Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Birding at Madivala Lake

Madivala Park

It has become a weekly routine with me to look out for new birding locations.
Birding and Flickr can be exceedingly addictive. Infact, they feed off each other.
All photos in this post can be viewed on flickr. Pls click on them to view larger sizes.

After the MiniForest trip (see last post) turned into a more "Life in the Undergrowth" kind of outing, I thought we simply must find some birds.
We set off to Madivala on a rainy morning last Saturday. Mind you, it wasn't raining when we left at 6:00 am, but it did drizzle along the way.

We reached Madivala Lake and Park in around 30 min. We got a tad lost, then had to look for a suitable place to park. The entrance does not have any parking; we parked next to a temple, a little beyond the entrance.

The entrance is far from impressive, and the "park" is rather small. But almost at once, we were met by a pair of Ashy Prinia. They were in joyous mood and sang continuously for the time that we were there.

 Ashy Prinia

AshyPrinia Singing

The Lake itself is rather large. The distances make it difficult to get good pictures. The Pelicans and cormorants are all over the lake. We were not able to see the herons and the kingfishers also eluded us. I was glad to see that the Hyacinth has not colonised the lake, though it is present all along the edges.

Madivala Lake

We chanced upon a dead fish near the lake bank, under a jetty. And set up our tripods in the hope that a snake may chance by. And it did! It wasnt very pretty though, and was very shy.
Further reptiles revealed themselves in various cracks and crevices.

ML-Chameleon (1)ML-GreenLizard

The crowning glory of our trip was a busy pair of Spotted Munia. This was my first sighting of the birds. In their breeding plumage, they are simply a joy to watch.
They had made their nest in the coconut palm (next to the defuct loo)- enduring the stench, was well worth it. [:)]

ML-Spotted Munia-Cropped
Purple Rumped SunBird-F

We watched for nearly 20 min while the pair actively made trips back and forth, collecting grass for the nest. While waiting for it to return, saw a sun bird nearby. My first capture of the sunbird. Its a female. I was hoping for the colourful male - gender equality doesnt apply to sunbirds :)

Bird Sightings:
Ashy Prinia (several)
Spotted Bill Pelicans (serveral)
Spot Bill Ducks
Purple Moor Hen
Little Cormorants
Pond Herons
SunBirds (several)
Indian Robin (Female)
Small Green Barbet
Brahminy Kite
Pariah Kites (several)
Spotted Munia (breeding pair)
Rose Ringed Parakeets

Snake - species unknown
Lizards (2) - One green, other grey.

IMP Notes:
Caterpillar like bugs, they are every where. (beware of them - 2 of them hitched a ride on mom's back)

The loo is defunct, so try not to drink a lot of water. The next loo is a km away, so you really have to hold it. :)

The Park has a laughter club, and frankly, I jumped out of my skin hearing loud guffaws while I was intently creeping up on my sunbird. No worries though, the sunbird was made of tough stuff, it was unfazed.

I learnt of this place from here :

Getting there:
Coming down Hosur Road from Koramangala, take the right at Silk Board, leading into BTM Layout. Take the left at 31st Main. This is after the Kuvemu Nagar BMTC Bus Stand, and leads you right to the park/lake.

At Woodys. Refer previous post for instructions on getting there.
The Rava Masala Dosa was good. Steer clear of vadas - they were cold. The Puris were a bit too thick.

Many thanks to Keshav for spotting the munias - Though he didnt know what they were. :) Also for the directions, I would never have remembered the way.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mini Forest in the City

Bangalore is fast expanding and losing its green cover, ever increasingly, to concrete and grime. That was why, I was delighted to discover that in the midst of the ugly urban sprawl, was a miniature forest preserved by the Forest Dept.

JPNagar4Aug RedBBFlyJPNagar4Aug GreenMoth

JPNagar4Aug OrangeBFly

JPNagar4Aug DFly

JPNagar4Aug Beetle

JPNagar4Aug YBFly (2)1

JPNagar4Aug GBug2
JPNagar4Aug Snail

The Forest is actually a cultivated forest by the forest dept. and not a natural one. Though we went there to see the birds, we saw a large number of colourful insects as well. They were a lot more co-operative than the fickle birds.
Im afraid I dont know the names of the insects featured here. Any help in identification will be appreciated.

Brahmini Kite

We reached the gate around 6:25am. Bird activity was in full swing around 7:30 or so. Though, the parakeets were up and about when we had just gotten there. There are numerous apartment buildings nearby and the parking is on the road.

We had breakfast at Woody's. There is ample parking and the facilities are not too shabby. Do try the Mysore Masala Dosa.
Getting to Woody's :
Continue going straight from the mini forest towards the main road, till you have crossed two major crossings. On the third crossing, ( The JP Nagar - BTM main road) turn left and around 200 meters down the road, it is on the left side.

Bird Sightings:
Flowerpeckers (hordes)
Parakeets (large flocks)
Tailor birds (heard, not seen)
Coucal Pair (Crow Pheasants)
Sun birds (several)
Brahmini Kite
Pariah Kite
Geese / Ducks (flying over head - heading perhaps to a nearby lake)

Getting there:
Going down Bannerghatta Road, take the first right after Shopper’s Stop. (This takes you to Mysore Road).
About half a km down this road, you hit Delmia Circle (the first major traffic signal).
There is a K.C.Das store on the left. Take this left.
Go down the road which is muddy in patches, past the “Green Skies Blue Forest” Apartments. This leads you to the entrance of the reserve forest.

I learnt of this place through this blog :

Since I get lost very easily, I find this site by the Bangalore Traffic police very useful:

Many thanks to Keshav for getting us there and back. I would have surely gotten lost.
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