September 18, 2011

Trip to Byalkere Peacock Reserve

I wanted to test my newly acquired Canon EOS 1100D Digital SLR camera. On the previous night I had texted my friend Nagaraj and suggested him about a drive nearby. We being dwellers of Bangalore North, the most frequented places are Nandi hills, Hesarghatta lake and nearby grassland; we call it as Scotland or Indian Masai mara (depending upon season)

My friend Vishwa had informed us about a peacock reserve on the way to Hesarghatta. As are visiting Hesarghatta from past last 12 years or so, we hadn't heard or seen any thing about Peacock reserve nearby. So this time we wanted to explore this unexplored place. Google map informed us that  it's just 10.4 Kms from my home and drive time of 22 mins.

It was a lazy Saturday afternoon on September 18th 2011 after picking up Nagaraj from his home in Vidyaranyapura my trusted GPS girlfriend (Female Voice directions) took us exactly in front of Byalkere (lake). This Byalkere was very near to a housing layout and we were sure that this was not the right place to look for peacock's. However we were not disappointment we were greeting with variety of birds on the tank bund. We did spend an hour and a half taking pictures and video of the birds. Below are few birds which I were able to capture.


Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)

It is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, They have a reddish brown plumage and a contrasting white head and breast which makes them easy to distinguish from other birds of prey.

Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis

We successfully drew all the birds out of the lake and we started towards main road. Upon enquiring we got to know that Peacock reserve was still further. we drove until the Peacock reserve gate and got to know that it was a restricted area and if we trespass we would be prosecuted. It clearly mentioned that no one can enter with out proper approval from Forest Department. Although we got the new place but we were not able to enter. We drove around the reserve forest peripheral road thinking we might come across some peacocks but to our disappointment we didn't even hear there call.

Driving further we reached a location where they mange Bangalore city waste and garbage. Along side there was a lake, There were lot of bird activity in the vicinity. Took few more pictures in the location and headed back to home. Even though we did not see any peacocks, we got a new place for bird photography where we get variety of birds. Also if we go early morning we might get peacocks as well, It's just a matter of time and patients.

Update: 25-Sep-2011
Nagaraj called me early in the morning 6:30 AM and said "Lets Go" again. Took my ALTO as usual picked up Nag and headed out to our newly discovered birding site. By the time we reached the site it was around 7:45 ish. To our badluck there was no Bird activity, Sunlight was harsh and we could sense the heat already. we were only able to see Kites, Myna's and Common Crows.

That was a kind of experience and learning. We got to learn that bright sunlit day, hot and humid days is not a good day for Birds. Best time to photograph is when on a moderately cloudy mornings or early evenings when it is cool for the Birds. Only one good pic which I got from the session was of a Bee.

Keep looking for more updates as we intend to visit this place more often.

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