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Journey through the Historical and breathtaking landscapes of Uttara Kannada

By September 23, 2019 April 3rd, 2020 4 Comments

The drive through scenic landscapes and stopping at places that pulled our heart to witness what Nature can offer was ecstatic. Regular dialogues with the locals asking for directions was an invaluable experience. Uttara Kannada is a place where you will find Nature providing livelihood to millions of living beings including the infamous homosapiens.

‘Drongo’ is a Nature Camp specifically for Nature lovers and fanatics. As soon as we set in we felt as though it had been built for us. Suhas Hegde a seasoned herpetologist is also a hardcode Naturalist. It was an honour to meet and learn about the region and about the camp. Our World needs many people like him so that the majority understands and realises what Eco and responsible tourism means. He promotes local food and the raw materials for that are procured from local farmers and shops. Plastic is strict NO-NO in this place.

As soon as we stepped into the dining area, we were welcomed by hundreds of arachnids which was a fascinating sight. The Signature Spider (Argiope anasuja) was ignorant of us. The other spiders were mostly from the parawixia family. The intermittent rains did not let us go out on the day we reached but we were rewarded by calls from hundreds of frogs and also with a sighting of the Amboli Bush Frog (Pseudophilautus amboli) as soon as the darkness enveloped. The Amboli Bush Frog is critically endangered (https://t.ly/WZP5X) mainly due to habitat loss.

Next day started off with a Nature walk with Suhas. The surrounding reserve forest is one of the pristine forest areas that supports innumerable types of flora. It is a haven for botanists, entomologists and herpetologists. The vegetation is so thick that we could hear several birds but could not spot that many. We were fortunate to get a glimpse of the Malabar Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus) which has a huge bill and casque. On our way back to the camp we came across several insects and amphibians.

There are two important heritage sites that needs to be visited in case someone plans for a tour towards Sirsi. Firstly, the Madhukeshwara Temple and the other is the Gudavi Bird Sanctuary. Both of these have a class of its own.

The idea was to visit Gudavi bird sanctuary and on the way back to see the Madukeshwara Temple. The idea of using google maps was a grave mistake. It took us through a path where only a 4×4 could go. We took a chance and went ahead only to find the road being intercepted by a huge river and it was a dead end for us. To get back on the main road was an unforgettable adventure that none of us would forget. The idea of going to Gudavi was postponed to next day and the next stop before hitting the campsite was the Madhukeshwara Temple.

Madhukeshwara Temple is one of the oldest Temples of India. Located in Banavasi, the oldest town of Karnataka (https://t.ly/RX8gq). The vibrations that one feels in here is inexplicable. If one is inclined towards meditation, then this place is one that cannot be missed out. After a period of time that we had lost account for, we realized that we have to get back to the campsite. The night as usual was very exciting and after a delicious meal we called it a day.

The next morning, we had to drive back to Bangalore and the plan was to retrace the same route that was used to get to the campsite. As we drove on, we realized that we were in the same direction but very far from the route that we had taken. Suddenly, there was a board which read Gudavi Bird Sanctuary, 8 kilometers. Since we had come all the way from Bangalore, driving another eight KMS was negligible. This time we got the right road and we reached the bird sanctuary.

Gudavi is a home of thousands of water birds. It was the breeding season of Black-Headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus) and we could notice thousands of community nests with a minimum of two fledglings in a nest. Not many other species were noticeable. A lone Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), Little cormorant (Microcarbo niger) and an Indian Spot-Billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha) were I think getting away from the crowd. A pair of Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) were contemplating about what could be done about the noise from the neighbours.

The walkway around the Bird Sanctuary is about 1.5 Kilometers. A good bird sanctuary to get to see some of the best migratory birds but during migratory season only.

 

Black-Headed Ibis

 

Common Mormon (Female)

 

Blue Mormon

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The three-day trip came to an end with rains lashing at us all through till Bangalore. All in all, a great trip with a great team. Looking forward for a longer trip in the near future exploring other parts of Our Great Country.

Thanking Tarun and Suchit to have accompanied me and to make the journey a memorable one.

Trip dates: 13th-15th September 2019

Checklist of species spotted during the journey:

Spiders:

  1. Long Jawed Orb Weaver
  2. Two-Tailed spider
  3. Mercury spider
  4. Lynx spider
  5. Tent Web spider
  6. Tunnel Sheet spider
  7. Signature Spider
  8. Nursery web spider

Frog:

  1. Amboli Bush Frog

Birds:

  1. Indian Peafowl
  2. Blue-Bearded Bee-Eater
  3. Spotted Dove
  4. House Sparrow
  5. Malabar-Pied Hornbill
  6. Malabar Grey Hornbill
  7. Black Drongo
  8. Chestnut-Headed Bee-Eater
  9. Black-Headed Ibis
  10. Indian Spot-Billed Duck
  11. Intermediate Egret
  12. Little Cormorant
  13. Night Heron
  14. Crimson-Backed Sunbird
  15. Purple-Rumped Sunbird
  16. Tailor Bird (Call)
  17. Wire-Tailed Swallow (Journey)
  18. Long Tailed Shrike (Journey)
  19. Black-Shouldered Kite (Journey)
  20. Crested-Serpent Eagle
  21. Rose-Ringed Parakeet
  22. Darter
  23. Blue-Rock Pigeon
  24. House Crow
  25. Jerdon’s Leaf Bird
  26. Golden-Fronted Leaf Bird
  27. Black Kite
  28. Brahminy Kite
  29. Barn Swallow
  30. Red-Wattled Lapwing
  31. Red-Whiskered Bulbul
  32. Red-Vented Bulbul
  33. Lesser Goldenback
  34. Jungle Babbler
  35. White-Throated Kingfisher
  36. Pied Bushchat
  37. Indian Robin
  38. Southern Coucal
  39. Rufous Treepie
  40. Common Myna

Butterflies:

  1. Common Crow
  2. Crimson Rose
  3. Blue Mormon
  4. Malabar Rose
  5. Lime Butterfly
  6. Common Mormon
  7. Common Raven
  8. Malabar Raven (?)
  9. Common Baron
  10. Common Leopard
  11. Rustic

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Anupama Gautham says:

    Awesome write up..and thanks for introducing us to the amazing flora and Fauna of North Karnataka..didn’t know that we have such a good treasure land..

    • Rakesh says:

      My vocabulary fails me when I have to describe you and your work Rajaram sir. You are a true Wildlife warrior. Your enthusiasm for the wild is so contagious. I took my baby steps in Bird watching under your tutelage. Please continue to make strides in this Noble cause. You are like a catalyst who can bring in positive change in otherwise casual tourists by changing them to wildlife enthusiasts. Kudos to you sir.

  • Suhas Hegde says:

    The main concept to build the ‘Drongo Nature Camp’ is “Enjoy the Nature” instead of “Enjoy in the Nature”.
    Thank you for being in our nature camp and thanks for your valuable feedback.
    Always Most welcome to all nature lovers to DRONGO.
    Regards;
    Suhas

  • Rohini Bharath says:

    Excellent write up. Been to Sirsi twice but was not aware of such fabulous and scenic places with some spirituality added. Must plan a trip.

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