Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

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

July 4, 2017

Orchha Birding Day 3

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 3:37 pm

Orchha. Madhya Pradesh.

Along the Betwas River. 4th July 2017. A.M. I was a bit slow getting going this morning. I was feeling very tired but I dragged myself out of bed, had breakfast and trudged on down the track past the baobab tree towards the river.

Grey-breasted Prinia
Grey-breasted Prinia (Prinia hodgsonii)

This Grey-breasted Prinia was just outside my door this morning. I had to get the camera out before I had breakfast! humph!

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

Just twenty meters down the track.

Yellow-eyed Babbler
Yellow-eyed Babbler (Chrysomma sinense)

I have no idea what this is. Still waiting for some help. Edit: thanks to Indian birds id group.

Crested Bunting  male
Crested Bunting (Melophus lathami) male

Crested Bunting  female
Crested Bunting (Melophus lathami) female

Yellow Bittern
Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis)

Laughing Dove
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)

Long-billed vulture
Long-billed vulture (Gyps Indicus)

Pied Cuckoo
Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus)

ID needed please
zitting cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)

Identified as Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis) , aka streaked fantail warbler . Thank you, Mr Shariar Rushdee.

Orchha bird list

Grey-breasted Prinia (Prinia hodgsonii)
Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)
Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus)
Crested Bunting (Melophus lathami)
Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)
Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis)
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)
Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus)
Long-billed Vulture (Gyps Indicus)
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Ashy Prinia
House Swift
Red-vented Bulbul
White-throated Kingfisher
Spotted Dove
Black Drongo
Red-wattled Lapwing
White-browed Wagtail (Motacilla maderaspatensis)
Indian Roller
Brahminy Starling

July 3, 2017

Orchha Nature Reserve

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 3:09 pm

Orchha , Ganj. Orchha Nature Reserve. day 2.

Morning. 3/july/2017. Daylight came shining in my window very early this morning. About 5.30 it was starting to get light. I got up about 6am and had my breakfast about 6.30. Chai and porridge. I had no idea what the porridge was made from but it wasn’t too bad. Nice and sweet with plenty of sugar, ha ha.

House Swift
House Swift (Apus affinis)

The House Swift is also known as the Little Swift. This one was soaring above the river in the Orchha Nature Reserve. It cost me 50 rupees for entrance fee. And I promised a boy to find a cricket ball for him. I have not seen one yet.

Small Minivet  female
Small Minivet (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus) female

There were not many birds in the forest, so I found a place to get near the river and there it was a bit better. This is a female Small Minivet – very plain with flashes of orange in the tail and back.

Small Minivet  male
Small Minivet (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus) male

The male is always more colourful.

Wire-tailed Swallow
Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii)

I was very stoked to see this bird. You can tell what it is straight away with the wires hanging out the back.

White-browed Wagtail
White-browed Wagtail (Motacilla maderaspatensis)

This White-browed Wagtail was hanging out amongst the rocks on the river. Scaring away the swallows.

Large-billed Crow
Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchus)

This was a very handsome bird. I had to do this portrait to show how pretty he was.

Great Tit
Great Tit (Parus major)

The Japanese Tit, which I saw in Japan, had been split from this species.

Long-billed vulture
Long-billed vulture (Gyps Indicus)

There was a whole heap of these Long-billed Vultures hovering over the town of Orchha. I was trying to buy some water, when I had to drop everything and start shooting. Magnificent birds!

I also saw a Stork-billed Kingfisher fly past – (Halycon capensis capensis), the nominate race. Race intermedia has no brown cap.

Orchha birds list

Long-billed vulture (Gyps Indicus)
Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii)
House Swift (Apus affinis) aka Little Swift
Small Minivet (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus)
Great Tit (Parus major)
Indian Pond Heron
Rufous Treepie
Red-wattled Lapwing
Common Myna
Shikra
Red-vented Bulbul
White-browed Wagtail (Motacilla maderaspatensis)
Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchus)
Green Bee-eater
Stork-billed Kingfisher (Halycon capensis capensis)

Orchha, Madhya Pradesh 1

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 1:09 pm

Ganj, Orchha, day 1

After a mix-up finding my auto-rickshaw driver at the Jhansi train station, I was on my way to Orchha. I was going to a homestay in a small village just up the hill from Orchha. After I got settled and had a shower, I went for a walk with my camera.

Ashy  Prinia
Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis)

I cannot stop taking lovely photos of Ashy Prinias. They just sit up right in front of me demanding to be photographed. And they are very photogenic.

Large Grey Babbler
Large Grey Babbler (Turdoides malcomi)

I found a mob of these in a hilly field. I thought they were Jungle Babblers at first but they had the most intense yellow eyes. When I got them in the computer, I could tell straight away what they were with the black lores and the black mandible.

Plain Prinia
Plain Prinia

This one was singing joyously.

Brahminy Starling
Brahminy Starling (Sturnus pagodarum)

This Brahminy Starling was sitting on the wire near the main road of the village. After that I went to the other side along a track where there is a hube baobab tree.

Pied Cuckoo
Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus)

I had been seeing a few Pied Cuckoos flying around all afternoon, but always managed to miss them. Near the mega-baobab I finally got a record shot at least.

Painted Francolin ?
Painted Francolin (Francolinus pictus) ?

I really cannot identify this weird-looking bird. My best guess is a Painted Francolin. It made the most horrendous racket.

Orchha bird list

Long-billed vulture (Gyps Indicus)
Large Grey Babbler (Turdoides malcomi)
Painted Francolin (Francolinus pictus) ?
Brahminy Starling (Sturnus pagodarum)
Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus)
Indian Robin
Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis)
Plain Prinia
Green Bee-eater
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Red-vented Bulbul
Common Myna
Red-wattled Lapwing
Asian Koel
White-throated Kingfisher
Large-billed Crow
White-breasted Moorhen
Black Drongo
Indian Roller

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