Is there anything special about the last day or the first day of the year? We ourselves calculate two different years, the Anno Domini and the Tamizh year…and I know several more….Parsi, Hindi, Bengali, and so on…I personally feel that it would be logical to begin the year in springtime, not in mid-winter…but a procession of Roman emperors saw to it that whether or not people have a white Christmas, in many parts of the world, they will have a white New Year.

Oh well..on the last day of 2011, we didn’t want to let go of our regular trail, even though the cyclonic weather further in Pondicherry (sorry, Puthucheri) cast a cloudy pall on our own weather. Bundling up warmly, Chandu, Santosh, Vaibhav and I went to my favourite zoo area in the Bannerghatta National Park. This is probably the one forest in India, apart from Gir, where one can hear the lions roar as one wanders around! It’s a different matter that the lions are in captivity in the Zoo….but the noise is rather chilling to newcomers, and thrilling to children!

One of the highlights was seeing this


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<lj-cut text=”Want to see some more?”>
Here are some of the other sights…

It was nice to observe that the windmill in the zoo area was going nicely…good to see a clean, sustainable energy source!

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These weeds in the quarry pond looked beautiful:

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Here are the others:

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Having bricked up the opening, JLR have not removed the board pointing to their Hillview Restaurant, resulting in a funny sign:

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The birds we saw:


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(from a distance, we kept having doubts about this bird’s id, confusing it with a Shikra, especially seeing the way it flew, hunting. Now I now why it’s called a “hawk” cuckoo.)

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a Black-naped Oriole Motorcycle:

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(scratching itself busily!)

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The mammals we saw included three mongoose, crossing our path rapidly, a black-naped hare, some Chital that we spotted by peeping over the zoo wall, and this


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(Yes, it was going to, and it did.)

The bird list actually was:

Babbler, Jungle
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Bee-eater, Small Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bushchat, Pied
Bushlark, Indian
Bushlark, Jerdon’s
Cormorant, Little
Crow, Jungle
Crow, House
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Drongo, White-bellied
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Little
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue
Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail
Francolin, Grey
Heron, Pond
Hoopoe, Common
Iora, Common
Kingfisher, Pied
Kingfisher, Small Blue
Kingfisher, White-breasted
Kite, Brahminy
Kite, Common
Lapwing, Red-watled
Munia, Scaly-breasted
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Oriole, Black-naped
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pipit, Paddyfield
Prinia, Ashy
Prinia, Plain
Robin, Indian
Roller, Indian
Shrike, Bay-backed
Shrike, Brown
Shrike, Long-tailed
Silverbills, Indian
Sparrow, House
Starling, Rosy
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Red-rumped
Swallow, Wire-tailed
Tailorbird, Common
Treepie, Rufous
Wagtail, Pied
Warbler, Blyth’s Reed
Warbler, Booted
Warbler, Greenish Leaf

And the mammals list was

Gaur, Indian
Hare, Black-naped
Mongoose, Common

We did not sight any crocodiles today…not sunny enough for them to bask on the rocks!

I leave you with the sacred markings of this little shrine under a huge banyan tree….wish you all the best for the years ahead!

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All pics with the MLC…