Friday, April 11, 2014

Native Place Summer Holidays

Bird excitement continues at the NP guesthouse – the Sunbird who built its nest in trellis framing the lake view gallery, a high traffic zone of the guesthouse, protests loudly each time someone comes by to sit here and enjoy the view. Her chicks have now hatched and she makes frequent trips to feed them.

A pair of sparrows has decided to build its nest above the fuse box in the entrance landing. Their swooping sorties past the sunbirds nest and over all our heads adds to the excitement.  The area has turned into a veritable flying corridor. They have taken to harvesting hay and other building material from another birds nest to speed up their building operation much to the consternation of mama Sunbird. We often hear them squawk as they race each other to the nest building site. They seem to be fooling around like a pair of young lovers running wild on the beach.

And yes the Bulbul's eggs I mentioned in my previous blog have hatched. We got here in time to watch the parents feed the babies for a day before bad weather or some other eventuality L caused the chicks to fall out of the nest. By the next day the parents moved them away and put paid to our ideas of watching them grow and learn how to fly.

The greatest excitement by far has been the daily visit of a pair of Grey Hornbills who appear each evening.  

Astrid Rao 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Back Home at Native Place

Dwane sends me proof that the Palash is in flower :) 
Last week I visited Native Place for the weekend after a very long time.  In fact I had last been there during the Diwali holidays in November. My son’s exams had kept me busy in city and now finally I was able to get to Native Place. 4 long months of being away and yet once I was there it was like I had never left. Of course I had missed out on the flowering of the Palash and the Red Silk Cotton tree. I had missed many a harvest of vegetables from the garden and the birds too seemed to have gone away for the summer.

On Saturday morning I woke up and went into the balcony to see and hear a bunch of about 40 Bulbuls fooling about in the trees – there was a constant movement within the canopy of the Umbar, Jamun  and the Mahua trees as pairs chasing each other from one tree or branch to another – what a glorious site it was to see these birds at play.
Blue Flycatcher in the Naive Place Garden
It struck me then that Bulbuls was all I had seen – where had the ioras gone to I wondered – not many sunbirds to be seen either and as I thought these thoughts I spotted a flycatcher yes a Blue Flycatcher right there on the Umbar tree – a beautiful sight it was and made me very happy.

Then later Eknath the gardener showed me a Bulbul sitting in its nest – wonder if there will be chicks in the nest when I go up next. I showed it to Saumya – Vrinda and Chetan’s little girl and she was thrilled. Oh! The simple pleasures that fill the heart.

Another treat in the garden was the Petrea Volubilis in flower. -  such a graceful climber - here is a picture taken from my balcony

And now to look forward to a glorious summer with lots of paragliding, bird watching,  gardening and perfecting the art of sitting in a hammock and doing nothing 

 Peace Bliss and Happy Landings 

Astrid Rao