Tag Archive: wildlife


Edge Wade and June Newman, two birders whom I hold in high esteem and have long wanted to meet, planned on a nice birding outing for me, to Riverlands Bird Sanctuary, on the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. There was a beautiful view of the

Clark Bridge

from where we were:

IMG_1778

IMG_1772

We stopped at what we would call the backwaters, first:

IMG_1774

We found a lot of

DOUBLE-BREASTED COROMORANTS

and

RING-BILLED GULLS:

IMG_1774

I was very pleased with the zoom on the SX50, because the birds were quite far away.

IMG_1776

IMG_1777

We also saw a couple of immature

BALD EAGLES,

fishing:

IMG_1782

I was glad I had the zoom of the SX50:

IMG_1786

IMG_1795

GREAT BLUE HERONS

IMG_1797

IMG_1801

and

GREAT EGRETS

were everywhere.

IMG_1805

The

AMERICAN PELICANS

were delightful, too.

IMG_1821

IMG_1825

IMG_1828

A Bald Eagle got in on the act, too:

IMG_1829

IMG_1831

and there were a couple of Broad-winged Hawks, a lifer for me. (No pics, they were too high up!)

TURKEY BUZZARDS

floated high above, too.

IMG_1833

IMG_1839

We wanted to sight the Red Knot, and other birds that had been reported..but were not lucky, because a Peregrine Falcon flew over, and that disturbed all the birds, and the only shore birds we could see were some Kildeer. Barn Swallows swooped overhead; so we decided to go to the dam.

IMG_1846

Edge has forgotten more about birding than I will ever know.

IMG_1793

IMG_1779

I called her a Spider as she went along with two legs of her own, and six extra (scope) ones:

IMG_1808

So, also, with June:

IMG_1781

We shared the coffee I’d brought:

IMG_1844

I’m going to make another post about our visit to the Confluence trail, because that was a nature trail, just the kind I like, with food, information about everything that we were seeing and passing, jokes, and wonderful weather with wonderful company…but we were short on birds. (We did see this bird at the end, against the sun, and I don’t know what it is…we didn’t decide…Brown-headed Cowbird,is my opinion..)

IMG_1984

The photos are on my FB album,

here

My thanks to Edge and June for a wonderful outing!

IMG_1827

Frog Identification Workshop

Hosted by Eco-Edu

Date:

The course has been scheduled for August 9th and 10th, 2014.

We will meet the participants at the turning towards the farm on Kanakapura Main Road at 5 PM on the 9th of August and proceed to the farm. The workshop will come to a close at 9 AM on the 10th of August 2014.

Venue:

Ravagodlu, on Kanakapura Road.

The course will be held within the premises of a private farm and its surroundings. The Suvarnamukhi River, which takes birth in Bannerghatta National Park, flows close to the farm. It is also surrounded by agricultural fields and forms an ideal habitat to explore for frogs. We will not be venturing into the forest.

Route map:

click here

Resource Persons:

The workshop will be led by Seshadri K S, a doctoral student at the National University of Singapore. Seshadri has been captivated by the sheer beauty and complexity of nature. His fascination of nature grew when he started out as a bird watcher. Since then, he has spent much of his time being in “the field” and observing nature. He has studied several ecological systems ranging from dragonflies to epiphytes in the tall forest canopies in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot of India. In the recent past, his focus has been on amphibians and has been studying ecology, behavior and means to conserve frogs. For his doctoral thesis, he is working on the ecology and behavior of bamboo nesting frogs in South Asia.

Other naturalists who will assist on this workshop are

T. S. Sreenivasa

Ulhas Anand

Karthik Kumar

Vidisha Kulkarni

This overnight workshop is designed to introduce the wonderful world of frogs, herpetology as a hobby and to help you identify frogs that you are likely to see around the city. The course will delve deep into finer aspects, while helping you develop a wonderful hobby.

This course is well-suited to beginners, while adding value even if you are a little more familiar with the outdoors.

If you are into wildlife photography, this course will increase your confidence in frog identification and help you add a better perspective to your skills. You will be guided in identifying frogs by sight and sound and learn about the ways they interact with the environment. You will also be introduced to basic scientific techniques that can prove to be invaluable for a more serious involvement.

The course, though being very informative in content, will have a relaxed atmosphere to encourage interactions in the form of questions and discussions.

You will be provided with enough directions to easily reach the rendezvous point.

