Posts Tagged ‘nandi hills’

Nandi Hills, 220417

May 1, 2017

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Venkat, Varun, Shanthala, Kedar, Akansha, Nitin, Janhvi, Padma, Vidhya, Ramaswamy, Nandi Hills, 220417

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Puff-throated Babbler

The blossoming Gulmohar..

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The floral carpet below.

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Vanda testacea, an orchid that was growing wild.

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Tipu’s summer lodge:

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Owl’s Eye Moth

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“Oooh, see the Nilgiri Wood Pigeons!”

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Here they are, billing and cooing together:

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It was a lovely morning, you can see the album

here

The eBird list is

here

for Nandi and

here

for Jakkur kere.

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Two outings with Savithri Singh, 23 and 241214

December 25, 2014

Email to the bngbirds egroup:

The visit of an avid birder and a friend from Delhi, Savithri Singh, meant a couple of birding outings, one to the zoo area on the 23rd of December, 2014. (Kartik, Karuna, Savithri, and I.)

This visit was curtailed as I had forgotten that the zoo would be closed on Tuesdays, and Flycatcher Avenue, being now in the ticketed area, would not be accessible. We birded in the orchard area and returned reasonably satisfied with our morning. observing Lark behaviour and the flight of Rosy Starlings. I also got to see the Rufous-tailed Lark in the orchard area after a long time. I wish I’d been able to take Savithri to show her Flycatcher Avenue and Kingfisher Pond…but that will be next time! We took a drive along the Reserve Forest on the Bannerghatta Kaggalipura Road, too, up to the Bhavani temple, but the Kingfishers eluded us there, too.

Birds:

Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Babbler, Jungle
Bee-eater, Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bushchat, Pied
Bushlark, Jerdon’s
Coucal, Greater
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Black
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Little
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, Asian Brown
Honey-buzzard, Oriental
Lark, Rufous-tailed
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Oriole, Indian Golden
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pipit, Olive-backed
Prinia, Ashy
Prinia, Plain
Robin, Indian
Shrike, Long-tailed
Sparrow, House
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Red-rumped
Swift, House
Wagtail, White-browed
Warbler, Booted
Warbler, Greenish
White-eye, Oriental

Photos on my FB album

here

However, Savithri’s wish to sight the Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher came to fruition on the 24th, when a group of us ( Brinda, Kartik, Karuna, Kiran, Savithri, Sharmila and I) went to Nandi Hills. Though the Nursery area was rather sparse on sightings (more photographers/birders than birds!), enough birds obliged us to keep us very happy. One of the highlights was sighting both the Red-breasted Flycatcher and the Red-throated Flycatcher, the differences between which I came home and read about. My post about this beauty is at

http://deponti.livejournal.com/1110764.html

(All my pics were of Ficedula parva, and none of F. albicilla! I’ve also included a short video of its call.)

The Blue-capped Rock Thrush put in a very brief appearance at the ‘water leak puddle” near Tipu’s summer lodge, but thereafter, the hordes of visitors seemed to keep it away. We followed a pair of Puff-throated Babblers around the entrance to the Nursery area, and into the broken shed of potted plants there. Bird photography can be “potty” work sometimes!

The Pied Thrush and the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon eluded us, I am afraid, as did many of the raptors. But an Asian Paradise Flycatcher did its Ribbon-tailed Flaunty Dance in the area near the Monkey-Puzzle tree near the summer lodge, the Auricaria cookii tree opposite the water reservoir, and again at the Nehru Nilaya. We were happy with our morning as we headed home.

Here is the list I’ve put up on eBird.

Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Babbler, Jungle
Babbler, Puff-throated
Bee-eater, Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bushchat, Pied
Bushlark, Jerdon’s
Coucal, Greater
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Eagle, Crested Serpent
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Little
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Flycatcher, Asian Brown
Flycatcher, Red-breasted
Flycatcher, Red-throated
Honey-buzzard, Oriental
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Malkoha, Blue-faced
Martin, Dusky Crag
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Oriole, Indian Golden
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pipit, Olive-backed
Prinia, Ashy
Prinia, Plain
Robin, Indian
Robin, Indian Blue
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Roller, Indian
Shikra
Shrike, Long-tailed
Sparrow, House
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Red-rumped
Thrush, Blue-capped Rock
Wagtail, Grey
Wagtail, White-browed
Warbler, Booted
Warbler, Greenish
Warbler, Tickell’s Leaf
White-eye, Oriental

Photos on my FB album

here

Up next, my quick “bird-butter” trail to Valley school this morning (Christmas Day), after the disappointment of having to cancel the volunteer trip to Bandipur. That will have a bird and butterfly list!

