Sunday, October 30, 2011

Birds in my housing society garden

I stay in SoBo, South Bombay for the uninitiated. My residential society is located near Mazgaon Docks, and is about 5 minutes from the Dockyard Rd. railway station. We are on the second floor, and our house balconies and windows face a terraced garden that was laid out about 10 years ago on the foundation of an old hillock which was not excavated by the builders in the eighties when the society was constructed.

Something amazing happened a few days ago, and I feel that I must share this with my readers: I had just finished my morning ablutions etc and, as I do most days, I was out in the balcony to look at the greenery that faces our place: the garden in our housing society has several old, large trees that are inhabited by the usual birds and insects; often, we see the Coppersmith Barbet, couples and juveniles of the Purple-rumped Sunbird, couples and juveniles of the Asian Koel, and. of course, lots of crows, sparrows and pigeons. From time to time, though, we have unusual visitors gracing our garden. I have seen, for a long time, a couple of Red-vented Bulbuls who have entertained me and anyone else who cares to enjoy them, with their antics and their beautiful sounds. There are, on many occasions, sporadic sightings of the Large-billed Crow and once, the Chestnut-shouldered Petronia

However, for the past fortnight or so, we had been privy to a bird song that was enchanting and attracted me to try and espy the bird. On this day that I am writing about, I finally identified the bird and matched it against its bird song on http://www.xeno-canto.org. It was the White-throated Fantail. Then, as I was observing the bird, a Male Oriental Magpie Robin made its appearance. It hung about for a long time, and allowed me to take several photographs. The next two visitors were a pair of Rose-ringed Parakeets who sat on the branches of a tree that is shedding its leaves (it being the season for shedding leaves) - and they, too, allowed me to take many photographs! 

As I was celebrating my good luck, I saw a flash of yellow in between the swinging branches of foliage - and what should I see, but a Black-naped Oriole! This was a pleasant surprise, but also, I felt doubtful, because these birds are normally seen in a jungle. I took pictures and checked my bird guide. The identity was confirmed. I felt as if I was on a cloud. My excitement caused me to post all the bird photos of that day, along with a new short status message on my Facebook Wall. I shared the photos on the "Indian Birds" group page on FB, and got several people to congratulate me on my photos and my good fortune. Some of them were frankly envious. 

Before I move on to share the photos here, let me also add that I have seen and shot pictures of the Red-whiskered Bulbul also in my society. And, to tell you honestly, this blog entry may have missed some of my other sightings. Oh, yes, here is one more: the Black Kite, which is seen on many days.

Finally, I must make a mention of a winged mammal that comes by after sunset and habitates a tree right opposite my window: the fruit bat. Several of their species make a lot of noise and ensconse on the tree for the night before flying away in the morning. It is a sight that is great to see.

Okay, so here are the photos: I could not get the Fantail, but the first two are of the Oriental Magpie Robin, the next two of the Black-naped Oriole, and final three, of the Rose-ringed Parakeets. Hope you liked them and this blog too.

No comments: