Visiting hours: 9AM to 5PM
Holiday: Closed on Tuesday
We moved further in the trail observing the bird’s activity near by nursery, jungle babblers were in plenty and sun birds were around flying from tree to tree.
Tickle’s blue fly catcher drew our attention near by tree and I could manage the record shot of it. The trail lead us to a pond and we heard a pied king fisher call near by, it perched on a small trunk of a tree. It was too far to capture the photo. We walked alongside of the pond observing for water birds if any.
6. Jungle Owlet
This was my second visit to Hessarghatta a lake now transformed into grasslands outskirts to Bangalore; as usual I and Santoshfinalized the plan for early morning birding, an additional bird watcher with us was Mr. Dayananda a fun loving person.
We reached Hessarghatta by 6.45Am, a pleasing weather with sighting of Montagu’s Harrier welcomed us, we approached the place were the bird was hovering few minutes of wait the bird landed on an anthill.
- Montugu’s Harrier female
- Pay back shrike
- Eurasian Marsh Harrier
- Bushchat male
- Bushchat female
- Black Drongo
- Indian Roller
- Ashy crown sparrow lark
- Barn swallow
- Crested sparrow lark
- Siberian stone chat
- Common kestrel
- Black Kite
Friday fever was on; the next day was “Makara Sankranthi” though we can’t set off from Bangalore. We planned an early morning bird watching outskirts of Bangalore.
- Common Myna
- Red Whiskered Bulbul
- White throated KF
- Common Buzzard
- Oriental White Eye
- White Cheeked Barbet
- Copper Smith Barbet
- Fan Tailed Flycatcher
- Veriditer Flycatcher
- Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher
- Euresian Golden Oriel
- Common Iora
- Wire tailed swallow
- Purple Sunbird
- Tailor Bird
- Great Tit
Friday fever was on; due to work schedule I was busy for almost 2 months and could not go out for birding nor wildlife odysseys… On Saturday [17.12.11] Santosh planned for an early morning birding at Hessarghatta. Without thinking further I nodded my head with acceptance as it was my pleasure accompanying him.
I woke up early morning at 4.00Am and peeped out of the window, it was freezing cold outside. Passion will not let you down from cold, heat or rains. We had decided to meet at yeshwanthpur.
Our morning birding to Hessarghatta took off in Santosh’s alto; we reached by 6.30Am the place was filled with mist already 4-5 vehicles were lined up for birding. Hessarghatta was a surprise to me; it gave the feel of TATR grasslands.
Till mist cleared the camera had no work to do. It was time to meet up new friends with similar kind of interest. Indeed meeting Dayanand, Rakesh Gupta, Sachin, K V Bhat and learning from them about birds of Hessarghatta and others was truly a valuable knowledge transfer for those who are a new to birding.
The engulfed mist cleared at 9.00Am, the Hessarghatta grasslands of Bangaloreturned out to be spectacular.We approached the track and observed for bird life. Hessarghatta is famous for Raptors of many kinds and I was filled with joy to photograph one. Santosh spotted a Euresian Marsh Harrier near by we approached silently and parked our car. The patience is the virtue for photography in 15 mins a Marsh Harrier sat on an ant hill beside the track. After capturing few pics we moved on further. These Marsh Harriers are migratory birds which migrate from western Eurasia and adjacent Africa.
Rain lashed the city through out the night; our birding activity planned early morning was sinking. The long lasting dream of photographing long-billed vultures had not yet materialized. Keeping our fingers crossed we hoped the rains would take shelter elsewhere.
And surely enough, next morning there was no sight of rain promising the very climate we had hoped for. Wildlife odyssey started towards Ramanagara at 5.30 am.
An hour’s drive from home took us to Ramanagara. After scanning the area for the perfect habitat of LBV’s we started heading towards the identified cliff. A resident of the place helped us in spotting the LBV’s. We approached the cliff to get a better view of the critically endangered bird.
Courtesy: Wikipedia The Indian vulture scientifically entitled as Gyps Insicus is an old world vulture and is closely related to the Griffon. It breeds mainly on crags of central and peninsula India. LBV’s are scavengers feeding mostly on carcasses of dead animals. They often move in flocks.
The long-billed vulture is a typical vulture with a bald head, very broad wings and short tail feathers. It usually weighs between 5.5 – 6.3kg and measuring 80 – 100 cm long and 205-229cm across the wings.
Just below the cliff we settled down on a huge boulder making sure the birds would not be disturbed by our presence. We could spot 6-7 vultures resting on the rock waiting for the sun to pop out of the clouds to start its activity.
As the sun appeared beyond the clouds, the vultures stirred marking the start of the day…. Few vultures took flight around the cliff and returned after few minutes scanning the area for their prey. The vultures paired into two’s and occupied different locations on the cliff. We were lucky in witnessing the courtship of the LBV’s
The day turned out to be sunny and the vultures scurried away from the cliff. We had already spent 2 hours observing the habitat and the activity of the LBV’s. In anticipation that the birds would return to its habitat we spent another 45 mins. The time was 9.30 am when we finally decided to wrap up from the place.
Our next destination on our list was to visit Sri Rama temple situated 1 km from the foothill.
After visiting the temple, we started our way back home. En route we stopped at the famous shiva’s thatte idli at Bidadi, had a stomach filling breakfast and returned home with contended feeling. What a way to start a weekend!!!!!!!!!!
