Monday, August 9, 2010

Chikmagalur in the monsoons

114. Malabar Parakeet (Psittacula columboides)
My favorite snap from this trip was this lone Malabar Parakeet (also called the Blue-winged Parakeet) that sat for a few seconds before taking off into the woods.

Making their debut on my roster are three species which are closely related to each other. I photographed these three within a 100ft from my uncle's house. I should spend a lot more time there, preferably in summer.

115. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
This one will probably win the popular vote any day. There was a time when my house in Bangalore used to accommodate at least 4 families of sparrows. Now they're nowhere to be seen in my city. Unavailability of grains and of nesting spaces, increased noise and pollution, explosion in cat population, pesticides in the food chain, and reduced tolerance to their presence are all cited as reasons for their disappearance. There are other outlandish theories that suspect mobile phone transmissions, but I'm skeptical. Some mistakenly believe that House Sparrows are close to extinction. That is definitely not true. They are a fairly populous species. The one featured in the photo is a male.
(Update: Replaced by a picture I took in Le Mont St.Michel)

116. Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)
This flock was foraging on the grasslands nearby. Unlike other munia species, the sexes in this one are identical in appearance.
Original picture replaced by one I shot in Gulakmale.

117. Indian Silverbill (Euodice malabarica): Also called the White-throated Munia.
Original replaced by another picture I took later that year, at around the same place.

118. Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica): Someday I hope to catch one sitting on a perch that's not man-made.

Apart from these four, I also upgraded the photo of Tickell's Flowerpecker. This Barn Owl by the side of the road on our trip back also deserves a honorable mention. I wish I had been faster in using the manual focus.