Monday, October 8, 2007

Katapadi II - Backyard Birding

During this years trip to our ancestral home, we were unable to cover most of our
itinerary due to incessant rains. I therefore got to spend hours in our backyard.

Small Green Barbet - Megalaima viridis

Our backyard consists of an acre of undisturbed vegetation and supports a sizable
variety of bird and insect life. In this post, I will cover the resident bird population.

Purple Rumped Sunbird-M
Purple Rumped Sunbird (M) - Nectarinia Zeylonica
Red Whiskered Bulbul
Red Whiskered Bulbul - Pycnonotus Jocosus

Lesser Goldenbacked WoodPecker (F)
Lesser Goldenbacked Woodpecker (F) - Dinopium benghalense

All shots were taken with the aid of the Canon Teleconverter lens, and the camera was tripod mounted. These snaps were taken over 3 days, during which I spent roughly 5 hrs a day, simply standing and waiting. I was richly rewarded for my patience.

Magpie Robin (M)
Magpie Robin (M) - Copsychus saularis
Longtailed Minivet (F) - Pericrocotus ethologus

Black Headed Oriole - Oriolus Xanthornus

I have now learnt, through bitter experience, that standing in one place and waiting often yields better results than chasing the birds. This holds true particularly for the tiny restless sunbirds. The Tailor bird however, valiantly resisted all efforts to be photographed, by sitting in the most inaccessible bamboo thickets.

Jungle Babblers
Jungle Babbler - pair - Turdoides striatus

In addition to the photographed birds, the following were also sighted:

1. Jerdon's Chloropsis
2. Purple Rumped SunBird (F)
3. Tree Pie Couple
4. Coucal
5. Pariah Kite
6. Stork Billed Kingfisher
7. Koel
8. Longtailed Minivet (M)
9. Tailor Bird
10. White throated Ground Thrush ( race cyanotus)

Conspicuous by their absence this time were the Paradise Fly catcher
couple (Srilankan species) and The Coppersmith barbet.

Next post will cover the butterflies and other insects of Katapadi.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Katapadi I - Monsoon Splendour


The Monsoon in India, showcases nature in all her glory. This rainy season, we visited Katapadi.
This is the first of a series of posts on Katapadi's Monsoon splendour.

Katapadi is a small sleepy village in Karnataka's Udupi District. It is 5kms from Udupi town.
It is my father's home town and has our ancestral house called 'Dodda Mane';
(which in kannada means Big House - it was the largest house there, in its time) it is over 300 yrs old.

It is designed in the old style and built with mud ( no reinforced concrete or bricks ).

These strangely beautiful growths are about an inch in height. I chanced upon them, when I chased a centipede
with my camera over the compound wall of the house. Any help in identifying these little plants would be greatly appreciated.

Shot was taken just after an afternoon downpour, in S3's Super-Macro mode.
I placed the camera with its tripod-rest directly on the water soaked wall.
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