Wholesome vegetarian food will be provided and will include dinner and breakfast, as also tea and biscuits through the workshop to keep your chin up!

You will also be provided a book suited for taking down field notes and a pen. Sleeping arrangements will be in shared dormitory rooms on ground mattresses.

Cost:

The cost for the Overnight Frog Identification Workshop, including food and stay, will be Rs. 1,200. Only 20 participants will be allowed for this workshop. Participation will be confirmed only against payment on a first-come-first-serve basis. On the spot registrations are not welcome due to the logistics involved for this workshop.

Register

here

For any further queries, contact:

team@ecoedu.in

or

Dr. Mamlakatoi Haidarova +91-984-577-9838 (mamlakatoi@ecoedu.in)

Email to the bngbirds egroup:

I suppose by now everyone who went for the first Sunday outing to Hebbal would have come back, digested breakfast and settled down to the rest of the day…meanwhile, Garima, Jahnvi,Niket, Pradnya, and I went to Valley School to see what the morning would yield.

DSC05412

Summer colours on the ground:

DSC05413

In the trees:

DSC05512

It turned to be a very enjoyable morning..and Valley School always shows us something unexpected. This seemed to be a morning of children! We saw a Jungle Babbler mother literally “spreading her wings” over her baby, as she also preened her baby.

DSC05438

We saw many juvenile Small Green Bee-eaters. whose plumage lacked the bright sheen of the adults, or the distinctive tail. Coppersmith Barbet “children”, too, were everywhere; the crimson patch on their foreheads not developed yet.

DSC05510

White-browed Bulbuls

DSC05433

and Red-whiskered Bulbuls, too, seemed to be flying about with their young ones. We watched several Flamebacks.

DSC05497

Birders at the Banyan tree near the sheds:

DSC05453

Spotted Owlet in the Banyan tree:

DSC05455

Young White-cheeked Barbets:

DSC05425

The children were not only of the bird species. A few showers have had a magical effect on the landscape in the Valley School area; greenery is bursting forth everywhere, as fresh shoots push their way up through the wet. fecund soil.

DSC05507

A couple of caterpillars reminded me that babies come in all shapes and sizes. I will be asking for id’s for these; but their beauty by any other name would remain as beautiful.

Here’s one, on a blade of grass:

DSC05478

Here’s another, on the Calatropis (Milkweed) plant:

DSC05445

I was also fortunate enough to meet Thomas Job and Ajit Ampalakkad…

DSC05424

the latter immediately showed me the Indian Lavender plant,

DSC05422

and proceeded through the morning, to edify me on matters botanical.

Hog-Plum tree:

DSC05423

I renewed my acquaintance with several trees and plants, and “shook hands” with a few more.

Loranthus (epiphyte), aka Mistletoe:

DSC05464

There was, indeed, one seed, round and a light mauve in colour, dispersed around one area; that we could not source the parent tree of,or id.

DSC05486

Grasshopper with a spider sitting on its head:

DSC05463

Plain Tiger:

DSC05493

Common Gull:

DSC05482

Young saplings of Flame of the Forest (Butea monosperma) seem to be coming up in large numbers. This made me dream of the day when, festooned in flame-coloured blooms, these young trees will attract a lot of birds (though Ajit tells me that only one or two species pollinate the tree!). To dream of a Nature Future is lovely, especially when all the land nearby is getting flattened….perhaps for “Prakriti View Layout”s, or perhaps, as Niket said, a temple is going to come up. The green saplings give hope in an atmosphere of pessimism!

I watched several “ant rivers” pouring along the path as their nests must have got submerged…they were busy carrying larvae along. I watched, fascinated, as two Ant-mimicking Spiders fought each other fiercely; the contest ended abruptly, and they went their separate ways.

DSC05457

A Solitary Hunter Wasp flew along…where would she make her nest and stun her prey,storing it in the nest and laying her eggs on it, so that the newly-hatched children would have fresh food to eat? We just prevented ourselves from walking into a web with a very tiny spider in it…the home was ready, the next step was procreation!

I enjoyed watching the camouflage of the Malkohas, and even of a Jumping Spider that just melted into the tree-trunk with exactly similar markings.

DSC05502

DSC05504

I did try to catch some of it on my camera…but for the most part, I just watched, and enjoyed myself hugely.

