December 31st, 2012


Bannerghatta zoo area, and in the Zoo: 301212


I generally do not like to go to the Zoo,as it depresses me to see
animals in captivity....particularly those which, a few metres away,
are free in the wild.

However, in Bannerghatta, the Forest Department is almost finished
with the task of making most of the areas that were common earlier,
into walled, ticketed areas that birders/nature lovers like us cannot
access any more.

The path that led to Jungle Lodges Hill View restaurant from the
"quarry pond" next to the Butterfly Park was walled up some time ago;
now, when Naveen and Rashmi Toppo,Rohan Kunte, and I visited this
morning, we found that the path just opposite the Butterfly Park,
which was the new access to JLR, is also walled up, and a sliding gate
being erected, to include the space in the Herbivore Safari. This
means that morning nature-trail people's access to what I have dubbed
"Flycatcher Avenue", and "KIngfisher Pond" (near the present Herbivore
Safari gate) are completely cut off. The only way we can gain access
is after 9.30am, when the Zoo ticket gates open.By this time, the bird
activity would effectively have died down.

Is there any way in which we can contact the Karnataka Forest
Department, and ask for some special ticketing whereby we can pay (we
don't in the least mind that) and enter the area at 6 to 6.30am, which
is the time we normally do the nature trail? The present arrangement
cuts off our access completely, and it's not fun to enter at 9.30am
along with large crowds of tourists, when there may not be much bird
activity...and we are not really interested in visiting the Zoo.

Or....wait...I'll come to this later.

Another problem is that the parking lot of the Zoo area also does not
open in the morning, until 9.30am. We then park on the side road. When
we return, we are harassed for no fault of ours, and though there is
no one to collect parking charges in the morning, we are made to pay
the charges as we exit. If we are to pay the parking charges, why
should we not be allowed to park in the proper car park?

As far as visiting the Zoo goes....

Today, I realized that our only way to access my favourite areas were
to buy tickets and enter. Luckily for us, it was already 9.30am, so we
bought tickets and entered the Zoo first,before the crowds did..and we
were richly rewarded. We did not pay much attention to the animals in
captivity (except looking at the Hippos, which were bellowing away for
some reason)....but the amount of birds we saw in the Zoo campus
staggered us. We then walked along Flycatcher Avenue and went around
the Kingfisher Pond...and it was Flycatcher Fiesta, with several of
them deciding to sit and pose for us! Also, for the first time, I saw
a Sandpiper at the Kingfisher pond, in spite of the boating being
organized there, and a huge water fountain spouting water into the

I have put up my photos on a Facebook album at

I was very lucky to meet Rohan Kunte, who'd read my blog posts on
Bannerghatta and decided to visit! We all had a marvellous time!


Babbler, Jungle
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Bee-Eater, Small Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bulbul, White-browed
Bushchat, Pied
Bushlark, Indian
Bushlark, Jerdon's
Buzzard, Oriental Honey
Cisticola, Zitting
Cormorant, Great
Cormorant, Little
Coucal, Greater
Crow, House
Crow, Large-billed
Cuckoo, Common Hawk
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Intermediate
Egret, Little
Flameback, Black-rumped
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, Asian Brown
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Flycatcher, Tickell's Blue
Francolin, Grey (heard)
Heron, Black-crowned Night
Heron, Grey
Heron, Indian Pond
Iora, Common
Kingfisher, Small Blue
Kingfisher, White-throated
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Koel, Asian
Lapwing, Red-wattled
Lark, Rufous-tailed
Leafbird, Golden-fronted
Martin, Asian House
Minivet, Small
Munia, Scaly-breasted
Munia, White-rumped
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Owlet, Spotted
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pigeon, Blue-rock
Pipit, Paddyfield
Prinia, Ashy
Prinia, Plain
Robin, Indian
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Roller, Indian
Sandpiper, Common
Sandpiper, Green
Starling, Brahminy
Starling, Chestnut-tailed
Starling, Rosy
Sunbird, Purple
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Red-rumped
Swallow, Wire-tailed
Swift, Asian Palm
Tailorbird, Common
Tit, Great
Treepie, Rufous
Wagtail, Grey
Wagtail, White-browed
Warbler, Booted
Warbler, Greenish Leaf
White-eye, Oriental


Blues, Various
Emigrant, Common
Emigrant, Mottled
Gull, Common
Jezebel, Common
Lime, Common
Mormon, Common
Orange-tip, White
Pansy, Chocolate
Pansy, Lemon
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Wanderer, Common
Yellow, Common Grass
Yellow, Three-spot Grass
Yellow, Spotless

The birds were so abundant today that I really did not concentrate on
the insects or butterflies...and there were several that I could
neither photograph, nor sketch, nor identify.

A big thank you to Naveen and Rashmi, and to Rohan, for a wonderful
morning-up-to-afternoon trail, with great chai breaks (made by
Rashmi), and the delicious masal dosa at Mayura Dose Camp!

Having been out of town and not on the internet, I am guilty of not
having posted my plans on Facebook as usual....I missed each and every
one of my friends, and wished they were with us on this productive

Cheers, Deepa.