Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

September 30, 2017

Goa Birding Five

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 8:56 am

Mayem Lake

Off to Mayem Lake this morning. Got on the ferry to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and went east. I walked around the Lakeview Hotel grounds.

Indian Yellow Tit
Indian Yellow Tit (Parus aplonotus)

The only new bird was an Indian Yellow Tit.

Purple-rumped Sunbird
Purple-rumped Sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica)

I could not tell if this was a Purple-rumped Sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica) or a Crimson-backed Sunbird (Leptocoma minima) but the green patch on the shoulder sold me on the purple-rumped.

Tickel's Blue Flycatcher
Tickel’s Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae)

I think this bird is going from immature to adult. He is mixed.

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)

Common Tailorbird
Common Tailorbird

After some bread rolls and subhji, I walked along this road near the village.

Grey-fronted Green Pigeon
Grey-fronted Green Pigeon (Treron affinis)

Near Bicholim I found a track into the Namazgah protected archeological site. People had dumped rubbish all over the place. There were hardly any birds but I did find these green pigeons.

Mayem Lake bird list

Purple-rumped Sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica)
Tickel’s Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae)
Indian Yellow Tit (Parus aplonotus)
Grey-fronted Green Pigeon (Treron affinis)
Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Red-vented Bulbul
Spotted Dove
Common Iora
Indian Golden Oriole (Oriolus kundoo)
Feral Pigeon
Common Tailorbird
Brahminy Kite
Green Bee-eater

Daman to Goa

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 8:14 am

From the Ridiculous to the Sublime.

Here are some tourist photos about daily life in Daman and Goa. They are as different as chalk and cheese even though both were Portuguese colonies.

sorting the fish
Women sorting fish.

These fish were straight off the trawler. The women were sorting them out ready for the market.

hanging roots
Hanging Roots

This old fig had massive aerial roots hanging down. It looked impressive.

1603 fort gateway
Old Gateway

This was a really old gateway in the 1603 Portuguese fort.

stuck on the mud
Trawler leaving

But first it had to winch itself off the mud flat.

beached casino
Beached casino

I get to Goa and go for a ride on my scooty to the beach. A casino was beached. The cows were not impressed. Someone had set up a drink stand for all the gawkers.

Casino Royale
Floating Casino

This is a casino that was not beached. It was done up like a paddle-wheel steamer. Very tasty.

tourist crap
Jetty tourist crap

After that I went to the jetty. There were stalls all set up selling the usual tourist crap – hats, sunglasses, T-shirts, kids’ clothes, drinks.

looking north
Looking North

The lookout at the jetty had a good view north.

goa ferry
Waiting to get on the ferry

The ferries were free. They connected the islands and the burbs across the river.

get on the ferry now
Bikes charging on

There is no system. Everyone just charges onto the ferry. Then they are all turning around causing mayhem and chaos. Situation Normal snafu.

reading the paper
Reading the paper on the ferry

Plenty of time to read the paper while the ferry is going between stops. The young blokes would be checking their phones of course.

get off now!
Racing off the ferry.

Then all the bikes charge off the ferry, bipping their horns maniacially, in a hurry to get somewhere or other. Rush Rush. The End.

September 29, 2017

Goa Birding Four

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 11:58 am

Carambolim Lake Three.

Carambolim Lake, the site that keeps on giving. I went there again this morning. And got two new birds and a couple of birds first seen in India.

Tickel's Blue Flycatcher
Tickel’s Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae)

This one was relatively easy to identify. The similar ones live way up in the Himalayas, so out of range massively.

Grey-fronted Green Pigeon
Grey-fronted Green Pigeon (Treron affinis)

The only one similar is the orange-bellied and it sure does not have one of them.

Greater Racket Tailed Drongo
Greater Racket Tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)

You cannot miss this gaudy show-off. It was cavorting with a Rufous Treepie.

Red-rumped Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica)

This one has a red rump, red on the side of the neck and a streaky chest.

White-browed Bulbul
White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus)

Cannot stop finding this one now. doh!

Dragonfly
Dragonfly

Magnificent biplane.

butterfly
Butterfly

Goa birds list 4

Grey-fronted Green Pigeon (Treron affinis)
Tickel’s Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae)
Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica)
Greater Racket Tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
Rufous Treepie
Ashy Prinia
House Crow
White-throated Kingfisher
Common Iora
White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus)
Spotted Dove
Red-vented Bulbul
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Brahminy Kite
Indian Robin
Oriental Magpie-robin
Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii)
Green Bee-eater
White-breasted Waterhen
Rose-ringed Parakeet

September 28, 2017

Goa Birding Three

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 10:13 am

Carambolim Lake Redux

Today was a disaster and a triumph. I started off heading to Batim Lake, south of Panjim. I got there, after getting lost a few times, and it was total crap. Just a lake full of nothing but Lotus flowers. doh! So I headed off back to Carambolin to see if I could rescue the morning.