What is the need to build a temple? The whole place, with all our fellow-citizens on this planet, seems to be a temple of Nature to me. I go there, I feel peace in my heart and mind, and come away energized…to me, all of the beautiful wilderness is a temple, and God (I am an agnostic, I don’t know if there is a God or a Goddess..or not) seems to reside in every leaf, every feather, every piece of stone.

We also met several other birders there, and it’s nice to say hello to like-minded people even if one does not exchange names. Two boys from Valley School asked us, on our way out, what we’d seen…and I was happy to see these two youngsters on their way to absorb the various wonders that Nature has in store for them. A magical place, the Valley School area…long may it last!

I’ve put up my SMS (Shamelessly Mediocre Shots) on my FB album at

https://www.facebook.com/deemopahan/media_set?set=a.10152224313113878.1073742178.587058877&type=1

You can see the riotous colours of the summer blossoms, and the many tiny and large wonders that we experienced.

Garima has shared the bird list with me on E-bird. The list is at

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S18643924

I’m not sure if this is good enough, or I need to give another link? Let me know, O ye E-bird savvy birders!

Butterflies:

Blues, Various
Cerulean, Common
Cerulean, Dark
Coster, Tawny
Crimson-tip, White
Emigrant, Common
Gull,Common
Jezebel, Common
Orange-tip, White
Pioneer
Rose, Common
Rose. Crimson
Tiger, Blue
Tiger, Dark Blue
Tiger, Plain
Wanderer, Common
Yellow, Common Grass

Others

Ants, Bees, Beetles, Dragonflies, Grasshoppers, and Wasps.

One Rat Snake, scurrying away quickly from me. This Garden Lizard, basking in the sun.

DSC05509

If my words make you decide to go into the outdoors next weekend…I am really happy!

Ladybug:

DSC05474

Riotous colours of summer:

DSC05414

As we went around the grassland landscape during the Volunteer Training Program, Kiran spotted this large Scorpion, and I took a short video of it as we slowly passed in our vehicle. The creature was on the banked slope of the hill, and it was both rainy and late evening.

I am not sure if this is the Emperor Scorpion, which is the largest of scorpions, but not the longest. The emperor scorpion (Pandinus imperator) has a dark body ranging from dark blue/green through brown to black. The large pincers are blackish-red and have a granular texture. The front part of the body, or prosoma, is made up of four sections, each with a pair of legs. Behind the fourth pair of legs are comb-like structures known as pectines – these are longer in males and can be used by man to distinguish the sexes. The tail, known as the metasoma, is long and curves back over the body. It ends in the large receptacle.

Well…it certainly was a sight to see, in the misty, rainy dusk on the grasslands of Kudremukh!

You can click

here

for the photos of the first day from the VTP, which was held at the Bhagavathi Nature Camp, about 20 km from Kalasa, Karnataka.

The Hoopoe, Valley School, 110514

The

HOOPOE

was called the “Common Hoopoe”, but alas, it is no longer that common a bird. However, we are lucky enough to be able to see them once in a while, in the outskirts of Bangalore. This morning, as 15 of us went to see what we could in the Valley School area, this beautiful bird was the last sighting before we left…a fitting finale to a very enjoyable morning.

DSC04185

The scientific name of the bird(Upupa epops), like the English name is an onomatopoeic form which imitates the cry of the bird.

This colourful bird is found across Afro-Eurasia,, and the Madagascar subspecies of the Hoopoe is sometimes elevated to a full species.

DSC04186

The call is typically a trisyllabic oop-oop-oop, which gives rise to its English and scientific names, although two and four syllables are also common.

DSC04188

Most European and north Asian birds migrate to the tropics in winter. The African populations are sedentary year-round.

DSC04189

The Hoopoe has two basic requirements in its habitat; bare or lightly vegetated ground on which to forage and vertical surfaces with cavities (such as trees, cliffs or even walls, nestboxes, haystacks, and abandoned burrows) in which to nest.

DSC04195

The diet of the Hoopoe is mostly composed of insects, although small reptiles, frogs and plant matter such as seeds and berries are sometimes taken as well. It is a solitary forager which typically feeds on the ground.

DSC04197

The diet of the Hoopoe includes many species considered to be pests by humans; for example the pupae of the processionary moth, a damaging forest pest.