Cheers, and hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend and the festive time!

The Red-breasted Flycatcher, Nandi Hills, 241214

December 24, 2014

This morning, I went with Savithri Singh, her son Kartik and his friend Karuna, Brinda, and Sharmila, to Nandi Hills.

Though it certainly didn’t rain birds, we saw enough to keep us quite happy, and one of the highlights of the outing was the

RED-THROATED FLYCATCHER

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that flew about, delighting us.

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I wanted to find the difference between the Red-breasted and the Red-throated Flycatcher, and I read that the Red-breasted Flycatcher is Ficedula parva ,” is a small passerine bird in the Old World flycatcher family. It breeds in eastern Europe and across central Asia and is migratory, wintering in south Asia:…. and “the Asian species, Ficedula albicilla, previously considered a subspecies of the red-breasted flycatcher, has the red throat surrounded by grey and a different song. It is usually now separated as the Taiga flycatcher.”

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Why Taiga? Because…this bird goes to breed in Poland! However, one disturbing fact is that
“Studies on their spring arrivals to the breeding quarters in Poland from 1973–2002 show that males are returning earlier with increasing temperatures.”

They are found mainly deciduous woodlands, especially near water. They build an open nest in a tree hole or similar recess. 4–7 eggs are laid.

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The

Wiki entry

about the Taiga Flycatcher has this to say:

“In winter they are mostly silent but have a typical chip-chip-chr-rrr flycatcher call. In their breeding season, the song consists of melodious whistles, like that of the European pied flycatcher.”

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For other photos from the outing, click on my FB album

here .

Another lifer..and perhaps a record sighting, Nandi Hills, 271114

November 28, 2014

Email to bngbirds:

Hi,

Brinda, Gayatri, Nitin Prabhakar and I went to Nandi Hills, and right at the end of the outing, Nitin (while driving on the road leading down) spotted a bird which we id’d as a perhaps-not-yet-fully-grown Asian Brown Flycatcher.

But when I posted the photo on Indian Birds, Tim Inskipp and Shantanu Bhattacharya id’d it as the Dark-sided Flycatcher. Since this is a lifer for all of us, I am not too ashamed of the wrong id!

I would like to know what the records are for this bird, because it doesn’t seem to occur too commonly in southern India.

The

Wiki entry

doesn’t seem to mention the presence of the bird in south India, and Grimmett and Inskipp (yes, that same Inskipp!)’s book of south Indian birds doesn’t mention it at all.

Well…anyway, we were quite happy even when we thought it was an Asian Brown, as we watched it for a while, indulging in typical flycatcher behaviour, swooping out from one perch, hawking insects in the air (or attempting to) and then alighting on another perch close by.

The FB photo is

here

and it’s on my Flickr album

here

Why the shy? Here the bird is!

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Looking forward to learning more….

Nandi Hills, 271114

November 28, 2014

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

Email to bngbirds: Nandi Hills, 070214

February 7, 2014

Kamal Hari Menon was kind enough to take me along to Nandi Hills, and it turned out to be an awe-inspiring morning, on so many different levels.

The magical sunrise, and the golden light of dawn, painting the sky in purples and reds, and the land and trees in god.

A Crested Serpent Eagle, all fluffed up, in the huge Eucalyptus trees on the way up.

The beautiful vistas from the hill top, still shrouded in the mists of the night.

The almost immediate sighting of most of the Usual Gang of Suspects of Nandi betta.

The sight of a Shikra chasing a Pied Thrush. (We do not know the end result.)

The sight of four Pied Thrushes, together, moving around in the trees.

The sight of five or six Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, fluttering their way through the trees.

The green light through the majestic trees, reminding us of the Neralu Tree Festival and the ongoing need to protect these silent, patient beings.

Several kinds of Flycatchers, and a stint watching a Tickell’s Blue and, later, an Asian Paradise, foraging on the ground.

A newborn Bonnet Macaque,being inspected carefully by its mother and “aunt”.

Meeting other birders, also on their own quests.

Two Booted Eagles, swooping over Nehru Nilaya on their way to the thermals over the valley beyond the Yoga Nandiswara temple.

The calm that prevails in Nandi betta on a weekday morning!

