The most famous birding sight being Kokkrebellur. The birds migrate during October, and stay until their young ones are born. This year around these birds have a little early, and their number is better than the previous year (on this day). Last week I also sighted Painted Storks; unfortunately, I didn't have my camera. Today, the storks were missing.

The Lalbagh lake seems have good amount of fish and insects for these birds to feast upon, The lake itself has sufficient water. I was surprised that the human chatter and presence (walkers and tourists) didn't seem to affect the serenity of these birds. They swam closer to the fence of the lake, and flaunted their beauty. If you visit the lake, take a moment to observe activities of these birds. Kindly don't feed them.

Sharing photo-collage...



Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Birds and Mammals - Ooty 2015

Birds at Ooty sighted during end of Feb and beginning of Mar 2015

We drove from Bangalore to Ooty via Mudumalai, and returned through Gudalur. Both route were amazing to sight animals and birds. The forests were dry; some trees were ready to flaunt tender leaves. While I was wondering if summer will be a dry one, rain showered!

As we drove, we sighted birds but couldn't stop to click photos. Beautiful peacock welcomed us at Mudumalai forest reserve. We saw deers, samba deers, Hanuman langurs, Nilgiri langurs, giant squirrels, and wild boars. We stopped at Pug Mark for lunch, and found out that they had sighted a tiger and a leopard during the morning safari. We were tempted to take the evening safari but then our destination was calling us.

At Ooty, we saw Common Mynas, Spotted Doves, and Red-Whiskered Bulbuls everywhere. The Mynas population seems to out-beat the population of Crows. The Bulbuls weren't shy to be near humans; they happily sang and socialized with their own kind.

The Botanical Garden, Fernhill, Cairn Hill, and a drive around Ooty are good places for birding. We didn't visit Doddabetta, which is excellent to see Nilgiri Pigeons. Cairn Hill has a lot of birds. We were happy to see the Nilgiri Pigeon in flight. We heard and saw several birds, but couldn't photograph them as they perched high and, at ground level, the thicket wasn't favorable to get clear photos of the birds. We watched mating pair of Giant Squirrels. Nilgiri Langurs sat high above the trees, and observed us keenly. Was a pleasant visit to Cairn Hill!

The list of birds that we saw/heard:

  1. Ashy Prinia
  2. Blackbird
  3. Black-Orange Flycatcher
  4. Pied Bushchat
  5. Hoopoe
  6. Lesser Yellow Nape
  7. Common Myna
  8. Nilgiri Robin
  9. Flowerpecker
  10. Canary Flycatcher
  11. Bushchat
  12. Heron
  13. Common Kestrel
  14. Red-Whiskered Bulbul
  15. Red-Vented Bulbul
  16. Peacock
  17. Bird of Prey (yet to ID)
  18. Cormorant
  19. Egret
  20. Common Crow
  21. White-Throated Fantail
  22. Oriental White Eye
  23. Greenish Warbler
  24. Sunbird
  25. Shrike
  26. Sparrow
  27. Drongo
  28. Indian Roller (Bandipur)
  29. White-Breasted Kingfisher
  30. Common Kingfisher
  31. Grey Francolin (Bandipur)
  32. Jungle Fowl (heard calls)
  33. Brahminy Kite (on Bandipur to Mysore road)
  34. Wagtail
  35. Jungle Babbler
  36. Spot-Billed Pelicans (Nanjangud-Mysore road)
  37. Black Kites (Mysore road)
  38. Laughing Dove
  39. Parakeet

List of mammals that we saw:

  1. Hanuman Langurs
  2. Nilgiri Langurs
  3. Wild Boars
  4. Spotted Deers
  5. Samba Deer
  6. Giant Squirrels
  7. Bonnet Macaque 

For photos of flowers, see Colorful Flowers of Ooty.


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Indian Grey Hornbill - Ocyceros Birostris

Was a pleasant surprise to spot the Indian Grey Hornbill at Jaipur (especially when not on a bird-watching tour)! During early morning, it was their call that made me search for the birds. There was a pair; they flew and hid among thick lush branches. Their heavy flight with the grey-black-white wings was worth watching. Quietly observed them till my neck hurt, and then moved away.

Indian Grey Hornbill at Jaipur