I was chatting with prashanthks and we suddenly decided that we would go to the Valley School area to do some birding. Kuku's bird pics have been getting to be very good lately, with his new camera. vidya_m_82 was unable to come along as she attends music classes on Saturday mornings ( a blessing, as it turned out later...not that she attends music classes, but that, having a class, she didn't come along...) And whoever I did remember to call was either not willing to get up in the morning, or not free to come. (As always, I remembered several friends later that I *could* have called!) So it was just anushsh, Kuku, and me...it boded well, however, that one of us had a nice bird-sounding nickname!
6 am stretched into closer-to-6.30 am as two of us had a lovely EMC (Early Morning Coffee; does two of us having it make it EMC square? cackle, cackle) at Park View, the little eatery near my home, and off we went.
I must say, the birds in the Bangalore area also seem to get up rather late. No dawn chorus here....it was about 7.00am by the time we saw a lot of bird activity. Of course let's include the CKPM (Crow Kite Pigeon Mynah) in the list right at the beginning....well, frankly, sometimes the behaviour of even these common birds is fascinating...
The next bird to catch our eye was the PIED BUSHCHAT...this lousy shot is the only one that I have, but this is MY blog, so TTS (Truly Terrible Shots) are perfectly OK. ..why all these birds are always behind leaves and other stuff, when they seem to happily come out into the open and pose for other photographers, is beyond me.
As we walked along, Anush suddenly spotted this ORIENTAL HONEY BUZZARD amidst all the foliage....it's a dark morph:
Before I could take a second shot, the bird was off, behind all the trees where we could not see it any more. But it was a great sighting by Anush.
Then I sighted this bird for the first time. A couple of them were skulking around and at first I thought I was seeing the RUFOUS TREEPIE again...but no, it was the BLUE-FACED MALKOHA...
I got this shot of the Malkoha doing severe acrobatics as it fed on the fruits of the NEEM tree (better a Malkoha eating it than me. I used to use neem twigs to brush my teeth sometimes when I went to my aunts' villages, and it's very healthy for your teeth and your teeth will be permanently visible because you will be going YEUGGGHHHHH at the taste with all your teeth showing.)
Most of the time, though, this is the way the birds were hiding in the foliage, not giving us a chance to get good shots:
There were quite a number of COPPERSMITH BARBETS around...here's one feeding:
This beautiful un-id flower had a sweet smell, but it was not the wild jasmine that we had seen in Devarayanadurga:
And there was this flower, which Karthik says is CAPPARIS species (Family Capparidaceae)
One of the highlights of the outing was this wonderful CORAL TREE (Erythrina suberosa) tree in full bloom. We watched a variety of birds feeding on the flowers.
Here are a couple of RED-VENTED BULBULS flying around the blooms, note how their red vents blend beautifully with the colour of the flowers:
And here's the ASHY PRINIA there, too:
They were quite acrobatic about getting the nectar from the flowers!
Then a few ORIENTAL WHITE-EYES appeared, too....
What pretty birds they are!
We then watched two RED-WHISKERED BULBULS bringing leaves to where they wanted to make a nest.
With those "rouge patches" and those crests on their heads, they are such pretty birds! Here's one on his third or fourth attempt with a leaf:
Here's a female PURPLE SUNBIRD, too, enjoying the feast:
We came home,very happy with all that we saw. Kuku decided to come up to my place for just five minutes, and when he was there, he decided to see if he could set right my internet problems...and the result was, he and Anush struggled with it for over 2 hours! He finally gave up and went home, and Anush and I took the *&%$ thing to the JP Nagar telephone exchange, where I was given a temporary cable modem instead.
We came home and I realized that I had not taken my flat key! Luckily, my maid had a key, and while I waited for her, I saw this beautiful "Chocolate in Flight"...a BRAHMINY KITE flying in to sit on one of our building balconies:
And when it settled there,I thought that I had got a picture of the kite's nictitating membrane , but Karthik tells me that it doesn't look like it, it could be just a trick of the light:
I finally got into my flat,and spent a happy time looking over the photographs of the morning, and here's my last picture of a PLAIN TIGER (Let no one now say that I have not seen a Tiger in south India!) on a LANTANA bush:
The Valley School area is just amazing for birds, I guess, at any time of the year!