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…