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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Common Tailorbird

Blame it on the weather gods that led to incessant rains and the subsequent internet outages, I was not able to upload the pics of the Common Tailor bird. What I could not trace though was the famous 'sewn up' nest that gives this songbird its famous nest.

AN OLD PIC CLICKED AT HEBANHATTI IN BELGAUM
At just 13 cms, the Common Tailorbird can easily give one a miss. It has a buffy white vent. while singing, it displays a black patch at the side of the throat that often leads to it being mistaken for the Dark Necked Tailorbird.



ONE OF THE EARLIER CLICKS OF THIS BIRD
Tailorbirds are small warblers with fairly long thin graduated tails, greenish underparts, rufous crowns and wings and long thinned slightly decurved bills


THE TRICKY BIRD TRIYNG TO HIDE FROM THE INQUISITIVE SHUTTERBUG

I have had a fairly long struggle in trying to photograph thie bird. As captioned in the first picture, I spottted this bird for the first time in Belgaum, Karnataka. However, with just a Tamron 70-300mm lens and limited 'stalking' skills, I did not get any successs in obtaining a worthy photograph.

ONE OF THE BETTER CLICKS OF THIS BIRD
In pursuit of a worthy picture, I have become habituated to the lovely call of this small songbird.

MY SUBJECT MUNCHING ON AN EARLY CATCH


I would sign off now. Coming up next would be the Great Barbet.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Black Bulbul

The Black Bulbul, also called the Himalayan Black Bulbul or the Asian Black Bulbul, is a very elegant bird seen in the Northern part of India. The fully slaty/black feathers are in stark contrast to the sharp orange bill. 
THE HIMALAYAN BLACK BULBUL
Bulbuls are medium sized birds with short rounded wings. this one is upto 23 cms in length. like all Bulbuls, even this one has a distinctive crest. Interestingly, some of these birds have been known to have a white coloured head too, although, I have not been lucky enough to click one yet.
ANOTHER VIEW AND A CLEARER PICTURE
Belonging to the Passerine family, this bird is commonly seen above commonly seen at altitudes upto 3000 m and has a peculiar cat like nasal call combined with gregarious chattering.
TRUST ME, THE MANNER IN WHICH IT PLUCKS BERRIES  IS SHEER  ELEGANCE 

In an area that is chiefly dominated by the Himalayan Bulbul and the Red Vented Bulbul, I see these birds turning up in the sunny days that follow the periods of inclement weather. I must also add that this bird shows better resistance to the vagaries of cold weather than the two previously mentioned counterparts.

A MORE RECENT CLICK WITH  BETTER ZOOM 
In my moments of boredom, when the cloudy conditions do not allow better photography, this elegant bird gives me a the opportunity to observe its behavior and peculiarities. I shall be updating the same as I gain better insight. 
ANOTHER RECENT CLICK
I would end here, following up with another blog in continuation with the series on Birds seen in Jammu region of India. Since I have already covered the Black Throated Tit in a  previous blog In Pursuit Of The Bandit, hence, coming up next would be the Common Tailorbird.

Ashy Prinia

This post marks my return to blogging after a long break. I bought a new Nikon 200-500 mm f 5.6 ED VRII Lens to supercharge my bird photography. the entire month of februray was spent in clicking birds of Basai near Gurgaon and Sultanpur Bird Park on the Gurgaon-Jhajjar road. Of course, I'll share tose pictures on a seperate blog with the appropriate label. 

Today I would like to share with you the pictures of  Ashy Prinia.
 .
ASHY PRINIA ON AN APPLE BLOSSOM BRANCH

The Ashy Prinia is a fairly common bird in my surrounding.  It is commonly found near grass scrubs, crops and sparse jungles. They are primarily insectivorous. They have short rounded wings and long graduated tails often cocked and/ or loosely waved around.

THE DARK BROWN SPOTS AT THE TAIL END ARE DISTINCTIVE

The difficulty in photographing it is primarily due to its small size and rapid movements. All of 13 cms. the bird can be exceedingly difficult no notice in the first place, let alone photographing it.
NOTE THE ABSENCE OF THE SUPERCILLIUM IN THIS BIRD
  Several species are confusingly similar. Age-, season- and latitude- plumage variations add to the confusion. It is only the range, habitat and voice that can provide useful clues leading to their identification.

THE SAME BIRD PHOTOGRAPHED IN FOUR DIFFERENT POSES- ALL IN A MINUTE!
 I would sum up here, coming up next would be The Black Bulbul also known as the Himalayan Bulbul.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

In Pursuit of The Bandit

BLACK THROAT TIT- THE BIRD WITH THE BANDIT MASK

So here is the Bandit Bird- and this was the first sight. what followed was a merry cat and mouse game between me and the 'bandit'. I wanted a nice click ; he was determined to evade capture.

