Sunday, June 13, 2004

Nagla Block : O(d)K- The monsoon has begun

Hi Birds,

Refer my mail of 14th June 2003 , i.e. exactly one year back when we (Myself , Manisha & Karuna) had reported the first of Oriental dwarf Kingfishers (OdK) or Three toed Kingfisher for the season............Exactly after one year and almost....on the same day we saw our first OdKingfisher of the season, this time in Nagla Block of SGNP on 13th June 2004.

The climate was quite and sultry when we started our nature trail organized by BNHS.Though there were some showers last week, the soil still looked dry and the crinum lilies , Costa's(Spiral ginger) and wild turmeric which spring with the first of monsoon showers looked weak. Bird sightings was scarce with only some breeding birds vis..Common Ioras , Magpie robins, wren warblers, announcing their monsoon weddings.

However plant lovers were kept entertained with Sanal Nair's excellent field knowledge on trees.The Nagla trail also has trees that bear the name plates, both scientific & common names.

For half an hour we almost saw no birds, however our first bird was that "gem of SGNP" & my favorite "The Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher" formally known as the Three toed Kingfisher.These kingfishers are breeding migrants to our region & we had probably bumped near its nesting site, as the pair was very restless & were calling continuously.One should be very familiar with the call of these bird as it is hard to locate these birds amongst the dense & shaded vegetation which the birds prefer.
One should also observe these birds in the wild to believe its beauty as no bird book justifies its colours in their sober illustrations.In all we sighted 5 OdKs ..with one pair near its nest (Very near to the nature interpretation center).

Apart from the OdKs the other interesting sightings were of White rumped Shama & Black naped monarch.
Some butterflies included The spotted sword tails,Plum Juddy,Immigrants,Glassy & Plain Tigers,Common leopards,Chocolate pansy,Tailed jay,Tiger moth & plenty of Red silk cotton bugs....

A green wine snake that was caught & a bronze tree snake that just escaped swiftly had the crowd excited for some time.

Though the sightings were few, there was definitely a suspense in the air and a process of change below. As for me the arrival of the Oriental dwarf Kingfishers in the region marks the onset of the monsoon...............

Happy Birding,

Addi the Birde