March 6th, 2008


The T G Halli trip

Mainly if not interested, move along to the next friend's post!

On Sunday, the plan to go to Hebbal Lake with the rest of the bngbirds group got changed to T G Halli Dam backwaters. So sainath's friend Immidi picked me up at 5am (no, I did not tell him to pick me up Immidi-ately!) and we went and met up with Sai and anushsh and off we went.

shivakumar_l had gone ahead, as he lives much closer to the T G Halli area.

The backwaters area is lovely; not many trees, but open ground, rather rocky and hilly, with the water proving an attraction for the various birds.

the rocks at tghalli

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I was also lucky to meet up with two excellent photographers, H S Ganesh, and the youngster, Ramnath Chandrasekhar, who showed us some of his beautiful photographs, too. Here they are, exchanging notes:

H S Ganesh and Ramnath Chandrasekhar tghalli 020308

The sun got too hot even for our enthusiasm, and we decided to return, but not before the others got some super shots of a KESTREL at rest and in flight, which I missed...of course!

A fantastic morning of birding..many thanks to Sainath, Immidi, Shiva and Anush for making it happen!

Sainath's superb pictures of that (&*^ kestrel (which waited for me to go away before it came and posed for him) are at

See and enjoy that guy's superb camera skills!

Two interesting people...

Amazing people lead you to more amazing people. When I first heard of Shyamal , I thought of an aged old man, steeped in the practice and lore of birdwatching. Only Anno Domini, in my view, could account for the amount of knowledge that everyone around me told me he had.

So, when on the way home from the JLR bird survey in B R Hills, I was introduced to a young man called Shyamal, it took me (as usual) a few minutes to put two and two together and realize that this sprightly stripling was the wise old sage I had been imagining!

After that, of course, our paths didn't cross much. He talks seriously about bird distribution and is involved in documentation in a most methodical way...and I am at the other end of the spectrum, wondering if a juvenile crow looks different from an adult (er, the inside of their beaks shows reddish-pink.) Then a couple of months ago, when I first went to Hebbal Lake, he gave me a delightful 101 on the feeding habits of waterbirds.

I have always been struck by the vein of commonsense and humour in what he writes; the tinge of laughter leavens and makes very attractive, the serious topics that he addresses.

And today, he told me about another very interesting person, Kumar, who, apart from being a a committed birder, is also a very good artist. Kumar is from Thiruvannamalai,and paints on Cuddapah slabs. These can be seen in the eco park at Thiruvannamalai. Theodore Baskaran, says Shyamal, informs him that he has done some work at Auroville as well.

"He was an ex-poster painter - but put out of business by digital printing -
and is now employed to paint for a
eco-park there," writes Shyamal.

A while ago, I had written about the three artists who have created marvellous murals in the Jungle Lodges and Resorts property in Bandipur. I feel that Kumar uses his talent to augment his interest in birding...and I wonder how many more artists there are, undiscovered and unsung, who, because of the exigencies of earning their living, are forced to put their talents by....

Here's the picture of Kumar with one of his creations-on-stone

Thank you, Shyamal, for letting me use your pictures.