Posts Tagged ‘outing’

A special outing, for special children. Ragihalli, 160318

March 16, 2018

Today (16th Mar, ’18), I took the children of

Snehadhara Foundation

for an outdoor/nature trip to Ragihalli. Was the trip worth it? Emphatically, yes! The children smelt some fruit, felt the texture of some leaves, got distracted by the butterflies…and took care of each other in the most heartwarming way.

The children had visited Lalbagh and Cubbon Park and wanted to go to “actual forest” as one of the more articulate children put it. Certainly, Ragihalli, in the Bannerghatta National Park, fit the bill!

We started from Snehadhara, in J P Nagar, at about 8 am,


and though we navigated Bannerghatta Road quite well, the road deteriorated as we approached Ragihalli, and indeed, with road-laying work, the road was blocked at the village itself, about 3km short of Adavi Field Station.


Nagesh, Dhanu, Shivanaja, and Akshath took care of us while we were there. Dhanu,


whose father Manjunath runs the eatery in Ragihalli where we always stop for piping hot thatte iddli, is quite a keen birder himself, having Akshath as a senior in school, and being trained by him.The field station is willing to conduct bird walks in the area for those who are interested. I took the children from Pramiti School there last month, and so had no hesitation in taking the Snehadhara children there. (Though if I’d known about the road condition, I might have asked for two vans rather than a large bus.)

Our bus negotiated the drive-around with difficulty. It also happened that the area had no power since 5pm the previous day, so Nagesh, his brother Shivananja, and my other friend Akshath….all their phones were without charge, and unreachable.

However, we reached after a delay, and before Akshath took us for a walk, we had a little bit of loosening up and a game of “actions” under the large banyan tree.


Our walk led us through the mulberry plants, and under large trees, to a rock formation where we sat peacefully,


admiring the view over the hill ranges of the Bannerghatta National Park.



Though humid, the cloudy weather enabled us to sit outdoors without worrying about the heat of the sun. We walked back to the field station, where the children had their lunch,


and then slowly drove back from the scrub jungle of Ragihalli to the concrete jungle of Bangalore.

I showed some children and adults various wild flowers, put together in a tiny bouquet


cultivated ones like this Pomegranate,




plants, and some birds. The children definitely seemed to enjoy the outing. We got a few fresh mangoes,


and I feasted on fresh, sweet tamarind from the trees. My personal delight was sighting a rare tree (Firmiana colorata,also called Coloured Sterculia, the last two photos of the album) on the way home through a route that bypassed Ragihalli (the actual village).


Thank you to Snehadhara for providing me with this opportunity to interact with the children. Sunny temparaments like that of Aravind (always with a smile on his face, and so curious about my camera and binoculars!), and quiet personalities like Karthik’s were equally fascinating to watch. And…I found that Swetha was my neighbour! The teachers

were so patient and loving with the children, and there was so much happiness in the air!

The cloudy weather ensured that the children did not tire, and it was a very enjoyable trip indeed.

My photos are up on my FB album


No…I didn’t click the birds or the butterflies…I was concentrating on the children this time!

On Monday, all going well, I will be taking the wheelchair-bound children (who could not do the Ragihalli walk) to the IIMB campus, where very different kinds of minds will meet, as IIMB kindly allows me to bring special children into an academically high-performance campus for the first time.

Ragihalli with Pramiti School, 190218

February 19, 2018

I took 16 children from

Pramiti School


Adavi Field Station

AFS. Adavi Field Station, Onte Maren Doddi, Ragihalli (Post), Anekal(Taluk), Bengaluru, Karnataka 560083

Here’s the view of the beautiful rock formations of Bannerghatta National Park from the road:


Anand and Mahesh were very helpful. The farmer, Shivananja, showed us around his land, talking about how they use cowdung as manure since it is plentifully available (leaf litter is not specifically composted here).

Here is Sushma, discussing composting with Shivananja, Anand and Mahesh, with little Varsha, who had a slight fever and did not go to school, listening:




and Tarun


kept meticulous notes. We were also shown around, and we really did go around the mulberry bush!



We saw how the silkworms feed on the mulberry leaves


Mulberries when ripe are very sweet to eat, but it was not yet the season for them.


Shivananja showed us one local variety of mulberry, not favoured now as the leaves are smaller and the foliage less dense.


Here’s one worm, growing fat (the worms eat voraciously, growing many times in size, before pupating)


Here is the pupa of the silkworm; the pupae are boiled alive to extract the silk.


The farmers sell the live pupae, which are plucked from the palm-frond frames, directly. The boiling and reeling are done later. Here is a video I took long ago, of the stinking silk waste being picked up by Brahminy Kites:

The children settled down for the packed lunch that had been brought:


The stuffed parathas were tasty.


We returned back to the waiting van


You can see the rest of the album


The highlights, for me, were spotting an old friend, Ashwath (second from left)


a Black Eagle


and a sports-car-bus:


Doresanipalya Forest Research Station, 160417

April 18, 2017

It was still very pleasant when several of us met up at the Millennium Avenue gate of DFRS, and Harish led us, literally, up the garden path.

Knowing what it is to drive long distances for birding, I must appreciate the interest of people who do this. For example, Latha and Satyan came all the way from Vidyaranyapura! Others in our group have the DFRS as their backyard and they just walked to the outing.


The place is green and lovely now:


A Shikra started off our sighting and bird list, and in fact, the sightings of these birds (probably two individuals, a male and female) were a recurring part of our whole morning.



It was nice to have several knowledgeable people talk to us about plants, insects and several other things, as we walked. Since we are still at the season where some trees and plants are in flower, the walk was punctuated by plant and tree information too. We started with the exquisite flowers of the Sesbania grandiflora, commonly called the Vegetable Hummingbird tree….


The list went on. Ajit was delighted at finding Ixora pavetta:


Here’a closeup of the fragrant flowers:

For example, Ajit powdered the resin of the Shorea roxburghii, and told us the common name of the tree…”dhoopa”, as the resin is ignited during the puja rituals. We heard an interesting story about why the cashew is so called (ask Harish if you weren’t there!)


Resin of Shorea roxburghii


When powdered, the “dhoopa” resin gave off a stronger fragrance.


Nest of Social Spiders

Perhaps there were no “unusual” surprises…but the “usual gang of suspects” were enough to keep us interested throughout. A few Flycatchers, the flowing song of several Magpie Robins, both seen and unseen, a tailorbird flitting in the bamboo thicket…so the list, and the walk, went.

There were some very interesting mammal sightings too. A group of these, known as the Bangalore Butterfly Club


Rohit, one of the founders of the Bangalore Butterfly Club, RHS

were having their fortnightly “buttering” walk there, and we had a Tiger sighting ….as well as Jezebels, Skippers,


Indian Skipper

…and a few Blues in the short time we
spent together. They were beginning their outing while we were finishing ours. I think the time frame is one of the things that determine whether one devotes oneself to birds or butterflies!


Common Picture-wing, a dragonfly.



A dead Tailed Jay allowed us to see this butterfly close up.The antennae and the body were eaten away, probably by ants.


Funnel web spider waiting for prey


Exoskeletons shed by Cicadas

A few mongrel puppies looked delightful as they settled at the base of a bamboo plant, but the few bonnet macaques I’ve noticed once in a while were absent. Since these invariably try to snatch the processed food and drink from people’s hands, it was good not to see them!


We shared biscuits and khakras, and that made the walk all the more pleasant…but after 9am comes Breakfast O’ Clock, and soon, a few of us were seated in Adiga’s, getting outside some calories.


I’d like to add that I missed Deepak, and would like to take this opportunity to thank him for every 3rd Sunday outing that he’s tirelessly organized. On any 3rd Sunday walk, of course, Geetanjali and Subir Dhar, who started this outing with a few of us pitching in,
are never far from my mind.

The eBird list, diligently compiled by Prasad, is


and my photos are


Hoping to meet many of you again next weekend,

Cheers, Deepa.

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.


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


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

(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
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


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!

Email to the bngbirds egroup: 3rd Sunday outing, Hulimangala, 161114

November 17, 2014

Hi Everyone,

In the chill pre-dawn,


a group of us met up at Shoppers’ Stop, and after the MCS (Mandatory Chai Stop) at Bannerghatta Circle, where we introduced ourselves, we proceeded to Hulimangala.

Even before looking for the birds, the majestic trees of the avenue there had their usual awe-inspiring efffect on us. We looked up to see the many nests of the Parakeets, the Mynahs and other birds.

The Lantana and Eupatorium weeds yielded Prinias and a Booted Warbler, but of course, when the Mottled Wood Owl made its dramatic appearance,being mobbed by a group of Drongos,


there were “ooohs” and “aahs” from everyone, with craned necks and pointing fingers!


After a while, we moved to the water body on the other side, which also yielded many species of waterfowl. It was also thrilling to see some raptors.






An excellent sighting was that of Geetanjali and Subir Dhar who, in the middle of pressing family business, came to see how we were doing!


I was very happy to see Soham and Chinmayi …we must have more children in our groups! Birders…do bring along your children and introduce them to the wonderful world of birds and nature.




Plain Tiger caterpillar:


Plain Tiger:


Blue Tiger on the rain-drenched grass:



We all came back to our cars, shared some delicious snacks, and dispersed. Some of us had breakfast at Upahara Banashree.


Gayatri and I went with Arun to see the Nagareshwara (Pancha linga) temple at Begur, and here, the lake nearby delighted us with 2o+ Spot-billed Pelicans as well as other waterfowl.

My list on eBird is at

Here’s the physical list, please add/correct as necessary:

Babbler, Jungle
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Bee-eater, Small Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bushchat, Pied
Bushlark, Jerdon’s
Coot, Common
Coucal, Greater
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Drongo, White-belled
Eagle, Booted
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Little
Fantail, White-browed
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Francolin, Grey
Grebe, Little
Heron, Grey
Heron, Indian Pond
Honey-buzzard, Oriental
Hoopoe, Common
Kestrel, Common
Kingfisher, White-throated
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Koel, Asian
Lapwing, Red-wattled
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Oriole, Eurasian Golden
Owl, Mottled Wood
Owlet, Spotted
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pelican, Spot-billed (Begur)
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pipit, Paddyfield
Prinia, Ashy
Robin, Indian
Roller, Indian
Sandpiper, Wood (?)
Silverbill, Indian
Sparrow, House
Starling, Rosy
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Red-rumped
Swamphen, Purple (Begur)
Swift, Asian Palm (Begur)
Tailorbird, Common
Treepie, Rufous
Wagtail, White-browed
Warbler, Booted
Weaver, Baya

I’ve put up my photos on my FB album at

I’d like to see the others’ photos, too, could you send us all the links?

Apologies to those who are getting this in duplicate 😦

Thank you to each person who added to my enjoyment of the morning.It was a great time for both birding and bonding!

Riverlands Bird Sanctuary, with Edge and June, 230914 (Part 2: Confluence nature trail)

September 25, 2014

When we finished at the dam, and had our coffee (thankfully, they didn’t say it tasted odd!) Edge suggested we go to the Confluence Point.


We had lunch (I completely forgot to take a photo of it…phulka/veg wraps, and soft drinks to go with it) Here are Edge and June with the coffee, instead!


Here they after lunch, just before starting on the trail.



We started on the trail; the time of day, possibly, was not the best for birding, and we didn’t see any. But that bothered me not at all, as both Edge and June are so knowledgeable about everything else I saw, and I got such a lot of information!

The beginning of the trail had a lot of information:




The pioneers of the westward expansion:


So too did the end point, where the two rivers meet:


Imagine the water being that high!



I watched a lot of Monarch butterflies. They weren’t migrating in clouds, like the nature documentaries showed; there was one, here and there, flying around…





Here are a couple of un id butterflies:




Several delighted me..







This plant belongs to the Nightshade family:


We found this plant had a strange aroma, but June couldn’t place the name.


This is Bindweed, considered a pest in gardens:






Clover family:


Wild Gentian:


Autumn is coming, and the plants let us know:


Here’s a burr that inspired Velcro:


A wildflower from the pea family:


This is Illinois Bundleweed, in its dry form.


Here’s the fresh variety:


And the leaves:



June pointed out these larvae, which were eating the plants around:



Several very large grasshoppers had me hopping after them!


Can you spot the damselfly?


Well, I managed to get a close-up:


Several beetles zipped along our path:


This fat spider swung in the sunshine:


and this little jewel closer to the ground:


Tent caterpillars are considered pests, but that doesn’t take away the marvel of their engineering!


I got a Hornet on a wildflower:


And, later, on a bench:


Here’s a ground beetle on the Goldenrod:


We discussed centipedes and whether they were poisonous:


A Harvestman (Daddy Long Legs…just LOOK at those legs!) was a treat to see.


So was a Cranefly.



This beautiful toad was not easy to see.


It took a lot of effort to take a pic where the creature is not melding into the surrounding leaf litter!



Edge caught one so I could get him (or her):


Then I managed to get it on the path:


The scenery:

The weather and the open countryside were both beautiful.




The Mississippi:


The confluence of the mighty Mississippi and the Missouri rivers:



Here’s Edge on the trail, with those 3 extra legs of hers:


Here’s June, trying out her new attachment, which allows her to take pics on the phone through her scope:


The two steadfast friends walk the paths of Nature and Life together:





We finally went to the Audubon Center to have a look around:



Edge, my heartfelt thanks to you!


