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Nature walk

Love the walk and closeness to nature. Look, you can always find many of these beautiful creation of nature that makes our world complete and beautiful.

Common Nawab
Common Fly
Common Brimstone
Black Kite
Plain Tiger
Cattle Egret flock
Nature Walk
Lantana flower

Happy nature hiking!

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Father’s DAY

Marking yet another day of this year as, “Father’s Day” as the time go by!

I will always remain indebted for the time you gave to me in bringing me up with so many hidden hardships, unconditional love and care. I will always cherish your love and path you guided me to sustain this troubled human life. I will never be like you, but trying best to be a good father to my child!

Happy Father’s Day (in Nepal)!

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Saving Vultures

September 4′ the first Saturday, was celebrated, or I would like to say marked as the, “International Vulture Awareness Day” in different parts of the country. I was leading a birding walk to Bhimdhunga on this occasion for Bird Conservation Nepal. Bhimdhunga, the outskirts’ of Kathmandu also has the ridge or one of the points from where many birds are seen entering or flying into the Kathmandu valley and beyond. There has been many records of raptors including vultures over the sky from there, though we did not see any vulture this time. Will soon!!

White-rumped Vulture

Vultures are one of the most important parts of our ecosystem, but has been struggling very hard to survive in this human dominated world. They are the Nature’s Clean Up Crew and has been saving us from many nasty outbreaks of diseases.

Himalayan Vulture

Nepal has the record of 9 species of vultures, among which 5 of them are really endangered (IUCN). Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN) has been working in different parts of the country to save them.

Lammergeier

But we did enjoy seeing many birds including our endemic bird Spiny Babbler. At the same time this was the first time after second lock down when many people (30) got together and was great seeing and meeting and sharing the time to spread the thoughts and views on birds and mainly creating the awareness for vulture conservation.

Red-headed Vulture

Hope they will have chance and keep soaring around!

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Birding Ichhangu

As planned, after struggling the local dirt road, I met with my other fellow birding and photographer friends at Dhunga khani (rock mine), on the other side of the Ichhangu town. It was great to see some friends after a long time with other regular guys. We continued along the Ichhangu khola (stream) below the hilly slope and ridge on our south to west. Stared noting down the first bird, a raptor- Black Kite and heard Blue Whistling Thrush that flew towards the slope above the pond, where I also saw Cattle Egrets (5 of them) making good use of insects, and no wonder they are called Cattle Egret, perfect naming. Little down on the edge of a small pond, saw something moving out, that was so well camouflaged, a juvenile Pond Heron was hunting. No movement and we would have easily missed it out. Saw another adult Pond Heron, still in its breeding plumage, landing nearby.

Pond Heron

Looking high above on the rocky cave on the slope was empty, where I was hoping to see the Rock Eagle Owl. Perfect place, (where we have seen one, while ago for some time) high on the rocky slope not disturbed, and it could easily see if any threat coming from human mainly. I have not seen the Owl this year, even have tried a few time in earlier too.

Cattle Egret

Focusing, on the forested hilly slope to our left, we continued birding, hoping to catch the glimpse of some rarity. And to our right, was the farmland with the settlements that is rapidly increasing. It is certain, at this pace, we will have this small valley completely turned into a concrete jungle. That seems the way, what we call a development, that we are bringing at the cost of biodiversity loss. We kept seeing our regular birds such as Ashy Drongo, Red-vented Bulbul, big flock of Chestnut-tailed Starling. And just then, I caught the glimpse of a bird with yellowish rear disappearing in to the foliage. Oriole! Heard from one of the guy, who seemed, saw little more than me. Here you go, while we were contemplating, I saw another bird landing and this time I could clearly see its light yellowish plumage, a bird of Oriole size, that was a female Golden Oriole. Beautiful bird, summer visitor and good to see them still around, but will be gone soon.

Chestnut-tailed Starling

Ahead, while walking and in discussion, I just heard Spiny Babbler singing on the slope, a couple of hundred meters off to the south but from the bush. Spiny Babbler is an endemic bird of the Nepal, that inhabits the middle hills from 800 m to 2000 m of elevation. As this is the most used section of lands, by the human, they are seriously facing the challenging situation for their survival. They have to keep moving when the human takes over that area for the settlement of some infrastructure development and find the space, habitat, but that is not always great. Anyway, it’s always joy and pleasing to hear and see them, a great sigh of relief to know they are still around, somehow managing to survive. However, the outright question is, HOW LONG!!!

Blue-throated Barbet

Just after crossing the stream and further, I was delighted to see the Pied Thrush landing high above on the tree and flying deeper into the bush. I could show just to  a couple of guys only. That is the nature, as they will not be there for long time most time. And the female  Crimson Sunbird appeared with Blue-throated Barbet, Black Bulbul and Ashy Drongo along with the Chestnut-tailed Starling. And Great Barbet, quieter today, showed up. And high above I was pointed out to a raptor, that was our resident raptor of the forest, Bonelli’s Eagle, the most likely seen near the forest and hills this time of year apart from very frequent Black Kite that is more in the urban than in the forest habitat.  It was also a great joy to see it coming out of the forest and seen for me.

Verditer Flycatcher (reposting)

Continuing, ahead saw a pair of beautiful cobalt blue Verditer Flycatcher. The White-throated Kingfisher that actually was flying towards us seemed like saying I am here too. The shear beauty- black and white  Spotted Forktail appeared in the same way with a unmistakable call and flew in the the branch that was mostly covered with the leafs

Now arriving almost to our point, saw this very agile and beautiful Flycatcher- Grey-headed Flycatcher, ahead of us.  And again  Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babble was very clearly heard on our north. And while enjoying the tea- break, we also saw Himalayan Black-lored Tit, another Crimson Sunbird, Red-vented Bulbul, Grey Treepie and Ashy Drongo etc.

