Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Birding at TG Halli

Last weekend I thought of going to Savandurga but because of some reasons had to abandon it. Instead I went to checkout the TG Halli lake again.

The drive was very pleasant. This time there was only a single boat in the lake. Not many people around. Even the waterbirds were very less. All I saw was few Egrets, One painted stork, few sandpipers and Little ringed plover. But the best thing was there were lot of swallows. I got to get some good shots of the swallows. They look like red rumped swallow.

Also I saw another sandpiper which i'm not sure of the ID. Any help with the ID will be greatly appreciated. It looks like Terek Sandpiper though but not sure.

And I got to see my first Male Kestrel here. But could not get good photographs him. Same case with Yellow wagtails, they flew away before I could lift my camera. I took too much time in getting their details correct.

When walking through the thick Eucalyptus vegetation one bird flew away which looked like Grey Francoling but I'm not sure of it though.

All in all a good outing in the morning.

                                                                    Plain Prinia

                                                                        Brahminy Kite

                                                                      Paddyfield Pippit

                                                                       Common Kestrel(Male)

                                                                      Swallow Family

                                                                  Terek Sandpipers?

                                                                     Little Ringed Plovers

                                                                  Common Sandpiper

                                             This temple gets submerged during rainy season

                                                                  Grey Breasted Prinia

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Birding at Hesarghatta

After lot of deliberation I decided to visit Hesrghatta lake for birding. Have been planning to go in December but decided to visit it this weekend on suggestion from one of IMW members.

I was told there was a sighting of a European roller and I was told it wont stay for long. So I decided to give a visit. I had already visited this place once but never photographed any raptors.

Woke up at around 4:30 and started at around 5AM from my house. The place is around 50+ kms from my house. It was lot of driving hence started a little early than normal. Drove non stop till I reached the lake bed. On reaching the light was still bad. I parked my bike near a small pond which had good water. While walking along the edge of the lake a Sandpiper flew right across me and landed at the far end of the pond. After a while a second sandpiper joined. But they did not stay there for long since people started coming. They were Common Sandpipers.

I saw few cars started going inside the lakebed. I had never gone deep into the lakebed. I followed them. On the way I spotted the European Roller. My first sighting of this bird which has been categorised as "Vulnerable" now. It was beautiful. I kept my distance and took few shots. They were not good but I did not want to get close and scare away the bird. I saw the bird coming to the ground couple of times to catch something. I moved on from there.

After driving a little deep I saw few cars chasing couple of birds. I did not know what they were chasing. I parked my bike and started walking. By the time I reaced there the raptors were gone except for a Common Kestrel. This guy was amazing and posing for us. I got few good shots of the bird. After this all the cars moved on. I was still around trying to photograph Oriental lark and Cisticola.

When I turned around I saw couple of birds at a distance. On my first look at one of the birds I knew it was a Egyptian Vulture and the other one was a Juvenile. It was my first sighting. I was so happy to see this one. I always wanted to see a Egyptian vulture. I could not beleive my luck, European roller and Egyptian Vulture on the same day Amazing. I wanted to take some pictures of the vultures and started walking very slowly towards the birds. I started crawling on the ground very slowly without revealing myself. When I got close enough I tried to take some photographs when 5 cars came zipping by and got too close to the bird. It flew away.

I don't know what make these people to get so close to these birds in their cars. They are kind of destroying the Hesarghatta Habitat. You can see car tracks everywhere. These people they dont use the proper road instead they drive through the grass. Its really sad. There were atleast 10 cars going around the lake trying to find these elusive raptors. Apart from Kestrel other raptors looked uneasy.

For my luck there were a group of people who were photographing a European roller. I joined them to get some good shots. We stood behind the car and took some shots without disturbing the bird.

I also got a chance to get some good photographs of Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark and some other birds which I could not ID. I also photographed a Pied Cuckoo. Was happy to see this bird.

Co-Ordinates to the location : 13.159809,77.48889

List of Bird's seed during the outing.

1. Sandpiper (2)
2. Black Kite
3. Brahminy Kite
4. Black Shouldered Kite
5. Common Kestrel
6. Indian Roller
7. European Roller(Only one bird)
8. Pond Heron
9. Red Wattled Lapwing
10. Egyptian Vulture(Female and Juvenile)
11. Black Drongo
12. Pied Cuckoo
13. Large Grey Babbler
14. Yellow Billed Babbler
15. Zitting Cisticola
16. Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark
17. Oriental Skylark
18. Paddyfield Pippit
19. Common Myna
20. Common crow
21. Bay Backed Shrike
22. Long tailed Shrike
23. Baya Weaver
24. Indian Robin
25. Pied Bushchat
26. House Swift
27. Red Rumped Swallow
28. Silver bill
29. Purple Rumped Sunbird
30. Green Bea Eater
31. Ashy Prinia
32. Plain Prinia
33. Cattle Egret

                                                                 Baya Weaver(Male)

                                                                   Oriental Lark

                                                                   Common Kestrel

                                                                 Egyptian Vulture(Juvenile)

                                                                 Egyptian Vulture(Adult)

                                                                   Zitting Cisticola?

