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:
Meanwhile, high above, a
soared, looking for food that was not as small as a Cicada:
We saw several
INDIAN GREY HORNBILLS
around, and one on the tree had just found a fig for breakfast:
The deep pit in the quarry area had a lot of reeds, and of course, reeds mean Weaver birds; in this case, some
(their triumph of home architecture is on my Facebook album, the link is at the end.)
A wire on the wire...several
sat up on the telephone lines, and I caught one:
As we went further, we stopped as we suddenly spotted some
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 photos...one of my usual SMS (Shamelessly Mediocre Shots)!
In the fields, of course,
were walking around feeding on the insects:
A sight that truly lifted our hearts (like that of the poet Wordsworth!) was the one of several
on the ground, or the wires, singing:
Gopal's car had stopped, unable to move past this
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
It might be a very common bird, but it certainly is very beautiful!
In the gardens, several
reassured us that sparrows are, indeed, back amongst us. Here's a male, helping with nesting material:
Here's a female, ready to fly off to her nest under the eaves:
The next morning's safari started, for us, just outside the JLR gates...in the most eventful way. A mother
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?
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?
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
on the tree:
and here, the beard is showing:
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:
and then one faced us:
Here's the beauty of one of them, who came closer and started preening himself:
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!
The next morning, we took a boat safari on the backwaters of the Kabini, and saw a multitude of birds, including these
swooped and landed, reminding me of the many I'd seen in Thattekkad, in Kerala:
On the banks, another unusual sight was several
all together; I've always seen only one at a time, before this.
On the water were the fishermen, sorry, fisherbirds, that included this
it was lovely to watch the
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!
Another able angler is the
which is also called the
because of the shape of its neck, suited to gulping down wriggly eels!
Of course another fisher is the
shown here in successful pursuit of breakfast!
waded about, in similar pursuit:
and a beautiful
was waiting for his turn...
talking about turns, here is a
brought "six-legged breakfast" for that very demanding young one next to her, and then went on repeated sorties for more food:
We were prevented from bemoaning the lack of raptors because this
CRESTED SERPENT EAGLE
appeared to pose:
Late in the evening, on a "This property belongs to R Raman" board (the "this" is visible!)...an
ORIENTAL MAGPIE ROBIN
A few final sightings included this beautiful
and as we were leaving Water Woods, the extremely expensive resort where we stayed, we watched for a while, and saw this baby
snug in its nest, peeping out curiously, and fearlessly!
Here's the bird, mammals and others list:
Bee-Eater, Small Green
Buzzard, Oriental Honey
Cuckoo, Common Hawk
Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed
Flycatcher, White browed Fantail
Eagle, Crested Serpent
Hornbill, Indian Grey
Hornbill, Malbar Pied
Parrot, Vernal Hanging
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Plover, Little Ringed
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Warbler, Blyth's Reed
Warblers, un id
Squirrel, Malabar Giant
Reptiles and Amphibians
Bush Brown, 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”!)
More detailed photographs on my Facebook album,