Email from me to the Bngbirds egroup:
Probably one of the last few messages on the yahoo group, which has served us so well for so long!
Turning my back on the Eurasian Hobby frenzy at Hoskote, I took my Go to Nature group (we are 5 ladies who just enjoy the outing, no matter what the size and shape of the living beings we see!) to Turahalli Tree Park.
I was rather saddened by the fact that today, the word "tree" has to prefix the word "park", or else it might be mistaken for an industrial or tech "park"! I belong to a generation where a park was only full of trees.
Wondering if this would be a very manicured and tamed patch of the Turahalli forest, I found that many of the residents of Sobha Forest View seemed to be posting quite interesting creatures, and we decided to visit.
Getting wind of my visit, some of the residents of Sobha Forest View, who have attended my walks at the forest patch for Bngbirds, came along too, and it was heartwarming to meet them all after a long gap (and at a fair distance..no hand shakes!) Here we are, at the gate:
Vaijnath, Subbu, Cavery, Jayashree, Vrushali, Biju, Uma, Vijetha, Sushma, Archana, Shreya (I took the pic!)
We had a really enjoyable time. The park is, of course, maintained by the Karnataka Forest Department, and there is planting of several trees going on,but it's been left sufficiently wild to keep it very interesting. At the same time, with its grid of paths, children and elders will find it a friendly space;the KFD have provided granite seats here and there to sit and rest. Most important, there is also a toilet facility, though one stall is in poor condition; the other had water. I do wish we could maintain our public toilets well! There was no provision for drinking water, a small pot near the entrance was empty and not covered. Perhaps, in these Covid times, everyone has to bring their own drinking water.
As we started, a flight of Bee-eaters, swooping up and down as they "hawked"(that is the term) for insect breakfasts. A patch of high reeds had Silverbills and a few Red Avadavats too.(Couldn't see a male in the bright red plumage but got a few ladies with their lipstick beaks!) Drongos made their insect sorties overhead, and Rose-ringed Parakeets settled down on bare tree branches to give us parrot-green delight. It was surprising to see a couple of Jerdon's Bushlarks sitting quite near us, and one of them displayed the typical lark behaviour of rising up in the air, singing, and then dropping down. White-eyes,
a few Warblers, and several other birds (see my checklist!) added to our sightings. Here's a juvenile Long-tailed Shrike:
Nor were we lacking for other forms of life. The butterflies seemed to be out in such variety, and we seemed to be walking through a paradise of flying jewels! We did find some not-so-usual as well as the usual ones.Here's a Common Lime butterfly:
And one we call "Virat Kohli", because it is the Indian (Grizzled) Skipper!
Insects, too, claimed our attention, from a fluorescent Katydid, to Spittlebugs, Two mating moths which looked like two T's joined together to make an "H",
jewel bugs flaunting their gleaming metallic colours, an inchworm, stink bugs and Tussock Moth caterpillars, tent and jumping spiders, a shiny Carpenter Bee
...and so the list went. Uma and Vaijnath had excellent spotting skills for these tiny creatures!
What about the wildflowers and trees? Well, we saw a lot of Jamun, Peepul and other tree saplings coming up; rather close to each other, we thought, but I suppose the KFD know about it better than we do! We found several Palash (Butea monosperma) trees, and non-native (I wouldn't call them that after they have been around for about 300 years now!) trees like Gulmohar too. Wildflowers like the Puncture Vine (Tribulus terristris), Devil's Coach Whip or Blue Snakeweed(Stachytarpheta sp.), Passionflower (Passiflora sp.) and Coat Button (Tridax procumbens) dotted the paths, along with grass which looked very beautiful with their feathery seed cases waving in the breeze. I explained how many of these plants are used in traditional medicine.
After those who lived nearby returned, the five of us who do our weekly nature walk, sat on the granite seats under the cooling shade of the trees, and shared our usual (delicious!) snacks,
enjoyed the peace of the park, and left, hoping to return again soon.
My eBird list is at https://ebird.org/checklist/S75511786
Awl, Common Banded
Blue, Pale Grass
Blue, Dark Grass
Brown, Common Evening
Skipper, Indian Grizzled
Swift, un id
Yellow, Spotless Grass
Yellow, Three-spot Grass
Our Go to Nature group:
Participants from Sobha Forest View:
My album on FB is here
and on Flickr (for those who are not on FB) is here
Looking forward already to whatever is in store for me this coming weekend!
As far as my outings go, I follow Covid protocols and so far, I have tested myself four times, negative each time!...so I seem to be doing something right..and I suppose I am also lucky. These outings, and regular (moderate...no Olympic training for me!) walks keep my immune sytem also up, I believe. Since I am at high risk myself, and have a family with two young grandchildren to think of, I am certainly as careful as I can be, without sitting indoors in fear! The Covid tiger is not going away any time soon, and I am happy to live as nornal a life as I can, with some restrictions. A time when being negative is something positive!