Bird Watching

Bird Watching - 13 Jan 2019

TIME: 6.40 to 8.40 AM
ROUTE: Sunrise Point and the valley beyond

Cool, sunny and clear.


House Crow
Large-billed Crow
Rufous-tailed Lark
Indian Bushlark (Red-winged Bushlark)
Red-rumped Swallow
Cinereous Tit (Great Tit)
Red-vented Bulbul
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Yellow-throated Bulbul - Heard calls twice before seeing one bird
White-browed Bulbul
Greenish Warbler
Blyth's Reed Warbler
Common Tailorbird
Grey-breasted Prinia
Jungle Prinia
Plain Prinia
Hume's Whitethroat
Eastern Orphean Warbler - Had a brief but clear view in a dense thicket
Yellow-eyed Babbler
Tawny-bellied Babbler
Common Babbler
Yellow-billed Babbler
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Indian Robin
Pied Bushchat
Common Myna
Pale-billed Flowerpecker
Purple-rumped Sunbird
Purple Sunbird
Long-billed Sunbird (Loten's Sunbird)
White-browed Wagtail (Large Pied Wagtail)
Indian Silverbill (White-throated Munia)
Scaly-breasted Munia (Spotted Munia)

Grey Francolin
Grey Junglefowl
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Spotted Dove
Laughing Dove (Little Brown Dove)
Greater Coucal
Sirkeer Malkoha
Asian Koel
Cattle Egret
Oriental Honey-buzzard (Crested Honey Buzzard)
White-eyed Buzzard
Green Bee-eater
Coppersmith Barbet
White-cheeked Barbet (Small Green Barbet) - Calls heard
Black-rumped Flameback (Lesser Goldenbacked Woodpecker)
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Common Woodshrike
Common Iora
Black Drongo
Ashy Drongo
Indian Paradise-Flycatcher

Bird Watching - 23 Dec 2018

TIME: 6.40 to 8.30 AM
ROUTE: BBT - Mango Orchard – Vegetable Garden

A Blackhooded oriole that has been in the campus for the last few weeks turned up at a Peepul tree near Radhikaji’s House. In general, we have been seeing fewer orioles so far this season..


Verditer Flycatcher
White-browed Wagtail
Brown Shrike
Whitebrowed Bulbul
Red-vented Bulbul
Black-hooded Oriole
Blacknaped Oriole
Scaly-breasted Munia
Yellow-billed Babbler
Common Tailorbird
Blyth’s Reed Warbler
Greenish Warbler
Purple-rumped Sunbird
Loten’s sunbird
Pale-billed Flowerpecker
Common Myna
Redrumped Swallow
Tree Pipit

Grey Francolin
Oriental Honey Buzzard
Pond Heron
Cattle Egret
Spotted Dove
Roseringed Parakeet
White-throated Kingfisher
Coppersmith Barbet
White-cheeked Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet
Indian Roller
Green Bee-eater
Greater Coucal
Asian Koel
Ashy Drongo
Longbilled Crow
House Crow
Common Iora
Small Minivet
Cinerous Tit
Paradise Flycatcher

Bird Watching - 16 Dec 2018

TIME: 6.40 to 8.35 AM
ROUTE: Asthachal Sheet Rock

Students today discovered that even remaining stationary at one place, one could encounter a wide range of bird species. This was also possible because today there were fewer participants. The highlights of the day were Haircrested Drongo pair and the Verditer Flycatchers that gave good views.


