Category Archives: Photography

Yellow Sand Wasps

Mention of a wasp is enough to make you fear. They deliver painful stings. One of the species of wasps is Sand Wasps or Bembix. They nest in the ground preferably in the sand. These live in urban areas, forests and woodlands.

Adult sand wasps feed on nectar but most hunt for flies to feed to their larvae in the nest. They are excellent hunters, capturing flies on the wing, paralysing them with venom in mid-air and carrying them back to the waiting larvae. Sand wasps can deliver painful stings only when they are disturbed.

I spotted these wasps many times in a forest area near me. One of them was furiously digging a nest in the sand. It was doing it very deftly. As the sand piled up at the mouth of the hole, it comes out to clear it so that further digging is continued.

Wasp digging the hole
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Indian Golden Oriole

Many migrant birds which migrate towards moderate climates of West and South India to escape the severe winter and shortage of food in North India. As the winter season comes to an end, they return back. One such birds is Indian Golden Oriole (Oriolus kundoo). It is a species of orioles. Earlier it was considered a subspecies of Eurasian Golden Orioles but now has been recognised as a separate species.

In the North India harsh summers start. There are many trees that bear fruit not eaten by human beings don’t eat but many birds like them. Orioles like these berries very much. These are very shy birds and are difficult to photograph. While not feeding, they roost in dense foliage of lofty trees. Besides berries their diet also includes insects.

Males of very beautiful in comparison to the females. In addition to their golden feather, there is a black a large carpal patch on the wing. While hiding in foliage, they can be made out by a sweet song.

There is a forest near my home in Panchkula Haryana India. In this forest there are trees called Jhingan (Odina Wodier). These trees bear the berries ( as seen in the tree in pictures) from March which ripen towards May end. Orioles can be seen gorging on these berries.

I am a n enthusiastic nature photographer and has taken these pictures myself.

Ranjit Singh
Ranjit Singh
Ranjit Singh

Really it is treat to watch this very beautiful bird.

A Symbol of Hope

During intense winters, plants and trees go into a dormancy a period of stagnation. They withdraw the chlorophyll -a pigment responsible for green colour and a must for photosynthesis– from the leaves because they know that Sun is not going to come up strongly for photosynthesis to happen and food making process to start. The leaves change color to yellow, orange and mixture of these colors. Because besides chlorophyll which overpowers the colors of other pigments there are Xanthophylls which are yellow pigments, and carotenoids (the pigment which imparts the beautiful color to carrots, papaya, and mangoes and so on) which give leaves an orange color.

Slowly the leaves die and begin falling down. The tree branches become nude. But tree is not dead. It is waiting patiently for the tough time of winter to be over. As soon as the winter starts receding, the new leaves begin coming forth. The new beginning of life. At first, due to the absence of chlorophyll, the color of other pigments shine. Leaves are beautiful translucent. As the sun starts coming regularly with renewed force, chlorophyll starts building up masking the color of other pigments. Soon the leaves become intense green shade.

Thus the the new leaves are a symbol of Spring and new hope of brighter future. Let us hope and pray to God this also happens to the world….

Happy to See So Many of them….

They are called Nature’s scavengers. They eat putrid flesh and thus prevent many diseases. But the carcasses they used to clean had done them in since a few years back. The cattles were given declofenac , a medicine for fever and even if a fraction was retained in the flesh of animal, its flesh was like a poison for the vultures. So their number began dwindling, so much so that they became endangered species.

In India, i remember of my childhood village days, there was a place outside every village where dead cattle were thrown. Vultures would descend on it and eat the flesh. They made peculiar sounds. They are so big that even dogs wont dare go near. Only crows are allowed the liberty.

All this is gone now. But a few days back, i happen to spot vultures outside a village where a carcass was thrown by some villager. After so many years saw and heard the voices.

There were Himalayan Griffon and Cinereous vultures…

Please enjoy the video with sound enabled.

Mottled Wood Owl

It is a species of large owls found in india. They are very rare in our area in Punjab. I was lucky to spot this beautiful owl in a forest near my village.

As such, it chooses its roost so cleverly that it completely camouflage itself. Only sometimes it is noticed by crows , treepies and babblers who make a hell of noise near it and force it to fly away. Only during one such cacophony I spotted it. After many unsuccessful efforts finally I was able to photograph it.

Growing by themselves

There is a river which flows near my home. Most of the time during the year, amount of water is very limited except during monsoon season when the rains in the catchment area flush it with plenty of water. For rest of the time, it is mostly a dry bed of pebbles, stones and sand.

People roam in it. Many people immerse idols in it along with the flowers and other things of worship. Flowers are mostly marigolds. Their sometimes get lodged in the clayey soil on the edges of flowing water.

Such plants which grow unattended are called Escapes, and due to no personal care, they tend to flower and fruit as early as possible

Moisture and sunlight acts as booster for germination. Beautiful plant start growing and they blossom. Found this flowering marigold in the bed with one bud and two flowers.

The great Bhupen Hazarika an Assamese poet and singer sang a beautiful song which has the opening line as “One bud and two petals ” referring to the tea plucking in Assam tea gardens. I will entitle this picture as “One bud and two flowers”

Some Birds Under Threatened Category

Due to the rapid urbanisation the habitats of many animals and birds have come under threat of being decimated. Human beings are interfering with the way the nature works. Deforestation is on the rise. At many places in the world, the forests are being converted into agricultural land.

Another reason is the harmful chemicals present in the medicines. This is nowhere more evident as in the drastic reduction in the population of many Vultures and eagles. Some Vultures like Griffons and Cinereous Vultures and eagles like Steppe eagles at one state came almost to the stage of becoming extinct. The reason that is cited is the presence of declofenac in the flesh of carcasses which these vultures feed on. This medicine was given to the animals for disease.

But this medicine has been banned now. Also the efforts are on to breed the Vultures in captivity and releasing the grown up birds back into their habitat. Some Birds which are on the IUCN red list are spotted by me in our area. It gives hope that the dismal situation will be reversed.

Cinereous Vulture

Himalayan Griffon Vulture

Group of Steppe Eagles

Happy Augury!!

Many Vultures and Eagles have reached on the brink of becoming extinct. The main reason for this is said to the consumption of contaminated flesh from carcasses. Many of these Vultures migrate from Eurasian areas to the comparatively warmer climates found in Asia. Here they come for escaping the bitter cold and lack of food there. They rear their young here.

Fortunately, I have been able to spot these Vultures at some places like garbage dumps or where some people used to dump the carcass. These birds come there from hills nearby. Most prominent amongst them is Himalayan Griffon Vultures.

One Planet : Seven Worlds

Sir David Attenborough is an icon in the field of wildlife world. He has explored and brought his rendezvous with nature to common man through his extraordinary documentaries. Now he has brought this documentary “One Planet Seven Worlds” which will be on BBC Earth.

Our Earth has 70% water in the form of oceans and 30% landmass. In the beginning, whole landmass was one continuous mass. At that time, lot was happening inside the Earth. Lots of tectonic activity was occurring and lava as it was cooling down was also spewing out.

Tectonic plates were colliding and pushing against one another. Slowly the single landmass began breaking into fragments. Ultimately it broke into 7 stable land masses separated from each other by the water. These are the seven continents. Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, North America, Oceania and Antarctica.

Each continent has unique climate and geology which has given rise to stunning individual bio-diversities on each continent. That is why, Attenborough calls them Seven Worlds. The series will feature remarkable, new behaviour from different continents. From the extremely hot African plains to frozen waters of Antarctica.

He will also touch how we are now destroying the habitat of the wildlife. Due to this, some species are faced with extinction. Forests are being cut, extreme fishing and pollution is threatening our own and the wildlife existence.

Trailer of One Planet Seven Worlds

Introduction features a very soulful song “Out There” by Australian born singer Sia.

“I pray
Yeah, I’m hoping that if I pray
Maybe you’ll talk back
‘Cause I pray for some faith, some faith today

This walk feels longer in the dark tonight
No hand to hold, no hand in sight
I pour my heart out to the blackest sky
Oh, spirit, can you hear my soul’s cry?

Can you hear my call? Can I have a sign?
‘Cause I am losing hope
Yeah, on my darkest night

This walk feels longer in the dark tonight
No hand to hold, no hand in sight
I pour my heart out to the blackest sky
Oh, spirit, can you hear my soul’s cry?

No, I don’t wanna walk alone, I want to believe
‘Cause I am losing hope
As love will speak to me
Can you hear my call? Can I have a sign?
‘Cause I am losing hope
Yeah, on my darkest night

I got a feeling you’re out there
I got a feeling you’re out there”

Video on Youtube Link

Sia Kate Isobelle Furler