Nandi Hills, 271114

Email to the bngbirds egroup:

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The morning clouds wreathed the mountains:

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I thought, “Giants are those who rise above what obscures them, and raise their heads to the sunlight.”

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Five of us found ourselves free, and decided to visit Nandi Hills this morning. One of us had to drop out, but the rest of us had a very pleasant morning. It was rather surprising that apart from the Black and Brahminy Kites, we did not sight a single raptor. But that did not come in the way of our enjoying Blue-capped Rock Thrushes playing hide and see k with us, a flock of Oriental White-eyes darting like Christmas ornaments in a large Thuja bush, an Asian Paradise Flycatcher flaunting his ribbony tail in rippling flights, or watching Puff-throated Babbler leaf-litter behaviour.

Mist and most…that was the theme.

Mist: It was lovely watching the clouds flow like rivers across the valleys…

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but very disturbing to see the pall of dirty smog over Bangalore.

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It reminded me of the awful smog one saw as one landed in Los Angeles…we don’t seem to learn from the mistakes made in other countries. However, the mist lifted quite soon and we enjoyed all the birds that we sighted and observed.

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Most: We saw most of the “regular” birds that one expects in Nandi Hills, and though we would, of course, have been happier if we’d sighted some more raptors, we were still satisfied. Another “most” was that most of the birds could not be photographed, appearing for fleeting seconds, or grinning at us from behind a lot of leaf litter. This was definitely an outing for the lenses in our eyes, not the ones in our cameras. I need not mention that the warblers led this list that I call “Avian Flew”…before we got a good look…off they flew!

I can never understand some of the logic behind what happens at Nandi Hills. The direct access to the nursery area was wide open…and yet the path that leads to the Arkavathi spring was completely blocked, for no good reason at all. Similarly, the view bridge across the valley, no doubt constructed at considerable cost, has the central section locked up!

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Why do we have this “you can’t go there” attitude even in public spaces?

I was happy to note that new toilets have been built at the old ticket area, which are still reasonably clean…but there was no water in the stalls, and this would stink them up in no time. Building facilities is one thing..maintaining them well is a definite need which does not seem to be addressed. And for the crowds we see during the weekends,surely these facilities are very inadequate. We were not spared the sight of many men with their backs to us, in “streaming video”.

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Rs. 1 for peeing, Rs. 2 for pooping! This never fails to make me laugh!

I’ve added the bird list at eBird at

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20694936

I have a question…where does one enter the Common Tailorbird? Did I miss it out somewhere in the list?

Physical list:

Babbler, Puff-throated

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Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Bee-eater, Green
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bushchat, Pied
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Egret, Cattle (on the way)
Egret,Little (on the way)
lowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, Asian Brown

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Flycatcher, Asian Paradise

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Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue
Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail
Iora, Common
Junglefowl, Grey
Kingfisher, White-throated
Kite, Black
Kite,Brahminy
Malkoha, Blue-faced (on the way)
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Oriole, Eurasian Golden
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Robin, Indian
Roller, Indian
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swift, Asian Palm
Tailorbird, Common
Thrush, Blue Rock
Thrush, Blue-capped Rock

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here

is my earlier post about the male…

Thrush, Orange-headed
Wagtail, Grey

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Wagtail, White-browed
Warbler, Blyth’s Reed

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White-eye, Oriental

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One Un id Raptor that flew over the trees.

Quite a satisfying list, though we did not sight the Pied Thrush or the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, or any of the usual raptors!

Several flowers also delighted us:

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The scenes around were beautiful, too.

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Hero stones at Tipu’s Summer Lodge:

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The age-weathered Nandi still looked out over the hill:

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In the crannies in the temple wall, grew these tiny beauties,

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Which reminded me of

Tennyson’s poem

(only, I cannot ever understand why the poet had to pull out the poor little flower and kill it!)

My thanks to Brinda, Nitin and Gayatri

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for the great company. Tea and snacks taste better with friends!

More photos on my FB album,

here

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