Staying in Kathmandu and organizing an event took priority in August. Working from home allowed me to explore the surroundings further, especially during the monsoon season when insects were abundant.
In the early mornings, I enjoyed listening to the birds’ songs while they were searching for food. Common Myna, Rose-ringed Parakeets, Cattle Egrets, and House Crows frequently flew past my house. The Tailorbirds were remarkably active, singing the loudest calls for such small birds. Red-vented Bulbuls were also active, and it seemed that some had become residents around the nearby shrubs. House Crows, protective of their nests, discouraged other birds from the area.
Venturing into green spaces, I observed numerous insects engage in their activities. Mornings proved to be the ideal time for spotting insects, witnessing some on the hunt and others foraging. I encountered a new species of Jumping spider in the garden, although tracking and documenting it presented challenges. The hunters in the small green space were lively, including the Orb-weaving spider that caught a fly in its web, wrapping it with the silk it produced and storing it. Additionally, I spotted some Lynx spiders actively moving about.
The small garden featured various species of flies, including some from the Ulidiidae family, commonly referred to as picture-winged flies. These flies, along with members of other families in the superfamily Tephritoidea, exhibit distinctive patterns of bands or spots on their wings.
It had been a while since I observed and photographed bees from the Halictidae family. Besides these bees, I had the opportunity to observe a Bumble Bee and domesticated honey bee species. Bees, being vital in most ecosystems, play a crucial role in pollination. The loud buzz of the Bumble Bee served as an announcement of its arrival. Bumble bees beat their wings 130 times or more per second. With this combined with their large bodies, Bumble bees vibrate flowers until they release pollen.
August was also a successful month as I successfully captured a photograph of a snake near my house. Given my history of rare and brief encounters with snakes, this one was a delightful surprise. Early in the morning, I managed to document a Tawny Cat Snake resting on a fence. This sighting was particularly special as it was the first time I had observed this snake species in the area. Previously, I was aware of the presence of Rat Snakes and Keelbacks in the vicinity.
Among numerous encounters with insects and birds, here are some of the flora and fauna species that I observed or documented in August.
Common Myna, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Cattle Egret, Red-vented Bulbul, House Crows, Warblers, Hawks, Black Kite etc.
Sweat bees, Bumble bees, Honey bees, Orb-weaving Spider (Araneidae family), Lynx Spiders (Oxyopidae family), Jumping Spiders (Salticidae family), Stink bugs, Flies, Dragonflies, Fruit Flies, etc.
Tawny Cat Snake.
Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa), Bakena Tree (Melia Azedarach), Nepal Alder (Utis Tree), etc.
Ajay Narsingh Rana