Bird Watching

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

Bird Watching - 1 July 2018

TIME: 6.30 to 8.30 AM
ROUTE: DH to Bio-Diversity Park

It did not seem a very promising outing in the beginning. It was a dull day which meant not many birds… Yet, we saw all the four kinds of bulbuls, four kinds of cuckoos and even a rare bird of prey. Some birds were so tantalising—their song would be so loud as though they were singing right next to our ears, yet we had to look high and low to spot them. One such bird was the spotted babbler whose name was so misleading. We had to go on our knees to ‘spot’ him.

Bird List

24. white headed/yellow-billed babbler.
25. shikra
26. small minivet.
27. koel
28. magpie
29. indian bushlark
30. pale billed flowerpecker
31. yellow-eyed babbler.
32. pied bushchat
33. Indian robin
34. purple sunbird
35. jungle prinia
36. plain prinia
37. grey breasted prinia
38. rufous bellied babbler
39. Indian silver bill
40. loten’s sun bird
41. spotted dove
42. black drongo
43. common wood shrike
44. red rumped swallow
45. short toed eagle

1. white cheeked barbet.
2. coppersmith barbet
3.tailor bird
4. common iora
5. coucal
6. common hawk cuckoo
7. sirkeer cuckoo (malkoha)
8. pied crested cuckoo
9. plaintive cuckoo
10. white browed bulbul
11. red vented bulbul
12. red whiskered bulbul
13. yellow throated bulbul
14. rose ringed parakeet
15. spotted owlet
16. common mynah
17. grey partridge
18. painted spurfowl
19. small green bee eater
20. spotted babbler
21. laughing dove.
22. rufous tree pie
23. spotted/scalybreated munia

Bird Watching - 24 June 2018

Bird watching in the lush green valley of Rishi Valley never gets stale. This week, the percolation tank was a host to a wide array of birds. It is always a pleasure to observe some of these exotic water dwellers, sun basking on the banks of the dry water body.

Bird List

Blue rock pigeon
White headed babbler
Rose ringed parakeet
Red vented bulbul
Golden backed woodpecker
Pond heron
Common hawk cuckoo
Spotted owlet
Black drongo
Common woodshrike
White-rumped munia
Scaly breasted munia
Ashy prinia
Baya weaver bird

Spotted dove
Whitebreasted kingfisher
Purple-rumped sunbird
Little cormorant
Coppersmith Barbet
Little grebe
Magpie robin
House crow
White-cheeked barbet
Red wattled lapwing
Tailor bird
White browed bulbul
Indian silverbill
Tickell’s flower pecker
Small green bee eater