Monday, October 15, 2012

New idea for a stone bird bath

When I visited my elderly friend Sadanand's garden he showed me a beautiful rectangular stone bird bath.  There was even a Robin taking a dip at that time.   Instantly I dreamed of one in my garden since there were many granite stones lying around.  Soon, I inquired a stone smith for this project and was very disappointed when he quoted an exorbitant price for the job.  For a while I had dropped the idea.

Mrs. Yadugiri, an amazing old lady, a wonderful neighbour for more than five decades had to move out of town some years ago.  She had a green thumb and an avid gardener in her small yard.

Mrs. Y in 2007, when we visited her.  She left all of us in 2009.  

Before Yadugiri and her family left Mysore, she had given me a stone mortar which she used to grind material to prepare her 'traditional medicines'.  I kept this in the garden as a 'bird bath' and much to my joy, it found quick acceptance. 

A couple of Spotted Doves seemed to enjoy that.  This is a scene from my old garden.

A Magpie Robin was routinely taking a dip in it.

The stone trough brought from our old home had been planted with water lilies, another inspirational idea from the websites under 'water gardens'.  Koels, Mynahs, Doves and Pigeons had chosen this for their water requirement.  A male Koel is looking around if the ground was clear before bending to take its sip.

One fine day a brilliant idea struck on the lines of Sadanand's bird bath.  I thought why all the trouble of scooping out stone?  Why not build a little cement wall around to hold water on the stone?  Now I set about searching for a stone that was not suitable for anything else. An odd shaped triangular slab was chosen and almost immediately sat on the job that evening.

Set to cure.

Got it painted.

Our locality fortunately has some greenery and hence many birds thrive.  As my 'yarden' also has some greenery, they stop by.  The birds somehow find their water sources and they soon found one here. I had placed the bird bath strategically close to my room window so that I could observe from a close range. The birds are extremely sensitive.  They protect themselves by flying away at the slightest hint of danger.  So when I had to photograph, I had to open the mesh window, but had to be very careful not to make even any slight movement or sound.  I had to be absolutely still if I had to capture a picture from about 7-8 feet.

Some pictures:

The Great Tit is wondering about the low level of water!  I had failed to fill it to the brim.

The Female Sunbird is a rare dipper. Only once I saw it dipping in water, at least when I was around.

I had observed that the Robin and Bulbul liked a little more water even when it was brim-full. 

So I raised the brim as you can see here.  Red whiskered Bulbul enjoying.

This is a male Koel, sipping some water.

Crow pheasant, Robin, Koel and Bulbul in the above collage of pictures.

My idea of making such a bird bath was working fine. It is such a joy to see the birds, visit, look around if they are secure, feel and play in water, perch on something near it and dry their wings before flying off.  Some varieties drink but do not dip. Some only dip but do not drink.  Anyhow, it is a great boon to them esp. on warm days.  We will be doing our little bit if we provide some water source for these beautiful creatures that are so important to our ecology. 

In my next post, you will see my dream coming to fruition - the rectangular stone bird bath.

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