Trip Reports
Bird Sanctuaries > To the wonderful world of birds
Posted by niranjana. on November 30, 2011
 Thattekkad bird sanctury is a very important bird sanctury in kerala situated in Eranakulam district.
Our nature camp in 2011-2012 is to here which is known by the name of Salim Ali.
                                 On 17th November our team(26 students & 5 teachers) started the journey at 9 am.At 11 am we see 
kerala kalamandalam and reached thattekkad at 3.30 pm.One nature camp is not only the trekking.It has many levels.
Fist level is inaguration.We are very lucky to that we got Dr.R.Sugathan sir to inagurate our camp.He worked 16 years
with Salim Ali.
                               Our first duty is self discribtion.All said about their name,house,hoby,ambition and for what we have came to thattekkad.
Next camp convenor Sivadasan sir divided us into three groups.First group SALIM ALI wanted to write about five birds .
Second group(including me) HORN BILL  got trees and third group CEYLON FROGMOUTH got medicinal plants.
After dinner first day ended.
                              Next day morning at 8.00 am our trekking started.First our eyes stukked at the trees and plants.
Next at the birds.To watch birds,we divided to two batches.First team(including me) reached on the top of a rock.
10-20 hill maina flied three times around us.It was an amazing scene.
                     There are four type hornbills.We see Malabar grey horn bill(Ocyceros griseus) on the top of a tree.We can see the changes 
arond that we endered to semi ever green forest.We can see the very rare bird ceylon frogmouth.Ceylon frogmouth!
It wondered all of us.It has the color of dry leafs.We can only see malabar giant squirell in animals.But we are very lucky 
that we can see many birds including hornbill,Rose winged parakeet,Grackle,Emaraled dove,Oriole,Paradise fly catcher.
In the way,we reached a watc tower.But it is not very taller.We can see the mysterious beauty of forest in around of the watch tower.
                          In the bank of periyar we can see the pugmark of porcupine.After a 15 minutes walk we reched the top 
of a hill.We can see the bridge near our doormitory.We can see Munnar hills in one side and Malayatoor hills in the other side.
Truely it is a 'view point'.then we walk through a teak plantation.At 1.00 pm we reached doormitory.After the lunch,it is time to
talk with Dr.Sugathan sir.He talk us about the history of thattekkad.In 1933-s  Salim Ali visit this place and knew about its biodiversity.
Class was in the outside of doormitory.So we can see paradise fly catcher and Malabar grey horn bill on the branches of trees.
At night Jey sir lectured us on the jobs in the forest department.
                         Last day of the camp we went to see inter pretation centre.We also see Medicinal plants garden and some animals .
Concluding cerymony is inagurated by Sugathan sir. At last all of us got  tree saplings .       
                        ''We go to forest not merely to see wild animals.
                          Such journeys should be for imbibing the wild
                          and free feeling of wilderness''
   This quoting is absalutely correct in the view of our trip.

Little Known Destinations > Magical beauty of forest
Posted by abhirami on October 21, 2011
Last week I went to Periyar tiger reserve,Idukki in Kerala.I got a chance to participate in the statelevel quiz compitetion which belongs to the wildlife week celebrations.
The quiz competition was on 8 october.Kerala Forest,sports,cinema minister K.B.GANESH KUMAR inagurate the function.It is really a new experience to me.
                     We had started our journey from Unniyal,Palakkad.We went to Kumily through Vagamon route.Vagmon is a beutifull place which have green meadows.When we reach Kumily
we got lovely welcome from forest officers.Next day we went to Tekkady lake and watch the magical beauty of forest.We saw Malabar Giant Squirell and bonnet monkey in the forest.
Evening,we went to chellar kovil medu,where we can see the majesty of western ghats.In the route from Kumily to Kambam(Tamil nadu)there is a piece of protected forest area.
That dense forest's mysterious beauty make us attract in to it.
                     Next day morning,we left Kumily and went back through Ramachal Medu,Painavu,Idukki.We passed Idukki wild life sanctury in our way.Anyway,this journey helps me
to realise the beauty of forest.
Little Known Destinations > north India Birding Tour With Ghani
Posted by Ghanshyam singh (Ghani) on October 17, 2011

Unexpected India 2010: Haryana and Uttar Pradesh with Ghani(GS)

 

Introduction:

 

Where

From 2nd to 18th April 2010 myself and seven friends were engaged on a superbly successful birding trip around Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in the very capable hands of James Eaton of Birdtour Asia (www.birdtourasia.com). Full details of this trip are available as a report on the Birdtour Asia Website.

 

After leaving Assam, four of us were due to transit via Delhi before continuing back to the UK, however Eyjafjallajökull Volcano had other plans and the now infamous ash cloud meant that we suddenly had a week to kill in the vicinity of Delhi. Our hastily planned route took us first to Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary for the chance to catch up with Sind Sparrow, and then up into the Himalayan Foothills of Naini Tal, Sat Tal, Pangot, Ramnagar and Corbett.

