Harley Estates, Sakleshpur, Karnataka, 24,25,260414

May 1, 2014

Amith, Deepak, Sachin and I went to do a bird census for some friends, on their coffee estate in Sakleshpur. I must say, I didn’t expect such a dream list of birds at the end of April!


Signboards to various places.

The estate is about 450 acres, so, the best of our ability, we divided it into four quadrants and tried to cover one during each outing.

What a difference between a tea and a coffee plantation! Tea plants need the sun, so no other trees are grown; but since coffee needs to grow in shade, a coffee plantation has a variety of trees, and majestic trees are the rule rather than the exception. It was wonderful to see so many spices, beverages, and condiments…pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, coffee, cocoa…all growing together. What a magical region the Western Ghats are!

The fact that the estate had both a small pond and a running stream, even in summer, made for sighting of many more bird species. And perhaps thanks to the elevation, we found many of the migrants still around.



Deepak, checking the map with Mr Dicky, the manager, to decide on the next place to go birding in:


Another check: DSC03274 On the birding trail: DSC03433 Deepak, Sachin, Mr Dicky, and Amith: DSC03298 Stream and bamboo thicket: DSC03402 DSC03356 A tiny frog: DSC03364 Damselfly: DSC03408 Common Crow on Latana: DSC03481 Blue Tiger on Lantana: DSC03447 Moth: DSC03382 Palm beetle (not the Arecanut farmer's best friend): DSC03374 Magical hills... DSC03592 DSC03581 "Magizham Poo": DSC03464 Tiny wildflower. DSC03590 Datura (the fruit of this plant is very poisonous, but it's used as an ornamental) DSC03543 One of the coffee growing areas on the estate, and the year of planting. DSC03582 Plantation workers streaming in to work at day-break. DSC03577 Mayflower (Gul Mohar) in full bloom on our way to Sakleshpur: DSC03212 Wild Jasmine: DSC03313 Un id wildflower: DSC03309 Beautiful new leaves: DSC03308 Un id plant. DSC03579 Waterlilies at Harley Estate. DSC03576 Hibiscus DSC03575 Confederate Rose: DSC03542 Un id Wildflower: DSC03531 Bay leaf : DSC03527 Lures set out to trap Coffee-berry borers, which destroy the coffee crop: DSC03504 Coffee-berry Borers caught in the lure: DSC03505 Red-vented Bulbul back! DSC03574 Red-vented Bulbul front! DSC03573 Asian Fairy Bluebird: DSC03553 Jungle Myna: DSC03327 Scarlet Minivet: DSC03546 Syke's Lark: DSC03197 Chestnut-headed Bee-eater: DSC03336 Dusky Crag Martin: DSC03391 DSC03234 Laundry gets done the old-fashioned way, with a washing stone, at Harley Estates. DSC03594 Deepak and Shravan. DSC03565 Four-poster bed at Harley Estate: DSC03275 Beautiful antique mirror at Harley Estate: DSC03386 House dating from 1959 at Sakleshpur: DSC03216



Enjoying watermelons and sugarcane juice in the summer heat:


DSC03610 We stopped at this restaurant, named after the imaginary town created by R K Narayan,for an afternoon snack.

The estate census list is compiled by Deepak, and below that is the list I compiled, of the birds we saw on the drive to and from Sakleshpur. Any mistakes are mine.

On a non-birding note, Sakleshpur seems to have some great eating places, and we enjoyed some excellent akki roti!


Consolidated bird list at the coffee plantation:

