April 18th, 2011

wave

Seeing a bird for the first time....

As we wandered along the edge of the half-dry Dodda Kere (Large Lake) in Anekal, my friend Chandu suddenly stood stock-still, gazing intently into a thicket of reeds at the water's edge. "Hey!" he called, in a carefully pitched monotone, "I think I'm seeing a crake here, come over!"

We all hurried over, too, and certainly, we could see a bird that I had never seen before, going in and out of the reeds. I tried desperately to stand on tiptoe so that my camera would reach over the clutter of the weeds right in front of me...but I was afraid of going over the steep edge, into the marshy water (I'd already got mired in the muck once, and been pulled out by Vaibhav and Sushil.) So I asked Chandu to get a record shot, and here's what he got:


ruddy brst crke 170411

As a photograph, it may be no great shakes, but it certainly allowed us to get a positive id of the bird as a

RUDDY-BREASTED CRAKE

and we were quite jubilant about it.

Now comes the difficult part. If this bird as shy as it appears to be, and is so difficult to spot, how on earth are we going to see it often enough to observe its lifestyle and habits a litte more?

Oh, well, for the moment, let me just be a "ticker" ( someone who tickes off a new bird on the list!) and hope that the Crake will let me get better acquainted...I do remember wondering the same thing about birds like the Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, and the White-browed Fantail Flycatcher,when I first saw them, but I did get to see them quite often on later occasions!

Ruddy, Fulvous, Tawny, Chestnut, Rufous, Rusty....these bird-namers have SO many ways of describing reddish-brown! Since my memory is also often rusty, can I describe it as a Rufous, or possibly a Ruddy memory?

But meanwhile, a few other birds that I did identify, and enjoyed watching...


The

COMMON BLUE KINGFISHER:

(it's actually less common than the White-breasted Kingfisher)

sbkf 170411

the

WOOD SANDPIPER:

(wood it pipe sand? I don't know...)


wd sndppr anekal 170411


the

BLACK-WINGED STILT:


bw stlt ankl 170411

and a lovely and common raptor, the

SHIKRA:


shikra anekal 170411

Last but not least, the lovely blue-eyed


JUNGLE MYNAH

as she sits at her nest, warily:



jngl mynh nst anekal 170411 3rd Sun bdg


Known or unknown, birds are beautiful to spot and observe...
wave

Amphibians......

Frogs and toads...their new scientific names are quite horrific. Gone are the simple old days of Rana and Bufo. Now, Seshadri the Frogman informs me.... there are names like Fejervarya, Philautus which is now Raorchestes.....! and then, he says, there is Nasikabatrachus (nasika=nose batracha=frog meaning pig nosed frog!)

A pig-nosed frog must be a real beauty...

Please note the scientific names in the illustration below, what sort of scientist do you think thought them up?

Here's a

SKITTER FROG (Euphlyctis, possibly Cyanophlyctis)

Skitter Frog (Euphlyctis, possibly Cyanophlyctis).

and here's a


CRICKET FROG (Fejervarya sp)...


Cricket Frog (Fejervarya sp)


no, it wasn't called that because we were having the World Cup Final the next day!