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In so many visits to Tal Chapar, I’ve been rather partial to the feathered bipeds (read Birds) over the ubiquitous horned quadrupeds (read Blackbucks) that stroll this beautiful grassland. May be their sheer numbers in the park lulls one into forgetting the fact that they are declining everywhere else. So it was decided – this time around I would give more attention to these graceful antelopes. The first morning at Tal Chapar was very cloudy, a possible hangover from the late rains this year. Some parts of the park were still unmotorable. Seeing some Kestrels (small falcons) […]
Continued from Part 1 of the story… The Bonelli’s Eagle had settled down at the water-hole and seemed to be enjoying its place in the water. From time to time, birds like House Crows (Corvus splendens) and Green Sandpipers (Tringa ochropus) would try to mob it to get it away from the water. After a few unsuccessful attempts, they too gave up. In a couple of instances, Green Sandpipers actually walked around nonchalantly in front of the Eagle. Given that the Eagle was standing on one leg in water, it wouldn’t be able to get […]
It started off just like another afternoon drive into the grasslands at Tal Chapar. Hoopoes and Eurasian Collared Doves were their usual busy selves – feeding, flying, preening. An occasional Harrier flew low over the grasslands looking for a potential snack. We decided to check out the ponds within the park. The early October afternoon was still pretty warm and there was a chance of seeing some activity at the pond.
Blackbucks (Antilope cervicapra) are among the fastest terrestrial animals in India, capable of speeds upto 80kmph. The unique coloration of the males, with distinct black and white coats, makes them very easy to identify in the field. Although widespread across most of India, their shrinking habitat makes them a vulnerable species. Rollapadu in Andhra Pradesh has a healthy population of blackbucks, that can be seen in the wonderful grasslands there.
An early morning start saw us off the Bangalore-Tumkur highway at Dobbaspet well before day-break. The speed-breaker (should be called back-breaker) filled road slowly started getting pleasant with the chirping of Ashy Prinias, Common Tailorbirds and White-browed Bulbuls. Very soon, House Crows and Common Mynas were seen on the roads. Spotted Owlet silhouettes were visible on the electric wires along fields. A colony of Baya Weavers were showing frenzied activity next to the road. [singlepic id=377 w=400] As we drove into Maidanahalli (or Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve), we were welcomed by this Yellow-Wattled Lapwing. [singlepic id=391 w=400] We saw a […]