Bird watching at Jakkur Lake

Bird watching at Jakkur Lake

Juvenile Scaly-breasted Munia
Juvenile Scaly-breasted Munia at the Jakkur Lake
After having explored birding hotspot across Bengaluru, Jakkur lake hadn't caught my attention even being in my proximity.The recent sightings of Alexandrine Parakeet and Gray Hornbills had to drag me to this lake.

About Jakkur Lake:
Jakkur lake is spread across 160 acres and has nearly 5 km of pathway around it. There are two water inlets, the north inlet enters the lake through water treatment plant. The eastern inlet doesn't have any water treatment plant, instead has a flood wall which allows only excess water to enter the lake. For this reason it stinks while crossing the eastern inlet.
The Facebook group Jala Poshan - Nurturing the Jakkur Lake, organizes weekly Lake Side Activities & Events.
Lake Timings: 5 a.m to 9 a.m & 4 p.m to 7 p.m.

Birds of Jakkur Lake:
Jakkur lake is popular among the waterfowl's and munia's. Some of the popular sightings include the migratory Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Sandpipers and Rosy Starling.
Some of the birds sighted though the year include the Asian Koel, Eurasian Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, White-breasted Waterhen, Black-winged Stilt, Painted Stork, Oriental Darter, Cormorants, Spot-billed Pelican, Purple/Gray Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Egrets, Glossy Ibis, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Marsh-Harrier, Shikra, Spotted Owlet, Pied Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Coppersmith Barbet, Alexandrine Parakeet, Brown Shrike, White-browed Bulbul, Yellow-billed Babbler, Pied Bushchat, White-browed Wagtail, Baya Weaver, Scaly-breasted Munia, Tricolored Munia and Indian Silverbill. The list goes on, as it has reported more than 190 species of birds in eBird.

Birding Experience:
1st visit:
Started birding early by 7 am, it was a sunny day and to start with, there were many small perching birds sighted along the pathway towards the railway crossing. The Cinereous Tits were busy in hunting their prey, there were at least 9 of them spotted along the pathway. This was followed by the Sunbirds and Prinias. While I was looking at these tiny birds, a Spot-billed Pelican grabbed my attention when it was taking its flight. There was a lone Grey Wagtail foraging on the grounds.
Cinereous Tit with its catch of insect
Cinereous Tit with its catch of insect
A female Purple Sunbird
A female Purple Sunbird
Spot-billed Pelican taking its flight
Spot-billed Pelican taking its flight
The Parakeets arrived one after the other, and I started clicking each one of them. I didn't wanted to miss out any chances of a probable sighting of Alexandrine Parakeet, by assuming it as Rose-ringed Parakeet. But, all of them turned out to be Rose-ringed Parakeets, one of them was seen perched high on the tree, busy eating a fruit. The amazing flight of a female Asian Koel caught my eyes, it rested on a tree for few seconds before it got camouflaged itself inside the tree.
A male Rose-ringed Parakeet eating fruit
A male Rose-ringed Parakeet eating a fruit
While photographing the birds, got to meet a birder, who happened to be a serious bird watcher. We teamed up for the rest of the bird walk after a quick intro.
We went on looking for the nesting birds at the islands, there were Cormorants and Spot-billed Pelicans in large numbers. The Black-crowned Night-Herons were seen with the juveniles. Colonies of Northern Shovelers, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Little Grebe and Eurasian Coot were seen floating in the lake waters. The Gray herons and Spotted Doves were seen all across the lake.
Spot-billed Pelicans resting on one of the islands
Spot-billed Pelicans resting on one of the islands
Spotted Dove
Spotted Dove
Indian Cormorant drying its wings
Indian Cormorant drying its wings
Juvenile White-breasted Waterhen
Juvenile White-breasted Waterhen
The stretch near the water treatment plant witnessed aerial birds in abundance, the Gray-throated Martin, Dusky Crag-Martin, Wire-tailed Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Streak-throated Swallow and Barn Swallow.
The part of the lake covered with weeds witnessed some amazing acts of the small passerine birds, the Baya Weavers, Scaly-breasted Munia, Tricolored Munia and the White-throated Munia or Indian Silverbill. To add to the party there were juvenile Scaly-breasted Munias as well. The sightings of raptors included the Oriental Honey-buzzard, Eurasian Marsh-Harrier, Shikra, Black Kite and Brahminy Kite along with their juveniles. It was already 9 a.m and time for closing the lake gates. We had to call off for the day without any sightings of the Alexandrine Parakeets, however I had four lifers including the Oriental Honey-buzzard, Gray-throated Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, and the colorful and pretty Tricolored Munia.
Scaly-breasted Munia
Scaly-breasted Munia
Tricolored Munia
Tricolored Munia

Complete list of birds on eBird (1st visit):

