The Birds they sang…! @Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

The birds they sang… The break of day

Start again I hear them say… It’s so hard to just walk away

Up with the birds, Coldplay

Caution: Your fingers might complain coz they might be spending about (1.4 x no. of clicks or scrolls) calories of energy (source). Never mind, post is worth it…else you  might want to grab a bigger screen.

How did it start ?

Travel date: 13 April 2014, Sunday

Saturday night still in dilemma to attend the Sunday’s run too! After morning’s session at Nike Running club, the knee was not ready to take it for the next day. My roomie Yogesh placed an offer on the table… “Ranganathittu chaloge? “.  I was like “Phew ..! What is that!! Nah mujhe kal running jaana he…”

There again… his offers kind of remind me the old saying… “Opportunity knocks but once”.

Quickly consulted “Google mahashray” and luckily this time it did give me what I was asking for 🙂 . I was Wow..d ! Next thing I saw myself placing my Nikon for charge even as my brain was still fighting over in dilemma. Plugged in, Switched on and that start beep brought my mind back into senses.

Immediately signaled Yogesh a “yes” and to support my decision and making sure I stick to it.. my knee pain constantly kept telling me “hey buddy ! I am here.. good job !”. Watsapped Ashish and Sushma that I’ll not be able to make it for NRC.  Feeling guilty of missing my practice but its Ok legs do need some rest.

Early to bed and early to rise …

On a weekend … ha not so wise…

Progress:

Sunday morning.. actually early morning … hmm actually very early .. 3 am !! Religiously completed those regular daily ablutions for there is a long day to go and one would surely not want the hell to break loose some mid-day. Nature calls as such can be attended anywhere though. U don’t need any particular operator network for that :P.

Thin bright yellow T-shirt, some denim, a cap, shades, some cash all set for a Summer outing on a Sunday !

4am we start on bike… this time actually a motor bike. Eyes wide open, I kept looking forward to get to that place. The place I was sure that would make my day. As we accelerated to 30s and 40s, the chill wind in the dark whispered in my years “Hello handsome, aisa he ki abhi sunrise ke liye aur 2 ghante baaki hein”. It did fell in love with me and my summer attire that it hugged me all the way till the sunrise at around 5.45 am came to my rescue!

90 minutes of brutal shivering with that sound of wind resonating in my ears could not snap the excitement I had looking forward to get to that place. Obv.. Bengaluru summers you see. Hit the Mysore road highway, but still could not cruise above 60 kmph for safety reasons. As we moved away from the city, the visibility got low and temperatures dipped. Weird hours trucks occupying the entire highway lanes, performing their duets and having their “Hum Saath Saath Hein” moments were pretty common.

A quick cup of tea on the way did give some warmth. The unexpected and unmarked hopeless humps on the so called highway made sure we stick to the speed limits. There were in a way helpful though. U see pillion riders have nothing to do but sit … and sit for hours together on long rides. For me, doing nothing would be a herculean task, given that I have mastered the art going into standby mode when not operating for longer durations..!

Ok so what is this place ?

Situated at some 2-3 km off the Mysore road just after Srirangapatnam (once the island fortress of the legendary Tiger of Mysore, Tipu Sultan) lays a small yet amazing place called Ranganathittu Birds Sanctuary. It is also called as Pakshi Kashi and covers  about less than a square km area.  History speaks that the place comes into existence after embarkment of a small dam in mid-1600’s.

Lying in the backwaters of Krishanraja Sagar dam, the sanctuary comprises of 6 islets spread across in the River Cauvery stream. A salute and my utmost respect to Dr. Salim Ali an ornithologist who realised the importance of these nesting grounds and persuaded Wodeyar kings of Mysore who later declared the area as wildlife sanctuary in 1940s. Cool..! we have people who do give importance to our fellow living beings of planet dated back then !

What is all the Fuss about ?

Hmm keep reading… it only gets interesting !

Well you see there are international visitors with wings who fly all the way from far far places. Yes there are some local beauties too.

How far do they come from? Let’s say relatively our 140 km ride to this place would be a peanut’s molecule.

Siberia – “sorry, we could calculate directions from Bangalore, Karnataka to Siberia” was Google map’s answer. All that state of art world class infrastructure with some brilliant hardware, software and some thousands of personnel working on these maps…is nothing compared to these bird’s fist size brains. Australia, North America are other such places.

Their ability to travel such great distances crossing continents, braving oceans and probably gusty winds (without GPS 😛 ) leaves me in Awe !

Breeding and nesting might be the major reasons…and obv. the weather at that particular period of the year. ( and you thought Fun, family holiday ? )

At the sanctuary one has to hire a boat to have a trip around these islets. Ahaa..! Crocs hiding and perfectly camouflaged in the water. Again the extent of you having an Awesome time in these waters depends on the tip you pay the boatmen. Interesting that they know every detail, the name of the birds, where to find them, their behaviour, their seasonal visits …everything !

Yes this place has many photographers and people who think they are photographers, visiting this place. A perfect place for birding. Oh well of course we happened to see a couple on other boat. I still could not figure why that lady had to use a flash in a broad daylight for birding in her costly SLR with those big hefty lens? I guy there was pretending to be impressed as she flaunts her photography skills ! Ridiculous !

Ok, What are they … just birds rite?

Hmmm Hmmm Hmmm ha… iv got no words to describe the beauty…let the pictures speak for themselves..! Tadaaa…!

Painted Stork

Painted stork

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Fruit bat… online sources also say its a Flying fox !. Well they remind me of Dracula !

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The Anhinga a.k.a. Snake bird. 

Did you know this beautiful bird does not have waterproof / waxed feathers. Every time it dives in for a hunt, it’ll have to wait for its wings to dry before it again flies !

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Open bill stork

There again, balancing on one leg…! too much of inner peace ha !

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(Did not get its name…! )

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Black tern

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Cormorant

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Cattle egret

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Egret… I think Intermediate egret.

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Spoon bill

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Night Heron

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Kingfisher

Not sure of others, this I guess is under threatened category. I learnt that it is pretty much shy bird. Obv, almost every Kingfisher I spotted, was facing the other way. Really satisfied for finally I could see one so properly !

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River tern

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River Tern with Great thick knee 

Great Stone – curlew also called as Great thick knee is supposed to be in the Near threatened category.

For few, birds might be cute, beautiful,

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Hello ladies and gentlemen..!

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Hey Handsome…Take my pic…!

For few they teach about survival, few take it as some symbol of freedom…! But for me…its all Jurassic Park again !

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That I could fly, from the highest swing….I had a dream !

I think I am a little selfish now for not posting all the pics. I’ll keep the other amazing ones for myself 😛

 

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