Posts Tagged ‘Migratory birds’

Lakaki LakeEvery time I passed from Jagtap Dairy in Model Colony, this beautiful lake caught my attention. Finally one evening, I decided to go there and find it out. I bought the ticket and entered in the park. I was pleased to see beautifully developed park around the lake with walking track. Another attraction was obviously birds. To name a few are Spotbills, Egrets, Waterhen, Coots, Crow Pheasant, pigeons, Indian Mynah, Cuckoo, Kites, and Robin.

“Model colony lake” or also known as “La-Kā-Ki” (named after Industrialist ‘Laxmanrao Kashirao Kirloskar’ whose residence is just near by) is supposed to be more than 100 years old and unique nature reserve. Since 1995 there were some controversies going on its development but finally it was open to public.

WaterhenI found a water hen with its three chicks. The parents were busy in building new nest for this season. Dad walked on the lotus leaves and came up to bank to get the sticks. It carried new stick and passed it on to the mom who was actually putting it in the place. Even in this bird species, interior was of home-minister’s choice. I waited and watched their activities endlessly and they were so busy and did not bother about the rest of the world. Dedication was key factor.

I clicked some snaps of birds. The park care-taker came up to me and we had talk about park, birds, etc. I told him Marathi names of birds and he seemed to be satisfied.

Lakaki lake is supposed to be ‘silent-zone Park’ and ideal place for reading, writing (i.e. for poets and writers), bird watching, meditation, being with nature and peace. May God save this place from vulgarity of couples like Sambhaji park and Saras Baug.

Gentle Request: To all people reading this post, please avoid making loud noise or talking loudly if you happen to visit this place. You can sit and speak softly along with enjoying amazing nature here.

The park timings are 6:00 to 8:00 AM and 4:00 to 6:00 PM (In summer, till 7:00PM)

Ticket for park is Rs.5/-

Note: For more snaps click – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/tags/modelcolonylake/

Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=111578650756510337605.00046bd0fe4ad9c3ad2be&ll=18.531192,73.841794&spn=0.007182,0.009656&z=17

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One of my friends in photography group pinged me yesterday on GTalk and asked me about my general where-about. I told him I am in Dallas and his next question was “For project work or a photo shoot?” I replied “Obviously, I can’t afford the holidays or a photo shoot in the US of A”. I knew he was just trying to pull my leg. 😀

Jokes apart, I am in Dallas, TX for work. Weekdays are jam packed with work and weekends with site-seeing, outing, photography and fun.

Note: Guys, this time I am not going to write “How to reach Dallas: for the obvious reason that you don’t need driving instructions. Your airlines pilot will know them better. Ha..ha!!! 🙂

Okay. Mine was long journey to Dallas. Mumbai-Atlanta flight was total 18 hours and we were almost dead by that journey. Atlanta-Dallas was more 3 hours and this pilot was most dangerous pilot I have ever experienced in my life. He was almost about to crash our plane on the runway of Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) airport. Thank god, we survived and landed one-piece from that 200-seater plane. Lesson learnt – it is always better to come to US via Europe and have break journey.

So finally I landed up in “USa cha malaa” मराठी: ऊसाचा मळा (as me and my close friends popularly called it since past few years. It literally means “Sugarcane field”. Similarity in words “US” and “ऊस“. The word “Sugarcane” stands for obvious different fascination things in the US). 😉

Dallas is widespread and flat terrain kind of city. Irving is suburb of Dallas where I am put up. There are very few sky scrappers in this area. Most of them are villas and 3-storey apartments.

