Wednesday, May 2, 2007

LalBagh - Water Birds II

Just before the onset of the monsoons, the Rose colored starlings ( formerly know as Rosy Pastors) who are migrants from Europe, come to India for the winter. Often seen with them are Grey Headed Mynas.

Usually I get to see these birds from the comfort of my balcony. This year though, they had not made an appearance yet, so I hoped to see them in the Lalbagh Gardens.

It was actually perfect weather, light clouds and a cool gentle breeze, around 6:20am. I hoped to see some activity. We walked to the lake at first, as is our usual route - we go around the lake from the main gate till the west gate, have breakfast at the Kamat Hotel and make our way back from west gate to main gate.

The lake yielded its usual bounty. A spirited pair of White Breasted Kingfishers chased each other about. There was the usual sprinkling of pond herons and the occasional egret.

Then, we saw a pair of Purple Moor Hen, and looked like one of them was collecting nesting material. They were also making a fair amount of noise, rather a grating hooting sound. Checked my book - I refer to Dr. Salim Ali's Book of Indian Birds.
The arrival of the S.W. Monsoon marks the beginning of the breeding season. The male holds water reeds in his bill (he breaks them off first) and bows to the female as a part of the courtship display.

Also Spotted a lone White breasted waterhen, for the first time, saw it on land and it obligingly came rather close.

I have once spotted a Purple Heron at the lalbagh lake and even have a picture of it mocking me from behind a clump of bushes, safe in the knowledge that I cant get a good shot.
Hoping for another tantalising glimpse, instead was rewarded with a cooperative Grey Heron instead.

The grey heron is a lighter coloured bird but about the same size as the purple heron. Patiently it posed, turning first this way, then the other way.

Accidentally got some exceedingly bad shots of a group of adult night heron lurking in the shadows while taking pictures of a tree. Consultations with Dr. Salim Ali via his excellent book - 'The Book of Indian Birds' revealed that the bird I had considered to be a juvenile Pond Heron is actually a juvenile Night Heron. I had put a photograph of it in my previous posting but wrongly identified it as a Juvenile Pond Heron.

Black and White - The little cormorant and the little egret (note the yellow feet)

Bird Sightings

  1. Purple MoorHen (2)
  2. White Breasted Waterhen (1)
  3. Indian Moor Hen
  4. White Breasted Kingfisher (2)
  5. Pond Herons
  6. Grey Heron (1)
  7. Night Heron Juveniles
  8. Little Egret (1)
  9. Little Coromorants
  10. Large Cormorant (1)
Notable Sightings - will be featured in my next blog

  1. Rose Ringed Parakeets - several
  2. Ashy Wren Warbler (1)
  3. ThickBilled Flowerpeckers - Many thanks to Mrs. Ranjini Kamath for help in identification.
  4. Small Green Barbet
  5. Brahmini Kite


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