4th Sunday outing of Bird Watchers’ Field Club: 231212, Muthanallur Lake, Sarjapura area

December 24, 2012

Hi, everyone

After a very long gap, I was able to go for the 4th Sunday outing to the Sarjapura area,thanks to Suneel’s very kindly offering to pick up my friend Ravi Srinivasan (from Chennai) and myself.

However, co-ordinating with multiple members and multiple meeting points caused a lot of delay and instead of depending on the correct directions that Shishir had given, we made the mistake of asking the locals, and this delayed us even further! When we finally reached Muthanallur kere, we were never able to meet up with the main group, and we wandered around the lake bed and the banks on our own. The mist also played its part…

231212 bwfc 4th sun srjpura mist

After a pathetic monsoon this year, it’s a blessing to be able to visit any kere with water in it, and Muthanallur kere was very picturesque and scenic (with not too much of litter, either). We were able to observe many of the waterfowl, whether resident (like Brahminy Kites or Pied Kingfishers) or migrant. While we felt sad that we could walk so much on the lake bed, it certainly allowed us to get just that little bit closer to the waterfowl.

However, the presence of the bodies of three dead Brahminy Kites at various places on the lake bed, and that of many dead fish along the banks (uneaten by any predator), made us wonder about the quality of the water. There was a lot of algae in the lake, which, at places, gave it a bright emerald colour. However, since there were live fish, too, and some Checkered Keelbacks, we felt the water might be OK.

Several raptors soared on the thermals and being “rocky on raptors”, I was hard put to id them. The Red-necked Falcon delighted us with an appearance, as did several other birds of prey. However, it seemed to be Brahminy Kites which have adopted the lake; we saw many juveniles soaring and hunting.

As usual, there were not too many small waders, but there was a good number of Painted Storks and Openbills. Two Pied Kingfishers hovered, dived, and then dried themselves on the mud banks. We managed to sight, and observe, the


for a while…

231212 bwfc 4th sun srjpura wstrn rf egret

Ravi and Suneel decided to go to Decathlon, and I took a ride with the Managoli family, Vaibhav and Deepu. Of course we got lost again, and finally decided to eat brunch at Sarjapura before making our way home, watching Kestrels and some of the warblers on the way. Moral of the story: never try to use the words “early return” on a birding trip!

I do not know who else was there, but our group consisted of:


and I.

Bird List (let me know if I have left out any)

Babbler, Jungle
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Bee-eater, Small Green
Bulbul, REd-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bulbul, White-browed
Bushchat, Pied
Bushlark, Indian
Coot, Common
Cormorant, Great
Cormorant, Little
Coucal, Greater
Crow, House
Crow, Large-billed
Cuckoo, Common Hawk
Cuckooshrike, Large
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Drongo, White-bellied
Eagle, Indian Spotted (I think)
Eagle, Short-toed Snake
Eagle, Tawny
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Great
Egret, Intermediate
Egret, Little
Egret, Western Reef
Falcon, Red-necked
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Heron, Black-crowned Night
Heron, Grey
Heron, Indian Pond
Heron, Purple
Honey-Buzzard, Oriental
Ibis, Black
Kestrel, Common
Kingfisher, Pied
Kingfisher, Small Blue
Kingfisher, Whitethroated
Kite, Common
Kite, Brahminy
Koel, Asian
Lapwing, Red-wattled
Leafbird, Golden-fronted
Martin, Dusky Crag
Minivet, Small
Munia, White-rumped
Mynah, Common
Mynah, Jungle
Openbill, Asian
Oriole, Eurasian Golden
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pipit, Paddyfield
Plover, Little Ringed
Prinia, Ashy
Prinia, Plain
Redshank, Spotted
Robin, Indian
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Roller, Indian
Sandpiper, Common
Sandpiper, Green
Stork, Painted
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Red-rumped
Swallow, Wire-tailed
Swift, Asian palm
Tailorbird, Common
Treepie, Rufous
Wagtail, Grey
Warbler, Greenish Leaf
Warbler, Booted
Warbler, Blyth’s Reed
Wagtail, Pied
White-eye, Oriental

Butterflies were there in plenty, too.

