On June 28th, we joined Alwan, Sreeraj, Mandar and Shrikant for a trip to the Jayamangali Blackbuck Sanctuary in Maidenahalli. The sanctuary is around 140 kms from Bangalore. We left very early at 4am. Supposedly, it is easy to get lost on the way but the others had been there before so it we reached the place easily at around 7am.

Most blackbucks we saw were in the grasslands before entering the reserve gates. They are very skittish and run away at the first sight of humans. We realized later that they best way to photograph them was probably from within the car itself.

Later we came across the carcass of a male backbuck. The body seemed fresh (suggesting a recent death) and did not have any wounds/marks. We could not ascertain the cause of its death. As we waited, a pack of dogs (7-10) started circling this body and one started feeding on the body. We were wondering whether the dogs had killed the blackbuck. Later, experienced INW members suggested that the death could be because of the snake bite. Apparently, dogs are known to chase blackbucks but they can’t physically overpower an adult blackback. They do manage to kill/maul fawns though.

While stalking a group of blackbucks to get a decent image, Sachin saw a fox run across the grassland. He managed to get a few record shots as it paused momentarily before disappearing into the bushes. As he went into the bushes in search of the fox, he came across two black-naped hares. The fox was not seen again though.

We were hoping to see some raptors but were not very lucky. Just managed brief sightings of the Egyptian Vultures (circling over the carcass) and a solitary White-eyed Buzzard. We left the sanctuary in the afternoon and reached Bangalore in the evening. It was tiring but a very satisfactory trip.

1 Response to “Maidenahalli”

  1. September 22, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Nice pics as usual, Sachin and Neelu! We were quite inspired to visit this place, that is, until we saw the directions :) Saving it for another day. Is there a season to visit?

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July 2008

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