Having been away from Bangalore for a very long stretch, it felt wonderful to go to the monthly (second Sunday of the month) birding outing at Lalbagh.
Those who came for the outing included people who were coming to Lalbagh for the first time, and those trying birdwatching for the first time, along with more seasoned birders. Apart from the regular birding group, Anil G T and Guruprasad also brought about 30 children from Rajarajeshwari Nagar, and they formed a separate group who went to the Lalbagh Lake first.
By about 8am, an assorted group of people got together, with experienced birders like Dr M B Krishna, J N Prasad, and S Karthikeyan. MBK knows how to educate and entertain at the same time; he started addressing the children, and made several points…about how to observe birds (watch for movement in the foliage, to spot them) how to be careful while using binoculars, and so on.
Here’s some of the group, just about beginning to train their binoculars upwards:
MBK was soon showing the group the common birds, such as Mynahs, Black Kites, Spotted Doves, Koels, and Barbets…..and made sure everyone stopped to allow this White-breasted Waterhen to cross over the puddle on the path and disappear into the bamboo thicket!
Just to show how complete the knowledge of the naturalists is….they never stop only at the birds. Prasad showed us how this adventitious root of a plant had come down from the roof of the enclosure to the water in search of nutrition:
When I expressed curiosity about a tree in front of me, he showed me the identifying board of the tree:
The flowers of the tree looked so beautiful:
Karthik then pointed out that the faded flowers with their spiral contents looked even prettier!
We saw these colourful millipedes out after the rain:
MBK pointed out this Bracket Fungus on a tree-trunk and told me I should photograph it and put it on my blog…so here it is!
He then brought the flower of the mistletoe (yes, the kissing-at-Christmas plant!) and showed how sunbirds pierce the tip of the flower, opening it out, to get at the nectar….
We passed this building that the British had built in the form of a Grecian temple:
Almost as we were leaving Lalbagh, Anirudh spotted this Chequered Keelback basking on a rock in Lalbagh Lake:
And I managed to photograph (amongst the many butterflies fluttering about) this Danaid Eggfly as it landed:
Of course the best part of the Lalbagh outing is being able (if one has the time!) to wind up with a nice breakfast at Kamath Hotel…here are Ulhas and his family…the two children were handling the millipedes with great aplomb!
I realized how much I miss this group, and the amount of learning I achieve on every outing with the "bngbirds" group…thank you, everyone!
Here’s the reaction of Selvi, one of the group:
"Yesterday myself and my family had a great time watching birds in Lalbagh…. It was a wonderful way to pass a pleasant Sunday Monrning. We learned to watch the lush Greeneries in Lalbagh in a different perspective 🙂 ….We were happy to stay away from t.v., internet and our mobiles for good for a few hours in tune with nature."
The bngbirds outings are as follows:
1st Sunday of the month: Hebbal Lake, meeting at the entrance, around 7.30 to 7.45 am.
2nd Sunday of the month: Lalbagh, meeting at the Glass House, facing the Bandstand, around 7.30 to 7.45 am.
3rd Sunday of the month: The Bannerghatta forest area, the time and venue being specified on the egroup a few days prior.
Join bngbirds…it’s not just for the birds!