Bannerghatta zoo area, and in the Zoo 301212

December 31, 2012


I generally do not like to go to the Zoo,as it depresses me to see animals in captivity….particularly those which, a few metres away, are free in the wild.

However, in Bannerghatta, the Forest Department is almost finished with the task of making most of the areas that were common earlier, into walled, ticketed areas that birders/nature lovers like us cannot access any more.

The path that led to Jungle Lodges Hill View restaurant from the “quarry pond” next to the Butterfly Park was walled up some time ago; now, when Naveen and Rashmi Toppo,Rohan Kunte, and I visited this morning, we found that the path just opposite the Butterfly Park, which was the new access to JLR, is also walled up, and a sliding gate being erected, to include the space in the Herbivore Safari. This means that morning nature-trail people’s access to what I have dubbed “Flycatcher Avenue”, and “KIngfisher Pond” (near the present Herbivore Safari gate) are completely cut off. The only way we can gain access is after 9.30am, when the Zoo ticket gates open.By this time, the bird activity would effectively have died down.

Is there any way in which we can contact the Karnataka Forest Department, and ask for some special ticketing whereby we can pay (we don’t in the least mind that) and enter the area at 6 to 6.30am, which is the time we normally do the nature trail? The present arrangement cuts off our access completely, and it’s not fun to enter at 9.30am along with large crowds of tourists, when there may not be much bird activity…and we are not really interested in visiting the Zoo.

Or….wait…I’ll come to this later.

Another problem is that the parking lot of the Zoo area also does not open in the morning, until 9.30am. We then park on the side road. When we return, we are harassed for no fault of ours, and though there is no one to collect parking charges in the morning, we are made to pay the charges as we exit. If we are to pay the parking charges, why should we not be allowed to park in the proper car park?

As far as visiting the Zoo goes….

Today, I realized that our only way to access my favourite areas were to buy tickets and enter. Luckily for us, it was already 9.30am, so we bought tickets and entered the Zoo first,before the crowds did..and we were richly rewarded. We did not pay much attention to the animals in captivity (except looking at the Hippos, which were bellowing away for some reason)….but the amount of birds we saw in the Zoo campus staggered us. We then walked along Flycatcher Avenue and went around the Kingfisher Pond…and it was Flycatcher Fiesta, with several of them deciding to sit and pose for us! Also, for the first time, I saw a Sandpiper at the Kingfisher pond, in spite of the boating being organized there, and a huge water fountain spouting water into the air.

I have put up my photos on a Facebook album at

I was very lucky to meet Rohan Kunte, who’d read my blog posts on Bannerghatta and decided to visit! We all had a marvellous time!


Babbler, Jungle Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, White-cheeked Bee-Eater, Small Green Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul, Red-whiskered Bulbul, White-browed Bushchat, Pied Bushlark, Indian Bushlark, Jerdon’s Buzzard, Oriental Honey Cisticola, Zitting Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Little Coucal, Greater Crow, House Crow, Large-billed Cuckoo, Common Hawk Dove, Laughing Dove, Spotted Drongo, Ashy Drongo, Black Egret, Cattle Egret, Intermediate Egret, Little Flameback, Black-rumped Flowerpecker, Pale-billed Flycatcher, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue Francolin, Grey (heard) Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Grey Heron, Indian Pond Iora, Common Kingfisher, Small Blue Kingfisher, White-throated Kite, Black Kite, Brahminy Koel, Asian Lapwing, Red-wattled Lark, Rufous-tailed Leafbird, Golden-fronted Martin, Asian House Minivet, Small Munia, Scaly-breasted Munia, White-rumped Myna, Common Myna, Jungle Owlet, Spotted Parakeet, Rose-ringed Pigeon, Blue-rock Pipit, Paddyfield Prinia, Ashy Prinia, Plain Robin, Indian Robin, Oriental Magpie Roller, Indian Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Green Starling, Brahminy Starling, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Rosy Sunbird, Purple Sunbird, Purple-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Wire-tailed Swift, Asian Palm Tailorbird, Common Tit, Great Treepie, Rufous Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White-browed Warbler, Booted Warbler, Greenish Leaf White-eye, Oriental


Blues, Various Emigrant, Common Emigrant, Mottled Gull, Common Jezebel, Common Lime, Common Mormon, Common Orange-tip, White Pansy, Chocolate Pansy, Lemon Pioneer Psyche Rose, Common Rose, Crimson Wanderer, Common Yellow, Common Grass Yellow, Three-spot Grass Yellow, Spotless

The birds were so abundant today that I really did not concentrate on the insects or butterflies…and there were several that I could neither photograph, nor sketch, nor identify.

A big thank you to Naveen and Rashmi, and to Rohan, for a wonderful morning-up-to-afternoon trail, with great chai breaks (made by Rashmi), and the delicious masal dosa at Mayura Dose Camp!

Having been out of town and not on the internet, I am guilty of not having posted my plans on Facebook as usual….I missed each and every one of my friends, and wished they were with us on this productive outing!

Cheers, Deepa.