Sunday, July 17, 2011

Birding around BR Hills

What began as a day visit in May stretched a bit longer and had a fantastic outing in the wilderness of BR Hills. Due to last minute planning could arrange accommodation nither at K-Gudi nor at Gorukana, but somehow managed with basic accommodation at Biligiri Bhavana run by temple authorities.

This one was shot enroute BR Hills. With lot of sericulture activity around the area, the kites were huge in numbers around. They must have got used to the presence of human beings around and allowed me shoot from a closer range. They were having gala time feeding on worms around.

Brahminy Kite

Brahminy Kite- Juvenile?

Since we couldn't get accommodation in K Gudi, we drove through the BR hills to K gudi a few times and spent around BR Hills doing birding. We roamed around few Soliga hamlets and couple of plantations around. Birding in thick green forests is a real challenge for amateurs, you enter some place and you will hear variety of sounds but only few birds will really show up. Recognizing just by calls is really fantastic but I guess we have still miles to go to reach there.

We were happy to sight and observe crested serpent eagle from close ranges. Every time I drove though K Gudi route this fella would make at least one appearence. Most of the times spotted this on the road side trees, but quickly it will disappear it greens. Probably its lesser wing span makes it easier to fly in across thick forests. On one more instance we had to abruptly stop our car as this was happily munching right on the road in front of us. As we watched it, after some time it took its prey on to a low branch and continued to savour its half finished meal. Once it was done with its prey, it walked around the tree branch and gave us a nice stare!

Crested Serpent Eagle

Saw a group of Racket tailed Drongos, lifer for us. But they were too high on the tree tops, to get a decent picture.

On one of the drives, we thought we will take a Jungle safari ride run by Forest Department during the evening. Knowing our interest in birding one of the rangers there told us we might want to head towards the scrubb jungle enroute Chamaraja nagar. We decided to head out in that direction ditching the Safari. I guess it was right call when we found this.

Red Wattled Lapwing

This Red wattled lapwing was sitting pretty. So far we hadn't seen any lapwings with out making the lovely call :-) We guessed that, it must be up to something and we just stopped there at quite a distance. We hung out there for sometime and RWL flew off after some time. Slowly reaching there (again from some distance) made us realise that it was incubating its eggs there. We quickly disappeared from there, not to disturb the bird and not to attract attention.

During an evening near the lake, we found this wagtail, happily jumping through the lotus leaves in search of food. The jumps were so precise that, it knew exactly where there was leaf and water.

White-browed Wagtail

Just a walk around the BR Hills village/around Gorukana/around Lake provided good opportunites for birding.

Pallid Harrier(?) Oriental Honey Buzzard - Seen hovering over

Indian Hanging Parrot

Oriental Magpie Robin - They were so many of them, everywhere!

Here is the birdlist from the trip.

Francolin, Grey
Kingfisher, White throated
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Myna, Hill
Bulbul, Red vented
Bulbul, Red whiskered
Stork, Asian Open-billed
Ibis, Black
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Egret, Cattle
Babbler, jungle
Prinia, Ashy
Warbler, unIded
Koel, Asian
Swallow, Red rumped
Sunbird, Purple rumped
Starling, Brahminy
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Robin, Indian
Munia, Scaly breasted
Hornbill, Indian Grey
Lapwing, Red wattled
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White cheeked
Drongo, Black
Peafowl, Indian (Female)
Jungle Fowl
Drongo, Racket tailed
Eagle, Crested Serpent
Coucal, Greater
Hoopoe, Common
Wagtail, White browed
Dove, Emerald
Water hen, White breasted
Heron, Pond
Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Treepie - No id
Spotted Creeper (?) - Saw it climb a tall tree upwards!
Bush Lark
Woodpecker, Black rumped flameback
Harrier, Pallid Oriental Honey Buzzard
Another one similar Warbler, which had a very distinct 9-note call that went twit-ti-di-twit-ti-dee-tweet-tee-dee!
Another one sang like a Birthday song - in the evergreen forests


  1. Nice post guys... did you try birding on the road that slides down towards the soliga hamlets. The corner couple of houses there are a beehive of activity for birds. Another good place is the Tourist IB on the main road - the pathway the leads to the IB!
    The route b/w K.gudi and Br hills is another adventurous trail - we have seen pack of wild dogs couple of times on this stretch...

  2. Thanks Santosh. Yes , we further went down those hamlets and were actually inside the jungle when we figured out :-)
    Yes you are right, K Gudi and BR hills stretch is fabulous.

    Thanks for stoppin around.

  3. hey deepak, that's an oriental honey buzzard, not a harrier. look at that pigeon-like-head!

  4. Hi Deepak, nice account. Hope you are enjoying your binoculars :-) Chandu is right, it is an OHB - Bopanna P

  5. Nice pictures and write up Deepak & Sumana!

  6. Thanks @Chandu, @Bops @Anand,

    We debated about OHB, but couldn't conclude due to wing pattern and length of the tail.

    Will correct it.

    @Bops: Binocs are awesome! Now there is fight for binocs rather than camera :-)

  7. Deepak, I still have three more binoculars left. Let me know if anyone else needs a bin. - Bops

  8. Stunning! I have included your blogsite on my blog roll. Pls let me know if that's not fine with you.


Any more interesting stuff on these birds? Any corrections in Ids? Please do drop in your valuable inputs...