Purple-rumped Sunbird
Yellow-billed Babbler
Common Iora
Indian Pitta
Little (house) Swift
Red-vented Bulbul
Redwhiskered Bulbul
Whitebrowed Bulbul
Laughing Dove
Longbilled Crow
House Crow
Scaly-breasted Munia
Coppersmith Barbet
Oriental White-eye
Common Myna
Roseringed Parakeet

Grey Junglefowl
Lesser Flameback
White-throated Kingfisher
Cattle Egret
Grey Francolin
Green Bee-eater
Ashy Drongo
Golden Oriole
Black-naped Oriole
Haircrested Drongo
Verditer Flycatcher
Paradise Flycatcher
Black-headed Cuckoo-shrike
Blyth’s Reed Warbler
Greenish Warbler
Common Tailorbird

Bird Watching - 9 Dec 2018

TIME: 6.30 to 8.30 AM
ROUTE: DH to Malli Bavi
PARTICIPANTS: Meghana, Pragnya, Yash, Nirad, Govind, Yash senior, Lalith, Daipayan, Arjun, Nirved, Daksh, Damini, Siddhanth, Keko, Mangala

Gathering on the cold wintry mornings for bird watching does warm one’s cockles. The big banyan tree sadly is a mere spectre now . Yet, it continues to serve as a perch. This Sunday it showed the great hornbills, nearly 4 of them against the sky. There were other birds too like the hoopoe making a pretty picture against the sky, just like a picture post card.


26. Red rumped swallow
27. Small green bee eater
28. Purple rumped sunbird
29. Iora
30. Tree pipit
31. Black drongo
32. Ashy drongo
33. Grey tit
34. Loten’s sunbird
35. Laughing dove
36. Verditer flycatcher
37. Purple sunbird
38. Tickell’s flowerpecker
39. Golden backed woodpecker
40. Little brown dove
41. Red vented bulbul
42. White cheeked barbet
43. Blythe’s reed warbler
44. White eye
45. Indian robin
46. Pied bush chat
47. Black headed cuckoo shrike
48. Tree pie
49. Paradise flycatcher

1. Roseringed parakeet
2. Loten’s sunbird.
3. Grey Jungle fowl.
4. Magpie robin
5. Cattle Egret
6. Greenish Warbler
7. Tailor bird
8. Shikra
9. Grey Partridge
10. Whitebrowed bulbul
11. Grey wagtail
12. Small minivet
13. Tiaga flycatcher
14. Hoopoe
15. Spotted dove
16. Grey hornbill
17. Ashy prinia
18. Blue-tailed beeeater
19. Koel
20. Common mynah
21. White-breasted kingfisher
22. Whiteheaded (Yellowbilled)babbler
23. Spotted owlet
24. Coucal
25. Blue rock pigeon

Bird Watching - 2 Dec 2018

TIME: 6.30 to 8.30 AM
ROUTE: DH to Biodiversity Park


18. Koel
19. Red whiskered bulbul
20. Redvented bulbul
21. Small green bee-eater
22. Purple sunbird
23. Iora
24. Purple rumped sunbird
25. Painted spurfowl
26. Small green barbet
27. Indian robin
28. Black shouldered kite
29. Tickell’s flower-pecker
30. White throat
31. Common babbler
32. Yellow-eyed babbler
33. Red-rumped swallow
34. Large cuckoo shrike

1. Paradise flycatcher
2. White-browed bulbul
3. Coppersmith
4. Hoopoe
5. Jungle crow
6. Partridge
7. Ashy Drongo
8. Rose ringed parakeet
9. Tailor bird
10. Green leafy warbler
11. Spotted owlet
12. Coucal
13. Red spurfowl
14. Blythe’s reed warbler
15. Blue throated flycatcher
16. Laughing dove
17. Spotted dove

Bird Watching - 26 Aug 2018

TIME: 6.40 to 8.30 AM
ROUTE: DH to Lost Lake via Duranta Hills
PARTICIPANTS: Santharam, Jyothi, Yashvardan, Ishan, Pranav, Yash, Tanaya, Damini, Lalith

A Battle Lost and a Battle Won: Several bee-eaters were diving into the air from their tree perches and deftly catching their insect meal in mid-air. Below, the Sunday players were already on the playfield ‘battling different goals’. One beetle which was caught mid-air was spat out and landed at our feet in a dazed condition. Perhaps, its biochemical constitution did not agree with the bird’s palate. A different battle was going on in the Duranta Hills. Though we traversed much distance, our list was more or less completed near-abouts the foot hills. Santharam attributed the sparse bird population to the invasion of subabul on the hills...


15. Coucal
16. Laughing Dove
17. Crested Honey Buzzard
18. Black-shouldered kite
19. Feral Pigeon
20. Scaly breasted munia
21. Ashy prinia
22. Redvented bulbul
23. Indian Silverbill
24. Pond heron
25. Common Woodshrike
26. Small or White-cheeked Green barbet
27. Coppersmith

1. Whiteheaded (Yellowbilled) babbler
2. Common Mynah
3. Small green bee-eater
4. Loten’s sunbird
5. Tickell’s flowerpecker
6. Whitebrowed bulbul
7. Black Drongo
8. Roseringed parakeet
9. House swift
10. Rufous Treepie
11. Small minivet
12. Grey tit
13. Tailor bird
14. Grey Partridge

Bird Watching - 5 Aug 2018

TIME: 6.30 to 8.30 AM
ROUTE: DH to Perco Tank via Junior School
PARTICIPANTS: Santharam, Jyothi, Ananth, Nandu, Aruna, Damini, Lalith, Pranav, Yash, Nirad, Ishan.

The lone shikra on the tamarind tree surveying the landscape from his perch brought so much into context Ted Hughes poem:

Hawk Roosting

I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
Inaction, no falsifying dream
Between my hooked head and hooked feet:
Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.

The convenience of the high trees!
The air's buoyancy and the sun's ray
Are of advantage to me;
And the earth's face upward for my inspection.

My feet are locked upon the rough bark.
It took the whole of Creation
To produce my foot, my each feather:
Now I hold Creation in my foot ...


24. Redrumped swallow
25. Redvented bulbul
26. Goldenbacked woodpecker
27. Bluefaced Malkoha
28. Plain Prinia
29. Laughing Dove
30. Spotted munia
31. Indian robin
32. Common Woodshrike
33. Thickbilled flowerpecker
34. Indian Bushlark
35. Purplerumped sunbird
36. Ashy prinia
37. Jerdon’s Chloropsis
38. Shikra
39. Indian Silverbill
40. Pied crested cuckoo
41. Grey Partridge
42. Rufous- or tawny-bellied Babbler
43. Indian roller
44. Coppersmith
45. Crested Honey Buzzard

1. Magpie robin
2. Tailor bird
3. Koel
4.  Purple Sunbird
5. Jungle crow
6. Common Mynah
7. Coucal
8. Roseringed parakeet
9. Spotted owlet
10. Pond heron
11. Spotted dove
12. Whitebrowed bulbul
13. Dabchick
14. Little brown kingfisher
15. Small or White-cheeked Green barbet
16. Whiteheaded (Yellowbilled) babbler
17. Common Iora
18. Short-toed eagle
19. Treepie
20. Tickell’s flowerpecker
21. Grey hornbill
22. Small green bee-eater
23. Redwhiskered bulbul

Bird Watching - 29 July 2018

TIME: 6.30 to 8.30 AM
ROUTE: DH to Bio diversity park
PARTICIPANTS: Santharam, Jyothi, Dr Johnsingh, Anjali, Ram, Lakshman, Ishaan, Yash, Yashvardhan, Damini, Lalith, Nirved and Taashi

Walking with the master: Having Dr Johnsingh for bird watching was like having a live interactive encyclopaedia. The vastness of his knowledge was further enhanced by the richness of the stories, anecdotes and folk wisdom that he shared. Students were tickled by the story of the greedy fox that died of an overdose of ‘ber’ fruit. He told us why Ficus tree is called the keystone species. He picked up a twig from the tree and quoted from an ancient Tamil text ‘alum verum pazhiki urudhi’ which translates into: the banyan twig and root are guarantees for teeth. The sap is said to be medicinal.


16. Common woodshrike
17. Small minivet
18. Jerdon’s chloropsis
19. White-cheeked barbet
20. Greater Coucal
21. Indian silverbill
22. Purple-rumped sunbird
23. Tawny eagle
24. Rufousbellied babbler
25. White-headed babbler
26. Pond heron
27. Yellow eyed babbler
28. Pied bushchat
29. Indian robin
30. Plain prinia

1. Spotted babbler
2. Grey partridge
3. Tailor bird
4. Coppersmith
5. Roseringed parakeet
6. White-browed bulbul
7. Jungle prinia
8. Red-vented bulbul
9. Small green bee-eater
10. Spotted dove
11. Laughing dove
12. Pied crested cuckoo
13. Crested honey buzzard
14. Tickell’s flower pecker
15. Redwhiskered bulbul

Bird Watching - 22 July 2018

TIME: 6.30 to 8.30 AM
ROUTE: DH to Bio diversity park
PARTICIPANTS: Santharam, Jyothi, Manju, Lalith, Yash, Pranav, Bharathi, Kiya, Niloy, Nirad

Some birds are like jewels. Chloropsis is one such bird with its brilliant green hue which vividly stands out amongst the green leaves. Small minivet is another with its bright orangish-red plumage. Having these birds frolicking around was like having emeralds and rubies shine forth from trees. The highlight of the day, however, was the Peregrine (Shaheen) Falcon that flew leisurely overhead, giving good views of its distinctly shaped pointed wings.


19. Bluefaced Malkoha
20. Tickell’s flowerpecker
21. Spotted dove
22. Painted spurfowl
23. Common Woodshrike
24. Laughing Dove
25. Jungle Prinia
26. Plain Prinia
27. Rufous or tawny-bellied Babbler
28. Yellow-eyed Babbler
29. Indian Silverbill
30. Tawny eagle
31. Peregrine (Shaheen) Falcon
32. Crested Honey Buzzard
33. Purple Sunbird

1. Treepie
2. Common Iora
3. Whitebrowed bulbul
4. Jungle crow
5. Spotted babbler
6. Tailor bird
7. Redrumped swallow
8. Redvented bulbul
9. Shikra
10. Whiteheaded (Yellowbilled)babbler
11. Coppersmith
12. Small green bee-eater
13. Munia sp.
14. Purplerumped sunbird
15. Grey Partridge
16. Small Minivet
17. Jerdon’s Chloropsis
18. Small or White-cheeked Green barbet

Bird Watching - 15 July 2018

TIME: 6.30 to 8.30 AM
ROUTE: DH to Percolation Tank
PARTICIPANTS: Santharam, Jyothi, Srinivas, Sai Jagan, Sailendra, Suhel, Amy, Aditya, Nirved, Lalith, Pranav, Prajna, Hiya, Sanjana and Sanvi

Having Suhel  in the group is a guarantee that many nuggets about bird behaviour will be shared. When we saw the magpie robins, he could  immediately tell that they were foraging for food to feed their young ones. We also learnt that some birds are excellent ventriloquists and can often fool the humans but other predators too.

Bird List (Including Calls)

17. Red-rumped swallow
18. Spotted dove
19. Little brown kingfisher
20. Little Grebe or Dabchick
21. Spotted owlet
22. Indian pond heron
23. Weaver bird
24. White breasted water hen
25. Spotted munia
26. white headed babbler
27. Indian bush lark
28. Ashy prinia
29. Black drongo
30. Red-whiskered bulbul
31. Tickell’s flower pecker

1. Tailor bird
2. Coucal
3. Loten’s sunbird
4. Iora
5. Spotted babbler       
6. Purple sunbird
7. White-browed bulbul
8. Coppersmith
9. Rose-ringed parakeet
10. Pied bushchat
11. Magpie robin
12. Redvented bulbul
13. Small green bee-eater
14. Shikra
15. Common mynah
16. Koel