I open my eyes to the song of the Long-tailed Shrike. The windows reveal the break of dawn with the silhouette of the mountains in the north. Standing on the lawn, cold breeze, I take some long deep breaths while watching the colors change as the sun rises. Nagarkot at its finest.
A flock of Grey Treepie on a tree nearby swoops from one branch to the other. Further in the distance warblers singing and as you concentrate the distinctive tikk tikk tikk call from the Blue-fronted Redstart can be heard. The sun finally emerges out of the hill in the distance covering the atmosphere and bathing the mountain ranges with an orange hue. Langtang looked beautiful.
The warm rays of the sun had the birds excited as more started coming out and the songs got even better. A Great barbet flew to a tree near me, silent for now started observing. A little later as it flew to another tree in the distance it started singing its usual notes of pii…youuu pii…youuu.
Down on the ground Hawk moths hovered around the Night Blooming Jasmine, extending its proboscis to suck the nectar. The fragrance from the flower of the Night Blooming Jasmine created a beautiful ambiance alongside the sunrise. This was the first time I had seen a lot of Hawk moths in a single place.
A note to myself…. please take some proper pictures of those moths next time and don’t let the positive sensory overdrive distract you.
Walking around the property I was staying in, I felt that I should be here during the monsoon as one can imagine the amount of flora and fauna that would be available to document. Nevertheless, autumn also allowed me to see a different perspective. I had never noticed the flowers of an Utis tree (large alder).
Grass covered in dew and the small Knotweed flowers emerging from the leaves might be the last of them growing before winter peaks. As I scan the trees for the warblers, a call from a dove nearby distracts me. Moments later another dove from a distance flies slowly towards my location to investigate before circling back to its original tree.
Breakfast under the sun, I got to see a couple of Black-lored Tit exploring an unfurled banana leaf for insects. Nearby under the cover of the trees was a Blue Whistling-Thrush foraging. Grey-treepie as usual was flying from one tree to the other. Two species of Bulbul, namely Himalayan Bulbul and the Red-vented Bulbul were settled in and around the Lantana bush.
It was back to work after a brief early morning exploration but I will be back to document more species of flora and fauna.
The same old story of spending a lot of time working from home continues. This year the rain continued in October as well. Record level of rainfall in some places and results of floods were in the news. The weather patterns have slowly become different from those I remember back in the 90s. Climate change is a scary fact that should be acknowledged and acted upon.
Peering out of the window I did manage to spot a couple of Rufous Treepie perched on the tree nearby and singing. The usual song of the Common Tailorbird, Black Dorongo, Oriental Magpie Robin continued.
October was a quiet month for me with some sightings and documentation. Below are some of the species I was able to document.
Grey Treepie, Himalayan Bulbul, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler, Spotted Dove, Blacked-lored Tit, Great Tit, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Great Barbet, Long-tailed Shrike, Black Drongo, Rufous Treepie, Red-vented Bulbul, Common Tailorbird, Striated Laughingthrush, Jungle Myna, Common Myna, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Oriental Magpie Robin, Blue Whistling-Thrush, House Sparrow, etc.
Red-spot Jezebel Butterfly, Hawk Moth, Daddy long-legs spider, etc.
Night Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum), Utis (Himalayan alder), Peepal (Ficus religiosa), Baar (Ficus benghalensis), etc.
A short experience in October so hoping November brings in more adventure and stories of nature that I can share with you.
Wishing you all a very fruitful November.
Ajay Narsingh Rana