November 3rd, 2013

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How I overdosed on the Indian Silverbill, 011113

When you've been fasting, you tend to break your fast...and overdo it! I'd not seen anything of Indian birds for a longish time now, and when we went to

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to help my friend Shangon celebrate the life of her husband, who passed away in 2005, I just walked around the school building while the speeches were going on.

Just behind the toilets,a barbed wire fence separated the High School property from a field of millet; and there, I was delighted to find a group of

INDIAN SILVERBILLs

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The Indian Silverbill brought me back to Indian birding, and what a delightful start it was!

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Ragihalli, 021113

What could be a better medicine for severe jet-lag and symptoms of serious withdrawal from one's grandchilden (who, as the miles slip away behind the aircraft, progressively become the best-behaved, most ideal children of all time)? A visit to my favourite haunt!

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Rajesh had posted on the birding e-group, asking if anyone would go to the Bannerghatta area. Well, of course I would! I was joined by Amitabha, Kiran and Zainab, too..

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the latter were coming for their first birding/natiure trail. The only bird in their lives now is the Stork, which will be arriving early next year.

It was a cloudy and dull morning,


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and initially, all birds were Grey 'Silhouette Birds, I had to keep showing Zainab and Kiran what the birds looked like, in the bird book. But we persisted, and not only did we see a respectable number of species,


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we also enjoyed the beauty of the Bannerghatta forest,


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the weak sunshine,


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a hot breakfast in the iddli shop in Ragihalli,and the sight of innumerable waterlilies,

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and a few white lotuses, blooming in Ragihalli Kola (Pond).


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Some living things grew fast after the rain...


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The highlight, for me at least, was a big group of Lesser Whistling Duck babies, huddling along, trying to keep right behind their parents, in Ragihalli Kola.

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There were several butterflies,


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some interesting spiders


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and other insects.

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and we delighted in the various wildflowers, too.


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It was a deeply satisfying morning, and I returned home with peace in my heart, on the festival of lights.

The villagers of Ragihalli told us that the elephant movement was not at a high, but we were warned by the Forest Department people at the Ragihalli watch tower. But the Forest Dept staff keep harassing photographers, even when we are on the main road, and this does not make sense to me. On the whole, they adopt a very confrontational, hectoring tone. When I talked to them, they were a little more polite. Perhaps they come across a lot of tourists who make nuisances of themselves.

The Ragihalli sheet rock area was surprisingly free of broken bottles and picnic litter, and this was a big improvement. However, litter surrounds Ragihalli village.
Our plastic trash is poisoning our environment at an alarming pace.

I have put up some photos (I've also written in a narrative) on my Facebook album at

https://www.facebook.com/deemopahan/media_set?set=a.10151797656438878.1073742033.587058877&type=3


The bird list:

Babbler, Jungle
Babbler, Yellow-billed
Barbet,Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Bee-eater, Small Green
Bulbul Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bulbul, White-browed
Bushchat Pied
Bushlark jerdon's,
Buzzard, Oriental Honey
Coucal, Greater
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Drongo Ashy
Drongo, Black
Duck, Lesser Whistling
Duck, Spot-billed
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Little
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Francolin grey (heard)
Grebe, Little
Heron, Indian-pond
Hoopoe, Common
Kestrel, Common
Kingfisher, White-breasted
Kite, Black
Koel, Asian
Lapwing Red-wattled
Martin, Asian House
Munia, Scaly-breasted
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pipit, Paddyfield
Prinia, Ashy
Prinia Plain
Robin, Indian
Shikra
Silverbill, Indian
Starling, Rosy
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Red-rumped
Swallow, Wire-tailed
Swift, House
Treepie, Rufous
Wagtail, White-browed
Warbler, Greenish-leaf

Butterflies:

Blues, Various
Castor, Common
Eggfly, Danaid
Emigrant, Common
Jezebel, Common
Leopard, Common
Lime, Common
Psyche
Rose, Common
Tiger, Common
Yellow, Three-spot Grass
Yellow, Spotless Grass

Various Dragonflies, Damselflies, and Spiders, too.




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