Monday, November 25, 2013

Trip to Galibore

This weekend we visited Galibore which was on my wishlist for sometime now. Raghu and Dhulipala had joined me for this trip. Ajit was busy hence he could not join us for the trip.

Thanks to Sanotsh for suggesting the route to be taken for Galibore. The road condition was good and promising birding route.

Dhulipala picked me up at 5AM and then we picked up Raghu from his house. The plan was to cross Kanakpura by 6. It was very pleasant drive in the morning. Once we crossed Kanakpura we decided to stop near one of the fields and do birding around that area. It looked very promising.

We spotted lot of Baya weavers and Babblers around. But we were joyed to see couple of Pied Cuckoo's in the area. We tried to get some good photographs but in vain. But it was good to see these birds. In the same area we saw couple of Blue Faced Malkoha's. A lone chestnut Headed Starling was seen along with a bay backed shrike.

Not in talking terms;-)

Baya Weaver

Scaly Breasted Munia(Juv)

Chestnut Headed Starling
Next Raghu spotted a raptor flying not too high. We got down to check the bird and it turned out to be a Pallid Harrier. It's my first sighting of this fellow. After giving a brief glimpse he flew away. After driving for a short while we came across a lake where we were hoping to see our wintering friends. We were surprised not to see any of the wintering ducks. All we could see were couple of Grebe. We also saw common sandpiper and a Greenshank. Few greater cormorants were there along with a lone Oriental Darter. Before we started took some photographs of Yellow Billed Babblers.


Oriental Darter

Yellow Billed Babbler

Scaly Breasted Munia

Long Tailed Shrike

Greater Cormorant
Our next stop was to photograph few very co-operating Green Bea-eaters. And just when we were wondering about European Bea-eaters we saw few of them sitting on a wire. We could not believe our luck. None of us had seen these beautiful birds. It was very nice to see these very colorful birds. It was flock of about 15-20 birds.


Green Bea Eater

European Bea Eater
Next we stopped at sangama to have our breakfast. We did not spend lot of time here. We decided to head towards Galibore.

And then we stopped after hearing a flamebacks call. While we tried to photograph him a spotted owl decided to show itself. We also spotted an oriole and a Rufuous Treepie here.


Spotted Owlet

Next we stopped to see a flameback again instead our attention was driven towards a Common Hawk Cuckoo which was seen along with the babbler family. This fellow was moving with the babbler flock. Maybe he was following his foster parents.

Common Hawk Cuckoo
After lunch we headed towards the river bank to try our luck with Pratincoles. None of us had seen these beautiful little birds. We saw few birds flying around and Raghu pointed to those birds and yelled Pratincoles. Since the wing had a black color I thought this might be something different. And when we took a closer look we realised they were indeed Pratincoles. There were atleast 10-15 of them basking on the rock. We also saw couple of river terns fishing and we saw one of them diving and catching a fish.

Grey Heron

Striated Heron

River Tern

Small Pratincole

Rufuous Treepie

White Browed Wagtail

White Browed Wagtail

It was already 3 and we decided to headback. We thought of taking the route of Muthathi but after crossing Galibore we saw the road was in very bad condition. So we decided to take the sangama route again. And on our way we stopped to see a Hoopoe and suddenly an Indian fox caught our attention. He vanished into the forest before we could get a good look of him.

Then Raghu spotted a Yellow-crowned woodpecker and while photographing him we saw a sirkeer malkoha. This is my second spotting. I had seen this fellow earlier when we visited Bheemeshwari last time.

And then while driving back we saw Indian Jackal. It was on middle of the road. We could not believe our luck. This is the first time I was seeing this fellow in the wild. He did not stay around for long. He vanished into the forest after giving a good view of him. And our last sighting of the day was a Common Kestrel.

Common Hoopoe

Yellow-crowned Woodpecker

Sirkeer Malkoha

Painted Storks
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. We did not see much of eagles or owls but seeing European Bea eater and Pratincoles was enough for us. This area has never stopped to amaze me.

List of birds seen.

