Posts Tagged ‘scenery’

Visit to Ziro Butterfly Festival, Sept 2-9, 2019

September 12, 2019

Since it was a very, very long trip…Bangalore-Guwahati-Itanagar-Ziro-Pange WLS and back…I simply can’t describe everything in detail, but the visual story of what I experienced, with captions, is in a series of albums on Flickr.

Day 1, 020919, Blr-Guwahati:

IMG_0130

IMG_0124
Fisherman at Deepor Beel

IMG_0113
Yellow Helen at Deepor Beel

Day 2, 030919, Guwahati and Rani WLS, overnight journey to Naharlagun (Itanagar)

IMG_0187

IMG_0144
Grey Pansy, Kirtti Inn

IMG_0134
Crimson Sunbird, Kirtti Inn

Day 3, 040919, Itanagar, journey to Ziro

IMG_0257

IMG_0252

IMG_0228
Sonku and her son Ranka

Day 4, 050919, Ziro to Pange WLS

https://www.flickr.com/photos/86494503@N00/albums/72157710798479712/with/48716450193/

IMG_0495

IMG_0471
Tytler’s Multicolored Flat

Day 5, 060919, Pange WLS

IMG_0640

IMG_0640
Bhutan Glory

IMG_0597
Juvenile Dark-sided Flycatcher

Day 6, 070919, Pange WLS to Ziro

IMG_0747

IMG_0747
Paresh Churi’s color-pencil work of the Kaiser-e-Hind, the queen of Talle Valley

IMG_0745

An Apatani priest recites a prayer to save the crops from destruction by pests

Day 7, 080919, Walk in Ziro, overnight journey to Itanagar

IMG_0875

IMG_0757
View of Old Ziro from Ziro Point

IMG_0836
Lunch at Potin, on the way to Itanagar

Day 8, 090919m Itanagar to Guwahati, and flight back to Bangalore

IMG_1051

IMG_1010
Moving furniture

IMG_1007
Blue-tailed Bee-eater

Ravugodlu, 4th Sunday Bngbirds outing, 250819

August 29, 2019

Email to the Bngbirds egroup:

IMG_0025

IMG_0043

Since it was cloudy with a possibility of rain, I was quite heartened that 30 of us decided to join for the 4th Sunday Bngbirds outing. We were all quite punctual at the meeting point near the small Anjaneya shrine,

IMG_0007

and the two majestic Banyan trees; and a few Indian Grey Hornbills flying past, and the loud cheep-cheep of a Tailorbird started us off on the path.

Ravugodlu is one of the last semi-scrub forest patches

IMG_0091

that groups can be taken to, without having to go to various Forest Department offices to submit applications in triplicate, for permission (only to be told that you should have done this a week ago!) We enjoyed the scenery and the bluffs on the side of which lies the Ragihalli area. It was delightful to children like Saanvi and Aanvi (er, not related to each other…they just happen to have similar names!) join in, binoculars and note-books in hand.

A few Green Bee-eaters, and the ubiquitous Black and Brahminy Kites were in the air; the rains had ensured that the pond along the path was also full. Several yellow birds…Ioras and Oriental White-eyes

IMG_0116

…brought flashes of brightness to the cloudy atmosphere.

The group rather quickly straggled along the path and I was never sure whether all of us saw all the birds or not! The first sighting of a Shikra, and a Short-toed Snake Eagle, upped our raptor count; we looked it up in the bird book,

IMG_0069

to be sure.

At the pond, we found a solitary White-browed Wagtail, and a small blue jewel of a kingfisher flew about, trying to get breakfast.

IMG_0082

As we reached the part of the path which widens out into a flat area, with the hill slopes and rocks surrounding us, the sunshine finally broke through the clouds and promptly pushed up the temperature! Little Swifts and Palm Swifts swooped around overhead, as did Red-rumped Swallows. We were delighted to see large flocks of Rose-ringed Parakeets flying around into the mango orchard area, as they looked for nesting sites and foraged. These may be very common birds even in the urban setting; but their bright green plumage and red beaks add a lovely dash of colour to any birding outing!

