Thursday, October 2, 2014

Birding In Hyderabad

I went to visit my cousins in Hyderabad recently. There, one morning, we decided to visit the KVR Botanical Gardens, around a 10-minute drive from my cousin's house. So, my cousins, my sister, my uncle, my dad and I packed our waterbottles and caps and decided to walk the trail there. 

The trail began with a disturbed Cattle Egret rising into the air from a well-concealed position in the grass, finally alighting on the top of a small, stunted Neem Tree. Continuing down the trail, we heard a raucous call: the Peacock! We craned our eyes to the spot where we heard it, and sure enough, we saw a Peahen (female) skulking into the vegetation. What a start!

As we progressed further, going into denser forests, we saw a concrete wall. Not exactly what you would expect to see in a forest, but it was immaterial, compared to what sat on it. 2 male Peacocks, their feathers resplendent in the gentle morning sun, sat on the wall, majestically looking around. Finally, they hopped down from the wall onto the other side. It was a great sighting.

The forest still grew denser, and the variety of species found began to steadily increase. Red-vented Bulbuls could be spotted from nearly every tree. Ashy Prinias and Tickell's Flowerpeckers were heard making their chirping noises from all flowering trees. However, they were notoriously hard to spot and we could only see a few through the thick foliage. 

Suddenly, we heard a chirping noise that was different from all the others we had heard so far. We looked at the source, and found that it was a small warbler. We later identified it as a Sykes' Warbler, a lifer for me! 

We continued down the trail, but we didn't find anything more of note. Finally, we reached the end of the trail and played a few rounds of cricket before going back. It was a rewarding experience.

BIRD OF THE DAY: Sykes' Warbler