Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Mesmerizing Mallalli Falls..!

I could hear it's roar from a distance. It was raining heavily..cold breeze took me to a different world. First glimpse of Mallalli Falls gave me a never ending treat.
I never knew about this falls until one of my colleague told me about it. Mallalli Falls is a seasonal waterfall which is situated between Pushpagiri hills and Kumaraparvatha. A short trek from Mallalli village would lead us to this mighty falls.

Mallalli Falls.
Surrounded by Mist.
Drive from Somwarpet to Mallalli itself was fascinating. Green all-around, I could smell pepper and coffee. Well laid roads with absolutely no vehicles was sugar on top. I was able to see couple of green vine snakes slither from one end to other end of the road. My stay was arranged in Mallalli.

Heavy rains with chill winds enhanced the excitement. I observed many took jeeps, instead of trekking to falls. The landlord of homestay suggested me to trek and enjoy the beauty. I valued his suggestion.

Mallalli Falls.
The trek was not challenging, although it was 9kms from the starting point. Coffee estates on either side of the trail looked fresh. Birds and bees played their melodious orchestra. This was the first time I saw Malabar Parakeet or Blue Winged Parakeet. With its squeaky call and turquoise blue colored body, it attracted everyone. Flock of blue winged parakeets landed on top of tall trees. 

Malabar Parakeet.
Malabar Parakeet.
After a lovely trek with loads of fun, rain and birds I came back to homestay. I enjoyed hot, simple meal along with non polluted sky. It was clear, stars seemed even brighter; wonder why do they look like pale objects inside city.
Following morning, I got to know that it had rained the whole night. However it did not stop me from Bird watching. Flame back woodpecker had already started it's routine. Blue Throated barbets were singing continuously. 

Long Tailed Shrike.
Dark Fronted Babbler.
I was lucky to see Western Ghat Endemic birds. Specially Malabar Grey Hornbill.

Malabar Parakeet and Malabar Grey Hornbill.
Malabar Grey Hornbill.

The big bird stayed on top of the tree for more than 20 mins. A gang of tourists made a huge chaos which disturbed the bird.

Orange Minivet.
Apart from these, I was fortunate to sight Racket-Tailed Drongo, Malabar Whistling thrush. However, could not get a clear shot. 
While I was about to depart from the place, I noticed a perfectly camouflaged tiny frog near to my car's wheel. It was amazing. How often would someone notice these tiny things..!? It blended so nicely with wet mud. 

Gundia Indian Frog.
Gundia Indian Frog.
It was a wonderful trip. I made a quick dash to Pushpagiri Hill-top. A beautiful temple of Lord Shiva is built in between lush green forest. Behind the temple, trekker's trail was opened. Many trekking enthusiasts start from this point.

Pushpagiri Temple.
Visit Mallalli Falls: ~230 Kms from Bengaluru.
Direction: Bengaluru >> Mysore Road >> Srirangapatna >> Hunsur >> Bailkuppe >> Somwarpete >> Mallalli. 
When to Visit: July --January. 
Accomodation: Kannika Homestay, Mallalli. Simple coorgi food and bed. Lack of electricity. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Congregation @ Hosakote..!

Hosakote Lake is the largest fresh water body in Bengaluru. It is well known among birding community. I had my deepest desire to visit this place to check out the habitat..and I was not disappointed. I witnessed probably the biggest congregation of waterfowls..!! It was a treat.

Paddyfield Pippit. ?
Green bee Eater.
Google navigation suggested a shorter route to the lake bed, but it turned out to be difficult. I had to cross couple of gated complex. The trail which I took turned out to be the end of lake. 

Bushchat with a berry.
Half of the lake was transformed into grasslands. Due to lack of rain, the water level had gone down. However, the bird count was not.

Habitat view.
It was an interesting arena of birds. There were plenty of grey herons, egrets, pheasant tailed jacanas, stilts etc. Early morning sunshine had made the lake bed look lovely. It was beautiful.

The Congregation.
Pelicans, Grey Herons, Egrets.
Painted Storks, Wooly necked Stork, Black headed Ibis.
Main attraction to me was Wooly Necked Stork. I had read about this resident bird from other's trail reports too. It was beautiful.

Greater Cormorant.
Territorial combat of Grey Herons.

Juv Brahminy Kite.
Spot Billed Pelican.
Flock of Coots.
The lake boundaries are vulnerable for trespassing. There are few farm fields at the edge of the lake with out any fencing. Many buildings and plots have come up near the lake. This indicates growth and it is not far to see lake getting encroached by real estate sharks.

Visit Hosakote lake for infinite birding experience.

Old Madras Road >> Proceed till first toll booth >> just before the toll booth take a left turn. Directions from that deviation to lake bed.