Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birding in Sompura near Sarjapur

I had never been to Sarjapur area till now. One of my colleague Ajit stays in the area. During one of our weekly nature walks within the campus we decided to visit this area over a weekend for birding. And thanks to Ajit we visited this area along with the bngbirds group this weekend.

Couple of my colleagues Srinivas and Raghavendra decided to tag along for this. On sunday we started very early in the morning and met near Wipro corporate office at around 6:15. We parked our bikes near wipro office and started from there in Ajit's car. In 15min we were at Prarthana's home. Prarthana arranges 4'th sunday trail for bngbirds group, a very nice lady. Couple of others joined us there.

There is a nice stretch of open land near Prarthana's home where there are some open lands(Shrubs/Grasslands) and some cultivated lands.

Initially we found the common suspects like Baybacked shrike, Drongos, Egrets, Koels, Bulbuls, Prinias, Rose-ringed parakeets and Larks.

There were lot of Grey Francolin calls and somehow I managed to spot one and Ajit was lucky to spot 3 of them and Raghavendra was lucky to see couple of them at a close distance. And then on our search for raptors we came across Yellow Wattled Lapwings. We considered ourselves very lucky to see these birds which are not as common as their siblings Red Wattled Lapwings. And there were dozen of them. I was very happy with the sighting but could not get any good photographs. After lapwing sighting everyone got busy in photographing a Lark which looked like Jerdons Bushlark.

It was getting a little hot so we thought of returning. On our way back we saw a Brown Shrike and Black Headed Cuckoo Shrike. Got some nice photographs too.

And then we were very lucky to see 2 raptors which I had never seen before, Eurasian Marsh Harrier and Oriental Honey Buzzard. For most of us the Harrier sighting was a first. Thoroughly enjoyed the walk.

Below is the list of birds seen(Thanks to Ajit).

1. Common Crow
2. Rock Pigeon
3. Jungle Myna
4. Common Myna
5. Black Kite
6. Purple-rumped sunbird
7. Pale-billed flowerpecker
8. Rose-ringed parakeets
9. Pied bushchat
10. Zitting cisticola
11. White breasted Kingfisher
12. Jerdons bushlark (most probably)
13. Paddyfield pipit
14. Black Drongo
15. Red vented Bulbul
16. Spotted Owlet
17. Asian Koel
18. Red whiskered Bulbul
19. White cheeked Barbet
20. Grey Francolins
21. Rufous Treepie
22. Indian robin (male and female)
23. Pond Heron
24. Little Egrets
25. Red Wattled Lapwings
26. Bay-backed Shrike
27. Plain Prinia
28. Ashy Prinia
29. Tailorbird
30. Warbler (Blyth reed most probably)
31. White browed bulbul
32. Spotted Dove
33. Yellow Wattled lapwing(around 6 to 8)
34. Small Green bee eater
35. Brown Shrike
36. Black headed cuckoo-shrike
37. Scaly breasted munia(Juvenile)
38. Eurasian Marsh Harrier
39. Purple sunbird
40. Common Kestrel
41. Brahminy Kite
42. Oriental Honey buzzard
43. Baya Weaver(Female)

                                                               Baya Weaver(Female)

Plain Prinia 
                                                                    Yellow Pansy

                                                                    Spotted Dove

                                                                    Blue Pansy

                                                                  Jerdon's Bushlark?

                                                                Eurasian Marsh Harrier

                                                                      Brown Shrike

                                                                    Common Kestrel

                                                             Black Headed Cuckoo Shrike


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Trip to Bellary

I had to go to Bellary on a personal trip on Dec 15 for the weekend. Since I had sometime I decided to do my first birding in Bellary.

Thanks to Arun sir and Nagaraj sir for mentioning good birding spots around Bellary. I had also planned to do some birding in my Village called Sindhigeri which is about 25kms from Bellary.

I have been in Bellary for about 22 years but never realised there were so many different bird species there. Even in my village too. I think schools around Bellary can help kids in this aspect. Some field trips will definitely help.

On 15'th morning I went to my village. Did not get any time till evening to go out for birding. There was a new lake which has been created to fix the water problem of our village and few other surrounding villages. Its a very good project which solves the water problem of around 8-9 villages.

