Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

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…!

Advertisements

Valley Outing, 021017

October 10, 2017

Gandhiji said India lives in her villages, but today, on the anniversary of his birth, we decided that she also lives in the variety of life forms that she has!

Aishwary, Ajit, Kumar, Padma, Prem, Ramaswamy, Venkatesh and I

IMG_1440

tarried a little on our way to the Valley as the mist hung heavy in the air. However, by the time we signed in the register at the gate and walked along the path, the weather had cleared up a little.

Whether or not we sighted any moving creature…the sheer burst of greenery had us mesmerized! Everywhere was a clean, washed green, with diamonds sparkling wherever we looked. Raindrops stood on everything…blades of grass, tiny insects and butterflies, and on the wildflowers too.

IMG_1467

I always feel that one of the best times to go for a nature walk is when the rain is about to stop. The insects and butterflies come out to make the most of the sun, and the birds come out to make the most of the insects…a lot of action happens at every level, on the ground, in the air…on a small and large scale. This was what happened this morning.

Spiders lay in wait for unwary flies or butterflies;

IMG_1448
Neoscona Spider with her egg-case

dragonflies, visiting us from Africa,

IMG_1461

Globe Skimmer aka Wandering Glider….this has migrated from Africa. It takes four generations to complete the migratory cycle.

Pantala flavescens

zipped along in the air, looking for food.

IMG_1445
Ichneumon (Parasitoid) Wasp.

IMG_1494

Ladybird.

Birds breakfasted on whatever they could find, on the trees, under the leaves, and in the air.

An unusual visitor for the Valley was an Oriental Darter flying overhead, which “opened our account.” A greedy Red-whiskered Barbet,

IMG_1472

A Black Drongo mobbing a White-cheeked Barbet, several Green Bee-eaters,a dancing Fantail Flycatcher

IMG_1489

(why it’s called a Fantail Flycatcher)

a preening Spotted Dove,

IMG_1482

with Ashy Prinias singing,

IMG_1468

and a Brahminy Skink (the only reptile we saw)

IMG_1455

a White-browed Bulbul

IMG_1480

made us wait in the area before the first banyan tree for a while; but then we went further down the path. With so much to observe and enjoy, from different kinds of spiders and their webs, dragonflies, plants of all kinds, a couple of Blue-faced Malkohas(giving Prem his first sighting of these skulky birds),

How we usually see Malkohas!

IMG_1607

Occasionally,when they can be seen better…

IMG_1610

by the time we reached the abandoned house, it was past 9am! Well-rewarded, we stopped to share our snacks, and then went further to the bamboo thicket.

For the first time in many years, I saw the stream of the Valley in good force, with a lot of water gushing over the stones and along the gully in the bamboo thicket.

IMG_1637

The song of the Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher and a brief hello from the White-rumped Shama filled in the audio part of our outing.

By now, the butterflies were out, too, making the most of the weak sunshine to recharge themselves, or mud-puddling along the path.

IMG_1509
Zebra Blue

IMG_1511

Bush Brown

IMG_1549

Common Lime

IMG_1530

Pointed Ciliate Blue

IMG_1538

Common Pierrot

IMG_1630

Common Silverline

IMG_1564

Danaid Eggfly female

IMG_1564

Common Line Blue on Tephrosia purpurea

IMG_1587

The Common Crows were out in full force, and we managed to catch sight of one Double-branded one as well. Emigrant numbers were lower than in the past weeks, but a Dark Blue Tiger appeared too. It was easy to show our friends why a butterly was called the Pale Grass Blue when it had its wings open to the sunlight!

IMG_1625

Common Hedge Blues also flashed their bright upper wings for us instead of sitting folded up as usual. Aishwary was a great help in singing the Blues!

IMG_1617

IMG_1490

Aishwary (left) helping out.

I saw the unusual sight of a Chocolate and a Lemon Pansy executing a pas de deux as they mud puddled together. Some of the butterflies were fresh and colourful specimens, some were tattered, dull survivors of battles with predators.

Other insects:

IMG_1645

Ichneumon (parasitoid) wasp. Look at that ovipositor! I wouldn’t like that wasp positing any ova on (or in) me!

IMG_1555

Robber Fly

IMG_1650

Stag Beetle

We noticed some beautiful plants and wildflowers

IMG_1555

Cassia mimoisedes

IMG_1515

Pseudarthria viscida

IMG_1540

Cyanotis sp.

IMG_1559

Indigofera nammularifolia:

IMG_1648

(what a long name for a very tiny flower)

We returned to our regular lives, much refreshed and energized by the sights and sound, the touch of different kinds of leaves, the taste of ripe Passion fruit, and the aroma of several flowers. Truly, a treat for the senses!

Beginning my morning chores, reminiscing about the wonderful outing, and already looking forward to what the next weekend may bring!

IMG_1449

The eBird list, compiled by Ajit, is

here

Butterflies:
Blue, Common Hedge
Blue, Pale Grass
Blue, Pointed Ciliate
Blue, Zebra
Bush Brown
Castor, Common
Cerulean, Common
Crow, Common
Crow, Double-branded
Eggfly, Danaid
Emigrant, Common
Gull, Common
Jezebel, Common
Lime, Common
Orange-tip, Plain
Orange-tip, White
Orange-tip, Yellow
Pansy, Chocolate
Pansy, Lemon
Pansy, Yellow
Pierrot, Common
Pioneer
Psyche
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Silverline, Common
Skipper, Indian
Tiger, Dark Blue
Tiger, Plain
Tiger, Striped
Wanderer, Common
Yellow, Common Grass
Yellow, Spotless Grass
Yellow, Three-spot Grass

I’ve put up the photos of the birds, butterflies, insects, plants, a single reptile and us mammals,
here

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.

Blr-Pollachi-Anamalai-Top Slip, 100717 and part of 110717

July 20, 2017

Adnan and Sarrah, who are two of the most impressive young people, with unbounded talent only matched by their humility about those talent, invited me along on their trip to the places mentioned above, and I jumped at the offer…such great places to visit, and such great company to do the trip with!

I am choosing only a few photos from my Flickr albums of the trip, which are

1. Blr-Pollachi

here

2. Pollachi-Anamalai-Top Slip

here

3. Top Slip-Parambikulam-Top Slip (public bus route)

here

4. Top Slip-Valparai

here

5. Valparai, and my train journey back (that’s only the last 5 photos)

here

We started off from Bangalore rather late in the day, as they had to re-do their tickets to return to the US (18th August is their departure date). But though we did not take the “scenic” route, and travelled through Krishnagiri, veering away before Dharmapuri, on the Pollachi road, there was enough to keep us interested and excited all the way.

I told Sarrah I’d get her chai at one of the “copper boiler chai shops” on the way, and we stopped at Tiruppur, where Lily runs her chai shop. These copper boilers are slowly being replaced by more efficient,but less quaint, stainless steel ones.

IMG_7302

Lily’s mother lives with her, and she has two daughters. One is married and living in Coimbatore; the younger one works as a teacher in the school near the airport, just a few kilometres away.

Against the monsoon sky, these village guardian deities, called

Aiyanar

sit in conference…alas, the car hit a particularly bad pothole as I clicked!

IMG_7316

Saradha sat outside her biscuits/snacks stall, looking over her little daughter’s homework.

IMG_7329

We reached our hotel in Pollachi (Ratna Square, the building in the centre…the one on the left is a movie theatre called “Shanthi”, and don’t miss the amazing architecture of the bakery on the right!)

IMG_7338

The next morning, we had a superb brefus at Amutha Surabhi, just a few doors away,

IMG_7348

We stopped for a while at Aliyar on the outskirts,

IMG_7362

looked at the temples,

IMG_7364

the scenery,

IMG_7370

the fishes,

IMG_7379

the butterflies and flowers,

IMG_7366

the insects,

IMG_7376

Mating Damselflies

IMG_7389

and the people eking out their livelihoods

IMG_7363

at some cost to the environment

IMG_7377

We had to wait around until 9.30 am, when the Tamil Nadu Forest Dept office at Pollachi opened.

IMG_7392

We wanted to book accommodation at Top Slip, but could not book accommodation online, and had to wait to talk to the young lady in charge at the Forest Dept office. She did give us a lot of information, but did not even give us an acknowledgement slip; all she did was talk to the Forest Guest House in Top Slip. I do wish the booking could be streamlined…we found the morning enjoyable, but would have preferred spending it in the

Anamalai Tiger Reserve

IMG_7352

I’ll write about the trip through the Reserve and into Top Slip tomorrow…but will tease you with the largest butterfly in south India, which we sighted (amongst many other Interesting Things) on our drive!