 

When

The Naini Tal area is traditionally a winter destination and we knew that our spring visit would miss various key seasonal species which winter at lower elevations in the Himalayas. This proved to be the case, however several Long-billed Thrushes were still lingering and summering Spot-winged Starlings had arrived. More importantly, Rufous-chinned Laughing-Thrush appeared on cue and both Koklass and Cheer Pheasants performed magnificently.

 

It is interesting to note that ‘Birdquest’ missed both of the latter species in December 2009, so a Spring visit would certainly seem to bring certain advantages. Hopefully this short report will provide an insight into what the Himalayan Foothills have to offer in a brief April visit.

 

 

Daily Diary:

 

Sunday 18th April

Prior to our departure from Assam, news of the Icelandic volcano and the disruption to West European travel had already started to filter through, however it was not until we reached Delhi that the full magnitude of the situation became apparent. As soon as we knew that our British Airways flight to Heathrow on April 19th was cancelled we put plans into place to visit Sultanpur Jheels early the next morning.

 

The unexpected opportunity to visit Sultanpur provided a second bite of a cherry which had been cruelly denied to us the previous December. At our last attempt delayed flights meant that we only had half an hour at this excellent site after travelling up from Nagpur, and we saw the range-restricted Sind Sparrow slip through our fingers as the daylight faded.

 

Monday 19th April

At 05.00 a very smart air-conditioned minibus awaits Andy Deighton, Martin Flack, Andy Bunting and myself, outside the Star Hotel. It is an hour-and-a-half drive to Sultanpur Jheels, which is actually in the adjacent Haryana State, and Guide(GS)  with a good knowledge of the area is essential.

Fortunately our man is suitably clued up and soon the ‘Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary’ signs start to appear. At the leafy Sanctuary car park , the local guide to whom we have been introduced just four months previously. GS informs us that our target Sind Sparrow is actually present and breeding, but outside the reserve. A ten kilometre ride to the south therefore delivers us to Basi, an area of arable land and sewage ponds where we while away the next two hours with some great birding.

 

Initially our walk takes us through recently harvested cereal fields, where we are thankful that the temperature is still relatively cool under a low, hazy sun. An early success is a group of 7 migrant Red-headed Buntings, with males sporting full rufous-fronted breeding regalia. Breeding plumaged Red Avadavats and smart Black Francolins add to the excitement of this unexpected morning of birding in a total different environment from that enjoyed during our previous two week’s travels. Ashy-crowned Finch-Larks, Oriental Skylarks and Tawny Pipits feed beside the track, while Booted and Indian Reed Warblers forage in the bushes, and Grey Francolins scamper through the dry fields.

 

In the adjacent sewage ponds Black-winged Stilts wade, as large flocks of Ruff wheel above and Wood Sandpipers ‘chiff’ excitedly. Small numbers of Temminck’s Stink and Black-tailed Godwits feed in the newly flooded paddies, as half-a-dozen Black-naped Ibis and several Greater Flamingos work the sewage pond shallows, all adding up to quite an impressive spectacle.

 

Our goal, however, is the Sind Sparrow, a somewhat enigmatic species whose very restricted range that has recently extended south from the Indus Floodplains. It doesn’t take long for Sanjay to locate a pair of the subtle Passers, which are feeding young in an unseen nest at the best of a dense bush overhanging the sewage canal. Patience allows the study this close ally of the House Sparrow, and ultimately delivers some close photographic opportunities.

 

Next we travel back to Sultanpur, though we miss out the reserve and concentrate on the dry land behind, where a pair each of Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse and stately Sarus Cranes are soon located. It takes a more determined search, below a fierce mid-morning sun, before we secure our final target in the form of three magnificent Indian Coursers.

 

 

Our driver is Bola, who proves to be superbly competent at the wheel of his immaculate Toyota Innova, even in the face of the total mayhem which is Delhi’s rush-hour traffic. A storm of marble-sized hail stones is a shock to both us and Delhi’s local commuters, and seems incredible in the near-fifty-degree heat.

 

After leaving the sprawling capital we make more rapid progress on good roads, with a sunset stop at the Ganges breaking our journey and providing an incredibly atmospheric evening spectacle across India’s most sacred river. Dozens of bathers gather in the shallows, where floating tea lights bob downstream on the slow current. Further down the bank several funeral pyres flicker in the dimming, misty light, flanked by large gatherings of mourners; this really is a true taste of Indian life and provides one of the most vivid and moving visions of our travels.

 

It is dark before we begin to climb into the foothills, where the cereal fields give way to roadside forest. It takes a full seven hours from Delhi to reach the Sat Tal , a wonderful high altitude sanctuary where we will spend the next two nights. A superb meal awaits us, then we rapidly retire to the wonderfully cool luxury tented accommodation which could not contrast more greatly with the sweaty Star Hotel where we have spent the previous night.

 

Tuesday 20th April

After an appetising early breakfast we set off down the road which leads to Sat Tal Lake. At 1400m the temperature under the clear sky is reminiscent of a summer’s day in the UK, as we work our way through bird-laden pines and deciduous woodland. Orange-headed Thrush, Grey-winged Blackbird and Blue-capped Rock-Thrush get us started, along with Green-backed, Grey and Black-throated Tits and some stunningly close views of the gorgeous Black-headed Jays which are garden birds here.

 

Grey-hooded and Greenish Warblers are the common Phylloscs, while Streaked Laughing-Thrushes, Grey Treepies and Plum-headed Parakeets are all plentiful. Scaly-bellied and Brown-fronted Woodpeckers feed in the trees, and Bar-tailed Treecreepers spiral up mossy trunks. The appearance of a pair of Spot-winged Starlings, nectaring in a flowering tree, is a source of great excitement, as this east-to-west Himalayan migrant is a tick for all.

 

Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Long-tailed Minivet, Asian Brown and Blue-throated Flycatchers, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Tickell’s Thrush and Striated Prinia all add up to a memorable couple of hours in close proximity to the Lodge. Mid-morning our bird guide appears, in the shape of GS. Over the next week Ghani as he becomes known, proves to be both a first class bird-finder and a great companion, with his Himalayan experience proving invaluable.

 

Descending towards the lake, new species continue to appear thick-and-fast in what can only be described as a phenomenally bird-rich area. Speckled Piculet, Western Crowned Warbler, Black-lored Tit and Ashy Bulbul are noted, along with the very distinctive bispecularis race of Eurasian Jay with its plain crown and lack of white wing patch. Striated, White-crested and White-throated Laughing-Thrushes are all seen, but the stars are a pair of stunning Rufous-chinned Laughing-Thrushes; unbelievably they are our eighteenth species of laughing-thrush of this extended trip.

 

Sulphur-bellied and Tickell’s Leaf-Warblers, Red-billed Blue Magpie, a showy Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler and a magnificent roosting Brown Wood Owl end a superb morning of Western Himalayan birding. Coincidentally, we have all independently visited the area up to twenty years previously, but things really seem to have changed; I don’t remember it being this birdy last time around!

 

After a fine lunch at the Lodge we travel the short distance down to Kachi Temple, a scenic if somewhat bizarre spot in the pine-clad hills, beside a beautiful babbling stream. Here a gaudily painted Hindu Temple blasts out a relentless ‘Hare Krishna’ chant, and has attracted a small attendant throng of white western would-be Hindus!

 

The crossing point to the temple affords spectacularly close views of Plumbeous and White-capped Redstarts, as well as an obliging pair of Crested Kingfishers. Our goal does not materialise, however, and we set off down the stream without a Long-billed Thrush, fearing that it has already departed its wintering haunt. Brown Dipper and a superb Spotted Forktail conclude the afternoon, then it’s back to the Lodge via a session in the local PCOs (telephone call boxes), to find out the latest flight and volcano gossip.

 

Wednesday 21st April

Our 05.30 breakfast is a positive lie-in after the NE India regime, then it’s back down to Kachi Temple to sample the latest Hare Krishna soundtrack. The birding is much a repeat of the previous evening, and we are about to leave when an exciting Ghani appears, waving his arms frantically and offering an exaggerated ‘long-bill’ gesticulation! It can mean only one thing, and a short sprint soon has us peering down onto one of the best thrushes there is. Resembling something of a weird amalgamation of thrush, terrestrial babbler and curlew, the incredible beast rummages through the bank-side litter just a few metres below us, allowing exceptional views of this normally shy species.

 

The rest of our time in the valley produces the standard fare of Crested Kingfisher, Spotted Forktail, Striated Prinia, Booted Warbler and Steppe Eagle. Then we set off to the west and our next destination of Pangot, via a visit to Naini Tal for the internet and telephones. This really is a trip down memory lane, as the thriving hill resort was our main base when we were last here in the early 1990s, and the famous boating late and its surrounds bring back many happy recollections.

 

Beyond the bustle of Naini Tal, we ascend further into a much more rural setting, where the tiny hamlet of Pangot sits between oak forest and terraced fields, at the head of a beautiful valley. After settling into our excellent chalet accommodation at the Jungle Lore Birding Lodge, and feasting on yet another superb meal, we are back in the field, this time for a steady downhill walk amongst the magnificent scenery of the Bagar Valley.

 

Afternoon birds include Black Francolin, many dazzling Blue-capped Rock-Thrushes, Striated Prinias, White-capped Bunting, Common Rosefinches, Greenish, Sulphur-bellied, Hume’s Leaf and Blyth’s Reed Warblers. The calls of Indian, Common and Oriental Cuckoos all echo down the valleys, along with those of our old friend from Arunachal Pradesh, Common Hill Partridge. It certainly isn’t the best time of year to bird this area, as the wintering specialities have departed to their high altitude breeding grounds and summer visitors to this elevation are somewhat thin on the ground, but it really is a spectacular setting in which to wander and we return for our evening cuisine in a very contented frame of mind.

 

Back at the chalet a small but menacing black scorpion has climbed the wall amongst the conglomeration of moths which are attracted to the lights. After coaxing him into a more photogenic pose we all make a mental note to check our boots for unwelcome visitors in the morning!

