BIRDS & NUMBER THREE

This is a blog where you can glimpse three memorable locations through the eyes of our Feathered Friends.

This post is the merger of Three Rivers, three locations, three Birds , Three festivals & the Hunt for Food.

The picture below of a House Crow is from the Banks of The River Kaveri at the Sree Nimishimbha Temple near Srirangapatnam, Karnataka. ( an earlier blog titled Naturally Magnificent reveals more on the location).

I was here during the Navratra festivities  and it was with similar rice the Crow eyes in the picture below that I broke my  Nine day fast.

crow-eyes-food
Eyeing the Food

The Bird Festival ( an earlier post is also titled Bird Festival, please do look it up)  was held in the Chambal River Sanctuary at a time when a thick fog had encapsulated the region.( see the picture below)

Brave Cormorants hunt for fish competing with the  Gharials which inhabit this part of the Chambal River. ( do read previous blogs on the river)

fishing-in-the-chambal
Fishing in The Chambal

The featured image was taken from the vicinity of the Assi ghat at Kashi on the banks of the river Ganges during the Deep Diwali festival.( do read a post on THE SUPERMOON and this lovely festival)

The Heron is sitting on a thick Rope to which the Boat is tethered in the quest for breakfast . I spotted this lovely sight as the Rising Sun turned the Ganges Crimson on the morning of THE INVOLUNTARY DIP at KASHI.( do read an earlier post so titled)

Is it not fascinating and Enchanting how these wonderful locations are tied up with Birds taking centre stage.

 

R.I.P. PRETTY ONE

The Location in Mussoorie, Uttrakhand, India where the Beautiful Feathered One was found early in the Morning.

scene of crime
SCENE OF CRIME

We are Clueless on how this dainty and beautiful one was felled.

RIP 2
STIFF AND LEGS UP

Frozen stiff, not a feather out of place.

RIP 3
FELLED BY WHOM?

R.I.P. LITTLE ONE

oldest cemetry
19th CENTURY CEMETERY IN THE HIMALAYAS

What out as the  story unravels tomorrow.

Death Shrouded in Mystery.

ROOSTER AMONGST WILD DAISIES

The Rooster or Cock is a Male Chicken ( Scientific name Gallus domesticus) .

The pictures above and that follow are of a particularly Colourful Rooster spotted in the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India.

If you seethe previous post titled “BRAZILIAN FLAME” and compare the flower part covering the stamens to the CockSpurs in the picture below you will realize why the tree is also called The Cockspur Coral Tree.

cock spur
CockSpurs

The  Bedecked Rooster seems to be looking for Wild Strawberries which were growing in abundance in the midst of these Wild Himalayan Daisies. ( can you spot the tiny wild strawberry in the picture below ?)

The Lower level Himalayas ( this picture is at about 2000 metres) support a vast range of Unique Flora.

back
In the Midst of Wild Daisies

Observe the Gorgeous Headgear called CockComb which is in a colour similar to the flowers of THE CRYBABY TREE.( see the previous post titled Brazilian Flame please to connect).

The Rooster in deep meditation ( it is a Monastery after all) is hardly affected by the clicking of the Camera.

headgear
Gorgeous HeadGear

Nature Enchants everywhere, all we need do is Look.

 

EXTRAORDINARY

Gangtok is the capital city of Sikkim, a tiny but beautiful Himalayan state in North East India.

The pictures that follow were taken from a point near Tibet Cafe in Gangtok,Sikkim.

The wondrous ways of Nature are revealed in miraculous ways. I am always wonder-struck by the various spells of Nature.

Read on to see how the thread unraveled to lead me to discover the wonderous Rufous coloured Pigeon in the Feature Image.

While looking for Tibet Cafe I happened to spot this Lovely Church which was wrapped in bundles of White Cotton Wool like Clouds.

church in the clouds
Churches in Sikkim are a Rare Sight

The Church led me to an extremely Vibrant and Extraordinarily  Coloured  School which was located right next to a Rare Church in a land of Monasteries and Stupas. ( you can see the vibrant hues  peeping through in the picture above).

