Bird Watching

Bird Watching - 10 Feb 2019

TIME: 6.45 to 8.45 AM
ROUTE: First bridge, old mango grove and Malli Baavi
OBSERVERS: Nirvedh, Nirad, Yash, Pranav, Arjun, Jyothi and Santharam
WEATHER: Pleasant. Cloudy with hazy sun.

55 species seen today. The weather being pleasant, it was a pleasure being outdoors this morning. An unusual bird spotted this morning was the Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher. A single bird was noticed behind the Alumni Guest House. We have seen it here only once earlier on the campus. It is, however, a fairly common bird in the Horsley Hills.

BIRD LIST (INCLUDING CALLS)

House Crow
Large-billed Crow
Red-rumped Swallow
Cinereous Tit (Great Tit)
Red-vented Bulbul
Red-whiskered Bulbul
White-browed Bulbul
Greenish Warbler
Blyth's Reed Warbler
Common Tailorbird
Ashy Prinia
Tawny-bellied Babbler
Yellow-billed Babbler
Indian Robin
Oriental Magpie-Robin
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
Verditer Flycatcher
Pied Bushchat
Common Myna
Jerdon's Leafbird (Jerdon's Chloropsis)
Pale-billed Flowerpecker
Purple-rumped Sunbird
Purple Sunbird
Long-billed Sunbird (Loten's Sunbird)
Tree Pipit
Baya Weaver
Scaly-breasted Munia (Spotted Munia)

Grey Francolin
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Spotted Dove
Greater Coucal
Asian Koel
Little Swift (Indian House Swift)
Cattle Egret
Shikra
Spotted Owlet
Eurasian Hoopoe
Indian Grey Hornbill
White-throated Kingfisher
Green Bee-eater
Coppersmith Barbet
White-cheeked Barbet (Small Green Barbet)
Black-rumped Flameback
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Common Woodshrike
Common Iora
Small Minivet
Large Cuckooshrike
Black-naped Oriole
Black-hooded Oriole
Black Drongo
Ashy Drongo
Hair-crested Drongo (Spangled Drongo)
Indian Paradise-Flycatcher
Rufous Treepie

Bird Watching - 3 Feb 2019

TIME: 6.45 to 8.45 AM
ROUTE: Biodiversity Park
OBSERVERS: Lalit, Yash, Arjun, Govind and Santharam V
WEATHER: Summy, cool
COMMENTS: 62 species

We had a very focussed session for once since the number of birders were small and were serious this morning. The highlights were the sightings of the Sulphur-bellied warbler, an uncommon migrant, which was seen foraging on a tree-trunk. Also present was a small flock of about 10 Red Avadavats, that included at least a couple of male birds in bright red plumage. The Long-tailed shrikes too very seen today, staking out their territories. A Collared Dove, usually seen only at the Sunrise point and beyond too was seen perched on a tamarind tree-yop, occasionally engaged in display flights.

BIRD LIST (INCLUDING CALLS)

Large-billed Crow
Rufous-tailed Lark
Sulphur-bellied Warbler - Seen actively foraging for insects from a tree-trunk.
Greenish Warbler
Booted Warbler I
Blyth's Reed Warbler
Common Tailorbird
Grey-breasted Prinia
Jungle Prinia
Plain Prinia
Hume's Whitethroat
Yellow-eyed Babbler
Tawny-bellied Babbler
Common Babbler
Large Grey Babbler
Yellow-billed Babbler
Indian Robin
Oriental Magpie-Robin
Verditer Flycatcher
Blue Rock-Thrush
Pied Bushchat
Jerdon's Leafbird (Jerdon's Chloropsis)
Pale-billed Flowerpecker
Purple-rumped Sunbird
Purple Sunbird
Long-billed Sunbird (Loten's Sunbird)
White-browed Wagtail (Large Pied Wagtail)
Red Avadavat
Indian Silverbill (White-throated Munia)
Scaly-breasted Munia (Spotted Munia)

Grey Francolin
Grey Junglefowl
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Spotted Dove
Laughing Dove (Little Brown Dove)
Greater Coucal
Blue-faced Malkoha
Asian Koel
Common Hawk-Cuckoo
Cattle Egret
Shikra
Spotted Owlet
Eurasian Hoopoe
White-throated Kingfisher
Green Bee-eater
Coppersmith Barbet
White-cheeked Barbet (Small Green Barbet)
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Common Woodshrike
Common Iora
Long-tailed Shrike
Black Drongo
Ashy Drongo
Indian Paradise-Flycatcher
Rufous Treepie
House Crow
Indian Bushlark (Red-winged Bushlark)
Red-rumped Swallow
Cinereous Tit (Great Tit)
Red-vented Bulbul
Red-whiskered Bulbul
White-browed Bulbul

Bird Watching - 13 Jan 2019

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

Cool, sunny and clear.

BIRD LIST (INCLUDING CALLS)

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
Shikra
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..

BIRD LIST (INCLUDING CALLS)

Verditer Flycatcher
Magpie-robin
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
Hoopoe
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.

BIRD LIST (INCLUDING CALLS)

Purple-rumped Sunbird
Yellow-billed Babbler
Common Iora
Indian Pitta
Little (house) Swift
Magpie-robin
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
Hoopoe
Green Bee-eater
Ashy Drongo
Golden Oriole
Black-naped Oriole
Haircrested Drongo
Verditer Flycatcher
Paradise Flycatcher
Treepie
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.

BIRD LIST (INCLUDING CALLS)

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

BIRD LIST (INCLUDING CALLS)

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...

BIRD LIST (INCLUDING CALLS)

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 ...

BIRD LIST (INCLUDING CALLS)

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.

BIRD LIST (INCLUDING CALLS)

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