Migratory Bird Area, North Goa

Hello folks. I am already a week late to wish you all an amazing new year 2019. May all your wishes come true this year and hope you start doing whatever you have planned and failed to start doing till now. Because you know what, its very important to start, to make the first move, because if there is no 1st move, there will never be a second and you can never achieve what you want. Hence, make the FIRST move. Speaking of first, I am here sharing my first post of the year and it had to be a birding one.. So here it is- my another very beautiful experience of birding adventures in North Goa.

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The next sunday after my Pilerne lake bird watching activity , I was looking for some place nearby to bird. My husband suggested borda lake, as he had heard about the lake from some one but did not have much knowledge about birds being there. I started googling the same and what I end up with this amazing place in Donwaddo in Salvador-do mundo. What we understood is that Borda lake must be somewhere closeby to this area or one of the waterbody in here are named as borda. May be next time when we explore more over that lake, we will know the difference (if there is any).

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This migratory bird watching place is very easy to reach. What all you need is a smart phone with GPS on 😀 Just ask google to take you to “ Migratory birds Area in North Goa”. The first search option will take you to Donwaddo. It is a huge marsh/ wetland seperated with a well maintained pitch road. AS soon as my eyes struck the board, I wanted to jump off of the activa, but I waited till it stopped as it was been ridden by my husband who accompanied me to have a beautiful december sunday morning in nature.
The day started off with beautiful sighting of brahminy kites .We had to stop there and then. The whole landscape was worth skipping a breath. There were more than few adult kite taking the most stunning perch on one broken branches each within a circumference.

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Brahminy kite

After spending few moments taking snaps and satisfying eyes, we moved on to my first lifer Siberian stonechat -female.As it was road side, I quickly set up my tripod to have more stable pictures of my lifer.

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Siberian stonechat

I was not quite happy with its perch on wire and that’s when a little big bird came and sat a meter away from the little one. I turned my cam to find out its a long tailed shrike. Another lifer 😀

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Long tailed shrike

I followed the shrike for sometime till it gave me most beautiful natural pose. As a bonus, he was hungry and had a breakfast bite infront of me. After getting close up and eye level shots of the shrike we moved ahead a bit.

 

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Long tailed shrike

There was this very little blue kingfisher flying here and there not letting me capture him even for a second. While I was tracking the little cutie, a spotted dove flew and sat in one of the bushes closeby. It was that close that my zoom couldn’t even capture its whole body. As I was struggling with zooming in-zoom out , it obviously flew away. (PS: I need more practice :P) But a quite ok shot of a lifer is good to go.

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Spotted dove

My next shot was that of a Stork billed kingfisher. A big sized kingfisher with red lipstick beak with  really loud voice. I cropped off the body part to keep the cemented perch out of my frame. So here is a close up of Mr. Stork billed kingfisher.

 

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Stork billed kingfisher

As we moved ahead, we saw a number of egrets, black winged stilts on one side and a few cormorants on another. As we went a little further, there is an offroad on the right side which we took and decided to take the vehicle along. And there I got some of the very beautiful shots.
Common or little kingfisher (finally on a clean perch)

 

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Little blue kingfisher

Indian cormorant (preening)

 

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Indian cormorant ( drying up wings)

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Oriental darter (shining as a star)

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Oriental darter stretching its long neck further

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We rode till we couldn’t ride anymore. I loved that particular village road. It has what we call “PEACE”. I had my moment with serenity (as always) and we turned back to reach the starting point again. I still had hopes to see a few more birds on the go and get some really good frames.
Purple heron (perfectly camouflaged with the dry grasses)

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Egret escape as I call it

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Grey Heron (habitat shot)

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Common sandpiper

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I saw a bunch of black headed Ibis having a gala. So I waited for a few moments to capture some good flight shots. Here are my favorite ones.

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I would end up the blog here today with almost where I had started. A long tailed shrike close up.

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And a frame shot of sandpiper. Good night you amazing people. Be blessed and have a
prosperous year ahead.

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Other birding activities:-

Prey Prey everyday!

Monsoon vibes with birdies

An evening with Asian openbillAn evening with Asian openbill

Parra – A birding hour

Birding in Chopdem,Goa

etc,etc….

