Birding notes from Kodaikanal
One of the things I have noticed in the town is that though there is a large lake, with plenty of fish, and lots of tall trees, I have not seen any PARIAH KITES, BRAHMINY KITES, nor have I seen any raptors, even 10km away from the town. I find this very intriguing. Is it something to do with the altitude of the place? Or is it because garbage is cleaned up well?
The lake is also not prolific for birds, because of the presence, in large numbers, of Homo touristus; I am now intimate friends with the two POND HERONS and the two WHITE-BREASTED KINGFISHERS that swoop down on the fish.
I also got shots of the single family of LITTLE GREBES (the two young ones are awfully cute, scuttering along the surface of the lake behind their mother, with little cries!), and the mother grebe is a great fisher…she manages her food-finding in spite of all the boats on the lake!
And the first day, I got some not-nice (yes, typical deponti) shots of the VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH on the trees near the lake, and then couldn’t sight them for sometime…and yesterday, after a heavy shower of rain, they were all around our garden, climbing up and down the tree trunks as they looked for insects! They are very pretty birds….
And of course, there are plenty of WHITE-BROWED WAGTAILS and RED-WHISKERED BULBULS, all over the place…
I met up with a birder, and hope to visit his guest house today, and see if I can find some more birds. But given the huge crowds in Kodaikanal at this time, I am happy to have got even these shots of the few birds that I have seen!
And yesterday, I walked aroud the beautiful golf course that abuts the Palani Hills forest area…and was lucky to see a GAUR, but no one else seemed happy to see it as it was crossing the road and blocked up the traffic! Several drivers complained loudly about the “kAttu mAdu” (forest cattle) that are nuisances to the traffic on the road….sigh.
The pictures? I will wait to post them when I return home….as I said, it isn’t worth sitting in a poky internet parlour when I can be out cycling or walking around. People are as fascinating as birds….!