Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Home bound

With COVID issue and forced to hang around home, it's tough to supress the itch to step out and stay indoors. However, I started spending time in balcony birding, looking for insects and any interesting things. I must admit, I had some interesting things that popped up over the past one week.

Here is the first one at our window:

A may-fly, I noticed it for the first time.

Poor thing ended up as food for cobweb spider that lives near the window.

Turned out, the whole in the window is where the spider lives and escaped my wife's regular cleaning.

Look who turned up in the balcony:

The experts on iNaturalist identified it as a Woolly wall bee.

Next is an interesting fly that turned up at the wheat flour that my daughter left after playing.

He sat on the pile of 3-4 day old wheat that had fungus and probably laying eggs from what I understand from below video

Today morning, we also witnessed a spider pulling what looked like a sedated Pentatamidae bug. When we approached closer, I could smell the stinking smell from the bug which the bug must have been emitting as a last defense.

It's eventually pulled by the spider who made him as a "packaged food". Guess it too heard about the corona scared and stacking it's food!

With the first rains of summer/pre-monsoon turnin up, I am hoping to see more insects from balcony as I am itching to step out and explore more once the COVID issue is settled.

I hope our country together emerge much safer and I hope the medical staff be provided with all help needed at this hour. If any of you are reading this, stay indoors, stay safe. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Nature walk @ Kaikondrahalli

We announced a free nature walk for kids and adults on the long weekend of Shivratri at Kaikondrahalli. Not sure why only 3 kids and adults turned up. We are happy with small group. We started the walk and observed the ants on the bark, we explored the seeds of Jungle jilebi and tried opening the hard cover and discussed why trees need that hard cover.

Few minutes later, our ant-mimicking spider turned up and kids watched it. As usual most people guessed it to be an ant only to learn. The kids handled it carefully as it moved from one hand to another. We made sure to leave it in the same spot from where we picked it up after observing it for 5 minutes

We discussed about the Arjuna tree and how it's fruits and bark is used for traditional medicine. One of the parent plucked the bark only to find a wonderful spider with golden bottom and a stink bug.
While putting the spider back,we noticed a wonderful looking bug which I initially though to be a stink bug. After walk, I realised it's a different type of Assassin bug. Look how pretty it looks with those dots on the wings

We also noticed a camouflaged spider on the bark which turned out to be Herennia multipuncta. The interesting thing about this species is that the males are smaller compared to females like it happens with some spider species.

We also spotted a cranefly and other bugs.

The pongamia trees were sporting fresh leaves and some have flowers that look very pretty.

A little further we spotted these paper wasps busy building their home

A bark mantis was basking in the sun light on the bark

We wrapped the day with a game using ncf bird cards and headed home satisfied with the day