Where is the winter in Bangalore? Alas.... it seems to last only until the sun gathers power in the mornings! But in spite of the rather strong sunshine, several of us had a very enjoyable morning at Kaikondrahalli (or Kaikondanahalli...it's spelt both ways at the lake!) on the 4th Sunday outing, on 23rd Dec, 2018.
KrishnaVirat, Chandu, Shubha, Subramanyam,Tarachand, Imtiaz, Mamta, Gopinath, Jagan, Rakshith, Mandar (with Srushti), Kalyani. Kaikondrahalli kere, 231218. Sushmitha and Shankar joined us later.
We started on the path watching the Spot-billed Pelicans, Little Grebes, Little and Great Cormorants, and Spot-billed Ducks doing their "ducking" as they hunted for food. A White-throated Kingfisher arrived in a flash of cobalt blue and sat quietly at the edge of the bridge. Several Black-headed Ibises flew out, perhaps in search of the next water body.
Walking along, I showed everyone the various medicinal plants and trees that have been planted along the northern edge of the lake (along Sarjapura Road). Soon, the latecomers also caught up, and we looked at Sunbirds, Flowerpeckers, and Warblers flitting around the trees. The butterflies were not out, but a Bush Hopper on a (what else?) bush caught Chandu's eye, and we looked at the small creature carefully.
As we neared the halfway mark, Painted Storks,
some Asian Openbills, and a large number of Grey Herons and just a lone Purple Heron caught our attention on the central island. Mamta, a very experienced birder from Bhubaneswar who is visiting her daughter, was helpful in spotting the Small Blue Kingfisher. Kalyani spotted a White-cheeked Barbet on the Ficus, but it took the rest of us several minutes to see it!
I was dismayed to see a notice proclaiming the construction of a Chamundeswari temple, asking for donations of bricks and cement,next to the fence. But I guess there is little we can do about it, as the marshy area (where we spotted a couple of Sandpipers) will be dumped on and filled up.
Some of us actually clicked the Greater Spotted Eagle under the impression it was a Black Kite...it soon took off, mobbed by those can't-get-along-with-any-other-bird crows. But we soon watched a reverse drama in the air, as a Black Kite chased a crow which had secured some food. In the fray, it seemed as if neither bird got to eat the morsel!
We watched a Two-tailed Spider, and observed how well-camouflaged it was against the bark:
Drongos, as usual, swooped and called. We were delighted to see a Golden Oriole,
and several Brahminy and Chestnut-tailed Starlings
A few Rosy Starlings too:
as we approached the rookery where the Cormorants nest in season.
It is very heartening to see children on the walk. Young Srushti (whose nickname is "Dolphin"!) , the daughter of Kalyani and Mandar, proved to be very knowledgeable about birds, and it was a pleasure showing her other creatures, like tent and orb web spiders. Krishna Virat, also quite experienced with birds, came along with his father, Chandu Bandi, who was a great help in spotting birds and showing them to the group.
Here are three birds in one frame, Little Egret, Spot-billed Duck, and Little Cormorant:
Mamta and I shared our biscuits and orange segments with everyone,
and we walked on beyond the Butterfly corner, which seems, once again, to be in sad shape. However, some Plain Tigers and Common Jezebels were found a little further on. Brahminy Kites, both adult and juvenile, soared overhead.
There was a lot of activity in the tall Eucalyptus near the rest rooms, with Warblers and White-eyes flitting around, and a Purple Sunbird flashing its metallic plumage in the sunlight.
A Praying Mantis on Mandar's clothes delighted us for a while.
We managed to see a Spotted Dove, and a Shikra gave us a fitting flypast to end our outing. Some of us adjourned to South Inn for a hearty breakfast
and dispersed, well-pleased with what we had seen, and observed.
the eBird list is
the FB album is
and the Flickr album is
Here's a short video of a Cormorant drying its wings while still swimming!
This was the last Bngbirds walk for 2018, and I take the opportunity of wishing everyone a very merry Christmas if they celebrate it, or a happy holiday if they don't...and all the best for a prosperous 2019!