Since it was cloudy with a possibility of rain, I was quite heartened that 30 of us decided to join for the 4th Sunday Bngbirds outing. We were all quite punctual at the meeting point near the small Anjaneya shrine,
and the two majestic Banyan trees; and a few Indian Grey Hornbills flying past, and the loud cheep-cheep of a Tailorbird started us off on the path.
Ravugodlu is one of the last semi-scrub forest patches
that groups can be taken to, without having to go to various Forest Department offices to submit applications in triplicate, for permission (only to be told that you should have done this a week ago!) We enjoyed the scenery and the bluffs on the side of which lies the Ragihalli area. It was delightful to children like Saanvi and Aanvi (er, not related to each other...they just happen to have similar names!) join in, binoculars and note-books in hand.
A few Green Bee-eaters, and the ubiquitous Black and Brahminy Kites were in the air; the rains had ensured that the pond along the path was also full. Several yellow birds...Ioras and Oriental White-eyes
...brought flashes of brightness to the cloudy atmosphere.
The group rather quickly straggled along the path and I was never sure whether all of us saw all the birds or not! The first sighting of a Shikra, and a Short-toed Snake Eagle, upped our raptor count; we looked it up in the bird book,
to be sure.
At the pond, we found a solitary White-browed Wagtail, and a small blue jewel of a kingfisher flew about, trying to get breakfast.
As we reached the part of the path which widens out into a flat area, with the hill slopes and rocks surrounding us, the sunshine finally broke through the clouds and promptly pushed up the temperature! Little Swifts and Palm Swifts swooped around overhead, as did Red-rumped Swallows. We were delighted to see large flocks of Rose-ringed Parakeets flying around into the mango orchard area, as they looked for nesting sites and foraged. These may be very common birds even in the urban setting; but their bright green plumage and red beaks add a lovely dash of colour to any birding outing!
At the open area, those of us who reached first, brought out our snacks, and I am afraid, though not repentant, that I pigged out on a lot of stuff ( eg Mamta's superb dhokla and the soy sticks from Haldiram.) Fruits, almonds, many crisp snacks from the recent Janmashtami festival...all were despatched with gusto!
Though I expected at least half the group to catch up, many people had already left, so only a few people joined up with us. We looked up to see another raptor, and with my usual question mark hovering over my head, I was able to confirm it only later as a Bonelli's Eagle.
As we walked back, we looked at several other living creatures...the beauty of the crimson seed pods of the Indian Redwing;
blooming wildflowers such as the Node Flower,
Coat Button, the Devil's Coach Whip, Vishnukranti, Cyanotis; the children had great fun touching the Touch-me-not leaves! I was able to show people near me the seed pods of the Indrajao or Pala Indigo,
Several reptiles like the Garden Lizard
and the Rock Agama
kept us occupied. Spiders of all kinds...Lynx, Funnel Web, Orb Weavers, Social Spiders...truly wove a web of fascination for us. A little Dung Beetle added some metallic colour.
We didn't see too many butterflies, but a Crimson Rose, some Common Mormons, a Common Lime, Emigrants, Jezebels,a Common Baron
and Grass Yellows which looked like little flitting blossoms in the grass and reeds, added their beauty to the scene. A grasshopper was beautifully camouflaged in the reeds.
As we returned to our cars, we were suddenly treated to a magnificient finale to the outing...a Black Eagle
swept past quite low, and had us walking off in its wake, hoping to have a better sight of it.
After this unexpected bonus, I am sorry to say that all the erudite scientific and nature discussions gave way to "Where shall we stop for breakfast?" and the Davangere Benne Dose eatery was the unanimous choice.
A few of us enjoyed the crisp dose-s with the dollops of potato and butter,
and with our tummies, minds,hearts (and possibly camera memory cards!) full, we dispersed back to our separate lives and weekend commitments.
Here is most of our group before the start of the walk:
The eBird list is at
(62 species...not a bad haul for a monsoon morning!)
I have put up my photos on a FB album at
For the non-FB friends, the Flickr album is at
A few of us went to the Bhutanahalli pond to observe the Baya Weaver nesting activity:
Even here, there were several handsome six-footers to captivate us:
Sweet Potato Weevil
Tussock Moth caterpillar
Every outing is full of the wonders of the natural world!