Archive for January, 2008

31
Jan
08

Daroji Bear Sanctuary

Hampi Panorama

Visiting Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary had been on our long standing wish list of places to visit, but it somehow never materialized. Thus when the Sloth Bear Foundation announced the Karnataka birders meet on 15-16 December, we knew we couldn’t miss this opportunity. The intent of the meet was to increase the awareness of the place and to let people experience the wonders it has to offer.

Yellow Eyed Babbler Painted Spurfowl
Yellow Eyed Babbler Painted Spurfowl

The trip did live up to our expectations and probably a lot more. The rocky terrain of Daroji provides an excellent habitat for the Sloth bear amongst other animal and bird species. It also provided fantastic photographing opportunities. We got to meet and interact with a number seasoned bird watchers and naturalists. The group was very diverse both in terms of the age of the participants as well as their bird watching experience.

Jungle Babbler Closeup Grey Francolin
Jungle Babbler Grey Francolin

We had great sightings of the Painted Spurfowl, Grey Francolins, Jungle Bush Quail, Peafowls, Jungle Babblers, Yellow-eyed Babblers, Lesser White-throat Warbler, Chestnut-shouldered Petronia and scores of other birds. Mammals sighted include the Sloth Bear, Mongoose, Wild-boar and the Black-naped hare.

 

Little Brown Dove Brahminy Starling
Little Brown Dove Brahminy Starling

We had a short visit to Hampi and its surrounding areas, which provided good sightings of the many birds including the Yellow-throated Bulbul, Plum-headed Parakeet and White Wagtail. Due to time constraints, we could hardly spend any time in the Hampi ruins which are fantastic and warrant another visit just for their exploration.

 

Jungle Babblers Feeding Yellow Eyed Babblers
Jungle Babblers Feeding Yellow Eyed Babblers

Daroji is surely a wonderful place to visit, both to experience the wildlife in the sanctuary as well as to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding Hampi. For more information on the approach to the place and accomodation, please visit the official Daroji website at http://www.karnataka.com/slothbear/

 

[DBS] GreyFrancolinGroup

 


 

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04
Jan
08

2007 – A Reflection

Reflections1

The year 2007 has been a defining year for us in terms of nature appreciation, bird watching and photography. It is the year in which we got introduced to the joys offered by nature. We have traveled much more in this one year than we had done in the previous few years combined. We have also become much more aware of the threats which the bio-diversity in India has been facing.

Our initiation happened on our weekly Sunday morning walk in Lalbagh. For a long time, we had just been taking a walk, appreciating the beauty of the place and returning home. An accidental sighting of the White Breasted Kingfisher near the Lalbagh lake got us all excited. Being city dwellers most of our lives, we had mostly seen just the most common birds found in the cities (the likes of crows, kites, mynas and pigeons). This striking blue of the WBKF held us in awe for a long time.

On subsequent walks in Lalbagh, we noticed a group of people looking up into the trees and realized that they were looking at birds. Upon conversation with them, we found out that this was the bngbirds group which met once a month for Bird-watching. We attended a couple of such sessions and since then there has been no turning back.

Initially our interest was primarily in birds but the JLR – Naturalist Training Program introduced us to a number of other wonders such as the buffer flies and insects. We still love bird watching the most but have started enjoying the other aspects of nature too.

Every single free day over a weekend, we try to venture out in and around Bangalore to observe these beauties. Every long weekend, we try to go into the forests of South India which the hope of sighting the big cats or the mightly eagles. In 2007 alone, we have been to Ranganthithu a couple of times, Bandipur, Kabini, BR Hills, Dandeli, Ganeshgudi, Daroji, Ramnagaram and made numerous trips to Nandi Hills, Valley School, Manchinbele Dam and Lalbagh (of course)

The most important aspect in this initial phase of our journey has been the people we have met on our numerous trips. We got opportunities to interact with some of the most knowledged and dedicated nature-lovers as well as novices who are starting their journey like us. We also met a number of great photographers and learnt a lot from their images on the India Nature Watch forum. Lastly, maintaining this blog has given us enormous pleasure. We try to provide information so that it can be useful to anybody who wants to visit the same place.

We still have a couple of reports of 2007 coming up soon – Daroji Bear Sanctuary and Dandeli/Ganeshgudi. We hope that 2008 is as fruitful and enjoyable as the past year and we wish all the same.