The Early Bird Catches the Worm – II

The Early Bird Catches the Worm – II


“Since the early bird catches the worm, it’s a good idea to begin your day as soon as you can-unless, of course, you happen to be a worm.”

Ed Bliss

Hola! Amigos. ♥

I’m back after a longish break. Longer than I had promised and anticipated myself. Today, I bring to you part two of the series the early bird  catches the worm. You can read Part I, here.

I really missed all my friends and their posts in blogosphere. Having said that the last three weeks of my life were rather eventful, blessed and a revelation of sorts.

I am pleased to share that I am now a Certified Telepathic Animal and Nature Communicator. (This link has an interview with my incredible teacher, Manjiri Latey; in case you are wondering what this is all about).

I finished my course a few weeks ago, in the beautiful forests of Kanha. It was an experience beyond beautiful, and I look forward to sharing the same with you in an upcoming post.

All of last week we were blessed to have a bunch of kids, infect our home with their joyous and buoyant energies. We were hosting my 14 year-old’s friends from her boarding school, while the summer vacations are on.

If you ever need some joy infused in your life, consider spending time with children, nature and animals. They are the balm that you were looking for, to ease and set aside your worries. 


The Early Bird Readies to Catch the Worm

Okay, without much ado, today I take you for a walk to the Chandu Wetlands, in the NCR (National Capital Region) around Delhi. 

This walk was on 2 April, over a month ago, when “apparently” Spring was all set to hang its boots. Without having to sound selfish, and fortunately for us, but not at all for the farmers and global warming; we have had pleasant days ever since, with intermittent rainfall. Else this time of the year in May is blazing hot.

Time to Say Adieu to the Wintering Migrants

My 14 year-old and I drive out in the wee hours of the second day of April, a cool, crisp Sunday morning, armed with her Canon and binoculars. We are joining Abhishek and his Ninox cohort – a wildlife community he runs, to educate and create awareness around the joys of birding, being one with wildlife and appreciating different species.

Our agenda today is to catch glimpses of the migratory birds that have wintered here, before they head out for their onward journey. 

It takes us approximately thirty minutes to drive and get to the destination, but only minus traffic. We listen to Spotify, while Google maps guides us through the way that criss-crosses the suburbs of Gurgaon. Even though I have been here multiple times, it’s easy to lose way.

We traverse through the potholes and the partially constructed suburbs of our city, to reach the nearby hamlets and farmlands. These are home to a wide range of fauna, and bustling with a wide spectrum of avian life. If we look around attentively and try to look at a lower level (as when, birding all we do is look up, you see!), we end up having chance encounters with many other species. On a good day these may include mammals like Golden Jackals, Mongoose, an odd reptile here and there, and plenty of other visible and non-visible critters.

Not So Early, these Birds

We have missed the Ninox bunch just by a whisker as we lost our way and ended up taking a longish detour. But soon enough we are at Chandu wetlands, which is barely a stones throw away from our meeting point, Shri Burfiwalla.

Everyone’s just bracing up for the day, armed with their gear. 

All photos are taken by our 14-year old on her Canon, except where I mention.


Sunrise-Fields-Bird Watching
Morning has broken. Image: On my iPhone13

The blotted, inky yet grey morning sky is slowly but surely, stretching out its arms and yawning up to a golden hue.

We make pit stops to savour a few birds, like the Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Striated babblers, the Baya weavers, Tits etc. that have made an appearance.

The freshly harvested millet fields sparkle, as the golden orb rises and shines, clearing traces of the morning mist.


Our yellow orb of morning sunshine. Image: On my iPhone13


Bird-Grass-Striated Babbler
A Striated Babbler looks around for breakfast.


Bird-Sky-Striated Babbler
Another Striated Babbler looks on. I believe it’s contemplating, “The Early bird gets the worm, or not!?”


Harvested fields-farm-countryside
The golden hues transform to a powdery blue. Image: On my iPhone13


Tree tops-two birds-Wagtails
A pair of Eastern Yellow Wagtails making merry as a brand new day begins.


Wheat-Fields-Yellow Birds-Citrine Yellow Wagtail
Double Whammy: A Citrine Yellow Wagtail, enjoying not just a pendulous ride, but a meal on the wheat fields.


Birds on a Wire- Pair-Baya Weavers
A pair of Baya Weavers setting their intentions for the day. 


Birds on a Wire- Baya Weaver
“This way or that way, it all works out just the way you believe and manifest,” So they say!


Countryside road-Sky-Fields
The 14 year-old, busy exploring and capturing the countryside and its different species. Photo: On my iPhone13


Grasslands-Bird-Red Avadavat
A Red Avadavat gathers nesting material from the elephant grass. They are also known as Red Munias or Strawberry Finches.



