We set out at six – the intrepid trio of G, J and U
En route checking Madivala lake for a pelican or two.
We found a dozen, but alas the lake was quite over-run
With water hyacinth spreading everywhere under the sun,
While of waders and ducks the signs there were none.
Three night herons, a grey, and soon on our way were we
When who should we hear from but a sleep deprived Suvi –
“Felt like birding! where are you planning to head?
Gulakmale again? Lets try out a new place instead.
The CPRF camp nearby holds birding of highest degree”
(Hope they let us in, was the disclaimer unsaid)
So we waited under a tree till her 2-wheeler arrived
(A sneak preview of the snacks was gleefully connived).
Finally we set off again, four now instead of three
Past a lovely, familiar lake (but no jacanas did we see),
Past churches and spires and men drinking coffee.
Pretty soon it was clear that hopelessly lost were we.
Asked some villagers but they all had different theories
About where this army area might possibly be located.
Round and round, but the camp seemed to have dissipated
Until suddenly a gigantic lake appeared unanticipated.
Wire tailed swallows perched peacefully on the wire
Small blue kingfisher set J’s heart racing with desire!
Sunbird parents feeding their babies cute, fat and furry
Choicest of worms were procured and devoured in a hurry
While Uma with her camera went into a clicking flurry.
Little cormorants drying their wings, a solitary darter
Lone river tern appeared, and later did its part(n)er
On the far bank a pair of storks – painted or open-bill?
Pied kingfisher did a fly-past, oh what a thrill!
Great tits feeding furiously, hopping and never still.
A singing iora did we glimpse (common not Marshall’s)
White-breasted waterhen we IDed by its plaintive calls.
OHB showed briefly, and much longer a Brahminy kite,
Purple heron sighted above, majestic in its flight,
A single red avadavat popped up, to G’s sheer delight.
Baya weavers nest-building, still in breeding plumage,
Massive garbage dump, sad to see egrets in rummage.
Back at the car, a tawny bellied babbler peered about curiously
In the water a tired jewel bug, swimming to shore gloriously
While far off a white throated fantail called out melodiously.
Sunbird parents still hunting, worms picked out juicy and nice,
And for the BULBs* some banana muffins and chips did suffice.
We drunk in the beauty of this lake we had unknowingly hit,
Was not our intended destination but mattered not a bit,
CRPF camp would wait another day (if the authorities permit!)
Pics from Gulakmale:Vodpod videos no longer available.
* (Bangalore Urban Lady Birders, name courtesy Deponti)
Check out BULBs B.M. Betta adventure here.