Karthik tells me this is the Flacourtia flower; every March, it is paradise for the bees:
Sometimes they feast, three at a time!
Here's the fresh offshoot on a cactus:
Here are some very common birds; this one is the male ASIAN KOEL, feasting on the yellow figs of the Ficus mysorensis :
This picture was directly into the sky, so getting some colour into that shot was quite a challenge!
This one's the ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET...what an acrobat he is (yes, it's a male!)...he was stripping the eucalyptus tree of its fragrant bark. I have seen these birds feasting on fruits and flowers, but I learnt for the first time that they love stripping off the bark and chewing it!
A CHESTNUT-TAILED STARLING made a lovely fan of its wing as it balanced on the tree:
On the Flacourtia, a female PURPLE-RUMPED SUNBIRD (we had an argument about the id, Karthik settled it) was feasting on the nectar, too:
You can see it on the right-hand-side of the photo.
My friend Abhijit Menon-Sen of Delhi, an expert birder, had this id to offer:
"Looks like a juvenile Somebird. ;-)". Smile, indeed!
At the lotus pond (a small pond not too far from Lalbagh Lake), we saw this lovely combination of LITTLE-EGRET-AND-LOTUS:
And a little later, Vittal pointed out that the egret was trying to get its breakfast:
It didn't catch the fish that time....it was "the one that got away"!
While we were watching that, Pallavi pointed out the beauty of the dewdrops on the lotus leaves:
When one goes in a group, one sees FAR more than if one were alone...
At the lake, we saw this WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN:
and the PURPLE MOORHEN:
There was also this COMMON CROW with a broken wing..wonder how he gets along!
We also saw this essential activity....the Lalbagh workers were cleaning up the lake. When I see the amount of trash that unthinking tourists chuck into the lake, I wonder what would happen if not for these workers!
Right from the morning, this little group of ducklings had us enthralled as they waddled about on the lily leaves; and it was a delightful sight to find them all huddled together at the lake fence!
And how could we go to Lalbagh and not visit the SSO's (Sainath's Spotted Owlets?
There were two of them this time, looking quite used to people, but cocking an alert eye at us all the same!
All of them are common birds in Lalbagh, but we enjoyed looking at them, very much indeed....
Here's a pic of the COMMON LEOPARD butterfly (thanks for the id, Karthik!) taken by anushsh who had to leave early as he had classes:
What would a documentation of the trip be, without a documentation of the watchers? Here are Pallavi and Vittal, discussing whether the bird they saw was a penguin or an ostrich:
Then, of course, like good NTP members, they looked it up in the bird book:
We met two Vijays, one of whom was a birder from Chennai,and the other a photographer, and dragged them along with us, too.
But finally, the sun was getting hot, and we left Lalbagh to the flowers and the bees....
Oh, I do love Lalbagh....!