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Birds of Sri Lanka

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We were on a family vacation  In Jan 2018 to Bentota and Nuwara Eliya. I managed to squeeze in some birding. The best highlight of the trip was a visit to the Horton plains. Horton plains have preserved the original flora and fauna of Sri Lanka. Here are a few shots from Horton Plains



A Sri Lanka White-eye



Sambar Deer



The endemic purple faced monkey which is only available at the plains



Bar winged flycatcher shrike




The Sri-Lankan jungle fowl, the national bird of Sri Lanka



A yellow eared bulbul an endemic of Sri Lanka



An emerald dove on way to Nuwara Eliya.



A white throated kingfisher shot at Bentota.

Birds of Goa

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Extending my winter vacation in early Jan this year, I was with Sudhir Shivaram's bird photography tour in Goa. The arrangement was at Nature's nest and while the accommodation was basic the birding was fabulous. Pankaj is a very passionate nature enthusiast and his guidance was invaluable.

Day 1 we spent shooting the Blue-eared kingfisher near the Tambdi Surla temple. Needless to say it was a lifer for me.



While shooting the kingfisher there were some distractions nearby...



... and we had a quick glance of the historic temple





Next day we were birding near the Bondla forest and this chestnut -tailed starling was having it's breakfast.



The Malabar region is known for the Malabar Grey hornbill. Here is an extreme closeup and I never knew Hornbills had eyelashes !!


this one  trying to hold on to a dropping fruit.



The purple sunbird was common


and so was the Black-Hooded Oriole.



A Brown Headed barbet


a Pompadour green pigeon which looked well fed and barely moved




We then move…

Birds of Hyderabad

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This is my first field testing of my 600mm F4 lens.  After 6 years of using my 300mm f2.8 I am trying to get used to this monster 😉

What could be a better place to try out the same than a morning trip to Ameenpur lake. I was told Flamingos were flocking in dozens. Though to our disappointment the lake was full to its brim and there were no flamingos.

 We started the morning with a common kingfisher




Ameenpur is the best place to shoot a kingfisher as the reeds are the same height as your tripod. In comparison this was my earlier Common Kingfisher shot from Ameenpur with my 300mm F2.8 couple of years back. Leave it for you to decide which one is better 😊



 Next saw a common coot walk on water..




A greenish warbler



A purple sunbird female









A little cormorant....




and a Grey heron in light


...and in the morning mist



A few more from the Gandipet lake area.

Green Bee-eater




snugged together in a wintry morning

Birding among tea gardens in Munnar

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While staying at the Club Mahindra resorts, Munnar for a family vacation during Oct we did some birding in and around the property. The location was among tea gardens and had a lovely view





Most of the birding was during morning walks. The first one was an Indian Yellow Tit just outside of our balcony




A while later a Vernal hanging parrot dropping it's food... oops !!


The first lifer was a Hill Swallow ( Hirundo (tahitica) Domicola) again similar to the Pacific swallow found only in the Nilgiri belt and Sri Lanka




A juvenile Blue rock thrush female ( ID To be confirmed)




and another lifer, the Nilgiri Flowerpecker!! It is now treated as a separate species than Plain flower pecker






While we went for a day long trip to Chinnar wildlife sanctuary the timing as well as the availability of wildlife was a disappointment. We just spotted a wild elephant and a  Grey-backed shrike.



Good to see a few lifers. Not an exhaustive birding trip though I understand that Munnar has good potential.

A short birding trip to Kalimpong

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A short family vacation in Kalimpong, West Bengal in May, 2016. A few captures from the trip

Common green magpie ( though not very common !!)




Short billed minivet




Grey Bush Chat



Blue-capped Rock Thrush


Can somebody remove this leaf? ( Greater yellownape)





Common green magpie