Every friend who’s gone with me on the UGS (Usual Gang of Suspects) nature trails this year, has enjoyed the sight of the Pakshi Darshini (Eatery for birds)…
for the short photo-feature on Citizen Matters.
What started out as an informal idea amongst a few friends has got a bit
carried away, and we’d therefore like to invite others to take part in a
co-ordinated birdwatching activity in the Bangalore area this Sunday, 17
February. A few of us thought it would be interesting to spend a day birding
not together but spread out in different habitats, and then see what species
we would have recorded between us all. We decided on a few sites to cover
but gradually introduced more and more, and a few more people. The aim is to
concentrate on thorough and reliable observations, spending as much time at
a site as we think it justifies. Different sites/routes have been allocated
amongst us, and anyone else is welcome to join these on the day. The plan of
approximate routes (with main contacts) is as follows:
Hessarghatta area – Sachin Shurpali email@example.com
Nandi Hills area, Madhure Kere, Hessarghatta – Mike Prince
Hoskote area, Yellamma Lake – Praveen J firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarjapura area – Vijay Ramachandran email@example.com
Kasavanakunte area – Ullas PA (3rd Sunday Outing)
Bannerghatta area – Sudhir Naik firstname.lastname@example.org
Ramnagaram area, Nelligudde Kere, Byramangala/Bangalore University – Anush
Savandurga area, Manchanebele – Dipu Karuthedathu, Jayaram Jahgirdar
All these intend to start in the early morning, and most will be full day
sessions. If you are interested in joining one of these groups then please
email the given contact(s) above directly. They will let you know where and
when they plan to be, and you are welcome to find them and join in. Each
group will complete a checklist for each site they visit, with a
concentration on relaxed birding and confirmed identifications. After the
day we’ll consolidate and publish the findings from all checklists.
This wasn’t meant to be such a big thing, but if all goes well we may look
to expand and improve on it in the future.
If you have any questions about it then please email me. Enjoy the day!
– Mike –
Dr M B Krishna writes:
“The Hesaraghatta lake bed is facing another assault. Parts of the lake bed have become barren and have been laid waste due to heavy vehicular movement on the lake bed. In this case most of the damage is due to nature photographers chasing migratory birds using cars and SUVs.
“A rapid assessment of the impacts caused by nature photographers driving on the dry Hesaraghatta lake bed reveals a wide and extensive network of vehicle tracks amounting to about 43 km. About 136 ha of habitat was either lost or disturbed because of vehicular movement and on an average, 20 vehicles were found to be pursuing birds on weekends and holidays. If one considers the area coming directly under the wheel, it amounts to almost six standard football fields!
“The assessment was carried out in December 2012 by independent researchers and students from St. Joseph’s College using the plant line transect method, onsite measurements and imageries to assess the full-scale damage on the habitat.” writes Sunil in the report.
To see the full report,
T G Halli – Water level is going more down with time and there is no sign of rain in Bangalore. Most of the lakes are completely changed into grassland.
Some pictures to just enjoy birding.
Hoskote Lake was a bit in discussion. So, we decide to have a 4-5 hours of Sunday birding. This is one of the marvelous grassland, i have seen around Bangalore. For those who want to do birding, please go in group. I heard a lot of community problem. This place is THE land of stork, ibis, sandpiper, snipe, raptors and worth to watch their habitats. I tried to put all the pictures here, so that we can see the habitat as well for the birds.
I already written a post about T G Halli, here goes another. The interesting sighting was Small Pratincole and a family of river tern taking rest. Enjoy pictures.. !!
Ramanagaram – yes, a place famous because once Basanti danced there on the call of Gabbar Singh. Forget the past, this place holds the most critically endangered life of India and Pakistan. This is THE place for those critically endangered Vultures who reduced in 96 percent in their count in last 15 years. In the last few years, we have noticed that vultures count have improved in Ramanagaram. Don’t want to go into the details of Vulture dead. But Diclofenac medicine – the real cause for death has been banned as well.
Don’t know the action of Government but at least they declared the place as Vulture sanctuary.
T G Halli is a huge grassland with almost no water. Good for raptors and water birds. Enjoy pictures.
My field trip report:
After a very long gap, I was able to go for the 4th Sunday outing to the Sarjapura area,thanks to Suneel’s very kindly offering to pick up my friend Ravi Srinivasan (from Chennai) and myself.
However, co-ordinating with multiple members and multiple meeting points caused a lot of delay and instead of depending on the correct directions that Shishir had given, we made the mistake of asking the locals, and this delayed us even further! When we finally reached Muthanallur kere, we were never able to meet up with the main group, and we wandered around the lake bed and the banks on our own. The mist also played its part…
After a pathetic monsoon this year, it’s a blessing to be able to visit any kere with water in it, and Muthanallur kere was very picturesque and scenic (with not too much of litter, either). We were able to observe many of the waterfowl, whether resident (like Brahminy Kites or Pied Kingfishers) or migrant. While we felt sad that we could walk so much on the lake bed, it certainly allowed us to get just that little bit closer to the waterfowl.
However, the presence of the bodies of three dead Brahminy Kites at various places on the lake bed, and that of many dead fish along the banks (uneaten by any predator), made us wonder about the quality of the water. There was a lot of algae in the lake, which, at places, gave it a bright emerald colour. However, since there were live fish, too, and some Checkered Keelbacks, we felt the water might be OK.
Several raptors soared on the thermals and being “rocky on raptors”, I was hard put to id them. The Red-necked Falcon delighted us with an appearance, as did several other birds of prey. However, it seemed to be Brahminy Kites which have adopted the lake; we saw many juveniles soaring and hunting.
As usual, there were not too many small waders, but there was a good number of Painted Storks and Openbills. Two Pied Kingfishers hovered, dived, and then dried themselves on the mud banks. We managed to sight, and observe, the
WESTERN REEF EGRET
for a while…
Ravi and Suneel decided to go to Decathlon, and I took a ride with the Managoli family, Vaibhav and Deepu. Of course we got lost again, and finally decided to eat brunch at Sarjapura before making our way home, watching Kestrels and some of the warblers on the way. Moral of the story: never try to use the words “early return” on a birding trip!
I do not know who else was there, but our group consisted of:
Bird List (let me know if I have left out any)
Bee-eater, Small Green
Cuckoo, Common Hawk
Eagle, Indian Spotted (I think)
Eagle, Short-toed Snake
Egret, Western Reef
Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Heron, Black-crowned Night
Heron, Indian Pond
Kingfisher, Small Blue
Martin, Dusky Crag
Oriole, Eurasian Golden
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Plover, Little Ringed
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Swift, Asian palm
Warbler, Greenish Leaf
Warbler, Blyth’s Reed
Butterflies were there in plenty, too.
Yellow, Three-spot Grass
We also saw many Dragonflies and Damselflies; and I thought of Ajay as I watched some Weaver ants for a while, as I rested in the shade of the Eucalyptus trees, through which the wind soughed as it rippled the surface of the lake. The fine Cirrus clouds overhead promised only sunshine….and we came back feeling much hotter than when we set out!
I am sending some photographs to the experts I know, for id…so the list may get amended. Sorry, folks, I make LOTS of mistakes!
I have put up photos from my Mary’s Lamb camera (Sony HX200) on an FB album, at
Please, if I have made wrong id’s, feel free to correct them!
Cheers, and with heartfelt good wishes for the festive (and holiday!) season ahead…