Gulakmale/Thottikallu trip, 281214

December 28, 2014

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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. IMG_7972 Black Kites building a "powerful" nest. IMG_7981 We fanned out at Gulakmale kere, IMG_8033 IMG_7992 IMG_7999 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. IMG_8108 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, IMG_7993 IMG_8000 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, IMG_8015 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. IMG_8060 IMG_8080 Two varieties of Sandpiper, and some Little Ringed Plovers, wandered along the water's edge, as did one Yellow Wagtail. IMG_8092 When we had looked (and clicked) to our hearts' content, we went further down the road, to the Thottikallu Falls (TK Falls) area, IMG_8125 and walked from the end of the road, past the Thottikallu Muniswara temple IMG_8129 (where the blood of sacrificed chickens was still staining the granite flagstones). IMG_8155 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. IMG_8171 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. IMG_8177 IMG_8128 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. IMG_8143 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 Cheers, Deepa. ​ Birds: ​​Avadavat, Red Babbler, Jungle Babbler, Yellow-billed Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, White-cheeked Bee-eater, Green IMG_8182 Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul, Red-whiskered Bulbul, White-browed Bushchat, Pied Bushlark, Indian IMG_8059 Bushlark, Jerdon's Cisticola, Zitting Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Indian Cormorant, Little IMG_8148 Coucal, Greater Crow, House Crow, Jungle Dove, Laughing Dove, Spotted Drongo, Ashy Drongo, Black Drongo, White-bellied IMG_8139 ​Eagle, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Tawny Egret, Cattle Egret, Intermediate IMG_8038 Egret, Little Egret, Great Flameback, Black-rumped Flowerpecker, Pale-billed Flycatcher, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail Francolin, Grey (heard) Heron, Grey Heron, Indian Pond Heron, Purple Honey-buzzard, Oriental Hoopoe, Indian (Prem) Iora, Common Kestrel, Common Kingfisher, Pied IMG_8035 Kingfisher, White-throated Kite, Black Kite, Brahminy IMG_8048 Koel, Asian Lark, Ashy-crowned Sparro Leafbird, Golden-fronted Martin, Dusky Crag Minivet, Small Munia, Tricoloured Myna, Common Myna, Jungle Openbill, Asian Oriole, Black-hooded Oriole, Black-naped Oriole, Eurasian Golden Parakeet, Rose-ringed Pigeon, Blue Rock Pipit, Paddyfield Plover, Little Ringed IMG_8085 IMG_8029 Prinia, Ashy Robin, Indian IMG_8127 Robin, Oriental Magpie Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Wood ​Shrike, Bay-backed Shrike, Long-tailed IMG_8124 Silverbill, Indian Sparrow, House Sunbird, Purple Sunbird, Purple-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Wire-tailed Swift, House (?) Tailorbird, Common Tern, River IMG_8021 Tit, Great Wagtail, Grey IMG_8171 Wagtail, White-browed Wagtail, Yellow IMG_8092 Warbler, Blyth's Reed Warbler, Booted Warbler, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Greenish Leaf Waterhen, White-breasted Woodswallow, Ashy Butterflies: Blues, Various Castor, Common Cerulean, Common Coster, Tawny Emigrant, Common Four-ring, Common Gull, Common Jezebel, Common Orange-tip, White Orange-tip, Yellow Pioneer Rose, Common Rose, Crimson Tiger, Plain Wanderer, Indian Yellow, Three-spot Grass IMG_8149

Let me close with this sylvan image of Thottikallu Falls: