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Old 9th February 2016, 23:15   #1
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Default Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds

Itís not often when my better half visits her family and I am in B-Mode, Well I was one of the few lucky fellows for ,once in a blue moon would be an understatement. The plan had already struck me often but time was not my best friend. Ranganthittu Bird sanctuary had attracted me often, I had moved to Hyderabad from Bangalore and driving 600+130 kms one way was bit of overkill for just 12 species of birds. But B-Mode it was and you donít question B-Mode.


Little info about Ranganthittu , Its located about 130 kms from Bangalore and is at right side of the Mysore road while coming from Bangalore. Itís comprised of 6 small islands and is located on the banks of river Kauveri. Its around 15 kms from Mysore . Google map link : https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/...93e2bc43?hl=en

The journey started at 11pm 22nd Jan 2016, Reached BTM layout at 6:20am. The road conditions as usual are excellent. Saw few new humps after Ananthpur. Humps are huge with decent incline and decent but at few spots they are small, waiting for you in the darkness in groups of three. Be careful of those. Most of them have white or yellow markings with road signs before them. But with time we all know how the colors fade away.


I was expecting heavy fog early in the morning ďunfortunatelyĒ there was none. Picked up an ex-colleague and good friend from Bangalore. Took the NICE road to Mysore road junction. Touched Mysore road around 9am. Mysore road is famous for its humps and traffic. It was a Saturday morning and the road was flooded with vehicles heading for Mysore and beyond. After crossing Mandya the traffic density reduced a bit. Finally made it to Brindavan Park at around 12pm. From the entrance itself I got a feeling that I wonít get to see too many migratory birds. Itís a touristís destination now a days and the noise was enough to scare away the more timid species.


Folks from forest department at the bird sanctuary started eyeing the two of us while we entered the park. One of the guys came to us and asked if it was a 500mm lens. The engravings on the lens were clearly saying 600mm. I was not in the mood to mess with them after a ~750km drive. Rs 500 extra if the lens is 500mm or above. I mentioned this short incident for people reading this to take a note and then act accordingly. The next part was the boat. I had been to Ranganthittu often when I was in Bangalore and I was aware of the types of boat that were available. I requested for a private open hood boat for an hour. Charge was Rs 1000. It was a Saturday and there was a major rush on the river. People shouting at 10-12 crocks that were sun bathing, shouting at the birds, clapping hard to scare away the smaller ones. The boatmen were equally frustrated, our guy said if this continues this would just be park to boat no birds. Unfortunately this year they recorded just 53 species of migratory birds which was 87 last year. It was utter chaos. I had invested enough time and Punto would be struck with remorse if I didnít get some good shots. Keeping all the distractions aside I took a deep breath and started clicking. Here are some sample shots from below.

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-img_6269.jpg

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-img_6725.jpg


There are few rocks protruding from the unclear water beneath, visibility was hardly one meter and our boat got stuck and hit hard more than once.
Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-asian-openbill-asian-openbill-stork-anastomus-oscitans_23975524764_l.jpg

Spoonbilled's diet consists of aquatic insects, mollusks, newts, crustaceans, worms, leeches, tadpoles and small fish. While in action of a catch, is a marvelous sight which I clearly missed as you see below.
Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-eurasian-spoonbill-common-spoonbill-platalea-leucorodia_23981036044_l.jpg

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-eurasian-spoonbill-common-spoonbill-platalea-leucorodia_24325840009_l.jpg


The crocks were busy in their siesta, few of them crossed the boat from underneath. I just hoped they were well fed.
Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-img_6326.jpg


Its the nesting season for most birds and disturbing them should not be ones intention. However tourists were least bothered. I believe before the boat ride a quick 10 minutes session was necessary, informing people about the birds and why and how not to disturb them. Also how not to mess around with the crocks. They are huge and they mean business. Taking them casually would be the last mistake.


This particular River tern was nesting and its partner flew to it few times carrying small twigs and coming back over and over again .
This species breeds from March to May in colonies in less accessible areas such as sandbanks in rivers. It nests in a ground scrape, often on bare rock or sand, and lays three greenish-grey to buff eggs, which are blotched and streaked with brown.
It was a sight so wonderful.

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-indian-river-tern-just-river-tern-sterna-aurantia_23974727273_l.jpg

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-indian-river-tern-just-river-tern-sterna-aurantia_24235185049_l.jpg

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-indian-river-tern-just-river-tern-sterna-aurantia_24734541581_l.jpg

Painted storks were like the boss of that area along with some pelicans that ruled the upper banks of the river. I was happy not to see any territorial fight.
Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-painted-stork-mycteria-leucocephala_24239115359_l.jpg

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-painted-stork-mycteria-leucocephala_24405510600_l.jpg

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-painted-stork_24748108675_l.jpg

Few of the stone dwellers.
Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-redwattled-lapwing-vanellus-indicus_24591364092_l.jpg

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-great-stonecurlew-great-thickknee-esacus-recurvirostris_24748696035_l.jpg

Pied kingfisher in all its glory.
Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-pied-kingfisher-ceryle-rudis_24311498080_l.jpg

The boat ride was nearing its end and we entered the Pelican region. Activity was strong and I could easily spot over 50 big ones.Spot-billed pelican or grey pelican, due to habitat loss and human disturbance, the spot-billed pelican's numbers have declined and many populations in Southeast Asia are now extinct.
Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-spotbilled-pelican-grey-pelican-pelecanus-philippensis_24300140560_l.jpg

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-spotbilled-pelican-grey-pelican-pelecanus-philippensis_24460633029_l.jpg

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-pelecanus_24065351444_l.jpg

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-pelecanus_24693517705_l.jpg

Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds-pelican_24120516624_l.jpg

The return journey started on 24th Jan, I started at 11:50pm and reached home at 6:40am. I missed on taking a video of the less devastating gentle reminders on the highway while going. A tribute to the person who had designed these gentle reminders to slow down. The humps that are gentler on the suspensions.

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Old 9th February 2016, 23:21   #2
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Default re: Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds

Nice pictures, and some of them are very good ones!

As regards the 'gentelman rumblers', you've beaten me to it at posting about them. They are mostly between Jadcherla and Kurnool, and seem to have been laid recently. They were not there for sure 3 months back.

They do force you to slow down to saner speeds, as otherwise they make a racket. The early ones have more space between, but after 50 m or so, the space greatly decreases, giving you more frequent vibrations on the steering wheel, and increased cacophony. I was initially taken aback by those, but later saw many vehilcles taking them an greater speeds, by going on the extreme left, so that only the right wheels go over those. I followed suit!
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Old 10th February 2016, 11:53   #3
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds

@ARAY, Do you prefer travelling at night? It has its pros and cons!
Excellent photologue!
May be you should write a letter to the Karnataka Tourism to take some action against the nuisance at the park.
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Old 10th February 2016, 15:29   #4
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds

Nice Photos there!

Did you not try to take a detour to Kokkerre Bellur (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokrebellur)? There you mostly shall find more migratory birds in their natural habitat! Jan End and Feb is perfect time to spot more birds. I haven't been there yet this year but from many past trips, this seems to be ideal time to see some pelicans there.
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Old 11th February 2016, 11:23   #5
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds

Quote:
Originally Posted by surjaonwheelz View Post
@ARAY, Do you prefer travelling at night? It has its pros and cons!
Excellent photologue!
May be you should write a letter to the Karnataka Tourism to take some action against the nuisance at the park.
If there is a female traveling along, I prefer to start any journey after 4am early morning. Else my start time is usually after my office Friday night
I have given my feedback/suggestions to the folks at forest department, they are aware of the situation and we discussed quite a bit. End of day these migratory birds are the bread and butter of that area.


Quote:
Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
Nice Photos there!

Did you not try to take a detour to Kokkerre Bellur (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokrebellur)? There you mostly shall find more migratory birds in their natural habitat! Jan End and Feb is perfect time to spot more birds. I haven't been there yet this year but from many past trips, this seems to be ideal time to see some pelicans there.
I have heard of Kokrebellur but couldn't get enough time to cover that.However I heard that it has been closed down due to some local disputes.

Last edited by ARAY : 11th February 2016 at 11:28.
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Old 11th February 2016, 11:42   #6
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds

Treat to the eye.

Which lens?
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Old 11th February 2016, 12:31   #7
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds

Excellent Photos, hope you have more photos of the Bird and your Ride.

If you are interested, next time you can visit Kokkare bellur as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARAY View Post
The boatmen were equally frustrated, our guy said if this continues this would just be park to boat no birds. Unfortunately this year they recorded just 53 species of migratory birds which was 87 last year. [/url]
My Mother's native is very close to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, when I was a kid I used to take cycle and go to other side of Ranganathittu and watch birds for hours together. At peak seasons there were more birds then leaves on the trees and the sound of the birds where deafening. We always used to climb a tree and sit to avoid being eaten by Crocs.

The situation now is very sad and the there is no end to greed of the officials and crazy behavior of tourists. They pelt stones at the birds & Crocs and act like monkeys to no end. Though the facility has been improved and place is well kept than before, the attitude of people are really shocking sometimes.

I don't understand why the environmentalist care so much about some nuclear energy plant and care a hoot about Natural Habitat. Everyone wants their 15 Mins of Fame.

Regards
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Old 11th February 2016, 16:25   #8
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds

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Originally Posted by ARAY View Post
One of the guys came to us and asked if it was a 500mm lens. The engravings on the lens were clearly saying 600mm. I was not in the mood to mess with them after a ~750km drive. Rs 500 extra if the lens is 500mm or above. I mentioned this short incident for people reading this to take a note and then act accordingly.
I really wonder what difference it would make to the authorities, if you carry a 600 mm lens as against a 500mm. Whilst the logic of asking charges for a still camera / video camera is understandable, but a camera is a camera; be it P&S or a DSLR or a 600mm lens or a 18-55 lens.
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Old 13th February 2016, 20:19   #9
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds

Wonderful travelogue and some excellent snaps of the birds. I am getting into the world of bird photography, courtesy my Dad. These pictures are an inspiration.

Do keep posting more TLs.

Keep revvin'
Neel
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Old 13th May 2016, 12:02   #10
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds

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Originally Posted by King_pin09 View Post
I really wonder what difference it would make to the authorities, if you carry a 600 mm lens as against a 500mm. Whilst the logic of asking charges for a still camera / video camera is understandable, but a camera is a camera; be it P&S or a DSLR or a 600mm lens or a 18-55 lens.
Even I am not sure why. Zoos and bird sanctuaries have these rules mostly. Probably to earn some extra money. Some rules are really hard to understand and comprehend :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
Wonderful travelogue and some excellent snaps of the birds. I am getting into the world of bird photography, courtesy my Dad. These pictures are an inspiration.

Do keep posting more TLs.

Keep revvin'
Neel
Thanks a lot mate. Please do share some of your pictures.

Last edited by ARAY : 13th May 2016 at 12:05.
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Old 13th May 2016, 17:33   #11
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Ranganathittu: In search of some migratory birds

Amazing pics, had missed the travelogue until now.

Yes, the place becomes crowded during weekends and vacation time with people who have little interest in birds. The trick is to arrive early and avoid the rush.

The greater than 500mm rule is stupid. Have seen this mentioned in few wildlife entry forms in KA too. Though I have not seen them checking the lens yet.
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