Nandi Hills trip, 200315

Email to bngbirds egroup:

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When Kiran Kashyap suddenly called and asked if I would like to join
in for a trip to Nandi Hills, I must admit, I was very ambivalent. I’d
just had cataract surgery in both eyes a week ago, and was still in
the process of putting in various eye-drops (sorry, in today’s world,
i-drops!) every couple of hours…should I go or not? In the event, I
decided that if I couldn’t see much, I could at least enjoy the beauty
of Nandi Hills…so off I went with Kiran, Guru, and Manju.

And wow….I was so glad I did! Beginning the Indian Blue Robin at the
“leaking pipe” site near Tipu’s summer lodge (I hope they never repair
it!) , and going on to the spectrum of Thrushes and Robins in the
nursery area, it was just a rain of birds. The Asian Paradise
Flycatchers, too, were there in white and rufous glory, ribboning
their tails to and fro. I got one changing from rufous to white!

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Babblers, both Puff-throated and Tawny-bellied, walked in and around
the flowerpots, tantalizing us. The Nilgiri Wood Pigeons

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and the Pied Thrushes,

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which we normally look for near the Akashganga, all appeared
as if on cue, for us. It was only the knowledge that the masala dosa
counter at the top of the hill closes by 9.30 that made us tear
ourselves away.

The Auricaria cookii tree near Nehru Nilaya yielded the Red-breasted
Flycatcher, and Olive-backed Pipits in the lawns nearby. We sighted
many Ashy Drongos, but only a single Black Drongo.(No, don’t ask me if
it was married!)

Apart from the birds, the trees were wonderful, too. The beautiful figs of Ficus drupacea,
Ficus drupacea

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the different greens of the leaves;

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the Jacaranda and the Tabebuia aurea flowers carpeting the ground with purple and
gold…

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even the fresh copper-sheen leaves on the mango

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and the peepal trees were such a visual treat.

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The nursery area was soothing to the eye,

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with the golden morning sunlight falling on so many flowers. We
saw the loving care that the staff lavish on the gardens in the Nehru
Nilaya.

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It was lovely to have the place practically to ourselves,
for a change; the weekday, and the fact that we are in the middle of
the ‘exam season’, contributed to the general peace and quiet. I would
not like to visit Nandi Hills a couple of weekends from now, I must
admit!

I must repeat my query…have there been any sightings of Owls or
Owlets from Nandi Hills? I’ve never seen one…yet.

I am sorry…I couldn’t clearly see the butterflies, but I did see a
few flitting around; I’ve included the very basic list.

Amphibians:

Pond Terrapin

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Birds:

Babbler, Puff-throated
Babbler, Tawny-bellied
Bulbul, Red-whiskered

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Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Blackbird, Indian

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Bushchat, Pied
Crow, House
Crow, Long-billed
Dove, Spotted
Dove, Laughing
Drongo, Ashy

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Drongo, Black
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Flycatcher, Red-breasted
Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue
Flycatcher, Verditer
Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail
Honey-buzzard, Oriental
Iora. Common
Kite, Black
Kite, Black-winged
Kite, Brahminy
Koel, Asian
Leafbird, Jerdon’s
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pigeon, Nilgiri Wood
Pipit, Olive-backed
Prinia, Ashy
Robin, Indian Blue

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Robin, Oriental Magpie
Shikra
Sparrow, House
Sunbird, Purple
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swift, Asian Palm
Tailorbird, Common
Thrush, Blue Rock

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(female)

Thrush, Blue-capped Rock

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Thrush, Orange-headed Ground
Thrush, Pied
Wagtail, Grey
Warbler, Booted
Warbler, Greenish Leaf
Warbler, Tickell’s Leaf
Warbler, Un id
White-eye, Oriental

The list is on eBird at

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22432347

Butterflies:

Crow, Common
Eggfly, Danaid
Emigrant, Mottled
Jezebel, Common
Pierrot, Common
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Tiger, Dark Blue

Mammals:

Macaque, Bonnet

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Squirrel, Three-striped Palm

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