first-ever experience of post-birding birding.
I had gone to the Bannerghatta area to meet a few people. On the way into
the JLR property, I had both sighted and heard the Greenish Leaf Warbler
(probably the same bird-person who said hello to MBK first)....that was my
first migrant of the year! OK, OK, Suhel-of-Migrant-Watch, I promise to be
good and report all sightings faithfully this year.
On the evening trail, we spotted several birds, big and small. Tthe JLR
vehicle ended my birding inside the campus by picking me up (I had to leave
before the gates shut for the evening). While on the trail, the others had
seen a Crested Serpent Eagle lifting off from a nearby tree. I hadn't seen
I asked the driver to drop me off just outside the Herbivore Safari gate,
and I was walking around the two small lake/ponds (one was completely
algae-covered now.). I spotted a few Great Tits in the trees around the
water, a couple of Pond Herons hunkering patiently over the water, a Pied
Kingfisher and his Small Blue cousin looking alertly into the water, with
those beaks that mean business. In the bamboo thicket, a Large Cuckoo-shrike
looked at me and flew off. We'd already seen a couple of Ashy Drongos
inside, but a few more made their appearance along with a Black
Drongo...I've not, previously, seen these two birds together. A few
Don't-Ask-Me-What-They-Are Warblers made their appearance in the Lantana
And then, the Crested Serpent Eagle...I think it was the very same
one!....sailed right across my path, and went and sat on a tree at the
corner of the Algae Pond...naturally, when I was diagonally opposite. I
wanted to rush over, but a couple of Grey Francolins inside the Herbivore
enclosure distracted me, so I was a little tardy, and of course, the
insulted Eagle took off while I was still a fair distance away.This is my
first sighting of a Serpent Eagle in the Zoo area.
I then walked into the open area in front of the JLR Hill View
restaurant...and was treated to the sight of several Scaly-breasted Munias,
and Indian Silverbills. A Pied Bushchat sat upon a wire and looked down
perkily at me, and an Indian Robin pair went around on their worm-gathering
business, tails alertly up. House Swifts wheeled overhead, as did Red-rumped
Swallows. A Brahminy Kite (why is it OK to call this bird a Brahminy Kite if
it is not OK to call another one a Pariah Kite?) and its (Black,Pariah, or
insert your own perjorative qualifier here) Kite cousins soared overhead. A
couple of Ioras flew out, and a Golden-fronted Leafbird decided to colour my
A Flameback called, and then started pecking at wood, too. A Koel started
gurgling its liquid notes, preparatory to its usual plaintive call. A
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher appeared in its usual place near the railings.
I was by this time reeling with it all. The Red-vented and Red-whiskered
Bulbuls, and the White-cheeked and Coppersmith Barbets, made a
re-appearance. Egrets flew overhead, and I heard the call of the Peafowl
(probably from within the Zoo, but I am not sure.) The Laughing and the
Spotted Dove hopped around.A few Small Green Bee-eaters flew in their usual
hyperbolic flight pattern catching insects in the air. Finally, the
unmistakable pigeon-head of an Oriental Honey Buzzard flew past....and I
finally went to the bus terminus to catch my bus home...and was greeted by
the sight of two Mongoose near the fence.
All these birds in the twenty minutes that I spent walking from the
Herbivore Safari gate to the bus terminus...and the migratory bird season
isn't even here properly! What a wonderful place the Bannerghatta Zoo area
is...one never has to set foot in the zoo itself!
So...that's my post-birding birding...can you blame me for planning to go
back there early tomorrow morning?
PS...I did go with three friends to the same place this morning, and had a wonderful time again!
Photos of yesterday, on Facebook,
and today's photos,