Just thinking…

 

Just thinking how the world will turn out, after all the blues is over. Will it be green Or will it be red?

Just thinking how will the nature accept us, after all the blood our hands shed?

Just thinking how will we come across with the faces of ours, with the occupied minds being misread?

Just thinking how the waves will be in time , will they be silent or will they be overheard?

Just thinking how will the flowers bloom in this Era of gloomy mindsets?

Just thinking how will WE turn out to be, will we be HUMANS or yet another junkie following trends?

Just thinking how the world will turn out after all the blues is over.. Will it be green or will it be RED?

Just thinking……

 

~Riya

4th April 2020. I woke up this morning a bit late to usual as it is one of my work-from-home quarantine days that is happening 3 times a week during the nation-wide lockdown in India. Seeing the COVID-19 growth rate and all the negatively spread videos could spoil anyone’s mood for a beautiful day ahead. So I decided not to go through my social media-s ,first thing in the morning and instead look at some beautiful bird images clicked by me (which are finally processed and lying in my phone for quite some time now). So I picked up this very bright and multi-colored bird called Chestnut crowned laughing thrush, that I had taken various shots of in Neora valley National park. Talking of Neora valley, what reminds me of is the calmness in my mind that it gave me. That was a trek which will forever be in my memory as a treasure just for the silence it offers, the silence that Nature offers. So, looking at the image , I started thinking of a good caption to justify it (proving myself as an avid Instagram-er 😉 ). I kept thinking looking at the colors this bird possess simultaneously at the beautiful trees outside my window with the videos,I saw yesterday on the spread of corona virus in India, being mingling in the frontal lobe in one side of my cerebrum, I could come up with this ‘some-what-like-poetry’. Ths is not one of those days that I want to do a lot, but this is one of those days when I want to contribute a lot by doing nothing. You should do the same now too. Stay Home Stay Safe.

Untill next time

Much love

Riya ❤

Beautiful frames to make in OMH

Bird photography at Old magazine house forest resort

In two of my earlier blogs, I have talked a lot about this birder’s den that belongs to karnataka forest department situated in the beautiful location near to Dandeli, i.e Ganeshgudi. If you haven’t go through them, here are the links to them.

Old Magazine House, Ganeshgudi

Ganeshgudi~ A birder’s paradise

In today’s blog, I will be more talking about the beautiful photographs that you can make in their birder’s hide organised by the OMH team just for watching and taking snaps of the birds that come to take a dip in the fresh water and perch on the little branches above them. So lets get into the frames that I created and decide whether they are worth the word ” beautiful” or not.

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Old magazine House bird hide

When in the wild, its quite difficult to first spot the bird, then wait for it to come and take an open perch and then take the perfect shot with correct exposure. But, when you are birding from a hide out, the difficulty level goes down a bit and chances of getting more perfect shots increases quite a bit. So I was quite excited about the idea when i booked my room in OMH. And nevertheless to say I had an amazing first time experience. So lets jump in to the shots that I have selected here to just show you the kind of frames that one can imagine getting here.

PS: Here in this blog, you wont see all the bird species or all the frames that I have made, but a very few of my favorites I recently processed. Others are there in my other posts,the links to which are above 🙂 
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White Rumped Shama

White Rumped Shama was one of the birds that was on my mind when I planned for OMH in the first place.Its probably because of its beautiful pictures that I have seen in my instagram feed. Hence I waited for it to find its way to the bird bath for the two days I have booked room for. But it only arrived an hour before I was about to leave on the third day early morning. My happiness had no boundaries and I clicked the individual in all possible manners. Here it is when it sat on the bird bath for a quick fresh dip. The sun was beautifully lighting up his eyes. I loved capturing it.

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White rumped shama

This was my very first glimpse of the beauty. Stunning ..Isnt it?

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White rumped shama taking bath

And this was the kind of shot I thought of taking. Splashes of water everywhere. What a marvelous bird it is to photograph. Its delighted to see it bath .

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Orange headed thrush

One of the most common birds you will see foraging on the ground around this place or any other wildlife sanctuaries in Goa/karnataka is an orange headed thrush. Still this was one of the positions that I loved taking shots. Eye level shots when you don’t need to lie down on ground on your tummy. The beautiful close up with my 150-600mm creating a lovely bokeish background, nietherless to say about my happiness.

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Dark fronted babbler

Hey, have you seen my tail? Asking the dark fronted babbler 😀 When babblers take bath in low light, you get frames like these. A very low key image making an almost dark background.

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Dark fronted babblers

Discussing about global warming here 😀 They are adorable to watch and even more adorable with their cunning stare. Light was okayish on them as I shoot.

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Oriental white eyes

Talking of adorable birds, there has to be place for oriental white eyes. The spectacled birds come in bunch to play in water and gives you ample opportunities to make frames. I saw them each time I was at the hide.

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Oriental white eyes

This was the number of white eyes that perched on this beautiful branch for me. Isn’t it making an adorable frame? Though it was taken at really low light and edited henceforth to make it bright and more eye catching.

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Black naped monarch

You cannot miss clicking a black naped monarch when in old magazine house. They may seem common there but don’t get misguided by ignoring them. They never disappoint you, so click them each time they show up. Look at the background I have got here. Different and very pretty.

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Oriental white eye & Black naped monarch

Another amazing thing to do in here is to make frames of different birds on a single perch. I have photographed bulbuls, white eyes, monarchs, yellow tits, like this. Sometime, some where they do show up together. Hence an mesmerizing opportunity you should definitely grab.Always look for up the perches and not the bath tubs. My personal preference is to watch them while bathing and click them while drying up.

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White bellied blue flycatcher -male

Here is a close up of this beautiful flycatcher just after the shower. I have had more beautiful pictures of these beauties in here : Ganeshgudi~ A birder’s paradise

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White bellied blue flycatcher-female

Another definition of cuteness is the female counterpart of the white bellied blue flycatcher. Such a poser it is. Look at the cleanness it provides . Just beautiful to capture and calm to eyes.

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Spiderhunter

Another close up shot of the stunning spider hunter who did not plan to give us much time to click him on any perch.Takes a quick dip and leave. I missed photographing it on natural perch, you may not.

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Another old world babbler giving a striking pose in between the branch bend.

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Blyth’s reed wabbler

Frames like this are so satisfying to make with winter migratory birds like this blyth’s reed wabbler here who loves to spend winter in India, sri lanka and bangladesh.

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Indian Paradise flycatcher

Who doesn’t love a paradise flycatcher.. everyone does. I saw all sort of paradise flycatchers here but unfortunately shareable images I could only make of this female one. I saw white and Rufus morphed males quite a few times. Using a tripod helps you getting this bokeh.

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Tickells blue flycatcher

Tickells blue is another common flycatcher of western ghats, but perches like this aren’t just everywhere to be found. Look out for them as well. I love this shot 🙂

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Rusty tailed flycatcher

Such a beautiful frame for this cutie. If you are lucky , you can see a lots of migratory flycatchers in winter and obviously make amazing frames.

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Rusty tailed flycatcher

The same bird showing its back asking me to stop for today now 😛

These are just a few example from my recent collection of favorite frames from this particular bird hide. Other beautiful birds that I shot at this particular hide were : Emerald dove ( 4 of them at once), taiga flycatcher, yellow browed bulbul, flame throated bulbul ( giving enormous poses and frames to create), brown fulvettas, jerdon’s leafbird, indian black bird, indian yellow tit, and many more. watch out at this section of my website for more 🙂

Many more to come… See ya there.

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at OMH hide out

Olds:

Ganeshgudi~ A birder’s paradise

Detailed information about the resort :

Old Magazine House, Ganeshgudi

Other bird photographing activities:

Zuari river ride ~ Birding in Goa

Migratory Bird Area, North Goa

Birding in Pilerne lake, North Goa

Any question or suggestion are most welcome in the comments. Would love to response  all of them 🙂

Connect to me on instagram @riya_wingstofly

Until next time,

Keep clicking, keep sharing love and awareness.  Know birds, Know life ❤

Much love,

Riya

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Birding in Pilerne lake, North Goa

With a hope of not having a too hot day, I pulled up my camo pants , hung up my gear bag on shoulders, started my Activa and followed the lady on google maps towards Pilerne lake in Penha de Franca , Alto Porvorim which is hardly 9km from my place in Mapusa but sadly, I had never been there before. But as its said, its never too late. Pilerne lake was my kickoff start to birding this very season after a gap of months. And I am determined this time to not get loose on it. So it was beautiful Sunday morning when I reached this lake at around 7.15am. It has a ‘Bird watching Point board’ showing a few bird images with a small sitting area with 2 benches making it a quite place to sit and relax overlooking the big,beautiful pilerne lake. I parked my Caty ( that’s what I call my Activa 😉 ) beside a bench and stood for a minute. As soon as my eyes struck to a waterhen besides the white flowers I quickly unzip my bag to bring out already set camera and went down the stairs only to never find that waterhen again throughout the morning. Waterhen didn’t show up, no issues, I had my other lifers for the day.

