Today, I resumed my birdwatching escapades with BNHS. I started birdwatching in the December of 2009 and did a few trips with BNHS last year. I went with them to Nerul this morning. Let’s start with the ‘Lifers’, birds that I came across for the first time this morning:
The Black-winged Stilt or Common Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
The Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)
I like the colours of the Painted Stork. It was a hazy day and smog filled the horizon. It’ll make beautiful photos on a clear day if one uses a good lens. I used my mirror lens for the first time today since briefly using it in Amsterdam. Its contrast seems to have reduced further. I had to enhance each of these photos to be able to see some colour.
The genus Saxicola (Etymology: “rock-dweller”, from Latin saxum, a rock + incola, dwelling in), the stonechats or chats
The Eurasian Curlew, Numenius arquata
Now coming to some of the other birds, those that I’ve come across before. Let’s start with the The Long-tailed Shrike or the Rufous-backed Shrike (Lanius schach):
I’d come across it at Vikhroli. This morning, I was told that it is also refereed to as ‘butcher bird’ because it uses thorns on trees to pierce through insects. It does this either to store the thing for later, or because the thing is poisonous. It leaves the poisonous insect dangling there, pierced through the thorn of a tree for two or three days so that the poison loses effect. And then eats it!
The Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus)
The Yellow-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus goiavier
The Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)
These guys are said to be hunting! Or catching fish.
A couple of Kingfishers:
And the Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus):
The mangroves etc. here is a protected forest. No development is supposed to take place a kilometer from the coast. Well, there are huge skyscrapers about 300 meters from the coast. And the first such building to have sprung up here was one exclusively reserved for Judges! Well, there you have it!