Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Singara - Masinagudi

After birding at TG hali, it was almost 10 am when we proceeded towards Bandipur National park and we there reached by afternon after mandatory stops for food and fuel in between. The safari ride in Bandipur was uneventful and the conditions being heavily overcast did not help.
It was past 6pm when we reached the Singara checkpost. Route taken is Bandipura-Theppakadu-Masinagudi (right turn at circle)-Singara check post. From here private vehicles are not allowed and our homestay person had arranged for a jeep to pick us up. From there the homestay is hardly about 3-4 kms but as there is absolutely no road a 4WD vehicle is mandatory to reach there and its all the more difficult during monsoons.
As it was completely dark, we did not realize where we are but could sense thick woods all around :)
I was up early morning to find greenery all around and couple of isolated buildings in the near vicinity and with the constant calls of the peafowl all around. A nice way to begin your day! Sitting in the backside open verandah, I was openly gazing into the forests looking out for birds and any mammal movement. Before even I realized a lone Indian Gaur made its appearance and exit in an instant. Spotted Deers were all around the homestay and the estate in large numbers.
After a brief session of birding around the place, we went for a small trek inside the estate and into the virgin forests of singara and we were back with bountiful leeches stuck all over our legs (so far probably the highest no of bites I had and the max quantity of blood donated)!
Back at the place and a heavy breakfast later, it was birding again till lunchtime as we ventured into the tea / pepper plantation nearby. Elephants / Gaur are common here and we were unlucky not to bump into any of them!
After lunch and some rest, our evening plans of a safari at Anekatti went for a toss because of the heavy overnight rains and we had to just be content whiling away time around the place that we are experts in doing :) A long evening as darkness envelops very fast with hardly the sun being visible from the past couple of days.
Next day all of us were up early, sitting in the verandah and watching the bird activity and listening to their calls. Again trekked for a couple of hours and this time we were back seeing a fresh tiger pug mark close to the homestay, hardly within a radius of 1 km! Surprisingly the sun was out better than before, but bird activity was very evasive either high up in the trees or in the thick bushes around.

After breakfast, we were dropped off the Singara checkpost in the jeep and then only we got to see what was the path that we actually took while coming in. Wish I had a 4WD vehicle with me... From there it was an uneventful journey back home...

Bird checklist:
Streak throated Woodpecker
Black rumped Woodpecker
White cheeked Barbet
Asian fairy bluebird
Black headed Cuckoo Shrike
Spotted Dove
Indian Robin
Blue tailed Parakeet
Rose ringed Parakeet
Indian Robin
Yellow Wagtail
Brahminy Mynah
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