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Pilerne lake, North Goa

To start the day, I had this close encounter with the little blue kingfisher or the common kingfisher which is actually not very common anywhere in Goa. It perched for me on tree branch ,then on the stair railing and then on this beautiful stone with background full of flowers.

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Common kingfisher or river kingfisher

 

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Common kingfisher in pilerne lake

Pond herons are everywhere near any kind of water stream in the konkan state. I quickly made a few frames as nothing is more natural and beautiful than the combination of flower,water and wader.

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Indian Pond Heron

Then I turned my camera towards a non-water tree branch where two red whiskered bulbuls came to have breakfast. It is one of the most common birds in the area but I still don’t miss a chance to capture them feeding. They appear very pretty with the crown.

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Red whiskered bulbul

And there comes my first lifer of the day. White browed bulbul. Supposedly it replaced the red whiskered bulbuls and took the perch. It quite gave me a few moments to capture him satisfying myself. Aah, it is a pretty bulbul.

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White browed bulbul

There were this couple on a scooter that disturbed me while clicking this beauty to
show me a bird taking a high perch across the lake. I quickly told them, its a white throated kingfisher and way too far and turned to found out the bulbul was gone. I was quite okay as I had already made my shots.

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White browed bulbul

Talking of WTKF ( white throated kingfisher), there has to be atleast one WTKF for me everywhere I go. My kingo never leaves my back :D. Here I got this individual on natural perch with a fresh seafood for breakfast.

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White throated kingfisher with fish kill

Again I made a few more captures on this one. As close I go to them, I feel delighted with their details.. Sparkling feathers I say..

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white breasted kingfisher

My next target was to capture the snake birds (Oriental darter) that were flying in a circular manner over the lake for some time. It was my bad day for flight shots and I got a good shot only in water.

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Oriental darter

I waited for them to feed but they weren’t hungry I guess.
Made a few take off shots I wanted to share with you people.

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Oriental darter taking off

While the beautiful butterflies surrounded me as I sat on the lowest stair to get the water level shots of the darter, my eyes got glued to a very pretty duck who seemed alone on the whole water body. I zoomed in to 600mm, make my mind to have a reflection shot as it came a little closer. It was a stunning “Little Grebe”. My first of its kind. I was greatly pleased from inside to have captured my another very beautiful lifer of the day.

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Little grebe , pilerne lake

Also happen to spot a group of lesser whistling ducks moving away from my side of the lake. One leading the others way. Love to watch their landings all together.

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Lesser whistling ducks

There was this constant bird call that I couldn’t recognize coming from within the marshlands that made me try to look and overhear. But alas I had to satisfy myself with a female Asian koel playing hide and seek with the sun-rays.

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female asian koel

As it was more than 2 hours then, the couple on the scooty had come back to find me in the same state and get amazed 😀 Aah, it was a beautiful morning to start the day off. An absolutely stunning place for a morning birding session.

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Butterflies in pilerne lake

The only thing that bite me a little is that, this lake being a bird watching location also served as Ganesha idol visarjan ( immersion) place, that is in process of making the beautiful lake dirty in coming days. If people in the area can understand the importance of the place in our eco-system and stop throwing puja garbage,plastic bags and immersion of idols by making eco-friendly idols in festivals, then the nature can be remained as it is for coming lots and lots of years.

Well, it was my time to go back home and make some sunday breakfast, I again spotted the WTKF with a kill that made me unbag my gear again and take a shot. 😀

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White throated kingfisher

Pilerne lake is a strong recommendation to bird watchers and photo fanatics like me.

Gears I use :

Canon 80D with Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary OS lens.

Tell me which image is your favorite among these and I will be happy to share the Camera settings (EXIF) details.

Also find me on Instagram as @riya_wingstofly for regular updates.

Until next time

Much love,

Riya

Cat series continues….

Hey people, this is Riya and welcome back to my space. I had been busy the whole last week showing around my parents who are here in a trip for 10days. As our Goa darshan is almost over for now, I am here with my new post. You all must have seen one of my earlier post on Wild catyso this is in continuation to it. It will be less on the features of cat but mainly focused on how I photographed him (Musshy).

