The Valley School area, just off Kanakapura Road, is a beautiful spot, retained as a wilderness by the Valley School authorities,and it’s a great way of escaping into the outdoors, even on a weekday morning!
The unexpected trip, with three friends, proved to be a real treat, with the light at its warmest, and all the birds (except of course the evil few…more about that later) actually posing in a calm and composed way for us….
Here are my friends, C and R, clicking away to glory, and the glory was, the grasses lit up by the morning sun:
We were not able to clearly id this WHITE-BROWED FANTAIL initially, but succeeded later:
And of course, the LONG-TAILED SHRIKE was an easy one….one of those cases where the name makes sense….!
It was wonderful to watch the SMALL GREEN BEE-EATERS playing around in the sunshine. I just loved this pic of one bee-eater apparently enjoying the humour of another!
For the first time, I actually saw the bee-eaters…er…eating bees (so far, I have always seen them with dragonflies and beetles!)
The sighting of the GOLD-FRONTED LEAFBIRD was also something wonderful, but you can see, in this photograph, why these birds are called leafbirds! This is not the kind of image you will see in National Geographic or Animal Planet, but this is the way these stupid (or smart) birds hide in the foliage:
One winter migrant which we are seeing every time we go to the Valley School area is the PIED CUCKOO; this one seems to be having a bad hair day, or rather, a bad crest day!
It was, truly, "Cuckoo Day" for us, because this beautiful bird, the COMMON HAWK-CUCKOO (so called as it looks like a hawk or raptor from a distance)… indeed, we did wonder what raptor it was when we first sighted it, and only a little later, I realized that it was the brainfever bird:
We saw the same bird, a little later, apparently pretending to be a "fantail", but actually sunbathing (you thought only the "birds" in Miami Beach sunbathed? Think again!)…
High up a dead branch was this beautiful little PURPLE SUNBIRD:
And of course we sighted the three resident INDIAN GREY HORNBILLS, Dad,Mom and Junior:
The glossy black feathers and the glittering red eye of the male ASIAN KOEL also made a pretty picture…
The butterflies were also out, and we all got identical pictures of this PIONEER:
This COMMON TIGER made a lovely sight against the light (and that’s poetry, mind you!)
Karthik tells me that this tiny little butterfly is the LESSER GRASS BLUE:
Several "et ceteras" also caught my eye, for example, this beautiful BLUE-TAILED DRAGONFLY:
This lovely little GRASSHOPPER:
I didn’t stop to find out if this SNAIL SHELL was still occupied or not…perhaps the snail was also sunbathing!
A nice little love scene was of these un id MOTHS mating:
We found one animal that would predate on all the above…this cat (alas, just the domestic variety, but how sleek and well-fed and totally..feline…it was, as it moved along silently!)
A most enjoyable, sudden trip, and one which recompensed me for this weekend, because I was just too tired to wake up this Saturday in time to go anywhere!
If you are going birdwatching, do wear dull-coloured clothes, and as my "nature Guru" S. Karthikeyan says, "Eyes and ears open, mouth shut!" …and please don’t litter, bring back any packing material (juice,snacks) that you may have taken with you. "Take only memories, and leave only footprints"….