Since Sachin and Neelu were nice enough to take and me along on their outing to Manchinabele Dam, and we met up with Adarsh and Nisarg on the way, we had a really nice time on Sunday morning...the focus may have been birding to begin with, but the beauty of the place and many aspects of it also caught our eye....
Here’s the beauty of the Manchinabele Catchment Area, with Savandurga in the distance:
For a while, all thoughts of birding disappeared from our minds as we just took in the scene….
Can you see two swallows sitting on the wires? There’s a picture of one of them under the cut!
At the time, a group of bikers went just past us and stopped and were taking pictures too. I almost called out to them, asking if one of them was but felt it would be too foolish to do that...and lo and behold, I find the identical picture on his LJ entry yesterday!
In fact, we kept stopping on the way to Manchinabele Dam, which was our destination, because we heard a lot of bird calls and saw some of them too...in fact, we never finally reached the dam at all, but spent a lot of time in the catchment area (where we saw the butterflies, and the Rock Agama, that I posted about earlier.) Here we are, on the road, having stopped the car for the umpteenth time....
In fact, whatever each of us spotted (some WHITE-BROWED WAGTAILS dancing on the nylon netting of a nursery, or a couple of INDIAN ROLLERS that Anush saw in a distant tree) kept us busy for a long time, and we had to remind ourselves to move on.
Here's a Jerdon's Bushlark that we spotted, doing the typical fly-high-in-the-air-and-then-land-in-the-field acrobatics... I quickly snapped the bird as it sat on a wire!
Sachin spotted this WHITE-BROWED BULBUL sitting on a tree; it was difficult to get a shot without an obstructing branch...
As we moved on, the RED-RUMPED SWALLOWS started coming out and flying in the air, hawking for insects. Here's one perched on the wire, with his long wings...
The beauty of a date palm in full fruit was too good to miss...
and here's a close-up of the dates (do 365 dates make a calendar?)
And this cute little relief of Ganesha on the wall of a nearby temple:
There were several lilies blooming in the nearby ponds:
I caught this JUNGLE CROW preening himself, near an insulator on a power cable; I liked the black-and-white composition.
We spent a long time watching this HOOPOE, which I spotted near some houses; he and his mate had a nest under the tiles of a house, and were busy bringing food in for the nestlings.
Here he( or she? I don't know!) is, with a tasty morsel for the babies...
And here is a RACKET-TAILED DRONGO, many of which we saw in the nearby fields.
Oh...., an experienced birder, seems to have some doubt that this is a racket-tailed drongo, so I am changing the caption to:
Possibly a BLACK DRONGO:
For a more complete list of birds that we spotted, see Neelu's list on their blog at
All in all, a great morning, and Anush, Adarsh, Nisarg and I were going to meet up again at the Snake workshop later in the day(actually, 12 of us from the JLRNTP group were there!)...a lovely way to spend a Sunday! Thank you, Sachin and Neelu, for the great opportunity!