Nandi Hills trip, 200315

March 20, 2015

Email to bngbirds egroup:


When Kiran Kashyap suddenly called and asked if I would like to join in for a trip to Nandi Hills, I must admit, I was very ambivalent. I’d just had cataract surgery in both eyes a week ago, and was still in the process of putting in various eye-drops (sorry, in today’s world, i-drops!) every couple of hours…should I go or not? In the event, I decided that if I couldn’t see much, I could at least enjoy the beauty of Nandi Hills…so off I went with Kiran, Guru, and Manju.

And wow....I was so glad I did! Beginning the Indian Blue Robin at the "leaking pipe" site near Tipu's summer lodge (I hope they never repair it!) , and going on to the spectrum of Thrushes and Robins in the nursery area, it was just a rain of birds. The Asian Paradise Flycatchers, too, were there in white and rufous glory, ribboning their tails to and fro. I got one changing from rufous to white! IMG_5312 Babblers, both Puff-throated and Tawny-bellied, walked in and around the flowerpots, tantalizing us. The Nilgiri Wood Pigeons IMG_5266 and the Pied Thrushes, IMG_5337 which we normally look for near the Akashganga, all appeared as if on cue, for us. It was only the knowledge that the masala dosa counter at the top of the hill closes by 9.30 that made us tear ourselves away. The Auricaria cookii tree near Nehru Nilaya yielded the Red-breasted Flycatcher, and Olive-backed Pipits in the lawns nearby. We sighted many Ashy Drongos, but only a single Black Drongo.(No, don't ask me if it was married!) Apart from the birds, the trees were wonderful, too. The beautiful figs of Ficus drupacea, Ficus drupacea IMG_5291 the different greens of the leaves; IMG_5357 the Jacaranda and the Tabebuia aurea flowers carpeting the ground with purple and gold... IMG_5271 even the fresh copper-sheen leaves on the mango IMG_5332 and the peepal trees were such a visual treat. IMG_5262 The nursery area was soothing to the eye, IMG_5281 with the golden morning sunlight falling on so many flowers. We saw the loving care that the staff lavish on the gardens in the Nehru Nilaya. IMG_5280 It was lovely to have the place practically to ourselves, for a change; the weekday, and the fact that we are in the middle of the 'exam season', contributed to the general peace and quiet. I would not like to visit Nandi Hills a couple of weekends from now, I must admit! I must repeat my query...have there been any sightings of Owls or Owlets from Nandi Hills? I've never seen one...yet. I am sorry...I couldn't clearly see the butterflies, but I did see a few flitting around; I've included the very basic list. Amphibians: Pond Terrapin IMG_5371 Birds: Babbler, Puff-throated Babbler, Tawny-bellied Bulbul, Red-whiskered IMG_5293 Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, White-cheeked Blackbird, Indian IMG_5278 Bushchat, Pied Crow, House Crow, Long-billed Dove, Spotted Dove, Laughing Drongo, Ashy IMG_5308 Drongo, Black Flowerpecker, Pale-billed Flycatcher, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Verditer Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail Honey-buzzard, Oriental Iora. Common Kite, Black Kite, Black-winged Kite, Brahminy Koel, Asian Leafbird, Jerdon's Myna, Common Myna, Jungle Parakeet, Rose-ringed Pigeon, Blue Rock Pigeon, Nilgiri Wood Pipit, Olive-backed Prinia, Ashy Robin, Indian Blue IMG_5287 Robin, Oriental Magpie Shikra Sparrow, House Sunbird, Purple Sunbird, Purple-rumped Swift, Asian Palm Tailorbird, Common Thrush, Blue Rock IMG_5364 (female) Thrush, Blue-capped Rock IMG_5325 Thrush, Orange-headed Ground Thrush, Pied Wagtail, Grey Warbler, Booted Warbler, Greenish Leaf Warbler, Tickell's Leaf Warbler, Un id White-eye, Oriental The list is on eBird at Butterflies: Crow, Common Eggfly, Danaid Emigrant, Mottled Jezebel, Common Pierrot, Common Rose, Common Rose, Crimson Tiger, Dark Blue Mammals: Macaque, Bonnet IMG_5309 IMG_5354 Squirrel, Three-striped Palm IMG_5315

Here are Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, enjoying the birds:


My drops-in-the-eyes shots are on my FB album,

click here

I enjoyed the outing to Nandi Hills…here’s a view from the top.