Notes from the Wilderness

Notes from the Wilderness

“The wilderness imposes a profound stillness on the river of your soul.”

Robbie John


I’ve been awol* (away on leave) again; into the depths of my own wilderness I can claim. Today I bring to you snippets from the wilderness walks that I’ve indulged in; in the past few months. It’s been a while I shared notes from the wilderness.

When I started writing this post it was early autumn. I need not say that now, we are well into winter.

Here’s what circled my senses from about a month and a half ago.

“Autumn is upon us, as are a teeming bunch of winter migrants. The air is rife with sweet, sublime scents. The flowers and trees have been swaying to the wisps of festivities. What better time to celebrate nature than this.”

Present Tense

Things haven’t changed drastically, I must say.

Just that we have been enveloped by a dense smog for the past month or so, which has made it impossible to go out birding. The winter migrants have apparently delayed their journey.

There is a glimmer of hope as I write this.

The winter sun pierces the smog to claim it’s place in the world. It’s such a relief from the dark, dreary, gloomy days from the past few weeks.

The day my 15 year-old went back to boarding school, the sun chose to go on a sabbatical too; as though grieving her absence. The buttercup spent a month and a-half of her autumn break regaling us with her sunny presence.

Today I bring to you a big collection of images from our monsoon-autumn walks.

There is another set of images from our visit to the gorgeous Purbasthali Bird sanctuary, set amidst the hidden gem of an oxbow lake called Chupi Char. I spotted a few lifers there including the stunning Bronze Winged Jacanas. But that’s a “tail” for another day. Given it has such a stunning tail! ♥ 😉

The next few images are from our walk at the Sultanpur National park that’s about 40 minutes, from where we live. All picture credits go to the 15 year-old. 


kite-black shouldered kite
S/he’s got the look! A Black shouldered kite poses for the 15 year-old’s camera.


Kite-black shouldered kite
Posing like there is no tomorrow.


Cormorant-drying wings
A Little Cormorant – Rituals that are non-negotiable! Drying its wings post a morning feast. Cormorants dive deep into water bodies in search of their food, thus they invest a lot of time drying themselves out by opening their wings. I’ve always found this sight awe-inspiring.


Painted Stork- Nesting
A Painted stork looks out for nesting material.


Neelgai-Blue bull and Egret
An Egret chills with a Neelgai (Blue Bull), in the misty wetlands.


Painted Storks-Flying
Follow the Leader. Painted stork and a Black Necked Ibis in flight mode.


Birds- Nesting-Black Necked Stork
The handsome couple. Black-Necked Storks getting nest ready. 


White-throated Kingfisher
A White throated Kingfisher savouring the fragrant morning.


Skimmer-Pied Paddy Skimmer
A Pied Paddy Skimmer frolics amidst the elephant grasses and other shrubs. Such a thing of beauty! 


Wild flowers- Sunflowers wild
Yellow Sunflower Jerusalem or Sun Chokes dot our landscapes, sprinkling sunshine on a misty morning.


Common Hawk Cuckoo-on ground
A Common Hawk Cuckoo rarely dwells on ground, therefore this was a fascinating sight to behold.


Common Hawk Cuckoo-Tree
Ruffled by our presence, it takes to its arboreal quarters. Also known as the Brain Fever Bird for its imitable calls.


Painted storks-flying birds
Flights of Fancy, or Fancy these Flights. Painted Storks on a communal flight.



Follow ano-the-r leader. Again! A Black Necked Ibis leads the Cormorants. 


Greater Coucal-Bird on a tree
A Greater Coucal. Make a wish, will you! Growing up we called the Coucal a Wishing bird, and I still continue to make a wish every time I see one. This dude/dudette hops around, in anticipation of breakfast.

Wetlands and More

The next few pictures are from our walk to the expansive Chandu wetlands and around. It was fascinating to chance upon a lone sarus crane busy socialising with a Common Crane, Painted storks and other waders. Some of my own photos here.


Cranes-Wetlands-Sarus Crane
This trio looked super chuffed in each others company.


Crane-sarus crane-common crane
Oh! Wait! We are headed our way now. That tête-à-tête was fun.


Dragon fly-plant
I love Dragon flies. There is something utterly enchanting and auspicious about them. They are like the visible fairies that flint around nature.


Bee Eater- Green Bee Eater
A gorgeous Bee Eater checking out the birds and the bees. Making a bee-line for it all, indeed.


Spider-Huntsman Spider
A Huntsman Spider smiling back at us as we check out it’s teeming progeny. Can you spot any of the younglings? 



An Indian milk weed quietly making its presence felt with these pretty blooms.

Monsoon Magic

From another walk by the CRPF camp, at Bhondsi; we were glad to be greeted by the rainbow coloured Indian Pitta. My second sighting in four-five years. The species makes this part of our city, in North India, home for a few months around monsoons; before heading back to South India.