The bandit resorted to acrobatics to forewarn me what I was up against. He was determined to take advantage of the cover available


The manner in which the naughty bird troubled me is vividly illustrated in the accompanying photographs.







It did, however allow me to take a few good shots, before flying off in pursuit of forage.


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

In Pursuit Of The Indian Peafowl


The Indian Peafowl was not something I expected to see when I was having Lunch with a few good friends. I left the food and this is all that I managed.




THE FIRST SIGHTING


The food and foraging habits of the Indian Peafowl is such that my habitat did not seem too attractive for the proud avian. So, I cursed my hard luck and got along with the normal humdrum of daily life. I was sure that this would have been a one time lucky sighting.

Then on one particularly lazy evening, my buddy suddenly reported the sighting of the peafowl family outside the kitchen premises. I managed to click some photographs using the kitchen window as a hide.


THE PEAFOWL EMERGING

As I waited with bated breath, I caught the first sight of the peafowl emerging from a fold of the ground. The bird looked awesome- to say the least.


THE PEAFOWL IN FULL VIEW

As the bird emerged from the the folds of the ground, I  clicked away to glory.

THE PROUD PEAFOWL

It was not too late that the bird realised that I had been photographing it and invading its privacy. The proud stance was back. It decided that it had had its fill of food for the day and now was the time to go back to its nest.

THE HURRIED EXIT

The bird may have left, the photos were not the best but I had my tryst with our National bird. 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Murphy's Law and the Power of Love- A Commentary on Interstellar

THE BEAUTIFUL POSTER 

PURE MASTERSTROKE-THE QUOTE


The Justification For This Blog

I had the opportunity to kill some time last night. and I ended up watching an arguable  masterpiece of a movie- Interstellar. While many have tried to understand the Science behind Interstellar, what caught my attention was the relationships between the protagonists- the father - daughter relation ship of Cooper &  Murphy and Dr Brand & Brand.

The Genesis of Conflict

Now Murphy is a troubled child- motherless and in constant conflict with her identity that she attributes to the infamous law of her namesake- Whatever Has To Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong. She loves her father, and in a difficult world on the brink of starvation, crop failures and imminent apocalypse, the last thing that she expects is a father who is on the verge of discarding farming, abandoning the family and heading into unknown space.

The Protagonists Coming in Terms

Meanwhile Cooper undertakes his journey with a steely resolve to explore the unknown and find finer pastures for the rest of humanity. Yet he yearns for taped messages from his daughter, what he gets is just the messages from his son instead. having lost a co flier in the quest for Miller's planet after the first inter galactic voyage, the crew has the choice to explore either Dr. Mann's Planet or Edmund's Planet. With logic supporting a journey for the previous ,I liked the part where Brand, his co traveller argues  in the complexity of 3D- 5D worlds that it is not space or time but love that transcends the various dimensions and hence her reasoning that they should head for the later planet instead. That led to Cooper actually seeing the greater common good and risking his own existence to unite Brand with Edmund. But landed up in a 5D maze as the Ghost pining to send the right signals for Murphy to discover her Eureka moment.

That struck me- this argument in support of love adds the philosophical touch to an otherwise oblique science fiction movie. 

The other important protagonist, Murphy never came in terms with the sense of abandonment, that was thrust unto her by her father. For years, she lived in the guilt of failing to tell her father to stay. it was only when she realised that his father had left without being aware that he would never return that she came into terms with the spirit of the Interstellar voyager. With her bitterness gone, she could finally make sense of the signals that her father had been communicating to her ever since she was a child. 

The Happy Ending. With happy endings being the norm,  the philosophy of love and hope takes centre stage at the climax again when Murphy exhorts her 124 years young father to go out in quest of Brand instead of being witness to the death of his child.

My Commentary. Readers who do not enjoy the proximity of their near and dear ones for a greater cause and the sense of duty would empathize with the difficulties of staying away from home. It is really difficult for any of our near and dear ones to get over the bitterness caused by such separations. Not everyone of us would be as lucky as Cooper or Murphy to be re united with a sense of hope and understanding. A few of us would indeed become sacrificial lambs in the first place, like Brand, who was handed over a one way ticket to the unknown by her own father and  ended up next on Edmund's planet due to the sudden change of heart of her co passenger- and thrust yet again into the unknown -all alone. Yet, undeniably, it is love that gives us the strength to stand up against all the forces of nature, the twisted irony of destiny and even the quantum physics of muliple dimensions. The  strength of love is far more powerful than any of the forces known or unknown to us. We derive courage, fortitude and perseverance due to the power of love. 

Endnote. To Love and be Loved is the Greatest Joy of Existence.