Much love,
Riya

 

 

 

White throated kingfisher (Halcyon pileata)

Hello everyone. First of all a very beautiful sunday to all the nature lovers out there. Its been a while I had posted anything in my “Through my lenses” page. That is because I had indulge myself in learning all the important aspects of photography. The process of learning never ends. It just enhances your ability to learn more and more. And I pray that my passion for learning and gaining knowledge never dies.

Recently, I have been very glad to own a new set of telephoto lens for wildlife photography which is my genre, and hence made myself busy in trying my hands on the new combo. I cant express my excitement in words I had, when I first click a bird that close which almost filled the frame. And there they says, “Finish what you have started” so to finish, I have to first begin and here my friend, is a new beginning for me. I don’t know where I will reach in near or far future or will I even reach my destination ever! But this is my journey and I absolutely love it.

My very second post in my blog was on a bird species “Egret” (Link to the post – Egret ) which I am going to continue now. I have had blogs on my birding activities :

Feel free to have a look .Now I am starting a new series on About the bird”. This series will have a detailed post on ONE bird at a time with beautiful explanatory pictures. All the pictures are obviously clicked by me and the knowledge that I have gained about them by observing them,reading about them,shared by seniors/friends will be discussed here. So lets get to the very first post in my “About the bird” series.

WHITE THROATED KINGFISHER (Halcyon smyrnensis)

One of the most common in Kingfisher family (Alcedinidae), this small to medium sized birds has large heads and short legs. They size around 27-28cm (10.6-11 inch).

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This was shot in Agonda backwater while on boat in Automatic mode.

Their other features include chocolate-brown head, shoulders, flanks and lower belly, white throat/breast, large red bill and beautiful turquoise-blue feathers and tail.

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The prominent look showing off beautiful white breast.
Exif: f/6.3 exposure-1/320sec ISO-800 @435mm

They are most easily spotted for their distinctive blue color that can be easily identified in any green or plain land. The details of the feathers are just so breathtaking. They look stunning when they fly (mostly alone).

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My personal favorite perch.
Exif: f/6.3 exposure-1/400sec ISO-125 @562mm

A very widespread resident throughout India and very common in western ghats, they choose their high perches and usually comes back to the same perch every day.

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One fine morning. EXIF : f/6.3 exposure:1/500sec ISO-800 @435mm

Their call is loud,rattling laugh and sings their musical whistle when in search of prey. They will sit on their favorite perch (an exposed tree branch or wire) , sings out loud and looks downwards in search of prey exquisitely and continuously.

 

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Looking for prey.      EXIF- f/6.3       exposure-1/50sec ISO-200 @600mm

Not caring about water bodies, they feed on insects, fishes, small reptiles, amphibians, crabs, small rodents and even birds and choose to live in forest edges,gardens, coastal wetlands and even in urban society.

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With lizard kill. EXIF- f/6.3 exposure-1/200sec      ISO-640 435mm

The white-throated kingfisher begins breeding at the onset of the monsoons. Males perch on prominent high posts in their territory and call in the early morning.

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High perch call in the early morning.
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The wallpaper. Exif: f/6.3 exposure-1/60sec ISO-800 @600mm

The details of the bill which is duller in juveniles.

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The beak. Exif- f/6.3 exposure-1/250sec ISO-500mm @600mm

It is one of the first birds that caught my attention towards birding and always been by my side since then. One of the male is a regular visitor to my backyard birding sessions.

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I love photographing this beauty whenever I get a chance.

My gears = Canon + Sigma

Location- Goa, India

This is it for todays lesson. Hope you like my work and if you did, come back regularly for similar updates. I will see you all next time. Happy birding. Stay blessed. Keep sharing love.

Much love

Riya.

Agonda backwaters- bird watching in tranquility 

AGONDA – what would I say about this place. For most of the visitors and other normal people/tourists ( yes, I don’t mind calling myself abnormal being living in a society where most people looks at Goa as fun. Fun as in Beaches, Bikinis, Beer, and Blast), agonda is one of those boring beaches where crowd is less and water is blue with zero water sports. No disco light shacks where they play party songs all night. In short its poles apart from the beaches in North (mostly, as in baga calangute, vagator, etc.). And exactly that’s what it catched our attention when we visited this soul catching place last year. This year we wanted to make it happen again. Feel the water and soil. Listen to waves all day. That’s how we wanted to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. And ofcourse eat a lot. Like a lot. 😁

Yum Swiss breakfast 💛

We booked beach huts for 2 days in Agonda in the first long weekend of 2018. On the second day after lunch, we were strolling on the beach when this interesting boat captain met us. Like all the other boat riders, he tried to convince my husband for a happening boat ride to the beautiful butterfly beach OR to the serene backwaters where there is only one thing persists. PEACE. As soon as he uttered the word “bird watching”. This was it. I ran to my hut to bring my camera and we were on the boat the very next moment.

I had a great chat with Captain Nitesh who had avid knowledge about local birds and their habitats. I was so excited to meet a guy who was as excited to encounter a bird and name it as I always am 😊 He lived all his life in Agonda and read about the birds, their calls, their habitats. So now let’s begin birding.

Avidly seen bird of Goa.

Mr. White throated kingfisher. They mostly do fishing alone. It’s very rare to catch them in Pairs. You are lucky if you did 🙂

Common kingfisher with a fish kill

They are not that common in any area. I was excited to catch one with a catch.

Southern Coucal taking a beautiful perch.

Juvenile Brahminy kite resting. You can always see them flying over your head. But I always get mesmerized when I see them sitting.

Even more beautiful matured Brahminy kites. Their beauty can easily austruck you. Most beautiful kites with their decent colour.

I have had quite a lot encounters with Indian pond heron. But this was only the second with striated heron with blue and grey stripes.

Hence another shot.

My first encounter with Crimson backed sunbird after tons of purple rumped visitors to my home and office :D. Well! they are all the same. NAUGHTY

A bunch of common Myna’s jumping from one branch to another.

“If you want to photograph birds, you have to be a part of the silence.” And that’s what we experienced there. Extreme silence and bird calls. Beautiful it was!

It was almost the sunset when a couple of Parakeets flew from one leaf to another and got indulge in their job. 😂

No, we didn’t give them any privacy. Parrots are my husband’s favorite. And he snatches my cam when he sees one. He is so cute. Isn’t he? Hence this pic credit goes to him.

And we head back to the beach from tranquility as it was about to get dark. [UPSIDE DOWN PICTURE]

Bidding a beautiful good night with a ever more beautiful Black drongo.

(Double exposure)

There were tons of other bird species too that I was happy to encounter for the very first time and sad at the same time not being able to get a clear shot due to unavoidable circumstances that we were on a boat and they have the liberty to fly and sit anywhere they want.

Other species includes

  • Golden backed woodpecker (always busy pecking no matter how hard you try to get closer)
  • Indian paradise flycatcher( likes to perch in dark I guess. She wasn’t ready to come out at all)
  • Stock billed kingfisher ( flies really fast.. Like really)
  • Brown headed oriole
  • Red vented bulbul
  • Oriental Magpie Robin

And some common Goan birds like green bee eaters. I really missed the flycatcher and woodpecker this time. But next time, I would make sure I won’t…

That’s us with captain Nitesh 😎

Untill next time. Happy birding

You may also see Birding in Assonora, Goa

Or Birding from Home

Much love

Riya💚

Birding in Assonora, Goa

I just realized it’s been two weeks that I have updated about my birding activities. Please check out my last post on birding from home if you haven’t already 😊. In the last post, I posted about the birds that I saw or regularly see around my house area. Now this is the time for office area. 😂 It might sound funny, but I live in Goa, and there is a birding opportunity in every 500m. So here are few of my clicks that I could manage to take within 1 hour before the sun sets and get ready for another new day ☺️

First of all, I would like to tell you about the location a bit. This place is a par i.e. the flowing journey of backwaters from a dam. I cross this little bridge over the water everyday to reach my office. Here’s the soothing view.

I must tell you this is as refreshing as it seems in the picture.

Now let’s start birding. I spotted and captured 3 major birds in this area with few uncapturable others like common kingfisher etc.