IMG_0049

At the open area, those of us who reached first, brought out our snacks, and I am afraid, though not repentant, that I pigged out on a lot of stuff ( eg Mamta’s superb dhokla and the soy sticks from Haldiram.) Fruits, almonds, many crisp snacks from the recent Janmashtami festival…all were despatched with gusto!

IMG_0061

Though I expected at least half the group to catch up, many people had already left, so only a few people joined up with us. We looked up to see another raptor, and with my usual question mark hovering over my head, I was able to confirm it only later as a Bonelli’s Eagle.

IMG_0066

As we walked back, we looked at several other living creatures…the beauty of the crimson seed pods of the Indian Redwing;

IMG_0089

blooming wildflowers such as the Node Flower,

IMG_0087 Allmania nodiflora, Node Flower Allmania

Indian Cadaba,

IMG_0083  Cadaba fruticosa, Indian Cadaba

Coat Button, the Devil’s Coach Whip, Vishnukranti, Cyanotis; the children had great fun touching the Touch-me-not leaves! I was able to show people near me the seed pods of the Indrajao or Pala Indigo,

Several reptiles like the Garden Lizard

IMG_0121

and the Rock Agama

IMG_0100

kept us occupied. Spiders of all kinds…Lynx, Funnel Web, Orb Weavers, Social Spiders…truly wove a web of fascination for us. A little Dung Beetle added some metallic colour.

IMG_0103

We didn’t see too many butterflies, but a Crimson Rose, some Common Mormons, a Common Lime, Emigrants, Jezebels,a Common Baron

IMG_0117

and Grass Yellows which looked like little flitting blossoms in the grass and reeds, added their beauty to the scene. A grasshopper was beautifully camouflaged in the reeds.

IMG_0017

As we returned to our cars, we were suddenly treated to a magnificient finale to the outing…a Black Eagle

IMG_0110

swept past quite low, and had us walking off in its wake, hoping to have a better sight of it.

After this unexpected bonus, I am sorry to say that all the erudite scientific and nature discussions gave way to “Where shall we stop for breakfast?” and the Davangere Benne Dose eatery was the unanimous choice.

IMG_0132

IMG_0133

IMG_0149

A few of us enjoyed the crisp dose-s with the dollops of potato and butter,

IMG_0130

IMG_0125

and with our tummies, minds,hearts (and possibly camera memory cards!) full, we dispersed back to our separate lives and weekend commitments.

Here is most of our group before the start of the walk:

IMG_0014

The eBird list is at

https://ebird.org/india/view/checklist/S59241149

(62 species…not a bad haul for a monsoon morning!)

I have put up my photos on a FB album at

https://www.facebook.com/deemopahan/media_set?set=a.10156844507918878&type=3

For the non-FB friends, the Flickr album is at

IMG_0180

A few of us went to the Bhutanahalli pond to observe the Baya Weaver nesting activity:

IMG_0166

IMG_0152

Even here, there were several handsome six-footers to captivate us:

IMG_0157
Jewel Bug

IMG_0160 Sweet Potato Weevil
Sweet Potato Weevil

IMG_0162
Blister Beetle

IMG_0165 Tussock Moth Cat early instar
Tussock Moth caterpillar

Every outing is full of the wonders of the natural world!

Deepa.

The beauty of Kasavanahalli kere, 021018

October 3, 2018

I’m just posting some shots of the beauty of the lake, as the rain-washed sunlight and the fleecy clouds were reflected in the water where waterlilies were growing. I thought of Monet’s paintings when I saw the waterlilies…

IMG_7274

IMG_7273

IMG_7334

IMG_7408

IMG_7407

IMG_7360

IMG_7377

IMG_7371

IMG_7278

IMG_7275

IMG_7351

IMG_7339

IMG_7270

Let me end with this surreal image of fishes “kissing” under water:

IMG_7375

Savandurga, 081017

October 11, 2017

It was just four of us: Padma, Ramaswamy, Srini and I… who decided to go to

Savandurga

on a misty monsoon morning.

IMG_2133

Sign in Kannada for our destination:

IMG_2130

The mist in the trees…

IMG_2119

Which slowly cleared up:

IMG_2076

Our activities attracted a lot of attention!

IMG_2089

We did see a lot of birds…here are some.

Black Drongos

IMG_2081

This Ashy Prinia presented a cartoony view.

IMG_2069

Green Bee-eater with dragonfly catch

IMG_2125

Laughing Dove

IMG_2132

The butterflies were out in force, too!

Yellow Orange-tip

IMG_2139

IMG_2190

Dark Blue Tiger

IMG_2155

Plain Tiger caterpillar

IMG_2090

Pointed Ciliate Blue

IMG_2157

IMG_2175

Common Wanderer

IMG_2182

Dark Grass Blue

IMG_2165

Common Gull

IMG_2187

Here’s Srini, delighted with the way a butterfly trustingly climbed on to his finger (if one wipes one’s perspiration off, they are attracted to the minerals in the fluid)

IMG_2253

That was the Pointed Ciliate Blue again.

IMG_2250

Some of the insects we saw included this White-tailed Damselfly

IMG_2108

and this beautiful Copper Beetle (at least, that’s what I named it!)

IMG_2113

Wildflowers were varied and plentiful.

IMG_2111

Here’s a lovely Balloon Vine:

IMG_2123

Mexican Poppy

IMG_2137

Gossypium sp (Mallow)

IMG_2239

Waterlilies in a pond

IMG_2268

Even seed pods can look stunning

IMG_2263

Mushrooms

IMG_2100

Dabbaguli was one of the places we stopped at

IMG_2068

And just outside the town, we spotted a bonus…the Jungle Nightjar!

IMG_2145

IMG_2143

IMG_2146

Padma brought her tasty cutlets, and we feasted on them

IMG_2140

Later we also had some local breakfast.

IMG_2207

We stopped near two old temples, the Shaivite sAvaNdi veerabhadraswAmy and bhadrakAlamma temple

IMG_2218

and the Vaishnavite Lakshmi Narasimha temple

IMG_2225

Here’s narasimhA, the man-lion avatAr of Vishnu, with His consort Lakshmi, who is his laptop…

IMG_2231

The deities were being taken out in procession, which was a nice bonus.

IMG_2266

This life-like dog in a vendor’s stall nearly had me fooled.

IMG_2228

Part of this temple seemed lost in dreams of another time….

IMG_2215

Some rather risky rock-climbing was going on.

IMG_2226

The scenery was stunning:

IMG_2213

IMG_2199

IMG_2200

It was on the rocky outcrop in the centre that we spotted three Egyptian vultures.

IMG_2291

IMG_2289

IMG_2283

IMG_2280

We returned home, well pleased with our morning, stopping to say “bye” to this Oriental Garden Lizard which also seemed to be having a swinging time.

IMG_2312

Looking forward to the next weekend outing…!

Two Malkohas and an unknown Owl: Valley School area, 300717

August 1, 2017

The fifth Sunday of the month, when it occurs, is an occasion when the “bngbirds” umbrella birding group of Bangalore does not have an organized bird walk; it’s time for most of us to earn back some brownie points, or at least get out of the doghouse, by attending to home,families, and other social commitments.

But alas, alas, several of us don’t heed the call to redemption. When Sangita S Mani, who works for Kanha Taj Safaris, told me that she’s in town, and that though she’s been working in Madhya Pradesh for about 12 years now, she’s not birded in Bangalore…it was too good a chance to pass up! Aravind, Padma, Ramaswamy, Srini and I bore her off to the Valley School area.

IMG_0057

I never go to any destination with any particular bird or other sighting in mind. In general, I am content to see what comes my way. However, Sangita particularly wanted to see the Blue-faced Malkoha, and we hoped that this would not be the one day when the bird decided to skulk successfully in the foliage!

