Kommaghatta again – Oct 2018

I happened to pass by Kommaghatta lake multiple times post the last birding trip. Each time I noticed that the Pelicans were back. There were also reports from different parts of the city of Painted Storks being in town. A birding walk was much in need.

I set out a bit earlier than usual to pick up A on the way. On the way I brought down a 2-wheeler carrying 3 girls, who were happy to just get up and speed away without any complaints (well, for starters they were 3 in a 2-wheeler without even one helmet between them, and whether anyone had a license is left to your imagination). Thankfully, only some scratches on the bumper for me.

We reached a tad early, by 4:45 and the light was good. We started with a Brahminy Kite eating something. Couldn’t figure out what it was eating.
Brahminy Kite
The pelicans were there, on the island, and floating around feeding. So were the painted storks!
A sleeping painted stork
Continue reading “Kommaghatta again – Oct 2018”

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October birding day

Every once in a while Team eBird holds a birding day. The idea is simple, you download their app, head out to a birding location near your place or even walk around your neighbourhood. As you see birds, you note down their species and numbers that you see. At the end of it, you review the list and submit. We try not to have reasons to bird, but having something like this helps. You at least make sure you’re going to bird so that it’ll be part of some larger database collecting info on birds.

This time, me and A decided to go birding at Kommaghatta lake. Kommaghatta offers a larger array of waterbirds with fewer passerine birds like stonechats or sun birds. We usually end up with a shorter list, close to 20 whereas the Mallathahalli lake gives us around 30 usually. There are chances of catching shikras, Kingfishers, bushchats, swallows and peafowl at the latter place, which is a lot wilder with hardly any human activity. Kommaghatta offers a nice path to walk around and a larger presence of big birds. It is the only place to boast of Indian cormorants, purple herons, oriental darters and black-crowned night herons this side of the city. Also, being a smaller lake they are more easily photographed.

We reached the place around 5:00 PM and we started off with the usual sighting of the Indian cormorants on the Peepul tree at the start of the path.
Indian cormorant, close up Continue reading “October birding day”

Pelican spotting

I remember spotting these big birds in the Kommaghatta lake on one of my cycle rides down to Kommaghatta road. I did a few visits with parents, mainly to get Amma to walk. She’d walk around 400m on the track before complaining and we’d start back. But the pelicans would be there on a tiny island in the centre of the lake, too far for the phone to capture.

This lake is one of the better maintained ones. There is a well maintained path skirting the entire lake. There are railings on both sides of the track to keep people out of the water, and to keep people out of the path from outside. The gate is opened only for a couple of hours in the morning and then in the evening. It’s public, but restricted. I do like unrestricted access, but given the size it usually ends up becoming a place where people dump stuff, usually plastic and other religious paraphernalia, into the water. The Mallathahalli lake is an example. There are theppas(coracles) there, so some fishing happens too.

Today, I drove Amma to get her to walk. It had been some days since she had stepped out for any walking as such, and I had to indulge in a fair degree of inveigling to get her into the car. I also took along the DSLR to get some shots. We started off with the Indian Cormorant near the entrance.

Indian Cormorant
Indian Cormorant

Continue reading “Pelican spotting”