Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

July 20, 2017

Jaisalmer Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 5:12 pm

Jaisalmer Lake

I am here at the edge of the desert at Jaisalmer in Rajastan. This afternoon I went to the lake to see what was around it. Not much as it happened. Well, just a couple of things.

White-eared Bulbul
White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis)

I just love the deep orange background on this photo. It is not often you get such rich settings.

Purple Sunbird
Purple Sunbird

What is going on with this Purple Sunbird? It looks like it has had an eruption of feathers out of his neck. I am going to consult the local experts.

House Crow
House Crow

This House Crow was just sitting up perfectly so I had to photograph him.

Red-wattled Lapwing
Red-wattled Lapwing

These things can be really really annoying. Circling around screeching and hollering.

Eurasian Spoonbill
Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

I think this is the first time photographed in India. Formerly seen in Sri Lanka.

Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark
Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix griseus)

Already seen at Point Calimere but this is a better photograph. Still not satisfactory but.

Eurasian Spoonbill
lizard

Jaiselmer Fort
Jaisalmer Fort

A tourist shot. Not often I do these.

Jaisalmer bird list

Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix griseus)
Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)
Common Myna
House Crow
Laughing Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Purple Sunbird (Nectarinia asiatica)
White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis)
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittaculla krameri)
Red-wattled Lapwing

July 19, 2017

Jodhpur Birding 2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 8:57 am

Desert Rock Park 2, Jodhpur, Rajasthan

This morning I went back to the Desert Rock Park. It was supposed to open at 7am but the dude did not turn up until 7:15.

Red-vented Bulbul
Red-vented Bulbul

All the birds were showing off their hunting skills. Bringing me their catches and proudly displaying their bug breakfasts.

Common Babbler
Common Babbler (Turdoides caudata)

Rose-ringed Parakeet. male
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittaculla krameri) male

Damn. I thought I had an Alexandrine Parakeet and they were still Rose-ringed after all. double doh! So I got nothing.

Grey Francolin
Grey Francolin

Looking at the scenery.

Indian Cormorant
Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)

I think this is the first time I have seen the Indian Cormorant in India.

Little Grebe
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

The water was amazingly clear and dark. You can see his feet.

Changeable Lizard
Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor)

These things really do change their colour to suit the background.

Jodhpur bird list

Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittaculla krameri)
Common Tailorbird
White-throated Kingfisher
Grey Francolin

July 18, 2017

Jodhpur, Rajastan Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 4:30 pm

Desert Rock Park, Jodhpur

I stumbled upon the Jao Rodha park this morning when I went up the hill to see the fort at Jodhpur. But I did not have my camera. doh! So I came back this afternoon. It was quite a fruitful afternoon.

Common Babbler
Common Babbler (Turdoides caudata)

There are quite a few walks in the park, and they are marked with colours – yellow, green, blue, and red.

Indian Silverbill
Indian Silverbill (Euodice malabarica)

I was very excited to photograph this very common bird. ha ha.

Alexandrine Parakeet
Rose-ringed Parakets

Little Grebe
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

We have these in Australia but this is the first time in India. whoopee! Edit: My mistake again. Ours is the Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) and it looks very similar. Maybe the Little Grebe has a much more redder neck. ie. the Indian one is more of a red-neck 🙂

White-eared Bulbul
White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis)

The White-eared Bulbuls aka White-cheeked Bulbuls were very plentiful in the park.

Little Swift
Little Swift (Apus affinis)

These Little Swift were very numerous around the fort and in the afternoon they had an irruption. Very strange.

Jodhpur bird list

Common Babbler (Turdoides caudata)
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Indian Silverbill (Euodice malabarica)
Great Tit (Parus major)
White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis)
red-vented Bulbul
Common Moorhen
Red-wattled Lapwing
Brahminy Starling
Little Swift (Apus affinis)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Black Kite
Indian Robin
Laughing Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Green Bee-eater

July 16, 2017

Pushkar Birds 2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 9:54 am

Pushkar, Rajasthan, Day 2

16th July 2017. Morning. I went up towards the mountain again this morning. The weather was very cloudy and foggy and there was not much light.

Shikra
Shikra (Accipiter badius)

Yellow-footed Green Pigeon
Yellow-footed Green Pigeon (Treron phoenicopterus)

Grey Francolin
Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus)

Bay-backed Shrike
Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus)

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

Large Grey Babbler
Large Grey Babbler (Turdoides malcomi)

Pushkar bird list

Streak-throated Swallow (Petrochelidon fluvicola)
Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica)
Yellow-footed Green Pigeon (Treron phoenicopterus)
White-bellied Drongo (Dicrurus caerulescens)
Black Drongo
Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus)
Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus)
Great Tit (Parus major)
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Rufous Treepie
White-throated Kingfisher
Laughing Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Jungle Babbler
Large Grey Babbler
Shikra (Accipiter badius)
Peacock
Indian Robin
Grey-breasted Prinia
Pied Cuckoo
Common Myna
Bank Myna
Brahminy Starling
Purple Sunbird
Oriental Magpie-robin

July 15, 2017

Pushkar Birds

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 4:52 pm

Pushkar, Rajasthan.