Hoopoes are distinctive birds and have made a cultural impact over much of their range. They were considered sacred in Ancient Egypt, so they were “depicted on the walls of tombs and temples”. They achieved a similar standing in Minoan Crete. Theywere seen as a symbol of virtue in Persia. They were thought of as thieves across much of Europe and harbingers of war in Scandinavia. Also, in Estonian tradition the Hoopoes are strongly connected with death and the underworld, their song is seen as a forebode of death for many a people or cattle.The Hoopoe is the king of the birds in the Ancient Greek comedy The Birds by Aristophanes.

…and….The Hoopoe was chosen as the national bird of Israel in May 2008!

When we found that this bird, which has lived amongst humans for so long, was not at all disturbed by our presence, we slowly, and carefully, fanned around it, without disturbing its foraging behaviour. I took this video to show how, sometimes, a group can photograph a bird from fairly close range, without alarming or disturbing it.

We bade goodbye as as it walked along peacefully in the sunshine:

DSC04200

A little later, off it flew…and we walked on with great satisfaction at having seen, and observed, this bird for a good while!

click here

for my FB album

When we went to meet Gundappa Master, at Tumkur, he told us that a

BRONZEBACK TREE SNAKE

had also been rescued from a villager’s house. The villager was very scared and worried that it was a venomous snake, and wanted to kill it, so it was taken away for release in the forest.

We only witnessed the release; we did not want to touch the snake as it was already rather distressed.

Gundappa Master opens the bag, after we reached the interior of the Devarayana Durga State Forest, well away from the road:

DSC03852

He puts it on a tree:

DSC03855

While giving the snake a little time to calm down, we take our shots:

DSC03866

Long, slender, smooth-scales.
Head distinctly broader than neck; snout bluntly rounded.
Large eyes have round pupils.
Tail very long, thin and wire-like.
This species has a dark blue tongue.

The snake’s blue eyes mean that it is at the beginning of ecdysis…the process of shedding its old skin. At this time, the reptile’s vision is not good, and it would like to be undisturbed.

DSC03881

Behavior
Diurnal. Arboreal; inhabits low bushes, thorn trees, indian date palms, and palmyra.
Feeds on frogs, garden lizards, geckos and small birds, even entering thatched houses to feed.
Extremely fast.
Notched sharply defined edges of belly scales help it climb.
Females lay 6-8 long, thin eggs in tree holes and rotting vegetation.
Nervous disposition, if cornered, some will strike repeatedly while expanding forebody to show light blue/white color at lower edge of each scale.

The blue scales showing on the back also show that it is distressed.

DSC03882

DSC03884

DSC03888

DSC03890

In this shot, the blue scales on the back (that only show when the snake is in distress) are not showing. The snake is definitely calmer.

DSC03874

Here we are, photographing it while it collects itself:

DSC03893

The snake then quickly drops to the ground, once again showing the blue scales of distress:

DSC03906

The snake then slithers off over the rocks, and is gone.

DSC03895

Both Gundappa Master, and we (Chandu, Gopal, Yash and I) hope our release is a successful one and that this beautiful, non-venomous snake has a long life….

Thomas Job and his friend Sushil Nahar, who was coming on a birding trail for the first time, picked me up, and off we went, to Valley School.

DSC03979

Several of us walked down the trail together:

DSC03935

Even at the height of summer, birding is an enjoyable actitivy in the early morning!

DSC03940

The path led through this beautiful

BANYAN TREE:

DSC03936

Here’s the tree from a distance:

DSC03937

Another banyan tree which we usually go past:

DSC03963

A peaceful scene of cattle grazing under its shade:

DSC03964

The

GULMOHAR

is in full bloom everywhere:

DSC03945

Falling around on the plants, the petals look so beautiful:

DSC03948

I loved the sight of this

OLEANDER

everywhere:

DSC03957

In the ruined Art Village, I found this pottery figure, representing Ganesha on one side and Nandi on the other:

DSC03960

The birds included:

CATTLE EGRET:

DSC03966

BLACK-RUMPED FLAMEBACK:

DSC03934

INDIAN PITTA (we saw three of them!)

DSC03950

WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA (which the mobile phone of one birder had turned to Shame)

DSC03952

There were butterflies, too, like this

COMMON CERULEAN:

DSC03973

We enjoyed the morning, and the brefus at Udupi Banashree, very much indeed!

click here

for my FB album.

The bird list:

Babbler, Jungle
Babbler,Tawny-bellied
Babbler, Puff-throated
Babbler, Yellow-billed
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet,White-cheeked
Bee-eater, Small Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bushchat, Pied
Coucal, Southern
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Cuckooshrike, Black-headed
Egret, Little
Flameback, Black-rumped
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise (heard)
Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue
Flycatcher, White-throated Fantail
Francolin, Grey (heard)
Heron, Indian Pond
Honey-buzzard, Oriental
Junglefowl, Grey (heard)
Kingfisher, White-throated
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Koel, Asian
Lapwing, Red-wattled
Leafbird, Jerdon’s
Malkoha, Blue-faced
Malkoha, Sirkeer
Minivet, Small
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Peafowl, Indian (heard)
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pitta, Indian
Prinia, Ashy
Prinia, Grey-breasted
Robin, Indian
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Shama, White-rumped
Shikra
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow,Red-rumped
Swift, Little
Tailorbird, Common
Tit, Great (Cinerous)
White-eye, Oriental

Don’t you agree, this is a dream list, especially for the first week of May?

I’ve been lucky enough to spot the

SLENDER LORIS

DSC03766

at several places in Karnataka: the campus of the Indian Institute of Science, the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram at Shivanahalli, and at Nagavalli village, in Tumkur District.

Yesterday, we got a call from

B V Gundappa ,

affectionately called “Gundappa Sir” or “Gundappa Master” (he teaches in Nagavalli village), who has been caring for these shy, elusive creatures, and raising local awareness about them, so that they are not poached or killed.

Here are some facts about Slender Lorises, which are called “thEvAngu” in Tamizh, and “kAdupApA” (baby of the forest) in Kannada, from the wiki:

The gray slender loris (Loris lydekkerianus) is a species of primate in the family Loridae. It is found in India and Sri Lanka. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.

DSC03771

Despite the slew of studies on their behaviour and ecology in the last decade, they still remain among the least known of all primate species] Like other lorises, they are nocturnal and emerge from their roost cavities only at dusk.

They are mainly insectivorous. In southern India, the nominate race is often found in acacia and tamarind dominated forests or scrubs near cultivations. Males hold larger home ranges than females. They are usually solitary while foraging, and it is rare for them to be seen in pairs or groups. However they may roost in groups of up to 7, that include young of the recent and older litters. Adult males and females have individual home ranges and sleeping group associations are usually composed of a female and her offspring. They communicate with a range of vocalizations and also use urine and scent marking.

Although considered a Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and classified under Schedule I (Part 1) of the Indian Wildlife Act, 1972, the threat to these primates is increasing. Loris is used to make love potions, treat leprosy and eye ailments.Habitat fragmentation is also a threat to the loris population, as well as loss of acacia trees, which is a preferred tree species for the loris.

Well, that’s all the information. We were privileged to be able to see this animal in daylight!

Gundappa Master said that an adult male had been found in the home of a villager in Hebbur, about 11 km from his home. By the time we reached his place, he had rescued the creature and brought it home. It was decided to release the Loris in the heavy-foliage Devarayanadurga State Forest.

We were eager to take a look at the little fellow before we took him to the release area, and Gundappa Sir opened the shoe box in which he’d kept him, ready to be taken on his journey to freedom.

DSC03734

An arm and a leg show themselves:

DSC03735

At last, we could see the little primate. He didn’t seem stressed at all.

DSC03737

Gundappa Sir sets off on the release. The sack contains a Bronzeback Tree Snake, also rescued from a village house, to be released.

DSC03740

We went to the Devarayana Durga State Forest, and went into the interior area, away from the road. Here, in a rocky clearing, Gundappa Master opened the box again:

DSC03750

Gundappa Master takes out the little primate on a twig.

Here it is, climbing around on the twig:

DSC03752

In Tamizh, we say, “thEvAngu mAthiri muzhikkAthEy!” (Don’t stare at me like a Loris!)…now you can understand that!

DSC03759

Yash (in the pic), Gopal and I took photos. Chandu was content to enjoy the moment.

DSC03763

Gundappa Sir has been dealing with these animals for many years now, yet treats them with gentleness.

DSC03782

DSC03789

He shows the animal on the twig; it’s an adult male, about two years old, he says. (I am asking in the video.)

In the video above, you can also see the Loris using its urine to wet its feet. Gundappa Sir said that this was partly territory marking behaviour, and partly to cool its feet. Something else that I learned about this creature!