IMG_7419

Jaipurdoddi trip, 110717

June 12, 2017

What started out as a plan with 3 people rapidly developed into an outing with 15 other people! It was a very enjoyable outing to Ragihalli and then to Jaipurdoddi.Here they all are, at the MCS (Mandatory Chai Stop) where the group meet each other.

IMG_4657

There was not much interaction as we were driving through the reserve forests of Ragihalli and then Jaipurdoddi; but we all stopped at the Ragihalli sheet rock

IMG_4659

IMG_4660

The prehistoric dolmen, or burial site, can be seen. I often feel that even if I am not buried in this beautiful spot, my spirit is likely to be wandering around here!

Since there were two very young women, Akansha and Aadya, who were coming from quite far away (they were very punctual, too!) I woke up at 4 am to make

veN pongal

for everyone.

IMG_4670

I served it with that most healthy of foods…potato chips! Everyone enjoyed it, to my delight.

As we drove to Jaipurdoddi, the rampant granite quarrying caught my eye once again and I hoped that our petitions to the government are fruitful in checking the depradation of our hillsides.

IMG_4672

Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker

IMG_5586

We stopped several times before reaching the reserve forest, and at one place, this Oriental Garden Lizard was hoping to catch some sun in the cloudy weather.

IMG_4674

This particular tree, alone, at Jaipurdoddi, was replesendent in new foliage.

IMG_4676

As the monsoon clouds cleared (we still do not have adequate rainfall), I saw this strange cloud formation…seems like a ear in the sky!

IMG_4679

Tiny blue Evolvulus flowers grew along the ground.

IMG_4682

I photographed very few birds, leaving them to the DSLR bazookas.

IMG_4694

Here’s the Large Cuckooshrike:

IMG_4686

An Oriental Honey Buzzard, surveying the territory for prey:

IMG_4696

An Ashy Drongo:

IMG_4700

A Black-rumped Flameback, amongst the bushes:

IMG_4705

I call these two Spotted Owlets “Asleep” and “Awake”!

IMG_4778

Aadya, who sketches what she observes, made this drawing of the Spotted Owlet, calling it James Bond!

IMG_4752

This short stretch of the reserve forest is very scenic (with, alas, a terrible road!)

IMG_4706

The fleecy clouds and blue skies later dissolved into cloudy grey again.

IMG_4707

Everywhere, Pavetta indica (Indian pavetta) bushes were in full bloom.

IMG_4709

Here are some Vitex negundo (Medicinal nishad) flowers:

IMG_4737

We wound up near the tiny lake just beyond the forest stretch, full of muddy water after the rains.

I caught some of the others standing in the shade of a beautiful Banyan.

IMG_4730

IMG_4732

Several butterflies kept all of us riveted for a while, watching and trying to capture them on camera.

IMG_4756

Common Leopard

IMG_4721

Yellow Pansy:

IMG_4758

Tawny Coster:

IMG_4765

Pioneer:

IMG_4774

Common Lime:

IMG_4770

Common Emigrant:

IMG_4733

I’m glad there are no dogs in the forest, or else Aadya and Akansha would have to stop for every one! Here they are petting one at a farmer’s home.

IMG_4768

We wound up with a thatte iddli brunch at Manjunath’s Ragihalli Fine Dining.

IMG_4785

eBird list from Ragihalli is

here

and the list from Jaipurdoddi is

here

Butterflies

Blues, various
Cerulean, Common
Coster, Tawny
Crimson Tip
Crow, Common
Eggfly, Danaid
Emigrant, Common
Emigrant, Mottled
Jezebel, Common
Lime. Common
Orange-tip, White
Pansy, Lemon
Pansy, Yellow
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Tiger, Dark Blue
Tiger, Plain
Tiger, Striped
Yellow, Spotless Grass
Yellow, Three-spot Grass

Let me leave you with a “Leopard sighting”!

IMG_4725

Kolkata, Jorhat, Kaziranga, 07-130517

May 19, 2017

We visited Kolkata

IMG_1542

had an evening admiring the Victoria Memorial,

IMG_1575

IMG_1602

enjoying puchka

IMG_1641

jhaal mudi

IMG_1650

and visited the family who brought me up.

IMG_1657

We visited Pradeep and Sulakshana Barthakur at their home in Jorhat, where they run a centre for children. (Pokamura, 7km from Jorhat)

IMG_3064

The location is

here

Their home is a veritable garden of Eden which they share with all kinds of beings:

IMG_3014

Bronzeback Tree Snake

IMG_3049

Blue-throated Barbet

IMG_2007

We went to Kaziranga National Park, staying at Wild Grass resort.

