Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Birding at Valley School - Trip 1

13th Nov, 2010

I had read about Valley school as one of the better places for birding near Bangalore so this time decided to visit this place with an expectation of capturing and seeing some different variety of birds. Birding trips to Hebbal and Lalbuagh always yielded productive results so this time it was time to try my luck at Valley School.

During my last few trips to Hebbal I had made friends with few photo enthusiastic guys and one of them is Vinay. He too had just started off with bird photography and shares same passion and enthusiasm to shoot birds as I do. We planned couple of days in advance and decided to head to Valley school to shoot birds.

We started off early at around 6AM and reached the school in an hour. All the visitors are required to report to the security person and make an entry in the visitors log book. I had contacted few people online who had previously been there to find out whether any prior permission is required to enter the school area or not. Many of them told me that no such thing is required. However when I reached there the security guy did not allow us to enter in from the main gate. He asked us to walk along the school fence but not to enter the premises. There was a small gate little ahead which was locked. First I toyed with idea of jumping in, but then I did not take risk as its a private property and the last thing I may want is the security guys getting hold of my beloved camera.

Even though we were not able to enter the premises there were plenty of birds that could be heard and some were seen, though it was difficult to shoot them as they were way beyond the camera's reach. Just as we started we saw a Hoopoe peached on a tree. I took couple of shots but I knew it was way too far. The shots yielded useless results and I deleted it in the camera itself.

I felt that if we were in the school premises we would have got a better chance to capture the winged wonders. We also saw plenty of variety of butterflies and moths. I was carrying my macro lens but I wanted to shoot birds so did not change the lens and hardly took any macro shots.

We walked till the place where the school fence ends and where there is a big pepal tree. While we were resting beneath the tree I heard some different kind of bird sound, I was not sure what it was and was trying to locate the bird visually. Suddenly I saw a beautiful bird in bright blue and orange colors. I did not recognize it at first glance but started shooting it. Later on I found that it was a Tickell's Blue Flycatcher. That was a lifer for me (had see this bird for first time) and was also my shot of the day. I also saw a magpie robin around and shot couple of frames of it. Soon after, a Red Whiskered Bulbul appeared at some distance. I took a shot but it was not very near so did not get the details that I usually expect from my shots.

Later on I saw couple of lizards who had come out to bask in sun and I managed to get a shot before it ran away. I would say that this time we were not patient enough to wait for the birds. Maybe that could be because we had very high expectations early on and soon realized that there were no easy pickings. We could have spent more time there but Vinay was getting tired and hungry so we decided to make a move. 

On the way back he mounted his canon 1.4 50mm lens and took couple of shots here an there. One of them was me in action. I liked that shot but am still to receive it from him. Soon that will be my profile pic :)

Here are few shots that I got from the trip. As I had mentioned before  I hardly got any good shots and there is nothing much to showcase except for the shots of the Blue Flycatcher and the lizard. Another trip to Valley school is defiantly on the cards though not too soon. Signing off with few shots from the trip.

Tickell's Blue Flycatcher

Tickell's Blue Flycatcher

Barbet? Not too sure.

Tickell's Blue Flycatcher


  1. Hello, I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that you have a great site! Keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks for appreciating. Do keep visiting.

  3. Nice pics Amit. We were also planning to go to Valley School. Wanted to know about the prior permission thing. Got from your blog we need the permission :).

  4. Thanks Priyanka. Well do let me know about the details if you manage to get some permission to enter the school premises. Maybe I can try that next time when I visit.


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