Monday, August 7, 2017

Birding after a Long Time ~ Finding a Gem ^Red-Necked Falcon^

Had not gone out for birding for some time now due to complete lack of time. Got a opportunity and some spare time this sunday morning and off I went to a local birding hotspot. Felt good to take the familiar paths after what seemed like ages. The rains had rejuvenated the parched land and mother nature had worn a beautiful green carpet.Vast rice fields spread around till the eyes could see interspread amongst coconut grooves. It felt so refreshing and lively this beautiful sunny morning.Saw a pale-billed flower pecker immediately at the start of the trail.It gave me some good poses before deciding to fly off.Some Indian silverbills and spotted Munia's were busy foraging on the grounds.An almost comaflaged white breasted kingfisher waited for his next catch silently and patiently under some mangrove shrubs.white breasted water hens were busy searching for their morning breakfast in the brakish waters. A Black drongo playfully fooled around teasing any bird that crossed it's path.A pair of Black kites patrolled overhead searching for some prey.Hearing my footsteps a greater Coucal spread it's beautiful golden brown wings and flew off. Baya weavers searched around for some nesting materials. Cormorants basked in the sun sitting on small tree tops.Spotted doves sat in pairs and whispered sweet nothings into each others ears.Rose ringed parakeets foraged noisely on a tamarind treetop.A pair of common babblers and another of the Golden Oriel were busy feeding themselves on some juicy grubs found on the moringa tree. Bank mynas and common mynas were sitting on the back of some cows and were feasting on insects found there. 

ASHY PRINIA 


BAYA WEAVER 


A PAIR OF SILVERBILLS 


PALE-BILLED FLOWERPECKER


I was trying to approach some Baya weavers sitting on a shrub when out of the blue a small bird came and sat in front at a large distance away on a perch. I first completely ignored and dismissed it for some common bird but upon closely looking at it I was in for a shock.This was a Red-Necked Falcon: a bird of prey in the falcon family !!
I couldn't believe my luck at sighting this beauty at this time of the season. The falcon sat for some time and then with amazing speed dived amongst a group of bank mynas that it was tracking for some time now for a unsuccessfull kill. I watched as it kept trying to make a kill first at the bank mynas then at some common mynas. After sitting on a perch where I clicked this picture it soon was mobbed by a group of noisy crows who disturbed it so much that the falcon was forced to fly speedily far away.
The sun was very hot by now and I decided to turn back. With a content smile on my face I was walking back when I spotted a Grey bellied cuckoo singing on a small shrub. Nice sighting to end a perfect birding day.

RED-HEADED FALCON


Hope you folks enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed the birding.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

तो एक बाप असतो...

