Late winter visit for one last look at the migrants! Clement, Swarna and I made another quick visit to Nandi Hills (2nd one this winter, read about the 1st) yesterday to try and photograph any remaining winter migrants that still hadn’t returned North.
We entered the ‘hill station’ at the crack of dawn. We found a Common Buzzard at its usual perch though in zero light. As we reached the top of the hill, we were fairly confident of spotting the Indian Blue Robin rightaway at its usual haunt. However, there were absolutely no calls from the bird and it was nowhere to be found – we just didn’t get off to our typical great start! Migration had begun. However, it didn’t seem that all the migrants had returned to their Himalayan homes. We soon saw several Blue-capped Rock Thrushes both on trees and feeding on the ground – at very close quarters. Warblers were everywhere – especially Tickell’s leaf and Booted. Nandi Hills also seem to harbor one of the highest densities of Paradise Flycatchers in Karnataka. They were everywhere – in singles and pairs and in all potential possiblities of plumage. The highlight of the trip was soon to come! As the sun got hot (~9ish) and we were getting ready to pack-up, we picked up (rather Clement did!) the high-pitched chatter of a Red-breasted Flycatcher. Soon we located a male Red-breasted right above our heads. We followed this bird around for the next 45-minutes and it delighted us with amazing temperament! At 10 am, we packed-up and drove back home. On the way down, we saw an interesting sight – a few paragliders riding the thermals above Nandi Hills. Hope they landed safely! Hope you enjoy the images. Cheers, –r@mki | Bangalore Feb-26th 2006