Email to bngbirds about Valley School, 030514

Thomas Job, his friend (and first-time birder) Sushil Nahar, and I went to Valley School, and we were certainly rewarded beyond our expectations!

K B Srinivas had posted about seeing 4 Pittas there last week, but we certainly know the pit(ta)falls of going with any “focus”..the “focus” bird never shows itself! Srinivas himself met us at the School; and we met several other birders, some with binoculars, and some Tripada (tripod-a) and Ekapada (monopod) Murthys, too. It’s always nice to meet other like-minded people. Apart from this, a lot of people living in the Valley School seemed to be walking down the outside trail as well.

I have put up photographs (bad even by my standards…in all that clutter, it was difficult to get the Pittas and the Shama) on my FB album at

https://www.facebook.com/deemopahan/media_set?set=a.10152167690548878.1073742157.587058877&type=3

and here’s my blogpost about the morning, at

http://deponti.livejournal.com/1069626.html

It was certainly surprising that we could see 3 Pittas on the 3rd of May…I thought that they would be gone by now. Is this rather late, or normal for the Pittas to be around till now?

Watching bird behaviour was another bonus of the relaxed birding. The foraging behaviour of the Pittas, and the Puff-throated Babblers,kept us occupied for quite a while. (I must say, the colours of the Pitta kept us riveted, too.) I’m planning to re-name the Cattle Egreat as Earthmover Egret, as these birds follow the earthmovers in exactly the same way, seem not at all scared of the machinery, and jump to feed on the insects turned up.

I saw a Jungle Crow feeding on the Banyan figs; a Peepal tree held us spellbound for quite half an hour as we watched Barbets, Parakeets, White-eyes, an Oriole, and Drongos having a gala time in the huge tree. How I wish we could take our Bangalore politicians to see such sights regularly…they’d probably stop felling trees then, is my optimistic view.

We saw a Shikra mobbing a Honey-buzzard, and as we came out of the gatepost, a Jerdon’s Leafbird in the Acacia gave us a final thrill.

Once again, a salute to Valley School for letting the wilderness be…but it is quite disturbing to see the adjacent areas beingt levelled and “cleaned” out to make way for agriculture (hopefully, not residential layouts.)

It was a very enjoyable morning, and I returned with my batteries recharged for the rest of the week!

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