Valley School, 050113, Saturday

January 5, 2013

My first birding outing of 2013….

050113 vs sunrise

This morning, 11 of us went to the Valley School, off Kanakapura Road...and as usual, the Valley did not disappoint us! After the MCS (Mandatory Chai Stop) while we were waiting for one of the two Nitins in our group, we proceeded to the Valley/Kanakapura Road junction, and began our birding. Yes, we concentrated on the birds. I noted some butterflies in passing, that's all. rsy strlng 050113 vs Rosy Pastors on the wire A Greater Coucal opened our innings, walking boldly along the newly-constructed crossroad. We were stopped in our tracks by two Palash (Flame of the Forest) trees in full bloom, which were, as usual, bird magnets. The road to the Valley also yielded Grey Francolins, scurrying off amidst the harvested fields, some Bushlarks fluttering up into the sky to sing and fall back like autumn leaves....we finally managed to park and enter the campus, for which I had obtained permission. grp chai 050113 vs Group having chai Orioles, Flowerpeckers, Drongos, and a Hoopoe....we went on to the almost-dried-up pond, and found several waterfowl there. A juvenile Brahminy Kite (which we thought was a Honey Buzzard...we didn't notice the head carefully!) fished in the water, as did two Ashy Drongos...drongo behaviour that I had not seen before. All this kept us at the pond, while the sun's just not been feeling like a Bangalore winter at all. egrts 050113 vs INTERMEDIATE AND LITTLE EGRETS grebes 050113 vs LITTLE GREBES grebes bnw 050113 vs LITTLE GREBES IN B'N'W p b flwrpkr 050113 vs PALE-BILLED FLOWERPECKER trying to gobble the fruit of the Singapore Cherry...whole! The highlight of the day, perhaps, was a BLUE-BEARDED BEE-EATER: bbb eater 050113 vs but all the Flycatchers were a delight to watch, too. I was afraid that all the group could not see the first Tickell's Blue...but the birds, with their sweet song, obliged, and everyone got to see their beauty. The Fantails, the Asian Paradise, the Asian Brown....the bamboo grove is truly Flycatcher territory. gldn orle 050113 vs GOLDEN ORIOLE palm rflct bnw 050113 vs Reflection of Date Palms At one point, we saw four Oriental Honey Buzzards soaring overhead, and I hope someone got the shot, because I was too busy just gaping upwards! kite clrs 050113 vs Installation with paper kites for a Mela in the Valley School in the afternoon. As we ended the trail, Mr and Mrs Small Minivet, and Mr and Mrs Great Tit, obliged us by appearing the Jacaranda trees near us. I called it Sitting Birding...and mindful of the toilets near us, Vinay re-named it Smell Birding. We certainly weren't complaining, though. We sighted a QUETZAL: quetzal 050113 vs ccts flwr 050113 vs and a JAGUAR on our way home: jgr 050113 vs The beauty of a cactus flower Most of us stopped over at Udupi Banashree for breakfast, and then dispersed, happy with our morning. Birds: Avadavat, Red Babbler, Jungle Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, White-cheeked Bee-eater, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Small Green Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul, Red-whiskered Bushchat, Pied Bushlark, Indian Bushlark, Jerdon's Buzzard, Oriental Honey Cormorant, Little Coucal, Greater Crow, House Crow, Large-billed Dove, Laughing Dove, Spotted Drongo, Ashy Drongo, Black Egret, Cattle Egret, Intermediate Egret, Little Falcon, Amur (well, OK, that was to see if you were paying attention!) Flowerpecker, Pale-billed Flycatcher, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail Francolin, Grey Grebe, Little Heron, Indian Pond Hoopoe, Common Junglefowl, Grey Kingfisher, White-throated Kite, Black Kite, Brahminy Koel, Asian Lapwing, Red-wattled Leafbird, Golden-fronted Minivet, Small Moorhen, Common Munia, White-rumped Myna, Common Myna, Jungle Oriole, Eurasian Golden Parakeet, Rose-ringed Pigeon, Blue Rock Pipit, Paddyfield Prinia, Ashy Robin, Indian Robin, Oriental Magpie Sandpiper, Green Starling, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Rosy Sunbird, Purple Sunbird, Purple-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swamphen, Purple Swift, Asian Palm Tailorbird, Common Tit, Great Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White-browed Warbler, Blyth's Leaf Warbler, Booted Warbler, Tickell's Leaf Waterhen, White-breasted White-eye, Oriental Butterflies Blues, Various Castor, Common Emigrant, Common Emigrant, Mottled Gull, Common Jay, Common Jezebel,Common Crimson-tip, White Orange-tip, White Orange-tip, Yellow Pioneer Psyche Rose, Common Rose, Crimson Tiger, Glassy Tiger, Plain Wanderer, Common Yellow, Spotless Grass Yellow, Three-spot pnstia 050113 vs Poinsettia flowers

Here are my SMS (Shamelessly Mediocre Shots) at

Here’s everyone except Ganesh, heads down, checking their shots, this is called “chimping”!

chimping 050113 vs

Tomorrow, by popular vote…back to the Bannerghatta Zoo area…everyone who sees this in time, and would like to come along, is welcome! Departure from Shoppers’ Stop at 6 am.