Birding at Nandi Hills

Mahesh Devarajan, his wife Priya, amoghavarsha,amonks, KM and I left as early as we could and drove down to Nandi Hills, intending to get back before noon.

One of the main reasons for our returning much later was this beautiful BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE that kept flying from one telegraph pole to the next, tempting us on to take more photographs…

the ruffled look 300907

KM insisted on us stopping on the way up, because he wanted to see an ASHY PRINIA properly! The Ashy Prinia never fails to amaze me..such a small bird with such a loud call!

The mist surrounding the hills was both beautiful, in its wreath of monsoon clouds, and deterring, in terms of bad light and visibility for birding, so we decided to have a leisurely breakfast first..and then drove just a little way up the slope to where the nursery is situated, as Mahesh wanted to spend time in the area. The trees themselves were so beautiful, with fresh leaves appearing:

new life...

We started off documenting the mating MILLIPEDES; but later, we realized that orgies comprising of threesomes and foursomes were on!

millipede threesome...

As the sun slowly broke through the clouds and the light improved, we spotted several FLOWERPECKERS, PURPLE SUNBIRDS

purple sunbird

and ORIENTAL WHITE-EYES:

oriental white-eye nandi hills 300907

As three of us concentrated on the area, Amogh, Jayanth and I wandered on to the road and on the way, watched two YELLOW WAGTAILS. I was able to snap one, a little later, moving amongst the trash that careless trippers had left:

yellow wagtail

The antics of the MACAQUES are also always fascinating to watch and I enjoyed clicking this one stuffing its cheek sacs with food:

greedy macaque

The amazing sighting of the day, however, was thanks to Priya who spotted this BLACK EAGLE on a tree nearby:

black eagle nandi hills 300907

The photographs I got are not very good, because there was a huge tangle of branches where the eagle was…but with rising excitement, we realized that we were looking at what was possibly the nest of the eagle! Thanks, Priya!

Mahesh has got some great shots of the eagle, and I am looking forward to seeing them on his blog .

Well-satisfied with the time we had spent, we drove back, but of course, on the way the INDIAN ROLLER– the State Bird of Karnataka,which Mahesh and Priya had never seen before, decided to oblige…

Indian roller

We had a late but enjoyable lunch at Emgees…am really happy that Mahesh decided to call me yesterday.

I am looking forward to more birding as the migratory birds start coming in….and think I will do a separate wildflowers of Nandi Hills post.

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