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Bird Watching in Anegundi


White throated kingfisher

White throated kingfisher

Is it because we don’t take the time out as adults to observe birds that we find them so fascinating when we do? Or it is something to do with the primitive urge to fly? Who knows?

We have all heard grandmothers’ stories about our feathered friends as children, cocked our heads to watch the bird in the tree and tried talking to caged parrots/canaries et al.

Many Indian stories feature crows -maybe because they seem to be just about everywhere. The ‘Wise Crow’ in the Panchatantra (book of animal fables – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panchatantra) and ‘Kalia the crow’ from Tinkle comic books have to be the most famous ones in the country.

My favorite is the Indian peacock, vainest member of the pheasant family I would imagine. I mean how can a bird be so beautiful and not know it? As a child, I would stand outside its enclosure for the longest time during visits to the zoo. Just to watch it spread its wings in a glorious display of iridescent colors.

 

Indian peacock at the zoo

Indian peacock

 

Close up of peacock feathers

Most loved blues and greens

Perched right next it in order of preference is the kingfisher (Yeah – I love blue). This blog’s readers would know – an image of the kingfisher in our backyard stayed on my picture slider for the longest time.

So it was only natural that I signed up for a bird watching session in Anegundi. (Read my previous post on Anegundi here.

Bird watching in Anegundi

Bird watching in Anegundi

Our birding guide, K Chandrashekar, was a genial young man associated with the Uramma Cottages/Kishkinda Trust.

With him leading and family in tow I eagerly set out, expecting to work my way explorer style through a thickly wooded area. But the geography is such that even the Billikallu Reserve Forest in this area doesn’t have uninterrupted forest cover.

I have talked about the almost unreal landscape in these parts in my post on Hampi – it’s as if a giant asteroid smashed into a mountain and flung boulders everywhere. It’s actually the handiwork of volcanoes and erosion. Read more here.

Just to give you an idea, here is a model at the Archaeological Survey of India’s (Agency to preserve historically important sites) Hampi Museum that shows part of the terrain.

Hampi - a model at the ASI

Hampi – a model at the ASI

Given that we were inexperienced bird watchers, Chandrashekar planned the route such that  it wouldn’t be too difficult to spot birds. With a meandering road ahead and fields on either side, we saw many avians– feeding off insects in the green and brown foliage, sitting on bare brown rock and diving into a pond for their morning meal.

 

A pleasant walk

A pleasant walk

Canine company

Canine company

White throated warbler

White throated warbler

A pair of laughing doves

A pair of laughing doves

A Robin

A Robin

Breakfast time for a green bee eater

Breakfast time for a green bee eater

Ah -the pond! I haven’t told you about it yet. Well, we walked on for some time before coming to a stop in front of enormous boulders looming above us. Thinking we had lost our way, we looked at Chandrashekar. But before we could say ‘East Indian Wandering Whistling Duck’ (that is actually the name of a bird subspecies 😉 ) he deftly climbed up. Of course, he helped us scramble up too.

With the camera dangling precariously around my neck, I was just going to question his choice of route when Chandrashekar signaled us to be silent. Wondering what the fuss was about, I gingerly crept up.

My heart skipped a beat – a pond with the prettiest pink lilies lay spread out.

 

The lily pond

The lily pond

Pink water lily

Pink water lily

But just between the pond and the monolith in front of us was a snake standing upright! Or that’s what I initially thought. Thank God – it was actually a Purple Heron, craning its neck to see what was causing a disturbance in the peaceful surroundings.

It flew away, only to perch on a tree on the side other of the pond. We sat down, wishing we were invisible and hoping it would come back. Sure enough, a little while later it got comfortable enough to carry on with its hunting.

First glimpse of the purple heron

Purple heron in flight

Purple heron landing

Touch down

Feeding time

Feeding time

We spent some more time at the pond, watching other birds in their daily routine. Each sound – the twitter of robins , gurgling of pigeons, harsh calls of babblers and the splash of the kingfisher as it hit the water – seemed to be amplified in the quiet.

A Bronze Winged Jacana walking around

A Bronze Winged Jacana walking around

Trusted companions of cattle - Egrets

Trusted companions of cattle – Egrets

Indian Grey Heron

Indian Grey Heron

A pair of Indian Wagtails

A pair of Wagtails

Swallows

A distant shot of Swallows

An Oriental Darter takes off

An Oriental Darter takes off

Our reverie was broken by loud moos. But more about this in the next post.

In the meanwhile, here are contact details for our bird watching guide, K Chandrashekar who is also an adventure enthusiast and has done a mountain climbing course from Himachal Pradesh. So, he can take you hiking too. Phone no – + 91 94814 66939 Email id – chandubrundavan@gmail.com

Read about bird watching at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary by clicking here

(to be continued)….

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14 Comments

  1. Chandrashekar

    Dear Ms.Vibha,

    Greetings From Angeundi

    Thank you for shearing information & Picture for bird watching

    Best

    Chandrashekar

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too love that Kingfisher. So beautiful and different than the one we see. I am a new birder and always depend on the experienced birders. Good idea to get one on your trip. What a great place, it is so unique and filled with wildlife.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Donna! You don’t seem a new birder courtesy the pics of cute little birds on your blog. Also, your love for all things natural is quite apparent in your posts. Am happy to have brought something new to you. May our tribe prosper!

      Like

  3. Wow. Your photos have such vibrant colors and I’m with you on the blue being my favorite color. I had a friend who kept peacocks and she wondered when I came to visit if it was to see her or her gorgeous, strutting birds in full regalia.
    The landscape is kind of outer-worldly. Must be an unusual experience being there in person. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed today’s tour. 🙂

    Like

  4. So many beautiful photos here. Quite a feast for the eyes! I especially like the colors in the one of the heron. The bird resembles the sand cranes I saw yesterday in a park near Detroit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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