Monday, November 22, 2010

Birding at Byalkere Peacock Reserve and Hesaraghatta

Hello Blog World!

This is my first ever blog post and am really glad that I finally managed to convince myself to start a blog to document all my travels and photography experiences.

So the best place to begin with would be my weekend getaway to Byalkere Peacock Reserve and Hesaraghatta on the 21st of November, 2010, for a first time (yet again!) birding trip with my buddy Sujay Dsa. (Will skip out the details regarding where we met up and stuff before we proceeded to Byalkere.)

This Byalkere Peacock Reserve had been intriguing me from the day I noticed it on google maps and when on further research on the internet I found no related articles, I grew restless! The reserve forest is on the way to Hesaraghatta via MS Palya. We reached there when the sunlight was still forcing its way out through the morning mist. Finding the place was quite easy as help was always at hand in the form of some morning walker.

We were actually on the look out for the elusive Slender Loris also called the "Kaadu Papa" in kannada. From my research I'd learned that there are around 20 specimens of this endangered species living in these parts of rural Bangalore but looking for one was like finding a needle in a haystack! We put this pursuit aside and started enjoying the sights and sounds of the various bird species that came out of their nests as soon as the hot morning sun began to thaw the forest flora. Some bird species that we spotted here were:

1. Green Bea Eater
2. Spotted Dove
3. Purple Rumped Sunbird
4. Common Mynas
5. Bulbul
6. An unidentified bird.. (WIP)

What might seem ironical is, where is the peacock in a peacock reserve? Wait for it.....

On our way out from the forest, just as we mounted the bike and were proceeding towards Hesaraghtta, we had a peacock encounter!!! This particular peacock had shed its tail feathers and scooted across the road and ran towards the neighbouring village. I must say its quite a fast runner 'cause by the time i took out my camera from the bag, it had vanished into the thick shrubs! Both of us missed the chance of having it on ur LCDs! Sigh!

Next up was Hesaraghatta lake after a quick breakfast pit stop. This lake, I hear has been a birding heaven from a very long time and a lot of bird species (some migratory even) have been spotted here over the years. We spent a good 2 hours at the lake bed and some birds that we clicked here were:

1. Oriental Magpie Robin (Hope its the right identification!)
2. Indian Robin
3. Egrets
4. Brahminy Kites
5. Black Kites or the Pariah Kites
6. Kingfishers

While at Hesaraghtta, one should pay a visit to Nrityagram the dance village set up by Protima Gauri Bedi. This place is an interesting combination of great architecture, nature and music and dance. We spent another 2 good hours soaking in the ambience and enjoying a Odissi performance by one of the resident Odissi teachers, Surupa Sen.

With the camera battery dying and our energy levels plummetting we decided to head home. But hey wait! I still hadn't come across the picturesque Hesaraghtta grasslands yet!

Sandwiched or should I say elbowing its way past Nrityagram and Adarsh Film Studios is this vast expanse of grassland that has been a bone of contention between nature lovers and the government from a long time. The government wants to set up a film studio here while the rest believe (and so do I) that by doing so we will lose a heritage, a getaway and some breathtaking views.. On a clear day the views are just amazing! And we were lucky this saturday. Such lovely weather and such a clear blue sky! Heaven!

Eventually hunger rose its head again and it was finally time to head back home. On the way back, we spotted the Bulbul and the Indian Roller which is the state bird of Karnataka as well as that of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

All in all, it was a great weekend getaway and a good beginning to my tryst with birding. We want to come back to this place every weekend but there are more hidden teasures around Bangalore to discover still.. but we will be back soon!

P.S. As I am posting this from office, I am unable to attach the pics from the trip. Will upload 'em tonight from home and oh I've another interesting story to share too... :)

23 comments:

  1. I stumbled upon the reserve on maps just likeyou did.. and found your blog when i googled it. Nice blog mate.. would like to some some pics though..

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  2. Can you add in details on the directions from say heart of Bangalore and how long do u think it will take if we moving with family.

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  3. @ Aravind550i - Thanks mate! Here's the link to the pics..
    http://phos-taushikmandal-photography.blogspot.com/2010/11/birding-pics-from-byalkere-and.html

    Has byalkere bird pics and also from hesaraghatta

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  4. @ Mommy & me - The route i've picked from google maps. Here u go!

    1. Starting Point > MG Road.
    2. Make ur way to Mekhri Circle.
    3. Take left at Mekhri towards Sadashivnagar Police Station.
    4. At Sadashiv Nagar Police station take right on New BEL Road.
    5. Continue on New BEL Road upto Kuvempu Juntion i.e where New BEL Road meets Ring road.
    6. At Kuvempu Junction take left .
    7. Take Right at BEL Circle and continue on HMT Road till Gangamma Circle.
    8. Enter Airforce Station Jalahalli East and proceed towards MS Palya.
    9. At MS Palya junction take Hesaraghatta Main Road.
    10. Continue on this road past Sambhram Roost rerost upto Dodda Byalkere village.
    11. Just before u hit the village take the right turn towards the Peacock Reserve.
    12. After another half a km drive or so u'll find the reserve on your left.

    Its a good 45 mins drive from Mg Road to the reserve.

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers!

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  5. Hi!
    I love you!
    Thanks so much for this post.. Been wanting to go here forever and wondering how.
    God bless.
    Bye!
    Satya

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  6. My pleasure!
    Go there now. I heard Lotsa peacock calls when i'd been there 2 3 weeks back.

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  7. wat is the best tym to visit??

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  8. Sorry for the late late reply... Nov thru Feb is the best time to visit

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  9. I stay nearby , i would like to know if u have been to this spot lately?!

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  10. i did passby 2 weekends back in the night.. there is a layout coming up opposite the reserve.. a sure shot recipe for downfall of the reserve..

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  11. Great Article...any idea how to get forest departments approval to enter the peacock reserve?

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    1. I faced the forest guard only once. After a small dialogue and persuasion, he allowed me to take my cycle into the forest. I guess a proficiency in Kannada helps in building up your case.

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  12. is there any public transport there......well i dont have bike dat's y m asking....

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    1. Route No. 266 and its variants should take you to Dodda Byalakere from Majestic. From the bus stop just follow your google maps. It short walk (1 km approx.) from the stop.

      www.mybmtc.com has a section called "Trip Planner". This will help you in finding out the exact bus route from your part of the city.

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  13. Somebody told, you should take prior permission from forest department for bird sanctuary. If so, can you let me know to which number i should call and find right person to get permission?

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    Replies
    1. Gowtham: Did you find the number to call to get permission?

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    2. Any help on contact numbers to get prior permission?

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  14. hi... plz plz... give the contact no. for prior permission.. we r ds weeknd.. TIA

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  15. hi... plz plz... give the contact no. for prior permission.. we r ds weeknd.. TIA

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  16. hi... plz plz... give the contact no. for prior permission.. we r ds weeknd.. TIA

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    Replies
    1. I think prior permission won't be required

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  17. Hi,
    Is there any procedure to take permission. Is there any entry fee ?

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