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Shivanahalli, Camp Gee Dee,Bannerghatta Forest Area, 261210

I was going to *strictly* stay at home, and do my packing and preparation for the trip to BR Hills tomorrow. So naturally, when Gopakumar called and asked if I would come with (alphabetical order) anjali_ar, mamtanaidu and Peeyush, of course I immediately said yes! I'd been wanting to meet Gopa for a long time, and he'd told me that his daughter Madhumita had come with us to BR Hills (the Valley School trip.) So...ditch the pending work, and off I go! Any invitation to Bannerghatta forest...unthinkable to turn it down, especially with such company!

As usual, the day started with fog and mist...here is, I am not kidding...the sun!

sun!








Everyone appeared grey....

sheet rcck 261210

But the sun did break through, and out came our binoculars!

binocs 261210

It was lovely to see the early light on the dewdrops, on the cactus:

dew on cactus sheet rock 261210


Here are the others, on the rocks of Ragidevara Betta:

tower rock 261210

Here's Vishnu, who gave us access to Camp Gee Dee, so that we could climb the betta (hillock)

vishnu 261210


On the way back, we spotted two lovely sights: one, this vendor of shiny brass and bronze vessels:

bronze and copper 261210


and the beautiful way in which the walls of this house have been built, the traditional way, with stacked-up stone:

wall 261210

The tradition dates back several thousand years, when these dolmens were built up on the rock face: the bodies were set upon the rock face, and the top slab, held on load bearing granite pieces, was built up in a similar fashion, to form a burial site:

dolmen 261210

On the timeless (the rocks, called Peninsular Gneiss, are among the oldest exposed rock in the world) surface, the

PENINSULAR ROCK AGAMAS

bask in the sunshine:

agama 261210 gd


Another reptile we spotted was the

CHAMELEON:

chameleon 261210





We saw an ants' nest on the way up:

ants' nest 261210

Butterflies included this

(not sure) PLUM JUDY (correct my id if it's wrong)

plum judy?


this

BUSH BROWN (again, not sure)

bush brown 261210

the

BARONET


baronet 261210

and this

LEMON PANSY:

lemon pansy 261210

Tiny insects included these

MEALY BUGS:

mealy bug 261210 gd

this un id

BEETLE:

un id beetle gd 261210

and this beautiful

SPIDER WASP:

spider wasp 261210

We looked at several interesting trees, ranging from the Indian Laburnum, to the tree from the wood of which the Chennapatna toys are made. (Gopa, I want the scientific name of it once again!)

This un id wildflower looked beautiful in the sunlight:

wldflower 261210

We found the winged seeds of the

Holarrhena antidysenterica tree:

anti dys 261210

I didn't photograph too many birds, but this

KESTREL

was a great sighting, first soaring above us, and then sitting on a far-off tree, eating its prey:

kestrel 261210

this backlit

PIED BUSHCHAT

actually started us off!

bushchat 261210 gd



Another lovely sighting was this

BLACK DRONGO in its iridiscent black plumage...it's sitting on top of a cow (the full photo is in the Picasa album, link below.)

blk drngo 261210

Here are the bird and other lists:


Babbler, Jungle
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, Small Green
Bee-eater, Small Green
Bulbul,Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bushchat, Pied
Buzzard, Oriental Honey
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Egret, Cattle
Flowerpecker, Tickell's
Kestrel
Kingfisher, White-breasted
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Koel, Asian
Leafbird, (not clear)
Malkoha, Blue-faced
Mynah, Common
Mynah, Jungle
Owlet, Spotted
Parakeet, Plum-headed
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Prinia, Ashy
Robin, Indian
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Shikra
Shrike, Brown
Shrike, Long-tailed
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Treepie, Rufous

Un id Raptor

Butterflies:

Blues, Various
Bushbrown, Common
Crow, Common
Jezebel, Common
Judy, Plum
Leopard, Common
Pansy,Chocolate
Pansy,Lemon
Psyche
Rose, Common
Rose,Crimson
Sailor, Common
Tiger, Common
Tiger, Glassy
Wanderer, Common
Yellow, Grass, various


Insects

Beetles, Crickets, Dragonflies, Grasshoppers, Spiders

Mammals:

Macaque, Bonnet



For more pics,
click here

I'm sure the others will produce even better pics, just wait for the links! A wonderful morning.... I came home only by 1pm! Gopa's breakfast offering of two loaves of bread and cheese spread was wolfed down, but we then called him a "double loafer". Vishnu hospitably offered us welcome cups of chai and fruit juice and a nice chat, too.

Having never really caught up with the work afterwards, and having to go out the entire evening....I am, of course, sitting and making this post instead of packing my bag for BR Hills tomorrow!

Oooh, I *love* Bannerghatta forests....
Tags: bangalore, bannerghatta, birding, butterflies, forest, insects, karnataka, photography, plants, weekend, wildlife
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