Occupation has kept me busy these days; travelling back to back is hindering my visits to jungles for nature and wildlife photography. The camera is in hibernate mode; car is parked without seeing any humps and country roads…
It was high time to take a break, though my visit to INDIA was very short for 2 days my body & soul was waiting for a wild get away.
Briskly planned to my favorite place BR Hills, it was so quick even I couldn’t believe it. Friday on 23rd June 2012 reached office to take few printouts and dialed my friend who is at BR Hills to inquire about climate conditions and sightings.
In next 2 hours I was near my wife’s office picking her and getting scoldings from everyone for the plan.
The foursome myself, Sindhu [my wife], Amruthand Seena geared up for wildlife odyssey the same night. We started at 11.Pm in windy weather wow what a drive it was. Experiencing late night drives into country side is simply superb.
Gossiping… chatting …munching and a quick nap [not me] 😉 took us to BR Hills forest check post at 3.00Am, chilled breeze, chirping of birds was a perfect composition by mother nature… the pleasure of enjoying the nature came to an end when the vehicle arrived with loads of tourists. Spoiling the serene calmness was first priority for them.
The gate was opened at 6.00Am we allowed the tourist vehicle to take over, slowly we moved on observing the nooks of the forest.
First catch was Rudy Mongoose which crossed the road swiftly. My strong belief of sighting wildlife from Yellandur – BRHills road is always a misfortune to me. Slow commute took 40 mins to reach BR Hills. The deviation from BR Hills took us toKGudi.
Watching all corners of the forest we entered KGudi road. The road was dazzling in lush green all around we enjoyed the drive all the way; Black drongo drew our attention for all that it is a common bird in urban areas the black beauty was captured though the lens and eyes.
Our morning routine was completed at PWD guest house, later we started to Billigiri Ranganatha Swamy temple. Santosh
and his friends reached BR Hills and we met them at temple complex and started our wildlife odyssey together.
KGudi was standstill, we drove down till chamarajanagar road at the other side of KGudi, langurs and monkeys were in plenty on the trees. The langurs are watchmen of the forest usually they take seat on top of the trees looking all around; they are the first to sign or alarm when they sense the predators passing by.
The forest stood silent without any actions, Seena spotted a king fisher which perched on a tree trunk in full excitement.
We took a turn and started back to BR Hills, for first time I could manage a record shot of greater coucal which was roosting on a branch. The red eye of the bird will make anybody grab the attention towards it.
A hungry stomach cannot hear – Jean de La Fontaine, we could not resist any more and drove to Giridarshini hotel. I don’t say you get delicious food here, but you can survive with it.
Vasanna proprietor of Giridarshini welcomed us with a big smile, Sudhee asked me have u got old monk?? Wishing all of them and taking a break to all talks, grabbed the breakfast our hungry stomach was filled and re-energized us for next drive.
We could hear a distant call of hill myna’s repeatedly. The hot coffee in chilled breeze rejuvenated us for the next drive.
The emerald dove was always ahead of our car on the road, but never gave me an opportunity to click the beauty of it. I spotted a huge winged bird flying in front of us, CSE aka Crested Serpent Eagle gave us a fare chance to photograph it.
We carried few old clothes for tribals but we were not able to distribute as most of them were on their duty. The distribution of clothes is now postponed to our next trip.
The gaurs were peacefully grazing beside the road; we took a cautious move though the silence was killed by engine roar, gaurs dashed inside the bushes bull gaur in the gang of 4 gave a cold stare. Ahhhhh it was awesome. We moved on with earnestness, silence was broke by Sindhu; she spotted an oriental Mag-pie robin which was roosting on a dead bark of the tree.
It was time to have lunch and slumber for some time. The lunch served was typical south Indian dish and we did not hesitate to fill our empty stomach. We had to return back on the same night to Bangalore and planned our last drive to K Gudi at 5.00Pm.
The clouds engulfed BR Hills it looked like rain may pour down at any time. It was an awesome climate; people around told us that it is already raining at Punjur / Chamarajanagar side.
Anybody who is crazy about having coffee will surely have a sip in this splendid weather, we all had a hot cup of coffee waved our hands to Vasanna and his colleagues in the hotel and pushed off to our last drive to K Gudi.
Amruth stopped us in a wink; he had spotted a hoopoe perched on a tree trunk you should get to see a hoopoe when it opens its crown on its head.
We were lucky enough to capture the crowned beauty and moved towards chamarajanagar side, by the time we reached K Gudi the roads were wet and it was drizzling, nevertheless it dint rain.
Monkeys give the best opportunity to photograph, we dint find any action on chamarajanagar road and returned back to BR Hills, time was already 5.45Pm perfect time for predator movement. Jungle comes alive once it is dusk.
I spotted a woodpecker nearer to K Gudi check post and later it was confirmed that the species is Yellow-Crowned Wood pecker. It was lifer to me.
Forest guards reminded us not to stop on the road as it was already 6.10 Pm and suggested us to reach BR Hills safe and quick. We drove to BR Hills anticipating any wildlife movements but we were unfortunate to sight.
Santosh and his friends stayed back at BR Hills, we wished them luck and proceeded towards Bangalore. We reached Bangalore safely on the same night with heart full of sweet memories…
1. Indian Peacock
2. Indian Peahen
3. Green Bee Eater
5. Spotted Dove
6. Emerald Dove
7. Imperial Green Pigeon
8. Greater Cocual
9. Crested Serpant Eagle
10. Red-wattled Lapwing
11. Common Myna
12. Jungle Myna
13. Hill myna
14. Common Hoopoe
15. White throated Kingfisher
16. Pied Kingfisher
18. Common Flameback Woodpecker
19. Yellow-Crowned Woodpecker
20. Red whiskered Bulbul
21. Red vented Bulbul
22. Long Tailed Shrike
23. Jungle Owlet
24. Black Drongo
25. White bellied Drongo
26. Racket Tailed Drongo
27. Little Cormorant
28. White Wagtail
29. Ashy Prinia
30. Brahmini Kyte
31. Orange Headed Thrush
32. Jungle Babbler
33. Tickel’s Blue Flycatcher
34. Pied Bushchat
35. Oriental Magpie Robin
36. White Cheeked Green Barbet
37. Rufous Treepie
1. Jungle Cat
2. Spotted Deer
3. Barking Deer
4. Rudy Mangoose
5. Malabar Giant Squirel
6. Jungle Squirel
7. Indian Elephant
8. Indian Guar
9. Common Langur
10. Common Monkey