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Old 27th March 2012, 15:55   #1
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Default The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.

Wanted to share details of a trip that happened long back.


The Great Indian bustard is a very rare species of bird which is under the threat of extinction. (As told by the guards there) Being indian, it is a very lazy bird that doesnít build nests and neither does it lay its eggs in others nests. It lays the eggs on the ground. If not found and eaten by other animals, the young chicks live to see the day. That is one of the reason they are going extinct.


My friend called me one day and asked if I were ready to accompany him for a short travel to an unknown place called Rollapadu in Kurnool district of AP. This place is some 50 Kms from Kurnool town. Till then I never heard about this place. Even my friend had no idea on what it would be like. He only knew it has a bird sanctuary and wanted to shoot some birds. Ahem, in his newly acquired canon gear.


He called up his contact in the forest department and was asked to reach a town called Nandikotkur and meet an official there. Once we reached the place early in the morning, this guy was still with a toothbrush in his mouth, lazily relaxing under the tree next to his house. After he saw the national geographic logo on my friends shirt, he jumped up and within no time, he was in the car. He said he was expecting some typical tourists and not professional photographers. Thatís what he assumed and we too didnít utter a word. He accompanied us to the sanctuary which was some 20 minutes away.


This is a wide open grass land with quiet a sizable population of deers and black bucks in particular.It has a small museum, guest house and staff quarters. Once we reached there, the staff were happy to see some professional photographers and immediately went into hyperactive mode.


The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-guesthouse_1.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-guesthouse_2.jpg


Museum that shows the sanctuary and its animals.

The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-museum_1.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-museum_2.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-museum_3.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-museum_4.jpg


The first guard in the grasslands radioed us about the bird sighting. The toothbrush guy is actually the forest ranger and while we rushed towards the grasslands, he briefed us about the Great Indian bustard, its life, habitat and the reason behind its extinction. He said this sanctuary is the only place in the state where the bird is seen. He also said how lucky we were to spot a bustard and that too within an hour of our reaching there. People wait for weeks to have a glimpse and there we were crawling in the grass and taking aim at the bird. For about 5 minutes, we had a good time clicking them before they flew off.



The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-1.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-2.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-4.jpg




The guards then took us to the other side of the grasslands by walk to watch some black bucks up close. On our way back to the guesthouse from the other side of the grasslands, we spotted a group of wild boars running across the path. Later a jackal that was following them.


The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-17.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-18.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-19.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-20.jpg


By then it was noon and we were tired. The cook back at the guesthouse made some sumptuous lunch that put us to sleep immediately. After a nap, later in the evening we visited the museum and retired for the day. Next day, we went to a the nearby Alaganuru reservoir some 5Kms away and had a good time swimming in the water. We bought some fish from the local fishermen and had it made in the guest house. We left the next day.


The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-reservoir_1.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-reservoir_2.jpg


A few other random shots from the day


The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-10.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-11.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-12.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-15.jpg


The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-16.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-21.jpg
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-22.jpg


Watch tower at sunset.

The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-25.jpg


I am not sure what is the condition of the place now. I hope the bird survives the years to come.


Regards,
Krishna.
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Old 27th March 2012, 16:40   #2
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Default Re: The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.

Great sighting. I was not aware of the GIB sightings around this area.
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Old 27th March 2012, 16:42   #3
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Default Re: The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.

Lovely pictorial. You got any more pictures of the Great Indian Bustard?

Quote:
The Great Indian bustard is a very rare species of bird which is under the threat of extinction. (As told by the guards there) Being indian, it is a very lazy bird that doesn’t build nests and neither does it lay its eggs in others nests. It lays the eggs on the ground. If not found and eaten by other animals, the young chicks live to see the day. That is one of the reason they are going extinct.
LOL being Indian it is very lazy.....
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Old 27th March 2012, 16:55   #4
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Default Re: The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.

Didn't know that the Bustard existed in any other place other than the Desert National Park, Jaisalmer & the Rann. Wish you had captioned the birds.

Lovely pictures.
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Old 27th March 2012, 21:56   #5
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Default Re: The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.

I visited this place around Jan mid. Also have an unfinished thread on the same.

Although could not sight the Bustard the, was able to sight lots of Black bucks, and migratory birds. Nice place to visit.
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Old 28th March 2012, 04:02   #6
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Default Re: The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.

@kittigadu : Do you even realize how lucky you have been ?
Bird lovers don't see a GIB years on end and you saw one within 1 hour. I have been myself unsuccessfully trying to spot one for more than 5 years now.

And who told you that this....
The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.-20.jpg
........was a jackal ?

My dear friend , your one post contains 2 extremely endangered species in this country. The above is the shot of an Indian Wolf.

Both the GIB and the wolf are critically endangered in India and their numbers are lesser than those of Tigers.

Thank you so much for posting such lovely pics. Rollapadu now gets on my must visit list of places. Will get in touch with you soon. Please post the facilities that you saw during your visit. Are there any budget places to stay ? Any forest department guest houses ?

Dr. A Ghosh

P.s: Do you have higher resolution pics of the GIBs and any other pic of the wolf ? Whats your friend's name and did he go there anytime after your trip ? You get a 5 star rating from me.

Last edited by abheekg : 28th March 2012 at 04:05.
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Old 28th March 2012, 10:59   #7
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Default Re: The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.

nice pictures. Somehow the pictures are so "neat" and "clean" Pls do give us the names of the birds.
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Old 27th April 2012, 14:39   #8
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Default Re: The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abheekg View Post
Thank you so much for posting such lovely pics. Rollapadu now gets on my must visit list of places. Will get in touch with you soon. Please post the facilities that you saw during your visit. Are there any budget places to stay ? Any forest department guest houses ?
Abheek,

Let me know if you are going there - we can plan a joint trip. This is pretty close to Bangalore.
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Old 27th April 2012, 18:13   #9
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Default Re: The Great Indian Bustard and the grass lands of Rollapadu.

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Abheek,

Let me know if you are going there - we can plan a joint trip. This is pretty close to Bangalore.
Nilanjan, I am doing my homework at present and figuring out the best time to visit this place and the other places in India which houses this nearly endangered bird. And the experts tell me that the winter months are the best time. Apart from Rollapadu, GIB can be seen in Nannaj near Solapur and in Rajasthan. A few of these are also there in Warora very near Nagpur but I haven't been able to locate them yet.

Anyway interesting points about their behavior are :

* Breeds during March to September (monsoon) during which time the inflated fluffy white feathers of the male are inflated and displayed.
* The cock acquires a harem consisting of four to a dozen females.
* In cultivated areas, they feed on crops
* The male periodically produces a resonant deep, booming call that may be heard for nearly 500m.
* Nests are a simple depression in the ground in long grass. The average clutch consists of 1 egg and the incubation period is not known but thought to be >27 days
* The species is known to make local nomadic movements in response to various factors.

references :What I propose is this :
If this place is very close to Bangalore, you can make a reconnaissance visit and find out the current status of these birds. I am also in regular touch with the local forest department of Rollapadu and will be able to book the forest rest house in case you want to stay there. The FD is unable to provide me with info on the birds though and for this I depend on a friend of mine from Hyderabad who visits this places sometimes.

After we are armed with full knowledge of the behaviour , know the locations, etc, then we can go to Rollapadu better armed. We will need atleast a 500mm for full frame shots, etc...

Lets go with a proper plan.

Dr. A Ghosh

Last edited by abheekg : 27th April 2012 at 18:16.
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