At around 4PM I went near the lake and I was amazed to see so many birds there. My nephew was my guide there:-) I saw lot of Spot Billed ducks, Kingfishers, coots, Egrets, Munias and Larks. I was also lucky to see a Grey Wagtail there. There  are 2 lakes adjacent to each other. One lake is not fenced which can be accessed by village people for there daily chores. Even this had good number of birds. But the other lake which is completely fenced had atleast 200+ water birds. I knew the person who was incharge there and he agreed to allow me inside the lake to photograph few birds. I was amazed to see at the numbers. Most of the them I could not identify:-( But I did get some good shots of Pied Kingfisher atlast. Returned to Bellary as a very happy person.

The next morning woke up early and started towards HLC on Moka road. This spot which was suggested by Arun sir and Nagaraj sir. They were very right. When I reached early in the morning, I could see and hear so many birds there. People movement on the road next to the HLC is not much which helps. And the paddy fields next to the HLC also supports lot of birds. I saw lot of lapwings and Sandpipers in these fields.

Saw lot of Munias, Warblers, Lapwings and Sandpipers. Also on the way I saw a Shikra and a Kestrel. There were few raptors which were hovering but could not photograph them. A lone Spotted owl was also seen which did not mind my presence there. But the one I enjoyed the most was the sighting of a "Bluethroat". I had never see this bird before. I could not get a very good photograph but was very happy to see this fellow. There were 2 of them.

On the way I stopped at Moka Water reservoir. This was my first visit to the reservoir. Its huge but I could not see much birds since it was already 12 and it was very hot.

I decided to head back to Bangalore and came back to my Bike and tried starting it but it wouldnt start. I did not know what was the problem. I did not have any tools to check. I had to push the bike for about 1-2KM's. Couple of people near a camp tried to help but nothing worked. I had to hire a carriage-auto to tow my bike. It was an eventful sunday which I will not forget for a while. It was all worth it. I saw my first "Neelakanta":-)

Below are the list of birds seen during the trip.

1. Pied Bushchat
2. Indian Robin
3. Green Bea Eater
4. Purple Rumped Sunbird
5. Purple Sunbird
6. Paddyfield Pippit
7. Indian Roller
8. White Throated Kingfisher
9. Pied Kingfisher
10. Indian Cormorant
11. Great Coromorant
12. Cattle Egret
13. Little Egret
14. Bay Backed Shrike
15. Long Tailed Shrike
16. White Browed Wagtail
17. Grey Wagtail
19. Ashy Prinia
20. Plain Prinia
21. Large Grey Babbler
22. Yellow Billed Babbler
23. Red Rumped Swallow
24. Black Drongo
25. Sparrow
26. Rose Ringed Parakeet
27. Common Myna
28. Crow
29. Pond Heron
30. Purple Heron
31. Scaly Breasted Munia
32. Black Headed Munia
33. Indian Silvebill
34. Red Wattled Lapwing
35. Black Headed Ibis
36. White Cheeked Barbet
37. Red Vented Bulbul
38. Spotted Dove
39. Laughing Dove
40. Black Kite
41. Brahminy Kite
42. Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark
43. Common Tailor bird
44. Rock Pigeon
45. Rosy Starling
46. Common Sandiper
47. Green Sandpiper
48. Wood Sandpiper
49. Bluethroat
50. Spotted Owl
51. Zitting Cisticola
52. Rufuous Tailed Lark

                                                                  Grey Wagtail
                                                            Scaly Breasted Munia

                                                              Common Sandpiper

                                                                  Purple Sunbird

                                                                Pond Heron
                                                              Laughing Dove

                                                 Some kind of Pipit. It was big. ID please?

                                                   Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark(Female)

                                                              Purple Rumped Sunbird

                                                                 Plain Prinia

                                                                       Plain Tiger
                                                              Black Winged Stilt

                                                           Spot Billed Duck(Duckling)

                                                                     River Tern

                                                              Black Winged Stilt
                                                                      Pied Kingfisher
                                                                    Green Bea Eater


                                                           Rufuous Tailed Lark

                                                               White Throated Kingfisher


                                                                      Spotted Owl

                                                             Zitting Cisticola

                                                                           Plain Prinia

                                                            Warbler ID please?

                                                  I see these regularly there. What are they?

                                                                       ID Please?

                                                               Black Headed Munia


                                                                   Indian Silverbill

                                                             Plain Prinia