 

Thursday 22nd April

With pheasants firmly in our sights we eat early and set off towards the village of Vinyak, situated at an altitude of around 2300m. As we pass extensive work-in-progress, to pave the narrow track which winds through the mixed forest, the chances of catching up with a roadside pheasant seem to grow remote. Chestnut-crowned Laughing-Thrush, Himalayan Pied Woodpecker and a reunion with the Whiskered Yuhinas are all welcome, a pair of Kaleej Pheasants faintly raises hopes, and then the sudden appearance of a displaying Koklass Pheasants within a few metres of the track causes excitement within the car to reach new bounds.

 

Over the next twenty minutes, skilful manoeuvring of the car and even more skilful manoeuvring of cameras, scopes and bodies within the vehicular hide secure some mouth-watering footage of a pair of magnificent Koklass Pheasants, as the male repeatedly calls from his chosen low perch. Having secured one pheasant target, the remainder of the morning is spent scouring the nearby steep grassy slopes for Cheer Pheasant, an even more sought-after Galliform confined to the Western Himalayas.

 

Himalayan Griffon Vultures and Lammergiers keep us entertained with spectacular fly-pasts, and streaky Upland Pipits perform song flights from rocky pinnacles, but the Cheer Pheasants fail to materialise before we retire for lunch in the heat of the day. The afternoon birding session consists of a similar bout of scanning, as we all slowly become more and more intimate with every pheasant-shaped tussock and crag on the vast sloping hillside.

 

The certain highlight of the evening is the appearance of a magnificent Yellow-throated Martin, which proceeds to bound through the sparse grassland below us, possibly in search of a gamebird supper. We return to the Lodge where the day has one more surprise in store, for AD at least. Today the old chap is fifty, and to add to the ‘Birthday Pheasant’ he has already received, the staff roll out a fine birthday cake, complete with iced name and candles!

 

Friday 23rd April

Today we are at the Vinyak Cheer Pheasant site to see the sun rise, in order to maximise the chances of connecting with our last remaining target bird. We have only just stepped out of the car at the allotted viewpoint when Ghani exclaims that he has a pair of Cheer Pheasants! Even more amazing is the fact that they are not on a distant slope as we had expected, but literally right next to the road just a few hundred metres back towards the village. They are in fact so close that Ghani dashes back to prevent them escaping uphill and away, while several of us sprint off in pursuit, before cameras blaze in honour of these absolutely stunning birds.

 

For five minutes we soak up every intricate plumage detail as the pair scamper through the sparse brown grass and over the loose rocks just metres below us, before they lose patience of all the attention and launch into a glide path which takes them way down the valley; simply stunning.

 

A Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush is the only other notebook entry for the early morning, before we return for a final scrumptious breakfast at the lodge. Here we also take the opportunity to capture some of the incredibly photogenic occupants of the terraced gardens, such as Black-headed Jay, Streaked Laughing-Thrush, Russet Sparrow and Tickell’s Leaf-Warbler.

 

The rest of the morning is taken up in the descent to the lower altitude sites where we will spend the remainder of our stay. As we pass Naini Tal some entertainment is had with the long brass telescopes available for hire to scan the distant Himalayas, as we ponder how many Rupees we can amass by doing the same with our Kowas and Swarovskis!

 

It is already very hot by the time we arrive at the Kosi River Barrage below Ramnagar Town, yet another site with many fond memories from previous trips, this time of Ibisbills, Wallcreepers and chronic food poisoning! Although such wintering species are long gone by April, Streak-throated Swallows are nesting on the barrage, Ruddy Shelduck loaf on the river and a pair of Painted Snipe shelter from the heat at the water’s edge.

 

After checking in at the superb Tarangi Lodge, where our chalet accommodation overlooks the Kosi River, we head upstream to check for roosting Tawny Fish-Owls. The owls are more reliable in the winter months and cannot be located, but Large-tailed Nightjar, Common Hawk Cuckoo and a surprise Long-billed Thrush all oblige.

 

With an afternoon game drive booked it’s soon time to return to our hotel, where an open-backed jeep awaits to whiz us off to Corbett Tiger Reserve. Entering via the Bijarani Gate we follow a rough track through a mixture dry Sal Forest and open grassland, notching up a fine selection of birds and mammals as we drive. Jungle Babbler, Indian Grey Hornbill, Jungle Owlet and Collared Falconet are all welcome trip ticks, while Red Muntjac, Cheetal, Sambar and Asian Elephant help fill up our scant remaining camera memory card space. Black Stork, Chestnut-shouldered Petronia, Crested Bunting, Black Francolin and some superbly-plumages Peacocks round off the listing, along with a Indian Grey Mongoose, as we make our way out of the park.

 

The restaurant at Tarangi Lodge conjures up what has to be the finest cuisine of a trip notable for its culinary excellence, providing a fitting end to a very memorable day.