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis

Cattle egrets are quite a lot common in Goa. You can spot them near any water body and sometimes on road sides too.

A portrait is must while playing with one of them.

In search for kill.

Yay, I got one 😀

The landing

Great Cormorant –Phalacrocorax carbo

I hadn’t seen this black beauty before and hence was getting confused with black heron, may be from quite a distant view. I couldn’t wait and took the risk of going the closest possible to the pillars where they were resting.

One

Another one

One + one = Two ❤️

the eye contact”

Little egrets- Egretta garzetta

Hearing the name might be confusing for anyone to imagine these egrets to be little and small, but trust me, they aren’t AT ALL.

Little ones are the most beautiful and awestruck egrets I have ever seen. They stand tall like any queen of the forest.

Majestic beauty taking the leap

The attitude walk.

Finally “The final Closure”.

And they took the click of the day award 😀

The fly and the water

While I using busy chasing egrets, the sky was full of kites.

I won’t say one can spend hours and hours in this particular location because they can’t. But still it’s a spectacular point for a bird watcher/lover.

Overview: All together

It was going to be dark, hence I quickly snapped a few macros and took off for the day.

Oops I forgot, I was near flowing water body, how could I miss the chance of experimenting with shutter speed 😀 a little waterfall 👇

Don’t worry, just one shot now, let the remaining be in another detailed post.

Camera: Canon 1300D

Lens: Tamron 70-300mm handheld

That’s all for today’s birding. Stay connected till my next one.

Much love

Riya

Birding from home

Hello everyone, I am here to keep my promise I made in my last post about posting some bird pictures I clicked. So I am starting a series here of bird photography. But first of all, I should let you know that I am not any expert and far far from being professional in any kind of photography. Just to take my hobby a step ahead, I started this blog to keep me and you all motivated.

For birding, the basic amenities we require is a minimum 500mm lens and a better pair of tripod which is quite heavy on my budget. Hence I am using Tamron 70-300mm telephoto lens with CANON 1300D. Though I have simpex 333 tripod, I usually do bird photography handheld because of course, they have wings and I can’t move my tripod with their speed 😂

So let’s start with today’s post, Birding from my home (balcony-2nd floor, terrace or downstairs). I live in Goa and my house is located in quite a Hilly place and I am just lucky enough to have a big bunch of trees just at my backyard, not reachable but visible from my bedroom balcony 😍

” Birds wake me up every morning with their chirping”

So let’s start with the very first bird I clicked after shifting here.

Greater coucal. This image is very special for me as I started my journey with this. I haven’t seen a bird that beautiful before sitting at home. So few more from the same species.

Lesser coucal

Southern coucal.

This was yesterday. He was playing hide and seek with me 😉

Finally got what he had come for.

Moving on to the next one.

Purple rumped sunbird – male

Purple rumped sunbird – female

A black drongo visited me for the first time yesterday. Happy me. 🙂

White throated kingfisher is the most vividly seen in Goa due to their distinctive colours. I simply adore this bird.

Oriental magpie Robin.

Sorry for the bad quality image. 😦

Red whiskered bulbul

I am singing my lungs out, can you hear me?

Some unexpected catches from home👇

Chestnut tailed startling.

I was so happy to see this bird with a bunch of other species jumping from one branch to another.

I simply loved the frame to crop off a little..

Indian Pond heron.

After I see this bird for the first time that closely on my building boundary, I happen to see it everywhere where there is a water body.

Thanks for the surprise visit and giving me time to capture your poses.

Why not crow?

House crow.

Crows are boring to shoot as they are most common in any Indian region, so I pair them with sunset 🙂

And sunrise.

Morning time coupling:)

Talking about birding from home, I hereby want to add two more birds which I clicked while from home in Bareilly, UP when I was at my In-laws house this October 🙂

Eurasian collared dove.

Mostly confused with house pegion, being very common in that area..

Portrait of the same

Rufous Treepie

No they are not sparrows. 🙂

So that’s it for today people. I will continue my ‘series on bird photography’ every now and then. Till then, let me know if you liked my clicks or not. Your comments are really appreciated.

Much love,

Riya