Bird Race, 190120

Deponti to the world

Amit, Edgar,Harish, Keerthana, Kumuda, Poorvi,Prem,Radhika, Shreeya, Sriram,Valli, and I


To Ravugodlu.

Shared packed brefus.

to NASA’s for coffee.

To Kaggala halli kere,
Gabbadi kere,
Harohalli kere,
Suvarnamukhi Reservoir. (Ate the rest of the food for lunch)

Did not go to

Bettahalli Kaval kere.

Kabbina haalu on the way back. Coffee and checklist at Checkpost.

Gathering and dinner at Royal Orchid, Manipal Centre. Subbu’s following Salim Ali talk. Too long and not apt for the evening.

The eBird list for Ravugodlu is at

The FB album is at

and the Flickr album is at


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Valley School area: A write-up for Ramki Sreenivasan

Deponti to the world

As part of the Bannerghatta Biosphere, the area of scrub jungle adjoining and abutting the Valley School ( a day school run by Krishnamurthy Foundation India) has for long been a birding hotspot.

The area that birders frequent comprises surprisingly varied terrain, for such a small acreage. There is scrub, open grassland, and a wooded area; a small stream that can run either full or reduce to a trickle in the dry months, adds a water body. This, of course, does not include the actual School campus, which, after a few instances of drunken behaviour, is not accessible for local birders in general.

As one walks along the path next to the barbed wire from the main gate of the school, one can take a right and get to the open grassland area. Sightings in this area include many flycatchers such as the White-throated Fantail,


and the Tickell’s Blue (resident)

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Birds and brains! IISc students trip to Ranganathittu, 180120

Deponti to the world

It was a new experience for me…taking 27 students of IISc(from undergrad level to Ph.D. students) along with a professor and his young daughter, to Ranganathittu, on the 18th of Jan, 2020. Arun Kaulige also guided the group. Kiran and Ambarish organized the trip extremely well.


The group. Photo: a passing tourist!

It was a first for me as I have never before taken such a large group which does not hail from Karnataka! Naturally, since the group consisted of people who have secured admission into various programs at IISc, they were from various parts of the country.

I was also a little doubtful about our later-than-usual start…we left Bangalore at 7.15 am, stopped for breakfast at Kumbalgodu, and then proceeded to Ranganathittu…but I need not have worried.

Flycatchers of three kinds…the Tickell’s Blue, the White-breasted Fantail, and a beautiful Verditer flitted around even as we entered the sanctuary. We…

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Raptors vs. Squirrels

Backyard and Beyond

Another adult Red-tailed Hawk, another Green-Wood squirrel.
Sunday above Sylvan Water.
How many squirrels are in the cemetery? Not as many, I would guess, as in Prospect Park.While looking for interesting birds lately I’ve come across a couple of squirrels doing their best to lay low inside conifers. On Sunday, on the other hand, five of them ran towards me before breaking this way and that, including up into a bush. They were acting like new-borns but weren’t. Most of Saturday’s snow was already gone.

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Llano Seco NWR, Butte County, Californiapt8

Pintails paddling about, feeding with heads down in the water, butts up.  The pin tails waving like banners of bravado.  No other ducks hereabouts have such a lance to lift.  In mellow evening light the pinions preened with precision.  Other creatures may be pinnate but Pintails present pinnation at pinnacle.  Please to admire my plumage, the propinquity of my mate is propitious and pleasing but perhaps pro forma.  For who could resist?  Pintail elegance is beyond the rest of us.  Sure Wood and Mandarin Ducks are showy,  Hooded Mergansers can display and surprise, even Gadwalls can show us how nature does the finest tweeds, but Pintails humble, humor and honor at once—behold and be in awe for living beauty is afloat.  Gotta go eat now, butts up.PT1PT1PT2PT3PT4pt6PT5

I am here in Chico for the annual Goose Festival, which could be Waterfowl Wonderland  or Duck…

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Today I was dealt a full thrush.  In fact, the birds were almost four aces, a straight thrush at least.  The fog and I were out in the rain–she can be insistent.  And such a scowl if I demur–a wrinkle on her graying forehead and I melt.  She’s a large dog and already eleven year old.  How can I ever say, “no” now?
As usual Nora’s birding instincts are better than mine.  After mudding around in one of the dog pens at Grenfell Park along Baker Creek Road, we walked to the back of the park way from the highway.  There birds were on the ground feasting on whatever soggy turf provides–earthworms?  Flickers, robins and a scad of Varied Thrush.  Thus my thrush flush.vath-three (2)_LIThere are three in this shot, each with a colored dot over its head–two males on the right, female to left.

We walked past one of…

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UPDATE: I got this email from Dr. Sarah Sloane. She wrote the BNA species account for Bushtits.  Her university post is in Maine so I am convinced she studies Bushtits because they are cool, and they live in warm places.
“In answer to one of your questions on your blog: Both bushtit males and females flock together year round. Small flocks of females may peel off and disperse in early spring. At least that’s what they did in Arizona. I’m not sure yet about the Pacific NW, but I should know soon. Female eye color is fully changed within a few weeks of leaving the nest, so your dark-eyed birds in January are most certainly males! All winter flocks I’ve seen have both males and females, but there is a male-biased sex ratio in general, so females are less common.”
Thanks, Dr. Sloane.  I shall closely surveying our Bushtits for…

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I have seen three small raptors here in McMinnville in the past 36 hours.  Yesterday morning at Joe Dancer Park we were walking two dogs.  High in a bare cottonwood was a small hawk with its back to us.  I often see the kestrel pair that live in and around that park.  Light was bad, it was rainy, I had no binocs.  My wife and I assumed it was one of the kestrels.  I took a few shots anyway. Here is what I saw and then what was revealed by enlarging the digital image:

Those white patches on the back are indicative of an accipiter with its feathers fluffed up for insulation.  Temp was mid-thirties at the time, 100% humidity.  I think this was a male Cooper’s Hawk.  I can see the dark malar stripe down the face, hint of a flatish head…and it was perched in more exposed position…

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Above: lone siskin who appears occasionally.  Auddie, the warbler, who’s been here multiple times each day since November.
Below: Myrtle Warbler who’s been daily for about a week, does not consort with Auddie.  Red-breasted Nuthatch with hidden junco in background.  Nuthatch on left, one of our trio of CB Chickadees on the right.

Pre-digital Bewick’s Wren…analog…logged on.  Twittering in third shot:

IMG_2961rnbow (2)My next blog is likely to be from California.  I am headed to Chico for some field trip leading at the Goose Festival later this week.  Lots of cranes and wintering waterfowl.  Maybe a few California specialties like Nuttall’s Woodpecker.

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