The T G Halli trip

March 6, 2008

Mainly birding…so if not interested, move along to the next friend’s post!

On Sunday, the plan to go to Hebbal Lake with the rest of the bngbirds group got changed to T G Halli Dam backwaters. So 's friend Immidi picked me up at 5am (no, I did not tell him to pick me up Immidi-ately!) and we went and met up with Sai and and off we went.

had gone ahead, as he lives much closer to the T G Halli area. The backwaters area is lovely; not many trees, but open ground, rather rocky and hilly, with the water proving an attraction for the various birds. the rocks at tghalli It was quite chilly that early in the morning, but on the way to the place, we stopped the car several times on seeing these GREY FRANCOLINS running about on the rocks at the side of the road: grey francolin t g halli 020308 It took us, alas, a very long time to find the turn-off from the road (described as a "seventy-degree dip" by Shiva) that we needed to take, and we reached the area only at the time we were supposed to leave! The light was already quite harsh, but there were so many different birds to be seen, that we had no thoughts of leaving! As the sun climbed overhead, so did the raptors of T G Halli. If you want really great photographs, you need to look at Sainath's or Shiva's snaps; I am already feeling quite behindhand with the posting, and am posting them as is, where is...! Here is a TAWNY EAGLE overhead: tawny eagle Thippe Gondana Halli Dam 020308 A small group of SPOT-BILLED DUCKS swam along on the water; you can see why they are so called: spot-billed ducks TGHalli 020308 The rocky, dry ground was also habitat to several larks, and I managed to get a shot of the ASHY-CROWNED SPARROW-LARK male: ashy crowned sparrow lark The female was close by and for some reason, in this shot, she has her eyes shut! ashy-crowned sparrow-lark female with her eyes closed tghalli 020308 My old favourite, the BRAHMINY KITE, was there, too, alternately parked on the rocks, and sailing above our heads: brahminy kite tghalli 020308 Other birds, like this COMMON SANDPIPER, also kept flying and landing as they looked for food: sandpiper flight tghalli 20308 Here's a LITTLE RINGED PLOVER: little ringed plover tghalli this one's a WOOD SANDPIPER: wood sandpiper A few more raptors made their appearance, and we loved the sight of this JUVENILE MONTAGU'S HARRIER above us: Juvenile Montagu's Harrier TGHalli 020308 Another water bird that I saw for the first time was the PRATINCOLE: pratincole t g halli 020308 I also saw old friends, like this PADDYFIELD PIPIT: paddyfield pipit tghalli and this RIVER TERN swooped as gracefully as its cousins at Ranganathittu: river tern There were several YELLOW WAGTAILS around, bobbing about in typical wagtail fashion: yellow wagtail And just to let me know that birds were not the only interesting things around, was this un-id (Madhusmita! Help!) insect on a rock: insect on a rock tghalli Here's a close-up: insect on a rock Even a commonly-seen bird like the BLACK DRONGO decided to pose for us: black drongo And I managed, also, to get some non-posed photos; here's ...that wink is totally due to the harsh sunlight, there were no pretty girls around! Hero no.1 </lj-cut> I was also lucky to meet up with two excellent photographers, H S Ganesh, and the youngster, Ramnath Chandrasekhar, who showed us some of his beautiful photographs, too. Here they are, exchanging notes: H S Ganesh and Ramnath Chandrasekhar tghalli 020308 The sun got too hot even for our enthusiasm, and we decided to return, but not before the others got some super shots of a KESTREL at rest and in flight, which I missed...of course! A fantastic morning of birding..many thanks to Sainath, Immidi, Shiva and Anush for making it happen! Sainath's superb pictures of that (&*^ kestrel (which waited for me to go away before it came and posed for him) are at See and enjoy that guy's superb camera skills!