Wednesday 29 February 2012

Bird Watching trip to Ranganathittu and Masinagudi

Bird Watching trip to Ranganathittu and Masinagudi

Yet another bird watching trip organized by Connect with Nature. This time the trip was to Ranganathittu and Masinagudi. Both these places are new to me and had been in my list for sometime. Thanks to Kesavamurthy for extending the invite and also adjusting the dates to accommodate me. Personlly, the best part of the trip was that I was able to spot quite a few birds for the first time and also was able to photograph them. Most of them in close quarters!

Though I knew that Ranganathittu was a bird sanctuary, I was under the impression that it is going be like Vedanthangal Sanctuary in Chennai which I frequent. But this one was quite different. The sanctuary is formed by the backwaters of Cauvery river and we can take a boat ride in the lake to visit the birds in real close up!

As planned, I reached Bangalore from Chennai on the early morning of Saturday and from there we proceeded to the sanctuary in 2 cars. We reached the sanctuary around 7:45 AM and took a boat ride in the lake to visit the birds. Though I have seen almost all those birds earlier, this was the first time I ever got an opportunity to see it this close and take some real close up photographs. We spent time till 10:00 AM and then returned back. Had our breakfast in the canteen at the sanctuary and proceeded on our journey to Masinagudi.

On the way, after entering the Bandipur forest, the first bird that we spotted was the Changeable Hawk Eagle. We immediately stopped the car and took a couple of photographs, but were informed by other vehicles that we were not supposed to stop there and hence we left the place. We reached our resort around 12:30 PM and spent sometime in watching the small birds there. We decided to venture into the forest trail with the help of the local tribal guides to spot some mammals. We had not gone too far and had to return back as one of the members in the team were unable to proceed further.

During the time we spent there on the evening we spotted some spotted deers and bisons. We did hear a very loud panic call from deers at about 100 meters from where we were. So we knew for sure that there is a leopard or tiger. We also some some fresh pug marks which confirmed the same. But were not able to locate any.

In the night Ullas and Srikanth decided to do some star trailing. I accompanied them, and we spotted some rabbits, spotted deers and a palm civet while we were waiting outside our cottage.

The next day we set out around 6 in the morning to look for some birds. We were helped by a very well informed, Maasi, who is a localite there. His knowledge of the birds, it behavior and their location was just amazing.

The first bird we spotted was the endemic Malabar crested Lark, which was found in abundance there. We also saw the colourful Plum-headed Parakeet. We ventured around in the forest till 10:00 AM and spotted some beautiful birds and locations. We returned back to the resort around 11:00 AM to have our breakfast and started back to the city around 12:00 noon.

Overall, for me, this has been a wonderful trip with some good learning and some very good bird spotting and photographs.

Following is the list of birds that we spotted. I request friends to update me if I have missed anything from the list.

Jungle Babbler
Fruit Bat
Green  Bee Eater
Red-vented Bulbul
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Pied  Bushchat
Oriental Honey Buzzard
Indian  Cormorant
Little  Cormorant
Greater  Coucal
Spotted  Dove
Black  Drongo
White-bellied Drongo
Changeable Hawk Eagle
Crested Serpant eagle
Cattle  Egret
Great  Egret
Little  Egret
White-browed Fantail
Pale-billed Flowerpecker
Asian paradise Flycatcher
Asian-brown Flycatcher
Tickell's blue Flycatcher
Night  Heron
Pond  Heron
Purple  Heron
Common  Hoopoe
Black-headed Ibis
Common  Iora
Common  Kingfisher
Pied  Kingfisher
White-throated Kingfisher
Black  Kite
Brahminy Kite
Red-wattled Lapwing
Malabar-crested Lark
Scarlet  Minivet
Small Minivet
Jungle  Myna
Indian  Nuthatch
Common  Oriole
Bown-fish Owl
Spotted  Owl
Malabar Parakeet
Plum-headed Parakeet
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Indian  Peafowl
Spot-billed Pelican
Yellow-throated Petronia
Indian  Robin
Oriental Magpie Robin
Grey-backed Shrike
Long-tailed Shrike
House  Sparrow
Eurasian Spoonbill
Open-billed Stork
Painted  Stork
Purple  Sunbird
Purple-rumped Sunbird
Red-rumped Swallow
River  Tern
Great  Thicknee
Great  Tit
Forest  Wagtail
Grey  Wagtail
White-browed Wagtail
Booted Warbler
White-breasted Waterhen
Flameback Woodpecker

I know that is an exhaustive list and that is the reason I am quite happy about the trip. I would love the explore Masinagudi again with a longer stay.

Saturday 11 February 2012

Sunrise @ Besant Nagar

Sunrise @ Besant Nagar

Sunrise and Sunset have always been a favorite subject of photography for me. Not sure if it is because of the light or colours or the landscape that comes with it, I just like it. Recently myself and couple of friends visited the Besant Nagar Beach to take some sunrise photographs. Here are the photos. This is the first time I extensively used the 11-22mm lens which I acquired a few months back.
Since it was cloudy on that day, we were not able to get a glimpse of the sun till it raised quite a bit.

Friends photographing the sunrise

This was interesting to see and perceive.  There were 4 girls standing at the shore and enjoying the early morning warmth. When one of the girls started walking away, it looked as if there was a mood of separation.

This gentleman should be a regular morning walker in the beach. He stood for a minute to admire the sunrise and the reflection of the sun. I really didnt know why I wanted this in B&W, but I liked it this way.

Now photographing the sunrise as well as the reflection it creates in the sea.

I also had some good use for the ZD 50mm f2.0 lens

Do we see similar expressions from everyone? :)

I was amazed by the sharpness of this lens when stopped down to f4.5.

Fishermen starting their day. They rise along with the sun and return back only when it sets!

Hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I do!