Bangalore Bird Race, 190114: Of Flycatchers, Kingfishers…. and Thrushes

As the sun came up,

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six teams (and one family who was with us for a while) gathered together

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to participate in the annual bird “race”. This time, there was even less reason to call it a race, as it was non-competitive.

Our group had a lot of fun,throughout the day, but for me, a time of especial delight was when we were walked along “Flycatcher Avenue” which lived up to its name, and, indeed, added the

RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER

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to the Flycatcher list (which, on this day, went: Flycatcher, Asian Brown/Asian Paradise/Black-naped Monarch/Red-breasted/Tickell’s Blue/Verditer/White-browed Fantail..only the Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher was missing!)

We then walked around “Kingfisher Pond” (yes, we sighted all three Kingfishers: the Pied, the Small Blue, and the White-breasted)

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and went to the edge of the Herbivore Safari area. Here, we sighted some birds that I have never before seen in the zoo area. One was the Black-naped Monarch, which flew off too quickly for me to photograph; and there were two more.

One was the

ORANGE-HEADED THRUSH:

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a quick video (it’s quite shaky, as I was balancing and trying to keep away from the mildly electrified fence)

BLUE-CAPPED ROCK THRUSH:

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another quick video capture of the thrush:

These birds set the seal of contentment on the day for me, and I fell in love afresh with my favouite haunt. I also realized that two assumptions of mine were wrong:

1. Thrushes do not visit south Bangalore, but stop at Nandi Hills, and one has to travel there to see them.

2. Access to this area (it used to be open, earlier, but has now become a ticketed area) after 9am is in vain, as the bird activity would have died down.

Indeed, the area of the Herbivore Safari, just beyond the fence and a small water body, seems to be a place where these birds are not disturbed by any human activity; the safaris conducted by the Forest Department pass a good distance away from the rocks and pile of bamboo leaves and other deteritus that these birds love to walk through, looking for insects.

So now, to Flycatcher Avenue and Kingfisher Pond, I’m adding the Thrush Area. Thanks to Valli, who first spotted the Monarch and the Blue-capped Rock Thrush! Feeling good, thinking about it even now!

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