It was heartening to see that several children had joined the walk too! Keerthana had brought her friends Anvitha, Krishna, and Sahana; Subrahamanya C N and his wife Neha had brought their son Shreyamsh along. Many of the children kept meticulous notes in their notebooks.
Ulhas introduced himself and talked a bit about the Turahalli forest, its earlier range and present confines. Prasad, too, joined us, and shared his knowledge with us.
As we slowly walked up the trail, Deepak decided that rather than go uphill, we would take the path skirting the base of the hill.
Ulhas and Deepak (centre left, and right)
The usual gang of suspects, as we like to call the birds that one expects at a birding spot, turned up one by one...White-cheeked and Coppersmith Barbets, the Green Bee-eaters flying around as they hawked insects in the air, those who were more experienced pointed out the birds to those who were coming on an outing, or seeing the birds, for the first time.
Nor were birds the only creatures of interest. Several of us were interested in the plants and trees that we passed; Ajit, Subbu and I looked at the tiny, beautiful flowers of what Arun Kumar N later told us, was the Byttneria herbacea, or Herbal Byttneria.
Some species of Clerodendrum,
little blue Evolvulus flowers at our feet,
the children (and some of us adults too!) having fun watching the Touch-Me-Not (Mimosa pudica) close up its leaves when we touched it....all these added to the walk. On the trees, the summer flowers were slowly giving way to the monsoon greenery, but here and there, the Jacaranda still held on to its purple blooms. Tiny wild jasmine flowers starred the path and added the magic of scent to the sights and sounds.
The sounds, too, were plenty. Ashy Prinias and Tailorbirds "marked attendance". The sight of a peacock with a full "tail of a thousand eyes", in the branches of a Peepal tree,
held us riveted at the beginning, and we kept hearing them throughout. The songs of Oriental Magpie Robins floated liquidly through the air, and we heard the harsher call of the Shikras even before sighting one.
All around us, the butterflies dotted the air as they flitted about, and a fair amount of the walk was spent observing these winged beauties.
Cotton Stainer Bugs
Spider, Turahalli, 180617 Plexippus paykulli, Salticidae spider
Finding some caterpillars,
a large Cicada, and other insects, also kept our interest from flagging.
This Yellow Pansy was caught in a spiderweb, and the eternal dilemma...should we intervene or not? solved itself as the butterfly suddenly freed itself and fluttered away.
The heavy, moisture-bearing clouds slowly gave way to the fleecy cotton-puffs (insert scientific names like Nimbus and Cumulus here!) that heralded bluer skies and bright patches of sunshine. Several walkers and cyclists shared our path.
Subbu and Nandini, who live in Turahalli Forest View, informed me that the Indian Rock Eagle Owl can still be seen regularly in this patch. We were not able to see too many raptors, though, probably because of the cloudy weather; we were content to see Brahmin and Black Kites, and an Oriental Honey Buzzard.
It is one of the marks of an interesting walk that even after many of us returned to our starting point, we were still observing and enjoying ourselves, and rather reluctantly pulled ourselves away
to go off to a late breakfast at Adayar Ananda Bhavan (A2B)!
The eBird list, compiled by J N Prasad, is
Birders (as far as I can remember)
Adnan Raja,Ajit Ampalakkad, Amit C Javgal, Anil Bhatta,Anirudh
Bhatta, Anvitha, JN Chandrashekar,Deepa Mohan,Deepak Jois, Harish
Chandra, Janhvi Vyas, Lata, Keerthana ,Krishna,Lata, Nandini, Neha,
Padma Ramaswamy, Prashanth M Badrinath, Raji Hari, GS Ramaswamy, Rupa
Rao, Sahana, Sarrah , little Shreyamsh, Reshamwala,Sathyan, TS
Srinivasa, Sriram Prabhakar, Subramaniam Kumar, Subrahmanya C N,
Tamanna, Tara Jayarao from Hyderabad,Tarachand Wanvari. Uday
Kumar,Ulhas Anand, Vijay Krishnan. If I've left out anyone...put it
down to my famous memory (or lack of it) and forgive me!
Blue, Tiny Grass
Brown, Common Evening
Orange Tip, White
Orange Tip, Yellow
Yellow, Common Grass
Yellow, Three-spot Grass
I have put up my photos on an FB album
Let me leave you with my "shadow selfie"...