Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nest building complete

The female does not bring any more material to the box . The nest bulding seems to be now complete.

A few days back , there was a big fight at the box between the mynas , sparrows and the magpies. The  electric pole seems to be the edge of the male's territory , with most of the battles being fought there… A pair of bramny starlings love to annoy the magpies . 

The male magpie dive bombs any bird that sits on the pole. Causes a lot of ruffled feathers.

We had a surprise visitor today , A shikra , most probably from a nest we know of from near by. Caused quite a stir among the pigeons and the garden birds.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Nesting Magpies

How do you tell a pair of Magpie Robins that the nesting box they have chosen is actually designed by the infinitely more intelligent humans for the Indian mynas?

A pair of magpies has started visiting the myna box in the balcony. I think the pair is not bonded properly as yet. The female keeps visiting the box with beak fulls of nesting material with the male keeping guard . But some times she just flies off with the rival male from the next building!

No pictures as yet. Waiting for the pair to settle down properly.

Need to put up more boxes .... now on the window grills

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Plenty of Zebras

In the corner of the new garden, is a tangled bed of a flowering bush called as Blue Chitrak - Plumbago articulata. A native of South Africa ,the blue chitrak is a common garden plant .

 I had often seen the wild cousin of the blue chitrak , our very own white chitrak , Plumbago zeylanica , in the wild and sometimes around neglected hedges around city banglows .

The pretty butterflies are Zebra Blues , these too, I had seen plenty of times on the outskirts of the city .

What I had not bothered to do was to look up the books . Had I done that , I would not have been surprised to find a nice big bunch of zebra blues hanging around the Plumbago.

It's their host plant,shouts Wikipedia !

But then ,is not observing nature , be it in the jungles or in the garden , all about such wonderful surprises ?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back to the jungle

We have just shifted to a new home ! The jungle in this garden is so much better.
Firstly it's now possible to have a look at the sky whenever I want. And there are two spathodia trees which are growing to our eye level, so no binocs needed to watch all the birds that love to roost there  . There is also a long hedge of bamboo and ficus in which I found a few of last seasons munia nests.Have not seen many butterflies though....

This garden definitely looks promising . Hope to write a lot about it...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What's in a name ?

The pink blossoms finally had a visitor. A nice little yellow butterfly. I was delighted as these particular flowers , which we had planted last year with very high hopes, had finally managed to attract their second visitor of the year. I see plenty of butterflies flying by from the window, some even breed in the garden, but they sure don’t like to stay for lunch.

I clicked a picture, and after the butterfly left , went to the books to find something to write about it.

The grass yellow is as simple as it gets. In fact, if I jog my memories and try to recall the first butterfly I had ever seen in my life , I think it would be a this one. The first butterfly I ever ran after and caught would be this one. This would also be the kind that I first tried to photograph and later did not bother to photograph at all since there was always something better to click.

The book did a funny thing to this yellow butterfly. The book didn’t stop after calling it a grass yellow. I had to make a choice. There’s the One spot grass yellow and the Three spot grass yellow and the Small grass yellow and a Spotless grass yellow. Then there is the Chocolate grass yellow and finally the Common grass yellow.

When I realized that I love nature, I did not even know that butterflies had names. My love for nature never diminished in spite of my scientific ignorance. Question is , has it really increased due to my ever expanding scientific knowledge ?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Greenish Warbler ???

Sometimes I feel that chucking the DSLR for a compact was a wrong move. The ‘megazoom prosumer’ that I am using does a wonderful job most of the time, it’s three times lighter and doesn’t make a sound and can fit in my waist pouch with its 400mm lens, but I do remember the times when the focus used to lock on a subject through a tangle of twigs.

This nostalgia was brought forth by a bird that we have started seeing these days .

It is tiny and fast and notoriously camera shy . If this bird is one which I think it is, it reminds me of Lao Tsu. It is so perfectly ordinary and extra ordinary at the same time. I think it is a greenish warbler, maybe, it is not.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Tailors

The tailor birds love to hunt on the tree by our window. The birds are there first thing in the morning to soak in the sun and have their breakfast.Post monsoon is when the tree puts out new shoots.The underside of the tender leaves is soon covered with soft bodied insects which the tailor birds relish.The insects dont move around much and the young tailors who have just left the nests in the monsoons find them easy to catch.