Volunteer birding at Bannerghatta
My friend Geetanjali Dhar started a very worthwhile initiative for the children in the gated community where she, her husband Subir, and daughter Avantika, live. They go regularly for adventure activities in the weekends, and part of this is a birding trip, conducted by volunteers.
Vittal , his 10-year-old son Aditya (who is a better birder than his dad, and sometimes I think, a better writer too!) Anush , and I are regulars, but this time we co-opted Chandu and Mahesh . Except for Mahesh (who missed taking the NTP because of illness), all of us are NTP members.
Geetanjali and Subir took all of us…several children and some adults from their community…to an area beyond the huge quarry in the Bannerghatta area. This part, except for the communicating road, seemed to be not disturbed, and we walked around for about an hour; I can confidently say that no matter how the conductees felt about the trip, the conductors had a great time!
What was sad was the way all our wildernesses are being converted to housing layouts…I like this image because it shows what’s happening…
The mango tree is in full bloom, but right in front of it is the construction worker carrying material to put up more habitation…and soon, the trees, the grass, the flora and fauna will all go….
Oh well, who am I to complain, probably the apartment block that I live in also despoiled the forest area in a similar way, twenty years ago!
But to me, the most interesting part of the trip was this BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE, which, for the first time, I saw perched on a tree instead of its usual telephone-wire roost! The bird was “wagging” its tail in a metronome-like fashion for quite a long time….
Here’s the video that I took of this behaviour…
I have never seen this behaviour before, and I don’t think the bird was balancing itself, as there was no breeze at all, and the movement of the tail was too regular for that, too. First time I have seen a Black-Shouldered Kite pretending to be a WAGTAIL! :)
Well…whether I get an explanation or not…the Bannerghatta forest area is just wonderful, and we had a great morning!