What I wrote to my birding egroup yesterday...

September 24, 2011

We’ve been discussing all sorts of birding here, but today I had the first-ever experience of post-birding birding.

I had gone to the Bannerghatta area to meet a few people. On the way into the JLR property, I had both sighted and heard the Greenish Leaf Warbler (probably the same bird-person who said hello to MBK first)....that was my first migrant of the year! OK, OK, Suhel-of-Migrant-Watch, I promise to be good and report all sightings faithfully this year. On the evening trail, we spotted several birds, big and small. Tthe JLR vehicle ended my birding inside the campus by picking me up (I had to leave before the gates shut for the evening). While on the trail, the others had seen a Crested Serpent Eagle lifting off from a nearby tree. I hadn't seen it. I asked the driver to drop me off just outside the Herbivore Safari gate, and I was walking around the two small lake/ponds (one was completely algae-covered now.). I spotted a few Great Tits in the trees around the water, a couple of Pond Herons hunkering patiently over the water, a Pied Kingfisher and his Small Blue cousin looking alertly into the water, with those beaks that mean business. In the bamboo thicket, a Large Cuckoo-shrike looked at me and flew off. We'd already seen a couple of Ashy Drongos inside, but a few more made their appearance along with a Black Drongo...I've not, previously, seen these two birds together. A few Don't-Ask-Me-What-They-Are Warblers made their appearance in the Lantana thickets. And then, the Crested Serpent Eagle...I think it was the very same one!....sailed right across my path, and went and sat on a tree at the corner of the Algae Pond...naturally, when I was diagonally opposite. I wanted to rush over, but a couple of Grey Francolins inside the Herbivore enclosure distracted me, so I was a little tardy, and of course, the insulted Eagle took off while I was still a fair distance away.This is my first sighting of a Serpent Eagle in the Zoo area. I then walked into the open area in front of the JLR Hill View restaurant...and was treated to the sight of several Scaly-breasted Munias, and Indian Silverbills. A Pied Bushchat sat upon a wire and looked down perkily at me, and an Indian Robin pair went around on their worm-gathering business, tails alertly up. House Swifts wheeled overhead, as did Red-rumped Swallows. A Brahminy Kite (why is it OK to call this bird a Brahminy Kite if it is not OK to call another one a Pariah Kite?) and its (Black,Pariah, or insert your own perjorative qualifier here) Kite cousins soared overhead. A couple of Ioras flew out, and a Golden-fronted Leafbird decided to colour my evening's birding. A Flameback called, and then started pecking at wood, too. A Koel started gurgling its liquid notes, preparatory to its usual plaintive call. A Tickell's Blue Flycatcher appeared in its usual place near the railings. I was by this time reeling with it all. The Red-vented and Red-whiskered Bulbuls, and the White-cheeked and Coppersmith Barbets, made a re-appearance. Egrets flew overhead, and I heard the call of the Peafowl (probably from within the Zoo, but I am not sure.) The Laughing and the Spotted Dove hopped around.A few Small Green Bee-eaters flew in their usual hyperbolic flight pattern catching insects in the air. Finally, the unmistakable pigeon-head of an Oriental Honey Buzzard flew past....and I finally went to the bus terminus to catch my bus home...and was greeted by the sight of two Mongoose near the fence. All these birds in the twenty minutes that I spent walking from the Herbivore Safari gate to the bus terminus...and the migratory bird season isn't even here properly! What a wonderful place the Bannerghatta Zoo area is...one never has to set foot in the zoo itself! So...that's my post-birding birding...can you blame me for planning to go back there early tomorrow morning? PS...I did go with three friends to the same place this morning, and had a wonderful time again! Photos of yesterday, on Facebook, here and today's photos, here