Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hesarghatta, Bangalore Savannah

From a very long time I wanted to visit this place. I was told it was the best place to find and photograph raptors. It is also the only grassland around Bangalore.

Last week​ I made all the plans and arrangements to visit this place. It was decided to start early on saturday and reach the place by 6AM. It's a 35KM drive from my house. I was a little skeptical about going alone as there were reports of mugging around this area but decided to go ahead with the plan.

On Saturday morning I woke up at 4.40AM. Took my Hyabusa(Suzuki Access 125 ;-)) and started my trip. Immediately after 2-3 kms I regretted of not carrying the Jacket, it was pretty cold. I started from J.P Nagar took the outer ring road(Via Devegowda petrol bunk and Nagarbhavi). Once I reached Tumkur road I took a left. At 8'th mile stopped for quick coffee and started again. Took a right towards Hesarghatta and kept driving. Locals around the area helped me with the directions.

At 6PM reached the Hesarghatta lake. I was dissapointed to see one of the largest lakes dried up. On enquiring with locals, I was told it has been in the same state for almost 15 years. Only during rains you will see some water. It's a pity to see such a large in that state. I was able to see some Kites, Red Wattled Lapwings around the lake.

Instead of spending time near the lake I decided to head towards the grassland. According the map I was supposed to head towards Adarsh Film Institiute. I started driving towards the institute and found some good birding sites which I would visit on my way back.
Immediately after reaching Adarsha and Karnataka Film insititutes I took a right. There it was bangalore's version of "Savannah Grassland", It was majestic sight. The only problem was with the tree sapplings which were sown by our BDA. They wanted to convert this grassland into a forest. Thankfully lot of NGO's fought against it and prevenetd BDA planting these trees. I'm still worried to see so many tree saplings there.

Once I started goind ahead I saw lot of Yellow wattled lapwings which was quite a sight:-) My only prior sighting of this bird was in Anjanapura layout. Seeing so many of them in one location made my day. I was also able to see lot of birds in the area which I have listed below.

While driving around I observed few small birds walking along with these yellow wattled lapwings, that is when I realised these are juveniles. They were beautiful, making high pitch noises from their small little beaks. It was great to see them. As I drove along I saw lot of these chicks, it's the breeding season for lapwings. For some reason these yellow wattled lapwings were quiet. They did not get too worked up with my presence. Took some good shots of these Yellow wattled lapwings.

At 8AM I started seeing lot of 4 wheelers around the area. On asking the people I was told there was a film shoot(Shivrajkumar movie) scheduled in the area. The shooting was happeing at the same exact area where I saw the lapwings. The director was screaming in his mike, I could hear his voice wherever I went. I could see it was disturbing the birds around. They had moved from the area. Even I decided to leave the place and head towards the lake.
On the way I took a detour towards a small forest area to see if I can find some interesting activity there. And I was correct to take the detour. I spotted a Black Shouldered Kite gorging on his morning kill(Some rodent). He was perching on an open tree, I was able to take some good shots. Not distrubing him too much I decided to move-on.

Near the film insitute I saw lot of yellow billed Babblers crossing the road. I stopped my bike and started photographing. Couple of White Browed bulbuls decided to join the party along with Red whiskered bulbuls. Also spotted a white cheeked barbet perching on top of a huge tree.

After a small break I headed towards the lake. On reaching the lake I immediately saw couple of Red Wattled lapwings. One on the right side of the road and the other on the left. Took some shots and when I tried to get a little closer they flew away but not too far. I stopped my bike and decided to shoot some birds around the area. Seeing my presence around the lake the lapwings seemed to be a little agitated. They kept flying above my head and they kept making these alarming calls all the while. That is when I realised I should be closer to their nest. Even a Black kite started hovering around the area. I did not want to disturb their nest hence moved to the opposite side of the lake where I saw lot of sparrows and bushlarks feeding. I got some good shots of the birds.

In the middle of the lake these politicians had installed this huge shaamiyaana and lot of chairs had been kept. At around 10.30AM I started hearing these announcements in the mike. They were announcing that government had sanctioned few lakhs to restore the lake. I just hope they use this money for restoring the lake than increasing their bank balances.

I walked around the lake for another hour and then started my way back to home. It was an amazing outing. I will never forget the sight of seeing those Yellow Wattled Lapwings with their chicks. I should return to this place again this winter when one can expect some raptors.

Google Maps Co-Ordinates for the location : 13.163235,77.488976

List of Birds/animals found :

1. Bushlark
2. Pipit
3. Black Kite
4. Black Shouldered Kite
5. Red Wattled Lapwing
6. Yellow Wattled Lapwing
7. Mr and Mrs Robin
8. Oriental Robin
9. White Browed Wagtail
10. Common Tailorbird
11. Red Whiskered Bulbul
12. White Browed Bulbul
13. Purple sunbird
14. Purple Rumped sunbird
15. Babbler
16. Barbet
17. Sparrows
18. Shikra
19. Tickells flowerpecker
20. Ashy Prinia
21. Jungle Prinia
22. Pond Heron
23. Rat Snake
24. Parakeet
25. Rock Agama
26. Spotted Dove
27. Laughing Dove
28. Rufous-Tailed Lark
29. Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark

1 comment:

  1. Really your post was really helpfull to me ,When we saw br hills forest,we scared so much..while journey .....But it was very different and interesting experience of life.Its feel me like i m the member of the village...Food ...were very tasty Br hills Resorts