Thursday, March 27, 2014

Revisiting Shivanahalli

After a very long time got some time to do some birding. The actual plan was to join the Third Sunday Trail to Shivanahalli led by Geetanjali but had to cancel that at the last moment last sunday. But our good friend Ajit had joined them and had published the report. It was interesting to read about few of the species like orange headed thrush seen during the trail.

So I planned to visit either Ragihalli or Shivanahalli. I had been to the Shivanhalli ashram few times till now but never visited Ragihalli till now. I had no idea about any walking trail in that area and for the same reason I sent an email to Deepa from the bngbirds group for directions. She was kind enough to give very detailed instructions for the same.

The plan was for atleast 2 of us to go for the walk but had to change the plan since my friend had to work on a saturday. So I decided to go ahead with my plan and visit Shivanahalli and I would prefer visiting Ragihalli with friends rather than going alone. I got permission to walk around the ashram from swamiji at Ramakrishna Ashram.

On Sunday morning started at around 6AM. Took the nice road from Kanakpura road and was lucky to see couple of spotted owls flying across the road. Crossed the busy Bannerghatta road and took the right towards shivanahalli. One change observed, there is no Ramakrishna Ashram board near the intersection. Before I took right I got the directions confirmed by near-by villager.

On the way saw Rufuous Treepie, Doves, Iora's and Bulbuls. It was a very pleasant drive with very less traffic. Reached the ashram around 7 and started walking around. I saw Blue capped rock thrush male flying around and then came a group of tawny bellied babblers. Could hear lot of calls from Purple and Purple Rumped sunbirds. It's good to reach the place early but bird activity could be seen through out the day.

And then came the surprise calls. I looked around to find the source of the call and then saw 3 beautiful Schimittar Babblers. Their calls are unique where the call by male are immediately followed by a single note from female, a very syncronised duet. Thanks to Ulhas from bngbirds group who had mentioned about this unique calls during one of the walks. I was fortunate to spot these 3 individuals singing along.

Schimmitar Babbler
As I walked along I was able to spot few more birds. The White cheeked barbets were busy and I could hear Tickell's blue singing throughout the day. There were White Eyes, Iora's and bulbuls every where. Saw few fantails chasing each other. Saw Blue rock thrush female and male again. There were few puff throated babblers too.

Blue Capped Rock Thrush

Puff Throated Babbler

White Cheeked Barbet
There is an area where I usually saw these flycatchers and this time it was no different. I saw Asian brown, Tickells and Asian paradise flycatchers there again. But I also saw another flycatcher which was a first time for me and that was Red Breasted flycatcher.

Red Breasted Flycatcher

Common Iora
Came back to the water well area and saw a big bird fly across and sit on one of the huge trees. When I got a clear view I could see one of the cutest owls one could ever see, the Mottled Owl. A lone bird sitting with few crows around bothering him. I was very happy to see this bird and for the first time too. Our Raghu from our group is the only lucky one who could see this chap regularly in lalbagh:-) and this time I got lucky.

Mottled Owl

Mottled Owl
After a while saw couple of Oriental Honey Buzzards swooping down and settling somewhere up in the trees. On my return saw a lone gold fronted leaf bird.

Oriental Honey Buzzard
It was already 10:30. I decided to head back home after a very eventful morning. Shivanahalli is a place to visit to get refreshed. And having it so close to our homes is a blessing for us. Thanks to Vishnumayananda Swamji.

By mistake the vibration control on my camera was turned off and I realized it only while returning hence we see some of the images are blurred :-(

List of bird seen during the day. The same has been updated in ebirds portal.

1 Black-shouldered Kite 
2 Oriental Honey-buzzard 
3 Brahminy Kite 
4 Spotted Dove 
5 Laughing Dove 
6 Asian Koel 
7 Greater Coucal 
8 Mottled Wood-Owl 
9 White-throated Kingfisher  
10 Green Bee-eater 
11 Indian Roller  
12 White-cheeked Barbet  
13 Coppersmith Barbet  
14 Rose-ringed Parakeet  
15 Common Iora  
16 Black Drongo  
17 Ashy Drongo  
18 White-bellied Drongo  
19 White-browed Fantail  
20 Asian Paradise-Flycatcher  
21 Rufous Treepie  
22 Red-vented Bulbul  
23 Red-whiskered Bulbul  
24 Common Tailorbird  
25 Ashy Prinia  
26 Oriental White-eye  
27 Tawny-bellied Babbler 
28 Indian Scimitar-Babbler  
29 Puff-throated Babbler  
30 Yellow-billed Babbler  
31 Asian Brown Flycatcher  
32 Indian Robin  
33 Oriental Magpie-Robin  
34 Tickell's Blue-Flycatcher  
35 Red-breasted Flycatcher  
36 Blue-capped Rock-Thrush  
37 Pied Bushchat  
38 Golden-fronted Leafbird  
39 Purple-rumped Sunbird  
40 Purple Sunbird