Hoskote Kere (Lake),071214

Since Snehasis could not join our group for Skandagiri on the 6th, I wanted to take him to a birding spot that he had not visited before.

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As I went down the stairs, I saw this dead

BAMBOO TREE BROWN

dead on the landing, and photographed it:

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I then dropped it respectfully in the mud of a pot downstairs, little knowing that Rohit Girotra would want me to hunt for it the next day, as he wanted a dead butterfly for his collection, and didn’t want to kill one like many others did. Alas, I could not find it!

Snehasis, Ruma and little Soham picked me up, and we headed out to Hoskote Lake.

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In a residential layout close to the lake, we began our birding with this

PADDYFIELD PIPIT:

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We came to the lake, and I found this raptor hiding in the reeds, and looking down into the water to see if it could get some breakfast…either fish or waterfowl.

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I have not seen this behaviour by raptors before! I thought that they soar on thermals, and swoop down on prey that they spot from above.

Egrets were there in plenty…

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and here’s one!

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It was an attractive “waterfowl”scape:

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BRAHMINY KITES

(this one’s a juvenile) flew around, perched,

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preyed, and ate.

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Hungry Bird!

A lone

SPOT-BILLED PELICAN

was perhaps all that was left from many more earlier in the season.

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We were also fortunate enough to meet several other birders, some of whom I knew, some of whom I was meeting face-to-face for the first time.

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I was as thrilled with the quite common

BLACK DRONGO

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as I was with a not-frequent sighting of the

INDIAN SPOTTED EAGLE:

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Ok,that merits one more photo, you can see the nictitating membrane in the bird’s eye, here:

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While we looked at the bird, the bird looked at us!

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I wandered along the bank of the kere,looking for other birds, and this Warbler played hide-and-seek with me!

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Even when I got it, it refused to look at me.

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Then I caught it…this is not a stretch of the imagination!

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and finally, after twenty minutes of patient tracking…

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Meanwhile, a

RED-VENTED BULBUL

was making a shake-and-stake meal of a grasshopper:

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Unexpectedly, along the reeds of the kere, I saw several

RED AVADAVATS (this one is a female)

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We saw all three frequently-seen Kingfishers. The

WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER

had decided to go to pot!

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The

COMMON KINGFISHER

(which I call the Small Blue, it’s no longer as common as it was)

was a sapphire treasure:

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(I didn’t get any of the Pied Kingfisher)

These

RED-WHISKERED BULBULS

rocked the scene:

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A

COMMON SANDPIPER

foraged in the shallows:

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GREAT CORMORANTS

did their diving antics for food.

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One

RED-RUMPED SWALLOW

was pestering its parent for food, though it seemed quite grown-up to me!

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They were a beautiful study in “back and front”!

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As we left, a

JERDON’S BUSHLARK

sang us a goodbye song…

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a

BROWN SHRIKE

seemed to wink at us, too.

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and a

BLACK KITE

in a Neem tree flew off.

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Ruma took Soham back to the car when he got peckish. He was an enthusiastic birder, and knows
many of the birds’ names!

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A stand of Datura (the fruit is very poisonous, and yet it is grown as an ornamental in the US!) looked beautiful.

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I watched some ants herding

PLANT HOPPERS

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How often does one find one’s name graven in stone (well, cement,at least!)?

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We visited Debashis Das and his wife on the way home, and in their 8th floor balcony, some

SCALY-BREASTED MUNIAS

were nesting!

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This was a real thrill for me, how I wish I could have birds nesting in my home!

Finally, we turned our back on the birds, and came home to breakfast.

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They turned their back on us, too…and a beautiful sight they make, from any angle!

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More photos on my FB album,

here

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