 

Saturday 24th April

This morning’s dawn game drive is to commence at Corbett’s Jhirna Gate, a forty-five minute drive from the hotel. The habitat is a familiar mixture of Sal and grassland, but this area is reputedly the best for finding Tiger and the multitude of fresh prints which litter the dusty dirt roads are certainly testament to a healthy population. Eyes remain glued to every bend in the road, willing an encounter with the stripy head of the forest food-chain, but our luck has clearly been exhausted on pheasants.

 

Fresh Sloth Bear tracks are also seen, but we have to be content with the usual variety of deer, another Indian Grey Mongoose, along with Indian Golden Oriole, Himalayan Flameback, White-rumped Shama, Puff-throated Babbler, Bay-backed Shrike and Brahmany Myna. Particularly memorable are the highly photogenic colony of gorgeous Blue-tailed Bee-Eaters which are busily digging holes right next to the track. Booted Eagle and White-rumped Vulture pad out the raptor list as we vacate the Park, at which point a bearing fails on our jeep, leaving us to limp to a village chai stall to await a replacement. Things could be much worse however, as we sip fine massala chai, whilst photographing the local Plum-headed Parakeets, Wrynecks, Indian Rollers and Blyth’s Reed Warblers.

 

Eventually we are rescued for a late brunch at Tarangi, with the remainder of the day being spent up river in the company of Brown Fish-Owls, White-browed Wagtails, Chestnut-tailed Starlings and Brown Dippers, beside the tranquil boulder-strewn flanks of the Kosi River.

 

Sunday 25th April

With few options left to play out the final morning of our extended trip, Ghani suggests a trip to Ramganger, a rural resort on the higher reaches of the Kosi River. Our morning walk at this scenic spot commences by crossing the impressive suspension bridge, before following a track high above the winding course of the river. Birding is rather uneventful, until we eventually pull the desired Lesser Fish Eagle out of the bag, and AD gets his final raptor fix of the trip!

 

A return to Tarangi sees up dining, packing our bags and warmly thanking the Ghani(GS) for making our unexpected trip extension such a success. Then it’s just a matter of seven hours in the car and we are back at Delhi Airport, where thankfully BA have our names on four spare seats.

 

The ‘Eyjafjallajökull Extension’ has been a remarkable success, and special thanks must certainly be extended to GS, who ensured that everything ran smoothly in spite having virtually no advance warning of our arrival.And Ghani proved to be a first class guide and turned into a personal friend through the course of our travels, whilst Balraj was a chauffeur par excellence! We would certainly recommend Ghani(GS), without hesitation, to anyone planning future travels anywhere on the North INDIA.

 

It could be said that every ash cloud does have a silver lining!

 

Ian Merrill                                                                                                                      May 2010 i.merrill@btopenworld.com                   http://uk.geocities.com/i.merrill@btopenworld.com/default.htm

Bird Sanctuaries > Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary
Posted by Sharad Agrawal on September 02, 2011

Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary near Bassi in Chittorgarh district of Rajasthan, India.

5 kilometers from the Bassi Fort Palace.

1.5 hours of small journey from nearest Airport Maharana Pratap Air Port , Dabok , udaipur

It covers an area of 15,290 hectares and was established in 1988.

It has series of tableland, gentle slopes and vast stretches of large lakes, water channels of which penetrate into the forest.

Placed itself at the backdrop of lush green forests of Vindhyachal ranges, it is a noticeable wild life protection place, providing a natural habitat for varied species of wild life.

Orai dam and Bassi dam form part of this nice wildlife sanctuary. Antelopes, Leopards, mongoose and wild boar are some of animals inhabit the sanctuary.

Many migratory birds are spotted in the seasons.

No doubt, it’s a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.

 

Our one day experience to sanctuary was mind blogging ..as per photography level it was quite challenging that day because of heavy clouds..

 

01. Rock Eagle Owl or Bengal Eagle Owl (Bubo bengalensis)

02. Lesser Golden-backed Woodpecker (Dinopium benghalense )

03. Savanna Nightjar, Caprimulgus affinis...ID nor confirmed..

04. Indian Pitta, Pitta brachyura

05. Jungle cat (Felis chaus)

06. Blue Bull

07. White-eyed Buzzard (Butastur teesa)

08. Painted Spurfowl (Galloperdix lunulata)

09. Black Francolin, Francolinus francolinus

10. Black-headed Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina melanoptera)

11. Asian Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)

12. Oriental White-eye, Zosterops palpebrosus

13. Knob-billed Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos)

14. Lesser Whistling Duck

15. Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)

16. Asian Openbill Stork, Anastomus oscitans

17. Asian Brown Flycatcher, Muscicapa dauurica

18. Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)

19. Rufous Treepie (Dendrocitta vagabunda)

20. Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)

21. Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)

22. Shikra (Accipiter badius)

23. Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

24. Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Pterocles exustus

25. Brown Fish-owl (Bubo zeylonensis or Ketupa zeylonensis)

22. Oriental Honey Buzzard, Pernis ptilorhynchus

23. Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela)

24. Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala)

25. Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)

26. Indian Peafowl or Blue Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)

27. Rufous-tailed Lark (Ammomanes phoenicura)

28. Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis

29. White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)

30. Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)

31. Spotted Owlet (Athene brama)

 

& ETC ETC ETC...

 

Last not least KING OF SAARNA( LEOPARD) from Rishiraj Deval...

 

For snaps from sanctuary plz look at the link bellow

 

http://www.indianaturewatch.net/view_cat.php?tag=BASSI%20WILDLIFE%20SANCTUARY

 

For more details on BASSI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY plz call shri Rishiraj Deval ..his cell no. are +91 7891100000

 

Regards & regrets for mistakes

 

Sharad Agrawal

with many more to explore yet..

Bird Sanctuaries > bhandhavgarh..
Posted by ashish on August 27, 2011
 i was go to bhandhavgarh it was so good...
Little Known Destinations > a trip to north-east forests.....
Posted by shayan ghosh on April 13, 2011
it's about the forests in jalpaiguri,west bengal.....gorumara,chapramari,chilapota,jaldapara..........lots of greens,lesser no of big cats,huge no of elephants.........as these places are not so famous compared to other forests like-corbett,bandhavgarh etc.,they are not hugely effected by our so called "tourism" & "civilization"......there is also a tiger rescue centre in khayerberi......still can't understand why those leapords are still not sent to jungles,although they have overcome from thier injuries,after being looked after for so many years....is it for tourists???don't know...
National Parks > kanha
Posted by amit sharma on March 25, 2011
i have visit to kanha national park 2 times.i want the save trees and tigers on worldwide level
National Parks > Birding Trips in MP
Posted by Uday on March 05, 2011

I work as freelance birding guide to North India, Chambal, Bharatpur, Nainital, Corbett, Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh. Here are my observations at various places.      


Find checklists of birds of Jabalpur, Kanha, Nauradehi, Amarkantak situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Most of these are less known less explored but fantastic birding destinations. Can add to sighting of different avi fauna and add to your lists. The tiger reserves offer double benefits - Birding and Animal Watching...Tigers and birds together


Madhya Pradesh Birds
National Parks > Bandhavgarh National park
Posted by Ashwin Gijare on March 01, 2011
Had a great time in Bandhavgarh. After visting other parks like Corbett, Kanha and Ranthambore, where the tiger sightings were not great, Bandhavgarh carried lots for expectations for me. Had read, watched and heard about this jungle being the best place to spot a tiger properly and clearly it never disappointed me.

Right from the moment we entered our resort ( located right next to the boundary ), we were hopeful. Immediately met a guest in the resort who had just returned from morning safari and spotted and followed the tiger for 10 mins.

Our resort was nestled in 21 acres of raw forest with rooms being built on the trees. Truly marvellous experience of staying in the traquility and privacy. The resort had only 5 tree houses in the entire property and no room where visible from any of the tree houses. staff was also polite and gave us good service.

Our first safari ( evening ) wasnt great as we failed to spot any of the tigers. We didnt even come close to it. However, we were hopeful.

At night we were woken up by a loud sound of a tiger roaring very nearby. It was precedded and followed by multiple alarm calls from Sambar and Langurs.  For the first time we actually heard proper alarm calls at night. We had heard isolated alarm calls of Sambar at Kanha before. But this was different. The next morning,the resort staff informed us that it was a tigress and sound was coming right behind the boundary of our tree!!!!

Morning safari was good. Typically like in Bandhavgarh, there was a tiger show. The forest dept has elephants with mahuts who track the tigers in the jungle. Once the tigers lay on the ground, people are taken on the same elephants to see the tiger. We reached the centre point ( forest office ) inside the park and were informed about tiger show being happening on route D. We immediately rushed to the spot where the forest officer was organizing the same. Our sighting was good. Three tigers ( a mother and her grownup cubs ) were lying near a hill. Our elephant took us right next to the tiger and we took some wonderful closeup photos.

The tigers were just unconcerned by our presence and were lying at leisure. Once back at the resort we took a tour of the resort in the afternoon. Believe me, the resort had a private natural watering hole where animals could be spotted. Our guide,the resort watchman had his own version of exciting stories about the tiger. Me, my wife and even our 2 yr old kid walked the entire 3 KM stretch in dense forest. I have to say this was the best jungle resort I have stayed in.

Again during the morning safari next day, we spotted two tigers immediately as we entered the park. All the safari vehicles who had entered the park that morning got proper sighting of that male and female. However, distance was bit long. After 15 mins, the female walked away followed by the male. But everyone was satisfied.

All in all, trip to Bandhavgarh was good. I will recomment this jungle only for tiger sightings. Other animals are not in abundance and hence its all about tigers. We saw 5 tigers in two days whereas in other three jungles put together we just spotted 2 tigers only. The jungle is not beautiful like Corbett, nor is full of different species like Kanha. However, you can be rest assured about one thing. A good tiger sighting. This is a comment coming from me who has visited 3 jungles before this and had done 10 safaris and never had a good view of a tiger. Bandhavgarh was my last option and it didnt disappoint me at all!!!!!
Little Known Destinations > Dalhousie - My First Love!
Posted by Ms Pintueli Gajjar on February 17, 2011

Dalhousie - my first love



Dalhousie was … Love at first sight! I had never before visited this part of the Himalayas and, I fell hook, line and sinker for it! I thought it was the perfect place to gather all the pieces of my life together…It would be a good place for me to get my spiritual and emotional self back…It was a fabulous place for my children to spend their childhood in…And for all that I know, it was. I have spent 4 of the best years of my life here – teaching at the Hill Top School in Upper Bakhrota.


Dalhousie, established in 1854, is spread out on five beautiful hills and is surrounded by dense forests, deep valleys and from some point down, on a clear day, one can see the mighty river Ravi flowing down to Pakistan. It lies comfortably between 6000 to 9000 ft above sea level. There are only 3 main roads here – Garam Sadak, Thandi Sadak and, the Court road. The first two go around the first hill and the second one goes down the other smaller hill, where the Sacred Heart convent sits at the top. A fourth road goes around the convent back to Subhash chowk. It is designed as the loop of 8.


The Court road goes all the way down to the pump house and towards my friend’s house. There’s a little garden across her house where one can sit and watch the sun set and the Ravi river snaking down the valley. It’s a beautiful place where one can even forget one’s existence.


The Garam sadak starts from Subhash chowk to Gandhi chowk and is a wide, sunny motorable road. The right side is lined with shops while the left side has the hotels overlooking the valley down to Bathri and Jhandri Ghati. Gandhi chowk is the hub of the town where the GPO and most of the shops and eateries lie. It is always crowded with the locals, tourists and the taxi drivers. And occasionally, hordes of langurs! (Both the varieties – with and without tails!) A few meters away is the famous yoga institute, the Dakshina Murti.


On the other hand, the Thandi sadak is a pleasant walk around the hill. It is much quieter and cooler as it is shaded by the numerous trees lining the sides. A few hotels have sprung up recently but otherwise, it is nice to walk and one can see the old part of the town below. From Subhash chowk, one can either take the Court road or take the steps down to the Sadar bazaar in the old part of the town. The steps are lined on both sides by antiquated stone buildings and shops. People have been living here since before independence and it has a unique ambience and architecture. The 150 year old Laxmi Narayan Temple stands testimony to generations of people living here. At the other end, the road takes you back up to the Court road. Court road has some beautiful hotels amongst which is, the oldest one, Hotel Aroma-n-Claire. Unfortunately, in a recent accident, it was burnt down, and I lost my good friend, Rohit, in it. There’s also the oldest store here – B.C. Khanna. The town police station and the court are situated here too. It’s much quieter than the Garam sadak. Up on the hill is the Sacred Heart convent school which is as old as the town itself. From behind the convent is another less-used road that meets Subhash chowk. From here, one can see the Canadian settlement and some of the most awesome sunsets!


Coming back to Gandhi Chowk, take the road going down to Ram Mandir and from there, go on to the famous Panchpula. Panchpula is about 3 kms from GPO and this is where several streams meet to form a huge pool. The main source springs from the north face of Dainkund running down to Panchpula. There is a monument and a Samadhi here built in the memory of Sardar Ajit Singh, one of the great freedom fighters and uncle of Bhagat Singh. There is a bustling roadside café that serves snacks and tea. Due to a rise in tourism, this place has lost its original charm but nevertheless, it’s worth a visit. On the way back, one can quench their thirst at the Satdhar Springs, which are believed to contain medicinal properties. The water is sweet and refreshing.


There are 2 churches here…St. John's and St. Francis. St. Francis church stands prominently in Subhash Chowk and has beautiful glass and stone work inside. St. John's church is in Gandhi chowk and belongs to the Protestants. At both the churches, services are held on Sundays.


This, more or less, completes the little hill station called Dalhousie.


From Gandhi chowk, there’s a road that goes down to Karelu Khad where the Jandri Ghati palace is situated. Remember the song from the film 1942-Love Story “Kuch Na Kaho…” Well, it’s been shot at the palace! It passes through Subhash Bowli, from where it is said, Subhas Chandra Bose, while hiding from the British, meditated and held party meetings in secret and kept himself healthy by drinking fresh mineral waters of the natural spring. The spring still exists and the water tastes just as sweet. Just after the monsoons, Karelu Khad has the most beautiful waterfall and lies in the middle of nowhere, since it is not well known. There’s a motorable road all the way to the palace. The palace is out of bounds to the public but the library there is worth a visit and is open on certain days.


Another road from Gandhi chowk goes up all the way to Chamba. The road passes through some of the most interesting places to see around Dalhousie. It passes through dense deodar forests and winding roads and little gurgling brooks and streams. As soon as you take the road, you’ll first pass the famous Dalhousie Public School and get a panoramic view of its grounds and hostels. As soon as you reach the top of the incline, you’ve reached Dhupghadi, or, Upper Bakhrota. There is a beautiful walk around the hill from here that meets up at Ala. From here the road is pretty straight all the way to Ala. Just before you reach Ala, you’ll pass by another famous school, The Hill Top School. Incidentally, the school lies bang in the middle of the Khajjiar-Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary and if one is quiet or quite lucky, you can spot a Himalayan bear or a leopard, as I’ve had an opportunity to see quite a few times! It’s a beautiful road and is home to some of the most exotic birdlife of the Himalayan ranges.


