Weekend Birding : Hulimangala, Bangalore

Posted by redthil On 1/21/2012 06:35:00 PM

Sat, 21Jan2012

When it comes to weekend birding, most of the time, its with Bangalore Birding Group [bngbirds] and if its Saturday, its with Deepa Mohan. Parry [Parikshit] and Me always decide at the last moment, most-of-the-times just before we get to sleep on Friday night, and inform Deepa. And thanks to her, that she never says 'No'.

So, this time the place was Hulimangala, a village on the Bannerghatta-Anekal Road, around 5 kms from Bannerghatta Circle. It has small group of trees (mostly ficus trees) where you can find lots of Rose Ringed Parakeets. There is also a small water body nearby (but since Parry and Me had to come back, we skipped going to the water body), where you can find the regular waterbirds. so, a perfect place for an early morning birding around the Bannerghatta Area.

Here are few pics taken today morning there...

Indian Golden Oriole

Black Kite

Spotted Owlet

Spotted Owlet

Black Drongo

Oriental Magpie Robin

Hence Proved!!!!!!! Age does not matter for birding..

Ashy Prinia

Mottled Wood Owl...........

.......is what all are looking for!

Mottled Wood Owl


Red-Wattled Lapwing

Red-Wattled Lapwing - In Flight [ Click on the above image to view Large Version ]

White-Cheeked Barbet


Brown Shrike

Flame-back Wood Pecker

"""What are you shooting at??"""

My Fav Bird - Blue Jay or Indian Roller

I just couldnt get my dream shot yet... but this is indeed a good one to end this trip....

Thanks to Parry, Deepa and the Gang!!!!!!!!!!

one of my worst day and one of the luckiest day

Posted by redthil On 1/13/2012 01:51:00 AM


worst day, ,because, i lost my mobile :(
luckiest day, because, i got it back!!!!! :) :) :) :)

there is no explanation needed for the worst day part..
but behind the luckiest day part, there are plenty of reasons...

i dint realize that i have lost it, for almost 6 hours!!!
and yes, i did get it back after 6 longs hours of it lying somewhere..

when i did realize it, i was sooo convinced that, i have left it in office only..
as we dint find it in the camera bag, laptop bag, car, etc, etc..

but it was Pradeep who urged me to check the action-sports venue first,
and Sanjeev/Kripa/Apoorva joined him, extending their precious time, to go back to the venue..

then it was my very poor memory that, all i could remember was,
using it last in office only and couldn't think of me loosing it in this venue..

until Apoorva/Pradeep proved me that,
my memory is indeed , very very poor.. poorer than i thought...

reached the action-sports venue, looked for the facility management people there,
but found some 10 cars with group of men, playing action-football..no mgmt people...

my hopes went from bad to worst,
as even if it was lost here, my chance of getting it was less than 1%..

all of us started to search in all corners of the place,
as i'm known to roam more, than standing in one place.. and its a big facility too..

all of a sudden, i saw pradeep running out,
thought he forgot to lock his car, as it was total dark outside...

for my surprise, and to all our surprise,
he came back, having my mobile in his hand...

for a moment, it looked as-if,
he's actually coming with the Olympic torch in hand..

yes, its that much precious for me,
and could see excitement & relief in all our faces..

the answer to my question of where he found it, was more surprising.
as the answer was, on the ground, between the grasses, near the place where we parked his car..

wat!!!!! i dint hav any clue,
on how it could be in that place..

but had valid reasons for it to be fallen there,
as i was juggling with so many gadgets when getting down..

at 2.30pm in the afternoon..
and the time then was 8.30 pm...

having said the events that unraveled,
now to most amazing things that saved my mobile..

it was in silent-vibration mode,
which saved it from others hear the ringtone,
when we tried so many calls..

it was covered with black-leather pouch,
which saved if from others seeing it in open,
hiding the bright light from screen and camouflaging it in dark night..

it was not ran over by any other car,
as there was so many cars went out,
and so many cars which came in...

it was not found by any other person,
no security person, no other group people, not even us,
except for one person, The "Path-Finder" Pradeep!!!!!!

the only hope we had in this search operation was,
no one answered our call, no one cut our call, it was not switched off too..
it was just ringing, ringing, ringing, ringing, ringing, ringing, ringing, ringing......

And thanks to my colleagues, who kept on calling non-stop,
And thanks to Sanjeev/Kripa/Apoorva, for their precious time in this search operation,
And thanks to Pradeep, without him, i would have never got chance to hold this mobile again!!!

