In the ghats : Bababudangiri – Mullainagiri
anushsh


Clerodendrum sp

It was 2.30am when I slept that day. I could only sleep for another hour or so. I badly needed some sleep. At 3.30 I woke up to the phone call from Ravee telling me that he was waiting outside. I quickly brushed and headed out. By 4am, 5 of us were out on Magadi road heading towards Mullainagiri. A small tea stop at the Magadi Road – Chennarayapattana junction set us for the day. After a quick stop for breakfast at Berur, we headed towards Kemmangundi and Bababudangiri. This was my first monsoon trip and I was quite excited about it. It is refreshing to see completely green surroundings. The roads were slushy and it was raining intermittently. I loved the rains. After nearly a 5 hr drive, we were at the base of the Bababundangiri hills in the Bharada Wildlife Sanctuary. Ravee and others were looking out for orchids and wild flowers. I had never before attempted to identify wild flowers even though they look really pretty. Our first stop was close to the Kalahatti falls where Ravee identified an orchid flowering out on a tree, which was later identified as Aerides ringens. Just around there, we always the wild flower, Impatiens zombensis. There are found flowering all over the western ghats during the monsoons.

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Loving the rains
anushsh

I have been totally enjoying the rains for the last 2 days in Bangalore. On both the days I got out, walking to Jayanagar and had my favourite filter coffee at Dosa Camp. It is great fun walking in the rain and getting wet. I would have loved to be in a remote place sipping tea, but Bangalore coffee has it own special taste. The Gulmohars and other flowering trees on either sides of the road look fresh. I even saw Purple bauhinia (Bauhinia purpurea) flowering along the river. The flowers were spread all over the footpath :)

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Common Palm Civet, Gibbon WLS, Assam
anushsh

We had just finished sighting in the Gibbon and were walking back the trail looking around the thick Gibbon forest. There was another group of people who still wanted to see more of Gibbon and we were walking back slowly chatting to them. Our guide cum driver Konwar was just ahead of us looking around try to see if he could show us something more of the forest. On the top of a tall tree, she spotted something sitting on tree and we saw it through through the binocs, it was the civet. It was sitting still over a branch and was very much aware of us. There was a lot of shade there and it took us sometime to spot the civet sitting on a tree. I am amazed by the way Konwar was able to spot it. All very excited, we stood there observing it. The civet kept an eye on us too. It looked beautiful when a small ray of light hit it eyes. We were hoping that it would come closer somewhere but it never happened. Infact while we were just discussing something among ourselves, the civet had disappeared from the branch and was no where to be seen :)

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Hoolock Gibbon, Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary
anushsh

After walking for a while into the forest, we stopped to look around for the Hoolock Gibbons. They move around in groups. They move around calling out loudly probably restating their territory. I loved their call. So based on their we would go tracking them into the forest. There were leeches all over the place. I had heard such horror stories about leeches in North-East but at that point of time, the only thing I had in mind was to get a glimpse of the Gibbon. Based on the calls, we tracked a pair sitting high up on a tree. The male is darker while the female has lighter fur. There were sitting there looking out for things to feed on but they also kept an eye on us. They move so fast. Their long arms help them brachiating from one tree to the other and within no time they disappear. We had multiple sightings of the gibbons. At one time, we just kept following the call of a group. The forest was echoing their calls continuously. We saw one of them doing all the acrobatics and just jumping into a tree. Konwar, our driver cum guide who was with us asked them to stand still and watch the gibbon take a leap. He was so sure that it would. And there it is ….


the leap


just before the leap

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Gibbon (contd)
anushsh

After the Golden Langur sighting, we headed straight into the sanctuary. The Gibbon looked really thick like the Western Ghats forests. After getting our permits to enter the forest, we started walking into the forest to try our luck with the Hoolock Gibbon. We had to walk for about 2 kms. But we saw a lot of interesting things all along the way. There were lot of beautiful butterflies and there was a lot of bird activity too. We had a good look of the Green-billed Malkoha but very high up in the canopy. Another awesome sighting was of the Sultan Tit which is not very common to see. It came out in the open, fluttered around for a while and again went back in a few seconds. It was so beautiful to watch them.


Archduke (male)

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RSS feed update
anushsh

I have updated the RSS feed for my blog as

URL: http://anushshetty.com/journal
feed: http://anushshetty.com/journal/feed/

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Capped Langur, Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary
anushsh

On the 4th day, we headed off to Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary mainly to see the Hoolock Gibbon. We left early in the morning at about 4am to reach Gibbon. The drive was quite beautiful with open fields and small towns all along the way. Just outside the sanctuary, we saw this troop of langurs playing around. They were the Capped Langurs. Even though our driver said that we would get more sightings of this, we insisted that we stop there for a while. We spent quite some time observing and photographing them. They were just feeding on various things in the tree.

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Burrapahar range, Kaziranga National Park
anushsh

After 2 days of Central, Western and Eastern range, we decided to explore the other parts of Kaziranga. It was the. It is farther from other ranges of Kaziranga, so we had to leave quite early to make it there. But unfortunately out jeep broke down while we had driven a few kms. So our driver had to drop us somewhere on the road, go back and get another jeep. It took some time, but was still okay. While driving on the highway, we saw a Malayan Giant Squirrel (Ratufa bicolor). It was on top of a tree skulking there.


Malayan Giant Squirrel (Ratufa bicolor)


Malayan Giant Squirrel (Ratufa bicolor)

When we reached the Burrapahar forest office, there were hardly any visitors there. Probably not many people visit this place. The forest is dense and wild comprising of both thick forests and grassland. On one side, there is the Bramhaputra river too. We got 2 more sightings of the Malayan Giant Squirrel inside the Burrapahar forest. We stopped the jeep when we reached the Bramhaputra river bank. This river is so vast. We walked along the bank looking for birds. The view was really beautiful. There were birds calling out from all sides, some of them I couldn’t even identify. There were River Dolphins which we could occasionally see creating ripples. On the rocks by the bank, we saw a few turtles too. Our guide said that it was the Indian Tent Turtle. There were pied kingfishers , River Lapwings, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Black-hooded Oriole, call of the White-rumped Shama and many others . I spent quite some time watching the River Lapwing. We could see the Otters den all along the bank. When we walked along, we also saw a recent pugmark of a tiger. More than anything, we enjoyed the habitat. The butterflies were in plenty mostly unknown to me.

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Black Ibis and Pied Kingfisher
anushsh


Black Ibis

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Collared Scops Owl, Valley School
anushsh

It had just rained the previous day and Valley School looked all green. I had walked ahead when a friend who was behind me said that there was an owl. I walked back all the way again and fortunately, the owl was still around. It was the Collared Scops Owl popping out of its tree hole. It took a while for me to locate it even after being pointed at it. And I wasn’t surprised about missing it when I walked past the same area. It was an incredible camouflage. I stood there watching it for a while. It seemed quite safe in that tree hole, totally camouflaged and not easily visible. It was visible only from one side and there was no way to locate it otherwise. Once in a while, it turned around and seemed to be on high alert. After a while, we found something popping out in the background and this one would just push it down. We realised that there was an young one there trying to come out in the open creeping out behind the adult. The adult owl was very strict and would just push it down. But still, the young one slowly came out in the open and was there for a while for us to see.


the first look


Young one coming out

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