Makalidurga, 241210

December 25, 2010

Chandu, having been looking at the lovely village of Makalidurg (mAkaLidurgA) from the train on his way to and from Hyderabad, decided that it would be a likely spot for Nature/birding trip, and Anil, Prashant, Vittal and I (all from the NTP group) enthusiastically joined him, and off we went, early on a very misty, chilly morning!

One of the loveliest sights, which Chandu told me to capture, was of the Lantana flowers,everywhere, drenched in the morning mist:

dew lntna 241210

The fog was so dense that Anil had difficulty seeing the road ahead. Here's an almost-impressionistic view of Jain monks walking (on pilgrimage), taken through the windshield monks in th emist 241210 Here are the others, returning to the car after an excellent breakfast at "Ayyappa Tiffen Centre" (more about people in places in the next post!) anil chandu prashant vittal 241210 Here's what the scenery looked like in the dense mist: mist 241210 Incredibly, though, as we took the road up, at one point...within a minute, we were out of the mist into bright blue skies and brilliant sunlight! sun through tree 241210 We stopped to photograph, and admire, the spider webs sparkling with the dew: orb spider 241210 This web of the TENT SPIDER was also beautiful: tent spdr wb 241210 we watched one Orb Spider busy at work: Update, Vittal says this is the Kidney Garden Spider, named because of the kidney-shaped marking on its back (not because it is found in kidney gardens...) Araneus mitificus a RED-VENTED BULBUL ate from the Acacia tree: rvb 241210 We reached a large water body, and surprisingly, we did not see any ducks or waterbirds, apart from the usual Herons and Egrets; not even a glimpse of any kind of kingfisher! We were speculating about why this should be so...perhaps the experts can explain. However, for a long time, we watched the Barn Swallows swooping up and down in the air, and large group of SILVERBILLS : slvrblls 241210 mkldrg There were several butterflies around, and I got this WHITE ORANGE-TIP: white orange-tip 241210 From the car, we spotted a INDIAN BUSHLARK right next to us, and we watched with glee as the bird took a dust-bath! lark 241210 We then decided to go the Station area, but alas, a nail got in the way of the tyre of the Tata Safari. puncture 241210 Of couse, I let the four men handle this dirty, dusty puncture-repairjob, and I swanned off to see the pretty, picture-postcard little station. Just behind the station, at a large well, a group of HOUSE SPARROWS were flying around perkily: spr m and f 241210 We saw the standard-now-for-every-birding-trip ORIENTAL HONEY BUZZARD: ohb 241210 and I got a shot of a distant KESTREL: kestrel 241210 then I watched a herd of BONNET MACAQUES rushing down the slope: After they were done with the puncture, out came the others' cameras, and we captured this DAY-FLYING HANDMAIDEN MOTH: handmdn moth 241210 We were also occupied for a long time with a large group of PURPLE and PURPLE-RUMPED SUNBIRDS in a bushy area, and then crossed the tracks and came upon a temple, where I spent quite half an hour watching a group of CARPENTER BEES flying in and out of the holes they'd made in a large wooden beam of the temple: bee holes 241210 Look at the beauty of it! bee on ledge 241210 This bee kept still, long enough for me to get a "bee portfolio": bee profile 241210 We then went to the Ghati Subramanya temple, and on the road, spotted my favourite beauty,the BLACK-WINGED KITE; bwk 241210 Here's an INDIAN ROBIN pecking at food on a rock: To see more photographs, click here For Prashant's photographs, click here The highlights of the trip, sightings-wise, were: The large flock of Barn Swallows and Silverbills The bushes full of Sunbirds The Bushlark taking a mud-bath The Sirkeer Malkoha jumping around, strutting on the ground and despatching its prey The Shikra couple flying together. The Kestrel eating its prey in mid-air. The Carpenter Bees and their nests. The family of Quails suddenly crossing in front of our car, in such a busy-busy, comical hurry to get somewhere! Here's the bird and butterfly list: Bee-eater, Small Green Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul, White-cheeked Bulbul, Coppersmith Buschat, Pied Bushlark, Indian Buzzard, Oriental honey Crow, Jungle Crow, Common Coucal,Greater Dove, Laughing Drongo, Black Egret, Cattle(G) Flowerpecker, Tickells Francolin,Grey Egret, Little Heron, Pond Kingfisher, White-breasted(G) Kite, Black Kite, Black-winged (G) Kestrel, Common Lapwing, Red-wattled Lark, Ashycrowned Sparrow Malkoha, Blue-faced Malkoha, Sirkeer Munia, Scaly breasted Myna, Common Myna, Jungle Quail (?) Parakeet, Rose-ringed Robin, Indian Roller, Indian Shikra Silverbill Sparrow, House Sunbird, Purple Sunbird, Purple-rumped Swallow, Barn Tailorbird.Common Wagtail, Whitebrowed Warbler, Blyth's Reed Butterflies: Blues, various kinds Cerulean, Common Coster,Tawny Crow, Common Emigrant, Commmon Four-ring, Common Jezebel,Common Leopard, Common Psyche Rose, Common Rose, Crimson Tiger, Blue Tiger, Common Tiger, Glassy Wanderer, Common Yellow, Grass, various kinds Various grasshoppers and crickets. Mammals: Macaques, Bonnet Mongoose, Stripe-necked Reptiles: Keelback, Checkered Snake, Rat

I’ll end this post with another image of that winged jewel:

carpenter bee wings 241210