2nd Sunday outing – Lalbagh – Dec 2023

Prashanth MB

December 11, 2023

Lalbagh 2nd Sunday outing , Dec 2023

Fwded from Bangalore Wildlife, Telegram

It is not often that one gets to do a repeat visit, and today somehow most people were gung-ho to drop in after breakfast 😉 After all, the attention in the first session is spent on narrating and quite a few may miss our eyes even during the peak of winter. A sumptuous breakfast didn’t end things and much to our surprise we found Harish still chatting with a couple of kids and narrating the little wonders of nature, and braving intense hunger after a three-hour walk 😉

A walk into the least explored paths is often sought about, and about six-seven of us did that at 11 am today. The light quite often isn’t great to sight the canopy foragers since we would be seeing most birds against light by noon, and the lit sides of the trees would be visible earlier in the morning. However, the dark shades of some of the trees was just an ideal place to spot the Paradise FC with long tail streamers. Their calls were evident, and at least a couple called from the trees even by noon as they were foraging continuously.

It wasn’t just the Paradise FCs, but their close relatives the Monarchs (Black-naped) dropped in for some good views. The Leaf Warblers, even though not very vocal, were to be found all around. At least three to four in a patch where we watched with neck pointed skywards. The yellow belly of what looked like a Phylloscopus trochilloides caught my eye, and a P.t.virdinaus or a Bright green (Phylloscopus nitidus) are good candidates with such a plumage. Purabhi caught a faint glimpse of the wing bars, and we queried further about the possibility of a Tickell’s Leaf warbler. Ulhas later spotted one with an extended supercillium. It was anyway a patch that brings ups some surprises, particularly during spring and an FC earlier in the morning had played around the large gathering today to make up for the list (Red-breasted) with extended wash to the breast and the calls heard, while Dr. S. Subramanya saw the rump colour.

The Great Tits just like the ones in the morning still hung around, and later the waterbirds kept us busy. The rectangular heads of the Cormorant, the bumpy, elegant head, the supercillium and colours of the egrets, and other such. But the stars of the show were the Large Cormorants feeding in a flock, and the Grebes (I wonder if the high numbers had anything to do with winter) were also seen in a packed flock. They were really close as we hung around by noon, and the Grebes stole the show while feeding in formation. Or so it seemed.

The stroll went on to where we had started in the morning and into the patch by the Rose garden. A Terminalia catappa tree that had played home to a Drongo-Cuckoo last year was inspected and out came a drongo with white spotting and barring neither close to the tail but rather close to the vent. We wondered if we had stumbled upon another one at the same place, and Kishan gleefully pulled out his big book. It was too large for a D-Cuckoo, and looked like a juvenile, while Ulhas thought he had spotted the rictal spots. A furlong further took us to the heavy and rustling carpet of dry leaves near the Bombax/ Ceiba. It really was an awesome carpet, and the ones that could invite a Thrush or a Pitta. But their removal over the many years may have barred the nutrients from seeping into the soil (see MBK’s post last week; Bangalore Wildlife on Telegram).

Finally, we walked past the Podocarpus, the famous tree which Krishna had used as a dummy to create a Jurassic era, to tell kids about the trees which did not have large leaves in an ancient planet, and all coming from the old trail which we used to walk from the glass house before moving to the fountain on west gate.

We settled to unwind near the Jap garden, where a couple of Brousannetia (paper mulberry) have sprung up near the bamboo clumps. The Kites hovered at their favourite patch near the Mango tree-pencil cedar avenue where either the low perches or titbits from picnickers seem to be a magnet in an open patch where they swoop down gracefully. Some felt that the crowd was heavy for a Sunday afternoon, however I had no qualms and was rather happy that some young legs (Deepa) had repeatedly called for a repeat visit after breakfast 😀 It really is an effort for some to commute from one corner of the city and a three-hour ordeal wouldn’t have been enough to explore a large green space.

I was reminded of Purabhi’s report 10 years ago where she spotted hordes of Mynas (both Common and Jungle), on the leaf litter and where she had compared the managed and unmanaged areas. There was enough fodder for Kishan to keep continuing with his lists from the last 10 years, and a new one for Rahul to start with.

To cite this page: 2023. 2nd Sunday outing – Lalbagh – Dec 2023. https://wp.me/pehmXN-Qi. Accessed on 2023-12-11.

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