But it was actually nice, to be free of the camera for once, when I realized what had happened.
Vittal had brought Jacob and Sandeep to the sheet-rock area, and Jayashree and I had tagged along to do some birding.
It was cloudy and chilly, and the bird activity was very low; but as we finally spotted a cute pair of Rufous-tailed Larks on the rock, preening themselves, another family drove up....Naveen Bhatia had brought his wife Shalini and his son Goutham, and we took them along to the Ragihalli pond, and we had a lot of fun.
The highlights of the trip were:
Jayashree and I watched a "six-lane highway" of ants, and followed the "river" (mostly one-way traffic, with just a few ants moving the other way) over nearly 100 metres...in both directions we could not follow when they went under a stand of cactus, or under crevices of rock. It was an amazing sight to see this river of ants "flowing" along...and it was not ants in single file, but many of them together.
As we moved from the sheet rock, we sighted a Crested Serpent Eagle in a tree on our left (obviously, against the light. It flew off shortly, but not before thrilling us all!
A pair of Small Blue Kingfishers came flying into the pond, and kept fishing. One of them looked so dark in its colouring that I mistook it for a Blue-eared Kingfisher and was very excited...but later, when the other turned up, I started having doubts, and when I came back home and saw Vittal's shots, I realized it was the Small Blue after all. But still it was wonderful to see one bird right next to a large white lotus....the image will stay with me for quite a while.
A Spotted Owlet in the Honge tree near the ruined temple flew out on noiseless wings as I approached;
and high in the air, the resident Oriental Honey Buzzard soared.
Bird List (unusually low!)
Buzzard, Oriental Honey
Eagle, Crested Serpent
Kingfisher, Small Blue
Pigeon, Blue Rock