We were a baker's dozen as we set out to see what we could see in
these beautiful "outskirts" of our city. This was a farewell outing,
as avid birder Sajid Yunus is moving to Mumbai.
We approached Manchanabele Dam with many stops on the way, and were at
the reservoir on the side opposite from the army encampment. There
were enough birds to keep us all busy, and since photography was also
on the agenda, we clicked away happily. Some early migrants, such as
the Rosy Starling, made us happy that the migratory season seems to
have already begun.Discussion over raptor ids was inevitable.(Most
often: "What's that in the air?...oh...Black Kite.")
We watched Munias in the reeds, Baya Weavers busily building homes.
Larks on wires,
a Leafbird eating a grasshopper..
.and so the list
went. Small birds and large, colourful ones
and little nondescript
loud ones and quiet ones;beaks, shapes, feet of all types various behaviours...we never knew how the time flew.
Black (Red-naped) Ibis:
Stopping at various places,we then headed towards Savandurga, going
through the State Forest. The highlights were watching a group of
Egyptian Vultures "falling" off a steep, high rock pile, in an awesome
landscape; here, let me give the series of photos, zooming into to the high pile of rocks where the Vultures were sitting:
You can just see the dots on the rock pile (it was Prem who spotted them!)
and a magnificient Black Eagle flying along the sheer rock
face, its shadow chasing on the rock, while it looked for prey.
The birds blessed us this day, in more ways than one!
The butterflies were also out in big numbers,
and if there had been
some experts, I think my list would have been even longer. I also
looked at many wildflowers,
Giant Wood Spider female:
Leo otis (Lion's Ear)
some reptiles like this Garden Lizard
One of us photographed a Black-naped Hare, and some of us saw a mongoose, too. Another mammal was getting ready to drive off:
The scenery was magnificient, too,
Shiva and Parvathi look down on us from a more recent temple
Beautiful (but probably leaky) tiles on a house
Old pillars in the water, indicating the level of water
and the weather, never more than a
little warm, allowed us to spend the day without tiring too much.
One thing I notice these days is that all the local people seem to
have turned into helpful experts! So many people offered us tips on
where to go ( "Al hogi, sir, thumba chennagide" or "alli thumba
paksigalu idde" or "alli photo-kke best spot"!). A group of boys
hectoring us to contribute for Ganesh puja, several days away, was one
of the less pleasant things...but when we shared our binoculars with
them, and showed them some of the birds that we were watching, as well
as our photographs, their slightly belligerent attitude completely
changed, and they told us, "Vaapas banni, and we will take you to more
A couple of chai stops
and the huge array of snacks that we shared
managed to keep us going,
and it was only after I reached home that a
few of us had a brunner...a combination of breakfast, lunch and
dinner! That was how busy Naure kept us throughout.
A very memorable and enjoyable day...I cannot think of a better way to
bid adieu to a nature-loving friend!
The Manchanabele checklist is on eBird at
and the Savanadurga checklist is at
(both prepared by Soham Sinha, age 7)
The butterfly list:
Blue, Tiny Grass
Bush Brown, un id
Yellow. Common Grass
Yellow, Three-spot Grass
My FB album of the day is at
Looking forward to more outings as Shishir Ritu continues!