19 October 2011

Birdwatching - My new-found hobby

I had always enjoyed being amidst nature. However, I had never given a serious thought into bird watching. Nevertheless, I always enjoy the chirping of the birds.

Off late, I have started enjoying my new-found hobby - Birdwatching! It is kind of recreation for me from the hectic schedule and from the hassle bustle of city life. I agree we hardly get to spot any birds around the city. Where are the birds, which we used to find in the gardens in our childhood? Are all of these birds threatened with extinction?

One Sunday morning, I was in my deep sleep and my friend calls me and says, “I’m at Kaikondrahalli Lake and there are lot of birds here. Come over here and you’ll enjoy.” I din’t want to wake up early, but somehow I made my mind to go there once and see what kind of birds are there. So unwillingly, I woke up and headed towards Kaikondrahalli Lake.  It was a pleasant morning. Cool breeze, tranquil lake and serene environment! Even though the lake is beside the Sarjapur main road, as you enter the lake you will not feel you are in the city. I felt refreshed as I entered.

Now comes the exciting Birdwatching part. My friend went busy with his photo shoots.  I started spotting different varieties of birds. I never knew Kaikondrahalli Lake had so many species of birds. Yes, I heard amateur photographers heading towards Hebbal Lake, Lalbaugh to name a few. I was stunned to find these varieties of species here. I found few birds and I did not know their species, what are they called, I was seeing them for the first time.  That day when I came back home, I searched for the bird species information and their habitats.

After that, almost every weekend I try to join my friend at Kaikondrahalli. An added advantage for my for friend as he says my eyes are sharp and I spot the birds easily. That helps him in his photography. :P So far at Kaikondrahalli Lake I have spotted these species of birds:
  • Green bee-eater
  • Ashy Prinia
  • Indian small cormorant
  • White browed wagtail
  • Yellow Wagtail
  • Jungle Myna
  • Common Kingfisher
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • Pond Heron
  • Grey Heron
  • Purple Heron
  • Black Drongo
  • Red Wattled Lapwing
  • Paddy Field Pipit
  • Common Coot
  • Spot Billed Duck
  • Common Moorhens
  • Kites
  • Brahminy kites
  • Sparrows
  • Parakeets
  • Sunbirds
  • Small Egret
I might have not yet noticed few of the water birds. My favorite among all these birds are Pied Kingfisher. I spotted this bird at Kaikondrahalli Lake only once. This bird is so awesome. The way it flew and attacked on its prey, unbelievable. I was just starring; it was so quick in its action. I just went crazy for this birdie. J

Next on my list are Grey and Purple Heron. It is because; there are quite a few Grey and Purple Heron at Kaikondrahalli Lake. However, they sit on the islet or hide near the bushes waiting for its prey or they will just sit quite and silently in the tree far from the shore. I sit near the lake and watch these birds, waiting for prey, they just concentrate without any movement, and sometimes you can only see its long neck.

Green bee-eater, this bird is not shy about human beings. :P When my friend was photographing, this birdie used to come sit close and kind of shows it’s attitude. Common click as many as pictures you want. LOL.

There are plenty of Little Cormorants at Kaikondrahalli Lake or you can say anywhere in India you can find lot of Cormorants. Nevertheless, you will not get bored watching this bird. They are very funny. The way they get wet and the way, they keep their wings open. I assume they dry the water after refreshing in the water. You will love to watch that scene. They most of the time fight with each other.

There are couple of Brahminy Kites, if they see Human beings coming close by they don’t mind but if they see Camera’s with big lens focusing on them they just escape. These birds are very smart you know.

Kingfisher, they are so shy birds yet so beautiful. I will be so excited when I spot Kingfishers. But, they just fly away when they hear human beings coming near them. I recently visited the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary just for Pied Kingfisher and the Common Kingfisher. I was content with my trip as I could spot these birds there. Someone had mentioned in a blog that Pied Kingfisher is the super model of Ranganathittu. Yes, indeed it’s the supermodel over there. :P

On my last visit to Kaikondrahalli Lake, I saw a little birdie; I am yet to research about its species and habitat. I loved the texture and the color of this bird. God has created amazing creatures on this earth. Truly, god is the great artist. He has used all the beautiful color in his creations.

Another inspiration for my newfound hobby is the Rio movie. This movie inspired me a lot in terms of Bird watching and learning more about the bird’s habitat and their behavior.

On my last visit to the Kaikondrahalli Lake, I also spotted a Reptile - a huge Spectacle Cobra. After seeing the snake so close to me, I could not get my nerve to stay there for long.

You can find my experience at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary at http://travelsoiled.wordpress.com/. I will put up a post about my experience about the birds at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary and our Mysore visit soon.

Overall, I am really enjoying this hobby. With all the hectic schedule and city lifestyle, this rather gives me relief from all the stress. Yes, for me bird watching is a stress buster!

You can view the bird photos captured at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/meprashant/sets/72157627662109439/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/meprashant/sets/72157627703116508/. The pictures will be updated randomly. All the images here are copyright protected to Prashant Bhandare. Anyone who wants to publish or use these images for any purpose, please contact the concerned for permission.