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Makalidurga, 241210
Chandu, having been looking at the lovely village of Makalidurg (mAkaLidurgA) from the train on his way to and from Hyderabad, decided that it would be a likely spot for Nature/birding trip, and Anil, Prashant, Vittal and I (all from the NTP group) enthusiastically joined him, and off we went, early on a very misty, chilly morning!

One of the loveliest sights, which Chandu told me to capture, was of the Lantana flowers,everywhere, drenched in the morning mist:

dew lntna 241210

The fog was so dense that Anil had difficulty seeing the road ahead. Here's an almost-impressionistic view of Jain monks walking (on pilgrimage), taken through the windshield

monks in th emist 241210

Here are the others, returning to the car after an excellent breakfast at "Ayyappa Tiffen Centre" (more about people in places in the next post!)

anil chandu prashant vittal 241210

Here's what the scenery looked like in the dense mist:

mist 241210

Incredibly, though, as we took the road up, at one point...within a minute, we were out of the mist into bright blue skies and brilliant sunlight!

sun through tree 241210

We stopped to photograph, and admire, the spider webs sparkling with the dew:

orb spider 241210

This web of the


was also beautiful:

tent spdr wb 241210

we watched one Orb Spider busy at work:

Update, Vittal says this is the Kidney Garden Spider, named because of the kidney-shaped marking on its back (not because it is found in kidney gardens...) Araneus mitificus



ate from the Acacia tree:

rvb 241210

We reached a large water body, and surprisingly, we did not see any ducks or waterbirds, apart from the usual Herons and Egrets; not even a glimpse of any kind of kingfisher! We were speculating about why this should be so...perhaps the experts can explain. However, for a long time, we watched the Barn Swallows swooping up and down in the air, and large group of


slvrblls 241210 mkldrg

There were several butterflies around, and I got this


white orange-tip 241210

From the car, we spotted a


right next to us, and we watched with glee as the bird took a dust-bath!

lark 241210

We then decided to go the Station area, but alas, a nail got in the way of the tyre of the Tata Safari.

puncture 241210

Of couse, I let the four men handle this dirty, dusty puncture-repairjob, and I swanned off to see the pretty, picture-postcard little station.

Just behind the station, at a large well, a group of


were flying around perkily:

spr m and f 241210

We saw the standard-now-for-every-birding-trip


ohb 241210

and I got a shot of a distant


kestrel 241210

then I watched a herd of


rushing down the slope:

After they were done with the puncture, out came the others' cameras, and we captured this


handmdn moth 241210

We were also occupied for a long time with a large group of


in a bushy area, and then crossed the tracks and came upon a temple, where I spent quite half an hour watching a group of


flying in and out of the holes they'd made in a large wooden beam of the temple:

bee holes 241210

Look at the beauty of it!

bee on ledge 241210

This bee kept still, long enough for me to get a "bee portfolio":

bee profile 241210

We then went to the Ghati Subramanya temple, and on the road, spotted my favourite beauty,the


bwk 241210

Here's an


pecking at food on a rock:

To see more photographs,

click here

For Prashant's photographs,

click here

The highlights of the trip, sightings-wise, were:

The large flock of Barn Swallows and Silverbills
The bushes full of Sunbirds
The Bushlark taking a mud-bath
The Sirkeer Malkoha jumping around, strutting on the ground and despatching its prey
The Shikra couple flying together.
The Kestrel eating its prey in mid-air.
The Carpenter Bees and their nests.
The family of Quails suddenly crossing in front of our car, in such a busy-busy, comical hurry to get somewhere!

Here's the bird and butterfly list:

Bee-eater, Small Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, White-cheeked
Bulbul, Coppersmith
Buschat, Pied
Bushlark, Indian
Buzzard, Oriental honey
Crow, Jungle
Crow, Common
Dove, Laughing
Drongo, Black
Egret, Cattle(G)
Flowerpecker, Tickells
Egret, Little
Heron, Pond
Kingfisher, White-breasted(G)
Kite, Black
Kite, Black-winged (G)
Kestrel, Common
Lapwing, Red-wattled
Lark, Ashycrowned Sparrow
Malkoha, Blue-faced
Malkoha, Sirkeer
Munia, Scaly breasted
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Quail (?)
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Robin, Indian
Roller, Indian
Sparrow, House
Sunbird, Purple
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Wagtail, Whitebrowed
Warbler, Blyth's Reed


Blues, various kinds
Cerulean, Common
Crow, Common
Emigrant, Commmon
Four-ring, Common
Leopard, Common
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Tiger, Blue
Tiger, Common
Tiger, Glassy
Wanderer, Common
Yellow, Grass, various kinds

Various grasshoppers and crickets.


Macaques, Bonnet
Mongoose, Stripe-necked


Keelback, Checkered
Snake, Rat

I'll end this post with another image of that winged jewel:

carpenter bee wings 241210

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Beautiful pics of the carpenter bee! And I always love seeing pics of the house sparrows - they are soooo cute! Super shot of the lark, and the train does look like it's passing through some fantasy land!!

I've added the Buzzard and Kestrel pics now. Nice talking to you!

Its Acacia auriculiformis

Hi Deepa, thanks for sharing wonderful trip report. Its nice to read trip reports with pictures and taking us through the journey. By the way The red vented bulbul picture is on that of an introduced species often planted by Forest department as a part of the afforestation program. Its called Acacia auriculiformis orginally from Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia just like the Eucalyptus http://www.fleppc.org/ID_book/Acacia%20auriculiformis.pdf. Its common name is Knife edge acacia or Ear leaf Acacia. Its golden yellow flowers gives its specific name.

Re: Its Acacia auriculiformis

Thanks for the info about the Acacia, Prasad, I didn't know that.

Look at the fierce eyes!

Also the tent spider web looks like an aerial jellyfish pulsing down...


is another shot of the bird. It's a real beauty!

Yes, I too thought of an upside down jellyfish!

What wonderful birds and other creatures!
I have a lantana like that in my garden.

Yes, the two are probably the same (like your Apt Userpic!)...but here, what was introduced as an ornamental, has rapidly taken hold, overrunning all native species on the forest floor, and becoming a weed.

Rat Snake!

Did you get a snap of that? There's no mention in your blog :-(


No photo :(((( but good sighting :))))))

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