Tuesday, January 29, 2008

TG Halli

Misty Dawn

This republic day we decided to head to TG Halli, which, going by the rich haul posted on INW, is pretty much Bird-Central. Using directions (see below) from Shivakumar and Ganesh HS, we set out at 5:00am. We got there at dawn, just as the birds were rousing themselves for a hard days work, posing for cameras.

Kestrel on the Rocks
Kestrel on the Rocks

For the first time in 1.5 yrs of birding, we weren’t the only people at our birding site. Our first sighting was the Kestrel, near the rocky area towards the left ride of the lake, just as the sun was rising over the trees.

Paddy Field Pipit
Paddy Field Pipit

The vegetation is sparse consisting of a few shrubs and dry grasses. At the edge of the lake, we could see two little ringed plovers. After initial the fear, they warmed up to us and we got some photos.

Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover

The birds here are easily spooked, unlike their brave cousins at Manchinbele. The cormorants and herons in particular are the most scared of the lot, taking to flight even when photographers are half a km away. We had to creep up on a lot of birds.

Egret Flight
Spooked Egret taking flight

Large portions of the area around the lake looks dug up or quarried and truck tire tracks can be seen everywhere. There are some small constructions happening nearby and rumbling sounds can be heard often. On the far end on the left, there seems to be a camp where laborers seem to have made a makeshift accommodation for themselves. This was our first visit, but it seemed that TG Halli had seen better times.

Sitting Zitting Cisticola :)
Zitting Cisticola

Jewel Bug
Jewel Bug

On the right side of the lake, among the dried grasses we sat down a while to photograph the Sparrow Lark. There was a little brown bird who put up quite a show; flying straight up into the sky, then folding its wings in completely and diving straight down while whistling ( "Twweeeeee" ). It repeated this several times. Couldnt get a good look at it, would be grateful for an ID of it.

Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark
Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark

Rufus Tailed Lark
Rufus Tailed Lark

Being Republic Day, some geese/ducks obliged us with a fly by in V formation, we were very grateful.

RepublicDay Aerial Show at TG Halli

Getting There

We used this excellent map provided by Shivakumar of INW to get as far as Magadi road.

Take the Magadi Road toward Magadi.. 4 kms beyond Taverekere (Tavereke is easy to locate - lots of boards) take a diversion to right. Drive slowly, its easy to miss. It is a kuccha road going steeply down. Village is called Nagenhalli.

Once on this road, we headed straight ahead, ignoring a rough road turning left.
Going further, we stopped and asked for directions when the road forked. The man suggested going straight and said that the previous rough road would have also taken us to the lake. We stopped at a huge tree from where we could see the lake.

We got a tad lost since I can’t read Kannada and could not read the Nagenahalli board. Having learnt from this, I have now started to learn to read the language. So far I have learnt all the vowels and 10 consonants (25 more to go). Wish me luck, folks.
Btw, for those interested I’m using a book called “Learn Kannada through English” – part of the National Integration series and easily available in most book stores.

Suggestions and observations

In general drive slowly, invisible speed bumps and sudden crators are in large number. It may be a good idea to secure cameras and lenses in bags with seat belts.

Take along water and food. There is very little shade; a hat and sunglasses are a must; it gets very sunny and increasingly hot as the day progresses. Binoculars would be a good idea since some birds are too far away. We took just one tripod between us.

A Car can be brought till right in front of the lake through a narrow path. A great place to park is under the shade of the big tree near the lake, there are some houses nearby. However, your car won’t be in sight when you wander about.

Local people are very friendly and give good directions (if you can speak broken Kannada), and are very excited when they know you are going to photograph birds.

There is sadly a lot of litter about, plastic bags and bottles. We saw a few stray dogs too.

Bird List
Pond Herons
Egrets (Intermediate Egrets I think - black feet, yellow beak)
Little Ringed Plovers Pair
Parakeets (flew by)
Wire Tailed Swallow (I saw just 1)
Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark (first sighting)
Common Kestrel
Pied Wagtails (Pair)
Grey Herons - several
Brahminy Kite - 1
Zitting Cisticola - 1
Rufous Tailed Lark -1
Paddy Field Pipit (2)
Drongo – several
River Terns (2)
Several flocks of ducks/geese flew by
Yellow Wagtail (1)
Coucal (2)
Indian Robin (Male)
Pied Bushchat (Male)

What we missed
Pratincoles, Tawny Eagle, Egyptian Vultures
Does any one know why there seem to be no kingfishers at TG Halli?

Bug List
Common Jezebel
Crimson Rose
Jewel bugs (3)

Rock Agama - several


Pramod Viswanath said...

So it was you who was at TG last weekend ok!

This is a very nice post. I have seen couple of pied kingfishers there FYI.

Keshav said...

Nice post. Especially: the drive slowly instruction. Looks someone had a bad experience! :P

Unknown said...

Thanks for visiting and for your comments. Yes, it was me at TG Halli last weekend.

Btw, the best place to see Pied Kingfishers is at my office - Bagmane Techpark CVR Nagar. A pair come there to the lake every morning (8-9am) and afternoon (1:45-2:15)

Yes it was a bumpy ride. Sorry about that. I'll be careful next time.

Ranjini said...

Rohini Beautiful pictures. Specially LOVED-1] the one of the Egret taking off--the inky blue-black of the lake & the plants thrown into relief;2]the kestrel & 3] the Jewel bug.
How on earth[!] did you manage the 1st with an S3?
Good going :)!

Anonymous said...

Very informative post with nice pictures. We used it as a reference for our first T.G. Halli trip today. Thanks :)

Aditya Kamath said...

Hello, im Aditya, can you tell me how u can place only one post per page, like you have done?

If I write two posts, they are placed one behind the other on my page.

my blog:


Aditya Kamath said...

It's me Aditya again,

can you also tell me how you removed the year and month from your blog archive?

If you look at my blog archive, my posts are categorized into year and month, but yours dosen't have that.


My blog: www.naturescape.blogspot.com

Unknown said...


To have one post per page :
Goto Dashboard->settings->formatting-> Show
Set it to 1 post on main page

Goto Dashboard->settings->Archiving
Enable each post to have its own page

About the Blog Archive, I do not use the Blogger Archive, I create my own archive (using Lists)
This needs to be updated with each post.

Hope this is helpful. Thanks for visiting.

Aditya Kamath said...

Thanks a lot for that info!!

It did work.... :D

Aditya Kamath said...

Thank you for all your help....this blog is very nice....i like the photos you shoot and the info is good.

Unknown said...

Thanks a lot Aditya.

To answer your qns on the blog Archive list:
I create a list of web pages, similar to what you have done on your blog ( for blogs that you read).
Once you have each post on its own page, simply add the url of page to the list.

Hamadryad said...

Lovely write-up, Rohini ... Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Santosh Bs said...


Nice blog and very neat presentation. got to know a few things from your blog.tks

Me too and INWian.. and here's my link http://www.indianaturewatch.net/view_cat.php?tag=Santosh%20BS

Unknown said...


Thanks for visiting and your kind comments.


Saw your INW profile, you have some nice shots, I liked the green snake photo. Glad you found this post useful.

@ all:
Suggestions and critic is always appreciated

SUBBU said...

hi rohini , can u kindly post the directions on how to get to TG Halli. I am planning to head there this weekend , in hopes of capturing a few shots

Unknown said...

Hi Subbu,

As I mentioned, we used this map by Shivkumar:

Map : http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=104652619335591641531.000444510857a33933d63&z=12&om=0

Take the Magadi Road toward Magadi.. 4 kms beyond Taverekere (Tavereke is easy to locate - lots of boards) take a diversion to right. Drive slowly, its easy to miss. It is a kuccha road going steeply down. Village is called Nagenhalli.

Once on this road, we headed straight ahead, ignoring a rough road turning left.
Going further, we stopped and asked for directions when the road forked. The man suggested going straight and said that the previous rough road would have also taken us to the lake. We stopped at a huge tree from where we could see the lake.

I know the directions arent the best, but there are very few landmarks. Your best bet is to drive slowly and keep an eye out. If you get lost, just ask for directions.

SUBBU said...

Hi Rohini thanks for the directions , i wasnt able to make it last time around , hope to go pretty soon

Unknown said...

Hi Rohini, nice blog. T.G Halli has been on my list for a long time had been there a few weeks back only to be sent back by the BWSSB gate keeper for permission. I knew there had to be a diferent route since lot of people were making images of the birds and landscapes there but never mentioned the route to place. Your write up is very neat and informative. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi Rohini
Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing them and also all that information about Birds. Animals to we common Men are Tigers, Elephants, Lepord, Bison and so on, when it comes to avifauna, its just Eagle or the Falcon. Its always amazing to me to see how many Birds you Birdwatchers can identify, its also funny to see little tiny Birds carrying names much longer than them ! You may have started off with some Book, can you kindly share the name of the one you use please...?


Unknown said...

Thanks for your visit! I have 3 books which I use for reference.

1. Dr. Salim Ali - Book of Indian Birds
(Detailed info, has illustrations )

2. Photo guide to Birds of India - Bikram Grewal
( Has photographs and maps - covers rare species also)

3. Birds of India - Amano Samarpan
(Has large photos of common birds , low on detail )

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I was at the TG halli reservoir today. At Manchenabele Lake i saw a pair of birds with a red beak, grey body, black /white chested with longish light yellow legs. Any idea what this bird is named?
Loved your pics.

Unknown said...

You saw a Red Wattled Lapwing. When it flies its wings have a wide V shaped white mark on its back.
It also has a peculiar call that sounds like "Did he do it? Pity to do it" :)

See link below for a picture of it at Manchinbele and verify if it is what you saw. Do let me know if its not.


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