August 15, 2013 is indeed a day I will remember in my birding experiences; namely, because I got to see a few species up close for the first time. This is my chronicle of a short birding trip to the Hoskote Lake in Bangalore.
LocationHoskote is a taluk located about 12-16 kilometers from KR Puram (ITI Colony) on the Old Madras Road. The lake is located just 12km from KR Puram. On the way to this lake you will come across two other lakes - one quite a big one (Yellamma Lake). Finding the Hoskote lake can be a little confusing. So, for first-timers, here's info you can use:
To reach the lake from KR Puram side - keep on the Old Madras road once you cross KR Puram market. You will find TC Palya Lake on your left. Keep going straight. Cross two (or three) flyovers until you come to a Toll gate. After the toll gate get onto the service road immediately. Keep left. You will find an uneven pucca road on your left after about 500 meters. This is the entrace to the lake bund. You can drive or ride along the bund while taking in the view of the lake.
BirdsThis is one of the biggest lakes in Bangalore. However, you will not find as much water as the Yellamma lake. Hoskote Lake is more of a grassland than a lake now. Waterlife teems here. You will find hundreds of birds in this area. If you have a super telephoto lens or a good pair of binoculars you will enjoy the views this place has to offer.
I was greeted by a kingfisher and a parrot when I entered the bund road. I carried my hired lens (Sigma 150-500) today. This was the first time that I got a lens that would zoom past 300mm. I was truly excited. While I tried to assemble my gear to take a shot of the Kingfisher, it flew away to another location. The same story was with the parrot as well. Well, there was more to see.
The area is filled with bird sounds. It could be a bird-lover's paradise! To see so many coots, lapwings, herons, jacanas, moorhens, ducks, cormorants, darters was a treat to my eyes, and to my lens as well :)
Sadly, I couldn't spot any Ibises today. The last time we visited Hoskote Lake there was a flock of Ibises - both species.
The pied kingfisher was missing in action as well.
There were quite a few land birds, despite the cloudy weather. I spotted bushchats, tits, crested cuckoos, bulbuls, mynas, spotted doves, pipits, crows and prinias. Plus there were many others which I couldn't see, but heard.
In one particular area what I thought were cows grazing were actually coots! Check out the picture below.
It was a good birding trip!
|Spot Billed Duck|
|The Great Battle|
|The Congregation of Coots|
|Red Whiskered Bulbul|
TipsIt is best to visit this place in a car. I noticed that the moment I got out of the car to get a better shot of the birds, they flew away. As long as I was in the car they allowed me to get as close as a few meters. The birds here seem used to silence. The moment I uttered a few words to myself, some birds flew away!