                                                                   Oritental Skylark

                                                          Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark

                                                                    Oriental Skylark

                                                    Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark(Female)

                                         Cars Crowding birds to take photograph of European Roller

                                                                       Black Drongo

                                                          High key shot of Kestrel

                                                                        Pied Cuckoo

                                                                   Baybacked Shirke

                                                                Siberian Stonechat(Female)

                                                                    European Roller
                                                                   Common Kestrel

                                                                                Siberian Stonechat(Male)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Birding at TG Halli Reservoir

Another weekend and another new destination planned for Birding. This time I wanted to go to some new place which was good for. watching Waders. So I decided to visit TG halli reservoir. I had heard it has good number of birds.

I did not know the route. Thanks to a fellow INW member who helped me with the route. Take a left at Magadi Road and and have to reach Naganalli. Its a water catchment area for the reservoir. I reached the place around 6AM. Its a beautiful lake which can be visited by a family for a picnic.

When I reached the place I could already see people fishing in the lake. There were few fishermen around. Apart from them no one in the vicinity. Lot of birds were flying around. Lot of storks, Openbills, ducks and Sandpipers.

After lot of crawling I could get some good shots of sandpipers and little ringed plovers. After sometime fishermen came to the shore with their catch. One Brahminy Kite was intelligent enough to wait for the right time to steal a fish. I got some good shots of the brahminy kite which was enjoying its steal:-)

After sometime I spotted another raptor and this time it was a "kestrel". My first sighting of this guy. Had to run around this who was giving me tough time for photographing. At the end I did manage to get some good shots of this guy. Then it was time for my first sighting of a Grey Bellied Drongo. I have seen Black Drongo and Ashy Drongo earlier. This fellow was good enough to give me couple of poses. But because of light constraint I could not get a good photo.

After taking some paces I saw some wagtails in the area. On closer inspection they turned out to be Yellow Wagtails(Corrected by bng_birds group member). The winter visiors for Bangalore. There were around 6 of them. While taking photographs of this a Oriental Skylark(Again corrected by bng_birds group member) was checking me out. I turned my attention to him and this guy gave me first good shot of a lark.

I saw a White Eyed Buzzard close by. This guy was very shy but I somehow managed to get a photo which could be used to ID the bird.

It was already 9AM and I was wondering how I haven't heard or seen a single lapwing. This is one bird which I see in every outing. And suddenly I heard a call. And by the time it was 10:30AM I could see atleast 20 Red wattled Lapwings in the area.

When I was photographing Sandpipers I saw another guy who was wagging is tail a lot. On closer inspection I Id'ed him as White wagtail. Another new sighting for me. I was very happy to see this guy. You can see White Browed Wagtail everywhere but seeing Yellow and White Wagtail on the same day was amazing result for a single day.

Hope to visit this place again sometime in Novemeber/December.

List of bird's found during the trip.

1. Black Ibis
2. Black Headed Ibis
3. Painted Stork
4. Asian Openbill Stork
5. Eurasian Spoonbil
6. Pond Heron
7. Grey Heron
8. White Browed Wagtail
9. Yellow Wagtail
10. White Wagtail(Amur Wagtail)
11. Rivern Tern
12. Black Kite
13. Brahminy Kite
14. Little Egret
15. Cattle Egret
16. Large Egret
17. Little Cormorant
18. Grey Bellied Drongo
19. Bushchat
20. Indian Robin
21. Green Bea Eater
22. Wire Tailed Swift
23. House Swift
24. Common Crow
25. Jungle Crow
26. Spot Billed Duck
27. Red Wattled Lapwing
28. Pippit
29. Oriental skylark
30. Common Myna
31. Common Sandpiper
32. Indian Roller
33. Zitting Cisticola
34. Lesser Whistling Duck
35. Common Kestrel
36. Little Ringed Plover
37. Red Rumped Swallow
38. Rufous Tailed Lark
39. White Eyed Buzzard
40. Green Sandpiper
41. Little Stint
42. Indian Spotted Eagle

Co-Ordinates to the place : 12.975453,77.347784

                                                        Eurasian Spoonbill


                                                                  Grey Heron
                                                                Storks and Ibis

                                                            Storks, Ibis and Openbill

                                                                   Painted Storks                                                               

                                                                  Common Sandpiper

                                                               Little Ringed Plover

                                                                 Brahminy Kite

                                                                      Oriental Skylark

                                                                    Indian Spotted Eagle

                                                                Common Kestrel

                                                                Spot Billed Duck

                                                                        White Eyed Buzzard

                                                               White Browed Wagtail


                                                                            Little Stinit

                                                                     Green Sandpiper
                                                                    White Wagtail

                                                                       Citrine Wagtail?
                                                                     Yellow Wagtail

                                                                   Pond Heron

                                                                         Pied Kingfisher

                                                              Grey Bellied Drongo

                                                                    Red Wattled Lapwing

                                                                       River Tern

                                                                  Common Tailorbird

                                                                      Jewel Bug

                                                                    Rufous Tailed Lark