Every season has certain things to offer as far as bird watching is concerned and for someone like me who is not into serious birding, every birding season has many things to look forward to as I mix birding with photography and lot of other stuff.
Although winter is the best time for birding and almost all nearby wetlands are full with birds – primarily the migratory ducks, I have found that March till mid of May is more interesting to me due to certain reasons and one special mention here is that my backyard goes buzzing in these months.
|Purple Sunbird (f)||Purple Sunbird (m)|
First species to create some noise are the Purple Sunbirds (Cinnyris asiaticus). Many a time I hear them chirping ‘chwit’ ‘chwit’ in the morning from my bedroom itself and when I go out to the balcony I see them jumping from one branch to the other on the mulberry tree. Their distinct continuous sound often overrides the sound of the regular Magpie Robin who sits close to the balcony on an electric wire.
|Rosy Starling||Common Rosefinch|
Then come the noisy Rosy Starlings (Sturnus roseus). After spending the winter in the central India and down south, they halt for few weeks around Delhi. They always come in large flock and occupy all top branches of the Peepal tree. They make continuous noise and after spending few minutes, they vanish in a hurry as if someone has thrown a stone at them and again come back from a different direction after a while. All these can be seen from my balcony itself and the noise they make breaks my morning laziness.
Meanwhile, one or two Koels (Eudynamys scolopaceu) also come looking for the crows nests in the garden. Their arrival make the crows go crazy and they keep chasing away the Koels most of the time. Few boys from the neighboring houses always imitate the Koels and sometime they do respond to the same.
The Yellow-footed Green Pigeons (Treron phoenicoptera) are next to arrive. Although they do not make any noise, but their heavy wings create some buzz when they fly. They come to eat the fruits from the Peepal tree. They have beautiful eyes and looks very calm and disciplined. A pair of kite who has selected the same tree for nesting since last two seasons, remains undisturbed despite so many activities around.
Certain news also brought some excitement this time. A Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris) and a Baikal Teal (Anas formosa) were spotted at Dighal wetland and Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary respectively. More than 200 Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) were seen for couple of weeks at Okhla Bird Sanctuary, the largest flock I have seen in the past few years. In my recent visit to the same sanctuary, I have seen a flock of Common Rose-finch (Carpodacus erythrinus) for the first time. They were busy collecting mulberry fruits in that afternoon.
Spring is the season of celebration and in India it starts with the colorful holi festival. It is also a season of flowers. A light breeze blows from the south which bring the smell of flowers and soil. Plants and animals look mirthful. This is the time when Golden Orioles (Oriolus oriolus) are seen in Okhla bird sanctuary and nearby areas. Like Orioles and Koels, it is the nesting time for many other birds. In my recent visit to Sattal, I have seen Laughing thrushes as well as a pair of Black-Headed Jay (Garrulus lanceolatus) collecting nesting materials – a time when we must ensure that the birds are less disturbed until the nesting period is over.