Muthanallur Lake Morning of the Booted Eagle, 221115

November 25, 2015

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A few of us took advantage of a slight break in the rain to go to Muthanallur kere.

MCS(Mandatory Chai Stop)at Purple Point: IMG_1251

At the lake:

L to R: Arun, Anvitha, Kumar, Megha, Thomas, Raghavendra, Arpita, Vignesh, Raghunath



Though we had quite a variety of sightings, such as this Common Sandpiper, IMG_1371 we did missing seeing any but the usual Spot-billed Ducks on the water. Watching the cormorants fishing, IMG_1266 and the kites, too, I felt it was heartening to see so many Brahminy Kites with juveniles,soaring along the waters and overhead. Chestnut-tailed Starlings IMG_1294 treated us to a small show of murmuration, and settled down in several Eucalyptus trees. Drongos swooped and hawked insects in the air. As we walked along the banks of the lake, several woodland birds also delighted us, and some warbler visitors had us arguing about their names. But more than anything else,it was Booted Eagle day! We saw them at different points on the lake, in both dark and pale morphs, sitting on various tall trees. I have not, before this, seen Booted Eagles upon a perch; and for several of the group, it was a lifer. Can you see the Booted Eagle? IMG_1261 Here it is, at half-zoom IMG_1263 Closer still: IMG_1260 Was Arpita stumped for bird names? I don't think so! IMG_1372 A group of Black-headed Ibis flew overhead, making a Japanese painting in the sky. IMG_1375 Thanks to the drizzling rain, there were hardly any butterflies; I noticed only the Common Four-ring, and some Grass Yellows. I was glad my "buttering" friends had not come along! However, we did watch several Giant Wood Spiders IMG_1298 at their webs, and it was especially riveting to see one GWS lady gently pick a eucalyptus leaf that had become entangled in her web, and drop it to the ground. IMG_1296 Good Housekeeping at its best! Lynx spiders with their egg-sacs, IMG_1312 oothecas of other insects, IMG_1319 grasshoppers, small snails, IMG_1280 Jewel bugs, IMG_1326 and tiny frogs, IMG_1276 kept us occupied as we walked. Raindrops lay on the webs in diamond festoons, IMG_1284 and jewelled up the very blades of grass. A skein of Bar-headed Geese, sighted overhead, as we were returning to the car, made the day for all of us, especially for Vignesh, for whom it was a lifer. It's all very well to talk poetically about the bejewelled blades of grass, but the rain had also turned the paths to slush, and I joked that this was Coorg, because we were in "muddy kere". We squished along as best we could, and were caked with mud up to at least our knees in a while. The mud had a way of catching at one's shoe, and the next step would involve pulling out of the mud and squelching down one's foot again! At one point, the sole of Megha's shoe came right off, and as she carried it back, IMG_1323 I teased her about keeping body and sole together. Mushrooms of many everywhere, and we wondered if we could take some home to our kitchens...but our ignorance was too much to take a risk! IMG_1346 IMG_1335 IMG_1337 IMG_1299 IMG_1270 IMG_1274 I enjoyed seeing the majestic girth of the Mahua tree that Ajit Ampalakkad showed me. I'm looking forward to seeing it flower in season! There was no sign of the Peregrine falcon, but a Tawny Eagle, quickly sighted at the beginning, a Shikra, a Honey Buzzard, the Kites, and of course, the Booted Eagles, kept our raptor quotient at a satisfactory level. On the way back, we saw a calf that had just been born, wet and unsteady on its feet,seeking its first meal, while the mother licked it lovingly. A delightful sight! IMG_1395 We looked at the fields of millet IMG_1396 and raagi IMG_1397 as we left. I've put up my SMS on my FB album here and the eBird list, put up by Anvitha Rao, is here WE finished by about 9.30am but it was too late to join the Kaikondrahalli Kere outing and so dispersed after having enjoyed a pleasant morning with good friends.

Climbing Nightshade: