Email to bngbirds egroup:
I decided on Gulakmale as a birding destination as I have not been there for a long while now, for Saturday, the 27th December, 2014, and it proved to be a very good decision. The group this time was a small one, consisting of Chandan, Gayatri, Job, Mani, Prem and myself.
We took the Bannerghatta-Kaggalipura Road route, and though initially, it was rather quiet, we did start off our birding "accounts" with a sighting of a female Kestrel, which usually targets the pigeons that sit on the Ai Matha temple that is at the beginning of the road.
Black Kites building a "powerful" nest.
We fanned out at Gulakmale kere,
noticing that much of the scrub land facing the kere has been cleared and is now a budding residential layout, as is happening at many other places, including Turahalli.
The lake was not full, but there was enough water for fishers, divers and waders...and we were very happy to watch the different methods of getting bird-breakfast. Surprisingly, we did not see any Coots or Grebes...or any ducks, not even the more common Spot-billed ones. Many Asian Openbills were present,
and we observed that different parts of the kere seemed to be earmarked for different birds...the Openbills in one area, the Cormorants in another, and the Brahminy and Common Kites floated in the air above, occasionally swooping down with varying degrees of success. Two Pied Kingfishers,
too, seemed to have divided up the water into two parts to fish in, and it was a delight to see them hovering intently and then suddenly zooming vertically into the water.
Two varieties of Sandpiper, and some Little Ringed Plovers, wandered along the water's edge, as did one Yellow Wagtail.
When we had looked (and clicked) to our hearts' content, we went further down the road, to the Thottikallu Falls (TK Falls) area,
and walked from the end of the road, past the Thottikallu Muniswara temple
(where the blood of sacrificed chickens was still staining the granite flagstones).
Warblers, a Flameback, and Paradise Flycatchers rewarded us, amongst other birds. Some raptors sightings, and the resultant debate on id's, kept us busy...and happy. A Grey Wagtail played Narcissus at the edge of the water.
While we were certainly not "tick-birding", a species count of 80+ at the end of the outing was indeed satisfying!
The stream is very sparse at this time of the year, and some beautiful, bright green algae decorated the stones near the temple.
It was sad to see the area so full of trash. Why must temple rituals now mean the thoughtless littering of the place? Cleanliness is definitely not next to godliness in our country.
The third Sunday of January will of course, be the non-competitive (and still fun to me!) Bangalore Bird Race. But if I am to volunteer for the February 3rd Sunday outing, I'll be glad to go with everyone to Gulakmale!
Many thanks to Praveen J and Amith Kumar who invariably help with the id'ing, especially when our descriptions and shots may not be very clear!
My photos from the trip are on my FB album at
Next up, a very enjoyable plant, tree and insect walk which some of us did in the Arikere Reserve Forest this morning (Sunday, 28th Dec 2014), with everyone, from Ganesh and Janani, to 6-year old Pranav, chipping in with information! I am hoping that the egroup continuesto be fordescribing all kinds of nature trails and not just birds :D
Eagle, Short-toed Snake
Flycatcher, Asian Brown
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail
Francolin, Grey (heard)
Heron, Indian Pond
Hoopoe, Indian (Prem)
Lark, Ashy-crowned Sparro
Martin, Dusky Crag
Oriole, Eurasian Golden
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Plover, Little Ringed
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Swift, House (?)
Warbler, Blyth's Reed
Warbler, Clamorous Reed
Warbler, Greenish Leaf
Yellow, Three-spot Grass
Let me close with this sylvan image of Thottikallu Falls: