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Birding after a rainy night

I visited Hoskote lake after a night of 'cats and dogs' type rain. It was overcast throughout. Pictures are taken in dim light conditions, but good sightings nevertheless. Have a look...
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At 6:30 am, it was still dark due to the cloud cover. I felt like a real early bird. Saw an Indian Robin as soon as I alighted from the car. The early bird did get the proverbial worm...
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The sun peeped from behind the hovering clouds...
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A Painted Stork was spotted close by. It soon caught a small fry...
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After taking the small snack it continued its pursuit showing off its painted plumes...
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The droplets from the overnight rain gave some good bokeh photography opportunity...
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It was nice to see a Jacobin Cuckoo. It is partially migratory and in India, it has been considered a harbinger of the monsoon rains due to the timing of its arrival...
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Jacobin Cuckoo has been associated with a bird in Indian mythology and poetry, known as the chataka represented as a bird with a beak on its head that waits for rains to quench its thirst...
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A Red-wattled Lapwing was alert to sense any remote threat and was ready to scream out its loud 'pity to do it' calls...
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The sun was still playing hide & seek behind the clouds...
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Hide & seek seemed to be the favorite game of the birds too. I saw one Red-whiskered Bulbul hiding behind some sharp thorns...
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I waited for the bulbul to come out in the open...

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Some activities were noticed on a tree near the lake. Turned out to be Baya weavers...

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The male Baya weavers were starting the nest building activities so that they are ready to attract females before the Monsoon rains arrive. The overnight rain was a wakeup call. They were seen making sorties frantically with nest building materials... 
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Not a bad speed. After a few hours of work the nest looks like this...
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A Yellow-billed Babbler was seen foraging for insects that emerge after the rain...
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Again saw a Red-whiskered Bulbul, this time with a berry...
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It flew away showing its orange vent...
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A first time sighting of a Brahminy Starling here, thanks to a fellow birder K. This was the third variety of Starling, I saw in the last 3 outings. In the earlier trips, I had seen a Rosy Starling and a Chestnut-tailed Starling... 
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Best possibility of buttering happens after a rain. I was lucky to see a Crimson Rose Butterfly animatedly fluttering around taking nectar... 
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Another first time sighting of a Whiskered Tern here. It was very swift in its curvy flight. It was frustrating to track the bird because of its flight pattern of awkward angles. I clicked  some 50 shots and managed only a handful of hardly presentable pics...
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Last bird of the day was a Common Kingfisher, adding its colors to cheer up the dull overcast day...
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Beautiful but brutal

 Beautiful but brutal describes my recent visit to Hoskote lake, when I saw many beautiful birds and their brutal hunting games. Here are the pictures... 

This pair of Indian Spot-billed ducks were in an interesting position...

And one took off in style...



Soon the other one took off...

At a distance a Grey Heron made a quick dash...

Looked like it was his first meal of the day. He gulped the fish instantly and was ready for the next...
Within a few seconds he pulled out a bigger fish by piercing it with his sharp bill...


He seemed quite full now and away he flew...

Meanwhile a phalanx of six Painted storks were out hunting in tandem...
One of them got reward for the effort...

The stork tries to crush the fish most brutally and slowly walks towards the shore before eating it...

Once at the shore and sure that the fish won't escape, he gulps it...

After seeing this carnage, I moved on to see some land birds. A grey heron was seen flying...

I saw a pair of  Scaly-breasted Munia...
This was my first sighting of Scaly-breasted Munia this year...
A Cattle egret was seen pacing through the grassland with long strides...

And then it stopped for a moment...
My first sighting of a Chestnut-tailed-Starling...


I had to stalk this Long-tailed Shrike for a while to get decent shots...

I saw a Purple Heron sitting on a tree top...

A Green Bee-eater was seen taking a dragonfly...

An Indian Pond-Heron was wearing his best outfit...
A Common Sandpiper was foraging alone...



I need not tell you that I returned with great satisfaction from the birdwatching session. The last sighting of the day was an Indian Spot-billed Duck...

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