He puts it on a small bush, first, and it looks around, getting its bearings:

DSC03813

He finally releases the animal into a tree with plenty of foliage, where it proceeds to promptly hide itself:

DSC03827

Off it goes:

Shortly after its release, the Kadupapa was hidden in the foliage. A pair of huge eyes looked out at us for a while..and then he was gone, the Baby of the Forest, elusive as ever.

DSC03915

Here we are, trying to see whether it might be a leopard that is causing so much of alarm calls amongst the Hanuman Langurs around:

DSC03831

Now we are satisfied (we didn’t see any leopard) and happy!

DSC03919

Here’s a warm salute to Gundappa Sir and the beautiful animal he works to protect.

DSC03792

Amith, Deepak, Sachin and I went to do a bird census for some friends, on their coffee estate in Sakleshpur. I must say, I didn’t expect such a dream list of birds at the end of April!

DSC03602

Signboards to various places.

The estate is about 450 acres, so, the best of our ability, we divided it into four quadrants and tried to cover one during each outing.

What a difference between a tea and a coffee plantation! Tea plants need the sun, so no other trees are grown; but since coffee needs to grow in shade, a coffee plantation has a variety of trees, and majestic trees are the rule rather than the exception. It was wonderful to see so many spices, beverages, and condiments…pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, coffee, cocoa…all growing together. What a magical region the Western Ghats are!

The fact that the estate had both a small pond and a running stream, even in summer, made for sighting of many more bird species. And perhaps thanks to the elevation, we found many of the migrants still around.

Sunrise:

DSC03395

Deepak, checking the map with Mr Dicky, the manager, to decide on the next place to go birding in:

DSC03491

Another check:

DSC03274

On the birding trail:

DSC03433

Deepak, Sachin, Mr Dicky, and Amith:

DSC03298

Stream and bamboo thicket:

DSC03402

DSC03356

A tiny frog:

DSC03364

Damselfly:

DSC03408

Common Crow on Latana:

DSC03481

Blue Tiger on Lantana:

DSC03447

Moth:

DSC03382

Palm beetle (not the Arecanut farmer’s best friend):

DSC03374

Magical hills…

DSC03592

DSC03581

“Magizham Poo”:

DSC03464

Tiny wildflower.

DSC03590

Datura (the fruit of this plant is very poisonous, but it’s used as an ornamental)

DSC03543

One of the coffee growing areas on the estate, and the year of planting.

DSC03582

Plantation workers streaming in to work at day-break.

DSC03577

Mayflower (Gul Mohar) in full bloom on our way to Sakleshpur:

DSC03212

Wild Jasmine:

DSC03313

Un id wildflower:

DSC03309

Beautiful new leaves:

DSC03308

Un id plant.

DSC03579

Waterlilies at Harley Estate.

DSC03576

Hibiscus

DSC03575

Confederate Rose:

DSC03542

Un id Wildflower:

DSC03531

Bay leaf :

DSC03527

Lures set out to trap Coffee-berry borers, which destroy the coffee crop:

DSC03504

Coffee-berry Borers caught in the lure:

DSC03505

Red-vented Bulbul back!

DSC03574

Red-vented Bulbul front!

DSC03573

Asian Fairy Bluebird:

DSC03553

Jungle Myna:

DSC03327

Scarlet Minivet:

DSC03546

Syke’s Lark:

DSC03197

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater:

DSC03336

Dusky Crag Martin:

DSC03391

DSC03234

Laundry gets done the old-fashioned way, with a washing stone, at Harley Estates.

DSC03594

Deepak and Shravan.

DSC03565

Four-poster bed at Harley Estate:

DSC03275

Beautiful antique mirror at Harley Estate:

DSC03386

House dating from 1959 at Sakleshpur:

DSC03216

Sunset:

DSC03360

Enjoying watermelons and sugarcane juice in the summer heat:

DSC03214

DSC03610
We stopped at this restaurant, named after the imaginary town created by R K Narayan,for an afternoon snack.

The estate census list is compiled by Deepak, and below that is the list I compiled, of the birds we saw on the drive to and from Sakleshpur. Any mistakes are mine.

On a non-birding note, Sakleshpur seems to have some great eating places, and we enjoyed some excellent akki roti!

