Birding in an urban Lake

Location: Puttenahalli Kere or Puttenahalli Lake, near JP Nagar, Bangalore
Date: Dec 15th, 2011
To get there: [Click here for Google Map].
It is located in South Bangalore next to Brigade Millenium.

Distance:  < 10Kms from Vidhana Soudha! :)
Trail type: Walking path going around the Lake. Educative and a good work out for kids aged 1 to 8. Too easy for older kids and adults. So, it is more of a nature walk for them.

Facilities: Benches to sit in few places. I did not notice any toilet facilities but should be there. Food, you are still in the city so plenty of places close by. Avoid picnicking. If you have to, get only finger food in reusable boxes and do not litter.

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

One of my favorite birds to spot whenever I see a lotus covered pond is the Pheasant-tailed Jacana. PTJ and its cousin Bronze-winged Jacana are 2 beautiful birds which gingerly walk on the wide leaves of the Lotus plants earning the name leaf-walkers. Nature has provided them with feet having long fingers which are suited for this type of life style.
Mom and Me! Common Coot 

Unfortunately, one usually needs to drive to the outskirts of Bangalore to spot them. Lalbagh and Yediyur Kere both of which contain lotus vegetation have not been successful in attracting and protecting these birds long enough for them to call it their homes. But, Puttennahalli Kere, in JP Nagar, is an exception now. This lake which was once a dump yard and encroached upon has been restored through a citizens initiative PNLIT led by Usha Rajagopalan. The key point in this restoration project is that, they have not made this lake into a "soup bowl" like Ulsoor, Sankey or Lalbagh tanks. The edges are left to nature to create an habitat which can sustain these and other birds.
Purple Swamphen

So, for us nature enthusiasts, we no longer need to drive 30-40 kilometers out of town to see these beautiful birds. One can take nature stroll, or ramble if you will, around this lake in the middle of Urban sprawl and enjoy them in leisure. When we went there, we also spotted many other equally colorful water birds such as Herons, Coots, Purple Swamphens, Lesser Whistling Teals and the migratory Garganeys.

So, if you have a couple of hours to spare one day and wish to observe and enjoy some nature, head out to this lake and you wont be disappointed.

As always, do not litter the place. Even though some spots may look bad, we don't really want to add to that, do we?

 Lesser Whistling Teal(open wing), Common Moorhen (Red knob),  Pheasant-tailed Jacana (foraging on left) and Garganeys (huddled at the top)