Kaggalipura, Bannur and Harohalli kere, 06 and 070216

February 10, 2016

Having realized that the Bar-headed Geese, our winter visitors from When we birders realized that the

Bar-headed Geese

(click on the bird’s name to see my blogpost from last year)

which visit us each year (flying over the Himalaya, all the way from Mongolia!)are here,


we decided to go and try our luck at Kaggalipura Kere, in Mysore Taluk (near Somnathpura). On the first day, it was a group of 13, and the next day, I went with friends who could not make it the previous day…we were 6 in all.


Part of the group on Saturday, watching the geese.

It is always nice to meet friends and spend time at the bar. Why was Kaggalipura Kere a bar? Because.... if these are Bar-headed Geese, and they've arrived at their destination, then that place is obviously a bar! The kere is a large waterbody, and on the other side of the lake bund are both fields under cultivation, and a water canal snaking its way through the landscape. In this respect, my friend Prem Prakash Garg pointed out to me, the place is similar to Hadinaru Kere, near Nanjangud, where we had seen the birds last time. When we reached the bund of the kere, there were no birds to be seen, and we hung around, hoping that a longer trip to Nugu (where the geese have been sighted) would not be necessary. Our hopes were justified. These geese, from my limited experience of their arrival, both in Hadinaru Kere and here, should be renamed the "9 o'clock " Geese! Just my watch clicked over to 9.03, a group of them arrived, floating down overhead, and settled down on the lake after a few spectacular aerobatics, sometimes. They were then followed by others, first in groups, and in ones and twos. On Saturday the 6th, we also saw several birds flying out to some unknown destination, westwards. We then titled the incoming birds "andar-headed geese" and the outgoing ones, "baahar-headed geese". IMG_8524 The number of birds floating around on the water, occasionally taking a sip, or more likely tucking their heads into their wings to have a nap, approximated 100. On the 7th, they kept coming in till 11am...they numbered 600+ (I used the 10-bird unit form of estimate, and it was easy to add as the birds arrived.) On the 7th, we paid a return visit in the afternoon, and found that the birds were dotted all over the lake. Perhaps fewer in numbers, but it was hard to make a count. On the lake, and on the other side of road, we also got several other birds...Indian Grey Hornbills, IMG_8934 warblers, a Blue-faced Malkoha, IMG_8982 Red-naped Ibis, IMG_9039 and other woodland birds. IMG_8956 (White or Black-headed Ibis, also called "Sacred" Ibis in Africa.) A Brahminy Kite, on the 7th, took its large fish across the road to the harvested field, sat on it with its feathers spread across the fish, hiding it. Only after fifteen minutes did it start feeding, when it ensured that there would be no competition for the food. IMG_8950 I've not seen this kind of "hiding" behaviour before...this will be a separate blogpost! We enjoyed several other things too, like a pair of mongoose playing in the haystacks: IMG_8578 Blooming waterlilies, with pollinators: IMG_9001 IMG_8474 (Purple Heron in Eucalyptus) IMG_8469 (Woolly-necked Stork) On both days, Bannur Kere was also a dream come true. A large lake with good quality of water, hardly any trash (this might change as a recreation area is being built on one side, and a road leading to it is being laid.) Pelicans, Eurasian Wigeons, IMG_9051 Whiskered Terns, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, IMG_9002 Little Ringed Plovers, and the usual gang of waterfowl suspects...how lovely to watch three kinds of Kingfishers working the water at once! Peaceful was the word to describe this beautiful spot. IMG_8929 (Short-toed Snake Eagle with nesting material) On the second visit, when I found that the Wigeons had flown off to the far end of the lake, I sat under the huge Peepal tree, IMG_9067 enjoying the cool breeze off the water, watching two Pied Kingfishers mate, soaking in the serenity. Three young boys frolicked in the water. Truly, this was an example of humans being one with Nature. In all innocence, the youngsters jumped in, IMG_9088 splashed, IMG_9092 pulled each other out of the water... IMG_9085 without disturbing the birds which were at a distance. We wound up on each day with a look at Harohalli kere in the evening, where we found Garganeys, Lesser Whistling Ducks, IMG_9245 Jacanas, Purple Herons, IMG_9210 and other fowl. Of course, the edge of the lake, abutting the kere was foul...with trash of all kinds. The contrast with Bannur kere could not be more pronounced. We came home tired but with our eyes, hearts (and memory cards) full! I have put up photos from the first day's visit, here and from the second day, here Birders: 6th Feb: Aravind, Harish, Honnegowda, Mallika, Nitin, Mansi, Manjula, Pavitrakumar, Prem, Raghavendra, Sharmila, Shilpa, and I. IMG_8612 IMG_8370 7th Feb: Anuradha, Mohit, Devadatha, Raghunath, Tarachand and I. IMG_9220 Here are the lists on eBird, meticulously made by Mohit on the 7th. The list from SH209 (Southern Highway) are here and here Kaggalipura kere list Bannur kere list Harohalli kere list

Let me close with two more images..


(Painted Stork)