Email to bngbirds Nandi Hills, 070214

February 7, 2014

Kamal Hari Menon was kind enough to take me along to Nandi Hills, and it turned out to be an awe-inspiring morning, on so many different levels.

The magical sunrise, and the golden light of dawn, painting the sky in purples and reds, and the land and trees in god.

A Crested Serpent Eagle, all fluffed up, in the huge Eucalyptus trees on the way up.

The beautiful vistas from the hill top, still shrouded in the mists of the night.

The almost immediate sighting of most of the Usual Gang of Suspects of Nandi betta.

The sight of a Shikra chasing a Pied Thrush. (We do not know the end result.)

The sight of four Pied Thrushes, together, moving around in the trees.

The sight of five or six Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, fluttering their way through the trees.

The green light through the majestic trees, reminding us of the Neralu Tree Festival and the ongoing need to protect these silent, patient beings.

Several kinds of Flycatchers, and a stint watching a Tickell’s Blue and, later, an Asian Paradise, foraging on the ground.

A newborn Bonnet Macaque,being inspected carefully by its mother and “aunt”.

Meeting other birders, also on their own quests.

Two Booted Eagles, swooping over Nehru Nilaya on their way to the thermals over the valley beyond the Yoga Nandiswara temple.

The calm that prevails in Nandi betta on a weekday morning!

Hearing two Pittas calling loudly to each other, and glimpsing one very briefly.

The sheer incredulity of realizing that it was 11am! Where had five hours gone?

If I was not already living in a place handy for Bannerghatta, I would be sorely tempted to invest in one of those “hill view” developments happening at the base of Nandi betta! Between ghatta and betta, we have a wealth of birds here….!

I’ve put up the pictures on my FB album


I will be uploading short videos of the Puff-throated Babbler, the Wood Pigeon, and the Tickell's Blue Flycatcher...soon. A short video of the adult macaques, with the newborn baby is already posted. Birds: Babbler, Puff-throated Babbler, Tawny-bellied Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, White-cheeked Crow, House Crow, Jungle Cuckoo, Common Hawk Dove, Spotted Eagle, Booted Eagle, Crested Serpent Flowerpecker, Pale-billed Flycatcher, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Verditer Drongo, Ashy Drongo, Black Kite, Black Kite, Brahminy Myna, Common Myna, Jungle Pigeon, Blue Rock Pigeon, Nilgiri Wood Pipit, Paddyfield Pipit, Tree Pitta, Indian Robin, Indian Blue Robin, Oriental Magpie Shikra Spurfowl, Red (a first for me at this place) Sunbird, Purple Sunbird, Purple-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow,Red-rumped Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Blue-capped Rock Thrush, Orange-headed Thrush, Pied Wagtail, Grey Warbler, Booted Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Un id White-eye, Oriental I'm sorry, I hardly noticed any butterflies...they started getting active only as we left, thanks to the cold and not very bright day.

I have a query…what are the sightings of Owls, Owlets and Woodpeckers from the slopes of the betta? I’ve seen the Spotted Owlets near Nandi Restaurant at the beginning of the road leading to Nandi Hills, but never sighted these birds on the betta.

Is anyone else apart from Kiran Baagade and me taking part in the Manipal Bird Day? I’m sure there must be plenty of people….would be nice to know!