Long Live – LONG BILLED VULTURES!!!
It poured like cats and dogs the previous night!! I thought our early morning birding to MuniNagar will not be possible. I crossed fingers praying let it rain till morning 4:00Am and give a break for our happy birding.
With the snooping mind I peeped out of the window at 4.45Am to make sure it’s not raining, yah… we were lucky enough the rain had given a break. I started my place at 5.15Am and reached chetan’s place at 5.45Am. The weather conditions were perfect for birding; I and chetan halted @SLV to pick up vinay.
Hmmmm… why to miss hot idli and vada? We had a quick breakfast and sipped a hot coffee in chilled weather and started toward MuniNagar.
MuniNagar is a small village outskirts of Bangalore. A nippy drive of 35km will take you to MuniNagar; we reached the place exactly at 7.45Am parked our vehicle nearby bus stand and started on foot towards the MuniNagar forest [Which is back forest of Bannerghatta National Park].
Near by lake fascinated with cattle egrets, cormorants and also found Indian pond heron, Pheasant-tailed jacana welcomed us…
The forest path narrowed down the feel of walking in the early morning was startling; the only sound we heard was of chirping of birds. We trekked for almost 1.5 km and took a small break in this journey we got a glimpse of red-whiskered bull bull and few larks…
The time ticked 10.00Am cloudy weather vanished and sun peeped out with harsh rays to earth. In fact it was a great day we got to see Baya weaver I never saw this before.
Finally trekking 4km we reached a waterhole and for our surprise we saw many elephant dungs on the bank. Which clearly showcased it is the elephant habitat. It was 12.30Pm and decided to return back and started towards MuniNagar bus stand where we parked our car.
More photos @ Wildlife Odyssey Photo Stream
1. Pheasant-Tailed Jacana
2. Rose ringed parakeet
3. Indian Pond Heron
4. Indian Silverbill
6. Cattle Egrets
7. Baya Weaver
9. Bush Lark
10. Magpie Robbin
12. Red-Whiskered Bul Bul
14. River terns
17. Green-Bee eater
18. Black Drongo
19. Paradise Fly-Catcher
20 Black headed cuckoo
21. Indian Roller
23. Wood swallow
The day was calm it was Saturday 10/4/10; I don’t know why mind skipped the Friday fever….
It was boring Saturday woke up at 8.00 in the morning and started reading news paper line-by-line… hmmm not interesting, Ok I had few other things to do and started chalking out things.
The day came to an end, sun started sinking with dull smile and it was time to meet guys @ adda. Around 6.30Pm chetan called me and asked “Maga night camp at Bheemeshwari and early morning birding” are u coming??
Yes, whole day was boring and why should I miss birding, it was first time visiting muthathi / bheemeshwari. Packed my camera and started to chetans place after having dinner.
The time was 10.00 Pm when I reached chetans place, and I also met new friends Sourav and Sandeep. We four of us started to muthathi at 10.30 Pm.
Bheemeshwari / Muthathi is located around 100 kms from Bangalore. We reached muthathi at 12.30Pm with torch light started searching for flat land beside the Cauvery river banks to pitch the tent.
Hmmm… tent was ready and the whole ambiance was set for a hot chatting, pulling each others leg. It was 2.00Am when we realized we should have a quick nap till 5.30Am. Alarm was set at 5.30 and all went for a sleep.
It was 5.30 Am when mobile started alarming and kicked us out from the tent. The plan was to trek till galibore camp which is around 6km from muthathi.
With full enthuse we started to walk on the banks of Cauvery river till galibore camp the trail is really startling.
Chetan took out his binocular and located White-Bellied Drongo on the branch of the tree.
Further trail was mesmerizing with lots of bird activities around. We could spot Blue-faced Malkoha and CSE.
It was time to pack our things and get back to Bangalore; on final exit we spotted a south Indian rock agama.
Birding @ Bheemeshwari was wonderful and planning to visit soon after post monsoon.
List of Birds spotted:
Crested serpant eagle
Rocket tailed Drongo
Rose ringed parakeets
Red whiskered bul-bul
Follow me to reach bheemeshwari:
•Muthathi is about a 90 minute drive after you leave the city of Bangalore.
•Drive on the Kanakapura road through Kanakapura and Sathanur.
•Turn left at Satanur and drive for another 30 minutes to reach Muthathi.
It was a desire to visit “Nandhi Hills” though it is considerable distance from Bangalore it took long time to stopover. On Saturday we decided to start from bangalore by 5.00Am, the plan was to pick up sandeep at yellahanka by 5.30 Am and continue.
Nandhi hills is also called as Nandhi Durga, it is hill fortress located in chikkaballapur district of karnataka state. It is just 16km till base and 24 km top of the hill from chikkaballapur town and it is 70km from bangalore.
Since three days i was hearing Green-Barbet call, but unfortunately i had no time to investigate where is it residing and its activities? these questions were striking my mind. On saturday as usual after breakfast i was surfing the net and the call of green barbet begun. I though this is the time to see… and went up to the terrace with my camera and binocular.. after silent move though with heavy traffic managed to spot the green-barbet which is residing in my building and started cliking the photos. Here i have compiled few interesting facts of green-barbet
(Courtesy: Wikipedia and BNHS).
Eggs are laid about 3-5 days after nest excavation. About 3 eggs are laid. The incubation period is 14 to 15 days. During the day both sexes incubate but at night only the female sits on the eggs.