There are many birding spots in and around Bangalore (Bengaluru) which is worth a visit for the birdie lovers.
1. Lalbagh botanical gardens: Right in the heart of the city is the Lalbagh, which provides garden and wetland habitats. Experience: Avoid weekends and holidays and choose secluded areas away from the crowd. Plenty of bird life if you have a keen eye and lots of butterflies too and also look out for the majestic trees.
2. Madivala lake: Located near BTM layout on the peripherals (this lake has now reduced drastically in size owing to urbanization all over) is another option. Experience: A promising place with diversity of bird life but the lake gets suffocated fast!
3. Hebbal lake: Just beside the Hebbal flyover is the Hebbal lake, a nice birding place. Experience: A hotspot for Pelicans, Painted storks and other waterfowl.
4. Valley School Road: Lots of places on the Kanakapura road. One of the hot spots is the valley School road. On the Bangalore-kanakapura road, Valley School road is around 15kms from Bangalore, you need to turn right after the NICE flyover coming from Bangalore. Experience: Has become our favorite jaunt for bird watching, already have been here countless number of times, lovely place, wonderful ambiance. Do not venture alone deeper else you would get lost.
5. Manchinbele: Around 30 kms from Bangalore, just before the Tippagondanahall reservoir, on the Bangalore-Magadi main road, take the left turn at the signpost towards Manchinbele dam and subsequently Mysore road. There’s lots of greenery surrounding the hills in every direction serving as a good birding spot. Experience: Lovely place and good for a morning birding session. Access is restricted, beware.
6. Tippagondanahalli (T.G.halli): 35 Kms east of Bangalore, on the Bangalore-Magadi road, you will find T.G.Halli. Experience: Wonderful, lovely, saw many bird species out here but missed the many raptors. If monsoon fails, water levels do down drastically revealing secluded places.
7. Savandurga State Forest: Savandurga is around 60 kms from Bangalore towards the town of Magadi. Manchinbele, T.G.Halli and Savandurga are all in the same locality and can be covered in a day. Experience: Yet to go birding here...
8. Nandi hills: 50kms away from Bangalore on the Bangalore-Hyderabad highway. Experience: Visit here regularly and you wont miss being in the Western Ghats. The sightings every year outdoes the previous years, multiple visits and patience will yield and enviable list from here.
9. Devarayana Durga State Forest (DDSF): Located around 60Kms from Bangalore on the Tumkur highway, this place is quite famous for the Yellow-throated Bulbul. Another must visit place for Birders and nature lovers. Experience: Have made religious trips here, none of birding till now.
10. Bannerghatta National Park: Scrub and forest habitat especially if staying in the Jungle Lodges inside the forest area. Experience: The alley of flycatchers never disappoints. Any time, any weather you still come back with a decent list.
11. Kokkarebellur: Popular for the pelicans (strictly during the "seasons" only, otherwise its a normal village. Its 80kms southwest of Bangalore near Maddur on the way to Mysore. Experience: Had been here twice, once off season and once just the start; 2nd time around saw mostly pelicans in huge numbers and black ibis for the first time.
12. Shivanahalli: A must visit place located on the periphery of the Bannerghatta National Park. The resident swamiji at the Ramakrishna Mission encourages people to visit and offers guides and food. Experience: Seen a lot of bird life on the couple of walks done here, must go regularly.
13. Gulakamale lake: Not only the lake, a little walk around and you will be amazed with the diversity that you will see. A wonderful place a little away from the city. Experience: Mixed bag, seen a lot of raptors and land birds too. Overall, excellent.
Pack your cameras and Happy Birding!
Care for the nature and the nature cares for you!