Blue-faced Malkoha
Blue-faced Malkoha (Rhopodytes viridirostris)

I got there, parked the bike and started walking along the verges. I saw this blur in the tree, so I starting shooting. I had no idea what it was. The photo is still crap but it is certainly a Blue-faced Malkoha. woo-hoo. tick tock.

Golden-fronted Leafbird
Golden-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons frontalis)

Another stir in a tree and it turns out to be a couple of Golden-fronted Leafbirds. Very nice looking birds and all.

Golden-fronted Leafbird
Golden-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons frontalis)

Proudly showing off his catch to me. A delicious grass-hopper. Yum yum, Who is a lucky boy?

White-rumped Munia
White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata)

I got a better shot of these today. They were on the wire preening. So I just shot away.

White-browed Bulbul
White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus)

A better shot than yesterday and it is eating some fruit. win-win.

 Purple Heron
Purple Heron

Close enough to be relatively decent. Usually they fly off as soon as you get miles away from them. All in all a good day with a crap start.

Goa Birds list 3

Golden-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons frontalis)
Blue-faced Malkoha (Rhopodytes viridirostris)
White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata)
White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus)
Lesser Whistling Duck
Common Moorhen
Grey-headed swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus)
Little Egret
Cattle Egret
Purple Heron
Bronze-winged Jacana
Oriental Darter
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Ashy Prinia
Black-hooded Oriole
White-browed Wagtail

September 27, 2017

Goa Birding Two

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 2:43 pm

Carambolim Lake.

I rode my bike to the Carambolim Lake this morning. No chai shops on the way. I was most disappointed. Anyhow, I found the place and the walk around the lake. It has a couple of bird watching towers which were locked. I was mainly interested in the bush birds along the verges.

Vernal Hanging Parrot
Vernal Hanging Parrot (Loriculus vernalis)

I could not start my bike when I went to go home. So I had to wait. In the meantime a bunch of Vernal Hanging Parrots turned up on the fig tree just near me. So it was all for a good cause. I found out later that you had to apply the brakes to get the starter motor to work. doh!

White-browed Bulbul
White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus)

This is not such a great shot but I do not think I have seen one before. But you never know. Nope. Just checked. I thought I may have seen one in South-east Asia.

White-rumped Munia
White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata)

Another bird I had not seen before.

Scaly-breasted Munia
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)

Seen plenty of these in South-east Asia.

Black-hooded Oriole
Black-hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus)

Not seen in India before, but in Sri Lanka.

Bronze-winged Jacana
Bronze-winged Jacana

Lesser Whistling Duck
Lesser Whistling Duck

Goa Bird List 2

Vernal Hanging Parrot (Loriculus vernalis)
White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus)
White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata)
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)
Black-hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus)
Indian Golden Oriole
Purple Heron
Indian Pond Heron
Little Cormorant
White-throated Kingfisher
Grey-headed swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus)
Common Moorhen
Bronze-winged Jacana
Red-wattled Lapwing
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Green Bee-eater
Lesser Whistling Duck
Common Oriole
Brahminy Kite
Indian Robin
Oriental Magpie-robin
Asian Koel
Black Drongo

Goa Birding One

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 9:27 am

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

It rained last night so I did not go out in the afternoon. I arranged a boat trip with Uday around the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. I was up at 6am and walked to the ferry to go to the island where the bird sanctuary is. A bike ride and I am half way around the island and hop into the boat.

Lesser Adjutant
Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus)

First one seen in India. They sure are ugly critters.

Jungle Myna
Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus)

Speaking of ugly, this one looks like it has got the mange. Maybe it caught it off a dog.

Siberian Stonechat
Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)

I am seeing a few of these little beauties lately.

Osprey
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

First one seen in India. Heaps of Brahminy Kites as per usual.

Collared Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)

I was very excited to photograph this bird. I am sick of the sight of White-throated Kingfishers. I have seen millions of them all over India.

Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis taprobana)

Very beautiful looking bird. This one is race taprobana I think because of the bluer back colouring.

Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus)

Meet Mister Muddy.

Common Redshank
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)

These and a few Common Greenshanks, as well as a Marsh Sandpiper. Also Common Sandpipers which are actually quite common.

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus)

Nice looking bird. I think I have seen them before at Point Calimere in Tamil Nadu.

Striated Heron
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)

A decent shot of these birds at last.

House Crow
House Crow

A crow’s nest. ha ha. Ahoy me hearties! Yo ho ho and bottle of rum. aarrrr.

man vs fish
Man vs Fish

Supposed to be a red snapper but I have no idea. They call anything a snapper.