शाळेपासून बापाच्या, धाकात तो राहत असतो,
कमी मार्क पडलेलं, प्रगतीपुस्तक लपवत असतो,
आईच्या पाठी लपून तो, बापाशी बोलत असतो,
डोळा चुकवून बापाचा, हुंदडायला जात असतो...
शाळा संपते, पाटी फुटते, नवं जग समोर येतं,
कॉलेज नावाच्या भुलभुलैयात, मन हरखून जात असतं,
हाती असलेले मार्क घेऊन, पायऱ्या झिजवत फिरत असतं,
बाप पाहतो स्वप्नं नवी, हे मुखडा शोधत असतं...
सुरू होतं कॉलेज नवं, दिवस भुर्रकन उडून जातात,
एटीकेटीच्या चक्रातून, वर्षं पुढे सरत जातात,
ग्रुप जमतो, दोस्ती होते, मारामाऱ्या दणाणतात,
माझा बाप ठाऊक नाही, म्हणत धमक्‍या गाजत असतात...
परीक्षा संपते, अभ्यास सरतो, डिग्री पडते हाती याच्या
नोकरी मिळवत, नोकरी टिकवत, कमावू लागतो चार दिडक्‍या,
आरामात पसरणारे बाजीराव, घोड्यावरती स्वार होतात,
नोकरीच्या बाजारात, नेमानं मोहिमा काढू लागतात...
नोकरी जमते, छोकरी सापडते, बार मग उडतो जोरात,
एकट्याचे दोघे होतात, सुखी संसार करू लागतात,
दोघांच्या अंगणात मग, बछडं तिसरं खेळू लागतं,
नव्या कोऱ्या बापाला, जुन्याचं मन कळू लागतं...
नवा कोरा बाप मग, पोरा सवे खेळू लागतो,
जुना बाप आता नव्याने आजोबाच्या कायेत शिरतो,
पोराशी खेळता खेळता दोघेही जातात भूतकाळात
एकाला दिसतो दुसरा लहान, दुसरा पाहतो गोष्ट महान...
रंगलेल्या गोष्टीत या, मग शिरतो फ्लॅश बॅक
बापाच्या भूमिकेतून, पोर पाहतो भूतकाळ
लेकरासाठी मग त्याला कळवळणारा बाप दिसतो,
त्याची लाल रेघ जो, उरात घेऊन फिरत असतो...
कडकपणाच्या आवरणाखाली, झुळझुळणारं पाणी असतं,
भल्यासाठी लेकरांच्या झगडणारं हाड असतं,
दोन घास कमी खाईल; पण पोरांना गोड देतो,
हट्टासाठी पोरांच्या ओव्हरटाईम तो मारत असतो...
डोक्‍यावरती उन्ह झेलत, सावली तो देत असतो,
दणाणत्या पावसापासून, कुटुंब आपलं जपत असतो,
घर नीट चालण्यासाठी स्वतः बाहेर फिरत असतो,
आईच्या मऊशार तळव्यामागचा, तोच राकट हात असतो...
बाप कधी रडत नाही, बाप कधी खचत नाही,
बाप कधी उतत नाही नि बाप कधी मातत नाही,
पोरं सोडतात घरटं अन्‌ शोधू लागतात क्षितिजं नवी
बाप मात्र धरून बसतो, घरट्याची प्रत्येक काडी...
पोरांच्या यशासोबत त्याचं मन हसत असतं,
अपयश पचवताना, ते आतून रडत असतं,
काही झालं, कितीही झालं, तरी कणा ताठ असतो,
खचलेल्या पोराला तोच तर उभारी देत असतो...
सारी कथा समजायला फार मोठं व्हावं लागतं,
बापाचं मन कठीण फार, चटकन हाती लागत नसतं,
आकाशाहून भव्य अन्‌ सागराची खोली असते
बाप या शब्दाची महतीच मोठी न्यारी असते...
कळत नाही बापाचं मन स्वतः बाप झाल्याशिवाय,
बापमाणूस असतो तो, बापांशिवाय कसा कळणार?
असतं न्यारंच रसायन, त्याची फोड उकलत नाही,
म्हणून तर बापावर कविता कोणी करत नाही...
करणार कशी कविता कोण, तो त्यात मावत नाही,
चार ओळीत सांगण्यासारखा बाप काही लहान नाही,
सोनचाफ्याचं फूल ते, सुगंध कुपीत ठरत नाही,
बाप नावाच्या देवाचा, थांग कधी लागत नाही...
केला खरा आज सायास, त्याला थोडं शोधण्याचा,
जमेल तेवढा सांगितला, आधार आमच्या असण्याचा
एक मात्र अगदी खरं, त्याच्याशिवाय जमत नाही,
आईमार्फत बोललं तरी, बोलल्याशिवाय राहवत नाही...
सांगतो आता शेवटचं, कान थोडा इकडे करा,
आभाळ पेलून धरण्यासाठी, आभाळाचाच श्‍वास हवा,
बाप नावाच्या पारिजातकाचं, असंच काहीसं जिणं असतं,
ते समजून घेण्यासाठी बापच असणं भाग असतं...

Friday, June 16, 2017

In Search of the Litchi. Maharashtra Unlimited.

A lazy Sunday. Drive down the national highway.Take a shady deserted exit road.Pass those tiny but neatly kept tiled houses and nondescript villages.Drive on and on and on. Drive some more.Reach a nicely maintained road running parallel to the most beautiful seashore you have ever seen.Drive down this road with the windows rolled down.The salty cool Wind hits you in your face and plays with your hair. Wave back to the innocent kid smiling a million dollar smile to you.Pass through a road which is almost getting submerged under the upcoming high tide.Glide through a bamboo Forrest growing on both sides of the road with the bamboo shoots almost forming a tunnel for you to pass through. Wonder,pinch and remind yourself that yes your still in Maharashtra and to take more such trips in this lovely state of ours!!! Reach a deserted junction with not a soul in sight.Wonder for a moment as to which road to take. Intuitively and instinctively decide to go straight. Drive through a cool and shady canopy of some huge mango trees growing on both sides.Stop and taste those invitingly looking golden fruits.Enjoy that Sweet sour Taste of the fully ripened mangoes.Get back in the car. Drive on and on and on with the smell of the sea and hear the waves crashing on the clean white sands.Slow down, Stop the car and switch off the engine. Sit still and enjoy the sounds of the wind,the sea,the waves,the birds.Enjoy the silence,the Solitude. Drive on again. Almost when you don't expect it the place you have been dreaming about pops out on your right side.Bang opposite the beach , a hundred year old bungalow rises like a dream.Surrounded on ALL sides by shady trees its almost dream like surreal moment makes you wonder if its all true.You somehow park your car in the huge Veranda and stumble with a open mouth all the while having a look at the place and surroundings.You reach the backyard of this amazingly beautiful place and your gaping mouth drops a few inches more.Standing there side to side and in rows upon rows are huge trees laden with the most Succulent and mouthwatering fruit of all. Trees and branches full and bent with these bright red Litchi Fruits. Destination and the Journey both worth it 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tadoba Sunset

Comming out from the Moharli Gate of the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve  one fine evening after finishing your safari Your forced to change your Telephoto lens after Nature decides to paint the sky with the choicest of Colours....

Friday, November 18, 2016

Garden and Backyard Bird count : 59 and counting ....