Elephant Grass-Bird-Munia
A Red Avadavat/Scaly Breasted Munia, looks on.


White-Breasted Water Hen-Hen
The 14 year-old spent a lot of time patiently filming this lovely White-Breasted waterhen, also photographed in another location in the first post here.



Baya Weaver-Feeding-Fields - Grains
The Baya Weavers finally found breakfast among these crop of grains.


Birds-Feeding-Fields-Baya Weavers
“That’s a mighty grand breakfast,” says the other. “Well, the early bird gets the grains, yes!”


Wheat fields-black-bird-pied bush chat
A Pied bush chat also savouring the perks of a Sunday morning.


Bird-Pied bush chat
The Pied bush chat feasts on a grub. “The choice is simple – a non-vegetarian breakfast over cereals!”


Bird-Wire-Green Bee Eater
A Green Bee- Eater. We were fortunate to sight a whole bunch of Blue Tailed Bee Eaters this Sunday, during our birding jaunt. They are exclusively gorgeous.



Bee Eater-Asian Green Bee Eater
“A nice early morning ruffle wakes up all the senses and makes my ragamuffin beauty shine!” says the Asian Green Bee Eater. 


Francolin-Black Francolin
A Black Francolin calling out for its mate. This beauty is the state bird of Haryana, where we live. Image Credits: my talented friend, Hemant Garg


Francolin-Grey Francolin
The Grey Francolin was also seemingly seeking a partners attention. Early morning cuddles are the best apparently. Image Credits: Hemant Garg

The Surprise Winged Wonders

We then drive out a little further, to be greeted by a whole flock of Red-Headed Buntings that winter here in India. We are lucky to get a wholesome sighting before they migrate to their summer destination. These are lifers for me. 

Abhishek keeps reminding everyone to maintain a safe distance, so as not to disturb the birds while filming them. These days the fauna loving, social media, and eye ball garnering paparazzi world over; have created much unrest amongst wildlife, while not maintaining protocols. It’s so important to be reminded of these protocols time and again. This helps us respect their spaces, so as not to distress or disturb them and their habitat. 

Suddenly another  winter visitor pops into the picture, one that we can’t take our eyes off. Gorgeous and endearing all at the same time. I am seeing it for the second time. It is a lifer for the 14 year-old who now manages to get some decent shots.

Check it out, as you scroll down.

*Lifer – Lifer is a designation for a species that an individual birder has never seen previously.


Bird-Tree-Red Headed Bunting
Here are some of the red-headed wonders from the flock. Presenting Red Headed Buntings, if you please.
Birds-Elephant Grass-Red Headed Buntings
Enjoying a whiff of the crisp morning air, are these handsome birds. Red Headed Buntings.


Bird-Keekar-Red Headed Bunting
The thorny Keekar (Acacia) is never a deterrent to any of these passerine birds. Passerine birds are perching birds, with four toes, three directed forward and one backward. Roughly 60% species of birds are passerine.


Buntings- Birds
Morning glory!


Bird-Keekar-Blue Throat
So here’s the much awaited beauty, I mentioned a while ago. A Blue Throat. It would now, have migrated back to its summer home, Europe.


Bird-Migrant-Blue Throat
Can’t get enough of  the electrical blue and orange patterns around its throat. Ain’t this insectivorous avian a wonder to sight?


Heading into the Wetlands

We are now done savouring the birds in the meadows and fields. It is time to set the wheels rolling to see the waders and other birds of Chandu wetlands. So we cruise towards the water bodies, which are just a few minutes apart from the meadows.

As we drive towards the wetlands; suddenly someone notices a Spotted Owlet enjoying a morning snooze by a large tree and clearing. The presence of a few cars alerts the raptor and we are greeted with a suspicious gaze.


Tree-fields-Big Tree
The expansive tree next to which was a Neem tree where we found the Spotted Owlet. Photo: On my iPhone13


Owl-Bird-Spotted Owlet


Owl-Spotted owlet
Thes suspicious gaze that screams, “Do not disturb, while I sleep.”

Witnessing the Wetlands

As we arrive by the water bodies, we notice the Painted storks, Pied Avocets, Stilts, Garganeys, Wooly Necked storks, Spot-Billed Ducks, Temmick’s Stints and many others, busy feasting. 


Waders-Birds-Wetlands-Painted Storks
The Painted storks having a delicious spread for their brunch. The abundant supply of fish and crustaceans is quite the perk for all the waders in these wetlands.


Indian Spot Billed Duck. We mostly have videos of other waders. I realise this is quite a long post already, so we are closing up to a wrap up. 


Caterpillar-Moth Caterpillar
A moth caterpillar making its way among the pile of dried reeds.


