Valley School bird watching

12:22 PM

Valley School bird watching:
Verditer flycatcher
Verditer flycatcher
After a long wait, I got to visit the most acclaimed bird watching spot in Bengaluru, the Valley school. It was a long drive for me about 40 km and reached the security gates by 6.45 am. I was greeted by the Greater coucal at the parking area. There were over hundred visitors who had come for bird watching with their binoculars and camera's, proving it to be one of the most popular hotspot for bird photography in Bengaluru.

Little information about the Valley school bird watching trek:
The Valley school is around 140 acres partially shared by the Forest lands. The school campus is fenced and visitors are not allowed inside, having said this one would be wondering where we go for birding. After entering the visitor details in the security entrance gates, one can walk around the walking track along the campus fencing. The pathway goes deep inside the forest after crossing the abandoned guest house. The thick canopies can make one loose the track. There is a small water stream inside the forest, which is said to be flowing after 4 years of drought.
Water stream inside the forest
Water stream inside the forest
Birds of Valley School:
The valley school is famous for a variety of rare and exotic birds, and it is believed to have spotted over 240 species of birds. What one can except while on bird watching tour in valley school are the Coppersmith Barbet, Indian Gray Hornbill, Small Minivet, Gray Junglefowl, Gray Francolin, Oriental Honey-buzzard, Laughing Dove, Blue-faced Malkoha, Indian Roller, Spotted Owlet, Black-rumped Flameback, Woodpecker's, Cuckooshrike, Indian Paradise-Flycatcher, White-browed Bulbul, White-eye, White-rumped Shama, Pied Bushchat and Munia's.
Green bee-eater with its favorite prey bee
Green bee-eater with its favorite prey bee
Birding Experience:
Although I was not lucky enough to witness most of these, but I must admit the tour was very satisfying. The highlight of the tour was spotting of three species of Drongo's - White-bellied Drongo, Hair-crested Drongo, and the common found Black Drongo. The sightings of the two Drongo's other than the Black Drongo, along with the Coppersmith Barbet, Black-headed Cuckooshrike, and Verditer flycatcher, were lifers for me. Most of the birds were seen near the school campus, although inside the forest area we could hear many species of birds but it was difficult to spot them perched over the tall tree canopies.
Black-headed Cuckooshrike - female
Black-headed Cuckooshrike - female
Grey wagtail
Grey wagtail
Red whiskered bulbul
Red whiskered bulbul
Verditer flycatcher
Verditer flycatcher
Many of such huge beehives were hanging under the tree branches
Second Visit:
After a six months gap I visited the place again in Sep 2018 for my second bird watching in this hotspot. This time I spotted a Indian Gray Hornbill, Large-billed Leaf Warbler and Brown-breasted Flycatcher, apart from the usual sightings.
Indian Gray Hornbill
Indian Gray Hornbill
Brown-breasted Flycatcher
Brown-breasted Flycatcher
Coppersmith Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet
Asian Koel Male
Asian Koel Male
Complete list of birds spotted in Valley school from both visits:
1. Greater Coucal - Centropus sinensis
2. Black Kite - Milvus migrans
3. Green Bee-eater - Merops orientalis
4. Coppersmith Barbet - Psilopogon haemacephalus
5. White-cheeked Barbet - Psilopogon viridis
6. Black-headed Cuckooshrike - Lalage melanoptera
7. Black Drongo - Dicrurus macrocercus
8. White-bellied Drongo - Dicrurus caerulescens
9. Hair-crested Drongo - Dicrurus hottentottus
10. Red-vented Bulbul - Pycnonotus cafer
11. Red-whiskered Bulbul - Pycnonotus jocosus
12. Blyth's Reed Warbler - Acrocephalus dumetorum
13. Ashy Prinia - Prinia socialis
14. Yellow-billed Babbler - Turdoides affinis
15. Indian Robin - Copsychus fulicatus
16. Oriental Magpie-Robin - Copsychus saularis
17. Verditer Flycatcher - Eumyias thalassinus
18. Common Myna - Acridotheres tristis
19. Purple Sunbird - Cinnyris asiaticus
20. Gray Wagtail - Motacilla cinerea
21. Indian Silverbill - Euodice malabarica
22. Rock Pigeon - Columba livia
23. Spotted Dove - Streptopelia chinensis
24. Laughing Dove - Streptopelia senegalensis
25. Asian Koel - Eudynamys scolopaceus
26. Little Swift - Apus affinis
27. Brahminy Kite - Haliastur indus
28. Indian Gray Hornbill - Ocyceros birostris
29. Rose-ringed Parakeet - Psittacula krameri
30. Large-billed Crow - Corvus macrorhynchos
31. Large-billed Leaf Warbler - Phylloscopus magnirostris
32. Brown-breasted Flycatcher - Muscicapa muttui
33. Tickell's Blue Flycatcher - Cyornis tickelliae
34. Purple-rumped Sunbird - Leptocoma zeylonica

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