Last year around this time after lazily procrastinating it for Ages I finally got myself to compile a Bird list of the Winged Beauties seen in my Garden and Backyard.Then I had hit a half century at the first try itself !!!!!!! Doing this exercise again after a year as some awesome sightings have recently happened



So here goes the list and with it some Photo Highlights:

1.Indian Pond Heron 
2.Little Egret
3.Cattle Egret
4.White Throated Kingfisher
5.White Breasted Waterhen
6.Shikra
7.Black Kite
8.Brahminy Kite
9.Spotted Owlet
10.Long Tailed Shrike
11.Common Myna
12.Bank Myna
13.Asian Pied Starling
14.Purple Rumped Sunbird
15.Purple Sunbird
16.Ashy Prinia
17.Plain Prinia
18.Orange Headed Thrush
19.Blyth’s Reed Warbler
20.Jungle Babbler
22.Little Green Bee Eater
23.Scaly Breasted Munia
24.Indian Silverbill
25.Red Vented Bulbul
26.Red Whiskered Bulbul
27.White Browed Bulbul
28.Eurasian Cuckoo
29.Common Hawk Cuckoo
30.Indian Cuckoo
31.Black Drongo
32.White Throated Fantail
33.Asian Paradise Flycatcher
34.Black naped blue Monarch
35.Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
36.Indian Golden Oriole
37.Rose Ringed Parakeet
38.Oriental Magpie Robin
39.Baya Weaver
40.House Sparrow
41.Common Tailorbird
42.Coppersmith Barbet
43.Zitting Cisticola
44.Common Iora
45.House Crow
46.Asian koel
47.Greater Coucal
48.Common Hoopoe 
49.Pale billed Flowerpecker 
50.Barn Swallow 
51.Brahminy starling 
52.Indian Roller 
53.Asian brown flycatcher
54.Banded Bay cuckoo
55.Pied Cuckoo
56.Rosy Starling 
57.Indian Cormorant
58.Green Warbler
59.Blyth's reed wrabler




Have a Birdaliciously Great Weekend.
Happy sightings...

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sinnadorai ~ A Place to Find one's Soul.....






Our Stay in the Anamalais was like no other....
Surrounded on three sides by Tea Gardens and one side by the Valley ...
The drama of nature at its best-Clouds,Sky,greenery and the sun suddenly peeping out and painting the sky in a riot of colours...
We woke up to the call of the Whistling Thrush...
Here Wilderness has a way of embracing our dwelling...
Wild Peacocks peeked curiously from our sprawling veranda...
Wild Gaurs are at home in the adjacent Tea Gardens...
The surrounding Tea estates are Elephants playground....
Time hasn't changed some things in this colonial Landscape ...
We relived the luxury of the predecessors who lived here....
Enjoyed Some delicate cuisines....
Saw and visited some Endemic winged beauties in their natural surroundings at extremely close quarters....
Witnessed the great dangers facing the Critically endangered Lion Tailed Macaque while seeing them in their habitat....
Experienced the warmth of some great hospitality...
Felt Refreshed,rejuvenated......
We definitely will be back Sinna Dorai ....

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

First Local Birding at Bassein Of this Season-Winter 2016

#LeonardoDaFotoğravinci
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Went for my first local Birding trip of this season yesterday courtesy the Dusshera Holiday. Amazing would be an understatement considering the number and quality of sightings I happened to get. Initially it looked totally dry and felt as if the birds especially the winter migrants were not going to make an appearance as yet but soon the trickle turned into a deluge and I was completely overwhelmed by the gems that obliged me with their sighting.So here’s the list by order of the sightings at Bassein: 

1. Black-winged Stilt (4 Nos.)
2. Laughing Dove (2 Nos.)
3. Indian Cormorant (2 Nos.)
4. Barn Swallows (Flock of around 100-150 )
5. Red-necked Falcon (1 No.)
6. Asian Pied Starling (6 Nos.)
7. Bay-backed Shrike (6 Nos.)
8. Spotted Dove (4-5 Nos.)
9. Asian Openbill (4 Nos.)
10. European Roller (1 No.)
11. Jacobin cuckoo (1 No.)
12. Eurasian Wryneck (1 No.)
13. Indian Golden Oriole (1 No.)
14. Brahminy Starling (2 Nos.)
15. Baya Weaver (8-10 Nos.)
16. Long-tailed Shrike (8-10 Nos.)
17. Rose-ringed Parakeet (10-12 Nos.)
18. Heuglin's gull, (5 Nos.)
19. Ruddy Turnstones,Dunlins, Lesser Sand-Plovers, Terek Sandpipers (Mix Flock of around 200-250) 
20. Common Greenshank (1 Nos.)
21. Yellow-eyed Babbler (1 No.)
22. Hume's Whitethroat (1 No.)
23. Siberian Stonechat (1 No.)
24. Rosy Starling (3 Nos.)
25. Chestnut-tailed Starling (2 Nos.)
26. Desert Wheatear (1 No.)