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My first trip to Hoskote lake

Last Sunday morning, I visited Hoskote lake in Bangalore for the first time. I found a startling variety of birds at this scenic place located just 17 Kms from my home. 
Here's a photo tour of a place where I found many new birds...

A female Eurasian Marsh Harrier was the first beauty I saw...


The green spread around the lake forms an ideal habitat for the birds...


A Grey Heron was standing motionless waiting for prey to come within striking distance...


A White-throated Kingfisher was restless...


An Ashy Wren Warbler was at its chirpy best...


A Pond Heron was flying around in search of prey...


Eurasian Coots were in large numbers...


I walked towards the farmland near the lake from where many interesting bird calls were emanating...


I could see a black bird which looked like an Oriental Magpie Robin...


An Ashy Prinia was feasting on the farm produce...


So was a pretty female Baya Weaver...


I walked further looking for a male Baya Weaver. I found their retort-shaped nest hanging from a tree...


A tiny Common Kingfisher...


I returned to the farmland to see if I could spot a male Baya Weaver...


There he was, a male Baya Weaver swinging joyfully on a leaf blade... 


Another male Baya Weaver...


I walked towards the lake to see the water birds in action. On the way I spotted this White-browed Wagtail sitting on a wire...


An Indian Silverbill was also sitting on a wire...



At the lake, a Grey Heron seemed to have caught something...


Looks like it caught an eel...


The motionless wait of both of us was finally rewarded...


It flew away after that small meal...


I walked towards the farmland to see if I can spot another Baya Weaver. I found an Oriental Magpie Robin (I am not sure if I've identified it correctly)...


Sitting on the wire this time was a Red-whiskerd Bulbul making its loud and evocative 'pleased to meet you' call...



I saw the Common Kingfisher again...



And also a White-throated Kingfisher...


A fruit on a vine...


At the farmland, a Rose-ringed Parakeet was munching the produce...






I found another male Baya Weaver...


I dream about my next visit to Hoskote lake where the contrast between the water birds and land birds is very beautiful. 
My fabulous photo walk ended with the sighting of a Brahminy Kite...


Trek to Nandi Hills

Nandi Hills is a hill station just 60 Kms from my home in Bangalore. It was the summer retreat of the tyrant, Tipu Sultan who used this place to escape the din of battles and heat of the plains. Although there is an excellent motor-able road all the way to the top of the hill, I decided to trek the 8 Kms climb from the foothills instead. Trekking allowed me to explore the nature in more detail. Here's a photo tour from my trek... 

As it is the rainy season, I could see clouds hovering over the hills...


I parked my car near the trekking trail starting point and started my walk...


A White-browed Bulbul alerted me with its distinctive burst of calls...


Soon, another one flew in...


The trekking trail comprise of a flight of 1175 steps...


I found some interesting flora on the way...


The trail is shaded by trees all along and has beautiful resting places...


I was glad to meet Pramod, an entrepreneur from Bangalore. He was doing a great job with watercolors...


A Red-whiskered bulbul flew away as soon as I turned towards him... 


Stone pillars along the trail...


Wild flowers...



An Agama lizard...





Cherimoya or Custard Apple. Mark Twain called the Cherimoya "the most delicious fruit known to men"...


The clouds meet you on the trail with a joyful drizzle...


Here's a video...



Natural umbrella for the small critters to hide from rain...



A mural on the wall of a Hindu temple on the way...



A cute little monkey...



More flora...







A chipmunk...







A pillar...



Moss on a tree bark drenched in rain...



Breast feeding monkey...


Rain drops on spider web...


The coating of rain water on the plants make them really stunning...






A Red-whiskered bulbul...


Letting his hair down...


Rain drenched ferns...



In deep thought...



Finally, after one hour and forty five minutes of trekking, I reached the top...


The view from the top is breathtaking. I skipped many tourist attractions like Tipu's Drop, a cliff face from where prisoners were hurled down on the orders of the tyrant. Such monuments make me sad actually. The trip was fun none the less and it was good to trek all the way up and explore nature...



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