Manchanabele and Savandurga, UGS outing,060915

September 9, 2015

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We were a baker’s dozen as we set out to see what we could see in these beautiful “outskirts” of our city. This was a farewell outing, as avid birder Sajid Yunus is moving to Mumbai.


We approached Manchanabele Dam with many stops on the way, and were at the reservoir on the side opposite from the army encampment. There were enough birds to keep us all busy, and since photography was also on the agenda, we clicked away happily. Some early migrants, such as the Rosy Starling, made us happy that the migratory season seems to have already begun.Discussion over raptor ids was inevitable.(Most often: "What's that in the air?...oh...Black Kite.") We watched Munias in the reeds, Baya Weavers busily building homes. IMG_5025 Larks on wires, IMG_4840 a Leafbird eating a grasshopper.. IMG_4837 .and so the list went. Small birds and large, colourful ones IMG_4878 and little nondescript ones; IMG_4923 loud ones and quiet ones;beaks, shapes, feet of all types various behaviours...we never knew how the time flew. Ashy Prinia IMG_4807 Jungle Prinia IMG_4924 Purple-rumped Sunbird IMG_4821 Black (Red-naped) Ibis: IMG_4844 Jerdon's Leafbird IMG_4830 Stopping at various places,we then headed towards Savandurga, going through the State Forest. The highlights were watching a group of Egyptian Vultures "falling" off a steep, high rock pile, in an awesome landscape; here, let me give the series of photos, zooming into to the high pile of rocks where the Vultures were sitting: IMG_4967 You can just see the dots on the rock pile (it was Prem who spotted them!) IMG_4966 IMG_4973 IMG_4975 IMG_4974 and a magnificient Black Eagle flying along the sheer rock face, its shadow chasing on the rock, while it looked for prey. IMG_5045 The birds blessed us this day, in more ways than one! IMG_5041 The butterflies were also out in big numbers, IMG_4854 IMG_5054 IMG_5068 IMG_4788 IMG_4781 IMG_4882 and if there had been some experts, I think my list would have been even longer. I also looked at many wildflowers, IMG_4983 IMG_4996 IMG_4910 IMG_4971 IMG_4897 spiders IMG_4786 Giant Wood Spider female: IMG_5076 Insects... Grasshopper IMG_5085 Horseflies IMG_4907 Dragonflies IMG_4942 Water skaters IMG_5058 Plants IMG_5038 Pink Lotus: IMG_5010 Leo otis (Lion's Ear) IMG_5062 some reptiles like this Garden Lizard IMG_5070 tiny amphibians IMG_4948 One of us photographed a Black-naped Hare, and some of us saw a mongoose, too. Another mammal was getting ready to drive off: IMG_5089 The scenery was magnificient, too, IMG_5074 IMG_5030 Paddy fields IMG_5013 Manchanabele Reservoir IMG_4935 Savandurga IMG_4982 Ancient temple IMG_5043 Shiva and Parvathi look down on us from a more recent temple IMG_4995 Beautiful (but probably leaky) tiles on a house IMG_4993 Old pillars in the water, indicating the level of water IMG_4997 and the weather, never more than a little warm, allowed us to spend the day without tiring too much. One thing I notice these days is that all the local people seem to have turned into helpful experts! So many people offered us tips on where to go ( "Al hogi, sir, thumba chennagide" or "alli thumba paksigalu idde" or "alli photo-kke best spot"!). A group of boys hectoring us to contribute for Ganesh puja, several days away, was one of the less pleasant things...but when we shared our binoculars with them, and showed them some of the birds that we were watching, as well as our photographs, their slightly belligerent attitude completely changed, and they told us, "Vaapas banni, and we will take you to more beautiful places!" A couple of chai stops IMG_4762 IMG_4989 and the huge array of snacks that we shared IMG_4888 managed to keep us going, IMG_4916 and it was only after I reached home that a few of us had a brunner...a combination of breakfast, lunch and dinner! That was how busy Naure kept us throughout. A very memorable and enjoyable day...I cannot think of a better way to bid adieu to a nature-loving friend! The Manchanabele checklist is on eBird at and the Savanadurga checklist is at (both prepared by Soham Sinha, age 7) The butterfly list: Arab, Salmon Baronet Blue. Gram Blue, Tiny Grass Bush Brown, un id Cerulean, Common Coster, Tawny Crow, Common Crow, Double-banded Emigrant, Common Emigrant, Mottled Four-ring, Common Gull,Common Jewel, Grass Jezebel, Common Leopard, Common Mormon, Common Orange-tip, Great Orange-tip,Yellow Orange-tip, White Pansy, Blue Pansy, Chocolate Pansy, Lemon Pierrot, Common Pioneer Psyche Tiger, Blue Tiger, Plain Tiger, Striped Rose, Common Rose, Crimson Yellow. Common Grass Yellow, Three-spot Grass Wanderer, Common My FB album of the day is at

Looking forward to more outings as Shishir Ritu continues!


Cheers, Deepa.