Musshy is a cat that lives in the building where we stay. He is no one’s pet yet everyone loves feeding him and playing with him. I named him musshy out of nothing. I just love calling him that. He will respond to me someday I hope 😀

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Cute.   EXIF: f/6.3  ss:1/50  iso:100 @135mm

That’s him! Isn’t he cute? Of course he is and naughty too. It was one of those nights when he decides to sit at out doorstep (basically he does that when he is hungry). It was night time and high ISO didn’t work well,hence I used flash (camera in-built flash) to capture his insanely glory eyes, which I guess he didn’t like much. 😀 Ground is the best place to click images from eye level and this was the closest My zoom went from a distance. I love how adorable he looked in here.

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Look at that glow. Rubbing against stair railing, I didn’t  miss the shot this time.  Camera settings: aperture: f/6.3 shutter speed: 1/250 (can’t go below that with flash) ISO: 100 taken at 124mm with my Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens attatched with Canon 80D.

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Since I had to use the built in flash at this place, I tried increasing the aperture a bit (which is usually the least that I prefer for my bird photography) here since background is not an issue here at all. This was the result. Colorful eyes with a bit more details. Aperture used here was f/8.0.

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EXIF: f/6.3 ss:1/250sec  ISO:100  @110mm

As he barked and gets ready to take a step closer. He seemed really hungry and won’t settle anything less than milk. He surely isn’t lactose intolerant.

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This is an unedited jpeg image straight from the camera. I wanted to click the way he is, like a real cat (tiger). I was sitting inside the door and he was waiting outside waiting for the opportunity to come in.. Settings – f/8 ,shutter  speed:1/250sec with ISO at 100.

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Exif: f/6.3  ss:1/200  ISO:125

Okay! so being rubbed himself in my dad’s legs way too much. We finally let him in. I was lying down to get this shot with my zoom when he decided to move towards me.With my eyes inside the viewfinder, I found it way too closer ,I shouted and jumped. Everybody laughed 😦 But I still love being on the floor rather than sitting. The focal length was 96mm. See, he was close 😀

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Exif:  f/6.3  ss:1/250   iso:125   @100mm

A quick close-up and a perfect cat portrait.

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EXIF: f/9.0 ss:1/50  ISO:100 @35mm  in built flash fired

While he posed for me here and there, I got this great idea of floor reflection. He was sitting where the led light sprayed directly making the floor and reflection more on the white side. So I waited for him to move around and I get the one I wanted. The below image is the result of my wait and I am satisfied with it this time.

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perfect reflection. EXIF: f/5.6  Speed:1/10sec  ISO:1000 @103mm

Also I did not fire flash for this image,instead decreased the shutter speed and turned the ISO wheel above. I made this one completely lying on the floor while he sat in front of the blue wooden door giving me a perfect view.. This made my evening. He was full by now and ready to leave. Happy he, happy us.

To know your cats better. Click here

I will see you all in my next post. Till then keep smiling and sharing love.

Much love

Riya

Lets talk Tuesday ~ Anger turned pain

A minute of thought is greater than an hour of talk.”

                                                                                                                   – John C. Maxwell

Absolutely true! hence I think , think , think and think a lot.  Not just a minute but a lot more than that. A lot more than I would ever think I could. A lot more than the memories I have or going to create in coming future. A lot more than the present I have. A lot more than my mind can tolerate, a way more than my brain’s ability. But why? Why do we think this much? Why do we think at all? Yes, I said ‘We’ because I am not alone in this. There are not less than a thousand people (if not more) who are exactly like me. Not in a  sense of behavior or looks , but who thinks alike. Who thinks like me. I am sure there are people with whom I can share my thoughts without having saying anything. The thoughts would be mutual. But my point is why do we think? Why people like me exist who keeps on pushing the limit of brain far too much. Well! there’s no answer. At least not one I was looking for. I think , think and think and I don’t get the answer for my WHYs. I guess no one does. But I hope someday some one does get the answer for his Why.


What forms a writer is the ability to give shape and form to their thoughts to let people understand what they are going through. To be a writer you don’t have to be an author of a book, but a writer is the one, whom people understand. So I try to write down what I feel. Sometimes they take form of a rhyme ,become a poem or mostly just a paragraph or two. Because why not! Writing down my opinions to my audience is the best thing I can do to myself as it will work as a reminder for me a few years later of “how I used to be or how my mind worked then”. Hence I am starting this blog series to talk it all to you guys. Lets blog off the boredom or clear off the mind  to make space for some new ones with “Lets talk tuesday“. I will mostly post on a tuesday on whatever topic I feel like (sometimes about me as well ;)).

Anger turned pain

Todays topic is about this picture I clicked a  few days ago of a hanuman langur while waiting for birds to get into my frame. Mostly, my weekends or holidays spend running after birds or waiting for them to come in sight from my balcony , well of course, after finishing off my house chores or simply letting them be for a day or two. So it was this saturday, I was in my balcony with my cam when my husband spotted these langurs jumping from our wall to another in search of god knows what. Thank God, our balcony is not an open one and we could get their clicks without getting harmed. Though I admire them more than I can really have good shots. When I zoomed into one of their faces, I got confused.. worried.. Next day I posted a picture on facebook to get reviews of what people think about it. Is the monkey really sad/ crying or just angry at us?

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Pain

I got a few responses like, he is just angry, he is sad, he is hungry, they are naturally like that, they don’t like getting photographed etc etc. Nothing caught my attention really. What caught my attention was the tears in his eyes. I don’t even know whether I am right or wrong as I have never studied langurs but all I know is that they are our ancestors and whatever we are today, we were them at some point of time. So, if I take into consideration of feelings he must be having, as human behavior, it is easy to understand.If not easy, then at least an understandable trial. I saw pain in his eyes. A pain of separation may be, or the pain of not being able to feed his children or just the pain of being an animal. We humans have voices we laid out loud about our problems, unfavorable circumstances to the whole world, at least we can. But what about them? They don’t have four walls to live or raise their children. They aren’t civilized like we are but often we forget that they are not a piece of entertainment or anxiety for us, they are lives with exact same heart beats as we have. You know what I mean right!

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Anger urned pain

The pain is getting bigger day by day. (In human context). The pain of not getting the desirable results, not being able to fulfill own dreams, pain of loosing our loved ones, pain of being a loser, the pain is getting larger day by day taking a form of anger. Pain turned anger. Angry of the life we have got, angry about unfulfilled desires, angry about the situations, angry for the generation, angry at the society , angry at own self, angry at the creator, God. But then, what next? Do we get an answer for our whys? Do they get answer for their pain they have to go through every day? NO they don’t, we don’t.

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Pain turned anger

Here, we are shouting for our rights, for our liberation, for our independence. Our shout never ends as their is nothing called satisfaction in our dictionary. And there will never be one. Our pain will turn us angry and our anger will destroy us. We will be sad again. We will get back the courage some how , set new goals , get them and again get sad for some other reason. This process of getting hurt- angry – hurt has no end to it. The acceptance of pain has always been in our blood. We love to get hurt. Accept it, its the truth! or else this world would be a happy place to live in.

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Pain again

This fellow in few minutes taught me a lesson that humans failed to in years.  ”Satisfaction is a myth’‘ .

 

See you in weekend

Much love

Riya

Wild caty

Hello people, you must be thinking the reason behind the title. I am sure, like cat is fine but why caty? So let me tell you this small story. Since childhood, I have always been a cat person rather than a dog person though have never pet any of them ever but made some street friends quite a few times. So this name came up to my mind while choosing alias for our characters in Counter Strike computer game in college.( A very very famous game among computer students in India). Within no time, I presented  myself as “CATY” and voila, I have been known as caty since then among all my college friends. I guess some of them  has forgotten my real name by now. 😀 Anyways jokes apart lets continue with this post.

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So I am staying in this building which has a big open parking area giving enough space for animals like cats to roam around and play. A few days ago, I officially met this one who is born to be wild but could do a little friendly if you go approach him. Had spend an amazing saturday morning clicking his snaps.

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Even though, these guys are wild but as you know, humans are the most dangerous creatures on this planet, they get scared by us like most of the other animals and birds. They pretend to hide in the shade or bushes at first while they judge the intention of the human coming closer. If they smell something not okay, they will ran away, really fast.As a fact cats can run as fast as 3mph (i.e. faster than Asian bolt :O)

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They want to be loved by you, the more you love them, the more they will love you back. Well, of course it takes time to grow the trust as in humans too. I believe any animal is easier to understand at least than we people. A person is the most complicated animal creator has ever created with messed up over smart brains to earn money and hurt sentiments. Well, thats true. Digest it!

