Monday, July 27, 2009

Mosaic Monday.

Thank you Mary for hosting Mosaic Monday.Do check out more mosaics at Little Red House Enjoy and have a great Monday!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Oman-Ostrich Farm

Ostrich Farm in Barka,Oman is about one and a half hours drive from Muscat. Even though it is named Ostrich Farm along with a flock of ostriches it is also home to a several sleepy crocodiles , horses and camels.
Ostriches are the largest bird species living in the world, flightless but capable of great pace (speeds of up to 70km/h have been recorded) and lays the largest egg of any bird species. The feathers of adult males are mostly black, with white at the ends of the wings and in the tail. Females and young males are greyish-brown and white. The head and neck of both male and female Ostriches is nearly bare, female and male ostriches alternate sitting on their eggs. The female sits on the eggs in the daytime, and the male sits on the eggs at night. They retain water from all the plants they eat. Their eyes are protected from desert sand storms by thick eyelashes. They use their wings to help them balance when running, and for displays. Male ostriches also use their wings for courtship displays.

Guess this ostrich wants to have a fly for his meal:)

Why are you staring at me?I know I am good looking...

Female Ostrich

Male Ostrich

Crocodiles are ambush hunters, waiting for fish or land animals to come close, then rushing out to attack. As cold-blooded predators, they are lethargic, therefore survive long periods without food, and rarely need to actively go hunting.Crocodiles do not have sweat glands, so they release heat through their mouths. Consequently, they often sleep with their mouth open and may even pant like a dog.

We saw a few camels.

Come..Join me for a ride...

A part of the farm being watered.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Greater Flamingos in flight.

We reached the backwaters of Qurum Park(that's what we call it now).As I waited along with Diya in her pram, Arunava decided to check out the place where we had last spotted the Greater Flamingos.As he approached the spot we heard the loud and scolding did-he-do-it call of the Red-wattled Lapwings(they are the first ones to warn others of any approaching danger) and saw a few Great blue herons and Great Egrets take off and the next thing we saw were these Greater Flamingos in the sky.What a sight it was!!Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

That tiny bird flying is the Red-wattled Lapwing warning the Greater Flamingos to take off:).

So off they went...

Higher and higher...

The others followed pursuit.

Over the trees,towards the mountains they flew higher and higher...

This is all we saw in the sky as they flew away.Hopeful that they will be back soon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Backwaters at Qurum Park

Tucked away a few hundred metres behind the popular Qurum Park is this untouched patch of about 200meters of stagnant water , fed by high tide of the Arabian sea, is an oasis of life , a stone throw distance from human habitation. This area shares a boundry with an ampitheatre.
We met another birder there who showed us his prized captured of a Bee-Eater,we were pleasantly surprised by the number of wild visitors we saw.While one of us photographed them the other was with Diya. If she was not watching the dragonflies she was throwing pebbles into the water and as they splashed she smiled.

Great Cormorant.
A large aquatic bird found mainly in warmer and tropical locations, mostly on the sea but at times on inland waters .Cormorants have a heavy body, generally dark plumage and their eyes are green.It is one of the few birds which can move its eyes, which assists in hunting.The feet are webbed, the bill is long with the upper mandible terminally hooked.
Being excellent swimmers, Cormorants chase fish underwater.After fishing, cormorants go ashore, and are frequently seen holding their wings out in the sun.

They are characterised by a long slender downcurved bill and mainly brown plumage brown and long legs.They feed on mud or very soft ground, searching for worms and other invertebrates with their long bills. They will also take crabs and similar items.

Black-winged Stilt.
This is a widely distibuted very long-legged wader in the avocet and stilt family.They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill and are blackish above and white below, with a white head and neck with a varying amount of black. Males have a black back, often with greenish gloss. Females' backs have a brown hue, contrasting with the black remiges.
Immature birds are grey instead of black and have a markedly sandy hue on the wings, with light feather fringes appearing as a whitish line in flight.

Red-wattled Lapwing.
They are large waders,with a red fleshy wattle in front of each eye, black-tipped red bill, and long yellow legs.Males and females are similar in plumage but males have a 5% longer wing and tend to have a longer carpal spur.It usually keeps in pairs or trios in well-watered open country, ploughed fields, grazing land, and margins and dry beds of tanks and puddles.
Its striking appearance is supplemented by its noisy nature, with a loud and scolding did-he-do-it call.

Indian Roller.
They are found in open grassland and light forest areas.The crown and vent are blue. In flight the primaries and secondaries show bright shades of blue. It is known for the aerobatic displays of the male during the breeding season. Males and females are however not readily distinguishable.

As the name suggests, Bee-Eaters predominantly eat flying insects, especially bees and wasps, which are caught in the air by sallies from an open perch.They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies, and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colorful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar.

Other commom visitors here are:
Red-vented Bulbul

Yellow-vented Bulbul

White-cheeked Bulbul

Night Herons.

Greater Flamingos.

While the photography of wild life is in session we take turns to entertain Diya.

Finally a sunset.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Herons at Qurum.

When the weather gets a little pleasant Qurum beach and Qurum Park(with the artificial lake) are ideal stop-overs for birds.
We were able to get some shots of the Great Blue Herons and Grey Herons.