Sunday, December 28, 2008

25th December 2008 Uran

Started 7 am with Jayesh and Dr Sangeeta.
First stop was at Jasai where we thought that we spotted a white stork.
But it was on the other side of the highway so we had to take a U turn and come back.
There we spotted a single white stork which flew away soon.

White Stork in flight

Just behind the white stork there was a water body with a huge number of water fowl.
There we saw waders like little stints, plovers, redshanks, pied avocets, etc. Also there were painted storks, grey herons, spoonbills, egrets, white ibis. Nothern shovellers and brahiminy ducks were also present.

Painted storks in flight

Gull billed tern

Spoonbills in flight

On the land bordering this water body is a grassland habitat. There we saw huge number of red avadavats. Also were present the stonechat, larks, a bluethroat hopping in the dense thicket of bushes.

A marsh harrier was disturbing the water fowl in between. A black shouldered kite sitting on a wire was keeping an eye on the ground below.

Going ahead we reached Uran to get very disappointed to see all the wetlands very dried up.
We decided to take a look at the standard road leading into the marshes in front of the police station at the end of which there is a water which normally harbors a lot of waterfowl.

On this we got a long tailed shrike, red avadavats, Stonechat, Grey herons, Cormorants, Green bee eaters,etc.

For other waterfowl there was nothing much except for a few marsh sandpipers and a couple of brahminy ducks.

Brahminy duck

There were a large number of red wattled lapwings atleast 10 of them. On the other side of the same road near the railway track we saw a tree full of rosy starlings and a few brahminy starlings.

Little Grebe

Long tailed shrike

Common Stonechat

When we reached the end of the road we met with 2 other birders Mr Babasaheb gaikwad and Mr Athavle. It was nice meeting with Mr Gaikwad whom i had met virtually though his pics on INW :-)

We had some breakfast here. While we were just about to leave the place to Marsh harriers started a show. They were trying to catch something but finally just settled on the marshes after doing some inflight acrobatics giving us good opportunity to take some pics.

Marsh Harrier

While returning back we again stopped at Jasai first to take the pics of the black shouldered kite seated on the wire, then to take a second look at the water body to see the white storks had settled there. But there were the same water fowl which we had seen while coming.

Black shouldered kit in flight

Black shouldered kite

As we were leaving from the that place we saw a huge number of birds on the other side of the highway. We thought there were white storks there so we decided to get to the other side to get a closer look.
As we were nearing the place it was certain that there were white storks along with spoonbills, egrets and black headed ibises.

But just then 2 men started walking in the open along the railway line disturbed everyone and all flew away. We got some flight shots but that's not what we wanted.

Spoonbills, black headed ibises and White stork


Anyway for some reason 8 white storks did not fly anywhere and we got to observe them for a long time. In the reeds along the road were lot of red avadavats and stonechats. We also spotted a lone pied bushchat and the marsh harrier was making its rounds keeping an eye of the marshes.

White storks

Common Stone chat

Red avadavat (female)

The other birds sighted were
Ashy prinia
Gull billed terns
Common Sandpipers
Black tailed godwits
Black winged stilts (atleast 35)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

16th Nov 2008 Rabale

It was a wonderful morning and we had wonderful time at Rabale.
Started with information on plants and flowers, then birds started appearing and
then as we were returning back the butterflies started becoming active. We saw almost all types of pansies Lemon, Chocolate, Grey, Peacock and finally also Blue Pansy (my favorite).

Saw many trees, plants, flowers but one of the interesting one was the common cowitch.

Common Cowitch also called khaj-kuiri as the pods if touched would give etching for a month or so. But also prof. Das mentioned that it has very high medicinal values mainly in medicines for harmone growth.

In birds the major the main attraction was the Black Eagle. It was sheer pleasure to watch it scan the forest and then go between the trees and reappearing at some other place from within the trees. Just looking at sheer wing span was a pleasure.

Second was the mystery warbler with a yellow brow, so might be a tickell's or sulphur bellied. Other birds seen Ashy drongo, Crimson sunbird, purple sunbird, Jungle babblers, Golden Oriole, Shikra, Crested serpent eagle, green bee eater.

Other butterflies seen were the Baronet, Great orange tip, Yellow orange tip, plain tiger, stripped tiger, blue tiger, glassy tiger, Common emigrant, Common gull, Danaid eggfly.

Here is a pic of a butterfly not sure of id (Is it some pierrot?)


Lemon Pansy

On one of the shrubs we saw this very beautiful caterpillar but equally dangerous.
It was later seen on the apta tree or the bahunia and one of the spines poked Julius.
He was pain from the burning for quite some time.

When we were about call it a day we came across a huge group of butterflied mud puddling.
They were a mixed group as seen in the pic below

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

21 Sept 2008 Mahape

This trail is on the road to sheel phata on the right hand side.

510Ltd ends here where as there are a lot of NMMT bus going there mainly those going to kalyan.

Three of us (Julius, Mr Das and myself) started in Julius's car at around 7am from Airoli.

This is a fantastic place with hills on three sides.

Mahape landscape

Mahape hills seen with Julius and Mr Das in the foreground searching for flowers and caterpillars on the ground :-)

An interesting looking insects on a plant mostly Kala kuda on the hill slopes of Mahape.
These had some hairy looking substance on its back. There were around 20-25 of these.
The green part were wing like structures as it was flapping it.

Another interesting insects. They looked like spider at the first sight but they had antlers.

Black coloured moth caterpillars

Caterpillar of the small blue

Pupa of the above caterpillar

Food plant of the small blue
(mostly depending on id of above caterpillar)

Small blue butterfly

Paddy field pipit

One of the Mallow family flower (the family to which wild bhindi belongs)

Common Immigrant life stages
One of the caterpillars on the left bottom side is just pupating.
The plant is the food plant of the common immigrant.

A beautiful day flying Moth

Grass Yellow Caterpillar

Lichen growing on a rock

Eggs of some insect or vasp

Unknown bug
But it was very huge and it was looking wonderful

A stick insect

Caterpillar of an unknown moth