I arrived in Pushkar and in the afternoon headed towards the hills behind town. I did not quite get there because I found a bush track along a canal, so I followed that.

Rufous Treepie
Rufous Treepie

There were not that many birds around but the photos came out all right so I will share them with you.

Pied Cuckoo
Pied Cuckoo

Note the bands on the tail.

Laughing Doves
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalense)

Ha! I remembered the scientific name. I have been seeing so many of them lately.

Black-rumped Flameback
Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense)

I am going a bit wider with some of my shots lately to get in some of the environment.

Large Grey Babbler
Large Grey Babbler (Turdoides malcomi)

I noticed that the call of the Large Gry Babbler is a lot raspier than the Jungle Babbler.

Bird list for Pushkar

Rufous Treepie
Brahminy Starling
Common Myna
Bank Myna
Purple Sunbird
Large Grey Babbler (Turdoides malcomi)
Laughing Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Green Bee-eater
Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense)
Chestnut-shouldered Petronia (Petronia xanthocollis) male

July 12, 2017

Bharatpur Birding 2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 12:37 pm

Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary Day 2.

12th July 2017. Morning. I was up before 6am and headed towards the sanctuary. I managed to get a cup of chai but there was nothing to eat so early. So I starved all morning until I got back to the roundabout at 11am for an omlet and orange juice.

Bay-backed Shrike
Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus)

I had to get the experts’ help in identifying this Bay-backed Shrike. They are very similar to the Long-tailed Shrike. The most important feature is the colour of the back. And I think the size of the eye-mask has a bearing.

Indian Grey Hornbill
Indian Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros birostrus)

I saw this one right at the end of the morning. The light was terrible under a deep cover of forest. The Indian Grey Hornbill was feeding on fruit off a tree. “The Indian Grey Hornbill is a common hornbill found on the Indian subcontinent. It is mostly arboreal and is commonly sighted in pairs. It has grey feathers all over the body with a light grey or dull white belly.” Wikipedia.

Eurasian Cuckoo
Eurasian Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)

Not sure what this is. I am guessing Indian Cuckoo but I have no idea. There are too many that are very similar. Thanks to the experts. It is a Eurasian Cuckoo, also called Common Cuckoo. It is very similar to the Indian Cuckoo.

Black-necked Stork   female
Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) female

This is a female because it has a yellow eye. They are the same bird as our Australian Jabiru. Awesome.

Monkey on the road
Monkey on the road

I thought I might go all arty.

black drongo
Black Drongo

I think this young Black Drongo was getting all tangled up in a spider web. Bloody drongo!

Pied Bushchat  female
Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata) female

This is the second time I had to go to the local experts with this bird. doh!

Chestnut-shouldered Petronia  male
Chestnut-shouldered Petronia (Petronia xanthocollis) male

Finally I got a photo of the male Chestnut-shouldered Petronia.

Grey Heron with catfish
Grey Heron with catfish

This heron has been hanging around here for two days. Finally it caught or stole a fish.

Sarus Crane
Sarus Crane (Grus antigone)

Showing a bit of environment.

Sarus Crane BCU
Sarus Crane (Grus antigone)

I was too close so I just went for some Big Close Ups. They have weird bills.

Greater Flamingo
Greater Flamingo

These must be young ones. No colour.

Indian jackal
Indian jackal (Canis aureus indicus)

I was very lucky to see this mob of Indian Jackals on the road right at the end of my morning. I was very happy to see them. The Indian Jackal is a sub-species of the Golden Jackal. They are the same genus as dogs, wolves, and dingos.

Indian jackal
Indian jackal (Canis aureus indicus)

This cute puppy saw me and took off up the road.

Bharatpur bird list

Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus)
Indian Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros birostrus)
Eurasian Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus)
Chestnut-shouldered Petronia (Petronia xanthocollis)
Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata)
Sarus Crane (Grus antigone)
Grey-headed swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus)
Asian Openbill
Darter
Greater Flamingo
Spotted Owlet
Common Myna
House Crow
Grey Heron
Black-crowned Night-heron
Lesser Whistling Duck
Black-winged Stilt
Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii)
Greater Coucal
Asian Pied Starling
Brahminy Starling
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Indian Roller

others

Wild Boar
Nilgai
Indian jackal (Canis aureus indicus)
Spotted Deer
Land Monitor
Macaque Monkey

July 11, 2017

Bharatpur, Rajasthan Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 11:10 am

Koeladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary.