We started out with loud calls from the peafowl (though we never saw one of these birds throughout the morning), and carried on along the path,

IMG_0085//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

sighting White-cheeked and Coppersmith Barbets, and a beautiful Black-shouldered Kite perched on a bare tree. Several birds like the Ashy Prinia, a quick-fleeing Spotted Owlet, Small Minivets

IMG_0110

and White-eyes

IMG_0108

brought us just past the last banyan tree before the abandoned building. Though our names had been the first on the school register, by this time, several others had preceded us with their cameras and binoculars, and two of them were looking into an Acacia tree just beyond the stone seat in the field. “Sirkeer Malkoha,” said one of them, and yes, there the bird was…I was seeing it at the Valley after a long gap, and for some of my friends, it was a lifer, too.

IMG_0105

Just a little later, as we walked along looking up at the swifts and swallows swooping above us, the Blue-faced Malkoha also granted Sangita’s wish.

IMG_0114

Meanwhile, we’d also sighted three flycatchers: a Tickell’s Blue singing its heart out,

IMG_0079

a dancing White-browed Fantail, and a Paradise Flycatcher with an almost-full tail, swishing itself rufously about, to our cries of “There it is…no, it’s moved…it went there…there it is now…oh, it’s gone!”

A White-naped Woodpecker was an uncommon sighting, as it worked its way along the bark of a bare tree.

IMG_0089

My friends had a great experience of a mixed hunting party, quite large, all foraging in the area near the wall, and were very happy with their observation of how the different birds fed together. In many Hindu cultures, we have the concept of the “samaaraadhana” where people belonging to all castes and communities have a meal together, and this was the birding equivalent!

The plants and six-footers caught our attention too.

Crimson Rose

IMG_0122

Common Gull

IMG_0130

Psyche….it wanders about like the spirit (in Greek) it’s named after.

IMG_0137

Dark Blue Tiger

IMG_0158

White Orange-tip

IMG_0185

Shield Bug

IMG_0179

Gram Blue on Grewia sp.

IMG_0238

Golden Eggs of Coreidae bug:

IMG_0064

Bagworm Moth pupa on spiderweb

IMG_0065

Moth caterpillars with egg:

IMG_0210

Beautiful berries

IMG_0243

? tiny flower

IMG_0200

Bauhinia purpurea

IMG_0052

Allmania nodiflora

IMG_0125

We walked into the bamboo thicket and heard another Tickell’s Blue singing; several babblers gave voice in the bushes on the way there. Raptors never fail to arrive when they can be seen for the shortest time, and a Short-toed Snake Eagle shot past the small gap between the bamboo leaves.

We decide to take a calorie break, and ate some pongal with roasted appalam. Some of us were scheduled to attend formal lunches, and I hoped to avoid the usual “brefus stop” on the way home.

IMG_0114

(But of course, I wanted a bit of caffeine on the way home and when we stopped at Vidyarthi Grand, the coffee somehow developed into a proper breakfast! I am certainly not fast…on either expertise with the natural world, or with avoiding food!)

IMG_0248

We were very like the seamen of old being led on by the Lorelei, as we walked towards where we felt the call of the White-rumped Shama was coming from. As we did so, Srini sighted an owl sitting high up on a tree; it flew away almost immediately, but we feel it was not the Brown Wood Owl, but rather, a Mottled Wood Owl (I’ve seen one often in the area behind the abandoned house, which is now walled off.)

The Shama treated us to a couple of sightings in the misty morning,

IMG_0150

and full of its beautiful song,

we turned back towards the main gate, and so off towards what the Sunday held for each of us. Our hearts, binoculars, memory cards were all filled with images of the morning.

The eBird list, compiled by Aravind, is

here

I have put up photos on my FB album

here </a.

(as usual, documenting the morning, not focusing on any one living creature).

IMG_0117

Cheers, Deepa.

Yediyur kere, 250317

March 25, 2017

Email to the bngbirds egroup:

Hi everyone,

I am not immune to FB posts, so when there was a sudden rush of bird sightings from Yediyur kere, I realized that I’d not visited for many years. When Padma and Ramaswamy suggested going there this morning, I was very happy to join them.

IMG_9059

So many trees have fresh leaves right now, like this Peepal tree:

IMG_9084

I still wish we could have an ongoing online form for the lake census and keep adding our data whenever we visit any kere. This lake is maintained well, and the water quality seems good. However, the fact of its being completely fenced around, and having all growth stunted
to bush size except for a few spots, made it feel more “manicured” than I am comfortable with…but that’s a matter of personal choice!

IMG_9120

IMG_9070

A seat that cannot be accessed!

We entered the area to a rising orchestra of White-cheeked Barbets, and the unmusical calls of Rose-ringed Parakeets as they flocked to the Akasha Mallige, Peepal and Dolichendrone trees. As we slowly started moving along the path, we were treated to the sights and sounds of several Koels; whether the bodies were black or spotted, the ruby eyes were the same.

IMG_9079

We were, of course, prepared for the “usual gang of suspects” after which our birding group is named; but as always, something unexpected, and something interesting, happened!

We were watching both a group of Spot-billed Ducks and some domesticated mallard-derivatives (I don’t know the correct name for these interbreeds!) when suddenly, a group of drakes decided to “advance” on a female. She sank into the water under their combined
onslaught. She managed to flap her way away from the other three, but a fourth was very persistent, and made quite a nuisance of himself. It was obvious that the lady was not willing.

IMG_9098

Another duck, who saw the fracas,suddenly decided to come to her friend’s aid. She flapped her wings at the drake until he released the besieged duck, and both the ladies happily swam away, at the end of a successful rescue mission! We could not help laughing even as we
watched intently.

IMG_9099

IMG_9100

A Black-crowned Night Heron skulked under a Lantana bush in the middle
of the lake.

IMG_9090

An unexpected sighting was that of a Spotted Owlet as it flew for a short distance out of the large Ficus benjamina trees, and back in.

One Dolichendrone tree close to the entrance suddenly seemed to become a hotbed of small-bird activity.

IMG_9106

The seed-pods, with their typical spiralling shapes, had already set, and there were no flowers…but yet, Sunbirds, Tailorbirds, Pale-billed Flowerpeckers, a Blyth’s Reed
Warbler, and some Ashy Prinias…all kept the tree literally “hopping”, and we were able to listen to their calls, too. These are occasions when one can practice birding “by ear”, and have the id validated by what one sees.

I was rather intrigued by a brick “bird wall” that had been set up at one place:

IMG_9061

…and concrete “bird holes” in another “bird corner”. It will be fun to see if birds do take up nesting in these holes. But meanwhile, watching Black Kites bringing in twigs to make their homes was interesting enough! A White-throated Kingfisher added its bright blue back and lipstick mouth as it waited for a catch.

IMG_9089

It was fun to
watch a Boating Pond Heron…it just sat on one of the boats in the water (kept there to clean the lake, I think), as it scanned the water for breakfast!

Two groups of Rosy Pastors flying overhead, their local cousins, the Common and (the always well-groomed) Jungle Mynas,and the bisyllabic call of one Green Warbler (thank you for the call tutorials, Mike and Ulhas, they’ve been useful!)…between our eyes and ears, we didn’t
know where two hours went, and we left the place before the lake was locked up. I will never understand why our lakes and parks are kept locked through the day…what are we trying to prevent?

I did look at a lot of flowers, plants and trees as well:

IMG_9104

IMG_9105

IMG_9107

IMG_9109

IMG_9118

Finding out names (hoping to remember them, not always successfully!) will occupy me for a while. Watching some hornets beginning to make a nest on the underside of a leaf was also fascinating.

Well satisfied with our morning, we went off for khaali dosa at the excellent eatery (Brahmin’s Special, no relation to the Basavanagudi Brahmin’s!) near my home, arranging to meet for tomorrow’s outing to Hessarghatta Lake.

Spending time with good friends, looking at many things, under the
shade of greenery, dappled with golden morning sunlight…how lucky I
am to be able to do this!

Hoping to meet some of you tomorrow,

Cheers, Deepa.

My photos are on an FB album

here

The bird list (very respectable!) is

here

Birding on the first day of 2017, Ramnagara

January 2, 2017

Just four of us: Jayashree, Padma, Ramaswamy and I…went to

Ramnagara

for some evening birding, and to see the critically endangered

Long-billed Vultures

at the betta.

On the way, we saw three Spotted Owlets in a tree.

IMG_4856

IMG_4863

The beautiful rocky outcrops welcomed us in the evening sunlight.

IMG_4878

IMG_4882

Usually, the gates to the hill are closed, but on this day, they were open, and I clicked several cars coming down after the passengers had visited the rAmA temple at the top.

IMG_4956

We saw a couple of

Egyptian Vultures

first:

IMG_4884

and we were also able to locate their nest.

IMG_4909

and then I saw this

Short-toed Snake Eagle

perched high on the edge of the cliff.

IMG_4892

IMG_4885

It then treated us to a flight display as well:

IMG_4926

Muniyappa, a young boy from the nearby settlement, came to join us. He was quite good at spotting birds, too.

IMG_4906

Jai lent him her binoculuars.

IMG_4880

Finally, a lone

Long-billed Vulture

IMG_4971

came out on to the ledge and preened itself, delighting all of us.

The sun sank behind the hills on the opposite side,

IMG_4896

and I captured Jai against the moon and Venus.

IMG_4971

We stopped at Bidadi for

thatte iddli

IMG_4975

on the way home, and though Jai had to do some marathon driving through the choked highway, we returned home content with our evening’s birding!

Pics on my FB album

here

Sunset and Sunrise on the Kaveri, 06 and 070115

January 14, 2015

IMG_9031

IMG_9027

IMG_9029

IMG_9036

IMG_9038

IMG_9044

And now for the next morning’s sunrise…

IMG_9066

IMG_9067

IMG_9075

IMG_9076

IMG_9069

The road, the river, the birds, the beings…Galibore trip,221114

December 3, 2014

The road…

It unites so many lives.

IMG_5579

People drive on it

IMG_5604

Some just walk on it

IMG_5613

Some lead their animals on it..

IMG_5646

IMG_5707

Sometimes buildings, especially temples, are built right on it..

IMG_5612

Eateries survive near it:

IMG_5589

Several creatures thrive near it:

IMG_5603

My friends discuss their photographs, standing on it:

IMG_5623

There are havens at the end of the road:

IMG_5724

On an urban road is the statue of a bird-lover:

IMG_5789

The River.

The Kaveri is beautiful…

IMG_5687

IMG_5688

IMG_5690

IMG_5708

IMG_5709

The birds:

Rose-ringed Parakeet at nest:

IMG_5719

Rosy Starlings and Common Mynas:

IMG_5624

Pied Bushchat:

IMG_5616

Grey Heron:

IMG_5692

Spot-billed Pelican:

IMG_5647

IMG_5659

Spot-billed Duck:

IMG_5651

Fish in the water:

IMG_5695

Paddyfield Pipit:

IMG_5683

Painted Stork:

IMG_5650

Short-toed Snake Eagle:

IMG_5618

Red-wattled Lapwing:

IMG_5634

White-throated Kingfisher:

IMG_5640

Oriental Honey Buzzard:

IMG_5785

Plants:

Leo otis, or Lion’s Ear:

IMG_5656

Gall on the leaves:

IMG_5643

A beautiful wildflower:

IMG_5638

the Shankha Pushpi (Shell flower)

IMG_5773

A jewel bug:

IMG_5702

Grass Yellows mud-puddling:

IMG_5733

A tiny, perfect grasshopper:

IMG_5740
A dragonfly:

IMG_5698

If you want to suffer even more photos, see my FB album

here

Let me close with this view of the Kaveri:

IMG_5696

A movie of my favourite haunt: Bannerghatta, zoo area, 261114

November 28, 2014

Instead of the pictures, this time I decided to try and make a movie, and here goes:

Hope you enjoy the images!

More photos on my FB album,

here