Cranes-pair of Sarus Cranes
Just a representation to show you Sarus Cranes. At a reasonable distance, a pair of Sarus cranes enjoy a morning stroll. And beyond them are hundreds of Greater Flamingos. But the Flamingos and the Sarus Cranes are too far, to be able to gather a good shot or angle. This image has been shot the same morning, but at another location, nearby after the Chandu expedition. #DidYouKnow; Sarus Cranes mate for life, and sometimes if their partner dies, they also die of grief! Photo Credits: Hemant Garg


Owl-Spotted Owlet
On our way out, we stopped once again to say our last goody byes to the Spotted Owlet. Yet, again it looked far from please.


Abhishek sets up his scope for us to see the avian wonders up-close and personal. A fruitful morning indeed, spent with the Ninox birding and wildlife community. Photo Credits: One of the birders who joined us.


And It’s Wrap Up

It’s been a quiet, breezy morning, and a feast to our eyes, one that every passionate birder and wild lifer would wish to experience.

We spot 3 more beautiful raptors – a Greater Spotted Eagle, an Osprey flying away with its morning catch – a fish, and most likely a Buzzard; but farther away. 

It’s a joy to see so many different species of birds in one location. A truly memorable time.

Abhishek’s presence is always the cherry on the cake, as it helps clarify a lot of unanswered questions, and also an opportunity to identify and learn about many more species, than we usually would. 


Feature Image Credits: Hemant Garg, on another Ninox trail to Bhondsi. A Fire Capped Tit, with its early bird catch.

Other Image Credits: The 14-year old on her Canon (except where I mention).



Adieu, but Not Without a Few Thoughts to Ponder Upon


Which was your favourite picture/moment amongst all the ones I’ve shared here?

Have you ever considered going bird watching, or just exploring the natural landscape in your back yard?

If yes, what does it do to you?

Every time I get out into nature I return home grounded, joyous and filled with so much gratitude for all the wildlife species that we co-habit with.

I believe, we lesser mortals need to value their presence more than we currently do. We have to find a way to respect their spaces, and help more and more people become aware of their valuable contribution to the ecosystem of our blue planet.

Till we meet again soon!

Love, light and laughter galore,


Natasha ♥


Signing off  with Cat Stevens recent rendition of “Morning has Broken” at my favourite city of Istanbul.

Are you a Cat Stevens fan?




Jumping in with the incredible X’mas Dolly, Cathy and Alana for Monday Mewsic Moves, terrific Trent for Weekly Smiles and my adorable Wordless Wednesday gang SandeeKeithSuzanaBrianSteveLydia’s Seasonal post, Betty’s exquisite My Corner of the World and Mersad’s stunning Through my Lens, Anni’s endearing I’d Rather be Birdin’ and Eileen’s wholesome Saturday Critters.
Gratitude to everyone hosting. 🙂

35 thoughts on “The Early Bird Catches the Worm – II

  1. Thanks for the blog loaded with so much information. It’s really informative.
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  2. Hello my sweet! It’s ME again! I’ve been missing you…. how have you been? Great I hope. I’ve been sitting around mostly because the weather has been cold & rainy, but there’s sunshine today & pretty nice outside so we may go for a walk! WOO HOO! I’ve got to get these muscles strong again if I have any hopes to get my life back. I don’t have any friends around here. When I lived in Chicago (all my life) from working here & there I made many, many friends, but we’re all grown up now & married & our families became our lives. Well, all my kids are grown & married now & they all live close to Chicago & one is a nurse who lives in Missouri! She’s the baby I miss her a lot. Well, we’ll talk again soon my sweet sweet friend! Sending many hugs your way & please take care of you! I wish you nothing but good health & happiness! Love, Marie
    Marie Moody aka XmasDolly recently posted…Wordless Wednesday!My Profile

  3. Your birding world is the opposite of ours. You have birds come to overwinter. Where I live, birds migrate away in the fall and return in the spring, except for one species, called a Dark-Eyed Junco. They summer north of us and winter in our area. Go figure! So in the late spring (like now) summer a birder can see or hear so many birds and then fall comes and we have our few hardy resident birds to observe. Few are as colorful as your birds and I admire each and every one for its methods of surviving our winters in the Northeast United States. I was a big Cat Stevens fan back in the early 1970’s and his voice seems to be as strong as ever.

