Bulbuls, Coucals and Doves

This is my last month in India. My husband’s job in Bangalore finishes soon, and we are moving back to the UK. I need to squeeze in a few more posts before we leave. Let’s start with one of my favourite places in Bangalore – my own garden.

The garden has palm trees, bananas, mangoes, bamboo, bougainvillea, hibiscus, jasmine and plumeria. There are butterflies, bats, ants, lizards, at least one snake, stick insects, giant snails and, of course, birds, like koels, purple-rumpled sunbirds, bulbuls, and shikras, with kites hovering overhead, too high for my camera, and parakeets flying past at dusk. Here is a round-up of the recent bird activity.

This pair of spotted doves spend a lot of time perched on the roof of our house, but they often come down to ground-level, and peck at the dirt.

spotted doves x 2

I don’t know if this is a seasonal thing, but the local bulbuls are getting boisterous.  They fly in to the garden, land heavily on a branch, making it bounce up and down, then fly off again. They do sing, and they do eat, but everything happens too fast for me to capture it.  One bird paused for a moment on the corner of the house, just long enough for me to show you why it is called a “red-whiskered” bulbul.

bulbul on wall

And yes, there are red whiskers on the other side of its face too.

bulbul on wall 2

The next bird is the Greater Coucal.  I never see it flying gracefully.  I just hear its booming “cooop-cooop-cooop” call and see it crash-landing in the garden.  After parading once around the lawn, it then jumps up into the trees, and clatters around in the branches.

Greater Coucal

There is a good detailed description of the Greater Coucal on Krishna Mohan’s photography website.

13 thoughts on “Bulbuls, Coucals and Doves

  1. Alas we don’t have a garden here in Bombay but we do have three balconies bursting with a jungle of plants… that continue to be the chosen home of various pigeons and their nests. As I write, one balcony just said ‘bye bye’ to one family and the other balcony is waiting in anticipation to say hello to the hatching of a new family. 🙂

    Love your Bangalore posts and will look forward to enjoying more as you finish your stay. Suspect even when making the adjustment back ‘home’ there will be the occasional ‘archive’ or ‘remember when’ type posts too!

    All the best 🙂


    1. Yes there may be some “why is it so cold, grey and dark here?” reverse-culture-shock repatriation posts. The it’s your job to take some sunny photos of Indonesia or India to cheer me up.


    1. Ah, but you don’t see the 99 blurry shots before I get a blog-worthy one. And I have been stalking that flipping Coucal for two years. I only got him in focus last week.


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