I honestly do not know where to start there are so many birds that I saw today. I started off early, 6:45am, and decided to go with a rickshaw for 100 rupees per hour. You can either hire a guide, a rickshaw, or a bicycle. Tomorrow I might go for the bicycle. You do not really need a guide. Just follow the path.

Sarus Crane
Sarus Crane (Grus antigone)

Some of the other rickshaw drivers sent us back down the track because they had seen Sarus Cranes. Well worth it in face. They were actually too close and I had to move further away from them to get them in frame.

white-eared bulbul
white-eared bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis)

I am not sure if I have seen the white-eared bulbul in Sri Lanka. Maybe it was a Yellow-eared Bulbul.

Brown-headed Barbet
Brown-headed Barbet (Megalaima zeylanica)

Crappy record shot. doh!

Chestnut-shouldered Petronia  female
Chestnut-shouldered Petronia (Petronia xanthocollis) female

I have taken a few photos of these before but never could work out what it was. This is a female. Very plain , so hard to determine what it is. except for the bill and the white stripe on the wing.

Yellow-crowned Woodpecker  female
Yellow-crowned Woodpecker (Dendrocopos mahrattensis) female

These were the new birds that I saw today. Well I think so. Some of them I have forgotten maybe. doh! Also was a Black-necked stork but the photo was so crap and maybe it is the same as our Jabiru?

Grey francolin
Grey francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus)

I never seen so many Grey Francolin before. They were everywhere. And with chicks.

Spotted Owlet
Spotted Owlet (Athene brama)

These Spotted Owlets are so cute. I think I saw about four of them.

Black-rumped Flameback
Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense)

I think I have seen these before in Sri Lanka, as well as the Sri Lanka sub-species.

Great Cormorant with catfish
Great Cormorant with catfish

The water was boiling with these catfish and the cormorants were gorging on them. The Grey Heron was too scared to go in and get one because the water was too deep. Ha ha.

Greater Flamingo
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)

My card was full when I got to the flamingos. I had to delete some crap to fit them in.

Mongoose
Mongoose

We followed this mongoose along the track but it was too close.

Nilgai
Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus)

The Nilgai is also called Blue Bull. It is the largest Asian antelope and is endemic to the Indian subcontinent.

Indian jackal
Indian jackal (Canis aureus indicus)

I was stoked to see this jackal, albeit from a very long way away. But when I researched it, It turns out to be more like a wolf, being Canis genus. Actually all the jackals are Canis. I was thinking they were like hyenas, doh!
“Jackals are medium-sized omnivorous mammals of the genus Canis, which also includes wolves and the domestic dog. ” (wiki).

Bharatpur bird list

Sarus Crane (Grus antigone)
Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus)
white-eared bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis), or white-cheeked bulbul,
Brown-headed Barbet (Megalaima zeylanica)
Chestnut-shouldered Petronia (Petronia xanthocollis) female 7099
Yellow-crowned Woodpecker (Dendrocopos mahrattensis) female
Common Hoopoe
Brahminy Starling
Spotted Owlet (Athene brama)
Painted Stork
Greater Flamingo
Grey Heron
Purple Heron
Black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus)
Grey francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus)
Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)
Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica)
Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha)
White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)
Bronze-winged Jacana
Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense)
Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)
White-thoated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)
Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus)
Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea)
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii)
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Red-wattled Lapwing
Great Cormorant
Little Cormorant
House Crow
Rufous Treepie
Black Drongo
Oriental Magpie-robin
Red-vented Bulbul
Plain Prinia
Jungle Babbler
Purple Sunbird
Greater Coucal

Other animals

Blue Bull , Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus)
Spotted Deer
Mongoose
Indian jackal (Canis aureus indicus)
Land Monitor
oriental garden lizard, eastern garden lizard or changeable lizard (Calotes versicolor)

Resources

http://www.indiabirdwatching.com/bharatpur-sultanpur-birds-checklist.html

http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/checklist.jsp?region=INnwrj01&list=howardmoore

July 9, 2017

Agra Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 8:00 am

Taj Nature Walk.

I had been sick for about 3 or 4 days with food poisoning, so this morning was the first time that I could crawl out of bed and finally go birding. The Taj Nature Walk is right next to the Taj Mahal in Agra. They had pictures of all these amazing birds on the outside of the reserve but hardly any of them were inside. “Truth in Advertising”.

Bank Myna
Bank Myna (Acridotheres ginginianus)

Nevertheless I got two new birds today, to that is better than a poke in the eye with a stick. The Bank Myna range is to the north of India, so I guess that is why I have not seen it before. I noticed these mynas with orange facial skin around the eyes and thought they were mutated Common Mynas. So I took some photos to ask the Indian bird experts what was going on. When I got to my book I discovered they were Bank Mynas. doh!

