Friday, November 05, 2021

2021-10-17-18 Birding around Murud, Dapoli

Did a tourist trip to Dapoli on weekend of 16th October. The location of hotel was wonderful. Front view from balcony was the sea and back side was a hillock with nice vegetation.

Got following from mainly the hotel back window and balcony

  • White bellied sea eagle
A juvenile and an adult but unfortunately no pic. Both of them came in from
the sea and crossed over the hillock to the other side.
  • Brahminy kite
Many were flying along the sea shore adults and juveniles 
  • Changeable Hawk Eagle flying overhead
  • White browed bulbul
Just a pair was calling from bushes and was rarely coming out as usual.
  • Paradise flycatcher sub adult male
  • Eurasian Hoopoe
  • Red rumped swallows
Flying around the hotel and perching on wires of a half constructed roof of another hotel 
  • Little Swift
Flying around the hotel along with red rumped swallows but mainly seen in morning and evenings. They must be roosting in the abandoned hotel nearby.
  • Jungle babblers
Coming to feed on restaurant waste deposited on the backside of the hotel
  • Grey breasted prinia
Calling and seen on wire in the open plot on one side
  • Shikra
Seen in a coconut plantation nearby during morning walk
  • Indian grey hornbill
Seen going into the same plantation coming from the trees on the hillock
  • Malabar pied hornbill
Seen only one individual on the last day from the balcony

  • Ashy drongo
Many of them creating a lot of noise
  • Green beeeater
Feeding on insects and perching on wires around

  • Spotted Dove
Seen on the open field in the plot and on wires
  • Purple Sunbird
  • Purple rumped Sunbird
  • Scaly breasted munia
  • Magpie Robin

  • Indian Robin
  • Red Whiskered Bulbul
  • Long Tailed Shrike
  • Red Vented Bulbul
  • Lesser Sandplover
Atleast 15-20 of them on the rocks near the seashore visible from the room
  • Common Sandpiper
On the rocks near the seashore

  • Lesser whistling ducks
Saw a flock of 15-20 of them flying low over the sea water in the evening
  • Brown headed gull
A flock of 5-10 birds seen flying over the sea
  • Blue Rock thrush
This was regularly seen on the rock near the seashore and once came on the pole near the hotel

  • White throated kingfisher
Commonly seen in and around the hotel. One also feeding on a mantis

Other than this had a wonderful sighting 5-6 yellow footed green pigeons sitting on wire just before sunset near Anjarle

Visited Koleshwar at kolthare where got following interesting sightings

  • Common Iora
  • Greenish warbler
  • Grey Breasted Prinia

  • Crested tree Swift
  • Indian grey hornbill
  • Black capped kingfisher

  • Jerdons leaf bird male and female

Other interesting things seen

Lot of Touch-Me-Not (लाजाळू) plants flowering

At many places Glory lily flowering and at one spot found a bud, just blooming, fully bloomed flower and a pollinated flower.

In insects got

  • Marsh Glider
  • Owlfly - first time got to see it so close but unfortunately one of its wing was damaged

First time saw dolphins really jumping out of the water and that too from the comfort of hotel balcony

Also tried to watch some planets at night and tried to capture with Nikon P950 and tripod.

Saturn with its ring
Jupiter with its 4 moons

Ebird Checklists of the trip

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A story of a spider and its eggs (July 2020)

During the lockdown as there was no external trips, this was the time I discovered the world of spiders. More about spiders seen around in later blogs.

One day while I was trying to observe a small black spider which was wrapping its prey which had stuck in its web a small bee flew into my view.

It was small and pretty. It sat on a small twig with a hole. I later saw it entering and exiting that hole. Note sure whether it had made a nest in it or not.

But as it took off it flew in the wrong direction and got stuck on a back side of a leaf.

Thats when i realized that it had got stock in small web woven on the back of the leaf and then I saw this pretty almost transparent green spider with a whitish body.

The bee freed itself and flew away.

While photographing the spider i realized that in fact it was guarding a clutch of 6 eggs. This was the 30th of July 2020.

The amazing part was that the clutch was laid in a perfect pattern to look like a circle. 

I started observing it everyday since then to see when they hatch and how the small spiders look like.

31st July 2020

2nd August 2020 the shape of the egg clutch changed and also the eggs become transparent.

On 4th August 2020 the shapes of baby spiders started to be clearly visible. 

And on this day i observed that the mother spider was repairing the web.

Each day the shape became more and more developed.

On 7th August they seemed to be almost developed and by evening they seemed to have started moving. 2 of them were still inside the web but other 4 were at different places on the leaf.

In the meantime on 4th of August by chance i also encountered another spider with clutches of 7 eggs under a leaf. The shape was same except the 7th egg was in the center.

And then surprisingly on this second nest on 7th August I saw a clutch of 4 more eggs being laid next to the 7 egg clutch.

Now lets look at some of facts of this spider.

Meshweb Weavers (Family: Dictynidae)

There are few genera in this family which are plant dwelling ones which are found in low vegetation as well as higher up. Here they build irregular, woolly mesh webs often made of bluish cribellate silk. This seems to be one of them as the other genera are ground dwelling.

In Cribellate spiders, the cribellum is the silk spinning organ. Unlike the usual spinnerets of spiders, the cribellum consists of one or more plates covered in thousands of spigots.

They posses 6 eyes. The legs are usually long without spines. The abdomen is oval to elongate and densely covered with fine hair. 

Finally to give a little perspective of its size.

Leaf2.5-3 inches
Mother Spider3-4 mm
Clutch of 6 eggs
(In perfect round shape)
1 mm diameter
Each egg0.3 mm diameter
Baby 0.53 mm