Yediur tank – bird monitoring (2005-07)

Prashanth MB

January 11, 2024

Recoveries from bngbirds archives

Yediur tank- Monitoring programme visits


Picture – Yediur tank, Jan 2015

This post is summary of the observations shared on bngbirds during the year 2006. Yediur tank was chosen for regular bird monitoring immediatley after the desiltation process and as part of the Bengaluru Bird Monitoring Programme. The desiltation process and development by LDA (Lake Development Authority) resulted in the draining and desilting of the tank. Some of us from the birding group (Krishna MB, Madhukar BV, myself, Arun Nandvar, Harish Kumar U and BA Sridhara had met the LDA engineers and appraised them to retain some vegetation which would be favourable for the waterbirds. A document with a plan and landscape designs, suggested by Dr.Krishna was sent to BBMP through Sharath Babu as well. My subsequent visits to the tank for fortnightly visits was often met with a lot of walkers being curious about the birds, and as to where they would come from? A senior gentleman, a corporator from the local ward was a regular walker at the place and would often meet for a chat. In spite of plans to introduce boating, the authorities were appraised to retain a part of the wetland vegetation on the northern side of the tank and not at the depth where the boats are moored. A summary of the birds sighted and their movements are presented here.

----- Original Message -----
From: prashanth178 To: [email protected]
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 10:58 PM
Subject: [bngbirds] Yediur tank- Monitoring prog visits . ( Long mail )

Friends ,

I’ve completed one full year of observations for the monitoring program at Yediur tank starting Nov’05 and felt the need to scribble down my observations. Sorry about the length of the mail. Copy-paste to a doc to save net time!

For more info on the program See
http://groups. group/bngbirds/ message/9054

The transformation of the place from a farmer’s village to an urban park-tank was well narrated by the local watchman Renukappa . He has seen the achkattu (irrigated area) of the tank being converted to residential layouts, the bund being widened to become part of the Kanakapura road and the tank being converted to a literal “sump” after it was walled.

He is not formally trained, has no access to encyclopedias and the internet, but knows exactly where the hundreds of bats that fly over the tank during evenings come from. He lamented the chopping down of Madhuca trees in the area, but one of them still remains and attracts the bats in good numbers when they are blooming. He also gave me an account on the disappearance of belvana hakki (Spotted dove) and the Sparrows from the surrounding areas.

The present day Yediur kere is a typical urban waterfront with exotic lawns, ornamental vegetation, ganesha immersion tank and a few relicts like the Madhuca (Ippe mara), Phoenix sylvestris (Wild date palm), Peepul etc. The water spread area still holds a `tiny’ patch of floating vegetation and a thicket next to it apart from a small share of emergent vegetation, thanks to the authorities!

The monitoring program visits added a totally new dimension to birding because it was very different from ‘random birding indulgence’! ! It meant that I would be visiting the place regularly, once in 15 days, and documenting ‘all’ the sightings in a pre-defined pattern as per the methodology employed. For more info, See http://groups. group/bngbirds/ message/8989

A totally urbanized area might not be very rewarding in terms of rarities but will surely throw up changes and pose a lot of questions .

One such observation was the movement of waterfowl. Their ‘local movements’ were best described by their presence when the habitat conditions were favourable. I’m damn sure the local authorities never informed the birds with a missed call or SMS, but the sudden arrival of a pair of Whistling teals whenever the water went shallow was interesting. The same with a Common Moorhen, breeding Purple moorhens, Grebes, Lapwings and Coots. The reason I’m highlighting their movements is that it is so easy to get carried away by their “resident” status, or probably by our perception of resident birds. ‘Field guides’ show a large area of the country painted with a certain colour, and the ‘books’ mention their local movements. I was witness to those movements thanks to the regular visits. Yes, they were residents but over a larger area.

The Pond heron, one of our most common birds, was absent for a good 3 months. If my visits were casual ones, then their presence/absence would have been overlooked. I will write a few more lines on their absence in a subsequent posting.

The Whistling teals were seen feeding on the young shoots and seeds of the emergent vegetation, and I’m also told that they occur where the water is shallow. A pair of Purple Moorhens had arrived from nowhere to breed and disappeared after their brief unsuccessful breeding stint. The Grebes and Coots moved in and out, given the fact that there was constant fluctuation of water level due to the desiltation process. The Common moorhen arrived promptly after the Nymphae leaves reoccurred (this could be one of the reasons). The nearest water body and also the one which holds these species is Lalbagh tank, but the birds were neither marked nor ringed to learn where they came from (not that I’ve explored any such possibilities).

The Coots built their nests by piling up shoots on submerged mounds and trampling them with their feet to form a platform. Now that the tank bed is at an even height (after desilting) one of them has managed to fix/work out a platform of rushes in the middle of a branching reed clump. A few of the above-mentioned species were not always present. I was not fortunate enough to watch the rails (moorhens, coots) or grebes take off completely to their unknown destinations. I’ve never seen a rail in `sustained flight’ How did they come to know about the prevalent conditions? Maybe they moved during the night???

The screen of blooming Indian Cork Trees on the southern side makes a wonderful sight. The feeding by Parakeets on these blooms posed a few more questions . The Parakeets are only seen in overhead flight but have stooped down to feed on the Millingtonias while they are blooming.
See http://groups. group/bngbirds/ message/10688

The evening walkers have enjoyed the undulating flight of the Munias occasionally. The aaah expression was good enough justification. The Mynas number (casual observation) shot up when the tank bed resembled an open grassland. Night herons too arrived at this time. A solitary Asian Brown Flycatcher stay put for more than a month. The shoreline is ideal (by default and not by design) for waders right now, given that there is very little water in the tank. Will they land up at the place, or will they wait for the benthic community to regenerate??? I’ve no clue. The Cormorants don’t complain about the lack of tree perches but have found an alternative in the form of cement structures.

I learnt that wetland habitats are very dynamic and there was added dynamism in the form of desilting work!. The observations from my house terrace at this point of time are not very revealing. I haven’t seen much of species disappearance, but the numbers are certainly fluctuating. I guess `counts’ can throw up a few more questions and also might require a large sample set. However, the movements of Wagtails during winter was interesting. I will post it someday.

It all began during a breakfast session on a Sunday outing, thanks to Subbi and Naveein. Would like to express my thanks to all the people mentioned here who have pitched in with a lot of effort:

Madhukar, Poornima Janardhan, Shyamal, KhusroAhmed, ChandrashekarR, Naveein, Dr. Subbu, Sangeeta Kadur, Sandeep S, Dr. Krishna, Venukrishna Prasad, Ashwini Bhat, Kishen SB, Dr. Seshadri, Arun Nandvar, Naveen KV, Dr. Sudhira HS, JN Prasad, Ulhas Anand, Mohanram K, Saleem Hameed, and many others.

This is a narration from just one of the locations. Many others might have lots more to share . The places covered are being chosen at random and few of the places are yet to finish an annual cycle, lots more to cover.

Comments welcome.

Thank you,
With regards Prashanth Badarinath.


To cite this page: 2024. Yediur tank – bird monitoring (2005-07). Accessed on 2024-02-21.

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