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.
It was quite chilly that early in the morning, but on the way to the place, we stopped the car several times on seeing these GREY FRANCOLINS running about on the rocks at the side of the road:
It took us, alas, a very long time to find the turn-off from the road (described as a "seventy-degree dip" by Shiva) that we needed to take, and we reached the area only at the time we were supposed to leave! The light was already quite harsh, but there were so many different birds to be seen, that we had no thoughts of leaving!
As the sun climbed overhead, so did the raptors of T G Halli. If you want really great photographs, you need to look at Sainath's or Shiva's snaps; I am already feeling quite behindhand with the posting, and am posting them as is, where is...!
Here is a TAWNY EAGLE overhead:
A small group of SPOT-BILLED DUCKS swam along on the water; you can see why they are so called:
The rocky, dry ground was also habitat to several larks, and I managed to get a shot of the ASHY-CROWNED SPARROW-LARK male:
The female was close by and for some reason, in this shot, she has her eyes shut!
My old favourite, the BRAHMINY KITE, was there, too, alternately parked on the rocks, and sailing above our heads:
Other birds, like this COMMON SANDPIPER, also kept flying and landing as they looked for food:
Here's a LITTLE RINGED PLOVER:
this one's a WOOD SANDPIPER:
A few more raptors made their appearance, and we loved the sight of this JUVENILE MONTAGU'S HARRIER above us:
Another water bird that I saw for the first time was the PRATINCOLE:
I also saw old friends, like this PADDYFIELD PIPIT:
and this RIVER TERN swooped as gracefully as its cousins at Ranganathittu:
There were several YELLOW WAGTAILS around, bobbing about in typical wagtail fashion:
And just to let me know that birds were not the only interesting things around, was this un-id (Madhusmita! Help!) insect on a rock:
Here's a close-up:
Even a commonly-seen bird like the BLACK DRONGO decided to pose for us:
And I managed, also, to get some non-posed photos; here's shivakumar_l...that wink is totally due to the harsh sunlight, there were no pretty girls around!
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:
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!