Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Kaiga Bird Marathon--2017

Back from exile! I guess, it is one of my favorite places on earth that I choose to visit over again. It's always good to be part of Kaiga Birders group who have evolved a lot in the recent years. Their contribution towards bird count have been impeccable. The birders association realizes how important it is to save the habitat for birds to thrive. I admire their collaboration with other birders network and active participation towards all events conducted by Bird count India.

Over the years, Kaiga Bird Marathon have become so popular among the birding communities that every birder aspires to take part in it at least once. I can say it is mainly because of resident and migrant species of the Western Ghats that attract a lot of birders. 
Because of it's growing popularity and overwhelming response from others, my participation to KBM-2017 was doubtful.! Well, I had lost hopes that I'd be going to Kaiga for the bird count. 
But thanks to the KBM organizers for their kind consideration towards me, at the end I was given a chance to participate and enjoy the event.

I took a bus from Bengaluru to Mallapur and reached the destination by early morning. My dearest friends from Kaiga--Mr. Harish, Mr.Mohan Das attended the migrant bird watchers. ;-) I was not alone and was glad that there were known faces who traveled with me. We discussed to do some birding after freshening up. 

When BLR Birders meet Kaiga Birders, from L to R--Ashwini Kumar Bhat, Harish Kulur, Janhvi Vyas, Karthik Kulkarni.
We did a lot of birding in and around Mallapur that day. Lot of endemic species showed their faces nicely. Many thanks to Harish Kulur for taking us to Kerwadi Lake, we were fortunate to see large amount of waders too. 

We headed back to Nisarga convention hall where evening program was fixed--the kick off session of KBM-2017. It was nice to catch up with a lot of enthusiastic birders from different places. 

Mr. Sriram speaks.
Mr. Prem Kumar speaks.
The organizing committee disclosed the participant details of particular transects. I was part of the transect Hatruga. I had done this transect during my first ever KBM and it was fun. This transect consists of village culture, thick forests with streams and finally vast landscape of Kadra backwaters. An amazing round trip of 9kms, not an easy transect though.

Vernal Hanging Parrot.
Crimson Sunbird with tongue out.
Thick fog embarked the whole forest; it appeared like a white blanket on top of green carpet. It was cold. Our vision was poor due to low light and could barely ID the birds. There were lot of chirping around us which enhanced our birding desire.

Black Rumped Woodpecker.
The overcast weather condition continued for sometime until the Sun finally showed mercy on us and started glowing to his glory. The weather was so pleasant that many birds started showing their fresh faces. Most of them were joyfully sucking the nectar out of flowers.


Asian Fairy Bluebird--Male.
We had traversed half way in our transect and it was time for a quick bite. But the action continued as we saw a huge crested serpent eagle perched on top of a tree acting as a vigilante.

Crested Serpent Eagle.



We continued our search for more birds and were delighted to see too many of them. At the back-waters we were lucky to see a White bellied sea eagle perched on a stump right in middle of the water.

Sun was getting hotter and it was time for us to return to our base. We were a bit unhappy that few big birds were not to be seen, but the last sighting made us forget all of it. A tree snake on a dead tree.! How amazing, couldn't ask for more.

Tree Snake.
Yet another memorable bird marathon into my bucket list. A bunch of enthusiastic birders exchanged a lot of knowledge. I thank each of them for sparing time for birding and enjoying the trek. I admired each one's efforts on documenting and understanding the behavior of the birds.

Team Hartuga.
I know that the motive of KBM is just not about bird count but also maintaining the sanctity of the forests. I congratulate the organizers of KBM for their continuous efforts in making this event bigger and better, every year.

KBM ebird: http://ebird.org/ebird/india/view/checklist/S36249094
Kaiga Guest house ebird: http://ebird.org/ebird/shared?subID=UzMzNjUxNDcw&s=t
Kaiga Township ebird: http://ebird.org/ebird/shared?subID=UzMzNjUzMjg4&s=t
Kerwadi ebird: http://ebird.org/ebird/shared?subID=UzMzNjU0NDM2&s=t