Hearing two Pittas calling loudly to each other, and glimpsing one very briefly.

The sheer incredulity of realizing that it was 11am! Where had five hours gone?

If I was not already living in a place handy for Bannerghatta, I would be sorely tempted to invest in one of those “hill view” developments happening at the base of Nandi betta! Between ghatta and betta, we have a wealth of birds here….!

I’ve put up the pictures on my FB album

here

I will be uploading short videos of the Puff-throated Babbler, the Wood Pigeon, and the Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher…soon.

A short video of the adult macaques, with the newborn baby is already posted.

Birds:

Babbler, Puff-throated
Babbler, Tawny-bellied
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Cuckoo, Common Hawk
Dove, Spotted
Eagle, Booted
Eagle, Crested Serpent
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, Asian Brown
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary
Flycatcher, Red-breasted
Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue
Flycatcher, Verditer
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pigeon, Nilgiri Wood
Pipit, Paddyfield
Pipit, Tree
Pitta, Indian
Robin, Indian Blue
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Shikra
Spurfowl, Red (a first for me at this place)
Sunbird, Purple
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Swallow,Red-rumped
Thrush, Blue Rock
Thrush, Blue-capped Rock
Thrush, Orange-headed
Thrush, Pied
Wagtail, Grey
Warbler, Booted
Warbler, Greenish
Warbler, Un id
White-eye, Oriental

I’m sorry, I hardly noticed any butterflies…they started getting active only as we left, thanks to the cold and not very bright day.

I have a query…what are the sightings of Owls, Owlets and Woodpeckers from the slopes of the betta? I’ve seen the Spotted Owlets near Nandi Restaurant at the beginning of the road leading to Nandi Hills, but never sighted these birds on the betta.

Is anyone else apart from Kiran Baagade and me taking part in the Manipal Bird Day? I’m sure there must be plenty of people….would be nice to know!

Two “mothers” and a baby, Nandi Hills, 070214

February 7, 2014

I often notice that two, and sometimes three, female Bonnet Macaques join together to care for a baby. This morning, at the Nursery area in Nandi Hills, I watched these two females. The one on the right is the “actual” mother; you can see the afterbirth, still, around her tail.

The baby is still wet from the birth and looks quite rat-like. The two seem to be checking him out. Surprisingly, with such a tender little one to care for, they were both sitting on the ground, right out in the open. I must google whether monkeys give birth on trees or on the ground…

The experience awed me…it was one of many wonderful things we saw, Kamal and I, this morning, at Nandi Hills.

Makalidurga and Nandi Hills, 221213

December 23, 2013

Let me start with a beautiful bird…

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Field report to the bngbirds egroup:

It was almost exactly three years to the day since I had been to Makalidurga.

click here to see that visit

Since we read the egroup report about the flurry of birds at Makalidurga, we decided that we’d visit again, and in the chilly dark hours of Sunday, we dilly-dallied perhaps a bit too much,

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Dilly-dallying for MCS (Mandatory Chai Stop).

so that we finally got to Makalidurga (the Gopalaswamy temple area) only around 8.15 am after a leisurely breakfast at Dodballapur.

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Common Lime, Makalidurga.

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Common Kestrel, Makalidurga

.
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Rufous-tailed Lark, Makalidurga

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Pied Bushchat against the moon!

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Life in Makalidurga.

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Grasshopper, Makalidurga.

Though we cannot claim that bird sightings overwhelmed us, the birds that we did sight were very rewarding, and we watched several for a long while. Silverbills gathering nesting material; Rufous-tailed Larks foraging on the rocky path; Kestrels hovering; two Sirkeer Malkohas which gave me an exclusive sighting…so went the list of birds, and we were quite happy to soak in the wonderful scenery and the cool, bracing weather as well.

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Pied Bushchat female, Makalidurga

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Prashanti Express, Makalidurga.

We took a look at Gunjur Lake, as well, but it seems in a very dried-up state, and by the time we got there (nearly noon) there was no activity at all.

We decided that having come all this way, we would go to Nandi Hills as well.

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Nandi betta.

We stopped at the base for lunch.

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Lunch

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Old pavilion at Nursery area, Nandi Hills.

My advice to anyone who is thinking of visiting Nandi Hills in the evening during this holiday period is simple, and consists of three words. Do not go.

