Outing to Doddkere, and Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary, Sira, Tumkur District, Karnataka, 010215

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Email to bngbirds mailing list:

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We have an indefatigable planner in Commander Raghunath, who, after he’d sighted the Egyptian Vulture at Sira Doddkere (Large Lake), wanted to share it with all of us as well.

So 12 of us went to Sira for a very rewarding day’s outing.

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It was an “accha din”…a day of good numbers. First off, we sighted hundreds of Streak-throated Swallows, which had built an “apartment complex” under the water treatment tower at the reservoir.

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The short video I took…

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We then went over to the ancient Nayak durga (fort)

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and watched various “bush birds”…and were also rewarded with the ruby flash of a male Red Avadavat.

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Brahminy Starling:

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Laughing Dove:

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Blyth’s Reed Warbler:

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Pied Bushchat female:

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Kestrel at full zoom:

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Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark:

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Indian Silverbills:

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Indian Roller:

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Sandpiper:

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At the other part of the lake, we sighted “Raghu’s Vultures”…

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it was a heartening sight to see 12 of the Egyptian Vultures,

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including several juveniles and sub-adults, with their dark feathers slowly mottling into adult white

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Cilck,click,click, went several cameras…

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and Janhvi, throughout the day, was content to use her binoculars. We do have some eye-birders…and there were times when the cameras were down when the birds were up! The Vultures sat on the edges of the kere, and took off now and then…and what we did with our necks then was…”Crane”.

Another “number delight” was the sight of a huge flock of Sandpipers in a paddy field across from the kere. I call my picture of them lined up on the bund of the field, “100 Pipers”. We did feel on a high when we saw them.

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Alas, ducks seemed to be in short supply again, apart from some Spot-billed Ducks and some Grebes and Coots. Black-winged Stilts

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at the edges of the lake made us wonder about the water quality.We did not see any Pelicans either.

Some of the tech-savvy people had by now found out about Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary, so post-lunch, we did a bit of off-roading to get there.

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It was a scene similar to Kokkrebellur, and the villagers

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told us that the Grey Herons

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and the Painted Storks

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that dotted the trees had just come in a few days ago. I did see several nests being built. There was a water body nearby,

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and though it was uncomfortably hot, we walked around there, too, sighting a large group of Black Ibis. (What’s the plural of Ibis?)

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One of the highlights of this area, for me, was a large clump of what looked like delicate twigs on the trunk of a huge tamarind tree…

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that turned out to be a tight cluster of Harvestmen.

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I took a short video:

We came back to the Doddkere for another session, and spent a lot of time as the afternoon shaded into evening.

Pied Kingfishers

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and Small Blue (I can’t call them Common now) Kingfishers

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fished busily, and the sight of two of the latter, sitting side by side, companionably,

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was one of our closing moments at the kere.

I’ve put up photos (not only the birds) on my FB album

here

Our group never forgets our vitamins as well as our vitamin-B (Bird) so we patronized three Kamat Upachars through the course of the day (some of which had beautiful Sunbirds on the Silk-cotton and Singapore Cherry trees),

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as well as eating the fruits and snacks we’d brought along.We also did not forget our chai and coffee stops,and dispersed with all the happiness of a day well-spent.

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The bird list has been compiled by Snehasis and is on eBird at

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21629559

The long list will show how productive our birding day was!

Birders:

Deepa
Devadatha
Devaiah
Harish Chandra
Janhvi
Raghunath
Ruma
Sajid
Sharmila
Snehasis
Soham (who id’d at least 20 species)

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Sriram

Butterflies:

Blues, various
Cerulean, Common
Crow. Common
Eggfly, Danaid
Emigrant, Common
Jezebel, Common
Orange-tip, Little
Pansy, Blue
Pansy, Chocolate
Psyche
Rose,Common
Rose, Crimson
Wanderer, Common
Yellow, Common Grass
Yellow, Spotless Grass

Various Dragonflies and Damselflies hovered over us..it was a remarkable sight to see hundreds of dragonflies over a single Ficus at Kaggaladu village. Why do they hover over a tree? They were certainly manna for some of the birds!

We were able to also see the old mosque that dates back from Mughal times. Sira Lake is supposed to have been the inspiration for Lalbagh, and it was satisfying to visit such a historic spot.

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Let me wind up with the dawn light on the Allamanda:

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