Birds in our backyard

One of my earlier posts was about some of the purple and pink flowers currently seen in our Whispering Palms Complex. Where there are trees and flowers, there will be birds and other living creatures!

Over the last few weeks we’ve been trying to catch some afternoon sun between the rains, and in the process, we’ve become more aware of the presence of the birds in the campus. The silence during lockdown has made the bird sounds more audible and we try to search them out in the direction of their calls. Many of the birds have their favourite trees and branches, so these days, we look out for them at the same spots, and usually they’re somewhere around there. [Now we know how the guides on jungle safaris know exactly where to stop to show you certain animals.]

Some of the birds sit still for extended periods of time, and even if they fly off, they return to the same place. Like the Coppersmith Barbet that allowed me to go all the way back home to pick up my camera.

Coppersmith barbet
Coppersmith barbet

Apart from the birds we’ve managed to photograph, there are many others. Egrets and kites can be seen high up in the sky. Coucals, koels are some of the bigger-sized birds around. Tailorbirds, sunbirds, kingfishers are tiny. Dusky crag-martins are also small but they’re un-missable as they dart around the air and quickly change direction.

Black and white bird Oriental Magpie Robin
Oriental magpie-robin
25 Alexandrine Parakeets perched on a cable
25 Alexandrine parakeets perched on a cable, 3rd Aug 2021 (photographed by my friend Jayashri Sahoo)
Rose-ringed parakeets
Rose-ringed parakeets at my friend Bina Praharaj’s window
Purple-rumped sunbird
Purple-rumped sunbird at Bina’s window
Brown and white and black and yellow Mynah bird
Common mynah
Spot-breasted fantail
Spot-breasted fantail
fan of the spot-breasted fantail
This is why it’s called a fantail!
Black bird House Crow
House crow
Baby House Crow
Baby crow, displaced by tree pruning. (It was left at the bird rescue centre in Ashoknagar Kandivali.)
Red vented bulbul on peepal
Red-vented bulbul
Ice apple fruit on spike
The ice apple fruit (tata ningo) that fell off the tree straight on to the spike, could well be mistaken for a bird!
Rock pigeon on the balcony
Rock pigeon on the balcony
Rock pigeons
Great to see this pair of Rock pigeons on a tree rather than in buildings
female Sparrow
House sparrow (female)
male Sparrow
House Sparrow (male)
House sparrow
House sparrow in his nesting hole
Indian palm Squirrel
Indian palm squirrel is no bird, but just as noisy as the sparrows
Indian palm squirrel
Indian garden lizard
Indian garden lizard

Edit: 11th August

Today we managed to see and observe the Greater Coucal quite closely. There are a couple that live in our park area. With a characteristic heavy call, we waited for them to show themselves.

Greater coucal with catch
Greater coucal on coconut tree

I recently downloaded the Merlin app from Cornell (thanks to advice from my conservationist friend Dipti), and it has been a good resource to identify birds through their features and sounds. It shortlists birds to your current location so it makes IDing easier. To help you keep a record of, and to track the different species, I’ve been using e-bird. Hope to capture them more of them on camera sometime.

With our limited knowledge, we have identified over 20 species of perennial birds. The seasoned birders would have more on their lists, and come winter there will be the migratory birds to add.

Current bird list

  • House sparrow
  • House crow
  • Rock pigeon
  • Common mynah
  • Oriental magpie-robin
  • Red-vented bulbul
  • Coppersmith barbet
  • Dusky crag-martin
  • Tailorbird
  • Spot-breasted fantail
  • Purple-rumped sunbird
  • Common kingfisher
  • White-throated kingfisher
  • Alexandrine parakeet
  • Rose-ringed parakeet
  • Jungle crow
  • Greater coucal
  • Koel
  • Little egret
  • Cattle egret
  • Black kite

Bina’s pictures taken by her at Alica Nagar
All other pictures taken at Whispering Palms Complex, Kandivali East


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