In the mornings, you wake up to the melodious whistle of the whistling thrush. And just before the sun comes up, you can spot the long-tailed blue magpie, flitting from branch to branch, the babblers, barbets, hoopoes, wood peckers, nuthatches, sun birds, bush chats, tree pies, the solitary fly catcher, the paradise flycatchers and hordes of other birds, not forgetting the cacophonic parakeets. Just before the rains, one can hear the continuous humming of the cicadas. Somewhere in the distance, you’ll hear the unforgettable sound of the Great Indian barbet too. You might spy a mongoose, or a hare, or, if you are really lucky, the Himalayan pit viper, slinking away under a rock. And overhead, you’ll see the magnificent Lammergeiers, romancing the skies. There’s much to see for both the amateurs as well as the professional birders. Don’t forget to take your field glasses and your bird guides. Ala is a tiny place with just a few homes and shops. From here, the road winds up to Lakarmandi. From behind the shops is a small 'Pag-Dandi' or a path leading up to Diankund Airbase. The quietness of the trek is overwhelming and a solace to ones spirit.


Lakarmandi, as the name suggests, is a small settlement of coal making Dhogri community. It lies at an altitude of 8600 ft above sea level. The people living here burn trees and make coals which they sell down in the plains. If you haven’t had your breakfast, this is the place to relish some really filling omelettes and aloo paranthas doubled up with the local chamba chukh, actually, pickled chillies. A halt here is a must if you want to see some of the most pristine woods around. Take a walk down the rustic road to Kalatop, perched at 8000 ft, a place with fantastic views of the valley around. And all the better if you can book in advance at the Government Guest house (Booking can be done at the GFO, Wildlife, Chamba) and spend a night with candle-lit or, if the electricity is not there, a starry-studded dinner!. Spending a night here is thrilling as in the wee hours of the morning you can hear the barking deer and maybe, a grunt of a prowling bear. You may also spot the elusive jungle cat, as we did so often. In the far distance, one can see the town of Chamba, if it isn’t too foggy. The smell of the deodars and the sight of the lovely daisies in summer is worth the time spent here.


The Charcoal People


Walking along the snow-swept roads

Bent over with their heavy loads

Black charcoal filled gunnysacks

They walk with strong n’ sturdy backs!


Up and down the slope they go

With not a soul to goad them, though

Smiling and humming on their way

With not a minute to waste away!


From Lakadmandi to GPO

Back again and to n’ fro

Life is hard and a little rough

To survive, that is enough!


Neither a whimper nor a sigh

Escapes their lips and besides,

To complain or make an excuse

Does it help? Is it of any use?


To work and go calmly on

Whether it snows or shines on

They have no time to ponder…

…What strength they have, I wonder!


From Lakkarmandi, there’s another motorable road to the Airforce Base at Diankund. The road ends at the base and from here, one can trek up to the Pahalani Devi’s Temple. Interestingly, there is no idol of the devi here but some trishuls by which, it is said, the devi killed the witches. There are two beautiful lakes, one of which is situated inside the base and beyond limits for civilians. The other one lies in the valley beyond the temple. There are two 60 ft radars there and photography is strictly prohibited. Going along the same ridge past the temple, lies the ‘Jot’ pass and you get to view some really breath-taking valleys and fields along the way, not forgetting to mention the company of hundreds of butterflies on the expanses of wild white daisies and yellow buttercups! Diankund is also known as the Whispering Hill because one can hear the wind whistling through the forests and glades in a multitude of different sounds. The winds are pretty strong up here and it’s a heavenly feeling that cannot be described but has to be felt.


Back on the road to the next ‘Switzerland’ of India – Khajjiar!


Khajjiar is more than my words can describe it. The very sight of it sends ones pulse racing and when you reach there, you’ll be gasping for breath. There is a beautiful stone and wood temple that dates back to the 10th century dedicated to Khajji Naga – the Serpent-God, and has intricate carvings on its pillars and the ceiling. The two smaller temples adjoining the main temple are of Shiva and Goddess Hidimba. ‘Halal’ or, sacrificing a goat, is still carried on at the temple during some festivals. Khajjiar is shaped like a huge saucer. In the middle is a little floating island and from its position, one can judge which side the wind is blowing. Around it is acres and acres of green turf, enough to make any golfer regret carrying his tees! Early mornings are the best time to be here, before the merry-makers arrive with all their noise and din. The fresh smell of the deodar trees and mist in the air rejuvenate your spirits and you come away thinking how beautiful our world really is.


Spend a night at any one of the numerous hotels here and see the millions of stars shining down on you – make some wishes on the many falling stars that you see or catch a moonbeam in the stillness of the night. It’s an unforgettable experience.


Move on to Chamba – the land of a hundred temples!

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