Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ganeshgudi in March


Well, we never need an invitation or a reason to visit the JLR Old Magazine House camp at Ganeshgudi, all that we need is just an excuse. That came in the form of Parshuram, caretaker there calling me on a casual note and he mentioned about the Indian Pitta that was all over the place.

That’s it!

I didn’t need any further excuses; conveyed the same to my team and luckily all of them agreed as it was just for a day’s stay leaving home the Friday night and returning back on Monday morning. Another reason was that, we had never been there in March and this was a good time to explore the bird life in March.

Prior to this, our visits to this place has been in July, Sep, Oct, Nov, Jan and now Mar thus completing 6 months in a year when we have been here. Hope I add another 3 months to the list this year :)

We took the train route this time again booking tickets on the Rani Chennamma express to Londa from where Ganeshgudi is about 20 odd kms. Nag, as usual acting notorious nowadays booked his own tickets by bus and chose to travel alone. As the train stopped mid way, a beautiful sunrise greeted us along with the wishes of the commonly seen birds. Notably this time, the train was late and we missed the connecting bus to Ganeshgudi and were late in reaching the camp and finally had our breakfast late! Being March, we expected the weather to be harsh but were surprised by the cool weather early in the day and moderate weather throughout the day. Sumeet Moghe, an NTPian (http://www.learninggeneralist.com/) was there a day before us and had gone to Goa for the Zuari River birding cruise.

From here on, normal schedule of the team was in place; eat, drink and sleep happily and my schedule was to sit in the open porch with my cameras by the side and served with regular cups of tea. In between all of us went for a couple of walks during the day and also in the night to sight anything if possible. When you look up from the place where there is hardly any pollution or noise, you get to see a lovely wonderful sky with stars all over shining bright in competition; you can just keep gazing over it for hours together!

Birding or Bird watching wise, we were treated by the Indian Pitta show for the entire period we were there and also by the Emerald doves and the Blue capped Rock Thrush. Personally, I have always been a fan of the colorful Indian Pitta (also known as Navranga) having those vibrant bright colors and those musical song notes and I was more than happy only to shoot this one the whole day. The Emerald doves were much more willing this time and came in multiples to see us and we were treated to a bonus sighting of 3 individuals together at once. The Blue capped Rock Thrush was another show stopper when I caught him unawares on the ground and I had to kneel and crawl and he obliged till my back started aching badly and I had to move around that made him fly.

Now, the photos will start and they will they what a gala of a time we had there and note this may run into a couple of posts :)

Bird checklist:-
Indian Pitta
Emerald Dove
Malabar Whistling Thrush
Malabar Parakeet
Chestnut Tailed Starling
Blyth’s Starling
Puff Throated Babbler
Dark Fronted Babbler
White Rumped Shama
Malabar Whistling Thrush
Malabar Trogon
Vernal Hanging Parrot
Rose Ringed Parakeet
Green Bee Eater
Chestnut headed Bee Eater
Brown Cheeked Fulvetta
White bellied Blue Flycatcher
Asian Paradise Flycatcher
Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher
Asian brown Flycatcher
Black Naped Monarch Flycatcher
Verditter Flycatcher
Blue capped Rock Thrush
Orange Headed Thrush
Black headed Munia
Golden Fronted Leafbird
Purple rumped Sunbird
Crimson backed Sunbird
Malabar Grey Hornbill
Malabar Pied Hornbill
Velvet fronted Nuthatch
Black Drongo
Racquet tailed Drongo
Orange Minivet
Yellow browd Bulbul
Red Whiskered Bulbul
Red Vented Bulbul
Great Tit
Common Iora
Black lored Yellow Tit
Blyth’s Reed Warbler
Nilgiri Flowerpecker
Greater Flameback Woodpecker
Heart spotted Woodpecker
Common Kingfisher
White breasted Kingfisher
Crested Goshawk

And, as we were just about to leave, we came across this little Green Vine Snake wobbly making its way across, he was very mild and let us click him in patience!

Wait for the loads of photo posts :)
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