IMG_2355

Hog Deer

IMG_2423

Red Jungle Fowl

IMG_2444

Elephants

IMG_2553

Rhinos

IMG_2721

Swamp Deer (bArAsinghA)

IMG_2829

Here’s K1’s beautiful depiction of the elephant safari,

IMG_2745

IMG_2730

where we saw so much of wildlife.

IMG_3098

IMG_2783

The Flickr albums are:

Blr-Kol and visit

Kol, Science City and Gariahat Mod

Kolkata-Jorhat

Jorhat, 100517

Wild Grass, Kaziranga, 11,120517

Jorhat, 130517 morning

Jorhat-Guwahati-Bangalore, 130517

It was a memorable trip and I enjoyed it very much, through my own experience and that of my family.

Nandi Hills, 220417

May 1, 2017

IMG_1642
Venkat, Varun, Shanthala, Kedar, Akansha, Nitin, Janhvi, Padma, Vidhya, Ramaswamy, Nandi Hills, 220417

IMG_1662
Puff-throated Babbler

The blossoming Gulmohar..

IMG_1668

The floral carpet below.

IMG_1667

Vanda testacea, an orchid that was growing wild.

IMG_1678

Tipu’s summer lodge:

IMG_1708

Owl’s Eye Moth

IMG_1740

“Oooh, see the Nilgiri Wood Pigeons!”

IMG_1742

Here they are, billing and cooing together:

IMG_1793

It was a lovely morning, you can see the album

here

The eBird list is

here

for Nandi and

here

for Jakkur kere.

Making a home in the city, 190417

April 20, 2017

IMG_8368

As I stepped out of my daughter’s home, early in the morning, the liquid, burbling call of the Red-whiskred Bulbuls had me looking around. I spotted them flying around and landing near the front entrance:

IMG_1586

I soon realized that two of them were busy trying to build a nest in the ornamental palms flanking the entrance.

IMG_1581

Look at the beauty of this bird, very common in our city:

IMG_1589

Are they also pondering about building apartments, one above the other?

IMG_1592

In Shivamogga, too, two of these birds had made a nest in my hosts’ home:

IMG_0976

The lady of the house (er, nest) was well-ensconced in the cup-like nest, with only her beak showing:

IMG_0977

I left the birds to their breakfast, and walked on.

IMG_1581

Visit to Shivamogga, Mathur, Kudli, and Sakrebailu, 080417 to 100417

April 19, 2017

Kiran Kannappan and I went to Shivamogga to help conduct a summer camp for 85 rural children, under the aegis of

Vatsalya

IMG_0652

run by Shaila, Shruthi and Adarsh

IMG_0687

IMG_0942
Morning prayer

Story-telling, some Sanskrit shlOkAs,

IMG_0950

nature around the campus, basic birding

IMG_0948

Red-wattled Lapwing on the school campus

basic origami,

IMG_0671

basic cartooning

IMG_0957

…these were some of the things we went through with the very receptive children.

IMG_0962

On the 9th evening, we visited

Mathur

where Sanskrit is taught, and still used extensively. We visited a couple who have settled down there, having built this beautiful house:

IMG_1026

IMG_1031

IMG_1074

Lakshmi Narasimha temple, Mathur

We then went to the shAradA temple at Kudli

IMG_1086

as it was about to close.

On 100417, we visited the Sakrebailu Elephant Camp.

IMG_1136

IMG_1144

Kiran decided that we would return by the afternoon train rather than wait for the overnight one…so a memorable visit to Shivamogga came to a conclusion!

IMG_1090

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.

IMG_1465

The place is green and lovely now:

IMG_1511

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.

IMG_1467

IMG_1531

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….

IMG_1460

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

IMG_1524

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!)

IMG_1506

Resin of Shorea roxburghii

IMG_1505

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

IMG_1507

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

IMG_1557

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,

IMG_1481

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!

IMG_1486

Common Picture-wing, a dragonfly.

IMG_1493

IMG_1494

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

IMG_1503

Funnel web spider waiting for prey

IMG_1558

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!

IMG_1527

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.

IMG_1569

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

here

and my photos are

here

Hoping to meet many of you again next weekend,

Cheers, Deepa.