A few kilometeres from the Enchanting Riverine Sanctuary of the Cursed River Chambal flows the River Yamuna. In sharp contrast this River is revered and thus the temple village of over 108 temples, Bateshwar ( 60 kms from the city of the Taj , Agra) ,Uttar Pradesh lies on the banks of the Yamuna.
Mountains of White Sugar Balls can be seen decorating all the shops that lead to the Temples which dot the region in large numbers.
These act as Magnets for many a Winged Species, have a look .
The Indian Honey Bee ( English), MadhuMakhi( Hindi), Apis cerana indica (Scientific name) finds nectar in these White Sugar Balls or Ram Ladoos which double up as offerings in Hindu temples.
Another species with a striped Abdomen but as engrossed as it’s cousin above donned in Brown.Both belong to the Genus Apis.
The Wasp ( English), Tattaya ( Hindi) , Ropalidia marginata(Scientific name)is no close cousin to the Indian Honey Bee but finds common cause in these Balls of Sugar.
We were are all engrossed, Winged Insects, Bees & Wasps in the Balls of Sugar and the cameraman with them.
The mere mention of the Ravines of Chambal would send a shiver down the spine of those acquainted with the terrain and the infamous reputation that goes along with it.
Have mentioned the CURSED CHAMBAL RIVER, in previous posts and would request the readers to check them to familiarize themselves with the region.
During the BIRD FESTIVAL ( do read previous posts, the titles of which are a bit fuzzy) held in the CHAMBAL Riverine Sanctuary in December 2016 we did spot many abodes or burrows of Dacoits who once Ruled this Area.
Have a look at the Chambal Terrain in the picture below.It was very foggy and misty and the picture reflects that to some extent.
While we were being shown the abode of an Infamous Dacoit in the Muddy Ravines, we saw the abode of a feathered friend as well, a Solitary Spotted Owlet ( English), Ullu ( Hindi), Athene brahma ( Scientific name).
Can you spot the Owlet at the doorway of his Home of Earth ?
It has been over a month since I penned my last Post or Blog and am delighted to be Home and at the Desk once again. feel rusted though and the words do not flow so easily, forgive me please.
The Dacoits have long gone, and now buried in the pages of history, but my alert feathered friend carefully checks out all visitors to his EARTH HOME.
Naturally I was riveted by the Owlet and forgot all about the Dacoits .
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 ?