Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Small Minivet - Pericrocotus Cinnamomeus

The story of Coorg continues. That day too I woke up before sunrise, and sat on a stone to watch the dawn. Was a beautiful sunrise! After a while, the birds started flying out of their homes, shaking off their laziness, and calling their friends.

A small group of Small Minivet birds occupied the trees, calling out swee-swee-swee. They hopped from one branch to another. Such active birds! The male birds looked stunning in the Orange-Yellow color of their belly (underparts) and a stroke of Orange on their wings. Their head and throat colored Black-Grey. The female birds have pale Grey upperparts, and Orange-Yellow to White underparts. These birds reside at woody areas, and are supposed to be widespread resident.


Monday, 20 January 2014

Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla Flava

It's been a while since updated this blog. Today being a beautiful Monday, I decided to write about a colorful bird and share a photo of it. :-)
Well, well, what did we (camera and I) get to admire? A graceful Yellow Wagtail! I happened to follow the bird's call - a high note of jeet. When I saw the bird, oh I was thrilled. I wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere or be anywhere; sat down on the ground to observe this bird. It sat on a wire, and then flew to a bush, and then flew on to the ground. The bird walked pretty with its tail wagging. The bird was scouting for insects, I guess.
What amazed me was that the bird seemed to tolerate human activities around it. People were walking and talking, kids running, and youngsters laughing. The bird went on with its business of finding something to eat. After a while, I bid goodbye to the bird, and headed home.

I enjoyed my serene moment with Mother Nature's elements today. Did you?
Yellow Wagtail

Friday, 10 January 2014

Wasp/Hornet Nest

Thank God, it's Friday! And thank Mother Nature for all the elements that She has beautifully created for a purpose.
Walking is a great habit. Gives an opportunity to stop for a while to admire the surroundings. During one such stroll, I found the wasp's nest on a Ficus tree. The wasps were busy flying in and out of the nest. The nest itself was a marvel; such an architecture!
The wasps make these nests from wood fibers, using their saliva to mix the fibers to form a paper-like material. The queen initiates the construction of the nest, and then let's the sterile female wasp workers to take over the construction. The size of the nest can approximately indicate how many females workers form the colony.
For more information, read Wasp (Wikipedia).


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Bicolored Frog - Clinotarsus Curtipes

Once when we returned home from work, we heard a frog croaking at our terrace garden. How the frog came to the terrace is a mystery. May be the water-bodies on the terrace had attracted the frog. We let the frog be, but after a while my in-laws could no longer take the continuous croaking of the frog. I caught it, and then let it wander at our land garden.
Remembered this incident when we saw a Bicolored Frog at the coffee estate at Coorg. One can easily miss to observe this frog. It camouflages well with the surroundings - mud and dried leaves. The adult frogs may play dead to escape predators.
Another interesting fact that Wikipedia mentions is - "The spot patterns on the backs are often distinctive enough to use for population estimation using capture and recapture techniques. Use of this technique in the Bisale Reserve Forest in Kodagu during January 1999 – July 2001 gave a population density estimate of 0.08–0.1 frogs per square metre." (Kodagu = Coorg)
The population of frogs has reduced at Bangalore. During our childhood, we would find so many frogs at our courtyards. We would make holes in piles of sand for the frogs to stay, called it frog house!

Though I've a lot of words, I shared the link of this write-up on Wordless Wednesday! What's wordless is the thought that ebbs in our minds about how to protect the frog population. :)
Bicolor frog at Coorg

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Giant Wood Spider or Golden Silk Orb-Weaver - Nephila Pilipes Jalorensis

Mother Nature never ceases to amaze us with Her creations!
As we walked silently inside a coffee estate at Coorg, we saw several insects, birds, and small animals, and were able to absorb the positive energy from the surroundings.
When we saw the Giant Wood Spider, we had to stop, and awe the spider and its impressive web. The web was a large one, and delicately woven. The spider itself was big, bold, and colorful. The spider had covered the catch with its saliva, resembling a cocoon in the making.  Read more about the web spinning (by this spider) at Wikipedia.
This spider's venom may not be lethal to humans, but may cause irritation/allergic reactions. Please ensure that you stay safe, don't touch the insect or disturb it from its natural habitat.
Giant Wood Spider/Golden Silk Orb-Weaver/Nephila Pilipes Jalorensis


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Ashy Woodswallow - Artamus Fuscus

Wishing all of you a happy and a prosperous new year, 2014! If you thought I went missing from the virtual world, well, you are correct. :)
Our cat littered four healthy and lovely kittens, and that has kept me busy. Today, as I sat browsing through my photo albums, I found photos of this beautiful bird - Ashy Woodswallow - and decided that I must share the photo with you.
Sighted this bird at Coorg, on a cloudly morning. I walked around hoping I could spot birds, and voila, on a bare tree sat the Ashy Woodswallow. Wikipedia mentions that this bird is usually found in groups; however, I saw a lone one. I stood for a while to enjoy the sighting. I returned to the view-spot again that day and on the next day, but didn't sight this bird or its family/friends.
Well, I was lucky to spot at least one Ashy Woodswallow! Went back, made notes, and referred to online material/books to know about this bird. The bird has grey underparts, darker shade head, a silver colored beak, and short legs. Both sexes may resemble each other; however, it seems that the color of the mouth may be different. Both parents take part in building nest, incubating, and nurturing the chicks. The bird feeds on insects. The bird has special feathers called powder down; read more about it at the Wikipedia link that I have mentioned.
Each living being is beautiful and has a story about it. Joy engulfs us, when we modestly surrender to the creations of Mother Nature and swear not to disturb it.