Yellow-footed Green Pigeon
Yellow-footed Green Pigeon (Treron phoenicoptera)

The other new bird was the Yellow-footed Green Pigeon. I was pretty sure it was some kind of Green Pigeon , but which one? It’s range is practically all of India.

Common Hoopoe
Common Hoopoe

There were quite a few Common Hoopoe around. Tons of Jungle Babblers.

Rose-ringed Parakeet female
Rose-ringed Parakeet

This female Rose-ringed Parakeet just wanted a drink out of the tap.

Eurasian Collared Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

And quite a few Eurasian Collared Doves and Laughing Doves.

Laughing Dove
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)

Agra bird list

Yellow-footed Green Pigeon (Treron phoenicoptera)
Bank Myna (Acridotheres ginginianus)
Jungle Babbler (Turdoides striata)
Rufous Treepie
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)
Common Hoopoe
Purple Sunbird
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Brahminy Starling
Black Drongo
Asian Koel
Red-wattled Lapwing
Oriental Magpie-robin
White-breasted Waterhen
Indian Pond Heron
Pied Cuckoo
White-throated Kingfisher
Black Kite

July 6, 2017

Village Birding Last Day

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 10:50 pm

Last Day at Orchha.

6th July 2017. Morning. This is the last day I will be in Orchha. I am going to Agra this afternoon. So I set off about 7:15am down towards the river. I am looking for grassbirds and cisticolas. I hunt around the weeds and dead grass sticks and finally get enough photos to satisfy me.

Zitting Cisticola
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)

This is a non-breeding bird. You can tell by the stripes on the top of the head.

Brahminy Starling
Brahminy Starling

These always seem to be the first birds that I see in the morning. They are usually just beyond the last house.

Long-tailed Shrike
Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)

I always check the wires and invariably there is something interesting sitting on them.

Laughing Dove
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)

And a Laughing Dove.

Oriental Honey-buzzard
Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus)

I have been hanging out to see an Oriental Honey-buzzard. I had read so much about them and seen so many ID photos that I knew what it was instantly.

Oriental Honey-buzzard
Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus)

She was getting harassed by some lapwings and drongos, so it took refuge in a tree.

Ashy Prinia
Ashy Prinia

Last but not least, the ever-beautiful Ashy Prinia, strutting it’s stuff as per usual.

Orchha bird list

Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus)
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis) non-breeding
Eurasian Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
Indian Bushlark (Mirafra erythroptera)
Long-tailed Shrike
Brahminy Starling
Red-wattled Lapwing
Grey-breasted Prinia
Ashy Prinia
Common Myna
Red-vented Bulbul
Cattle Egret
Black Drongo
Long-billed Vulture
Indian Roller

July 5, 2017

Orchha Afternoon session

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 5:37 am

Ganj, Orcha, Day 3 Afternoon.

In the afternoon I followed the other track to the river. I did not see as many birds as this morning but there were a few new ones. This has been quite productive staying in this small village. There are lots of tourists in the town, but I have just ignored all that stuff and concentrated on birding.

Jungle Prinia
Jungle Prinia (Prinia sylvatica)

I was seeing a lot of these until it dawned on me that these were Jungle Prinia. They have the white eyebrow only going to the eye and not fully past it. And they are a little larger than the Plain and Grey-breasted Prinias.

Eurasian Cuckoo
Eurasian Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)

I saw this cuckoo flying past earlier and later I found another one sitting on a pole near some sort of temple. The sadhu came out and asked if I wanted to visit but I declined and kept going down the hill.

lizard
lizard

I found some lizards that were quite colourful. I thought they were fighting at first, then I realized they might be breeding.

lizards
lizards

It seeme like they were changing colour quite a bit. Maybe they were chameleon-type lizards?

Egyptian Vulture
Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)

This Egyptian Vulture was roosting right near me, so I approached and took heaps of shots. They look quite amazing. Almost something from another world.

Egyptian Vulture portrait
Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) portrait

Maybe they came through the Star Gate from another universe?

Purple Sunbird male
Purple Sunbird

Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher

Brahminy Starling
Brahminy Starling

It is raining this morning and I am exhausted, so I am taking some down time to process all my photos and finish this blog post. Maybe if it stops raining I will go out again this afternoon. There may be a few new birds out there that I have not seen yet. Who knows?

Orchha bird list

Jungle Prinia (Prinia sylvatica)
Eurasian Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)
White-rumped Needletail (Hirundapus sylvatica)
Long-tailed Shrike
Indian Roller
Greater Coucal
Green Bee-eater
Brahminy Starling
Purple Sunbird
Red-wattled Lapwing
Black-crowned Night-heron
Common Kingfisher

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress