Posts Tagged 'bird watching'

the elusive frogmouth and the cup fungi

Posted by on 23 May 2008 | Category: photography, prakriti

Ceylon Frogmouth, Batrachostomus moniliger, also known as Sri Lanka Frogmouth at the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Thattekkad

Ceylon Frogmouth, Batrachostomus moniliger, also known as Sri Lanka Frogmouth, at the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Thattekkad. Male and Female.

The Ceylon Frogmouths are nocturnal in nature, and are found in the Western Ghats of India and in Sri Lanka. Their elusive nature kept their existence under the veil of the dense tropical forests for a long time until Dr. Salim Ali found it at the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary (which has since been named after him) in circa 1930. Later it was rediscovered in circa 1990 by ornithologist K. V. Eldhose, at the same sanctuary. Its occurrence, ethology, nesting, etc. have been documented since. The bird is still elusive, due to its adherence to roosting on surroundings with dried leaves which resembles its color tone and camouflages it well.

My first sighting of the Frogmouth was in December 1999, when the nature group Warblers & Waders organized a bird survey at the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Thattekkad and the near by regions including Bhoothathankettu and Idamalayar. The first night we listened to the exchange of the distinctive calls between the male and the female (which could be easily recorded and mimicked) and we saw one of them at a different location later. The excitement was so much that time, and I took a low resolution photograph of that sighting, but one could never identify a bird in it, because it was camouflaged so perfectly!

The frogmouth pictured above is my second sighting, along with Sarah, in September 2007. The location is adjacent to the watch tower inside the sanctuary.

Cup Fungi, cookeina sulcipes of the Family Sarcoscyphaceae

Tiny, wine glass shaped, Cup Fungi, cookeina sulcipes of the Family Sarcoscyphaceae, against a dark background, at the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Thattekkad. These cup fungi were located near to the place where we found the ceylon frogmouths in the birds section. Vividly colored in deep red-orange, with a pinkish tone. In these two images you can see the fungi gleaming through the dark.

Cup Fungi, cookeina sulcipes of the Family Sarcoscyphaceae

Sarah capturing the Cup Fungi.

These Cup Fungi are not rare, we have often found them on wet logs around our house premises.

Cup Fungi

Cup Fungi @ home

Date: 27 Sept 2007
Location: @ Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Thattekkad and @ home, Kottayam, Kerala, India
Camera: Nikon D80 + Tamron SP AF90mm f/2.8 Di Macro Lens

those days with mickey and CMS college

Posted by on 15 Dec 2005 | Category: Uncategorized

Years later, today I tried to retrace the path I once used to take so often. My passion of birds and nature ¦I used to go with mickey to the nearby ‘parambu’,,,,those days.. we spent a lot of time there watching just nothing.
Today again I sat at the same spot from where I used to watch and study the ‘golden backed woodpecker’ at its nest and the ‘small green barbet’ bringing feed to its chicks.. I used to sit there endlessly, without changing my pose, the mosquitoes used to suck out my blood.. those two palm trees which gave life to those birds and me are not there now and it was already dark that the birds had disappeared to their nests. But I still love the place. It was there I found those hundreds of migratory ‘munias’. It was there I always went for some company of my mother nature. It was there I first found the ‘Indian pitta’. When did I stop going there? I want to revive all those days.. obviously everything stopped when I joined cusat and then I didn’t have any time to go anywhere. You know one thing, my dreams used to fill up with birds than with girls when I was in cms. u’ve seen the campus there. Therez lot of forest around, which was my ideal place and I used to get lost in it, forgetting everything else. Once I got the long hide of a snake, which I took to the hostel and put in the cupboard. One of the guys came, opened it and was shaken to his toenails that he never stopped calling me names for that!

Sept 28, 2002

mickey died, june 2004. i cudnt be with him in his last days and cud only cry from am growing  a feeling that hez always with me, playing around me