Bannerghatta Zoo area, 051115

November 6, 2015

Email to the bngbirds egroup:

After a fairly long gap, I went (with Prayut Mandal, Rajesh Reddy, and Srinath Reddy)


to the zoo area. Prayut is from Jabalpur, and this was his first birding trip in Bangalore. He proved to be knowledgeable about butterflies, too, and we had fun observing and clicking.

As usual, it was a colourful experience!


The Blues (Ok, you want scientific terms? Polyommatinae) were particularly beautiful, settling down and opening up their wings in the morning sunshine. Of course there were several other colours, too,and we looked and observation is that the only thing morevfrustrating than bird photography is butterfly photography. Prayut had been very sceptical when I mentioned the zoo area, and I hoped to able to show him how one can bird fact, as it turned out, it was 4 hours after we started birding that we entered the actual zoo premises! We went around the rock pond and orchard area behind the parking lot, IMG_0104 where a Bay-backed Shrike, IMG_0106 several Yellow-eyed Babblers, IMG_0129 a singing-its-heart-out Jerdon's Bushlark IMG_0200 and even a couple of Red Avadavats rewarded us. A Rock Bush Quail was a fairly rare sighting. We then entered the ticketed area, where I was happy to introduce them to my Flycatcher Avenue. True to the name I've accorded it, it provided sightings of five Flycatchers...Asian Brown, Asian Paradise, IMG_0252 Grey-headed Canary, Tickell's Blue, and White-browed Fantail. Small Minivets, some Barbets, and the lone Blue-bearded Bee-eater that's seen now, were also sources of delight. We watched a Small Blue Kingfisher at the Kingfisher pond; IMG_0262 the boating at the pond IMG_0264 seemed to be in a slump as it was a weekday, and the boating costs Rs. 60 over and above the zoo entry ticket, which itself is Rs 80 for adults. I must say the zoo seems to have sharply increased the rates! The butterflies all around us were great to watch too. In the early morning sunshine, we were happy to see so many Blues (you want scientific terms? Polyommatinae!) IMG_0224 Common Cerulean IMG_0196 Wanderer on Bougainvillea IMG_0259 Bush Brown IMG_0270 Common Leopard IMG_0238 In between visiting the two areas, we had some tasty thattE iddli IMG_0209 at a small eatery opposite the BMTC bus terminus, and went into the zoo area, if not fully fortified, at least quite thirtified. We then entered the actual zoo via the rear gate, looking at some superb architecture: IMG_0277 and it was the usual mixed feelings, as we watched a young female elephant practically dancing, swaying with the joy of life, with flowers scattered over her head, and threshing some grass to eat, for good measure. It was obvious that this zoo-born young lady was a happy animal indeed. It seemed as if she was using her leg chains like anklets! IMG_0285 However, I still could not bear to look at creatures like leopards, macaws, and eagle owls held in cages far too small for them, and we walked rather quickly through. The night-heron IMG_0296 feasting on the fish meant for the Caymans, IMG_0287 and the jungle crows which mobbed it off and called more of their own to the feast, entertained us for a bit. IMG_0298 The Paradise Flycatcher that is resident in the bamboo thicket near the hippo enclosure just showed himself but was not around long enough for anyone to click. We realized when we came out, that we'd still not birded in the Butterfly Park area, and it was already noon! Reluctantly, we turned our steps back to the parking lot, and drove back home, looking at visitors from other States IMG_0305 and feeling happy about the morning's outing. I also enjoyed clicking slices of life. This sugar-cane juice machine had been worshipped on Ayudha Puja day: IMG_0214 Laundry was being passed across the wall of the Zoo, for some reason: IMG_0266 This couple held their creation between them: IMG_0275 This man, in charge of boating, took advantage of the lull to enjoy some music: IMG_0267 I have put up the eBird checklist here and my SMS are on my FB album here

So, the moral of the story is, never go on a birding/nature outing with the idea of coming back early!

Cheers, Deepa.