March 20, 2009

As we were returning from Bannerghatta, my NTP friend Ramesh called me up and asked me if I would like to go to Ragihalli on Sunday morning…would I not! However, the Saturday gang could not make it, and so it was only Anush,Neelu and I who accompanied Ramesh to both Ragihalli sheet rock, and the Ragihalli village pond, not to mention piping-hot idlis at the Ragihalli centre-of-the-village eatery….!

Two of my favourite images from the trip are…this beautiful little PURPLE-RUMPED SUNBIRD landing to sip nectar from the SILK-COTTON flower:

purple-rumped sunbird wing feathers ragihalli 150309

and the RUFOUS TREEPIE in its habitat on the sheet rock of Ragihalli:

rufous treepie sheet rock ragihalli 150309

We started the morning with this flock of BRAHMINY STARLINGS (or BRAHMINY MYNAHS) in a tree: 150309 ragihalli brahminy starlings Then, several BLUE-FACED MALKOHAs kept jumping around in the clutter of the foliage, very tantalizingly... blue-faced malkoha 150309 ragihalli This one seemed to be having a very bad hair day! This ORIENTAL MAGPIE ROBIN sat and posed... oriental magpie robin 150309 r'halli pond As did several SMALL GREEN BEE-EATERs: small green bee-eater r'halli pond 150309 And we had audio as well as video, with this PIED BUSHCHAT singing away on top of an electricity pole! pied bushchat singing r'halli pond 150309 Neelu spotted, better than any of us, this BLACK-WINGED KITE sitting far away on the opposite shore of the Ragihalli village pond... black-winged kite r'halli pond 150309 It was lovely to imagine how it would be to be able to walk so comfortably on water, across the lily pads, as this PIED WAGTAIL was doing! 150309 wagtail walking on lily pads r'halli pond 150309 The BAYA WEAVERS' nests seemed abandoned...wonder if they will ever come back...? baya weavers' nests r'halli 150309 There were two SILK-COTTON trees in full bloom, and a tiny TAILOR BIRD sat near some of the flowers: tailor bird silkcotton flower rhalli The purple-rumped sunbird, after landing, proceeded to have a silk-cotton-flower-nectar drink! purple-rumped sunbird on silk cotton flower rhalli 150309 I was also able to show Neelu our State Bird, the INDIAN ROLLER: 150309 indian roller ragihalli This yellow wildflower looked lovely in the middle of the dry plant... 150309 Ragihalli Anush Neelu Ramesh flower I was much taken with these tiny fruit that developed right on the edge of the ferny leaves, on the Ragihalli sheet rock: small fruit-on-leaf sheet rock r'halli 150309 The fresh, red new foliage looked very attractive! red new leaves r'halli 150309 And though there were no white lotuses this time, the WHITE LILY looked at itself in the mirror of the pond, and contemplated its own beauty. lily in r'halli pond 150309

A beautiful finale was provided by the sighting of a pair of WHITE-BREASTED KINGFISHERs in their nest in the bank of the roadside….the female flew away immediately, but the male remained there for a while. Then he too, went and sat in a tree nearby:

white-breasted kingfisher 150309 ragihalli

As we were watching the kingfishers, Ramesh and I suddenly spotted a huge raptor landing in the ground behind the bank, but we could not identify it before it dropped out of sight.

But we made our way home, very happy with the lovely birds that we had seen and enjoyed!