Gray Junglefowl - Gallus sonneratii Indian Peafowl - Pavo cristatus Asian Openbill - Anastomus oscitans Little Cormorant - Phalacrocorax niger Intermediate Egret - Mesophoyx intermedia Little Egret - Egretta garzetta Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis Indian Pond Heron - Ardeola grayii Oriental Honey-buzzard - Pernis ptilorhynchus Crested Serpent-Eagle - Spilornis cheela Crested Goshawk - Accipiter trivirgatus Shikra - Accipiter badius Brahminy Kite - Haliastur indus White-breasted Waterhen - Amaurornis phoenicurus Rock Pigeon - Columba livia Spotted Dove - Streptopelia chinensis Emerald Dove - Chalcophaps indica Gray-fronted Green-Pigeon - Treron affinis Banded Bay Cuckoo - Cacomantis sonneratii Southern Coucal - Centropus sinensis Little Swift - Apus affinis Asian Palm-Swift - Cypsiurus balasiensis White-throated Kingfisher - Halcyon smyrnensis Chestnut-headed Bee-eater - Merops leschenaulti Malabar Gray Hornbill - Ocyceros griseus White-cheeked Barbet - Megalaima viridis Malabar Barbet - Megalaima malabarica Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker - Dendrocopos nanus White-bellied Woodpecker - Dryocopus javensis Lesser Yellownape - Picus chlorolophus Common Flameback - Dinopium javanense Black-rumped Flameback - Dinopium benghalense Greater Flameback - Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus Heart-spotted Woodpecker - Hemicircus canente Plum-headed Parakeet - Psittacula cyanocephala Malabar Parakeet - Psittacula columboides Vernal Hanging-Parrot - Loriculus vernalis Malabar Woodshrike - Tephrodornis sylvicola Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike - Hemipus picatus Ashy Woodswallow - Artamus fuscus Common Iora - Aegithina tiphia Small Minivet - Pericrocotus cinnamomeus Orange Minivet - Pericrocotus flammeus Large Cuckooshrike - Coracina macei Black-headed Cuckooshrike - Lalage melanoptera Brown Shrike - Lanius cristatus Indian Golden Oriole - Oriolus kundoo Ashy Drongo - Dicrurus leucophaeus Bronzed Drongo - Dicrurus aeneus Spangled Drongo - Dicrurus hottentottus Greater Racket-tailed Drongo - Dicrurus paradiseus Black-naped Monarch - Hypothymis azurea Rufous Treepie - Dendrocitta vagabunda White-bellied Treepie - Dendrocitta leucogastra Large-billed Crow - Corvus macrorhynchos Dusky Crag-Martin - Ptyonoprogne concolor Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica Red-rumped Swallow - Cecropis daurica Black-lored Tit - Parus xanthogenys Velvet-fronted Nuthatch - Sitta frontalis Flame-throated Bulbul - Pycnonotus gularis Red-vented Bulbul - Pycnonotus cafer Red-whiskered Bulbul - Pycnonotus jocosus Yellow-browed Bulbul - Iole indica Square-tailed Bulbul - Hypsipetes ganeesa Greenish Warbler - Phylloscopus trochiloides Common Tailorbird - Orthotomus sutorius Oriental White-eye - Zosterops palpebrosus Dark-fronted Babbler - Rhopocichla atriceps Indian Scimitar-Babbler - Pomatorhinus horsfieldii Puff-throated Babbler - Pellorneum ruficeps Brown-cheeked Fulvetta - Alcippe poioicephala Rufous Babbler - Turdoides subrufa Jungle Babbler - Turdoides striata Asian Fairy-bluebird - Irena puella Oriental Magpie-Robin - Copsychus saularis White-rumped Shama - Copsychus malabaricus Tickell’s Blue-Flycatcher - Cyornis tickelliae Malabar Whistling-Thrush - Myophonus horsfieldii Orange-headed Thrush - Geokichla citrina Southern Hill Myna - Gracula indica Jungle Myna - Acridotheres fuscus Common Myna - Acridotheres tristis Malabar Starling - Sturnia blythii Golden-fronted Leafbird - Chloropsis aurifrons Nilgiri Flowerpecker - Dicaeum concolor Purple-rumped Sunbird - Leptocoma zeylonica Crimson-backed Sunbird - Leptocoma minima Loten’s Sunbird - Cinnyris lotenius Little Spiderhunter - Arachnothera longirostra White-browed Wagtail - Motacilla madaraspatensis House Sparrow - Passer domesticus

​Here​’s the bird list for the journey to and from Bangalore to Sakleshpur:

Babbler, Jungle Babbler, Rufous Babbler, Yellow-billed Bushcat, Pied Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, White-cheeked Bee-eater, Small Green Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul, Red-whiskered Coot, Common, Cormorant, Little Coucal, Southern Crow,House Crow, Jungle Dove, Spotted Drongo, Black Duck, Spot-billed Egret, Cattle Egret, Intermediat​e​ Flameback, Black-rumped Flowerpecker, Pale-billed Heron, Grey Heron, Indian Pond Heron, Purple Hoopoe, Common Ibis, Black-headed Iora, Common Jacana, Bronze-winged Kingfisher, White-throated Kite,Black Kite,Brahminy Lapwing, Red-watt​l​ed Lark, Syke’s Martin, Dusky Crag Moorhen, Common Myna, Common Myna, Jungle Openbill, Asian Owl, Rock Eagle Parakeet, Rose-ringed Pigeon, Blue Rock Prinia, Ashy Pygmy-Goose, Cotton Robin, Indian Robin, Oriental Magpie Roller, Indian Shrike, Brown Shrike, Long-tailed Sparrow, House Starling, Brahminy Starling, Chestnut-tailed Stork, Painted Sunbird, Purple Sunbird, Purple-rumped Swallow, Red-rumped Swamphen, Purple Swift, Asian Palm Tailorbird, Common Tit, Great Treepie, Rufous Treepie, White-bellied Wagtail, White-browed Wagtail, Yellow Warbler, Booted Waterhen, White-breasted Whistling-Duck, Lesser White-eye, Oriental Woodswallow, Ashy

Butterfly List:

Blue, Various Bush Brown, Common Bush Brown, Glad-eye Castor, Common Crow, Common Crow, Double-banded Coster, Tawny Damselflies, Various Dragonflies, Various Emigrant, Common Jezebel, Common Rose, Common Skipper, Indian Tiger, Plain Tiger, Striped Wanderer. Common Yellow, Common Grass Yellow, ​Three-spot ​ Grass


Macaque, Bonnet Mongoose, Ruddy


Agama, Peninsular Rock Bullfrog Indian Frog, un id, Fejarvarya sp. Snake, Rat

​My photos (er, mixed bag, don’t look if you only want birds!) are on my FB albums at





Hope you enjoyed the e-trip! ​