Bangalore Bird Race

16 January 2011

I am not a serious birder though I shoot few birds. And later struggle to identify them!! Bird watching needs patience which I am still trying to get hold of.

Indian Robin
About Bird Race:

This is a yearly event organized by birding enthusiasts with support from HSBC (Details are here). A dawn to dusk event where every team of bird watcher spend their day birding within 50km radius of Bangalore city. The top 3 teams who find highest number of species are awarded with prize.

Our team:

This time my friend Girish suggested that we participate in the Bangalore Bird Race. It sounded interesting and soon formed a group and registered ourselves. With no prior birding experience, our goal of the day was just to have fun in birding.

On the day of bird race, it was just Girish and I. Two other people could join due to health and Office reasons.

The day:

As we stayed in west Bangalore, we were supposed to cover at least two places. Our idea was to spend first half of the day near Manchinabele dam and TG Halli and later process towards South Bangalore. So, our day started from Manchinabele dam near Big Banyan tree. Very soon we could spot lot of birds.

Manchinabele dam
Lack of experience in birding made us difficult to identify the birds, especially the sober colored ones. Salim Ali’s “The Book of Indian Birds” helped us a lot. While we could hear lot of birds but could not see them. Girish was right when he said that we could have easily identified about 15-20 species easily if we had knowledge on bird calls.

Brahminy kite

It was 10AM when we decided to leave Manchinabele. The day was hot and we were hungry. When asked a villager for a short cut to Magadi road, he promptly directed us to Magadi!! Well, we had our late breakfast at Magadi and headed towards TG Halli. There was no way we could entire into the dam as the entire area was fenced. Disappointed, we then went to Hirohalli Lake on the outskirts of Bangalore.

Another round of disappointment awaited us. The lake was completely dry and was being renovated. Hope it returns back to its good days.

Rufous tailed finch-lark
We then went all the way to Banneraghatta. As expected, the place was filled with people. But next to the zoo area was a lake which offered solitude. We sighted good number of birds.

After lunch, we went to Lalbagh. Lalbagh always offers conformed sightings of few water birds!!

Final count:

At the end of the day, our count of birds stood at 77. It surpassed our estimate of 50. A good beginning, I must say for just two people although we were quite behind the top team that spotted 153 birds.

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