Friday 6 July 2007

India Correspondent Maiden Report

I've been chasing anything with feathers around the ashram for the last couple of days, book in one hand and camera in the other. It's good to be able to put a name to all the birds I've been seeing for the last year or so. The ashram (nr Madurai) is on the edge of forest and until a couple of years ago the land here was uninhabited so there's lots of wildlife still venturing in (scorpions, snakes, monkeys, wild bison ....)
Some of the regular avian visitors to the ashram that I've been able to identify include Indian Peafowl, Indian Roller, White-throated Kingfisher, Common Myna, White-browed Wagtails, Black Drongo, House Crow, Large Billed Crow, and recently some Spotted Doves and a group of Asian Palm Swifts have been around.
Lately in the morning I can watch a Spotted Owlet sitting in the mango tree as I brush my teeth. Yesterday morning there were also three baby Spotted Owlets dotted about the branches all doing their funny neck exercises as they tried to work out if I was dangerous. Mum was keeping a close eye. In the afternoon I went down to the pond and saw a pair of Red Wattled Lapwing and an Indian Pond Heron.
This morning there was a big owl (maybe 50cm) out by the pond but I couldn't get close enough to identify it. I'm going to have to look into the price of binoculars!


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