Sunday, 4th Marh 2012
This sunday (today) our weekend birding was little different experience. We planned to go to Hessarghatta Lake in the Evening (though we had been to that lake previously, abt an year ago, we always had been there in the morning). Evening because, we heard from some people that we could see lot of raptors in the evening, which we dint see much during our morning visits there.
So, having our evening already planned, Parry called up last nite (around 10.30pm), asking whether we can have a short visit (from 6am to 9am) to the Valley School. And my answer, as always was, ofcourse yes. And Albin also agreed to this sudden plan (but most of the times, our weekend birding trips are all planned like this only).
Parry, Albin and Me started at around 5.45 am from our place, took the NICE Road till Kanakapura Road out, and then took the first right from there, to reach the Valley School (btw, thats the route to reach that place). Its not the school as such which has the birds, its the area around it (including its few fenced premises). This school is located off the road, little deep into the forest area. Its not like you'll see the exotic birds, but you are guaranteed with good sightings of all the regular birds and with few surprises also sometimes. As, this time we had a fantastic sighting of Grey Hornbills mating and also a blue-faced Malkoha out in the open, which became the highlight of the trip.
More about the trip and other details, along with the images...
As soon as we entered the road towards the Valley school, from the Kanakapura Road, we could hear the calls of these Red-Vented Bulbul's all over the place. We could see those going across the road in front of our car all the time. But little we managed to get a decent shot of those, as its was still too early for the light to come in the morning.
Then we were greeted by these group of starlings. flying together all around, but ensuring that we dont get too close to these birds.
|Brahminy Starling and Rosy Starling|
This Asian-Female Koel gave a good pose in the very nice perch, out in the open. but it dint give much time, just enough time to click one or two shots of that..
|Asian Female Koel [ Pic Taken By - Parikshit ]|
A distant bunch of plants hosting different varieties of birds. This is an usual scene at this place.
|Myna , sparrow and bulbul|
And over to one of the highlights of the trip, Blue-Faced Malkoha in open!!! till now, we have seen this birds lot many times. but all those times, all we could see is this bird's eye from the dense bushes. Also, as soon as it knows that we are tracking it, it ensures that we dont even get a sight of it, runs deep into the bushes around. But this time we saw this bird out in the open, calmly sitting and doing its feather cleaning routine. We actually sighted this bird, when we went in search of the Hornbill. It was a loud call from the Hornbill which attracted us towards it and later found that it was a Grey-Hornbill pair and had a good sighting of it mating.
|Blue Faced Malkoha|
Then it was barbets time, as we were near the banyan tree there.
We could see lots of barbets, eating those red fruits in the banyan tree. It was a nice thing to watch, especially, when the Coppersmith Barbet with the red mark on the head and the breast (hence its also called as "crimson-breasted barbet"), feeding on the red colored fruits. But it was very tough to get a clean shot of it, as its was surrounded by or have lots of tweaks and tree branches in the line of sight.
We could also see the White-Cheeked barbet having its breakfast with those awesome red fruits in the banyan tree.
|White Cheeked Barbet|
Again few bulbul's on the scene, as i approached near the bungalow at the end of the open area trail. After this bungalow (where no one resides and its an deserted building now), there is a trail which goes deep into the forest area, which we dint take, as this was a short visit, only for 3 hours.
|Red Vented Bulbul|
At this time, we three were scattered. I went near the bungalow, tracking a golden oriole. Albin went into the dry bushes searching for some bird and Parry kept his tripod firm on one place, waiting for the Malkoha to come. And his wait was really worthy, as he got really nice shots of that Malkoha, few shots with the food in its beak also. (thats the key to get good picture, and i still have lot more to learn..)
|Parkshit (Parry) with his weapon nd support|
It was already around 8, so without entering more, we started walking back. And on our way back, we could spot one of the grey hornbill, sitting alone in the top of the tree, in a very nice perch to be exact.And also, the light was falling right at that hornbill, except few shadows of the dry branches around falling on the bird. So, we had a good time clicking this bird, until a crow came in and made the hornbill to fly away.
As we were about to exit valley school birding area, we saw this drongo sitting calmly, very close to the path. Also, it was not moving anywhere, just scanning the ground, even ignoring us moving close to it. so, we could get some good shot of it and that tree also had lot more varieties of birds, like lots of sunbirds, atleast three drongos, bushchat's, tickle's blue flycatcher, etc etc...
When we were into taking pictures of the birds in that single tree, Parry went little away to take pictures of the raptors flying above and also these group of small birds. i like the following one taken by him for the very nice composition.
|Weaver or Little Sparrow (dont know the correct ID) [ Pic Taken By - Parikshit ]|
And even when we were about to get into the car, we had a good sighting of the yellow bulbul (or white browed bulbul), plucking a small fruit in its beak. as usual, i was trying to get my camera and click, but by the time i tried viewing thru the view-finder, that beautiful scene got over. But Parry got a real good shot of it. Just for your imagination on how the shot was, here is a short description of that image...
" A small branch of a small tree with lots of green leaves, but with very thin brownish-green branch protruding from the left into the picture frame, and a yellow bulbul (or white-browed bulbul), hanging upside down, having the oversized green fruit on its small beak, looking as if, the bulbul caught that fruit mid-air while its falling (similar to a scene in Anaconda Movie , where the big snake, with its tail well tied in a protruding tree branch, catching the man falling from the waterfalls in the mid way down). All these with the clean blue sky as the background"
Team : Albin, Parikshit (Parry) and Me
Thanks to Parry and Albin for this trip!!!!
Thanks to Parry and Albin for this trip!!!!