Thursday, December 21, 2006

Birding at Savanadurga

Bangalore has a bird watchers’ club- Bng birds, whose group I have joined recently (To complement the interest of S, is one of the important reasons). They planned a birding trip to Savanadurga Hills. On Sunday 17th we were at Koshy’s, MG Road, sharp at 6.15 early in the morning. It was not as cold as we expected. The team left at 7 in a mini bus. Breakfast was served in the bus itself- sandwitches and hot samosas. There were plenty of bananas and an apple for everyone.
First stop was at Marenahalli tank where we saw cormorants, bar headed geese (which are migrated from China and Ladakh), painted storks and sand pipers.

Somebody rolled a stone and found a coiled baby viper. There was a discussion to identify it- a Russels viper or a saw scaled viper. S identified it as Russels and explained its characters.

Though Savanadurga Hills is very close to Bangalore (about 60 kms), I have not visited the place. The view of the huge boulderless hill is breathtaking.

Our trek started at Medicinal plants park in to the forest towards Arkavathy river.

It was a sort of a nature camp- someone examining animal droppings and someone trying to identify trees, butterflies and ofcourse birds- that is why we were there for!
A lot of birds were sighted- Ashy drongo, Black kite, Bonelli’s Eagle, Brahminy kite, Common Iora, Common Kestrel, Common Sandpiper, Common Tailor bird etc. etc.

S in the forest

On the river bed we took a break and enjoyed the salad snack made specially for the trip by Subbu. As we proceeded we saw a big crab and there was a heated discussion to touch it or not to, was the question. Someone said looking at its strong claws/mandibles that it might bite. Someone suggested to leave it undisturbed. Finally some one touched it and picked it up.


The crab was dead and dried!
On the riverbed pug marks were also seen and an expert among us identified it as leopard’s.

Pug mark

It was lunch time and we were told in advance to carry our lunch packs. We sat under a tree and we were so tired, we enjoyed every morsel of it.
Our return trek towards the bus started and the group had split in to sub groups. Our group for while lost track in the forest and finally found our way. Before leaving , we had a nice coffee while watching sunbirds in a shack hotel near the temple. While returning we stopped near Nayakanapalya tank and watched Ashy drongo, Asian koel, Bonellis eagle, Common Swallow, Little Egret, White breasted kingfisher etc. We saw Egyptian vultures soarking high up in the sky.

Watching Bonellis eagle through Madhu’s Svaroski spot scope.

It was late in the evening. I saw a farmer bring his bullocks to the pond.


It reminded me of my days I used to spend in my childhood during holidays at my mother’s village. I also used to take the bullocks to the pond to to make them drink water every day- once in the morning and once in the evening.


Sun was disappearing fast across the horizon. It was time for us to packup and leave with flying memories.


Anonymous said...

Nice Blog, some interesting info and thoughts, a bit radical for me at times but thats ok.

Anonymous said...

Professor Hero, it's me

Very interesting article,
even i have done some bird watching in bangalore, lots of young chicks....., i will send those photos thru email............