23 November 2008

Trip to Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary

(Babu rowing us through the lake)
The place was calling me since sometime and finally the trip came along. I had heard about this place lot many a times and this was it. I understand that this place was setup by lot of efforts from Salim Ali, who is a well known name in the arena of Wildlife conservations. There is another national sanctuary in Kerela, in his name, the Salim Ali National Park. We headed out of Bangalore, on a sunny Saturday morning and after a sleepy bus ride, reached Srirangapatna at 9:30. We hurried to the Ranganthittu Bird anctuary, a little worried about the light being harsh in the afternoon and wanted to reach as soon as possible.
The place has been maintained extremely well and lot of work was also under way. There are options when it comes to boating, and we choose to take a personal boat for three of us which costs 250Rs for a 25mins ride. The other option with boat having full amount of people(20 seat boats), would cost Rs. 25 each. The price was worth it and the folks rowing around are skilled physically and in their knowledge as well. The person, "Babu" who rowed the boat for us, seemed to have excellent details about birds, their proper names, their habitats and had been observing their activities since donkeys days. His observations were impeccable and could name the birds while they were in flight. The lake, is the actual diversion of river Cauvery, around this area and maintained as a place favourable to birds. There are lot of islands throughout and around the lake and offer solace to birds and Crocodiles with enough of food and place. I had read somewhere on a website, in the tips for birds photography "if you are clicking around a lake, try taking a boat and you would be surprised to see how close you could to them", and that's what i witnessed there. Babu started rowing around and started showing us the birds. The first huge islands had a complete family of Ibis sitting and enjoying the Saturday morning sun. There family had a guest "painted Stork" visiting them and sharing a branch. There were few herons who looked at ease with people getting closer in the boats and a young one of the family, just wading near water. And the best part, a huge crocodile sitting below on the island... The sight left us with Goosebumps and boy!!, was it some experience to see it from so close, in the wild. Through the boat ride, i could see lot of crocs moving with the boat, in extremely scary close vicinities and this sent a shiver down us all, but then Babu told us that they folks are quite cool and never seem to disturb anyone till vice-versa happens. At one point of time, he took boat near one of the crocs on the islands, and probably the distance was just 1.5 feet or so, and this was really exciting. We could even hear it breath. Amazing....Moving ahead the shots continued and Babu kept explained about birds and their nature. A small rock standing out in the water, saw these beautiful "River Tern" sitting in a pair and i could get portrait shots of these beauties with orange beaks and paws. On the way back, he took us to show some Snake birds sitting around the place and left us back with a smile.

The trip was enthralling and an experience something for the first time.
The park outside is still coming up and has excellent parking facilities. There is a small restaurant available for people to quench their thirst or feed. We headed out of this place, committing to return again as per told by "Babu" about the birds which would be frequenting in the month of Jan now. The trip continued towards exploring the other royal remains of the city of Srirangapatna. A writeup for the same to follow soon.

1 comment:

  1. That was too gud laale..woh croc wala part was really scary...n u know... crocs r one of the scariest creatures!! mujhe to fotu mein bhi jaleel lagte hain..! anyways..u seem to be enjoying a lot with different kinds of birds and all :-) i miss these things here in delhi :-(


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