Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nest… contd.

Waiting for an all clear signal….                            

Waiting for "all clear" signal

The sentinels


Seven days old: 

Waiting to be served


Whatever it was that the mother bird brought for her chick, it gets stuck sideways in the throat of the chick, but notice how the mummy picks it back up and smartly orients it so that the chick could now swallow it easily! The tiny ‘home’ is also kept meticulously clean of droppings and debris.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Nest in the garden

It is the first week of November, well past the monsoon season in the western coast, but it was cloudy, drizzling half the time with a few good thunder showers in the evenings – the side effects – or fringe benefits - of the cyclonic depression in the east coast of southern India, over Chennai. It was about nine in the morning when my wife, coming in from picking some flowers, called and said there is a  nest in the croton bushes in the side garden, with eggs.  Hurrying out in the light drizzle, I had a hard time finding the nest: my wife is good - no, an expert – in noticing these almost hidden things, a power of observation specially honed by observing all the details of dress and jewelry worn by others during wedding and festive seasons.

I did at last find the tiny three inch across bowl of a nest firmly built in the fork formed of three branches of the bush halfway up.
Even from five feet, it was difficult to notice its presence. There were 2 small eggs, spotted.

PIC_0771  PIC_0775

It was three days later that I again had a chance to observe the nest, and to my utter surprise and delight, I found two tiny nestlings, all pink, tender, no eyes, with heads that looked too big and heavy for the scrawny necks to hold up. The parent birds were not around and I hurriedly fetched my camera,  a JVC camcorder, and shot a brief clip and a few stills. The camcorder has only 2 basic settings for stills – normal and fine, and any enlargements will be highly pixelated. I have shortlisted a few good digital cameras from Canon, Nikon and Panasonic. May be soon….

Suddenly I heard a loud flapping, and felt a rush of air inches over my head. Ducking to avoid an angry peck, I hastily withdrew from the spot. The mother(father?) bulbul had returned with breakfast. It just wouldn’t serve it with the intruder around.