Kingfisher

Date Taken: 23 June 2012 | Place: Ranganathittu, Karnataka, India.

Catch It! - Brahminy Kite

Date Taken: 08 July 2012 | Place: Sangama, Karnataka, India.

Let's Make Our Planet Green

Date Taken: 23 June 2012 | Place: Ranganathittu, Karnataka, India

Over Everest

Date Taken: 21 Apr 2012 | Place: Kathmandu, Nepal

Rowing On The River Ganges

Date Taken: 17 Apr 2012 | Place: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

President's House

Date Taken: 27 Apr 2012 | Place: New Delhi, India

Taj Mahal

Date Taken: 25 Apr 2012 | Place: Agra, India

Bangalore at Night

Date Taken: 20 May 2012 | Place: Bangalore, India

Uttarakhand - Simply the Heaven

Date Taken: 05 May 2012 | Place: Uttarakhand, India

30 September 2012

Common Rosefinch


Date Taken: 08 Sep 2012
Place: Bangalore
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The Common Rosefinch is larger than a sparrow. It has a stout and conical bill. The mature male has brilliant rosy-carmine head, breast and rump; heavy bill; dark brown wings with two indistinct bars, and a white belly. Females and young males are dull-colored with yellowish-brown above, brighter on the rump and greyer on head; buff below.

It has spread westward through Europe in recent decades, even breeding in England once. Common Rosefinches breed from the Danube valley, Sweden, and Siberia to the Bering Sea; the Caucasus, northern Iran and Afghanistan, the western Himalayas, Tibet and China; to Japan between latitudes 25° and 68°. In winter they are found from southern Iran to south-east China India, Burma, and Indochina.
They are found in summer in thickets, woodland and forest edges near rivers and in winter in gardens and orchards, wetlands and locally in dry oak woods.

The nest is placed low in a bush. The eggs are dark blue with coarse dark brown spots, and a typical clutch contains five eggs.

content credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Rosefinch

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Paddyfield Pipit


Date Taken: 08 Sep 2012
Place: Bangalore
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Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus) is a small passerine bird in the pipits and wagtail family. It is a resident breeder in open scrub, grassland and cultivation in southern Asia east to the Philippines. Although among the few breeding pipits in the Asian region, identification becomes difficult in winter when several other species migrate into the region. The taxonomy of the species is complex and has undergone considerable changes.

This is a large pipit at 15 cm, but is otherwise an undistinguished looking bird, mainly streaked grey-brown above and pale below with breast streaking. It is long legged with a long tail and a long dark bill. Sexes are similar. Summer and winter plumages are similar. Young birds are more richly coloured below than adults and have the pale edges to the feather's of the upper parts more conspicuous with more prominent spotting on the breast. The population waitei from northwestern India and Pakistan is pale while the population malayensis from the Western Ghats is larger, darker and more heavily streaked with nominate rufulus intermediate.
In winter some care must be taken to distinguish this from other pipits that winter in the area, such as Richard's Pipit, Anthus richardi and Blyth's Pipit, Anthus godlewskii. Paddyfield Pipit is smaller and dumpier, has shorter looking tail and has a weaker fluttering flight. The usually uttered characteristic "chip-chip-chip" call is quite different from usual calls of Richard's Pipit (explosive "shreep") and Blyth's Pipit (nasal "pschreen"). Tawny Pipit has less streaking on the mantle and has a black loreal stripe and a longer tail. The Western Ghats population can appear very similar to the Nilgiri Pipit.

content credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paddyfield_Pipit

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Pied Bushchat


Date Taken: 08 Sep 2012
Place: Bangalore
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The Pied Bush Chat (Saxicola caprata) is a small passerine bird found ranging from West and Central Asia to South and Southeast Asia. About sixteen subspecies are recognized through its wide range with many island forms. It is a familiar bird of countryside and open scrub or grassland where it is found perched at the top of short thorn trees or other shrubs, looking out for insect prey. They pick up insects mainly from the ground, and were, like other chats, placed in the thrush family Turdidae, but are now considered as Old World flycatchers.
They nest in cavities in stone walls or in holes in an embankment, lining the nest with grass and animal hair. The males are black with white shoulder and vent patches whose extent varies among populations. Females are predominantly brownish while juveniles are speckled.