Golden Oriole

The total number of birds recorder on this birding walk for 2-3 hours was great. It is 46 species of birds.  

Happy birding

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Manhara and nature HIKE

Right after, when the rain stopped, I picked up my bag and rushed to Manhara, that took some half and hour travel time on my bike and met a friend. Located in the east of Kathmandu, Manhara is one of the important river system of this valley. Manhara wetland and farmland since last couple of years, has been popular for the local birdwatcher and bird photographers. This is the time when we start seeing the passage migrants and other wintering waders, waterfowl, raptors our critically endangered Yellow-breasted Bunting.

farmland

We were lucky to see Common Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, and Red-wattled lapwing with other resident species. At the same time, it was a bit sad to see that a huge part of farmland was flooded and gone. Nature probably has claimed its old course!

Newly established course of river Manhara

And I was still looking for visiting another area and hence we went to Suryabinyak, where I was hoping to photograph the Alexandrine Parakeet but in trying to explore a new area, we had a great nature walk, along the ridge that went almost to the other side of the hill. Just when we were starting, we got this beautiful dog coming to us as it knew us. I had some cookies left, and she was happy to have, and started following us. We had a feeling that it’s not ideal to have a dog while going birding in nature as it could distract and disturb the birds and other wildlife. It was nice to have kanchhi, that I named it later.

With a friends and kanchhi, the dog

It was rather a beautiful hike in and back even we did not see many birds that we hoped but still being out there in nature was just so peaceful and great!

new friend

I really enjoyed after my return from Tanhu just couple of days ago!

Alexandrine Parakeet

Love to be out in nature!

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Farmlands and Hillside

Just got back from my 3 days tour out of Kathmandu. I am so glad that I got this opportunity to get out, even just for this short trip, during this ongoing pandemic.

Not a good time to travel, this time, as most people will think and say! It’s monsoon season when we get floods, road problems and even landslides some time. And also no views!

So what! In spite of this, I love to travel due to the freshness of the season after rain. So beautiful meadows with lots of summer flowers, green hills and farmlands and no dust also. The beautiful rivers in their full volume, meandering through the green landscapes, is an amazing sight.

So all the season has its own beauty that we can enjoy!

It was mainly travelling and exploring, with a day meeting and talking to the local people. That was great, an easy job!

And I enjoyed every bit after leaving Kathmandu and coming back. Where ever we went, we enjoyed the monsoon season’s scenic beauty, specially when we were out of main highway. The freshness of the forest and hills that was even clearer after the rain, yes no mountains this time but was still great view and scenery around.

What a nice trip I can say now after back home and hope to travel soon again out to nature and mountains.

Monsoon travel
Malungkot
Ghancha lhum – big rock of rock garden

Happy travelling!

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Afternoon Stroll

Just did a short visit yesterday nearby in the afternoon, in spite of weather threatening with monsoon rain. I was lucky and managed to stay dry till my return. The light was another thing, still managed to capture these recognizable birds pictures in my camera.

Long-tailed Shrike
Black Drongo
Ashy Drongo

Beautiful Barbet that are usually seen behind the foliage and trying to hide from us

Blue-throated Barbet

Did enjoy!

Have a great day, afternoon!

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Bird of the day!

Cattle Egret

This bird is a cosmopolitan species with the scientific name of Bubulcus ibis, and knowns as Bastu bakula वस्तु बकुल्ला in Nepal.

Cattle Egret in breeding plumage

They can be seen easily, so far. Love to see them flying in the morning to their feeding ground to the farmland or to the open grounds and flying back to their roasting place in the evening. When I am out birding or simply somewhere, it is always good to see them around, as that makes me feel that there are other birds also around.

Non-breeding Cattle Egret

They are, as all birds, an important part of the ecosystem and are a good friends of cattle and farmers, and seen with and around the cattle, picking up the insects and other parasites.

Cattle Egret -nesting time

Cattle Egret is all white in non-breeding season and has beautiful orange to reddish plumage during the breeding season for a short period of time.

Juvenile Cattle Egret

Happy birding!

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Cuckoo, cuckoo

Common or also called Eurasian Cuckoo, that visit us in summer is known as a very active and vocal birds. They inhabits, during their stay, the farmlands, green patches of forest in Urban, Suburban and forest around. They are easily recognisable with their plumage of dark, grey, blue with black and white barring on the breast as adult male and female blue, reddish and also has strong and beautiful call Cuckoo, cuckoo, some time repetitive. As they lay eggs of other birds, they are seen chased by many other species of birds like Drongos and Crow.

On my recent escape of lockdown, nearby, I managed to get up close of it and other birds, that was wonderful.

Common Cuckoo
Red-rumped Swallow

Blue Whistling Thrush

When we see it fly off, it looks a dark black bird but seen in good light- its plumage is beautiful shiny violet blue with light white spots, mainly on the back of the birds. We have been lucky to see it in most of our walks in nature in Kathmandu. It is often heard with its melodious call near the streams or rivers.

This picture is from my recent walk to Jhor, where I often visit and enjoy watching them

Blue Whistling Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus) is called कल्चौडे (Kalchaude) in Nepali. This is the bird of central and south-east Asia. In Nepal, we find them from the lowland to high land

Nature is amazing!

Happy birding!