India - Karnataka 2015
Our Birding tout 2015 to Southern India started in Karnataka with a few days stop in Bangalore and then over Mysore down to Bandipur where we left the state for Tamil Nadu.
Our first evening was spent in Ranganathittu but due to a demonstration in Mandya we came to late for any real birding in Ranganathittu. ALthough short we did get a few nice observations of Tytler's Warbler, Peregrine Falcon as well as Tickel's Flycatcher. Also some wetland birds such as Painted Stork and Asian Openbill.
The night was spent at Hotel Sandeesh Prince, a nice hotel well worth the money.
In January 2015 I had to go to Bangalore in business (working with Software). India is so great it is not hard to convince yourself (harder to convince the family) going there.
We arrived a Saturday and I stayed put at the hotel, except for a short trip to the "city center". Sunday however, I had decided to go with my colleagues to some "hot spots" that I had visited before.
My colleague had rented a driver with car and we left for Ramanagara, one of the few remaining places Vultures still survive in India. One reason for their demise being diclofenac that close down their kidneys.
After Ramanagara we continue to Ranganantitthu which is a perfect location, close to Mysore where water fowls still occur abundantly.
If you have the time,, go there!
In 2013 I had the opportunity to go to southern India again. Upon arrival at Bangalore I ordered a cab to take me to Nandi Hills, a "short" two hour drive, north of Bangalore or Bengaluru. It is a very nice Hill, allthough the timing was not perfect. People told me it is a little better during the migration period.
Anyway, I had been there before so I kind of knew what to expect. A forested hill which attracts birds from miles away.
As I was quite tired the first day of the trip we did not manage to leave the hotel in time for the best birding. I think we actually arrived around 09:30 just about when most birds become inactive.
After a few hours of walking in the park like area I had found a few nice views of Malabar Whistlingthrush, Indian blue Robin and a Booted Warbler.
Recently I heard the Hills are not that safe anymore. Some birders presumably were robbed of their gear. I, however, did not see any trace of people looking for my gear.
Additionally to going to Nandi Hills I also went to Savannadurga to look for the Yellow-throated Bulbul and Mavathur area to look for some forest species such as the Owlets. The Owlets I did see!
Needless to say, I was satisfied with the trip.
In April 2010 I got my very first opportunity to go to India. A colleague that went there the month before recommended me to rent a driver, and order a tour to a National park. He went to Nagarhole but somehow I misunderstood what he said and I ended up in Bandipur. Do not ask me how!
For two and a half days I had the opportunity to explore the National Park and watch for Tigers etc. We did not see any Tigers but, as a birdwatcher, I was not too disapointed anyway. Every day had its beauty and new species flew in to my book at a steady rate. After the weekend I had 140 new species on my global list. Great! The most rare was probably the Fishing Owl, see photo left..
I strongly recommend anyone to go there. However I am not sure it is possible anymore.
My trip was delayed due to the Ash cloud over Iceland and instead of one week I had to stay 15 days. Way back went over Mumbay, Muscat, Istanbul, Athens, Amsterdam and finally Gothenburg
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