Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Birding at Nandi Hills.

Birding in Nandi hills is always fun, and if it's with Deepa Mohan birds would turn themselves in to say Hello..! Our previous trip to Nandi did not yield us much as the climate was gloomy. So, we decided to pay visit on a bright sunny weekday, and were not disappointed this time.

I thoroughly enjoyed the dance of Indian Blue Robin, APFC, rock thrushes and many more. My lifer list started growing as I had not seen some of the beauties in the past.

Puff Throated Babbler preening. Blue Capped Rock thrush waiting to plunge.
A small pond always filled with water attracts these birds very much. Right next to Tippu's summer palace is a water pump. Water drips through a small crack in the hose pipe and hence a small pool is created beneath it. 

Blue Capped Rock Thrush enjoying the dip.
I think Nandi is the right place to watch a fully grown Asian Paradise Flycatcher closely. It has never disappointed me till now. With long ribbon like tail, dancing on thick tree branches it hardly says NO to any shutterbugs.

Asian Paradise Flycatcher--Male.
I believe nursery and band stand area is a perfect place to find all flycatchers, thrushes and Indian Robin. Many have seen Malabar Whistling thrush too. But the bird evaded us this time.

Indian Blue Robin.
Pied Thrush--Female. 
Indian Blackbird.
Orange Headed Thrush.
I continued to explore the silver oak forest area and shrubs near the hillock. What caught my attention was a fig filled tree. Birds were at it's best. 

White Cheeked Barbet with a fruit.
APFC--pale morph.
Another specialty of Nandi hills that bird lovers would never want to miss is Nilgiri Wood Pigeon. I was lucky enough to find a pair this time.

Nilgiri Wood Pigeon with a purple jacaranda backdrop.
Most of the species are endemic to this place. I was happy to see the place was maintained clean unlike other hill stations. Tourism department have taken extra initiative to preserve heritage buildings of Nandi. 

Pied Thrush--male.
Blue Rock Thrush with a garden lizard kill.
Common Tailor Bird-- Inspection for nesting.
Tickel's leaf Warbler.
Blue Capped Rock Thrush.
Blue Rock Thrush.
Verditer Flycatcher.
It was like a fantastic bird parade. All these beautiful birds came up to us to say Hello. I presume the simple reason was that there was no crowd. So, feathered beauties roamed around freely.
Am sure anyone who visits Nandi hills would enjoy both scenic beauty and bird watching, guaranteed.

Place: Nandi Hills.
Distance: 70 kms from Bangalore.
Genre: Hill station.
Best time to visit for bird watching: Throughout the year. 
Nearby tourism places: Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple, Ghati Subramanya temple.

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