My older one who is no big bird lover joined us for this walk, along with her partner who is a complete wildlife buff. She foraged for fungi, and scanned the ground, while we immersed ourselves looking up. 🙂


Indian Pitta -bird-Navrang
A juvenile Indian Pitta calls out to its Mommy. Picture Credits: Lokhit Rajan


Indian Pitta-Juvenile
Mommy has chosen to play hide and seek, therefore the juvenile looks out for Daddy.. Picture Credits: Lokhit Rajan


The last three images circle back to Sultanpur National Park again and are, yes; photographed by the 15 year-old.


A Hoopoe is such a beauty to behold. 


Parrot-Rose Ringed Parakeet
“I’m no less than a beauty, either!” claims it’s space in the world, an Alexandrine Parakeet.


Red Avadavat-Munia
A Red Avadavat scuttles around the bushes, and says, “It’s time to say good-bye, till we meet again.”


It’s wrap up time. These were fun notes to share.

I hope you enjoyed reading and seeing the critters and flora, as much as we did. Recounting those moments were fun, in these Notes from the Wilderness.


So long!

Enjoy the final few days of the year, y’all.

Take time to pause and just be.

I know the festivities are in full swing, but a little time to reflect and be grateful for what is and what has been, is great too; while you sip on your cuppa.

Here’s mine from yesterday with a dash of cinnamon and coconut oil, and a homemade healthy, crunchy walnut carrot cake (credits our home chef-Manisha).

Love, Kisses and Laughter xoxo

Natasha ♥


Need I say more.


A Michael Buble’s Christmas playlist,  just for you. Enjoy!


26 thoughts on “Notes from the Wilderness

  1. I’m so grateful for this post, dear Natasha. Your images are quite
    spectacular. I enjoyed every each of them. And I love the music.
    And the last image made me smile and give me some new ideas!
    Hugs and a fine December for you and your beloved ones. ❤️

  2. I absolutely enjoyed seeing every one of the critters and flora you and your talented daughter captured.
    Thanks for sharing these glorious photos.
    So wonderful to have you back, dearest Natasha.

    Hugs and blessings

  3. I would love to join you in your birding / nature walk. You have the most beautiful birds in the world, I think. Thank you so much for sharing these photos with us. And I will definitely take your advice and just be!

  4. Welcome back Natasha! I would have enjoyed going on these outings. The birds are all gorgeous. It is too hard to pick a favorite I love all of them. Your 15 year old took lovely photos too. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your day! Have a wonderful week!

  5. We celebrate the fact that your notes from the wilderness evolved into a full-blown glorious nature pictorial!

    Savoring over each morsel you presented had us looking at maps and discovering the wonders of the sanctuaries and parks you visited. Then we reviewed the fabulous photographs a second, then a third time. I admit to favoring the striking Black-shouldered Kite but that cuckoo is intriguing.

    Thank you, Natasha, for sharing your notes!
    All the best.
    Wally Jones recently posted…On Little Bird Feet*My Profile

    1. This is so heart-warming to learn, Wally. That you went on a discovery of the maps and places I mentioned.
      Always warms the cockles of my heart to hear how immersive you make reading what I share. Makes it all so worthwhile.

      Thanks Wally. 🙂

  6. Wonderful photos by you and your daughter. We don’t have most of these birds where I live in the Northeast United States and I love seeing your different birds and insects. Even your milkweed looks different than ours. Right now, we have mainly our year round birds (there is also one bird from further north that winters here) and the birds are a lot more quiet as they hunt for late fall food offerings. Today will be (for us) warm but snow by Monday.
    Alana recently posted…The Great November Sunset Part 1 #SkywatchFridayMy Profile

    1. How wonderful is that, Keith. Would love to see her photos some day. And now I know where is gets it from; her Dad, who takes some incredible photos. 🙂

    1. Hello I’ve been unable to access your blog forever now. Can’t seem to figure what the issue is, as it doesn’t even take me to your page. Have tried different browsers too. (Hope you read this)

      Loads of Yule Cheer, and thank you for always stopping by. 🙂

  7. Looks like some nice walks. Great photos from the 15 year old. Wow, smog that bad sounds awful. Hope it is cleared up! Enjoy the rest of your year!

    1. Thanks dear Trent, i got a bit late in linking up with your smiles, but heading there now.
      Yes, fortunately the smog cleared up the day I wrote and posted this. It’s bright and sunny now. Thank God for these blessed mercies. 🙂

  8. You obtained so many nice images despite the challenging light conditions. The Hoopoe is particularly fascinating. The 16-year old is a very accomplished wildlife photographer. I, too have not gotten out very much in out gloomy, wet, cold and windy spell.
    Kenneth C Schneider recently posted…Winter Goldfinch #1090My Profile

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