Blues, various
Castor, Common
Emigrant, Common
Emigrant, Mottled
Gull, Common
Jezebel. Common
Leopard, Common
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Tiger, Plain
Wanderer, Common
Yellow, Three-spot Grass

We also saw many Dragonflies and Damselflies; and I thought of Ajay as I watched some Weaver ants for a while, as I rested in the shade of the Eucalyptus trees, through which the wind soughed as it rippled the surface of the lake. The fine Cirrus clouds overhead promised only sunshine….and we came back feeling much hotter than when we set out!

I am sending some photographs to the experts I know, for id…so the list may get amended. Sorry, folks, I make LOTS of mistakes!

I have put up photos from my Mary’s Lamb camera (Sony HX200) on an FB album, at

Please, if I have made wrong id’s, feel free to correct them!

Cheers, and with heartfelt good wishes for the festive (and holiday!) season ahead…


A mouse without a computer….

September 5, 2012

Since I’ve not totally got back to (ab)normal after my “stag”gering accident, I cancelled my proposed trip to Honey Valley in Coorg…but couldn’t keep away from ANY outing altogether, so the UGS (Usual Gang of Suspects) got together, and we went to the Bannerghatta-Kaggalipura Road, wandered along the area where the Waterlily Pond is, and then went to the Pais’ farmhouse.

There, in their water tank behind the house, we saw a pair of Fieldmice….


One was preening itself happily, the other seemed wet and unhappy.



I took more shots of the preening mouse:







Neither of them made any attempt to get out of the concrete tub/sump that they were in…and amazingly, there were no predatory birds around, all the time we were watching the little mouse’s personal grooming!

We also saw a scorpion there…but that will be in my next post 🙂



August 31, 2012

Last weekend, I had been to Masinagudi with friends, and on Saturday evening, something happened that I still have no recollection of.

Apparently, around 4.30pm, my friends saw me sitting on the ground, hardly 50 yards from our rooms; and they thought I was calling them to show them something, so they hurriedly went to get their cameras.

When they reached me, they found me rather dazed, with my DSLR on the side. Apparently I told them that a Chital stag (full-grown) had suddenly bounded out of the bushes, hit me headlong and bounded off.

As my friends helped me back to my room, I apparently stopped to throw up twice, and threw up again after I reached my room. I then took a painkilller and went to sleep.

I woke up at 9.30pm and I do remember that I ate dinner with no difficulty at all.

The next morning, I woke only at 8am and found that my friends had gone off without me. I wandered around the neighbouring area, and since I sighted a leopard, gaur, sambar and several Chital, I was not too unhappy.

However, when the others returned at 9.30am for breakfast, they told me what had happened….and I still have no recollection of those few hours!

Of course, I posted about this incident on Facebook, and it was great fun reading the “Oh, deer!” jokes and repartee….I had so many enquiries about the fate of the stag that I said he might soon have a “Check On My Condition” page on Facebook himself!

I also enumerated the medical costs…a CT scan, consultations with neurophysicians, eye doctors and so on…and mentioned that this was why Chital were called “Dear”!

Ripostes ranged all the way to “Have a hart, leave her alone!”….I then said that now I was officially a Stag-Paati.

But the ultimate comment came from my Mumbai friend, Kiran Srivastava, who emailed me as follows:

Hi Deepa,

Hope you are not seeing double and can read this:

A certain someone went in a forest tippy-toe

An uncertain stag mistook her for a doe

Quick realisation resulted in a head butt

A skip of the hart, racing pulse, a small cut

Was it a buck, was it a Cheetal?

Despite the nausea t’was not fatal!


Even a head injury can be highly entertaining…thanks for all the wit and humour, my dear friends!

Carrying death on its back….

December 27, 2011

I was delighted to take 15 children of Sindhi School, Malleswaram, to my favourite zoo area in the Bannerghatta National Park. Subbalakshmi, a teacher in the school, enthuses the children and organizes nature trails for them entirely on her own initiative…the school does not take any responsibility. Even the van was hired by her! More power to her and may her tribe increase!

Here are the children, posing with the Kids For Tigers poster:

sindhi schol 241211 bgz

For the photographs from the outing,on my Facebook album,

click here

One of the very interesting things the children spotted on the outing was this caterpillar:

pupa cat  bgz 241211

I asked my nature Guru,


whether the caterpillar was carrying some eggs…and he, and

Saptarshi, a wildlife friend on Facebook, had a very interesting story to tell.

This caterpillar, apparently, is carrying the Load of Death!

Braconid Wasps

(click on the name to find out more about these wasps)

apparently select caterpillars, and lay their eggs on them; the larvae, when they hatch, feed on the caterpillar, and form small cocoons on the body of the caterpillar…that’s what we saw, above!

The amazing things that happen in Nature are infinite….