The crowds were quite impressive, and I joked that instead of “birding” or “buttering” we would have to go “peopleing”. In spite of this, the Nursery area, where we spent most of our time, and the Nehru Nilaya area, did not disappoint. Olive-backed Pipits, Blue Rock Thrushes, Verditers, one male Asian Paradise Flyacatcher which Santosh captured in the course of changing from rufous to white… we wandered around, quite content with what we saw, and had a very pleasant time.

Birders:

Chandu
Kumuda
Mani
Santosh
Swethadri
and I.

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Chandu and Mani

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Chandu always has a balanced view

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Santosh but not santosh!

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Swethadri.

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The beauty of the Nursery area.

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Verditer Flycatcher, Nursery area.

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Ashy Drongo.
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Blue Rock Thrush male.

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Lovely colours…

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Almost done!

Thanks to Santosh for putting the bird list together. The Blue-faced Malkoha was rather doubtful, so it’s been left out.

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Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Nandi Hills.

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Santosh clicking the Tickell’s Blue (can you see where it is?)

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The Camphor tree, Nandi Hills
Birds:

Sl no Name Where
1 Babbler, Jungle Makali
2 Barbet, White-cheeked Nandi
3 Bee-eater, Green Makali
4 Bulbul, Red-vented Makali
5 Bulbul, Red-whiskered Makali
6 Bulbul, White-browed Makali
7 Bushchat, Pied Makali
8 Crow, House Makali
9 Crow, Jungle Makali
10 Dove, Laughing Makali
11 Dove, Spotted Makali
12 Drongo, Ashy Nandi
13 Drongo, Black Makali
14 Drongo, White-bellied Nandi
15 Eagle (un-id) Makali
16 Flowerpecker, Pale-billed Makali
17 Flycatcher, Asian Brown Nandi
18 Flycatcher, Asian Paradise Nandi
19 Flycatcher, Red-throated Nandi
20 Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue Nandi
21 Flycatcher, Verditer Nandi
22 Honey-buzzard, Oriental Nandi
23 Iora, Common Makali
24 Kestrel, Common Makali
25 Koel, Indian Makali
26 Lark, Rufous-tailed Makali
27 Malkoha, Sirkeer Makali
28 Myna, Common Makali
29 Oriole, Indian Golden Nandi
30 Parakeet, Rose-ringed Nandi
31 Prinia, Ashy Makali
32 Prinia, Plain Makali
33 Robin, Indian Makali
34 Shikra Makali
35 Shrike, Bay-backed Makali
36 Silverbill, Indian Makali
37 Spurfowl, Painted Makali
38 Sunbird, Lotens Makali
39 Sunbird, Purple Makali
40 Sunbird, Purple-rumped Makali
41 Swallow, Barn Makali
42 Swallow, Red-rumped Makali
43 Tailorbird, Common Nandi
44 Thrush, Blue Rock Makali
45 Warbler, Greenish Nandi

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The kiss, Nandi Hills

To these I have to add, Kite, Common; Kite, Brahminy, Pigeon, Blue Rock, and Warbler, Booted (yes, yes, the eyebrow was there.). There was also the lone Olive-backed Pipit foraging in the Nursery “cage”. We did not see any of the other Thrushes. Some of the birds (eg Blue Rock Thrush)were sighted at both places. The Owlets that we usually see in the trees near Nandi Multicuisine Restaurant (where the road begins, just past the T-junction) were absent. We also *think* we sighted a Black Eagle, but we are not sure.

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Red-breasted Flycatcher,Nandi, 221213

Apropos of this, we were wondering if there have been Owl/Owlet sightings from Nandi Hills, as none of us could recollect seeing any such reports…can the experts throw light on this?

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Un id Caterpillar

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Peninsular Rock Agama

Butterflies:

Blue, Various (Definitely Pea Blue and Lesser Grass Blue)
Castor, Common
Cerulean, Common
Coster, Tawny
Crow, Common
Emigrant, Mottled
Jezebel, Common
Lime, Common
Mormon, Common
Psyche
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Tiger, Plain
Yellow, Three-spot Grass
Yellow, Spotless
Wanderer, Common

Various beetles, bugs, dragonflies, grasshoppers, and spiders.

I’ve put up my SMS on my FB album at

https://www.facebook.com/deemopahan/media_set?set=a.10151909137458878.1073742060.587058877&type=3

Including some of the fun items that we saw, when we were having lunch!

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Dusk, Nandi Hills

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Sunset, Nandi Hills

A pleasant and enjoyable day…thanks to my dear friends!

