One of the unusual things about this outing was the fact that the people seemed to split up, spontaneously, into several groups, and I felt pulled in many directions. Should I go to the lake to see, and perhaps photograph, the Pheasant-tailed Jacanas? Should I go with Krishna and Subbu and listen to the always-new-to-me information that they impart about nature and Lalbagh? Should I go with the large group of people who have taken the NTP (Naturalists' Training Program run by Karthik for JLR)? Should I spend time with people whom I was meeting for the first time, renew my acquaintanceship with others whom I've met just once or twice, or spend time with old friends? Yes, I did manage to do most of what I wanted to do, but if anyone felt I was not spending time with them...I do apologize, it was really not what I wanted to do! I wanted to take Chandan around my beloved Lalbagh but wound up getting separated from him, too, and he apparently had breakfast at a restaurant much better than the usual Kamat :)
Well anyway...let me start with the usual "Lovely sunrise" picture:
It was also a day when I had six separate sightings of Shikras....very highly satisfying! Here's the female
and the male:
Just a little distance away, this little ball of fur caught our eyes:
It was a little squirrel...how small must one be, to be able to sleep on a ladder of thorns?
As we watched, the little one woke up, and presumably, avoided being spotted by that Shikra, too!
After we all gathered and started walking, we were treated to the spectacle of this
bringing nesting material and making a home in the pipe....this was the one on which the board saying "Japanese garden" was hung!
Another excitement was, of course the sighting of not one but three
MOTTLED WOOD OWLS:
who have returned to their favourite haunt, near the enclosure with the statue of Kaveri:
Here's the second one, caught through the clutter of leaves, in the heavy shade:
Here's the third one, whom we watched for a while in the Juniper tree:
I remember, a few years ago, Karthik had identified the
for me; here it is, in bloom again, with a "regular" bee and a Blue-banded bee on it:
Having heard of the sighting, how could I not go to the lake? Off we rushed, and were in time to see at least one
After landing on the lotus leaves, the bird walked about in Jesus Christ-style:
On the far shore, a
stood, looking like a statue:
We also had a tiger sighting in Lalbagh!
And then, how can one leave Lalbagh without a sighting of SSO's (Sainath's Spotted Owlets), as I call them? Here's one;
And the other, which came out of its nest for us:
Krishna was rather late in arriving, but, as usual, brought along something very interesting. Here's the seed-growing-on-the-sides-of-the-pod, from the Firmiana colorata, commonly called the
I shot the seed in his fingers:
And he later put it down on the kerb for me to photograph:
A lot of NTP members
(click there for my article about the program in Citizen Matters)
had decided, also, to come and meet up at Lalbagh yesterday....we had:
It was lovely to meet up with our Guru-G, Karthik ...but I could not get Aishwarya (who was in a hurry) and Tharangini (who, I think was photographing the Mottled Wood Owl) in this "guru-photo", which contains a few other people, as well:
I'll post the proper bird list as soon as I get it!
More photographs and a short account, are on my Facebook page; to see them,
We wound up with a leisurely breakfast at Kamat's restaurant, and a viewing of Karthik's Assam photographs....and met another NTP member, Santosh Martin, and his lovely daughter, Sunayana, too.
A very satisfying outing to one of my favourite public parks in Bangalore...here's the second Spotted Owlet saying "bye" to you until the next time I visit them!