Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Cauvery Valley--A paradise for birds.

Cauvery Wild Life Sanctuary---a serene scrubby forest is situated along the border of Karnataka and Tamil nadu, pretty close to Bangalore. My intention was birding, and I had to do my homework as this was my first ever visit to that place. Hence, I went through the blogs and noted few important birding spots. I realized that both Bheemeshwari and Galibore are two different places with a distance of 40kms between them. So it was obvious that I had to leave bangalore early in the morning which could fetch good birds and as well cover both places. Myself and couple of my friends left the city by 04:30 AM.

Rufous Treepie--Kanakapura road.
Rufous  Treepie--CWLS
We stopped for sometime in Kanakapura highway to catch up with the sunrise, a big tree nearby had loads of Yellow billed and Jungle babblers, indian robins, whiskered bulbuls. But what caught my attention was a singing Rufous treepie. It was a beautiful call ! I also saw couple of treepie's inside CWLS.

White Browed Bulbul.
By the time we crossed Sathanur village limits it was almost 6:30 AM, we came near a small pond where I noticed some bird activity. Adjacent to the pond was an open field which also seemed interesting. We started exploring the layout by parking the vehicle at a distance. It was a fabulous trail.

Brahminy Starling.
Eurasion Collered Dove, A Black Drongo.

Magpie Robin.
Fowl Fight.

It was a deserted place, the scrubs had made an ideal habitat for small birds. Tweeting and re-tweeting amongst the birds were ongoing, loved the way of communication between them. Further more, I observed four Indian Peafowls (adult) playing in a farm. I watched my every step and proceeded towards them. Couple of them were exploring the farm whereas other two indulged themselves in a furious fight. It was amazing..! a treat to my eyes and soul. I should not have stepped forward, I guess the intervention did not make them happy. They flew away at a rapid pace and to a very far distance.
We continued our journey into CWLS. The road from CWLS entry gate to Muttathi is in a bad condition.

White Throated King-Fisher.

Rufous Winged Bushlark.

We reached Muttathi and had snacks that we had packed while leaving from Bangalore. We decided to proceed further to Bheemeshwari Fishing camp and explore more. Entry to Bheemeshwari is with prior reservation, hence the guards did not allow us. But we continued on the road till the exit gate of CWLS range. The forest here is bit thick and had good amount of birds. 
We were attracted by couple of small green bee eaters and several rose ringed parakeets. Addition to these, it was Golden oriole's call which made us more anxious. It was pretty difficult to spot them as the forest was thick, but we managed to find them. 

Golden Oriole.
Black Headed Golden Oriole.

Little Green Bee eater.

After exploring the surrounding area we came near Muttathi River; but there were no aquatic birds. We decided to head back to Sathanur as it was getting late. We were too tired to go to Galibore that day. 
My expectations was not over, I had read about Grizzled Giant squirrels and was looking forward to it. As I was speaking about the same to one of my friend, we saw couple of Giants squirrels ahead us. The vehicle sound alerted them and they spread across, one of which climbed the nearest tree and started starting us. It was a cute one.

Grizzled Giant Squirrel.
Indian Roller.
On the way back to Bangalore we saw couple of Indian Rollers too, an incentive to our joy. 


Overall it was a productive short trip with good sightings. We were satisfied and as well surprised for more than one reasons. Firstly, this place is closer to Bangalore and is accessible by all means. Looking at the forest range, we came to know that it will not disappoint anyday. Secondly, the wilderness range is quite larger than we thought. If this habitat is maintained in the same way as it is now, there would be more chance for Tigers and other predators to spread their legs. 

CWLS-- Caurvery Wildlife Sanctuary. 135kms from Bangalore.

Bangalore >> Kanakapura Road >> Kanakapura >> Sathanur.
From Sathanur (Straight) >> Muttathi >> Bheemeshwari Fishing camp. 
From Sathanur (left) >> Galibore Fishing camp >> Sangama.

Carry Food and Water. Nearest Fuel filling pump is in Sathanur. Alcohol is prohibited inside CWLS range.
Other places to visit:
1: Muttathi--Mutturayaswamy temple.
2: Bheemeshwari Fishing camp: check Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) website.
3: Sangama-- picnic spot.
4: Galibore Fishing camp : check Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) website.