Gangtok is located at a height of about 6000 feet ( 2000 metres) in the Himalayas and it can get rather Chilly during the Summer Months as well. See how the Pigeons are huddled up on the Water Pipe in the picture below.

all the colours
EXTRAORDINARY COLOURS ADORN A SCHOOL BUILDING

Lest you Forget the thread, I summarize: it was the Tibet Cafe to the Church to the Extraordinary Colours of the School and then finally to the  Rust Pigeon.

Lady Luck was indeed benevolent as an Extraordinary Rust Coloured Pigeon decided to take flight directly in front of the Camera  as I was taking pictures of the Gothic Windows of the School.

colourful backdrop
Extraordinary Back Drop 

The Rust Coloured Pigeon was nearly at Eye level when I took this picture. It is not often you can photograph birds at Eye level.

birds at eye level

Grand in Flight

Rock Pigeons are often seen in shades of Grey, sometimes in White, however Rust was indeed Extraordinary . 

Nature had  me Spellbound once again.

EPITOME OF PATIENCE

The Eastern Great Egret ( English), Bagula ( Hindi), Ardea alba modesta ( Scientific Name) is the Ultimate in Patience.

Am sharing pictures of this Large Gorgeous All in White Bird spotted along the Banks and Rocky Canyons of the Chambal River ( Do read previous posts titled  RIVER CURSED YET ENCHANTED, OVER THE CLIFF, EGYPTIAN ROOST etc to know more about the region )

green
Patiently waiting amongst the Greens

The Large Egret and a bottle of beer. Do observe the Colour of the Beak is Black as opposed to Yellow in the pictures above.

beer
Who had the Beer? 

Enchanting Post?

BLUE- EYED CORMORANTS

The Chambal River Basin is unusual and host to numerous Unique species of Flora and Fauna. ( do check out previous posts titled CURSED YET ENCHANTED RIVER and GREAT CANYONS OF INDIA )

The Blue-Eyed Indian Cormorant ( English) , Pan Kowwa ( Hindi), Phalacrocorax fuscicollis ( Scientific name) resides in large colonies as can be seen in the picture below.

tree of comorants
Leafless Tree Covered by Indian Cormorants

Indian Cormorants can easily be confused with Lesser Cormorants , however the key distinguishing  factor are their Blue Eyes.

clustered on a tree
Cormorants enjoy the Morning Sun

Indian Cormorants inhabit Inland water bodies  like the Chambal River below, unlike the Greater Cormorants which are primarily seen on the Coasts of Oceans .

in flight over the chambal
Casting a Shadow over the pristine Chambal River

The picture below shows up the difficulties faced by amateurs like me in Identifying Birds. The Juveniles vary to the adults as does the Breeding Plummage.

The key characteristics of the Little Cormorant( English), Microcarbo niger ( Scientific name)  are exhibited by the Cormorant on the Left. It has black eyes and a brownish plumage and No Yellow Gular.( part near base of lower beak )

juvenile
Curious look of a Juvenile Cormorant or the Lesser Cormorant ?

The Sun lights up the Rocky habitat of the Indian Shag or Indian Cormorant . They flight past the Rocky Ravines  in search of Fish or a Mate.

in flight
In flight against the background of the Rocky Cliffs of the Vindhyas

The Indian Cormorants have no Oil Glands to waterproof their Feathers , unlike Ducks  and thus stretch out their wings to Sun Dry them. ( do see the featured Image)

 

close up
Blue Eyed  Adult in non-breeding Plumage

Am sorry to have made this post so lengthy, however was fascinated by numerous features of this bird called “Sea Crow” by scientists and ” Paan Crow “ by natives in India as well. Enchanting is it not?

OVER THE CLIFF

The River Chambal, flowing through three states of Northern India, forms a Unique Landscape of Rocky Cliffs in the Heart of India .

Mythological Stories of a Curse on the only Permanent River of Rajasthan have ensured the preservation of various Fauna in this pristine River.Unlike most Rivers in India, the Chambal is not worshipped.

 Unique Rocky Ravines or Cliffs along the Banks of the Cursed River provide a Safe Haven for The Indian Vulture or Long Billed Vulture,.

Spot the Nest in the picture below.

nest spotted
Spotting the Nests along the Chambal River

The Gyps indicus ( Scientific Name) is called Giddh in Hindi and is a Scavenger feeding on carcasses of dead animals. The often shunned Bird thus plays a vital role as an Environmental Cleanser.

A pair of Indian Vultures nests precariously on a small outcrop or Rocky Ledge.

Unfortunately indiscriminate use of Chemicals have literally driven this Species Over the Cliff and the Gyps indicus  is today on the Verge of Extinction.

ledge
Nesting on Rocks covered with Poop

The Dripping White Coating you see  is actually the Poop of this Environmentally Vital Bird. It is difficult to discern between the Male and Female of the Bald Headed Indian Vultures, however I guess the Lady is seated  in the Featured Image and  the picture below .

close up
A Couple Making Babies

Nature spreads her charms all over the country , all you need to do is Look and be slightly Lucky to be Enchanted.

white rumped seated
A few step backs and it will be OVER THE CLIFF

EGYPTIAN ROOST

The Ravines of the Chambal Ravine in North-Central India are home to much more than  fabulous Rocky Gorges.

See the Lofty Homes of The Egyptian Vulture (English), Neophron percnopterus ( Scientific Nme)  in Rocky Caves as I Zoom out from a Close Up of these Large Endangered Birds to the Pristine waters of the Chambal River flowing below.

vulture nest
White Flags decorate the Nest

Keeping a sharp Watch at the mysterious Cameraman showing undue Interest in the “Flintstone like Home” of the White Scavenger.

rocky homes
Penthouse 

Difficult for Predators to approach the Homes of The White Scavenger Vultures.

the ravines
Rocky Homes

The Unique Gorges of the River Chambal are home to many Vultures some of which are not only  Endangered but Critical on the verge of Extinction.

chambal river
Rocky Ravines

As you stay Enchanted, I bid goodnight with a promise to return with more  Details tomorrow.

BIRDS OF LOVE

If you have read the previous post titled  BLOOMING PARROTS   you will know the Scientific Names and the Mythological Significance of these lively birds , thus will not repeat myself.

What is important is you see The Distinctive Rose Ring around the Neck of Mr Parakeet exclusively.

rr 3
Solitary Indian Rose-Ringed Parakeet

Feeders in the Garden attract Flocks of Birds.

rr 6
Then they were Two

It is extremely interesting to see and hear these Parakeets perched on the branches of the Lovely Temple Trees ( Champa in Hindi, Genus Plumeria)

rr 5
Whats Going On down there, we are Three ?

The Colourful Red Beaks are the only break in a Sea Of Green.

Party time
Four makes it a Party

Parakeets are etched in Indian Folklore and Mythology and every region will have an Enchanting Tale or two on these Lovely Birds of Love.

SALT and PEPPER

If you read the previous Blogs “CURSED YET ENCHANTING RIVER” and “COUPLED FOR LIFE” you will appreciate how Trees hang onto the Rocky Ravines of the Chambal River Basin in Rajasthan, India.

There you have it, the mystery has been unveiled, it is the cursed Chambal River which Flows from Madhya Pradesh through Rajasthan into the River Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh.

You can just about discern the Rocky Crags in the background to which this lovely Tree holds onto for Survival.

tree with pied KF
Spot the Patient Angler

The Indian Pied Kingfisher ( English) , Chitkabra kilkila  (Hindi),  Ceryle rudis ( Scientific Name) is an unusual and Beautiful Bird seen near clear water bodies in  India.

They Inhabit or are native to a vast territory stretching from Turkey to China but are usually resident and do not migrate  like the Demoiselle Cranes ( do check out my blogs  THE WINTER GUESTS and THE FEAST)

looking with care
Holding on

This close up of the Plummage on the Chest reveals the Lovely Salt and Pepper Robes belongs to a Lady Angler.

If She was a He, there would have been a black band across the Chest instead of the two Blobs separated by White.

The local name in Hindi Chitkabra is a lovely means of describing the Black and White feathers of this Kingfisher which Hovers above the water before it swoops down on Fish.

on a post
Gorgeous Plummage

The Long and Pointed Beak are extremely suitable for swooping up Fish from the pristine and clear waters of the River Chambal where I spotted this Lady Kingfisher with a Salt and Pepper Crest.

pied chest of KF
Basking in the Sun or on the Lookout ?

Making a wonderful perch at the end of a Twig, it tenuously clasps onto the end of the Branch while keeping a keen look out for Prey in the clear waters of the River Chambal in Rajasthan.

Is it not Enchanting that a Large River like the Chambal flows through the desert state of Rajasthan in India ?