Monday, February 13, 2006

Birdwatching at Kukkarahalli Kere(Lake).

Had been to Mysore over the weekend. One place I visit each time, is Kukkarahalli lake, which is half a kilometer away from my grandparents' house. I have been going there for as long as I remember. Many happy hours have been spent walking on the bank, many fond memories are associated with it, and one particularly frightening childhood nightmare too. Anyway, Kukkarahalli Kere is a major part of my life.

Earlier, only one side of the lake, adjacent to the main road, was accessible for walking. Half of Mysore seemed to be there in the mornings and evenings. [The other half would be climbing Chamundi Betta(Hill)] Now they have built a walking track all around the lake. I do not know what the total distance round the lake is, but it is substantial.

This time around too, we set out in a huge group to walk round the lake. Since we were now going into the woods, on the path round the lake, there was a chance of seeing many hitherto unseen sights (read birds). My birdwatcher aunt brought along a pair of binoculars. The walk was absolutely delightful! I saw more birds in one hour, than I have seen in probably ten years.

We saw frisky herons, pure white cattle egrets and brilliantly hued Moor Hens in plenty. [ "Look look, Moor Hen!". "Where? I can see only one." ;) - (Mooru means "Three" in Kannada). PJ]. There were loads of chattering Mynas. There were bright yellow bee-eaters with pointed tails and pointed beaks, and a kingfisher with an insect in it's beak. [Kinginsecter?] There was a crow (wait, hear me out!) with an egg in it's mouth! An egg! Such a small, simple thing, and I had never seen it before! "How will the crow eat the egg?" I wondered. It had never crossed my mind. "Simple", said one cousin. "It takes a fork, breaks the egg into a pan, and cooks itself an omelette". PJ. But seriously, how?

We saw hundreds of painted storks(Who painted them?) in brilliant reds and pinks and whites. One painted stork repeatedly flew up and down with a straw in it's mouth, probably building a nest. There was one clump of trees in the middle of the lake, where these painted storks had made their home. Hundreds of them. On a nearby tree, perched right on top, was a Brahminy Kite, surveying it's kingdom. Far into the distance, we could discern a pelican swimming meditatively on the calm waters of the lake.

I am going to a Bird sanctuary, people say, and travel long distances to reach them. I have not seen more birds in one place in any bird sanctuary, and here I see them in Kukkarahalli Kere. Just half a km from home, right in the middle of the city. A world within another. A peaceful, pure, ecosystem amidst the hustle and bustle of the town.

I had a wonderful time. But I have one regret - I had not carried a camera with me. Well, next time. And it had better be soon. Before the corporates get fed up of Bangalore and discover the peace of Mysore and descend upon it in droves, and drive all the birds away.

Update: Anoop has some lovely snaps of Kukkarahalli kere - Check them out here.

19 comments:

chitra said...

"Moor Hen"?? Ha ha ha wonderful :) !! I would have thought it as some exotic bird (like pea-hen) if I had not known Kannada ... :)

Shruthi said...

@Chitra : :)) Actually it IS an actual bird called "Moor hen" :) When you say, moor hen, then we say, where, there is only one hen there :D thats the joke, not the other way round ;) God, confusion! :D

Anonymous said...

that is so cool! lucky you!

ano

chitra said...

HA HA HA HA ... me ROTFL now !! Howda..moor hen antha bird aa?? Three much :) :).

Shruthi said...

@Ano: :) Would like to do that more often, though! :o

@Chitra: Hee hee.. your laughter had me rolling out here :)) Glad u enjoyed the joke :)

Shriedhar said...

Hi shruti,

Happy v-day!!!

Supremus said...

The only birds I like to see dont belong to bird kingdom sadly :) - that saying, Bird watching is definitely a fun activity, when there are lots of birds around, preferably a variety - so that you can scrutinize them all :D hehehe :D

There are some geese which I can see through my balcony swimming in the lake everyday - thats about the birds I see :(

Good post!

Suyog

Shruthi said...

@Shreedhar: Thank you, to you too!

@Suyog: I knew, I knew, there would be at least one comment on the other kind of bird ;)

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

I like your stuff. That short story is good because of the effort in plotting it. A very O.Henry effect, copied by Jeffrey Archer in one story. Hope to see more.

Swathi said...

wow, sounds so nice, tat too in the middle of the city... i must invite myself there :))

Shruthi said...

@AQC: Thank you! :) I must really read these two stories now by O Henry and Archer, having heard so much about them!

@Swathi: Sure, welcome ;)

Manav said...

Nice blog shruthi.
Never knew you blogged until I scrutinised your orkut profile more carefully.

Manav said...

btw,
I did try to maintain a blog......but amidst the "war of management", you can see its remains
here

anoop said...

I came across ur blog thru sanjay's blog.. going thru ur blog was just like refreshing my memories of the place which I visited 2 weeks back.. I completely agree with u regarding the wide varieties of birds present there, also try to visit karanji kere too (preferrably early morning)...
adeno heluttaralla: hittala gida maddalla anta, it may be applicable to this place...
oh yeah, I took my camera with me when I went to kukkarahalli kere, so some snaps have been put up in my blog, do take a look at them..

Nirwa said...

Perhaps the crow was carrying the egg to another place.. why would it eat an egg?!?! :P

Birds... rare sight in cities these days.. but the society we live in is pretty green.. so we do get to see birds.. parrots, peacocks, black sparrows, and many other birds..

Years ago, you could also spot rabbits, fox, snakes and mangoose in our society.. yeah.. We found a rat snake in our own verandah.. also commodo dragons.. :P :P :P

And no, I do not live in a zoo.. I ran away many years back.. :P :P :P

Nirwa

Shruthi said...

@Manav: Hey you write well, get your blog back in action! :)

@Anoop: Very true - Hittala gida maddalla :) - Great blog, and great pics!!

@Nirwa: Why, don't crows eat eggs? :) Was just about to ask you if you lived in a zoo ;) Wow.. thats quite a menagerie you have lived with!

Anonymous said...

whats your email id?

akshay (cousin)

Shastri said...

Hi Shruthi,
bit too late to leave a comment here I guess but was going through your archives and saw this post on bird watching at KukkarahaLLi lake.
Interestingly, I also being a bird watcher, I used to think that lakes/forests are the only places for birdwatching. But what I discovered is something totally surprising to me. I could find enough birds in my office itself!.
See here http://in.geocities.com/shas3n/personal/4-There_is_treasure_everywhere.pdf
This was a part of internal office magazine so might sound a bit out of context but you will get the drift of what I am trying to say.
:)
NS

bird's eye view said...

Shruti,

As a mysore lover myself, loved all your posts. Whenever we visit Mysore, kukkarahalli kere has to be on the itinerary, along with a vist to Ramya restaurant for set dose!

- -