Birdwatching in Benaulim, Goa, dec.11

Typically I’d have at least two weekend birding trips under my belt by the end of the first week of December. This year, work, or the possibility of work has kept me away from booking a trip. I’d gone to Goa last week and decided to club in a couple of birding escapades into the itinerary.

Look, photographically it’s totally useless. But it’s a fantastic recreation, especially early in the morning. So that’s five thousand Indian rupees well spent, and thank you, mirror lens. I hope it lasts a couple more decades.

So here’s the birds from that morning. I’ve decided that I’m not going to bother about names anymore.

This weekend, I’m going birding to Sewri (report: 2009-10 | feb’2011) . I better brush up my Sewri birds so that I can show off in front of the ignorent.

FIN

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Sparrows in Réquista, the south of France

The sparrow population in Réquista is extremely grateful to Anne for the fresh water that she supplies them in her garden at Anne’s Place in Réquista. Réquista is a quaint village to the south of France rich in greenery, scenery and culture. I’ll have more about the village, it’s culture, scenery and greenery on my photo blog in the weeks to come.

I don’t remember seeing sparrows in Holland, Spain, The Czech Republic and France. So this might have been the first time that I’ve come upon foreign sparrows!

Réquista is a nice holiday destination; quiet and peaceful with plenty of activity and adventure sports on offer. For more info., get in touch with our host, Anne.

I also have a video of the little birds:

FIN

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Peacock /Peahen? Pea, anyway.

My birdwatching escapades begin in the month of November and terminate by the second week of March. So, if you come upon a blog post between April and October, it has got to be an exceptional /accidental sighting. Like this one. I came upon this bird in this village a couple of days ago. They seemed to think that it is a peacock/peahen. Perhaps. I haven’t got this close to one of them in the wild before.

FIN

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“Pigeons? Oh heck!”

Pigeons are a pain. especially in the urban scheme of things. Nevertheless, to cut a long story short, Anne Ketteringham was showing me some of her photos the other day. I looked at this one and said to her, “This is the best photo of a pigeon that I have ever seen.” Honestly, I didn’t think Pigeons could look this good.

This is the link to this photo on facebook, if you’d like to leave her a comment.

FIN

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Birdwatching in Assagao, Goa, India in March 2011

I don’t know about you, but I like my Sunbirds.

Purple Sunbird (male)

As far as lifers go, there were a couple:

The male Koel.

The female Koel. That makes it Mr. & Mrs. Koel.

I never bothered about the Spotted Dove whilst they’d showed up on a couple of the BNHS outings. They’re actually quite nice.

Asian Yellow Oriole.

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Revisiting Assagao 24.2.11

I dropped in at Harmony Villas in Assagao to visit Anne who has been staying there since January. I’d been there a couple of times in 2010 and had the best birding experiences yet. I was in Goa on a filming assignment and so I didn’t carry my camera for photography. Nevertheless, through a pair of binoculars, I came across a bird or two anew.

The White-browed Wagtail or Large Pied Wagtail, Motacilla Maderaspatensis were seen in large numbers back then, about 13 months ago. One had to be in sight at most times, early in the mornings. 13 months hence, not a single one! Anne doesn’t remember seeing one there and there about in the two months that she has been there.

Nevertheless, we saw:

The Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis)

The Jungle Babbler, Turdoides striata

The Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)

The Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)

The Purple-rumped Sunbird -male and female (Cinnyris asiaticus)

The Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)

The Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

The Jungle Myna, Acridotheres fuscus

The Small Minivet, Pericrocotus cinnamomeus

The White-rumped Munia or White-rumped Mannikin (Lonchura striata), sometimes called Striated Finch

The Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus

The Black-lored Tit, Parus xanthogenys

FIN

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Bird watching at Sewri, Mumbai, India on 19 Feb’11

I started my bird watching escapades at Sewri on the 15th of November 2009. I knew neither a bird nor a bee back then. This morning, I surprised myself by being able to identify almost all of the birds that we came across. I was hoping to photograph at least one bird that I hadn’t come across as yet. It didn’t happen. We spotted a Green Heron in flight; I didn’t manage a photo though. The number of Flamingos had significantly reduced from last year. And no Grey Herons.

A significant number of people assembled along the jetty to seek the guidance of the experts that BNHS had on offer. Almost three to three and a half times more than November 2009.

Perhaps Vijay Mallya instructed this Kingfisher to camp close to shore for everyone to see. It just sat there on a rope, about fifteen feet away from us:

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