Thursday, 2 January 2014

Nagarhole, call of the wild

Dear 2014,

 I am really happy that you have finally arrived.I was waiting for you for sometime, as you are expected to come to me with some goodies - new aspirations, new hopes, new bunch of sick/casual leaves. But I want one more thing from you. As you know I am very very fond of my readers, so I want you to shower my dear readers with good health, love and of course a bag-full of travels.

 I hope all my readers and we have a good time with you.
 Happy New Year 2014

 Loads of affection,
 Soma and Ankur

  Reminiscing all our last year travels, we realized that we had been to some of the most beautiful places. So to bid a decent goodbye to 2013, we decided that a trip to Nagarhole will do justice. The good thing about Nagarhole is that it has never disappointed us. So we have developed some soft corner for this place in our heart.

Last time we saw a bear, this time a pack of ... 

  In-case you are interested in the route and all please go through my previous blog here.

  Nothing much has changed, only the road from Hunsur to Nagarhole has now become better. A lot of homestays has come up in Kutta, though we preferred to stay at the same homestay that of Mr Narendra Pattu's.

  The first thing the we saw on entering the forest checkpost was a beautiful kingfisher. We were just a few metres inside the park when I spotted this beauty sitting pretty on a branch. Ankur stopped the car, we took a few pictures and moved on. Next some more metres inside we saw a big family crossing the road. There was father boar,mother boar, aunt boar, uncle boar, brother boar, sister boar and baby boar. By the time I had my camera ready they had vanished from the frame.

White throated kingfisher
 We were driving very slowly when Ankur spotted a female plum headed parakeet. After that a bunch of parakeets flew screeching over us. Since it was afternoon, not much of birds or animals were sighted. We were a little down.
Last time we saw so many deer, sambhar and gaurs....where were they now? Thankfully a herd of deer cheered us up. We were soon driving past them towards our homestay.

Plum headed parakeet

  On reaching Mr Pattu's homestay, we freshened up, had our lunch and decided to visit the Iruppu falls before taking the 3:30PM safari. Iruppu falls is roughly 15 Km from Kutta(place where we stayed) and the fall looks heavenly.

Iruppu Falls

  We were back to the National Park safari counter before 3:30 PM(the evening safari timing starts from 3:30 PM). There were more people than usual who had come for the safari. The reason was the temporary cancellation of morning safari due to the national tiger census.

  Safari was okay. We saw plenty of spotted deer, few sambar deer, langur, malabar squirrels and a lone tusker. After getting down from the safari bus both of us wanted to have a short drive inside the forest before heading back to our homestay.

Langoor Mom and Kid

I want some too. :)

Spotted Deer


Malabar giant squirrel

  We drove almost a kilometre when we suddenly saw some animals at a distance. We slowed our car and then we saw something interesting. It was a pack of wild dogs. There were about eight of them and they were sitting in the shade and panting maybe because of the evening heat.

Wild Dog
  The next day morning we took a stroll inside Mr Pattu's coffee garden. The coffee trees were full of red beans. Morning is the time for birds. We saw at least 30 different species of birds, most of which we could not identify. Well I am still in learning phase.. :) Among the ones, we could identify, were racked tail drongo, ordinary drongo, plum headed parakeet, crimson backed sunbird, coppersmith barbet, asian koel, minivet, asian fairy, orioles, bulbuls, rose ringed parakeet.

Crimson backed sunbird

White cheeked barbet

Rufous Treepie

Coppersmith barbet

Coppersmith barbet

Crimson backed sunbird

Asian Fairy

Plum headed parakeet

Racket tailed drongo
Coffee seed
  After a hearty breakfast we set off for Bangalore. Since we had to take the road inside the National Park, this time we saw some action.....Yes the same pack of wild dogs that we saw the day before was on hunting spree. We had to drive at a very very slow pace since the pack was on the road.They walked at least half a kilometre before us on the road, before finally chasing a wild boar and disappearing into the forest. We were amazed by the coordination of their hunt. As the pack moves forward, a random few  will go little inside the bushes dettaching a little from the main pack, sniffing along their path and then again aligning themselves with the pack.

Pack of wild dogs in hunting spree

  Ankur has a good eye for birds as well. He was quick to spot a beautiful black rumped flameback woodpecker. I wanted to photograph this bird for a very long time; finally my wish came true. He also spotted a beautiful cuckoo enjoying its early catch of the day. I spotted some babblers. Sightings of hill myna, bee eater and paradise flycatcher followed. 

greater flameback woodpecker



Hill mayna
  When you see a lot of wild animals your expectations also go up. Similar thing happened with me too. I was hoping fervently to catch a glimpse of a leopard but soon I realized that we had reached the exit checkpost of the forest.

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