Nandi Hills Bird Feast, 110409

April 14, 2009

Things have been so hectic that I have not been able to post…can you imagine that!

Oh, well, I have to catch up on what did happen to me over this extremely hectic weekend…a trip to Nandi Hills, a trip to Mysore, a trip to Valley School, and a photo-shoot by Prasad, a freelance professional photographer….this was for Harmony magazine (yes, you lot can now queue up, I will autograph your books for a small consideration.)

But let’s start with the wonderful Nandi Hills trip…!

Garima suddenly decided that the BULB (Bangalore Urban Lady Birders…we ARE bright bulbs!) could do a trip to Nandi Hills last weekend, and it all fell into place, and off we went; we decided that we would add two males to the group, Anush and Chandu….

And..we could hardly move out of the nursery area (behind the water tank)…because it was raining birds! In fact, there were 8 of us and we really did not know where to look, as each of us spotted a bird in the foliage, in the fallen leaves, on the branches, and there was a cacophony of exclamations and a marathon of quiet nudges….

Here are the birds; I will be posting the others (flowers, and so on) later….

Let me start with my favourite image; to me, this picture is redolent of several things, that spell “summer” to me…the tangy sourness of the tamarind fruit (those are the leaves of the tamarind tree); the mango, that king of summer fruits and pickles of every sort; and the green of fresh foliage…and this little ORIENTAL WHITE-EYE, mimicking, apparently, a mango in a tamarind tree (trust a birdbrain to do that!), reminds me of all of them….

mango oriental white eye 120409

The WHITE-BROWED BULBUL looked out at us from its perch, quite unafraid: white-browed bulbul 100409 We were treated to the spectacular beauty of the BLUE-CAPPED ROCK THRUSH at various points, too! 100409 blue capped rock thrush nehru nilaya nh Both Mr and Mrs came along to be photographed.... blue rock thrush female nh nursery 100409 There were plenty of birds in the clutter of fallen leaves; here's one OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT on a branch: ? 100409 Here are two foraging in the fallen leaves: olive-backed pipits nehru nilaya nh 100409 Even common birds like the TAILOR BIRD decided they would pose for the camera,however briefly: tailor bird nh nursery 100409 There were RUSTY-TAILED FLYCATCHERS all around: rusty-tailed flycatcher nh 120409 Then the INDIAN BLUE ROBIN decided to make an appearance: indian blue robin nh nursery 110409 Followed by his mate: indian blue robin female 120409 I want you to see if you can spot the female EURASIAN BLACKBIRD in this clutter: female eurasian blackbird in clutter 100409 nh Well, here she is, at closer quarters; the plastic bags didn't seem to deter the birds at all: 110409 female eurasian blackbird nh We saw several PUFF-THROATED BABBLERS foraging, too: 110409 nh puff-throated babbler Our old friend the TICKELL'S BLUE FLYCATCHER came along to sing his sweet song for us: tickell's blue flycatcher nh nursery 120409 Then we spotted the the ORANGE-HEADED THRUSH along with the plastic garbage... orange-headed thrush nh nurs 120409 Several TAWNY-BELLIED BABBLERS were rooting around in the bushes near Nehru Nilaya: tawny-bellied babblers nh nehru nilaya 110409 Update: Just for once, I think I will put up the actual, full bird-list, just to show how many birds we actually did spot! Here it is: --------------- - black kite - black shouldered kite - common buzzard - grey francolin (heard at foothills) - grey junglefowl (heard on the slope) - blue rock pigeon - laughing dove - rose ringed parakeet - blue faced malkoha - greater coucal (heard) - white throated kingfisher - common myna - jungle crow - house crow - red vented bulbul - red whiskered bulbul - white cheeked bulbul - tawny bellied babbler - puff throated babbler - jungle babbler - paradise flycatcher - tickell's blue flycatcher - rusty tailed flycatcher - ashy prinia - common tailorbird - blyths reed warbler - sulphur bellied warbler - indian robin - oriental magpie robin - indian blue robin (m+f) - indian blackbird - blue capped rock thrush - orange headed ground thrush - tree pipit - olive backed pipit - grey wagtail - oriental white eye - purple sunbird - purple rumped sunbird - house sparrow

And the highlight of the morning was that while we were oohing and aahing over these birds, this beautiful COMMON BUZZARD, a lifer for me, sailed in and sat on the mango tree! We stopped oohing and aahing…we were just spellbound!

common buzzard nh nurs 120409

I did try to take Chandu around a bit, because, incredibly, this was his first-ever trip to Nandi Hills! Chandu, you need to take Suvarchala and go along a couple of times….without us!

Chandu had come along on his bike, as our car was full; and on the steep road up to Nandi Hills, Suma Rao decided that she would drive the bike, and I sat pillion, and though it was quite chilly, we thoroughly enjoyed the ride! Thank you, Chandu….

Garima, who is excellent at whatever she does, had baked chocolate cake and carrot muffins (I called them 22-carrot muffins); Uma had brought potato buns; Suma had brought chapatis and chutney and pickle; I had brought bisi bela huli anna; Anush provided the chips (which were never brought out from the car!) and so the list of foods went…what a wonderful morning it was! To meet, eat, and watch the sweet birds, in the unexpected chill of an April morning…it was really heavenly.