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
BAMBOO TREE BROWN
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
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.
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...
and here's one!
It was an attractive "waterfowl"scape:
(this one's a juvenile) flew around, perched,
preyed, and ate.
was perhaps all that was left from many more earlier in the season.
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.
I was as thrilled with the quite common
as I was with a not-frequent sighting of the
INDIAN SPOTTED EAGLE:
Ok,that merits one more photo, you can see the nictitating membrane in the bird's eye, here:
While we looked at the bird, the bird looked at us!
I wandered along the bank of the kere,looking for other birds, and this Warbler played hide-and-seek with me!
Even when I got it, it refused to look at me.
Then I caught it...this is not a stretch of the imagination!
and finally, after twenty minutes of patient tracking...
was making a shake-and-stake meal of a grasshopper:
Unexpectedly, along the reeds of the kere, I saw several
RED AVADAVATS (this one is a female)
We saw all three frequently-seen Kingfishers. The
had decided to go to pot!
(which I call the Small Blue, it's no longer as common as it was)
was a sapphire treasure:
(I didn't get any of the Pied Kingfisher)
rocked the scene:
foraged in the shallows:
did their diving antics for food.
was pestering its parent for food, though it seemed quite grown-up to me!
They were a beautiful study in "back and front"!
As we left, a
sang us a goodbye song...
seemed to wink at us, too.
in a Neem tree flew off.
Ruma took Soham back to the car when he got peckish. He was an enthusiastic birder, and knows
many of the birds' names!
A stand of Datura (the fruit is very poisonous, and yet it is grown as an ornamental in the US!) looked beautiful.
I watched some ants herding
How often does one find one's name graven in stone (well, cement,at least!)?
We visited Debashis Das and his wife on the way home, and in their 8th floor balcony, some
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,