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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Our Bangalore BIRD LIST - updated Nov.30th

Amazing Bird Photos (by my talented Bangalore naturalist friends)

If you want a hint of an idea about what city birding is like here, these links are for you! I am not a photographer, but I like to travel in flocks of them…

Red-whiskered Bulbul in the Rain (video)

Cormorant at Sankey Tank (video)

Large Pied Wagtail Singing in the City

Sunbird Takeoff!

Red-vented Bulbul

Asian Paradise Flycatcher

Cool Moth

Nilgiri Wood Pigeon

Brahminy Kites

Mottled Wood Owl

A friend’s account of our birding family

Amazing animal photos – check out the birds

Butterfly from near Bangalore

Tortoiseshell Beetle Sylvie spotted

Kids on Birding Trip (video)

Ashy Drongo

Odonata Beauty

After the Birds...Dosas!

These are some of the folks I have been so fortunate to meet and learn from. They have taught me about birds and other creatures, but also have shown me how passionate people here can be about the other beings they share this chunk of land with. Wow…I am so lucky! They are really fun too by the way.

Bird Sightings…In Order of Appearance

Most of these birds, unless otherwise noted, have been seen right here in and near Bangalore!! The number and variety of bird species surprised me at first, just because of the size and busyness of this metropolis. But Bangalore has many parks and reservoirs as well as some really beautiful and sizeable city parks. Fortunate, blessed…I am feeling so lucky that I have the time and the places to get to know some of the most intriguing and beautiful beings on Earth! Am having weekly romances with the winter residents who are flying in at intervals, city hoppin’ at just my speed. Also thrilling is the fact that I have met some really cool friends to share my passion for these lovely critters with, and to help me to know their good names. So, I have listed the birds in order of the first time I spotted them, trying not to get too wordy, but if anyone has anything more detailed to say or ask about this list, please do!

In and around Bangalore -- September 2007

Indian Grey Hornbill -wex

White-throated Kingfisher (usually pr), C

House Swift

Spotted Owlet -jrc

Spotted Dove -C

Rock Pigeon-C

Brahminy Kite

Black Kite -U

Great Cormorant

Little Egret - C

Black-crowned Night Heron

House Crow –C

Large-Crow -C

Oriental Magpie robin -C

Common Myna -U

White-browed Wagrail -C

Yellow Wagtail

House Sparrow

White-cheeked Barbet

Purple-rumped Sunbird -wex

White-breasted Waterhen

Red-whiskered Bulbul

Greater Coucal

Purple Swamphen -C

Common Moorhen

Little Cormorant

Purple Heron

Common Tailorbird -jrc

Indian Pond Heron-C

Grey Heron

Great Tit -fl

Little Grebe -jrc

Pied Kingfisher -wex

Spotbill Ducks

Common Sandpipers

Common Coots

Ashy Prinia -jrc

Common Kingfisher -jrc

Purple Sunbird -wex

Red-wattled Lapwing

Ashy Drongo -jrc

Loten’s Sunbird –m, f, nest, wex

Brown Shrike -wex

Black-headed Ibis -wex

Eurasian Marsh Harrier -wex

Whiskered Tern -wex

Pale-billed Flowerpecker –jrc

Red-Vented Bulbul-jrc

Coppersmith Barbet-jrrc

Jungle Myna-C

Pariah Kite

Garganey- fl

Grey Wagtail

Pied Bushchat


Bannerghatta National ParkSouth Bangalore – early October

Rusty rumped chicken-heh

Ashy Drongos

Red-rumped Swallow

Common Iora

Asian Paradise Flycatcher-f, wex fer sure!!

Green Bee-eater-wex

Scaly-breasted Munia-m, f, jrc

Zitting Cisticola-jrc

Indian Silverbill-jrc

Red-collared Dove


Mudumalai National Park….. mid October

Bay-backed Shrike

Brahminy Starling-C

Jungle Babbler

Black Drongos-C

Plum-headed Parakeet-wex

Long-tailed Shrike-C

Black-rumped Flameback-wex (it’s a woodpecker!)

Blue-faced Malkoha-way wex

Jerdon’s Bushlark

Yellow-eyed Babbler

Yellow-footed Green Pigeon-wex

Small Minivet-m, f, WEX (Color of alpenglow!)

Malabar Parakeet-wex

Bar-winged Cuckooshrike-m, jrc

Common Flameback-m, wex

White-throated Fantail-jrc

Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike-jrc

Plain Flowerpecker

White-bellied Woodpecker-m, f, WEX

Scarlet Minivet-m, f, WEXX (This color is unreal)

Black Ibis-m, f, jrc

Great Bittern-jrc

Nilgiri Laughingthrush-jrc

Yellow-billed Babbler

Pacific Swallow

Wire-tailed Swallow

White-bellied Shortwing

Nilgiri Flycatcher-wex

Eurasian Blackbird

Nilgiri Wood Pigeon-jrc

Grey Francolin-jrc

Jungle Bush Quail (no political affiliation)

Indian Peafowl-(amazing to see these in the wild!)


Indian Roller-wex (this one’s got the Blues down! I mean color!)

Grey Nightjar


Black-hooded Oriole-jrc

Bronzed Drongo

Indian Robin-m, f

Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch-jrc

Oriental White-eye

Back Around Bangalore

Black-headed cuckooshrike-wex

Barn Owl-wex

Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark – jrc

Coppersmith Barbet – jrc

Rufous Treepie – wex (Paul spotted this one!)

Laughing Dove

Plain Prinia

White-browed Bulbul

Oriental Honey Buzzard – jrc

Mottled Wood Owl – pr, WAY wex

Asian Brown Flycatcher

Black-shouldered Kite

Green Sandpiper

Caspian Tern (Malpe Beach; Arabian Sea)

Golden-fronted Leafbird (Manipal –coastal forest)

Malabar Whistling Thrush – Manipal – wex song!!

Spot-billed Pelican – fl

Intermediate Egret

Baya Weaver

Greenish Warbler

Nandi Hills (55 km north of Bangalore about 4000’ above mean sea level…Bangalore is 3000’) Nov. 25, 2007

Indian Blue Robin

Asian Paradise Flycatcher (I know that I‘ve listed this one, but it was a big day for sightings of m, f, and Eliza was turned on to birding because of this bird! – wex all around!)

Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher – jrc

Booted Eagle – jrc

Egyptian Vulture

Common Kestrel – f, jrc

Dusky Crag Martin

Alpine Swift

Barn Swallow

Green Leaf Warbler

Spotted Babbler (Puff-Throated Babbler) – jrc

Rufous-bellied Babbler – pr, jrc

Red-throated Flycatcher – jrc

Blue-capped Rock Thrush

Pied Thrush – wex

Grey Junglefowl

Blyth’s Reed Warbler

*Karen’s subjective key to abbrev’s: common-C, ubiquitous- U, wildly exciting and relatively rare for me to see- wex, male-m, female-f, juvenile-j, pair-pr, flock-fl, just really cool – jrc

Sunday the 25th of November is a day I will remember so fondly. Not simply because I got to continue to live out my birding fantasy and get to a new place to see many new birds and rekindle the romance with some of the ones that I have become familiar with. Not just because our whole family willingly awoke at 4:45 to catch the ride up to Nandi Hills – a birding hot spot about an hours drive north of Bangalore. Together with some of the finest birding company and just really cool people; Deepak, Deepa, Prashanth, Uma, we Amstii witnessed a gorgeous sunrise and stunning sunset as bookends to a full and gratifying day. And we did get the privilege of chasing several Asian Paradise Flycatchers of both genders and had pretty good views of them. But those gems of experience paled in comparison to the thrill of seeing our daughter Eliza, become a passionate birder that day.

I knew she was hopelessly hooked when faced with a surprise holiday yesterday, and of all the offerings of this area, she begged me to take her birding. Not shopping. Not out for a burger. Not even to her beloved horse riding school. She said, “Momma, can we go birding today? Pleeease!” Now, I’d love to take some credit for igniting that spark in her, but really, I had nothing to do with it. None of us did. The real magic wand, the siren call, was from the incredible tail of the Asian Paradise Flycatcher himself! I saw the sparkle in her eye when we first began to chase him, hoping for a good look at those silky white feathers. Our friends hefted their giant lenses and took aim at his tail streamers waving in the autumn breeze as our bird effortlessly led us further and further into the forest. Beautiful bird for certain, but my eyes were glued to Eliza as she beamed with each clear sighting! Finally at the end of the day, a perfect male Asian Paradise Flycatcher perched near enough that we all got to see. Cameras aiming through the leaves attempting to capture the elusive being on film, Eliza asked Paul if she might try to get a photograph. He chuckled as he told her that there was absolutely no way she would ever get the shot. Looking at the position of the bird in the tree and the dim light and everyone else being denied the shots, I had to agree. Somehow she did manage to convince us that she could at least try. She did. Holding so still and patiently waiting for the bird to hop onto the perfect branch, she fired, and came away with a really great shot! Well, I think so. Take a look at that bird! Who wouldn’t get hooked on birding with a sighting and a first photo like that! The sight of the glowing pride and joy on her little freckled face was the highlight of the day for me, her mom. My new birding companion is born! She is now saving her rupees for a camera and some good binoculars…beware of the lemonade sales!

Really it was a superb day for all of us! The morning was actually quite cold! Can you believe that my hands were numb as they tried to focus the binos and hold still enough to identify the tiny warblers! Prashanth was finding so many new birds to look at that we didn’t have time to complain or think about our temperature much! What a mad birder he is! How lucky we felt to be able to have his expertise to know every tiny avian speck and song by name as he tip-toed around the chilly forest all morning with us eagerly following watching for any movement in the trees all around. Uma and her beckoning smile aimed her eager camera often creating great opportunities for photo records while breaking only for onion puffs and raisin buns from our local bakery “Bun World” and a chance to play with the kids now and then. Deepak shared his adventures in just about everything there is from para-gliding to rock climbing and travel while birding and making sure none of us were too close to the cliff! Deepa, with her positive approach and amazing home made chocolate (the way to my heart…or what!!?), spotted birds and shared her playful spirit with all, making the kids feel so at home! These are the kind of days I will always treasure, along with the people that make them so.


workhard said...

HE.. thats some good research work.. u should have posted some pictures of the birds on the blog itself...

Work from home

AMIT said...

Hey that is the really good list from you.But pls post pictures of birds here.

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