Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Third Sunday Outing -21st Feb 2010 - Bird List

Neelasandra Kere turned out to be a great place for birding for the group which took part in the Third Sunday Outing...White Eyed buzzard and Spot Billed Pelican spotting is good news as none of us had seen them earlier during the last one hand half years of Third Sunday outings.

Here is the list as compiled by Chandru (cs.bandi@gmail.com) & Mahesh Chand ( mahesh81chand@yahoo.com)

  1. White Cheeked Barbet
  2. White Throated Kingfisher
  3. Green Bee-eater
  4. Asian Koel
  5. Rose Ringed Parakeets
  6. Spotted Owlet
  7. Rock Pegion
  8. Common Coot
  9. Red Wattled Lapwing
  10. Black Kite
  11. Little Cormorant
  12. Cattle Egret
  13. Intermediate Egret
  14. Little Egret
  15. Grey Heron
  16. House Sparrow
  17. Eurasian Golden Oriole
  18. Black Drongo
  19. Indian Robin
  20. Pied Bushchat
  21. Common Myna
  22. Barn Swallows
  23. Wire Tailed Swallow
  24. Red Vented Bulbul
  25. Plain Prinia
  26. Ashy Prinia
  27. Blyth's Reed Warbler
  28. White Browed Wagtail
  29. White Browed Bulbul
  30. White Eyed Buzzard
  31. Purple Sunbird
  32. Purple Rumped Sunbird
  33. Brown Shrike
  34. Brahminy Kite
  35. Black Shouldered Kite
  36. Greater Coucal
  37. Rufous Treepie
  38. Greater Cormorant
  39. Little Grebe
  40. House Crow
  41. Red Whiskered Bulbul
  42. Yellow Billed Babbler
  43. Oriental Magpie Robin
  44. River Tern
  45. Common Iora
  46. Great Tit
  47. Spot Billed Pelican
  48. Flowerpecker
  49. Common Hawk Cuckoo
  50. Oriental White Eye
  51. Sandpiper (?)
  52. Darter
  53. Jungle Crow
  54. Spotted Dove
  55. Lark (?)
  56. Common Tailorbird
  57. Indian Pond Heron
  58. Scaly Breasted Munia
  59. Indian Robin

Here is the link to the photos taken by Mahesh Chand during the trail.

Photos taken by Soumyajit Nandy
Brown Shrike
White Eyed Buzzard
Plain Prinia

Here is the link to the photos taken by Saandip Nandagudi
( )


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Third Sunday Outing -21st Feb 2010

This month's  Third Sunday Nature Trail will be held on 21st February 2010. 
Place : Neelasandra Kere surrounding Neelasandra/ Ramasandra/ Koppa village.

Comfortable clothing,good walking shoes, a cap, water bottle,light snacks,binocular ( if you have), a camera ( if you like to shoot) is what you need. This trail is open to all ages who can walk for around three to four hours. 
Meeting place : Near Koppa Gate 

Time : 6.30 am

How to reach the meeting point ? On reaching Bannerghatta Police Station junction take left and come on Jigani Anekal Road. After about 5 kms from this junction you will see a couple of prominent granite yards on your left side. One of them is Metro Stones and next to it is Pearl Stones.We shall meet in front of Pearl Stones.

Google Map Coordinates : 12.797803, 77.612770

People who like to travel by bus can take any bus going towards Jigani, Bukkasagara, Anekal ,Haragadde, Mahatlingapura  via Bannerghatta Road .Get down at Koppa Gate bus stop and walk backwards for around 150 meters.

Confirm by calling Geetanjali at 9845383882 or Mahesh at 9448384472.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Moolehole Tiger - Spotting the tiger while on foot

Three days of trekking inside the forests of Bandipur in the Moolehole range, as part of the tiger estimate was a great experience. During the first two days of our stay and trekking inside the forest we saw n number of  scats , pug marks etc.We would hold our breath and wait behind the bushes when we used to hear any alarm calls by the langurs and the barking deers.But nothing can match the excitement of sighting a tiger when you are on foot !

On our last day of the count on 27th Jan 2010, the day began as usual. The early morning honking by the trucks and cars waiting for the forest gates to be opened, woke both me and Geeta Prasanna up by around 5.30 am. After our morning chores, bed tea and biscuits we set out for the herbivore estimate on the Hebbala trail.It was a two kms trail, around 9 kms away from the IB, where we were put up.This estimate was being repated for the second time.We began around 6.45 am and finished our task by around 8.00 am. We saw bisons ,elephants and spotted deers during the count.

Our gunman and forest watcher Bommanna had a suggestion for the two ladies desperate for the tiger sighting. Why not go to a waterhole and wait there? Well, we never said No to any such suggestions earlier also, so we three of us decided to goto the same waterhole which we had visited on our first day of the trail. We were not to utter a single word as instructed by Bommanna.. He wanted us to sit quitely and pray that some big cat will appear there to quench its thirst. Rs.500 is what Geeta decided to offer to a deity if she gets to see the tiger..:-).We selected a vantage point close to the Bund. I sat behind a tree on a lower elevation..Geeta sat on a higher ground around three feet away from me and Bommanna around six feet away from us on a fallen tree trunk. 

Waiting waiting and waiting...except for the consistent calls of the White-bellied drongos and Mynhas nothing much was happening. I was feeling hungry and so was Geeta. We decided to open our tuck box and munched biscuits and chocolates...Suddenly there was strong smell of urine in the air..we both looked at each other....but there was no sign of anything... We heard a langur call in the distance...Little later I had a  fleeting glimpse of a raptor and was feeling bad that I could not bring my Kodak Z980 as its battery was totally discharged ( There was no electricity in the IB). My aim n shoot basic Casio was there with me. Just to kill time I took it out and was looking through its viewfinder..I saw some movement on the other side of the bund ...and whispered "Spotted Deer"....

Geeta looked through her binocular and whispered aloud- "Hey ,its tiger"...I was numb...My god !...And yes..it was a tiger...I saw it coming out of the bush into the open..it looked down into the water and jumped in....Oops!!!!....I could not see him now... he was in straight line from where I was sitting but as I was on a lower ground, I was not able to see him...At that moment we both realized that Bommanna was looking somewhere else...I tried to wave at him to see the tiger...Geeta whispered to him" huli huli..." ..He too got excited...at the same time ,on the right side of the bund ,he saw another animal straying in.. ..whereas I could see the tiger getting up and looking sideways... both Geeta and Bommanna could see the other animal stepping towards the bund area...Bommanna whispered .."Henn Huli( female tiger)...take the photo"...Geeta looked through her bino and said .."No its a leopard"...Wow! That's a double bonus!!.....I slowly stood up...and saw that the tiger was on alert!!..His tail was upright and he was looking at the direction of the leopard..

But the leopard on realizing that the tiger was already there just ran away from the spot. ..Hence, I missed taking any pics of the leopard.The tiger to make sure that no one was around in his territory, slowly started moving towards the direction where he saw leopard straying in..

He stood for a while and was looking around....

then paced around for a while...

Going further down to make sure the territory belongs to him!

and when he was sure that no one was around he again came towards the bund....sipped a bit of water ....

Suddenly he turned around and started coming towards our end of the bund..Oh god!...I was scared to death..what if he sees us? Edge of the bund was just about 20 mtrs away from where we were standing!! ...I slowly bent down and took my backpack which was lying on the ground in case we were to run (?)! and lost many precious moments of taking some good shots..Geeta tried to reassure that nothing will happen.. my constant thought during those few mins was that ,what if he sees us?...and what will happen then.?

The tiger was slowly stepping towards our end of the bund....came till the edge of the bund...He stood still .....And then he saw me taking the pictures through the tree branch!!..He stood there and stared at me.....I was frozen......  I didn't move but realized later that I could have taken few more pictures had I kept on pressing the shutter button...

I was actually shit scared at that moment..he looked back towards the grassland and again turned his head to look at me ...now I remembered to press the shutter!!...and suddenly his tail went upright but he jumped away from us into grassland...

And on our return to the base, we three sort of became the stars of the day!!!

Geeta Prasanna ,Bommanna and Geetanjali