Sunday, September 25, 2011

Old Acquaintances Return - Winter Migrants

The rains have stopped, well nearly and we have been to our first birding trip post monsoon. As usual we visited Barha as part of study to find out which migrants arrive first in Jabalpur. One of the few arrivals we met with were black redstart, barn swallows on the way to the Barha Forest Range.

At Barha we sighted the Greenish Warbler which along with the Hume's Warbler is most abundant in Jabalpur Region. Oriental turtle dove seems to have swift movement forth and back.  We also saw Grey Wagtail alight on the banks of a small puddle in between the forests. Green sandpiper also returns early we should see it soon. Some bird seem to spen less time in winter quarters and more time in India. The monsoon break is big by all mean and lasts from June to Septmber mid and I get somewhat disoriented with birding.

Nevertheless the monsoon has come to an end and birdwatching has started. Hurray! Other resident birds we saw today were honey buzzard, Indian roller, spotted dove, laughing dove, rose ringed parakeet, black hooded oriole, streak throated swallow, puff throated babbler, common iora, tickle's blue flycatcher, gray vented bulbul, white eye, pied starling, common myna, red wattled lapwing, red breasted,  ashy and plain prinia.

Our favorite birding spot is around forests at the bank of Narrai Nala, This is a small perennial stream which emerges from nearby mountains. This where the martyred Maharani Gurgawati was killed by her enemies. Some years back the place was inhabited by lot of chinkaras, barking deer, wild boar and spotted deer they have all been hunted down though barking deer can still be seen but rarely. The gang of poachers still enter the forests in quest of wild boar and red jungle fowl. Logging continues day to day and the density is going down with no hope for future. An occasional tiger or leopard migrates from near by forests but returns due to paucity of prey base.     

We will keep an eye on for more arrivals and make a note here. Earlier at my house three nesting took place on the same vine. First to nest was purple sun bird followed by spotted munia and Indian silver bill on the latter's nest. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Purple Sunbird by Jayesh Shah
Purple Sunbird in Breeding Plumage. The pectoral bands are clearly visible in the picture.The species breeds between January to June with Feb and May being the peak periods.

Sarus Crane - Breeding

Sarus Crane By Jayesh Shah - Ahmedabad
The species though not persecuted much in many parts of India is exhibiting declining numbers due to habitat loss. The Sarus Crane symbol of eternal fidelity breeds in between marshy grasslands and local inundations on bunds that are natural creation by assimilation of sand and other material. The breeding period is during the monsoon.

This photograph is taken by Mr. Jayesh Shah from Ahmadabad who is an avid bird photographer and birder. He has compiled lot of material on birds especially those from Gujarat.