All Good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trip to Maidanahalli Blackbuck Reserve

Posted by redthil On 1/09/2012 02:54:00 PM

Few info about the Reserve

This is located on the North-Eastern tip of Tumkur district of Karnataka. This is an open grassland which is part of the plains of the Deccan Plateau (which means its close to Andhra Pradesh) and has patches of Eucalyptus trees and other small tress & bushes. These trees and bushes offers the habitat for plenty of birds there. We can also see few varieties of Raptors hovering around and occasionally diving down for hunting. The open grassland provides a wide viewing area and makes easy to spot the Blackbucks (also called as "KrishnaMruga"). It has the largest contiguous population of Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) in Karnataka (apart from Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary)

Route Info:

 There are many routes to reach there. but we took the following route :
  • Take the Tumkur Road from bangalore
  • Take right under the flyover on Dobaspet, in around 30 km (from NICE Road junction) 
  • Take the State Highway #3 to Madhugiri (53km from dobaspet)
  • Immediately after Madhugiri, take left in the National Highway #234, Kodigenahalli Main Rd (you cannot miss the sign board giving the directions to the Reserve)
  • Travel for around 8km in Kodigenahalli Main Rd and take Left after Siddanahalli Village (again sign board will help you)
  • In around 7km from there, you'll hit the Mud road, through which you will reach the Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve
Note: After the dobaspet Right, the road wont be as smooth as you expect. After-all, its a State Highway. why did we take this route??? answer is there in the post, little later.

Our Itinerary:

Though we started as early as 6.30am from my place, to give a good idea on the timings, let me take NICE Road - Tumkur Road junction as the starting point. We crossed that junction at around 8am in the morning. 

Stopped at the Kamat in the Tumkur road at around 8.30am for breakfast.

Started from Kamat at 9am and proceeded towards Madhugiri. On the way, we stopped at multiple places, whenever we saw something flying or spot something high on the trees.

There are also lots of water bodies on the route. One of the notable place is the Irakasandra Tank.  we stopped there at around 10.30am for few minutes to click some of the water birds.

We reached Madhugiri at 1:30pm and its was our lunch time. There is one hotel, near the bus-stand, opposite to the Petrol-bunk there. You wont find lots of varieties there. infact, we found only Mini-meals, chapathi and bisibella-bath as the choices. But the food was good for that place. And since we wont get anything beyond this place, we ensured that we finished our lunch there and started from there.

From this place, the road gets from "ok" condition to "little-bad" condition, as this route passes through the small villages. 

Finally we reached the Mud Road towards the Reserve at around 3:30pm. From then we were roaming inside the reserve and trying to click pics of birds and blackbucks. There is also a small watch tower and a small place where there is a possibility of over-night stay also it seems (not sure how good is the accommodation). 

And the best thing about this Reserve is the Evening Sunset. Never miss it. 

Started back from there at around 6.30pm and reached Kamat for the dinner at around 9.30 as we were not in a hurry to reach home. 

Note: There are no options for food around the Reserve. So, its better to pack food, if you happen to be in the reserve during the food timings. Also, ensure that you carry sufficient water with you.

The Team 

Parikshit Khisty,  Harsha Prabhakar, Anbu Rathinam, Aditya Nukala and Me.

Why take the not-so-smooth Route?

 We are a group of Photography Enthusiasts, who are mainly into birding. So, like any other birding trip, its always the Journey which gives you the most number of opportunity for birding, than the final destination. Instead of a smooth journey in the Tumkur highway to reach the Reserve, we took this way. Not so smooth, but lots of fantastic sightings of birds. from birds like Bushchat's, Robin's, Bee-Eater's, Indian Roller's to big raptors like Honey Buzzard's, White-eye Buzzard's, Black-shouldered Kite's, Kestrel's, etc etc. You can find Cormorant's, Egret's, Lapwing's, Pond Heron's, Grey Heron's, etc, etc in the water tanks (little lakes) on the route . 

I think the photographs will explain more about these fantastic sightings than the words. so, here we go...

Common Kestrel

Black-Shoulder Kite

Grey Heron

Pond Heron

Red-Wattled Lapwing

Little Egret

Green Bee Eater

Indian Roller

Common Kestrel

Sheep Herd


Pied Bushchat


White-Eyed Buzzard ( this is just to give you an idea on how tough it is to spot the birds. this photograph is taken at 500m full zoom, from car on road)

White-eyed Buzzard (managed to track it, from ground to the top of the tree)

Indian Silverbill (thanks for the ID Kesava )


Plain Prinia (thanks for the ID Kesava)

Green Bee Eater

BlackBuck Male


Shrike - a little close-up



Evening Sunset to through the tree

It was an Awesome scenery

Beautiful Sunset

Thanks to Parikshit, harsha, anbu and aditya for this wonderful trip.

And I'm not that good with the IDs. So, if there is any wrong ID or if you know ID of the birds, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

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