Goa bird list 1

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus)
Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus)
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)
Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis taprobana)
Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus)
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)
Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
Rosy Starling
Oriental Magpie-robin
Long-tailed Shrike
Spotted Dove
Ashy Prinia
India Pea-fowl
Brahminy Kite
Black Kite
Intermediate Egret
Lesser Whistling Duck
Common Greenshank
Common Redshank
Common Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis)
Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus)
Grey Heron
Purple Heron

September 22, 2017

Save the Environment

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:22 pm

Daman Birding.

At last I found some birds this afternoon at Moti Daman over the other side of the river. I walked along the walls of the old fort.

Common Iora
Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)

Striated Heron
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)

Siberian stonechat
Siberian stonechat (Saxicola maurus)

Plastic into the ocean
Throwing plastic into the ocean

I could not believe the people throwing rubbish into the water. No wonder there is so much plastic in the ocean. Millions of people throwing plastic into the water every day. We are fucked!

spooky hotel
Spooky Hotel

I guess this is an old hotel that was falling into the water. Creepy, dude. It was like something out of a horror movie.

fun at the beach
The beach at sunset

Fun in the sun!

Birds of Daman

Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)
Siberian stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
Long-tailed Shrike
Western Reef Egret
Little Egret
House Crow
Common Sandpiper
Black Drongo
Bronze-winged Jacana
Common Myna

September 21, 2017

On the Coast

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 4:16 pm

Daman, India

After a mammoth 6 hour bus ride along the highway, dodging trucks and tuk-tuks, horn blazing, I made it to Daman on the west coast of India. After a shower, I watched the cricket for a while then went for a walk over the bridge to the other side of the river.

trawler beached
Trawlers beached at low tide

trawler fleet
The fleet

There were a bunch of fishermen working on a boat so I went down to check it out. They were changing the packing on the bearing for the propeller shaft.

working on the prop
Changing the propeller shaft packing

No birds to speak of. Lots of crows, sparrows and a lone Western Reef Egret.

House crow
House Crow

I have never noticed the feathers on the bill of these before.

fishing boats
Fishing boats at anchor

These fishing boats were anchored at the river mouth.

September 20, 2017

Wadawana Bird Sanctuary

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 9:42 am

Dabhoi, Gujarat.

Some birds from the Wadawana bird sanctuary, near Dabhoi, Gujarat. Just south of Baroda.

Black Bittern
Black Bittern (Dupetor flavicollis)

I could not believe I got a photo of this.

Black Bittern
Black Bittern (Dupetor flavicollis)

Black-breasted Weaver
Black-breasted Weaver (Ploceus benghalensis)

This is a breeding male.

Common Stonechat
Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus)

Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti), Waiting for some expert opinion on this. Not sure what it is doing in a wetland. Edit: Doh, not a wheatear at all. But Common Stonechat.

Siberian stonechat
Siberian stonechat (Saxicola maurus)

Also called Asian stonechat and it is a female.

Dahboi bird list

Black Bittern (Dupetor flavicollis)
Black-breasted Weaver (Ploceus benghalensis)
Siberian stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus)
Grey Francolin
Indian Robin
Cattle Egret
Little Egret
Black Drongo
Indian Cormorant
Indian Pond Heron
Asian Openbill
Black-necked Stork
Red-wattled Lapwing
Long-tailed Shrike
Indian Golden Oriole
Common Babbler
Brahminy Starling
Common Sandpiper
Spotted Dove
Wire-tailed Swallow
White-browed Wagtail
Purple Sunbird
Ashy Prinia
Rose-ringed Parakeet

September 19, 2017

Toy Train Ride

Filed under: General — Tags: , — admin @ 4:00 pm

Baroda, Gujarat.

I checked out of the transcube plaza after 10am and got a tuk-tuk to the main bus station. The traffic was horrendous, especially the camel in the bus lane! But eventually I made it onto the bus to Baroda after getting sent to the wrong platform. When I got to Baroda, the traffic was even worse, if that is possible. I found the transcube mall near the train station after walking around in circles for a while.

tuk-tuk drivers
Tuk-tuk drivers

After a shower and a little nana nap, I went outside and got surrounded by tuk-tuk drivers, so I took their photos.

baby face tuk tuk driver
Baby-face

They were actually pretty funny guys. They are just trying to make a living in a tough environment.

motor-bikes
Motor-bike parking

Near the roundabout I was amazed to see the number of motor-bikes parked there. So I took a photo.

the fat controller
The fat controller

Down the road aways I found a park with a toy train in it! This must be the third toy train in India that I have ridden. I never rode on them before but now I love them. 🙂 Here is the guy who checked my ticket. I called him the fat controller. A bit rude, I know.

the toy train
On the toy train

And off we go around the park.

The transport minister
The transport minister

Later that night at the mall, there was a big kerfuffle with police and security clearing the path and the transport minister of India walks past. I liked the guys with machine guns surrounding him.

Transcube Mall
The mall at night

And here is where my hostel is. On the second floor of the Transcube Plaza! It is all a bit surreal but it is starting to be normal for me. doh!

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