Birds | Hyderabad | Nature | Photography | Pictures | Wildlife

Narsapur – A Birding Trip Report

Saturday found us on a birding photography trip after a longish break.

We set out early to catch the 6:17 AM sunrise at Narsapur, and managed to make the 50-odd kilometers in time to reach there at dawn. We stopped first on the trail leading to the ANGRAU research station. As we drove along the trail, we saw a sounder of boar slowly walking away from us into the undergrowth.

We parked off the trail and set off into the woods. While the others wandered off into the scrub, I walked along a trail that separated a patch of scrub jungle from a cleared area where some sort of farming activity had been attempted. The transitory zone between two habitats would make for some interesting birding, and I was not disappointed.

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Birds | Hyderabad

Birds from my Balcony

Sparrows - those ubiquitous birds that thronged our childhoods - are rapidly disappearing today. After trying for a few weeks, I finally saw the one-legged sparrow who lives in my neighbourhood, and had the privilege of taking a few pictures of him. This blog post was the result.

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Andhra Pradesh | Birds | Wildlife

Birding at Anantagiri Hills

Went birding in Anantagiri Hills this morning. It is 88 kilometers from my place in Hafeezpet, and Ajith and I drove down. We made an early start, leaving at 5 in the morning. The roads were nearly empty and the drive was comfortable.

Anantagiri Hills is just past Viqarabad, reached from Hyderabad through Moinabad and Chevella. The roads were good, though the ever-changing geography of the way to the airport made it a bit tricky.

As we were driving on the perimeter wall of the Gandipet lake, a sleepy read more

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Andhra Pradesh | Birds | Experience | Hyderabad | Pictures | Wildlife

Morning at the Lotus Pond

An early morning walk around the Lotus Pond – Ajith and I have been planning this for a while, and managed to make it happen today.

We set out early (by my standards that is!) and reached the Lotus Pond around seven. There were a few cars parked outside, and there seemed to be quite a few people walking around. However, the birds were pretty much minding their own business, and didn’t seemed to mind us stopping and staring at them, and clicking away with our cameras.

The atmosphere in read more

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Birds | Experience | My Life | Nature | Pictures | Travel | Wildlife

Jungle Lodges – KGudi

We just came back from a short, but nevertheless long-anticipated-with-relish, holiday to Bangalore and the Jungle Lodges Resort at Kyathadevarayangudi – KGudi for short.

The resort itself is right inside the Biligiri Ranganna Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, about 86 kilometres from Mysore. Its setting is quite picturesque – it has its own waterhole, and the tented cottages and log huts blend in perfectly with the surroundings. Since the resort itself is plonked right in the middle of the jungle, quite a bit of animal and bird life can be spotted right from one’s balcony.

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Birds | Experience | My Life | Travel | Wildlife

Vedanthangal

Sunday before last, I went on a half-day trip to Vedanthangal and Karikili. To the uninitiated, they are two bird sanctuaries located about 60 kilometres south of Chennai. There were three of us: Vasumathi Sankaran, geographer and all round nature specialist, veteran of hundreds of sanctuary visits, the one who, along with Theodore Baskaran, initiated me into the mysteries of birding and wildlife watching. Recently, her age and health have prevented her from visiting as many places as she would like to, but it was a great experience going birding with her again. The other person who made up our party was Deepu, who has proved to be an enthusiastic companion for any birding trip, and a reluctant one for any other! Vidya was too zonked from the previous night’s party to do anything, so she gave it a miss.

Vasumathi, Murugan and Deepu

We made an early start, for a change, leaving home at 5:20 a.m. Deepu had stayed over and that was helpful, and we had picked up Vasumathi and were on our way by 6:00 a.m. The drive was quite enjoyable – good roads and almost no traffic. Crossing the Palar Bridge was quite eerie – there was thick fog and we couldn’t see more than fifteen feet ahead of us. It looked like the bridge across forever, and only when we reached the other side did we breathe easy! We finally reached Vedanthangal at about 7:00 a.m.

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Birds | India | Travel | Wildlife

Murugan the Bird Tracker

At Vedanthangal, we met Murugan, the Bird Tracker. He is a local who has been trained by the forest department to be a bird tracker. His combination of local knowledge and scientific ornithology is quite fascinating, and his keen eye was able to spot the single spoonbill out of a forest of herons and storks. He is constantly retrained, the latest sessions focussing on the avian flu and how to spot it.

He told us that this year was extremely good in terms of arrivals, though the painted storks had read more

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