2nd visit:
Since we couldn't spot the Alexandrine Parakeets in our first visit, we decided to give it another try. To start with, spotted a water snake in the lake, which initially was assumed to be a darter bird. Before I could take any pictures, it disappeared inside the weeds.
The little egrets with their black bill and yellow feet were all resting around the lake in large numbers, twenty five in total. Colonies of Indian Spot-billed Duck, Little Grebe, Cormorants and Eurasian Coot were seen floating in the lake, while large flocks of Glossy Ibis and Cattle Egrets were seen flying across the lake. We also sighted three species of bulbuls - White-browed Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul and Red-whiskered Bulbul, and three swallows Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow and Streak-throated Swallow.
As we moved across the weed covered lake, there was silence around, which was otherwise busy with the Munia mania. However the sightings of Brown Shrike, Darters and several Pied Bushchats kept us moving. Suddenly we heard multiple calls of Parakeets, our instincts pulled us deep. It turned out to be a surprise sight of the large dark winged parakeet with its thick neck ring, it was the Alexandrine Parakeet. We saw one perched on a tree and calling continuously. Moments later heard a reply call by another individual from a distant location. It was my first sighting of this stunning avian species.
Alexandrine Parakeet perched high on the tree
Male Alexandrine Parakeet perched high on the tree
The raptors too didn't disappoint us, we spotted Oriental Honey-buzzard, Eurasian Marsh-Harrier, Shikra, Black Kite and Brahminy Kites.
Brahminy Kite
Brahminy Kite
Oriental Honey-buzzard with artistic patterns on its wings
Oriental Honey-buzzard with artistic patterns on its wings
By this time we had reached the other end of the lake. Before we ended up our bird walk session, we witnessed some amazing fishing acts by the Kingfishers. First was a common Kingfisher sitting still on a pole and was seen dropping in the water all of a sudden with its catch of fish. Next was the Pied Kingfisher who came from nowhere and within seconds it started hovering and got a fish in its first attempt and then flew away with its catch. They been real king of fishers.
Common Kingfisher before it took off for fishing
Common Kingfisher before it took off for fishing
The lifers included the White-browed Bulbul and Streak-throated Swallow, apart from the Alexandrine Parakeet. The Alexandrine Parakeet apparently is a Near Threatened species under the IUCN 3.1 red list.

Complete list of birds on eBird (2nd visit):

There were man made winged machines also flying around the lake due to proximity to Jakkur Aerodrome

Jakkur Lake Life List
(full list of birds spotted from my two visits):
1.Alexandrine Parakeet - Psittacula eupatria
2.Ashy Drongo - Dicrurus leucophaeus
3.Ashy Prinia - Prinia socialis
4.Asian Koel - Eudynamys scolopaceus
5.Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
6.Baya Weaver - Ploceus philippinus
7.Black Drongo - Dicrurus macrocercus
8.Black Kite - Milvus migrans
9.Black-crowned Night-Heron - Nycticorax nycticorax
10.Black-headed Ibis - Threskiornis melanocephalus
11.Brahminy Kite - Haliastur indus
12.Brown Shrike - Lanius cristatus
13.Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis
14.Cinereous Tit - Parus cinereus
15.Common Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis
16.Common Myna - Acridotheres tristis
17.Common Tailorbird - Orthotomus sutorius
18.Dusky Crag-Martin - Ptyonoprogne concolor
19.Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
20.Eurasian Marsh-Harrier - Circus aeruginosus
21.Eurasian Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
22.Glossy Ibis - Plegadis falcinellus
23.Gray Heron - Ardea cinerea
24.Gray Wagtail - Motacilla cinerea
25.Gray-headed Swamphen - Porphyrio poliocephalus
26.Gray-throated Martin - Riparia chinensis
27.Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo
28.Greater Coucal - Centropus sinensis
29.Green Bee-eater - Merops orientalis
30.House Crow - Corvus splendens
31.Indian Cormorant - Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
32.Indian Golden Oriole - Oriolus kundoo
33.Indian Pond-Heron - Ardeola grayii
34.Indian Robin - Copsychus fulicatus
35.Indian Silverbill - Euodice malabarica
36.Indian Spot-billed Duck - Anas poecilorhyncha
37.Intermediate Egret - Ardea intermedia
38.Jungle Myna - Acridotheres fuscus
39.Large-billed Crow - Corvus macrorhynchos
40.Little Cormorant - Microcarbo niger
41.Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
42.Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis
43.Little Swift - Apus affinis
44.Northern Shoveler - Spatula clypeata
45.Oriental Darter - Anhinga melanogaster
46.Oriental Honey-buzzard - Pernis ptilorhynchus
47.Oriental Magpie-Robin - Copsychus saularis
48.Oriental White-eye - Zosterops palpebrosus
49.Painted Stork - Mycteria leucocephala
50.Pale-billed Flowerpecker - Dicaeum erythrorhynchos
51.Pied Bushchat - Saxicola caprata
52.Pied Kingfisher - Ceryle rudis
53.Plain Prinia - Prinia inornata
54.Purple Heron - Ardea purpurea
55.Purple Sunbird - Cinnyris asiaticus
56.Purple-rumped Sunbird - Leptocoma zeylonica
57.Red-rumped Swallow - Cecropis daurica
58.Red-vented Bulbul - Pycnonotus cafer
59.Red-wattled Lapwing - Vanellus indicus
60.Red-whiskered Bulbul - Pycnonotus jocosus
61.Rock Pigeon - Columba livia
62.Rose-ringed Parakeet - Psittacula krameri
63.Scaly-breasted Munia - Lonchura punctulata
64.Shikra - Accipiter badius
65.Spot-billed Pelican - Pelecanus philippensis
66.Spotted Dove - Streptopelia chinensis
67.Streak-throated Swallow - Petrochelidon fluvicola
68.Tricolored Munia - Lonchura malacca
69.Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida
70.White-breasted Waterhen - Amaurornis phoenicurus
71.White-browed Bulbul - Pycnonotus luteolus
72.White-browed Wagtail - Motacilla maderaspatensis
73.White-cheeked Barbet - Psilopogon viridis
74.White-throated Kingfisher - Halcyon smyrnensis
75.Wire-tailed Swallow - Hirundo smithii


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