Bird watching at Hessarghatta

The birding has been eccentric these days, frequent travel has kept me busy. This was my short visit to Bangalore time did not permit me for a long trip to my favourite destination.

I called up Santosh to know the plan for Sunday Oct 27th2012.  We planned to visit Hessarghatta for birding. It was decided to meet him at 5.30am near metro.
Ahhh chilled ride out was superb in the morning, he picked me and we started towards hessarghatta grasslands. A friend to santosh also joined us; Prashanth works for automobile industry in Dubai. Cool guy with varied interest.
Already bird watchers took there place at hessarghatta, we moved on observing the winged beauties it was a lucky day we could spot a European Roller a migratory bird.

2 birds was lifer to me, pied cuckoo and European roller. It was an awesome day with loads of joy and learning.  

Hesaraghatta – The Grasslands of Bangalore…

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.

We moved on the track after clicking the photos of charming female, Dayanand spotted a “Siberian Stone Chat” on the perch of a tree a beautiful small bird.
Again we started observing the bird of prey hovering at a distance, after long wait it landed on the ground we silently approached and learnt it was “Eurasian Marsh Harrier” aka “Western Marsh Harrier”.
“Pipits”, “Black Drongo’s”, “Ashy Crown Sparrow Lark’s” were plenty in number and it patiently posed me to capture its beauty.
We took a break under a tree and had snacks which we bought from home. The Harrier’s were off and we could not spot any more, after snacks we took a round on the track and photographed “Bushchat” male and female.
There was some action going on and then realized it was mining of soil, trailers and trucks were busy in carrying the mud which was continuously being removed from the ground. Due to this we may loose the winter migrants from different part of the countries and many resident birds of Hessarghatta.
The voice has to be raised and we should save Hessarghatta from mining. I had an opportunity to photograph a common “Black Kite” and “Barn Swallow” which are seen in and out of Bangalore.
It was time to wrap up the birding activity and all of a sudden we spotted kestrel hovering around, a patient wait of 30 mins gave us an opportunity to photograph “Common Kestrel”.
Birds spotted @ Hessarghatta
  1. Montugu’s Harrier female
  2. Pay back shrike
  3. Eurasian Marsh Harrier
  4. Pipits
  5. Bushchat male
  6. Bushchat female
  7. Black Drongo
  8. Indian Roller
  9. Ashy crown sparrow lark
  10. Barn swallow
  11. Crested sparrow lark
  12. Siberian stone chat
  13. Common kestrel
  14. Black Kite

Mystical Morning – Birding at Hesaraghatta…

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.

Though Drongos, Ashy drongos, white belied drongs were common here, to justify the bird I had to click few pics and move further.
Further observation of birds in binoculars we spotted “Siberian Stone Chat” all these birds was new to me and I was very excited in clicking the pics. Indian Roller a state bird of Karnataka which is aka Blue-Jay was also spotted with its display of vibrant colors.
 
 Parked our car under the tree and had some snacks relaxed for some time, this time it was kestrels which drew the attention; we tracked the bird and finally clicked when it sat on the ant hill.
Time ticked 12.30 when sun banged on our head with scorching heat. We decided to wrap up the birding activity.The day was fruitful as my knowledge bank on birds was updated.
For more pics : Wildlife Odyssey
Driving direction:
 Yeshwanthpurà Right on 8th mileà Reach Hessarghatta à Right towards the board pointing to Adarsha Film Instituteà 10mins drive from there you reach Hessarghatta.

 

Bird List:

 1.      Ashy Drongo
2.      White-belied Drongo
3.      Indian Roller
4.      Pipit
5.      Siberian stone chat
6.      Buschat
7.      Indian Robin
8.      Euresian Marsh Harrier
9.      Kestral
10.  Black Kite
11.  Bush Lark
12.  Bay backed shrike