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Birds of Kabini, 14 and 150511

This trip to Kabini was a real bonanza in terms of birds; we sighted a 103 or 104 species of birds in the two days that we were there, and also got to observe a lot, rather than just looking and passing on.

As we drove towards Mysore, we decided to take a little detour through Ranganathittu, not going towards the boating area but towards the old quarry. And of course, we immediately struck a jackpot with several

BLUE-TAILED BEE-EATERS

flying around. One came in, obligingly, with a Cicada in its mouth, and posed for us:


bt betr 140511 kbni




Meanwhile, high above, a

SHIKRA

soared, looking for food that was not as small as a Cicada:



shkra 140511 kbni

We saw several

INDIAN GREY HORNBILLS

around, and one on the tree had just found a fig for breakfast:



indn gry hrnbl 140511 kbin

The deep pit in the quarry area had a lot of reeds, and of course, reeds mean Weaver birds; in this case, some

STREAKED WEAVERS:


strkd wvr 140511 kbni

(their triumph of home architecture is on my Facebook album, the link is at the end.)

A wire on the wire...several

WIRE-TAILED SWALLOWS

sat up on the telephone lines, and I caught one:


wr tld swlw kbni 140511


As we went further, we stopped as we suddenly spotted some

ALPINE SWIFTS

which were a lifer for me. It was very difficult, indeed, to catch one of these in flight, so there will be no snide remarks about fuzzy photos...one of my usual SMS (Shamelessly Mediocre Shots)!


alpn swft 140511 kbni

In the fields, of course,

BLACK IBIS

were walking around feeding on the insects:


blk ibis 140511 kbni


A sight that truly lifted our hearts (like that of the poet Wordsworth!) was the one of several

CRESTED LARKS

on the ground, or the wires, singing:


crstd lk 140511 kbni


Gopal's car had stopped, unable to move past this

BLACK-WINGED KITE:


blk wngd kt 140511 kbni

Now that's my favourite "urban" raptor, so we too ogled it for a while and then we moved on.

As we prepared to join the JLR (Kabini River Lodge) safari in the evening, we first heard, and then caught sight of, this

COPPERSMITH BARBET:

cs brbt 140511 kbni

It might be a very common bird, but it certainly is very beautiful!

In the gardens, several

HOUSE SPARROWS

reassured us that sparrows are, indeed, back amongst us. Here's a male, helping with nesting material:


ml sprw 140511 kbni

Here's a female, ready to fly off to her nest under the eaves:


fml sprw 140511 kbni


The next morning's safari started, for us, just outside the JLR gates...in the most eventful way. A mother

BARRED BUTTONQUAIL

and her three babies decided, suddenly, to cross the road just as our jeep went past...we screeched to a halt, and the jeep went right over them. We looked back in horror...and found that since the three babies had "frozen" to the ground at the first sign of a threat, they were fine, and that the mother was still under our jeep, looking for them! Here's one of them....just look at that little clump of feathers and that eye...have you even seen anything more defenceless?

bby quail eye 140511 kbni


We had to stop three more jeeps coming out on to the road, and everyone was wondering what the fuss was about! Sometimes tiny problems can be large one...

Here's another one...would you believe that this little scrap is actually a living creature?


bby ql scrp 140511 kbni

Prasanna, our naturalist from JLR, scooped them up carefully on a small piece of paper and deposited them carefully at the side on the road, where they quickly clambered off into the foliage. The mother followed...and heaving a sigh of relief, we carried on, too. These birds...did make us quail for a while!

On the path, every safari, we saw this beautiful

BLUE-BEARDED BEE-EATER

on the tree:

bbbetr profile 150511 kbni

and here, the beard is showing:


blue beard b-etr 150511

I have never before seen so many peacocks dancing...and two at a time, too! Far ahead on the jungle path, were these two dancers, practising for some unknown female, but certainly enchanting us.

First they both faced the other way:

pcks back view kbni 140511


and then one faced us:

pcks one back vw kbni 140511



Here's the beauty of one of them, who came closer and started preening himself:


pcck tail 150511 kbni

The peacock flew up to the tree-stump too close for my lens focal length, so I had to use a diagonal shot to get his full flauntiness!


fll pcck 150511 kbni

The next morning, we took a boat safari on the backwaters of the Kabini, and saw a multitude of birds, including these

OPENBILL STORKS:

opnbl stks 150511 kbni

some

PURPLE HERONS:

prpl hrn 150511 kbni

some

ASHY WOODSWALLOWS

swooped and landed, reminding me of the many I'd seen in Thattekkad, in Kerala:

a wdswlw kbi 150511

On the banks, another unusual sight was several

GREY JUNGLEFOWL,

all together; I've always seen only one at a time, before this.

gy jngl fl kbni 150511

On the water were the fishermen, sorry, fisherbirds, that included this

GREATER CORMORANT:

gt crmnt 150511 kbn



it was lovely to watch the

PAINTED STORKS

fish...they hold their wings up over the water so that the fish cannot see the sharp beak of death shooting through the air, lethally!


pntd stk 150511 kbn

Another able angler is the

ORIENTAL DARTER,

which is also called the

SNAKE-BIRD

because of the shape of its neck, suited to gulping down wriggly eels!


darter 150511 kbni

Of course another fisher is the

WHITE-BREASTED KINGFISHER

shown here in successful pursuit of breakfast!

kf wt fsh 150511

a

GREAT EGRET

waded about, in similar pursuit:


gt egrt 150511 kbni


and a beautiful

SPOT-BILLED DUCK

was waiting for his turn...

spt bld dk kbn 150511

talking about turns, here is a

RIVER TERN...


rvr trn 150511 kb


a mother

LONG-TAILED SHRIKE

brought "six-legged breakfast" for that very demanding young one next to her, and then went on repeated sorties for more food:


ltshrke 150511 kbn


We were prevented from bemoaning the lack of raptors because this

CRESTED SERPENT EAGLE

appeared to pose:

cse 150511 kbn

Late in the evening, on a "This property belongs to R Raman" board (the "this" is visible!)...an

ORIENTAL MAGPIE ROBIN

couple sat:

omr 150511 kbn



A few final sightings included this beautiful

HOOPOE:

hpoe 150511

and as we were leaving Water Woods, the extremely expensive resort where we stayed, we watched for a while, and saw this baby

WHITE-CHEEKED BARBET

snug in its nest, peeping out curiously, and fearlessly!

barbet bby 150511

Here's the bird, mammals and others list:

Babbler, Jungle
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Bee- Eater,Blue-bearded
Bee-Eater, Blue-tailed
Bee-Eater, Small Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bushchat, Pied
Buttonquail, Barred
Buzzard, Oriental Honey
Cisticola, Zitting
Cormorant, Greater
Cormorant, Little
Coucal. Greater
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Cuckoo, Common Hawk
Cuckoo, Indian
Cuckoo.Pied
Duck, Spot-billed
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Drongo, Bronzed
Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed
Drongo, White-bellied
Darter, Oriental
Dove, Spotted
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Great
Egret, Little
Egret, Intermediate
Flycatcher, White browed Fantail
Eagle, Crested Serpent
Francolin, Grey
Flameback, Greater
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Heron, Pond
Heron, Grey
Heron, Purple
Hoopoe, Common
Hornbill, Indian Grey
Hornbill, Malbar Pied
Ibis, Black-headed
Ibis, Black
Iora, Common
Junglefowl, Grey
Kingfisher, Common
Kingfisher, Stork-billed
Kingfisher, White-breasted
Kite, Black
Kite, Black-winged
Kite, Brahminy
Koel, Asian
Lapwing, Red-wattled
Lark, Crested
Minivet, Small
Munia, Black-headed
Munia, Scaly-breasted
Munia, White-rumped
Mynah, Common
Myna, Jungle
Myna, Hill
Openbill, Asian
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Parakeet, Plum-headed
Parakeet, Malabar
Parrot, Vernal Hanging
Peafowl, Indian
Pelican, Spot-billed
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Plover, Little Ringed
Praticole, Small
Prinia, Ashy
Prinia, Jungle
Prinia, Plain
Robin, Indian
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Roller, Indian
Shrike, Long-tailed
Spoonbill, Eurasian
Sparrow, House
Starling, Brahminy
Stilt, Black-winged
Stork, Painted
Stork, Woolly-necked
Sunbird, Purple-rumpled
Swallow, Red-rumped
Swallow, Wire-tailed
Swift, Alpine
Swift, Palm
Tailorbird, Common
Tern, River
Treepie, Rufous
Trogon, Malabar
Vulture, Egyptian
Wagtail, Pied
Warbler, Blyth's Reed
Warblers, un id
Waterhen, White-breasted
Weaver, Streaked
Whistling-duck, Lesser
White-eye, Oriental
Woodswallow, Ashy


Mammals

Boar, Wild
Chital
Elephant, Asian
Gaur
Langur, Black-faced
Leopard
Macaque, Bonnet
Otter, Smooth-coated
Sambar
Squirrel, Malabar Giant


Reptiles and Amphibians

Bullfrog, Indian
Crocodile
Keelback, Chequered
Frog, Bicolored
Frog, Skittering
Skink, Red-tailed


Butterflies

Brown, Evening
Bush Brown, Common
Castor, Angled
Emigrant, Common
Emigrant, Lime
Gull, Common
Jezebel, Common
Leopard, Common
Lime, Common
Psyche
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Tiger, Common
Yellow, Common Grass
Yellow, Spotless Grass


Un id Jumping, Orb and Lynx Spiders, and Dragonflies. Damselflies, Ants, Millipedes, Stick Insect




and finally, here's the State Bird of Karnataka (or as someone put it, the "National Bird of Karnataka"!)

rlr 150511kbni


More detailed photographs on my Facebook album,

here
Tags: birding, forest, jlr, karnataka, lake, ntp, photography, river, travel, weekend, wildlife
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