The Shieldtail…again, 161113

November 18, 2013

Some time ago, in Bannerghatta, I’d sighted the

SHIELDTAIL

which I’d posted about

here

On Saturday evening, I went to Nandi Hills with Naveen Toppo, his wife (and super bird-spotter) Pinky, and Sharmila Abdulpurkar. Walking along the path near Nehru Nilaya, we found some young men gently nudging something from the middle of the road on to the side, so that it would not be trodden or run over.

We went to investigate, and I found that it was, indeed, a Shieldtail.

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The snake moved into some fallen leaves, and put its head into the soil. Ostrich-like, it felt that it was adequately covered, and stopped moving. (So there was no point in taking a video!)

The difficult-sounding name, “Uropeltidae” for these serpents is derived from the Greek words, “Uro” (tail) and “Pelte” (shield). This is because these snakes are characterised by the presence of the large keratinous shield at the tip of the tail. These snakes are not venomous.

They are supposed to have an exclusive diet of earthworms, but I cannot find anything on the net to substantiate this claim. However, they are reviled by farmers because of their alleged diet…earthworms, with their ability to dig through, and aerate, the soil, are farmer’s friends, and any creature that eats them is a farmer’s enemy! However, the wiki says they could also feed on other invertebrates (not specified…there can’t be too many studies on this.

In a way, these are blind snakes, because the eyes are small and dcovered by large polygonal shields.

I would like to id this one as the Elliot’s Shieldtail, because the Wiki entry says:

“They are found in southern India and Sri Lanka.[1] In India, their distribution is mainly along the hills of Western Ghats, and only one species, Elliot’s shieldtail, Uropeltis ellioti, has been reported from other areas such as Eastern Ghats and hills of Central India.”

Ganesh Raghunathan, a friend who was working at B R Hills at the time of my first sighting, told me, “We are seeing quite a few of them here at B.R hills in the past week. they were active and would push their tails hard to prick us when picked up.” So I didn’t try to touch the snake at all; in any case, it must have been distressed after having been handled by the young men, even though they were trying to help it, and probably did save its life from the passing traffic.

Another interesting thing about Shieldtails..they are ovoviviparous….All members of this family retain eggs that hatch within the body of the mother. Whether or not you can pronounce that word fast, this fact is fascinating…a mixture of laying eggs and having the young within the mother’s body!

Here’s a closer look at this not-commonly-found, amazing creation of Nature:

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(You can clearly see the “shield tail” in this photo.)

We left the Shieldtail to the hills and the rainy evening, and came home, marvelling at the wonderful beings that populate our Earth.

Nandi Hills, 121111

November 14, 2011

As usual, by consensus, Nandi Hills was agreed upon as the destination for Saturday’s birding trip, and 7 of us….Kannan,Nandan, Naveen,Poornima, Santosh,Sumeet, and I…left very early in the morning, so as to catch the sunrise at Nandi Hills.

As it happened, we caught the beautiful “moon set” instead. The moon was just a day past full, and still looked quite gorgeous as it sank down in the west, behind the bettA (hill) that is Nandi.

By the time we’d queued up for our tickets, and got into the road, and gone up the hill and parked…the sun was well on its way over the horizon, and the sunrise was a thing of the past.

I’ve posted a short account of the day on my Facebook album,

click here for it

but let me share with you the highlight of the day…a

BLUE-CAPPED ROCK THRUSH

that sat still for us after leading us a merry chase through the slopes, as if to reward us for our efforts!

bcrt frnt nh 121111

Here he (it’s a he) is, giving us a side profile, too:

bcrt side nh 121111

Another view:

bcrt good  nh 121111

We saw a lot of

GREENISH LEAF WARBLERS

which are migrants from far away:

gl wrbler  nh 121111

Another lovely bird we sighted was the

ASIAN PARADISE FLYCATCHER

first, we saw the lady:

apf fml  nh 121111

And then we saw a blur of movement:

imprssin apf  nh 121111

That was the male! After chasing him all over the place, we finally got a couple of seconds to get a shot:

apf full  nh 121111

For some reason, I am unable to post any more photos to my Photobucket account, so I’m afraid you’ll have to go to my Facebook album to see the other pictures…but we had a very enjoyable day, and I am looking forward to the next weekend, when we will take the monthly third Sunday trail, somewhere in the Bannerghatta forest area.