Sunday, June 01, 2014

2014-05-24 Kombudbhuje Uran and Talawe

Me and Ritesh decided to start for Uran very early at around 5:30am from our place so that we could spend more time birding before it starts getting very hot.

On the way we decided to stop at Kombudbhuje. We were not expecting too much activity since last time when we visited this place there was already a lot of disturbance in terms of sand mining.

But still when we reached there was still a lot of activity.
Indian Robin pair was hopping around for food mostly, Same with Plain prinas and Red Whiskered bulbuls.
There was a kingfisher which had made its nest in the wall on the left hillock and it was making sorties for food.

There were lot of laughing doves and spotted doves sitting on a tree near the edge of tar road which goes down to a platform.

On a tree farther there were few more laughing doves and an odd looking greyish black bird.

Then we started hearing its call and could then see it clearly sitting on a bamboo pole. There were 2 grey bellied cuckoos, a lifer for me.

Other than these there were some who made a quick stop and flew away like the fantail flycatcher, baya weavers, Koel, Common Iora, Red vented bulbuls and Red Munias. Also a mongoose made a short appearance too.
 After watching for around 30-40 min we started towards Uran.
Our main target was the area around the big pond near Jasai to see Cattle egrets in breeding plumage.

On the way itself at a small garbage dump near a village we saw some cattle egrets but not in full breeding plumage.

We decide to enter on to the kuchha road just before the toll naka and we immediately saw a black shouldered kite sitting on wires. Took some shots and moved ahead to see lot of Red Munias.

Tried in vain to approach them slowly as they were continously feeding on the ground on the kuchha road itself. They were extremely alert and vanished as approached with 6-8 feet distance. There were also numerous Ashy prinias in there beautiful breeding plumage.
Along this kuchha road are lot of mangroves and sitting on the top of these were Clamorous reed warblers calling continuosly. Generally these birds are very difficult to spot as they sit deep inside the mangroves and dont come too much in open. But while calling they were sitting at the top of the mangrove giving good views but were in the wrong direction of the light so could not get any good pics.

Just as we turned at the corner of approaching the big pond on the right we got a surprise view. We actually stopped to observe a purple sunbird in shining plumage feeding on Rui flowers (calotropis).
But while observing the sunbird Ritesh suddenly realized something white sitting on a small tree a few feet ahead. It was wonder black shouldered kite.

As it was a short tree we could get some good shots of it.

The pond on the right was completely dry with only small puddle of water at the far end. In the reeds just at the start of the pond we saw a single black headed munia.

In the water we could see a flock of cormorant landing.

Ahead on the road on the left side there is a lot of garbage that is dumped and there were buffaloes feeding on it. And as expected with them were cattle egrets. Few of them were in beautiful breeding plumage. The head and breast were covered with orange feathers, bright red eye, purple gape and red-orange-yellow gradation on the beak.

Got some nice shots and decide to turn back. Just as we started got a plain prinia nearby.
On the way back as we joined palm beach road we decided to peak at the water body behind the sea woods as last time I had been here a few weeks back it was full of flamingoes. This time too it was the same scene but the flamingoes were numerous than last time.
Some of them which were in beautiful breeding plumage were also doing the ritual dance too.

Seeing this I was sure that we would find a lot of flamingoes at Talawe and we immediately decided to start for Talawe.

It was an amazing sight at Talawe with the complete water body filled with flamingoes and many of them in wonderful breeding colors.
Not only that but here we could witness their dance from very close by and got a click some wonderful pics.
The flamingoes started flying back to the sea and we decided to start back for home.

While walking back on the road next to TS Chanakya wall i heard some rustling in the bushes nearby and to our utter pleasure we saw 2 rat snakes doing their mating ritual dance.

We stopped there keeping quite a distance so as to not to disturb them and observed them for more than 20min. The snakes were pretty large and would be atleast 6feet long.

Others seen here were little egret in breeding plumage, black headed gulls and Caspian Terns.

So it was a day of perfect timing for us at almost all the places and got some lifetime memorable sights which are rare to have like the 2 grey bellied cuckoos, dancing flamingoes and dancing rat snakes.