  4. Great photos! I am not sure which is my favorite, there are several that stand out. That being said, I’ll admit, although it is “plain”, I really like owls…
    A few weeks ago I saw Rick Wakeman in concert. He did the piano part on the original (at that time) Cat Stevens recording of Morning Has Broken. Rick has a very funny story about that recording…

      1. Super quick version – Rick pretty much improvised the piano parts (the way he tells the story of it is funny – he’d make a good comedian if he wasn’t such a brilliant keyboardist). But he was never paid (30 years later Yusuf heard the story and sent Rick 20 pounds half as a joke – that was the original agreement). The song became a huge hit and Cat was to play it live on BBC with BBC musicians. Rick got a panicked call that nobody could figure out what he did. Could he please let them know? Still feeling the sting of not being paid, he politely said , “No!” He then tells the audience that he has the piano turned so nobody can see his hands, and he plays a jaw-dropping amazing version of it, with all of the parts: his original piano parts, Cat’s vocals and guitar, etc.

        1. Woaaaaahhhhh! Totally blown away.

          Do you have a recording somewhere of Rick’s version. Would love to watch!
          Thank you for sharing this revelation of an anecdote, dear Trent.
          Happy weekend!✨

  5. What a fantastic outing!

    My initial thought on your request about choosing a favorite was to answer: Yes, all of them are favorites! I tried to narrow it down a bit and came up with the Bee-Eater, Bluethroat and Buntings.

    In my very humble opinion, the only thing better than a day spent wrapped in Nature’s glory is having one of my children with me while doing so.

    Natasha, thank you for sharing the beauty of your country and providing a glimpse of our planet’s incredible diversity.
    WALLY JONES recently posted…Out ThereMy Profile

  6. Congrats on your certificate and I have to look it up to understand what it means but you are obviously an animal lover which is great.
    I love this song and have his album..greatest hits. The pictures are just amazing! I love the wheat field set against the blue sky and the birds!! Each o e is stunning. I love the brilliant green bird and the one with the blue throat. It’s too gard to pick a favourite

  7. Firstly, well done on your certification!
    Your daughter is an amazing photographer. Her pictures are incredible. A favourite? Difficult, but probably the Red Avadavat/Scaly Breasted Munia, looking on! I’m now tempted to do a bit of bird-watching, or twitching as it’s called in the UK!
    Keith’s Ramblings recently posted…DaydreamingMy Profile

  8. A truly enjoyable description of a most productive day. Your habitat shots are great, but your daughter’s bird photos are outstanding. No way to pick a favorite, but the bee-eaters stand out for me, especially they seem so exotic.
    Kenneth Schneider recently posted…Drama in the skyMy Profile

    1. And now I’m so tempted to get the Bakul; Tree for our terrace. Lol! Though we don’t have any space with the so many plants and trees. :))

  9. I told you I’d be back. Anyway, I got to listen to your song this time. Love Cat Stevens guess he’s getting up there in years, but he’s still good. You’re probably asleep right now it’s still light here & it’s 7:03 p.m. and I have to go do my dishes. That’s about all I can do nowadays. Hubby does a lot for me now. He’s a good man. Anyway, hope you can stop by some time and see my funnies. That’s where my blog is going to be from now on (I HOPE, it’s been hard learning how to blog all over again, but with Sandee’s help I’m doing it. God bless her). Anyway, time to move on because we’re going for our evening walk. I take my walker out, Dave grabs the dog and we’re off!!! We have a park across the street so there’s much to see (well, sometimes). Have a great day my sweet, sweet baby girl! You take care of yours & yourself!!! May the Lord bless you & yours! HUGS, MARIE
    Marie, XmasDolly recently posted…Wordless Wednesday!My Profile

  10. Congratulations on obtaining the certificate, dear Natasha! <3 Congratulations for the photos (congratulations are also for the photos taken by your dear child) and for all the knowledge you have about nature and living in harmony with nature. All my admiration! <3
    I love all the photos! I tried to imagine the dawn, the air with a different scent in the field… It's soothing!
    Very serene in your posts – thank you for everything. <3
    My favorite pictures (so to speak) 🙂 are the ones where the owl appears.
    I hug you with love! I wish you harmony! Good luck in everything you want to do! <3

  11. You’ve captured so many beautiful birds. You’re so talented.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday. Love and hugs, sweet Natasha. ♥
    Sandee recently posted…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  12. You are very talented in doing these birds’ captures. The images are awesome. Some of them could be transformed in paintings. The images with the owls are fabulous.
    And with the birds reflected in water.
    Very special post, dear Natasha. I introduced it in the table.
    Happy WW!
    Love, light and joy! ❤️

  13. Photographing birds is harder than it looks and you did a fabulous job capturing these feathered friends. The owl perched so pretty toward the end is my favorite shot. Thanks for joining the 4M party, my dear. Have a boogietastic and a not-so-WW! 😉

  14. Thanks for sharing these fantastic pictures Natasha. It’s so amazing that each photo is so Cc Lear and full of tiny details. A beautiful place to be in. Loved these photos. And honestly can say that one is my favorite, all are.


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