Monday, April 21, 2014

Interesting sightings in Valley School

Visited valley school again this weekend. Started from home at around 6. After reaching the school I saw couple of Indian Grey Hornbills. I heard Jungle fowl, woodpecker and Bulbuls all morning.

After a short walk saw a white naped woodpecker flew away to a nearby tree. I went ahead on hearing it call and while I was waiting there, couple of people joined me, Thomas and Kumar. They were friends of Ajit. We had very good birding day together.

The first interesting sighting of the morning was the Blue Beareded Bea-Eater. It flew and sat near a tree very close to us. We got a very good view of it. It was my first time seeing this bird at a close distance. It was amazing experience. I could not get a good photograph since the light was not that good. But just sighting of this bird was an amazing experience. Birding couldn't have started in any better way.

Blue-Bearded Bee-Eater

We went ahead to check the nearby fig tree which was fruiting last time and we had seen lot of birds in that tree including black hooded oriole. This time there was not much activity there. All we could see were Myna's and Barbets. After walking ahead we saw Blue Faced Malkoha, Sunbirds and Barbets. Another Fig tree was fruiting where we could see lot of Barbets, Myna's, Crows and also couple of Tickell's blue flycatcher.

We went near the abonded house to check if there were any swifts. But the woodpecker call invited us to check them. We saw couple of Juvenile White naped woodpeckers along with one adult White Naped woodpecker.

Yellow Billed Babbler

White Naped Woodpecker

We went to the Bamboo area where we had seen Shama couple of weeks back. But this time around there was no Shama. We did see Puff Throated Babbler, White Throated Fantail flycatcher as well as Magpie Robins. We saw courtship of Magpie Robins too.

White Throated Fantail flycatcher

Asian Brown Flycatcher

Another interesting sighting was an adult spotted dear. He was majestic with big antlers. He came towards us running and after sighting us he ran away. After about a minute we saw 3 dogs following its trail. It was disturbing to see feral dogs trying to hunt a deer. I hope this deer was safe. He had 1 minute head start anyways.

Then we went to an area where we had seen orange headed thrush last couple of weeks back. There we saw White Rumped Shama. It was good to see this fellow in 2 consecutive visits. I had not seem Shama in my last visits to valley school.

Then we saw one of the rapotor flying and sitting on one of the trees close by. We went ahead to check the bird but could not see him. But that led us to another interesting sighting and this time it was Indian Pitta. We just could not believe our luck. Sighting a Pitta when it was least expected. This fellow was in no hurry and he kept foraging on the ground. And flew away after a while. My second sighting of this fellow. My only sighting was in Dandeli.

Indian Pitta

Since it was already 9:30 we decided to head back.

An eventful day came to an end. Thanks to Thomas and Kumar for their wonderful company.

List of birds seen during the day.

1. Common Myna
2. Jungle Myna
3. Common Crow
4. Jungle Crow
5. Red Vented Bulbul
6. Red Whiskered Bublbul
7. White Browed Bulbul
8. Rose Ringed Parakeet
9. Asian Koel
10. Greater Coucal
11. India Grey Hornbill
12. Coppersmith Barbet
13. White Cheeked Barbet
14. Yellow Billed Babbler
15. Puff Throated Babbler
16. Tawny Bellied Babbler
17. White Naped Woodpecker
18. White Throated Kingfisher
19. Ashy Prinia
20. Blue Faced Malkoha
21. Shikra
22. Black Kite
23. Green Bea-Eater
24. Blue Beared Bea-Eater
25. White Rumped Shama
26. Indian Pitta
27. Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
28. White Throated Fantail Flycatcher
29. Asian Brown Flycatcher
30. Jerdon's Lark
31. Pied Bushchat
32. Grey Francolin
33. Grey Junglefowl (call)
34. Indian Robin
35. Brahminy Kite
36. Common Iora
37. Oriental White-Eye


  1. Nice shots. Very lucky to spot pitta.

    1. Thank you Arun. We were indeed lucky to spot the Pitta

  2. Lovely report. Good sightings of the Blue-bearded Bee-eater and the White-naped woodpecker. Good shots of these and of the Pitta too.

  3. Good to see photos and useful information. I might go to Valley School this week/weekend so your kind help is needed especially for Pitta. Kindly see if you can share your phone number so that we can talk.
    Thank you !
    Rahul Deshpande (Mob-9448015407)

    1. Thank you Rahul. You can reach me on 9740261261.

  4. Nice one lucky to sighting a pitta near by

  5. Never know you were so fond of nature , Great read.

  6. Nice pictures!! seems to be a very interesting place with lots of winged friends

    Do we need prior permission or is it like go there make some entries and get in?

    1. Thank you Sameer. It's a very nice place to visit. Since we walk along the edge of the school premise we don't need any permission. Just for record the birders are asked to make an entry near the school entrance before we start our walk.