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Birding in India

Have we mentioned how exciting it is to become reacquainted with the BIRDS of this fine continent?  Well…wherever we go, there they are!  In Bangalore, the streets are alive with the sounds of the Asian Koel, Rose-Ringed Parakeets, Crows and Purple-Rumped Sunbirds.  These are the birds that local birders consider too common to really note.  Kind of like Stellars Jays, or Acorn Woodpeckers in Yosemite.  Every single bird is a thrill for us, and we walk down the streets as if we are on a perpetual treasure hunt.  “Mom!  There is an Asian Koel!  I think I see a Kingfisher!  What is that green bird!?”  When we get off the streets and go to our neighborhood “tank” (reservoir) to take a walk, we get even more excited.  Even though this is not the migration season, there are plenty of things to keep us easily amused birders happy.  At Sankey Tank in Malleswaram, we stroll around with binoculars at the ready watching the noisy Great Cormorants nesting!  The parents stuff things that we are guessing are fish, into the gaping, yellow maws of their large and loud offspring.  What a racket!  To make things even more interesting, the nests of these colony nesters is among the trees where the huge, fuzzy, sleeping fruit bats are spending their restful day.  Hundreds of the hanging, winged mammals doze among the unbelievable cacophony, and to our delight, every individual animal in every branch of the six or seven trees is squirming and making some sort of screechy sound.  Simply lovely. 

We had many great bird moments in the Bangalore region.  We got to go to Lalbagh Botanical Gardens a couple of times the best trip was when we met our wonderful friend Deepa Mohan.  Deepa is a friend whom has visited us in Yosemite and makes us laugh often.  Not to mention she is lots of fun to bird with.  Another was Sunday the 19th when we got to join the Bangalore Birders on the 3rd Sunday outing south of town near Bannerghatta Ntl. Park.  We were picked up by our friend Uma at 5am and spent the day looking at birds and beetles and butterflies, moths and spiders too.  Fortified only by our excitement for sharing bird sightings and of course with chai in tiny cups so hot one of them got dropped we saw many amazing birds and bugs.  With waning energy as food was not built into the day, the kids were just about to give up, when they saw…The Tree!!  

Here is our list…we will update it as we see more….until January in Thailand!

Bird List Bangalore 2010

Indian Pond Heron
Brahminy Kite
Great Tit
Spot-billed Pelican
Great Cormorant
House Crow
White-throated Kingfisher
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Plum-Headed Parakeet
White-browed Wagtail
Common Moorhen
Common Myna
Common Coot
Purple-Rumped Sunbird
House Sparrow
Purple Swamphen
White-Cheeked Barbet
Greater Coucal
White-Breasted Waterhen
Little Cormorant
Coppersmith Barbet
Green Bee-Eater
Pied Cuckoo
Blue-Faced Malkoha
Spotted Owlet
Blue Rock Pigeon
Spotted Dove
Laughing Dove
Black-Shouldered Kite
Black Kite
Crested Serpent Eagle
Purple Heron
Blue-Winged Leafbirds
Bay-Backed Shrike
Large-Billed Crow
Black-Headed Cuckooshrike
Small Minivet
White-Bellied Drongo
Black Drongo
Plain Prinia
Indian Bush Lark
Little Egret
Pied Bushchat
Oriental Honeybuzzard
Jungle Crow
Pied Cuckoo
Red-Rumped Swallow
Wire-Tailed Swallow
House Swift
Common Iora
Barn Swallow
White-Browed Bulbul
Red-Whiskered Bulbul
Red-Vented Bulbul
Ashy Prinia
Oriental White-Eye
Yellow-Eyed Babbler
Common Tailorbird
Pale-Billed Flowerpecker
Baya Weaver
Scaly-Breasted Munia
Indian Robin
Oriental Magpie Robin

Then we got on the train north.  (See “Leaving Bangalore” entry to learn of the other emotions related to our departure.  Anyone would think that this fact could mean the end of our birding days for the duration but instead we were surprised at how entertaining it was to scan the Indian countryside which looked greener and more bucolic than we imagined.  Especially after a man with a squeegee appeared and cleaned the chunks off of the outside of our window.  What a pleasure to have the treasure hunt continue, and to reap rewards in the following additions to our list:

Red-Wattled Lapwing
Indian Cormorant
Cattle Egrets
Common Babbler
Black-Crowned Night Heron
Little Heron
Indian Nightjar
Indian Peafowl
Black Ibis