LOTS of birds...

November 5, 2009

Non-birders… please exkoos, as they say here.

We took a trip to Maidanahalli (“village of the open meadows”) on

Rajyotsava Day

…it proved to be a birding bonanza! It was as if Karnataka just wanted to shower us with sightings and observations!

The day started with the usual CKMP (Crow Kite Mynah Pigeon)…but the raptor quotient went up sharply with the sighting of this


in its rocky habitat:

white-eyed buzzard in habitat 011109

Later, the bird soared in large circles:

white-eyed buzzard 011109

Next came this


booted eagle 011109 madhugiri area

A little later, we stopped to see this EGYPTIAN VULTURE drifting towards us! egyptian vulture 011109 On a wire, we saw this female KESTREL female kestrel 011109 keeping it company was the INDIAN ROLLER ...it was good to see the State Bird of Karnataka on the anniversary of the State's formation! roller and kestrel 011109 On several side-roads, we found a variety of birds amongst the crops and the rocks. Here's the SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA nest that we saw first: scaly-breasted munia nest 011109 Just look at the way the pattern on the Munia's breast matches that of the millet! What lovely camouflage! scaly-breasted munia 011109 Later, we saw several of them; here are Garima and Rajneesh, clicking the beauty of the Munias swinging and feeding on the stalks of millet: In Maidanahalli, we suddenly found this MONTAGU'S HARRIER (well, it could also be a female PALLID HARRIER, experts tell me that there's not much difference between the females of the two harriers) sitting on the road, and then it took off over the fields: montagu's harrier On the rocky outcrops were the SIRKEER MALKOHA sirkeer habitat 011109 the YELLOW-BILLED BABBLER white-eyed babbler 011109 and a two specimens of that beautiful,common bird, the SMALL GREEN BEE-EATER bee-eater habitat 011109 On the wires were birds such as the INDIAN SILVERBILL indian silverbill 011109 and the BLUE ROCK THRUSH blue rock thrush 011109 The lantana scrub suddenly revealed a pair of the GREY FRANCOLIN grey francolin 011109 and in a small village thorn scrub, I tried to quickly catch the ASIAN KOEL koel feeding 011109 as it fed on the berries GREATER COUCAL coucal 011109 as it hopped up an acacia tree. Suddenly, one of us (very sharp-eyed!) managed to spot, on a banyan tree, the ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER asian brown flycatcher However, this SHORT-TOED SNAKE EAGLE short-toed snake eagle 011109 actually came soaring right overhead, making us scramble out of the car for shots! One of the last of the birds on the trip was the beautiful HOOPOE hoopoe 011109 so many birds made for a very contented group of birders! As I came home, memories of a trip to Ragihalli with Rajeev Kashyap, where I had seen common birds such as INDIAN ROBIN indian robin 301009 ragihalli rajeev kashyap SMALL MINIVET small minivet ragihalli 301009 SMALL GREEN BEE-EATER small green bea-eater 301009 BAYA WEAVER baya weaver 301009 ragihalli and the less common ORIENTAL TURTLE DOVE oriental turtle dove 3011009 ragihalli

…and the trip to Ramnagara to see the not-at-all common


longbilled vulture ramnagara 241009

came to mind, too…so, right now, you can, quite rightly, call me a bird-brain!

Grey Francolin White-Cheeked Barbet Common Hoopoe Indian Roller White-Throated Kingfisher Green Bee-Eater Common Hawk Cuckoo ? Indian Koel Greater Coucal Sirkeer Malkoha Rose-Ringed Parakeet Rock Pigeon Laughing Dove Eurasian Collared Dove White-Breasted Waterhen Black-Shouldered Kite Black Kite Brahminy Kite Egyptian Vulture Short-Toed Snake Eagle Montagu's Harrier (or Pallid Harrier ?) Shikra Oriental Honey-Buzzard White-Eyed Buzzard Booted Eagle Common Kestrel Little Grebe Cormorant ? Egret ? Indian Pond Heron Purple Heron Painted Stork Asian Openbill ? Brown Shrike Bay-Backed Shrike Large-Billed Crow Black Drongo Ashy Drongo Blue Rock Thrush Asian Brown Flycatcher Oriental Magpie Robin Indian Robin Pied Bushchat Common Myna Jungle Myna Red-Rumped Swallow Barn Swallow Red-Vented Bulbul Plain Prinia Ashy Prinia Common Tailorbird (heard) Yellow-Eyed Babbler Yellow-Billed Babbler Jerdon's Bushlark Ashy-Crowned Sparrow Lark Purple Sunbird Purple-Rumped Sunbird House Sparrow White-Browed Wagtail Baya Weaver Red Avadavat Indian Silverbill Scaly-Breasted Munia Black Baza (imaginary) :) List of birds on the Ragihalli trip: Indian Bushlark Jerdon's Bushlark Ashy Prinia Tailor Bird Baya Weaver Cattle Egret Little Egret Pond Heron Black Kite Brahminy Kite Common Mynah Jungle Mynah Small Green Bee-Eater Indian Silverbill Spotted Dove Laughing Dove Grey Francolin Rose-Ringed Parakeet Black Drongo Indian Robin Pied Bushchat Red-Wattled Lapwing Red-Rumped Swallows Purple-Rumped Sunbird Purple Sunbird Loten's Sunbird Jungle Babbler Blue-Faced Malkoha Greater Coucal Asian Koel Pied Wagtail Verditer Flycatcher Oriental Turtle Dove White-Breasted Kingfisher House Crow House Sparrow Jungle Crow Scaly-Breasted Munia White-Cheeked Barbet I have yet to make the list on the Turahalli/Galibore/Ramnagara trip, the highlights of which were the Sirkeer Malkoha and the Long-Billed Vulture.