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Date: 13th February 2015
Team Mates: M R Rajaram, M A Seshachalam
Route: By Road from Devanahalli to Hampapura

It was a cold and silent morning of mid February as we got ready for a long and exiting journey to the heritage city of Mysore via Hampapura from Devanahalli, a town close the crammed Bangalore International Airport. The three resident Spotted Owlets were making a ruckus as we assumed were hunting for field rats. We departed Devanahalli by 6:00 AM and were greeted by trucks on the main road to Doddabellapur. It was still dark and was quiet windy.

At sunrise we got the glimpse of the commonly found Rose Ringed Parakeets flying at break neck speeds. We passed the Asian Highway 47 (Bangalore – Gwalior) and took the National Highway 48. As we passed several man made reservoirs, we planned to see one of them. We took a sharp left and landed at Mangala Reservoir. As soon as we stopped we were greeted by several Red-Rumped Swallows. Two Spot-Billed Ducks were enjoying the morning sun. A restless Booted Warbler was at work, looking out for titbits. We again saw the Red-Rumped Swallow and then we noticed the nest it was building in the water pipe just under the bridge where the car was parked.
We moved along the tank bund and were being silently observed by a Eurasian Collared Dove which was cautious not to make any sound till we disappeared from the its view. There was a cacophony of White-Browed Bulbuls in the nearby bush as the Yellow Billed Babblers joined the them. There were two Indian Robins, one adult and a juvenile. It looked as though the adult was training the other. A Red-Vented Bulbul was on a perch looking for fruits and the Purple-Rumped Sunbird was  in lookout for nectar. The birds were at work and it was a feast for the eyes.

As we looked at the swamp which had occupied most of the edges of the water body, we noticed several waders hunting for food of which the Intermediate Egret and the Purple Heron were rewarded. Two Common Coots were having a brawl for the territory. A Green Sandpiper was in the lookout as usual, soon a Yellow Wagtail accompanied the Sandpiper.

We got back to the Highway and drove further, we noticed a raptor hovering over us and we stopped to take a look. To our surprise it was a Tawny Eagle which was coincidentally watching us.

After crossing Channarayapatna we took the right turn. As soon as we took the turn an inviting Indian Bush Lark was on the power line. A great sight to see. Just below the lark were a group of Red Avadavats feeding on grains as this was a harvest season.

The winding roads crossed several channels filled with water and wherever there is a channel there is an expectation to find swallows. Usually the most common swallow to be seen is the Barn Swallow. There were several on the Power line. It is a sight to see swallows that were stationary, as most of the time they are in flight. 

The road was filled with surprises at every step. A White-Brested Waterhen was busy along with the Yellow Billed Babblers in pecking on the grains that were spilled while loading a truck. It was wary of our presence but continued to feed boldly. There were more than five Indian Pond Herons that were on a hunt in the paddy field for small amphibians. Their concentration never wavered by our presence. The road filled with potholes led us to a tree which hosted the White-Naped Woodpecker both male and female were busy pecking on the bark and were in the lookout for the prize.

The most common winter visitor the Yellow Wagtail were being encountered several times during the journey. The basic observation was that they liked to be in company of other birds.

The sun was up and scorching by now and attracted birds such as the Black Drongo and the Long Tailed Shrike which perched the electric lines and were spotted at frequent intervals.

The next curve led us to a  water body which hosted a congregation of dabbling ducks. A feast unforgettable. More than twenty Northern Pintails, two Northern Shovelers and some Garganeys were spotted. The Northern Pintails were mostly resting on the small island in the center of the lake, while the Garganeys were swimming to the edge of the lake with a mission.

As we reached Hampapura which is located at the South-Western part of the Krishnarajasagar Dam we were invited by the Three Couloured Munias. This place had two parts one which was the dam where the water was abundant and the other was a man made lake where the water came from the dam and was stored for agricultural purpose. This small lake was filled with lotuses and other water plants. As it was filled with leaves it attracted several species like the Snipe which we are yet to identify, the Bronze Winged Jacana, Pheseant Tailed Jacana and the rare Glossy Ibis. This is a birding Haven for now and we will definitely make frequent visits to make sure we have complete checklist of birds.

As we scanned the swamp we noticed the Little Ringed Plover (Adult Breeding) a bird known for its migration from Siberia and Mongolia. A Wood Sandpiper was nearby feeding in the swamp.

It was time to windup and were on our way to Mysore. As a send off party we were seen off by a pack of Finches from top of a tree.