Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012-01-28-IIT Powai

Started birding at 7:35am at the lake with my friend Abhijit who is an IIT, Mumbai alumnii and Rohit Prabhu.

The first thing was a crocodile swiming across the lake. It was atleast 5feet. It was a wonderful sight watching it swim elegantly and pretty fast.

Within the hycinths on the shore of were Purple moorhens, bronze winged jacana, pond heron, purple heron, glossy ibis, egrets, lesser whistling teals and a Marsh Harrier sitting on the opposite shore.

From here we moved towards the boat club.
The road just after the end of guest house turned out to be most rewarding.

It started with a Ashy drongo.
Ashy Drongo

Followed by Black kite nesting and having breakfast.
Black Kite with a feast (The tail of the prey can be seen hanging from within its legs)

A flock of jungle babblers were create a lot of noise nearby and within this noise was a
Jungle Babbler

Jungle Babbler

white throated kingfisher and a long tailed shrike sitting still.
White Throated Kingfisher

White Throated Kingfisher

A paradise flycatcher was giving us repeated nice views.
Paradise Flycatcher

There were the usuals red whiskered bulbuls, magpie robin, crimson breasted barbet, purple sunbird, golden oriole, a single tickels blue flycatcher and a crow pheasant.
Crow Pheasant

There were also lot of palm sifts flying high up in the sky above us.
Palm Swift

As we reached the boat club we saw a purple heron, common coot and little grebe along with purple moorhens, bronze winged jacanas, glossy ibis and a red wattled lapwing.
Bronze Winged Jacana

Purple Moorhen

Blyths reed warbler

Ashy Prinia

At the boat club we saw a great show by a kite doing some fishing showing his somewhat acrobatic skills of diving.
Black Kite

Black Kite doing some acrobatics

A juvenile kite was sitting on the tree next to the boat club and on an island in the lake was sitting a
Juvenile Black Kite

Intermediate egret with a non-breeding Pheasant tailed jacana.
Non-breed pheasant tailed Jacana and an Intermediate Egret

The posts in the lake were filled with cormorants and barn swallows.

A blyths reed warbler and ashy prinia were jumping on the grassblades around.

While returning on one of the trees we saw a colony of Night Herons with a juvenile.

Wonderful way to end this wonderful birding morning was to have a sumptuous breakfast at the IIT canteen :-)

Monday, January 23, 2012

2012-01-22 Bhandup

Last few days morning had been very cloudy, foggy and very cold (of course Mumbai very cold :-)) so we had decided to meet at Bhandup pumping station at 7:30am.

Me, Ritesh, Abhijeet, Rohit and his brother Asim were the members of todays birding trip.

As we reached the sun was already up but it was still very dull as it was unable to penetrate the thick layer of fog.

On the road the pumping station saw a kingfisher, spotted dove and grey heron.

As we reached the other side of the pumping station on the Meswak plants to the left we saw a flock of baya weavers and scally breasted munias.

We decided to move ahead on the road to the end of the road.
At the end of the road in the water were spot billed ducks. The trees around this places were full of golden orioles and a single rose ringed travel.
Rose Ringed Parakeet

There were atleast 5-6 individuals with 2 males and other females and juvelines.
Golden Oriole

A clamorous reed warbler was creating a very big noise, 
Barn swallows were flying around,
Ashy prinias were hopping around,
Ashy Prinia

a pair of Bhardwaj giving us the lucky start,
a grey heron on the top of a tree and
painted stork flying by.
Painted Stork

High above in the sky were a flock of ducks flying which turned out to be Pintails.

Just as we were about the turn around there was a huge commotion on the water.
2 Marsh Harriers were scanning very low and the other birds were disturbed.
Eurasian Marsh Harrier

Got some good views of the harrier in flight and then sitting on a bush nearby.
Eurasian Marsh Harrier

From there we headed back to have a look at the waders in the water body.
Before reaching there we encountered a Rui plant infested with aphids.
Aphids  on Rui pod

Infested Rui plan with cotton coming out of the pods

At the junction where the side road to the water body meets the main road we saw a flock of atleast 15-20 baya weavers and a flock of 5-8 white cheecked bulbuls.
White Cheeked Bulbul

White Cheecked Bulbul

White Cheecked Bulbul

White Cheecked Bulbul

In the water body there were cormorants, redshanks, wood sandpiper, common sandpiper, Gulls, a caspian tern, gull billed tern, grey heron.
Grey Heron
And also saw a Eurasian spoonbill flying overhead.
Eurasian Spoonbill

On the ground there were red avadavats and in the mangroves were white cheeked bulbuls and clamorous reed warblers and mongoose.
Ruddy Mongoose

It was a wonderful morning photographing White cheeked bulbuls and observing many golden orioles!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

2011-12-25 Hessarghatta

We started early morning at around 6am for Hessarghatta from Malleshwaram.

We reached in around 30-40min. We asked a few people on the road for directions for place to entry for birding in the dry lake.

It is a man made lake built in 1894. The total catchment area draining into the Lake at the dam built on the Arkavathy River is 73.84 km2

Hessaraghatta Lake

At the entrance to the lake on the trees on the left we encountered 5-6 chestnut tailed startlings and 3-4 drongos followed by a flock of jungle mynas.

Chestnut Tailed Starling

Ashy Drongo

Chestnut Tailed Starling

The main aim of the visit was to get some raptors harriers, eagles, kestrel, etc.
At the start of the trail what we saw were only many kites.

Black Kite
Indian Silverbill

The main attraction of the visit turned out to be a lifer for me the blue faced malkoha which gave us good views at different locations.

Blue faced Malkoha

Other sighting was a Grey Francolin and Common Hoppoe.

Grey Francolin

Common Hoopoe

Saw Montagu's Harrier flying around and a big eagle flying high in the sky so difficult to ID.

After reaching the center of the lake there were already a few cars waiting on the tracks for the eagles to sit down on the ant hill mounds.

We had some cake and kachori with water to fill our stomach a bit for remaining birding and till we reached the bangalore city.

From there we proceed towards the exit of the lake. Just a few meters away we saw the famous Common Kestrel perched on the top of a tree.

Common Kestrel

Common Kestrel

Common Kestrel

Common Kestrel

Common Kestrel

It gave us some very near and clear views. After a while it also landed on the ground in front of us to give us some ground shots.

Common Kestrel

Just before leaving we saw a lark and pied bushchat

Paddyfield Pipit

Pied Bushchat

We started back by 12:30 and went to satellite bus stand to catch a bus to Mysore.

It was a good birding day with a new bird giving us multiple sightings from near quarters, the blue faced Malkoha and Common Kestrel giving very nice views.

Have a look at following album for more pictures

2011-12-25 Hessarghatta