DSC03230

Consolidated bird list at the coffee plantation:

Gray Junglefowl – Gallus sonneratii
Indian Peafowl – Pavo cristatus
Asian Openbill – Anastomus oscitans
Little Cormorant – Phalacrocorax niger
Intermediate Egret – Mesophoyx intermedia
Little Egret – Egretta garzetta
Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis
Indian Pond Heron – Ardeola grayii
Oriental Honey-buzzard – Pernis ptilorhynchus
Crested Serpent-Eagle – Spilornis cheela
Crested Goshawk – Accipiter trivirgatus
Shikra – Accipiter badius
Brahminy Kite – Haliastur indus
White-breasted Waterhen – Amaurornis phoenicurus
Rock Pigeon – Columba livia
Spotted Dove – Streptopelia chinensis
Emerald Dove – Chalcophaps indica
Gray-fronted Green-Pigeon – Treron affinis
Banded Bay Cuckoo – Cacomantis sonneratii
Southern Coucal – Centropus sinensis
Little Swift – Apus affinis
Asian Palm-Swift – Cypsiurus balasiensis
White-throated Kingfisher – Halcyon smyrnensis
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater – Merops leschenaulti
Malabar Gray Hornbill – Ocyceros griseus
White-cheeked Barbet – Megalaima viridis
Malabar Barbet – Megalaima malabarica
Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker – Dendrocopos nanus
White-bellied Woodpecker – Dryocopus javensis
Lesser Yellownape – Picus chlorolophus
Common Flameback – Dinopium javanense
Black-rumped Flameback – Dinopium benghalense
Greater Flameback – Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus
Heart-spotted Woodpecker – Hemicircus canente
Plum-headed Parakeet – Psittacula cyanocephala
Malabar Parakeet – Psittacula columboides
Vernal Hanging-Parrot – Loriculus vernalis
Malabar Woodshrike – Tephrodornis sylvicola
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike – Hemipus picatus
Ashy Woodswallow – Artamus fuscus
Common Iora – Aegithina tiphia
Small Minivet – Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
Orange Minivet – Pericrocotus flammeus
Large Cuckooshrike – Coracina macei
Black-headed Cuckooshrike – Lalage melanoptera
Brown Shrike – Lanius cristatus
Indian Golden Oriole – Oriolus kundoo
Ashy Drongo – Dicrurus leucophaeus
Bronzed Drongo – Dicrurus aeneus
Spangled Drongo – Dicrurus hottentottus
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo – Dicrurus paradiseus
Black-naped Monarch – Hypothymis azurea
Rufous Treepie – Dendrocitta vagabunda
White-bellied Treepie – Dendrocitta leucogastra
Large-billed Crow – Corvus macrorhynchos
Dusky Crag-Martin – Ptyonoprogne concolor
Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica
Red-rumped Swallow – Cecropis daurica
Black-lored Tit – Parus xanthogenys
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch – Sitta frontalis
Flame-throated Bulbul – Pycnonotus gularis
Red-vented Bulbul – Pycnonotus cafer
Red-whiskered Bulbul – Pycnonotus jocosus
Yellow-browed Bulbul – Iole indica
Square-tailed Bulbul – Hypsipetes ganeesa
Greenish Warbler – Phylloscopus trochiloides
Common Tailorbird – Orthotomus sutorius
Oriental White-eye – Zosterops palpebrosus
Dark-fronted Babbler – Rhopocichla atriceps
Indian Scimitar-Babbler – Pomatorhinus horsfieldii
Puff-throated Babbler – Pellorneum ruficeps
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta – Alcippe poioicephala
Rufous Babbler – Turdoides subrufa
Jungle Babbler – Turdoides striata
Asian Fairy-bluebird – Irena puella
Oriental Magpie-Robin – Copsychus saularis
White-rumped Shama – Copsychus malabaricus
Tickell’s Blue-Flycatcher – Cyornis tickelliae
Malabar Whistling-Thrush – Myophonus horsfieldii
Orange-headed Thrush – Geokichla citrina
Southern Hill Myna – Gracula indica
Jungle Myna – Acridotheres fuscus
Common Myna – Acridotheres tristis
Malabar Starling – Sturnia blythii
Golden-fronted Leafbird – Chloropsis aurifrons
Nilgiri Flowerpecker – Dicaeum concolor
Purple-rumped Sunbird – Leptocoma zeylonica
Crimson-backed Sunbird – Leptocoma minima
Loten’s Sunbird – Cinnyris lotenius
Little Spiderhunter – Arachnothera longirostra
White-browed Wagtail – Motacilla madaraspatensis
House Sparrow – Passer domesticus