Here are few of the places I have visited/seen/experienced here –

  1. The Mustangs of Las ColinasMustangs of Las Colinas – This is first place which I found on net while searching for site-seeing places in Dallas. It was love at first sight. We went there on very next day. The Mustangs of Las Colinas is the largest equestrian sculpture in the world. It is a realistic bronze sculpture of nine horses running through a granite stream at William Square plaza.
    Quick historical background – This place was once ranch owned by rich family of Mr. Ben H Carpenter and was fondly called “El Ranchito de Las Colinas”, meaning the Little Ranch of the Hills. He dreamed to turn this grassland into a world class development. As a result, Las Colinas was transformed from the open grassland of the past into the world renowned master-planned community it is today. In order to establish a unique identity for this urban space, a sculpture that captured the free spirit embodied in the heritage of Texas would be the centerpiece. Wild mustangs that roamed the early days of Texas would be the identifying piece for this grand gathering place. Mr. Ben Carpenter unveiled his plans in 1973 and Robert Glen was given the assignment to create the mustang sculpture in the summer of 1976. Finally, on September 25, 1984, the sculpture was in place and the plaza was open for the public to inspect and enjoy. We can also see the museum near by where they show history of it. Also they have a shop which sell mementos of Mustangs like show pieces, T-shirts, etc. The Mustangs of Las Colinas is worth a dekko.
  2. DFW Hindu TempleDFW Hindu Temple – We went to Dallas Fort Worth a.k.a DFW Hindu temple. It is beautiful and neat temple. We went inside and found that there are all types of Hindu deities. Each deity is sponsored by the community it is worshipped. For e.g. Ganapati Bappa is sponsored by most of the Maharashtrians, Radha-Krishna by Gujaratis, Balaji by South-Indians so on and so forth. There was some Pooja going on with Pujari (priest) and some folks attending it. Then in another hall there was some pravachan of Geeta or some holy hindu book.We prayed to each deity, took Prasad and came back. Outside in the lawn, we saw few Indians and some cops. When we went close by we found that Indians were busy making Bonfire for holi. Cops were there to keep watch and security on them. 🙂
  3. White Rock LakeWhite Rock Lake – Our friend took us to this beautiful lake. White Rock Lake is a unique, 1,015 acre city lake, centrally located at East Lawther Dr. We parked our vehicle and headed to the lake. This is the place for bike (bicycle) trail, bird watching, fishing, picnics, pet trail, boating, etc. Two things must to have here I felt was a cycle and/or a cute doggie. Most of the people surrounding us actually had either one of these two or both. We cross a hanging bridge and reached the other side. Few people were fishing on the bank with their fishing traps. As we walked on the pathway, I found different types of birds like Mallard ducks, Cormorant, Darters, Sea gulls, American Coots, Terns, etc. It was fun watching them. Some facts about this lake are – it is a man made reservoir and freshwater lake located in east Dallas, used for a small portion of Dallas‘ drinking water and for condenser cooling at a steam-electric generating plant. Construction on White Rock Lake began in 1910 due to a major city-wide water shortage, and was completed in 1911. The estimated cost of the dam and spillway project was $260,000. huh! The lake is surrounded by White Rock Lake Park, which features a 9.33 mile (15 km) trail for hiking, running and bicycling, Dallas Arboretum and a botanical parking. Fishing and sailing is legally allowed. They have a sailing club to promote the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. As its name says White “Rock” lake, this lake really “rocks!!!”
  4. Dallas Downtown Dallas Downtown and High five – We crossed Downtown on the way to White Rock Lake. As any other downtown in the US, there were huge skyscrapers in this area. I could click few snaps from car. We crossed “High Five” or “High 5” in downtown. High Five interchange is the five-level freeway interchange in Dallas. Five level roads run above each other. The $261 million project began in 2002 and was completed in December 2005.
    High 5The interchange comprises 37 bridges distributed across 5 levels (thus the name “High Five”), with the highest ramps 120 feet (37 m) above ground. The High Five consists of nearly 60 lane-miles of new roadway and stretches 2.4 miles (3.9 km) north/south and 3.4 miles (5.5 km) east/west. I praised the modern architects and civil engineers for such amazing construction work.
    Dallas World Aquarium (DWA)
  5. Dallas World AquariumCommonly called as DWA. It is located in the heart of downtown. DWA is a huge aquarium cum zoo which shelters number of varieties of sea animals, fishes, birds, animals, snakes, turtles, etc. We entered the place, we reached rainforest and I saw lots of species of birds which lived in the rainforest, flying freely overhead from island in the river to the top of the seven-storey structure. Then there were primates, Roseate spoonbills, penguins, leopard, flamingos, Ibis, snakes, crocodiles, sharks, swans, otters, manatee, frogs, bats, owls and colorful fishes. We didn’t even realize that we spent some 6 hours there. The collection and conservation of these exhibits made me speechless. I was happy that I visited here.
  6. Dallas ArboretumDallas Arboretum – Dallas Arboretum is huge garden with variety of floras. The spring bloom starts in first week of March up to mid-april. This is a 6 weeks festival is the largest outdoor flora festival showcasing over 4 lacs of spring blooming bulbs including tulips, daffodils, Dutch iris, hyacinth, flowering with thousands of other seasonal flowers. I saw tulip in real was first time in my life and they were so beautiful. Tulips always remind me of “Dekha ek khwaab to ye silsile hue”. I captured as many tulips through my lenses. There were tulips bulbs of vivid colors like red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, double colored, white, parrot species, etc. Many flora photographers were all set with their DSLRs, lenses, wide-angles, diffusers, tripods and what not. The Arboretum has many fountains, awesome landscapes, children playing areas along with botanical treasure. It seemed to be paradise on the earth. I returned back with memories of all those beauties embossed in my heart and mind forever.

