Hoskote Kere (Lake),071214

December 10, 2014

Since Snehasis could not join our group for Skandagiri on the 6th, I wanted to take him to a birding spot that he had not visited before.


As I went down the stairs, I saw this dead


dead on the landing, and photographed it:


I then dropped it respectfully in the mud of a pot downstairs, little knowing that Rohit Girotra would want me to hunt for it the next day, as he wanted a dead butterfly for his collection, and didn’t want to kill one like many others did. Alas, I could not find it!

Snehasis, Ruma and little Soham picked me up, and we headed out to Hoskote Lake.


In a residential layout close to the lake, we began our birding with this PADDYFIELD PIPIT: IMG_6693 We came to the lake, and I found this raptor hiding in the reeds, and looking down into the water to see if it could get some breakfast...either fish or waterfowl. IMG_6698 I have not seen this behaviour by raptors before! I thought that they soar on thermals, and swoop down on prey that they spot from above. Egrets were there in plenty... IMG_6866 and here's one! IMG_6702 It was an attractive "waterfowl"scape: IMG_6704 BRAHMINY KITES (this one's a juvenile) flew around, perched, IMG_6712 preyed, and ate. IMG_6716 Hungry Bird! A lone SPOT-BILLED PELICAN was perhaps all that was left from many more earlier in the season. IMG_6724 We were also fortunate enough to meet several other birders, some of whom I knew, some of whom I was meeting face-to-face for the first time. IMG_6740 I was as thrilled with the quite common BLACK DRONGO IMG_6742 as I was with a not-frequent sighting of the INDIAN SPOTTED EAGLE: IMG_6745 Ok,that merits one more photo, you can see the nictitating membrane in the bird's eye, here: IMG_6746 While we looked at the bird, the bird looked at us! IMG_6748 I wandered along the bank of the kere,looking for other birds, and this Warbler played hide-and-seek with me! IMG_6755 Even when I got it, it refused to look at me. IMG_6765 Then I caught it...this is not a stretch of the imagination! IMG_6773 and finally, after twenty minutes of patient tracking... IMG_6776 Meanwhile, a RED-VENTED BULBUL was making a shake-and-stake meal of a grasshopper: IMG_6789 Unexpectedly, along the reeds of the kere, I saw several RED AVADAVATS (this one is a female) IMG_6795 We saw all three frequently-seen Kingfishers. The WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER had decided to go to pot! IMG_6800 The COMMON KINGFISHER (which I call the Small Blue, it's no longer as common as it was) was a sapphire treasure: IMG_6835 IMG_6828 IMG_6833 (I didn't get any of the Pied Kingfisher) These RED-WHISKERED BULBULS rocked the scene: IMG_6809 A COMMON SANDPIPER foraged in the shallows: IMG_6816 GREAT CORMORANTS did their diving antics for food. IMG_6823 One RED-RUMPED SWALLOW was pestering its parent for food, though it seemed quite grown-up to me! IMG_6857 They were a beautiful study in "back and front"! IMG_6861 As we left, a JERDON'S BUSHLARK sang us a goodbye song... IMG_6870 a BROWN SHRIKE seemed to wink at us, too. IMG_6872 and a BLACK KITE in a Neem tree flew off. IMG_6882 Ruma took Soham back to the car when he got peckish. He was an enthusiastic birder, and knows many of the birds' names! IMG_6750 A stand of Datura (the fruit is very poisonous, and yet it is grown as an ornamental in the US!) looked beautiful. IMG_6764 I watched some ants herding PLANT HOPPERS IMG_6850 How often does one find one's name graven in stone (well, cement,at least!)? IMG_6763 We visited Debashis Das and his wife on the way home, and in their 8th floor balcony, some SCALY-BREASTED MUNIAS were nesting! IMG_6883 IMG_6887 This was a real thrill for me, how I wish I could have birds nesting in my home!

Finally, we turned our back on the birds, and came home to breakfast.


They turned their back on us, too…and a beautiful sight they make, from any angle!


More photos on my FB album,