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Cats are the sleepy heads. They love to sleep, like a lot of it (around 12-16hrs a day). I have heard somewhere that if a cat is around 9 years of age, it has been proven that he has been sleeping for 6 years or more and only been awake for 3 years in total. We can totally call them our very own “kumbhakarna” (A bad character in Indian hindu mythology who is famous for his sleep. He used to sleep for 6 months and then awake for another half year.)

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Another weird fact about cats is that their taste buds don’t give the pleasure of tasting sweetness. They simply cant taste sugar or anything sweet and that is why may be the reason he left the muesly and drank just the milk. Else who will leave the sweet raisins along with the nuts. Yum 😛 though may not be yum for them. Apart from milk, fish is their favorite food which is known to the whole universe since forever. [ Though some cats are lactose intolerant and shouldn’t be fed milk]

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While studying about cats in details, I came to know that neutering (removal of reproductory organ) of your cat may be quite helpful to you as well. It not only decreases the risk of testicular cancer, but it also makes your cat less aggressive and more affectionate towards you (In case of pets, only domestic animals). Plus it adds a few years to their age as well.

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To know more about cats, one should know that their nose patterns are as unique as our finger prints. It may be helpful for the actual counting of the individuals else-wise they don’t need to give nose impression on cheques right?

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Some other facts about our cute cats:

  • Scientific name    :  Felis catus
  • Life span               :  2 to 16 years
  • Gestation period :  58-67 days
  • Height                   :  23-25cm
  • Length                   :  46cm + 30cm (tail) {approx}
  • They have more than 20 muscles in body that controls ears.
  • Female cats are typically right-pawed while male cats are typically left-pawed.
  • A cat’s brain is 90% equal to humans
  • Cat’s have longer memory than dogs but lacks in social IQ.
  • A cat can jump upto 6 times its height.
  • Also they can survive a fall from a taller height.
  • Cats sweat only though their foot pads.
  • Pet cats imitate human child and often changes their meaw to communicate with humans.

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Only 11.5% of people consider them Cat-person, and I might be one of them. So now you know my love for cats that has always been. And now that I know more about them I obviously feel good about it.

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The photographs in this post are of a wild cat who roams in and around my house building and not a pet to anyone. I call him my buddy though he scared the hell out of me a few days ago when I was climbing the stairs wit earphones on and Mr. cat decided to show up like a super hero , apparently from no where and ran away to no where after he was satisfied with my panic call.

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So this is it for today’s lesson.:P I learned a lot about cats while making this blog up. Hope you had a nice time reading them too. I will see you all in my next post.

Until next time

Much love

Riya

 

 

Birding in Chopdem,Goa

Hey beautiful people, I hope you all are having a great weekend as I am having. Well I am quite excited today about sharing my experience of birding in one of my favourite places in North Goa which doesn’t have a particular name(none that I know of). It’s just a beautiful sitting area along the smoothest road dividing a big lake into two halves, decorated with eye-catching street lights. I had first visited this place last year while being deputed in one of the banks nearby. This location can be termed as Parcem or chopdem as it occurs in between parcem and pednem in North-goa. Have a look at the location to soothe your eyes.

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Isn’t a painting.

We have also recorded two videos for my husband’s you-tube channel in this particular place. Now you know how much I love the way it has been decorated and maintained by the Goa govt. in recent years. You may also watch the videos if you love music or interested in fingerstyle guitar or just for the location as I loved filming and editing them afterwards. Do come back 😀

While shooting for the last video called “Right here waiting” I spotted a few black-headed Ibis, the hovering kings’ Pied kingfishers (high level of excitement) and a few others like cormorants and egrets and that is when I decided I will be back here again soon for birding with my sigma 150-600mm contemporary OS and my poddy (Osaka vct 100 tripod). And finally on 30.05.2018, that beautiful day arrived. Packing my camera bag, we reached the area by 8am at earliest as it was a cloudy day with very low light (early monsoons in Goa you see). As soon as we reached, I spotted two Indian Cormorants with fish kill too nearby. I jumped from the vehicle and unloaded my bag to get my camera ready only to find them flew away with their breakfasts. Couldn’t get a single shot but my optimism didn’t leave my side for once. Cormorant was first to show up so I will start with him.

Indian cormorant perched on its favorite stone in the middle of lake. I have quite a lot of mood variation images in my memory card that I loved clicking .

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Another individual drying up his wings (the most famous pose for cormorants). I have quite a few pictures of this individual in different poses,may be leave them for other time 😉 Stay put for my upcoming blogs.

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Great egret.

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The very pretty Little Egret in its dense habitat. Little egrets are my favorite egrets among I came across till date. This one looked amazingly pretty showing off her breeding feathers.

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Black headed IbisI am yet to get close enough to this one to get the details of its face and neck. Their eyes are jet black and hardly noticeable to focus from a long range. Yet I adore its beauty.

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Putting up another image of black headed Ibis having a breakfast snack( some snake). I intentionally didn’t clean up the messy background which I could have clearly because I want to convey this message that ‘ This is our mother land and animals are its children just as we humans are. Kindly don’t throw your garbage in your mother’s lap as you don’t do it with your biological mother.’ PS: people in Goa drinks more than they eat. Drink as much as you want, simply throw the cans and bottles into the garbage bins.

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Greater sand plover (breeding).You cant miss the waders when you are near a wet land.

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Lesser sand plover.

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Spotted Redshanks 

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Crab plover

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You can hardly miss out on an Indian pond heron (breeding these days)

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Now some of my favorites (KINGFISHERS of Goa)

The small or Common kingfisherThanks to my bird spotter for spotting this cutie as she perched on one of the most flowing branch)

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The very fast and loud Stork billed kingfisherThey can never go unnoticed if they are calling)

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The black and white Pied Kingfisher (I call them hover kings as they come and stay in the air for quite a sometime hovering while they look for prey in water or nearby, I guess they start their engine for diving in :D)

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Kites are the nature’s proof that everything is going good and well. Brahminy kite in flight.

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A cattle egret in flight.

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When we were about to leave this insanely favorite place of ours, we spotted some Wire tailed swallows as usual playing on a wire.

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I will start with this one in my next weekend’s continuation blog on bird watching in Chopdem. Do come back for even more eye shooting images of the beautiful cattle egret and more.

My gear- Canon + sigma

Follow me on social media for updates and more clicks.

Facebook page– https://www.facebook.com/Riyasownspace/

Insta handle for more images and updates – https://www.instagram.com/riya_insideout/

More birding activities if you are new to my space.:-

Birds of Panchgani

Mighty mahabaleshwar and birding

Carambolim lake bird watching -part 2

Carambolim lake bird watching (Part 1)

Agonda backwaters- bird watching in tranquility 

I will see you all in my next post.Till then happy birding. Keep clicking. keep smiling and spreading love.

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Good Night

Much love

Riya

Birds of Panchgani

So, in the last weekend of April, we went to one of the nearby hill stations from Goa to celebrate one of our anniversaries. Luckily, it falls on the international labor day and we get a holiday every year. Taking one day-leave on monday making it a long weekend we opted for Mahabaleshwar in South Maharashtra which is around 360 km from north-Goa. It was about to be a leisure trip and being very excited about clicking a lot of landscapes and portraits, I took along my favorite Canon 18-135mm lens only. Unaware of bio-diversity of the area, we had planned one-day stay in panchgani on the way to mahabaleshwar to explore the most of it in least time. Only didn’t we know that that its going to be the best decision of the whole trip. After completing our journey from mapusa by bus and then cab, we landed in panchgani early morning (5am). As soon as we deboarded the cab to step towards our hotel, I already fell in love with this place. Only thing that could fall on my ears was the bird chirp. Staring at the not-so-high trees and birds calling loud on them, we reached our hotel which has a beautiful valley view. I could say one of the bests in panchgani or even in mahabaleshwar if you want to feel the nature close-by.

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It was the best possible time and I couldn’t keep my feet inside anymore. Taking my cam and lens which could max go upto 135mm,I went down the valleys near our room. So this post is going to be the birds I spotted and clicked with my landscape/video lens in panchgani and to be continued till my next blog about mahabaleshwar.

#birdingwith135mm

Some pigeons were nesting on the top of the balcony, but I hardly click them. All my attention were grabbed by bulbuls and their loud chirps. I have enough encounters with red-whishkered bulbuls at my place, but they were the red-vented ones that caught me. Turn you face any where and there is one.

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Then these oriental magpie robins who looked stunning perching on wires against the beautiful mountains.

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Clicking quite a few , I went down a little in hope of getting some nice and close shots. A few house-sparrows on a tree.

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The most I could see and not hear were the jungle babblers. The hopping bird I call them.

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They were every where, on the roads, on the trees, roofs , hopping around every here and there carrying breakfast.

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Being wandering around the place, I couldn’t miss this view of the house-pigeons and the mountains.

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When I returned room, I had a home visitor. Red whiskered bulbul (who I guess ,missed me being away a little while ;))

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After having breakfast , we finally left for the tour which basically started and ended in the Table-land which was huge and showcases many view points from a single land. One could easily take a horse ride but we preferred walking as we wanted to explore on our own and take a lot of pictures, ofcourse :P. While walking on the table land I got my first lifer there, Oriental Skylark.

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The lark family member took the best possible perch and posed for us. But I loved him more in its habitat.

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Moving on, we came across another very small bird that almost camouflaged with the dirt and soil. Oriental Pipit 

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There are always some beautiful wings to watch in the air. Brahminy kite.

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There were a few more around our hotel area that were unreachable for me. I wished for a moment, I had my zoom lens but then again there is some positivity in everything around you. Its just been 2 months , I have been using 150-600mm lens and yet not capable of holding it for a long time. So for a trip (not birding trip at least)I would prefer to carry lighter lens with me and enjoy the freshness of nature more.

Indian black bird.

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The unreachable starling.

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I am going to continue birding and photographing untill my next blog about the mighty mountains of Mahabaleshwar. I don’t know how much I am capable of writing about the nature’s majestic beauty, but then I am a human being and I can only try.

My other birding activities-

Carambolim lake bird watching (Part 1)

Carambolim lake bird watching -part 2

Agonda backwaters- bird watching in tranquility 

Birding in Assonora, Goa

Birding from home

There is no end to one’s imagination and creativity, similarly there is no end to one’s passion and activities. I will see you all in my next blog. Untill then have a beautiful time.

Much love

Riya

Carambolim lake bird watching -part 2

Hello and welcome to the second part of the Carambolim lake bird watching. You have already seen the picturesque location in my last blog. If you haven’t read it yet ,its here for you, read it and come back 🙂 -> Carambolim lake bird watching (Part 1)

So now that you have already seen the variety of birds that can be found in this amazing place, I am gonna share with you few more exquisite images of the birds that I have captured on the same day i.e. 31st of March 2018. Carambolim is one of those bird hubs in Goa that any amateur or professional wildlife enthusiast from Goa or nearby states should visit at least once or may be every year in winter. Most of the migratory birds can be seen in winters mainly november to february. But you may also visit in till April or may. And obviously the best time for birding would be sunrise till 8am and evening before sunset. The lake spreads so wide with numerous waders and water birds flying here and there is such a beautiful scenery to watch. Even if you are not an avid birder or photographer, just carry a pair of binoculars to have an amazing time with nature’s own creation.

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Carambolim lake.

Now that we have known about the place and location lets get into what we call ‘bird watching’. I am again starting with Grey headed swamphen here as this place is known for these wetland birds with a board of their pictures saying “Carambolim lake-Important bird area”.

 Into the wetland:

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Greyheaded swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus)

As you move more through the narrow pathway you will be bombarded with opportunities to click a lot but don’t forget to carry your patience.

Black tailed Godwit

 

 

I was lucky to found some in their breeding plumage. They look amazingly pretty.

 

 

Common greenshank

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The common greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

Indian pond heron

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Indian pond heron (Ardeola grayii)

Little Egret

 

 

Paddyfield pipit or oriental pipit

 

 

Glossy Ibis (in breeding plumage)

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The glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

Moving forward towards some wild birds sitting on a very high wire with prey. Blue tailed bee-eaters

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Blue tailed bee eaters

Admiring the beauties of the lake we moved a little further in search of one of the migratory birds “Pied Avocet” (the only individual left in Goa by april) . Though it was really far away under the raising sun , I managed to get an okay shot just for the identification along with a lot of stilts and godwits.

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The pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

It was farthest we could reach, after that we returned to have a look around the carambolim  where some famous ‘lesser whistling ducks’ were residing who decided to flew away together as soon as we reached. So no lesser whistling ducks this time. :(. We stopped at this beside lake with pillars area to watch a few Ibis and swamphens.

Indian pond heron

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The Indian pond heron  (Ardeola grayii)

Moving forward to the left side of the road, there were a bunch of swamphens residing. Spent a few moments there to admire the Ibis’s.

Glossy Ibis

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The glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

Black headed Ibis or Oriental white ibis 

 

 

I had a great time in and around carambolim lake and anytime ready to spend some more hours there. Will definitely visit again in winter to spot some more migratory birds. I take your bid this time till my next blog. Have a great time you all. happy birding.

Much love,

Riya.