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Hoskote birding adventure

Yes, birding at Hoskote has been, bit of an adventure for more than a year now, due to flooding. This post is about my trip in late August. It rained heavily all night but had a brief respite in the morning.  Here are the pics...

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Scaly-breasted Munia was busy munching Guinea Grass seeds...
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A view of the flooded area, where, once upon a time, I used to walk and watch numerous birds...
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A Long-tailed shrike marked its presence...
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Purple-rumped Sunbird gleamed in the emerging sunlight...
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Baya weaver nests are often built hanging over water where predators cannot reach easily. I saw this active colony built over a broken well...
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Daddy Baya brought some food for the nestlings...
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Mother Baya brings a feather to furnish the nest interiors...
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And the daddy Baya fixed the exterior...
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He was keeping an eye on lurking predators...

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A small team of Indian Spot-billed ducks floated serenely...
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Rose-ringed Parakeet  flew out of its nest cavity on a coconut palm...
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A Greater Coucal enjoying his solitude...
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As the sun awoke, insects and butterflies were also up. I spotted one Indian Wave-striped Ladybug...
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A Common Wanderer butterfly was flitting around lantana flowers...
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I saw a Long-tailed Shrike and waited for a flight shot...
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The flight turned out to be quite spectacular...

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Last sighting of the day was a Paddyfield Pipit...
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Hope you liked the post. Do consider posting your thoughts in the comments section below...

In search of a Strawberry Finch

My quest for the hard-to-find Strawberry Finch (Red Avadavat) took me to Muthanallur lake, 18 miles from home. In the bargain, I saw some other beautiful birds too. Here are the pics...

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I set off early and reached the lake at daybreak...
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The sun rose and was caressed by the crowd of clouds...
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I walked up the narrow path towards the lake...
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I walked further...
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A team of Indian Spot-billed ducks did a fly-past...
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Soon a group containing a variety of munias was seen. I looked for the Red Munia but could find only its cousins - the White-rumped Munia, Indian Silverbill and Tricolored Munia...

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I focused on a White-rumped Munia...
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No sight of the Strawberry Finch yet, but several Indian Silverbills were seen...
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And then saw a Strawberry Finch couple in their reed habitat...
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The shy female flew to a branch...
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The equally shy male also flew to a wire and both of them disappeared in the reeds...

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I waited near the thick reeds, hoping to see another glimpse of the Red Avadavat...
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Instead, I saw a White-throated Kingfisher hiding in the reeds...
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In the middle of the reeds, there's a tree. That tree was raided by a flock of Rose-ringed Parakeets...
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The flock contained so many animated parakeets. I forgot about the Strawberry finch for the next 15 minutes...
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The Red Munias refused to show up, but the warmer sun brought the butterflies out in the open. I chased a Common Tiger butterfly...
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A Common Picture Wing dragonfly was seen next...
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The recent rains have made everything green and lush...
 
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A White-browed Bulbul showed up...
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A Tricolored Munia was seen next...
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The hope for another glimpse of the Strawberry Finch had held me riveted to the reed area for so long. I walked back to the car. The lake was looking pretty, although most of the surface is covered with water hyacinth...
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A Greater Coucal flew around...
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And then, I got another sighting of the most beautiful Strawberry Finch. A male in its blood red breeding plumage and two females with the duller appearance...
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The red avadavat (Amandava amandava), red munia or strawberry finch is truly an incredible sight. I took as many shots as I could in the brief time they were seen...
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So, mission accomplished! I got a bonus shot of a female Baya Weaver as a culmination of a very satisfying birding trip...
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Hope you liked the post. Do tell me your thoughts in the comments section below...

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