Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Hesarghatta Lake.

Hesarghatta lake and it's grasslands are pretty famous in Bangalore for more than couple of reasons. Fishing, Birding, Cinema shooting, drag racing, terrain testing, picknick-ing and much more. I had been to this lake during last year to check out the habitat, what I found was an empty tank and a barren lake bed. But I was surprised to see the lake filled with water during my recent visit. It was serene. 
It was a cold early morning, and sunshine was peeping through the thick fog. As soon as I got down from the vehicle, I saw couple of White throated Kingfishers relaxing on electricity cables. I guess, one noticed me and flew towards the lake and sat on a bush.
White Throated Kingfisher.
White Throated Kingfisher.
 Then I heard the call from Oriental Magpie Robin, yet again on a cable. Their calls are melodious compared to other birds.                    
Oriental Magpie Robin.
 Then came Purple Rumped Sunbird. Again on the cable, it looked like a fashion parade one bird after another. It was an amazing experience though.
Purple Rumped Sunbird--Male.
And now a new guest arrived: Cinereous Tit. It stayed on the cable for a longer time, couple of head turns with few preening was a treat to watch.
Cinereous Tit.
Cinereous Tit.
Mornings are the time when birds are highly active. After sometime they go hiding and stop their activities almost. However, Barbets are active till dark; they have distinctive call compared to others.
White Cheeked Barbet.
Brown Shrike.
Ashy Prinia.
 Also saw several hyper active Ashy Prinias inside Lantenna bush. They were busy fruiting.
Indian Silverbills.
 I decided to go to other part of the lake and check the habitat. I had learnt that grasslands are usually raptor lands. Many have spotted Harriers, Snake Eagles and Kestrels. Although I didnt find any of them, I could spot Black kites, Tawny eagles and Steppe eagles.
But what caught my attention was a Black Drongo; though it is black, it has the most sweet voice.
Black Drongo.
PaddyField  Pippit.
Large Green bee Eater.
Next move was towards Nrithyagrama as the surroundings near this place has lot of trees. One such tree was inhibited with Rosy Starlings. I could barely see leaves, branches were filled with Starlings. Chirping of Starlings were so loud that all the vehicles stopped near this tree to watch them play. It was magnificent..! 
Rosy Starling.
Duet. ?
Cuckoo Shrike.
 It was 10 AM already and I decided to head back home. But the show was not over, I managed to find the elusive Blue faced malkoha; a good sighting on top of a distant tree.
Blue Faced Malkoha.
Although I could not sight any raptor, I was happy with the list I found. The joy added up when I saw the lake filled with water. I hope my next visit would fetch me some good raptor activities.

Hesarghatta Lake: 35Kms from Bangalore.
                            10 kms from 18th Mile, NH4.
Hesarghatta Grasslands: (Nrithyagram): ~5Kms from the lake.