1. Cattle Egret
2. Little Egret
3. Median Egret
4. White Breasted Waterhen
5. Red Vented Bulbul
6. Red Whiskered Bulbul
7. White Browed Bulbul
8. Green Bea Eater
9. European Bea Eater
10. Indian Roller
11. Jungle Babbler
12. Yellow Billed Babbler
13. Large Grey Babbler
14. Puff Throated Babbler
15. Yellow Eyed Babbler
16. Baya Weavers
17. Pied Bushchat
18. Indian Robin
19. Asian Koel
20. Pied Cuckoo(2)
21. Common Hawk Cuckoo
22. Grey Francolin
23. Chestnut Headed Starling
24. Brahminy Starling
25. Rosy Starling
26. Blue Faced Malkoha
27. Sirkeer Malkoha
28. Rufous Treepie
29. Bay Backed Shrike
30. Long Tailed Shrike
31. White Browed Wagtail
32. Golden Oriole
33. Common Iora
34. Flameback
35. Yellow-crowned Woodpecker?
36. Common Hoopoe
37. Grey Heron
38. Purple Heron
39. Pond Heron
40. Green Sandpiper
41. Greenshank
42. Little Cormorant
43. Greater Cormorant
44. Oriental Darter
45. Small Pratincole
46. Painted Storks
47. Little Grebe
48. Indian Silverbill
49. Scaly Breasted Munia
50. Laughing Dove
51. Spotted Dove
52. Collared Dove
53. Black Kite
54. Brahminy Kite
55. Common Kestrel
56. Pallid Harrier
57. Oriental Honey Buzzard
58. Ashy Prinia
59. Grey Breasted Prinia
60. Plain Prinia
61. Common Tailorbird
62. River Tern
63. Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
64. Asian Paradise Flycatcher
65. Purple Sunbird
66. Purple Rumped Sunbird
67. Tickell's flowerpecker
68. Indian Grey Hornbill
69. Spotted Owl
70. Rose Ringed Parakeet
71. Plum Headed Parakeet
72. Red Wattled Lapwing
73. White Throated Kingfisher
74.  Common Myna
75. Jungle Myna
76. Striated Heron

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Trip to Y.D Halli

Last couple of weeks have been very happy days of my life. We were blessed with a son. Took almost 10 days off from office to be close with him. Time just flew by when I was with him. He kept us busy the whole time. It will be a difficult 5 days this week staying away from him. And the pace at which the kids grow you dont want to miss a moment:-)


My mother wanted to visit her village since we had time. So we decided to spare one day to visit the place. On saturday we visited my mothers village which is called Yeradammanahalli(Y.D Halli). It comes under Sandur Taluk, Bellary District. It's a remote with very few buses plying to this village. But thankfully they dont have any issues with power but only with the water supply. There are couple of ponds and one well. Few years back govt has helped them with a water pipeline which is not that bad.

People here are very heavily dependent on monsoons for crops and iron ore mines for their jobs. Since the banning of illegal mining in the region, people have started paying more attention to the crops this year. The whole area looks very good which was helped with a very good monsoons this time around. The major crop here are Maze and Ground nut.

Everyone went ahead in the car towards the village, I decided to get down couple kms before we reached the village. This would give me some precious morning time to enjoy my my first bird walk in the area. I had my Nikon gear to shoot some good photos.

My first sighting of the day was these yellow billed babbler on the road making noise. There were lot of babblers. There were bulbuls and Purple Rumped sunbirds every where. I did not see a single specimen of Purple sunbird in the area. Also only Red Vented bulbuls were seen but not the Red Whiskered ones.

Yellow Billed Babbler

Green Bea Eater
Saw few Ashy Crowned Sparrow Larks feeding on the road. The Prinias kept calling from the fields. The first migratory bird seen was the common stone chat. There were 3 female and 1 male in the group. They were enjoying some morning meal in the fields. They did not hand around for long.

Common Stonechat

Rufuous Tailed Lark
Plain Prinia

Common Iora

I decided to visit one of the very old ponds which was our swimming pool in my childhood days. Thanks to the rains it was almost full. I could see a single pair of Little Grebe trying to fish and a lone White Throated kingfisher waiting for its prey. It was almost 9 and I decided to head for breakfast.

Little Grebe(Male)

Little Grebe(Female)

White Throated Kingfisher

After breakfast me and my cousin decided to have another small walk and this time in our fields to see the crop and if possible some birding:-) The crop is amazing this year, the maze looks good. In the fields we spotted few Drongos, Common Iora's and a lone White Browed Bulbul. We also saw a lone White Eyed Buzzard making rounds.

White Browed Bulbul

Purple Rumped Sunbird

White Eyed Buzzard

Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark

Another winter migrant which we saw that day was an Asian Brown Flycatcher. We saw a lonely bird flying near the tamarind trees catching some insects. Rounded of the day with a good photograph of a female Robin.

Collared Dove

Laughing Dove

Asian Brown Flycatcher

Indian Robin(Female)

Red Vented Bulbul
I heard there was a road kill of an adult bear just the day before we visited the place. The accident had took place about 10kms from this village. It was very sad news to hear. Heard that the forest department officals visited the accident site and burned the remains of the bear.

The villagers here sight wild bears and and wild boars regularly. And these boars are a constant threat to the crops here.

List of Birds seen.

1. Yellow Billed Babbler
2. Large Grey Babbler
3. Grey Francolin
4. Purple Rumped Sunbird
5. Indian Robin
6. Pied Bushchat
7. Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark
8. Rufous Tailed Lark
9. Common Stonechat
10. Ashy Prinia
11. Plain Prinia
12. Black Drongo
13. White Throated Kingfisher
14. Little Grebe
15. House Sparrow
16. Red Vented Bulbul
17. White Browed Bulbul
18. Common Iora
19. Asian Brown Flycatcher
20. Green Bea-Eater
21. Laughing Dove
22. Collared Dove
23. White Eyed Buzzard
24. Indian Roller
25. unide'd swallow