BirdsI found a bird very close to Indian crow here. It is called “Grackle“. Sub-species is “Great Tailed Grackle”. These are migratory birds and make sound like hyenas. Other common birds are Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Blue Jay, Sparrow, Scaly-breasted Munia, Dove, Pigeon.

This was all till date. I would write Dallas – Part II once I visit few more places here.

P.S. : For more snaps please visit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157614915602469/detail/

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I have been to Kavdi (also called as “Kavdipat“) for couple of times.  Each trip is a treat in itself.

We started for Kavdi at 6:30 AM. After crossing ‘Loni Kalbhor’ toll plaza, we traveled for 2 mins more and took left turn. We found Bush chat (Female) and clicked few snaps on the way. We could also spot a Honey Buzzard along with Bulbuls, Shrikes, Drongos, etc.

To reach Kavdi:

  1. Start from Swargate and take Solapur highway.
  2. Cross Hadapsar, Manjri etc. Travel straight till you reach “Loni Kalbhor” Toll plaza. Get return receipt of  Rs. 22.50/-
  3. After crossing this Toll plaza, drive 2 mins more to see “Kavdipat” sign board on left hand side. Take left turn to go to Kavdi.
  4. After distance of 10 mins drive, we reach bund and river at Kavdi.
  5. You can park your vehicle at temple near by.
  6. Total distance is approx 20 Kms.

Best season to visit: November to January.
Must carry: Binocular and a camera. 🙂

Kavdi BundFlocks and flocks of migratory as well as local birds make their way to Kavdi. Winter mornings are very pleasant. If you reach there at time of sunrise then you could get some awesome sunrise shots.

We climbed the bund and fun began. First there were Wire-tailed Swallows. I approached them closer and closer and they were all set a wonderful photo session.

Other birds found were –  White-throated Kingfisher, Small blue Kingfisher, Teals, Brahminy Ducks, Ducks, Marsh Harrier, Yellow Wagtail, White-browed Wagtail, Grey Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, Black Ibis, Spotbill Duck, Cormorant, Darter, Common Sandpiper, Large Egret, Spotted Ducks.

Blue ThroatA special mention about a bird called “Blue Throat” which flies all the way down from Europe and then north Asia to this place. I saw it for first time. Thanks to Vishal for showing this to me.

If  you are lucky enough, you can also get to see – Pied Kingfisher, Peafowls, Purple Heron, Egrets, Stonechat, Scaly-breasted Munia, Red Munia, Painted Storks. 😉

On the way back, we waited at “Joshi Wadewale” and took a “Wada-paav” break. I returned home with memories of all these wonderful flying beauties.

Kavdi is truly bird watcher’s Paradise!!! 😀

For more pictures – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157603886961076/detail/
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