Friday, July 31, 2009

Monsoon = rice + new birds + wetlands

This year, 2009, the rains in the Gangetic flood plains are delayed as of July - the rains sort of began in mid-July, and have not really begun in earnest since. However, it has been adequate for most farmers to begin working on planting rice - farmers everywhere are ploughing fields (top) and fertilizing flooded fields in anticipation of regular rains later on.

With the rainy season, the plains witness the formation of wetlands, and the arrival of some species of birds that are absent here the rest of the year.

Three species of bitterns are found throughout Uttar Pradesh in the monsoon. This information was not known with certainty prior to this ongoing study. Above, a Cinnamon Bittern poses in the morning light beside a flooded rice field with few reeds growing on the edge. (I hope to post more on bitterns later on this blog.)

The stunning Paradise Flycatchers are supposed to be passing through Uttar Pradesh in the summer and monsoon season, though this is not known for certain and they may well breed here. Above, a male bird in full splendour calls out to a female in another tree in a roadside goose-berry orchard.

Finally, this Bronze-winged Jacana (remember the lily-trotters?) stands on lily leaves whose tubers were awaiting in dry mud for nearly 5 months to grow again.

(Photographs information: Farmer p
loughing: Allahabad district, 24 Jul 2009; rice broadcasting: Allahabad district, 24 Jul 2009; Cinnamon Bittern: Jaunpur district, 31 Jul 2009; Paradise Flycather: Sultanpur district, 25 Jul 2009; Bronze-winged Jacana: Jaunpur district, 31 Jul 2009.)


  1. 2nd from top photograph seems more like urea application....
    g8 collections..
    if u ever travel west UP try to locate a field where paddy field is being prepared (puddled actually)with the help of tractor....ull see a large group of cranes following the tractor (u might have already witnessed ) that one of the scenario i always wish to be photographed but i rarely find any...the season is already to and end so better try if u dont have ...if possible plz do send me those pics i want for personnel collection

  2. Fantastic pics Gopi. Its a very interesting study and I hope to see more of these as you go along.