The Pied Bush Chat is slightly smaller than the Siberian Stonechat, Saxicola maurus, although it has a similar dumpy structure and upright stance. The male is black except for a white rump, wing patch and lower belly. The iris is dark brown, the bill and legs black. The female is drab brown and slightly streaked. Juveniles have a scaly appearance on the underside but dark above like the females.

content credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pied_Bush_Chat

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Long Tailed Shrike


Date Taken: 30 Sep 2012
Place: Bangalore
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The Long-tailed Shrike or Rufous-backed Shrike (Lanius schach) is a member of the bird family Laniidae, the shrikes. They are found widely distributed across Asia and there are variations in plumage across the range. The species ranges across much of Asia, both on the mainland and the eastern archipelagos. The eastern or Himalayan subspecies, L. s. tricolor, is sometimes called the Black-headed Shrike. Although there are considerable differences in plumage among the subspecies, they all have a long and narrow black tail, have a black mask and forehead, rufous rump and flanks and a small white patch on the shoulder. It is considered to form a superspecies with the Grey-backed Shrike (Lanius tephronotus) which breeds on the Tibetan Plateau.

The Long-tailed Shrike is a typical shrike, favouring dry open habitats and found perched prominently atop a bush or on a wire. The dark mask through the eye is broad and covers the forehead in most subspecies and the whole head is black in subspecies tricolor and nasutus. The tail is narrow and graduated with pale rufous on the outer feathers. Subspecies erythronotus has the grey of the mantle and upper back suffused with rufous while the southern Indian caniceps has pure grey. A small amount of white is present at the base of the primaries. The Bay-backed Shrike is smaller and more contrastingly patterned and has a more prominent white patch on the wing. The sexes are alike in plumage.

content credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-tailed_Shrike

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18 September 2012

Pied Bushchat


Date Taken: 08 Sep 2012
Place: Bangalore
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The Pied Bush Chat (Saxicola caprata) is a small passerine bird found ranging from West and Central Asia to South and Southeast Asia. About sixteen subspecies are recognized through its wide range with many island forms. It is a familiar bird of countryside and open scrub or grassland where it is found perched at the top of short thorn trees or other shrubs, looking out for insect prey. They pick up insects mainly from the ground, and were, like other chats, placed in the thrush family Turdidae, but are now considered as Old World flycatchers.

They nest in cavities in stone walls or in holes in an embankment, lining the nest with grass and animal hair. The males are black with white shoulder and vent patches whose extent varies among populations. Females are predominantly brownish while juveniles are speckled.

The Pied Bush Chat is slightly smaller than the Siberian Stonechat, Saxicola maurus, although it has a similar dumpy structure and upright stance. The male is black except for a white rump, wing patch and lower belly. The iris is dark brown, the bill and legs black. The female is drab brown and slightly streaked. Juveniles have a scaly appearance on the underside but dark above like the females.

Content credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pied_Bush_Chat

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03 September 2012

The Moon Surface


Date Taken: 01 Sep 2012
Place: Bangalore
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The Moon is the only natural satellite of the Earth, and the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System. It is the largest natural satellite of a planet in the Solar System relative to the size of its primary, having a quarter the diameter of Earth but only 1⁄81 its mass. The Moon is the second densest satellite after Io, a satellite of Jupiter. It is in synchronous rotation with Earth, always showing the same face with its near side marked by dark volcanic maria that fill between the bright ancient crustal highlands and the prominent impact craters. The Moon is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun, although its surface is actually very dark, with a reflectance similar to that of coal. Its prominence in the sky and its regular cycle of phases have, since ancient times, made the Moon an important cultural influence on language, calendars, art and mythology. The Moon's gravitational influence produces the ocean tides and the minute lengthening of the day. The Moon's current orbital distance, about thirty times the diameter of the Earth, causes it to appear almost the same size in the sky as the Sun, allowing it to cover the Sun nearly precisely in total solar eclipses. This matching of apparent visual size is a coincidence. Earlier in Earth's history, the Moon was closer to Earth, and would have had an apparent visual size greater than that of the sun.

The Moon is the only celestial body other than Earth on which humans have set foot. The Soviet Union's Luna programme was the first to reach the Moon with unmanned spacecraft in 1959; the United States' NASA Apollo program achieved the only manned missions to date, beginning with the first manned lunar orbiting mission by Apollo 8 in 1968, and six manned lunar landings between 1969 and 1972, with the first being Apollo 11. These missions returned over 380 kg of lunar rocks, which have been used to develop a geological understanding of the Moon's origins, the formation of its internal structure, and its subsequent history. It is thought to have formed some 4.5 billion years ago. One formation theory is a giant impact event involving Earth. The impact theory was called into question in 2012, after re-analysis of Apollo samples.

After the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, the Moon has been visited only by unmanned spacecraft, notably by the final Soviet Lunokhod rover. Since 2004, Japan, China, India, the United States, and the European Space Agency have each sent lunar orbiters. These spacecraft have contributed to confirming the discovery of lunar water ice in permanently shadowed craters at the poles and bound into the lunar regolith. Future manned missions to the Moon have been planned, including government as well as privately funded efforts. The Moon remains, under the Outer Space Treaty, free to all nations to explore for peaceful purposes.

Content credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon

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