Wetlands are a remarkable natural Habitat for Birds and this region near the Chambal River Sanctuary ( location of The Bird Festival) and in close proximity to the township of Etawah in Uttar Pradesh, India is no exception.
The Rural countryside is peppered with tiny lakes and water bodies which lie in the midst of fertile agricultural lands.
The featured image is a silhouette of a Painted Stork seen through the foggy twigs of a Tree at a time when the Sun was about to set over the Wetlands of Etawah.
The brightly headed Rosy Wood Ibis or Painted Stork ( Scientific Name Mycteria leucocephala ) in colour.
The Wetlands and Agricultural fields can be viewed in the picture below just as a WoollyNecked Stork ( Scientific name Ciconia episcopus) flies above .
A pair of Indian White Necked Storks or Bishop Storks ( Scientific nameCiconia episcopus) return home as the Sun Sets and a Misty Fog ,fueled by agricultural Bonfires, descends over the Region.
Both the Storks in the pictures above are fairly large sized Birds and find the Wetlands an Enchanting Habitat in which they co exist with several other species including the Sarus Crane mentioned in preceding blogs.
Unfortunately such Natural Habitats are increasingly threatened by the Expanding Numbers & Greed of Humanity.
The Ruddy Shelduck or Brahminy Ducks are migratory visitors from the colder North to the warmer Indian Subcontinent.
This protected stretch in the Chambal River Sanctuary provides these visitors a safe haven from humanity but are also home to Crocodiles ( do look up an earlier blog titled CROCODILES IN CHAMBAL ) , Gharials and Turtles ( do see the blog TURTLE SMILES ).
Yellow Mustard flowers line the banks of the cursed River Chambal ( an earlier blog titled A RIVER CURSED gives details), now home to many endangered species of Fauna.
Basking in the Winter Sun on the banks of the River Chambal are a pair of Ruddy Shelducks ( Scientific name Tadorna ferruginea), a Cormorant ( with wings widespread in black) and a Lapwing.
Unknown to these innocent European visitors are carnivorous Crocodiles which lurk below the seemingly serene River waters.
The Ruddy Shelducks pair for life and the slightly smaller Duck on the left is the Female whereas the Male is on the right in the picture below.
Males are supposed to have a distinctive black collar around neck, which is however not distinguishable in any of the pictures in this post.”Maybe this gentleman has a free mindand thus without a collar.” ( wink)
Am always eager to discover the Enchanting facts about Flora & Fauna especially after I photograph them in the Wild.
The Keshava Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu at Somnathpura, Karnataka, India dates to the year 1100 AD .( earlier posts like WATER IS LIFE & ROLLER PILLARS will provide more details on this spectacular temple)
An Enormous Tree provides a wonderful backdrop to the Signature Mast which stands tall near the main entrance to the Keshava Temple.
These Masts are Unique to all temples in Southern India.
This 100 year old Mast resembling the Ashoka Pillars is nearly as tall as this Enormous Tree but the vast area the Tree covers, as can be seen in the picture below, leaves you breathless.
This Red Letter Box adorns this Lovely Tree.
You can the walls of the main temple in the background.
Enchanting is it not what we miss when we visit Historical sites ?
These Wetlands are home to the Sarus Cranes and the embattled Ruling Family of Uttar Pradesh as well. ( but we are not discussing politics here are we ?) . Yet (and maybe it is a prophesy of the times to come ) the camera captures The Setting Sun in the region near Etawah, Uttar Pradesh, India.
The Bird Festival ( do read up an earlier post by the same title) held in the Chambal River Sanctuary ( previous blogs such as CROCODILES IN THE CHAMBAL would be interesting to read) and a desire to watch the Sarus Cranes in their largest natural habitat helped me capture some images of the Setting Sun in these Wetlands.
You can see some Birders and their Vehicles lined up in the picture below as well.
As the Sun Sets, a mist descends on the Wetlands and the Enchanting Sarus Cranes ( Scientific name Grus antigone ) know it is time to head home.
I recall with some nostalgia that one of my very first blogs ( titled URBAN FORESTS and posted in July 2015 ) was on the Sarus Cranes, which I had seen Nesting in a wetland near New Delhi. These wetlands near Delhi are now unfortunately and gradually being replaced by Skyscrapers.
As Night looms large the landscape dramatically changes colour as well.
The tiny birds like the Warblers and Larks turn Invisible in the midst of the Reeds and other Flora as darkness envelopes the landscape.
It was a spectacular show of nearly 80 ( eighty) Sarus Cranes that evening and I hope their Habitat is protected so the graceful and beautiful Sarus Cranes do not fade with the Setting Sun.
“Celebrating 2017” ( an earlier post) by seeing the Lush Green Trees that surround all the Gates that lead to The Mysore Palace in Karanataka, India.
The Jumbo Gate ( do have a peek into the previous post by this title) is set in a World of Green . Seen from within the Palace grounds during The Dusshera Celebrations held in October 2016.
The Angel Gates giving a glimpse of the Main Palace Building are guarded by two Coconut Trees.
Lord Krishna, the cowherd ,Crowns the Ticketing Gate through which the Gopurams ( large doorways) of the Temples within the Palace Grounds can be seen in the picture below.
Lord Krishna plays the Flute while standing atop the head of a Multi-headed Serpent.
I can only see a World of Green through the palatial Krishna Gate which was reserved for High ranking Officials during the Dusshera Festival while mere mortals like us battled their way in. ( the featured image shows the minor gate through which mere mortals enter during the festival)
Ancient Trees tell of a glorious past as they survive the turmoils of history under the protection of the King within the Palace Grounds in Mysore.