This morning at Lalbagh...
July 15, 2006
... Here's my field report of today's sightings. When I post to my Naturalists' Group, I usually type the names of birds/ animals that I spotted in capitals, so those who are not inclined to read all the descriptions can just look at the names! As my last trip in quest of the spotted owlets at Lalbagh didn't result in any sighting...I had decided that I would ask
to take me to the area once again. Since and his new wife Vidhya (er...that doesn't mean he has an old wife tucked away somewhere) were also keenly interested, we decided that we would meet up near the historic Glass House at Lalbagh.
I decided to go there early and do my morning walk there....it was such a peaceful time, and the cloudy, cool morning made me feel that I don't even need to get away to any "hill station" to enjoy myself in the greenery. (Now *forests*, that's a different story... I need to go there every now and then I think!) I walked around, going through the juniper alley and then the Sampige (magnolia) alley; looked at the different people who were there at that time, met a good friend who has the luck to live nearby and walk everyday in this lovely public park. I then went over to the Glass House and sat there, watching the flights of the rose-ringed parakeets nearby, and browsed through the morning newspaper which I had brought with me.
Soon, Sainath Prashanth and Vidhya turned up; the latter had been delayed by a SHIKRA near their home which they were photographing. We went over to the "Owlet Area"...and spent a great time watching the SPOTTED OWLETS that roost in a tree near the main lake. (Sainath is leaving for Kanpur but I can take anyone who is interested; the best time seems to be around 8 am or so.) Today, Vidhya spotted many of them in a tree near the Cesealpinae tree where we normally see one! One flew off, but there were still three perched on a branch, and we watched their preening, yawning (yes, they did!) and napping. A squirrel came running around them but didn't disturb them; but a brahminy kite made the third one flutter up to another perch a little higher up. The owlets were so relaxed, it was lovely to see them when they are not alarmed or wary.</font></div>
We then went to see the WASPS' nest, and Prashanth and Sainath got some excellent shots of it, with the wasps flying in and out. As Karthik suggested, we kept a respectful distance!
We did see many ROSE-RINGED PARAKEETS and on the way out I saw the INDIAN KOEL and the COPPERSMITH BARBET, but today our focus was the owlets, who gave us a great show!