​Here​’s the bird list for the journey to and from Bangalore to Sakleshpur:

Babbler, Jungle
Babbler, Rufous
Babbler, Yellow-billed
Bushcat, Pied
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Bee-eater, Small Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Coot, Common,
Cormorant, Little
Coucal, Southern
Crow,House
Crow, Jungle
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Black
Duck, Spot-billed
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Intermediat​e​
Flameback, Black-rumped
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Heron, Grey
Heron, Indian Pond
Heron, Purple
Hoopoe, Common
Ibis, Black-headed
Iora, Common
Jacana, Bronze-winged
Kingfisher, White-throated
Kite,Black
Kite,Brahminy
Lapwing, Red-watt​l​ed
Lark, Syke’s
Martin, Dusky Crag
Moorhen, Common
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Openbill, Asian
Owl, Rock Eagle
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Prinia, Ashy
Pygmy-Goose, Cotton
Robin, Indian
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Roller, Indian
Shrike, Brown
Shrike, Long-tailed
Sparrow, House
Starling, Brahminy
Starling, Chestnut-tailed
Stork, Painted
Sunbird, Purple
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Red-rumped
Swamphen, Purple
Swift, Asian Palm
Tailorbird, Common
Tit, Great
Treepie, Rufous
Treepie, White-bellied
Wagtail, White-browed
Wagtail, Yellow
Warbler, Booted
Waterhen, White-breasted
Whistling-Duck, Lesser
White-eye, Oriental
Woodswallow, Ashy

Butterfly List:

Blue, Various
Bush Brown, Common
Bush Brown, Glad-eye
Castor, Common
Crow, Common
Crow, Double-banded
Coster, Tawny
Damselflies, Various
Dragonflies, Various
Emigrant, Common
Jezebel, Common
Rose, Common
Skipper, Indian
Tiger, Plain
Tiger, Striped
Wanderer. Common
Yellow, Common Grass
Yellow, ​Three-spot ​ Grass

Mammals:

Macaque, Bonnet
Mongoose, Ruddy

Reptiles/Amphibians

Agama, Peninsular Rock
Bullfrog Indian
Frog, un id, Fejarvarya sp.
Snake, Rat

​My photos (er, mixed bag, don’t look if you only want birds!) are on my FB albums at

here

here

and

here

Hope you enjoyed the e-trip!

Quick visit to Hulimangala, 300414

On the spur of the moment, my friend Rosita Sequiera came by with her son Mark and picked me up, and off we went; I wanted to show her the magnificient trees of Hulimangala.

DSC03666

She’d brought some nice tea in that flask!

We started the evening with a beautiful

SHORT-TOED SNAKE EAGLE

soaring above:

DSC03668

<lj-cut text="a little more if you have the inclination…."

One of these

RED-WHISKERED BULBULS

was dancing around on the barbed wire, for all the world like a Fantail!

DSC03697

Mark, who’s done well in his exams, was all smiles:

DSC03671

I took Rosita down the avenue of the wonderful giants, which feels like a cathedral to me:

DSC03677

Everywhere on the tall trees there were beehives, and I clicked one under construction:

DSC03683

The sun behind the clouds was an amazing sight, and I could not stop clicking the Fingers of God:

DSC03688

DSC03696

Though the lake nearby was nearly dry, it had a beauty of its own:

DSC03700

The figs on the Banyan tree were an invitation for many birds:

DSC03708

You can see how beautiful is the camouflage of the

ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET

with its body against the leaves, and its beak against the figs:

DSC03709

These two majestic Ficus trees are my landmark to turn off on the road to Hulimangala:

DSC03714

We sighted the Mottled Wood Owl, too, being chased around by the Mynas, then the Parakeets, and then the Kites!

The bird list:

Bee-eater, Small Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bulbul, White-browed
Bushchat, Pied
Cormorant, Little
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Ashy
Eagle, Short-toed Snake
Egret, Intermediate
Egret, Little
Heron, Indian Pond
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Koel, Asian
Lapwing, Red-wattled
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Owl, Mottled Wood
Stork, Painted
Swallow, Red-rumped
Oriole, Eurasian Golden
Prinia, Ashy
Robin, Indian
Warbler, Un id
Woodswallow, Ashy

You can see the other photos on my FB album if you click

here

%d bloggers like this: