Birds of Kabini, 14 and 150511

May 24, 2011

This trip to Kabini was a real bonanza in terms of birds; we sighted a 103 or 104 species of birds in the two days that we were there, and also got to observe a lot, rather than just looking and passing on.

As we drove towards Mysore, we decided to take a little detour through Ranganathittu, not going towards the boating area but towards the old quarry. And of course, we immediately struck a jackpot with several


flying around. One came in, obligingly, with a Cicada in its mouth, and posed for us:

bt betr 140511 kbni

Meanwhile, high above, a SHIKRA soared, looking for food that was not as small as a Cicada: shkra 140511 kbni We saw several INDIAN GREY HORNBILLS around, and one on the tree had just found a fig for breakfast: indn gry hrnbl 140511 kbin The deep pit in the quarry area had a lot of reeds, and of course, reeds mean Weaver birds; in this case, some STREAKED WEAVERS: strkd wvr 140511 kbni (their triumph of home architecture is on my Facebook album, the link is at the end.) A wire on the wire...several WIRE-TAILED SWALLOWS sat up on the telephone lines, and I caught one: wr tld swlw kbni 140511 As we went further, we stopped as we suddenly spotted some ALPINE SWIFTS which were a lifer for me. It was very difficult, indeed, to catch one of these in flight, so there will be no snide remarks about fuzzy of my usual SMS (Shamelessly Mediocre Shots)! alpn swft 140511 kbni In the fields, of course, BLACK IBIS were walking around feeding on the insects: blk ibis 140511 kbni A sight that truly lifted our hearts (like that of the poet Wordsworth!) was the one of several CRESTED LARKS on the ground, or the wires, singing: crstd lk 140511 kbni Gopal's car had stopped, unable to move past this BLACK-WINGED KITE: blk wngd kt 140511 kbni Now that's my favourite "urban" raptor, so we too ogled it for a while and then we moved on. As we prepared to join the JLR (Kabini River Lodge) safari in the evening, we first heard, and then caught sight of, this COPPERSMITH BARBET: cs brbt 140511 kbni It might be a very common bird, but it certainly is very beautiful! In the gardens, several HOUSE SPARROWS reassured us that sparrows are, indeed, back amongst us. Here's a male, helping with nesting material: ml sprw 140511 kbni Here's a female, ready to fly off to her nest under the eaves: fml sprw 140511 kbni The next morning's safari started, for us, just outside the JLR the most eventful way. A mother BARRED BUTTONQUAIL and her three babies decided, suddenly, to cross the road just as our jeep went past...we screeched to a halt, and the jeep went right over them. We looked back in horror...and found that since the three babies had "frozen" to the ground at the first sign of a threat, they were fine, and that the mother was still under our jeep, looking for them! Here's one of them....just look at that little clump of feathers and that eye...have you even seen anything more defenceless? bby quail eye 140511 kbni We had to stop three more jeeps coming out on to the road, and everyone was wondering what the fuss was about! Sometimes tiny problems can be large one... Here's another one...would you believe that this little scrap is actually a living creature? bby ql scrp 140511 kbni Prasanna, our naturalist from JLR, scooped them up carefully on a small piece of paper and deposited them carefully at the side on the road, where they quickly clambered off into the foliage. The mother followed...and heaving a sigh of relief, we carried on, too. These birds...did make us quail for a while! On the path, every safari, we saw this beautiful BLUE-BEARDED BEE-EATER on the tree: bbbetr profile 150511 kbni and here, the beard is showing: blue beard b-etr 150511 I have never before seen so many peacocks dancing...and two at a time, too! Far ahead on the jungle path, were these two dancers, practising for some unknown female, but certainly enchanting us. First they both faced the other way: pcks back view kbni 140511 and then one faced us: pcks one back vw kbni 140511 Here's the beauty of one of them, who came closer and started preening himself: pcck tail 150511 kbni The peacock flew up to the tree-stump too close for my lens focal length, so I had to use a diagonal shot to get his full flauntiness! fll pcck 150511 kbni The next morning, we took a boat safari on the backwaters of the Kabini, and saw a multitude of birds, including these OPENBILL STORKS: opnbl stks 150511 kbni some PURPLE HERONS: prpl hrn 150511 kbni some ASHY WOODSWALLOWS swooped and landed, reminding me of the many I'd seen in Thattekkad, in Kerala: a wdswlw kbi 150511 On the banks, another unusual sight was several GREY JUNGLEFOWL, all together; I've always seen only one at a time, before this. gy jngl fl kbni 150511 On the water were the fishermen, sorry, fisherbirds, that included this GREATER CORMORANT: gt crmnt 150511 kbn it was lovely to watch the PAINTED STORKS fish...they hold their wings up over the water so that the fish cannot see the sharp beak of death shooting through the air, lethally! pntd stk 150511 kbn Another able angler is the ORIENTAL DARTER, which is also called the SNAKE-BIRD because of the shape of its neck, suited to gulping down wriggly eels! darter 150511 kbni Of course another fisher is the WHITE-BREASTED KINGFISHER shown here in successful pursuit of breakfast! kf wt fsh 150511 a GREAT EGRET waded about, in similar pursuit: gt egrt 150511 kbni and a beautiful SPOT-BILLED DUCK was waiting for his turn... spt bld dk kbn 150511 talking about turns, here is a RIVER TERN... rvr trn 150511 kb a mother LONG-TAILED SHRIKE brought "six-legged breakfast" for that very demanding young one next to her, and then went on repeated sorties for more food: ltshrke 150511 kbn We were prevented from bemoaning the lack of raptors because this CRESTED SERPENT EAGLE appeared to pose: cse 150511 kbn Late in the evening, on a "This property belongs to R Raman" board (the "this" is visible!) ORIENTAL MAGPIE ROBIN couple sat: omr 150511 kbn A few final sightings included this beautiful HOOPOE: hpoe 150511 and as we were leaving Water Woods, the extremely expensive resort where we stayed, we watched for a while, and saw this baby WHITE-CHEEKED BARBET snug in its nest, peeping out curiously, and fearlessly! barbet bby 150511 Here's the bird, mammals and others list: Babbler, Jungle Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, White-cheeked Bee- Eater,Blue-bearded Bee-Eater, Blue-tailed Bee-Eater, Small Green Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul, Red-whiskered Bushchat, Pied Buttonquail, Barred Buzzard, Oriental Honey Cisticola, Zitting Cormorant, Greater Cormorant, Little Coucal. Greater Crow, House Crow, Jungle Cuckoo, Common Hawk Cuckoo, Indian Cuckoo.Pied Duck, Spot-billed Drongo, Ashy Drongo, Black Drongo, Bronzed Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, White-bellied Darter, Oriental Dove, Spotted Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Little Egret, Intermediate Flycatcher, White browed Fantail Eagle, Crested Serpent Francolin, Grey Flameback, Greater Flowerpecker, Pale-billed Heron, Pond Heron, Grey Heron, Purple Hoopoe, Common Hornbill, Indian Grey Hornbill, Malbar Pied Ibis, Black-headed Ibis, Black Iora, Common Junglefowl, Grey Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, White-breasted Kite, Black Kite, Black-winged Kite, Brahminy Koel, Asian Lapwing, Red-wattled Lark, Crested Minivet, Small Munia, Black-headed Munia, Scaly-breasted Munia, White-rumped Mynah, Common Myna, Jungle Myna, Hill Openbill, Asian Parakeet, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Plum-headed Parakeet, Malabar Parrot, Vernal Hanging Peafowl, Indian Pelican, Spot-billed Pigeon, Blue Rock Plover, Little Ringed Praticole, Small Prinia, Ashy Prinia, Jungle Prinia, Plain Robin, Indian Robin, Oriental Magpie Roller, Indian Shrike, Long-tailed Spoonbill, Eurasian Sparrow, House Starling, Brahminy Stilt, Black-winged Stork, Painted Stork, Woolly-necked Sunbird, Purple-rumpled Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Wire-tailed Swift, Alpine Swift, Palm Tailorbird, Common Tern, River Treepie, Rufous Trogon, Malabar Vulture, Egyptian Wagtail, Pied Warbler, Blyth's Reed Warblers, un id Waterhen, White-breasted Weaver, Streaked Whistling-duck, Lesser White-eye, Oriental Woodswallow, Ashy Mammals Boar, Wild Chital Elephant, Asian Gaur Langur, Black-faced Leopard Macaque, Bonnet Otter, Smooth-coated Sambar Squirrel, Malabar Giant Reptiles and Amphibians Bullfrog, Indian Crocodile Keelback, Chequered Frog, Bicolored Frog, Skittering Skink, Red-tailed Butterflies Brown, Evening Bush Brown, Common Castor, Angled Emigrant, Common Emigrant, Lime Gull, Common Jezebel, Common Leopard, Common Lime, Common Psyche Rose, Common Rose, Crimson Tiger, Common Yellow, Common Grass Yellow, Spotless Grass Un id Jumping, Orb and Lynx Spiders, and Dragonflies. Damselflies, Ants, Millipedes, Stick Insect

and finally, here’s the State Bird of Karnataka (or as someone put it, the “National Bird of Karnataka”!)

rlr 150511kbni

More detailed photographs on my Facebook album,