Friday, October 17, 2008

Birding In Western Ghats (Dandeli & Anshi WLS, Karnataka - 12th to 15th Nov'08)

Date: 12th November, 2008 morning 9.30 am to 15th November, 2008 eve 8.00 pm The bookings for Dandeli / Anshi bird-watching trip are still on… your seats now (see the details at the end).....


(12th Nov'08 to 15th Nov'08)

Early in the morning, if you are awaken by the “Chakoo Chakoo” calls of the Grey nightjar just a few feet away and you come out to stretch your legs, you see Malabar parakeets creating a raucous, a racquet tailed drongo whizzing past as if followed by a pair of bumble bees, an Indian lorikeet saluting you in its typical upside down “Bat” like posture, a pair of Fairy Blue bird greeting you with its melodious call or a party of Brown-cheeked fulvettas passes over your head…..then you are actually in Kulgi Nature Camp situated in Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka…..

An inveritable paradise for forest birds, this sanctuary is respected for its variety and abundance of birdlife. The Dandeli Wildlife sanctuary is spread over 834.16 and is the second largest in Karnataka, contiguous with the Bhagwan Mahaveer sanctuary in Goa. This Sanctuary abounds with a richness of Flora and Fauna. Its richness and diversity offers ample opportunities to nature lovers to enjoy the captivating landscape. The sanctuary is generally undulating with steep slopes, picturesque deep river valleys and rich hilly forest terrain. The breathtaking valleys, regal looking meandering rivers and the splendid scenic beauty of the syntheri rock make it an awe inspiring experience. The forest in Dandeli is typical moist deciduous and semi evergreen types, with pockets of evergreen trees.

The myriad streams that flow through this sanctuary empty in the mighty Kali river and its tributaries, Kaneri and Nagajhari that offers one of the most breathtaking white water rapids in south India. The forest is home to numerous plants, mammals, reptiles, insects, butterflies and is especially rich in birds with plenty of western ghat endemics……

The town has got a curious history behind its name. There is a strong belief that the city is named as "Dandeli" after Dandelappa, a loyal servant of the Mirashi landlords who lost his life because of his loyalty. Even today we can find people worshipping him in the temples, which memorises his existence.

The Anshi National Park located in the North Kannada district of Karnataka was given a status of National Park in 1987 and has an area of 340 sq km, considered as India's most endangered wildlife park. Anshi lies on the Karwar- Londa highway and is part of the Dandeli wildlife sanctuary. The area has semi-evergreen and evergreen forests. Anshi National Park has been granted the status of Project Tiger sanctuaries in January 2007. Anshi National Park is located in an eco-sensitive part of the Western Ghats, at a height between 200 m to 925 m above sea level.

Anshi National Park is a lush semi-evergreen forest just 50 kms. from Dandeli, famous for its astounding population of Black Panthers. This forest is the home of the world’s largest poisonous snake ‘The King Cobra’.

Some of the bird star attractions to be found in Dandeli sanctuary include Indian Lorikeet & Malabar Parakeets ; Malabar Pied, Malabar grey and Indian Pied Hornbills ; Hill Myna ; Blue-bearded & Chestnut headed bee-eaters ; Ruby-throated & Yellow-browed Bulbul ; Fairy Blue Bird ; Velvet-fronted & Chestnut-bellied Nuthatches ; Little Spiderhunter ; Black-throated and White-backed Munias ; Darkfronted Babblers ; Heartspotted , White-bellied and Brown-capped Pigmy woodpeckers ; Malabar Trogon ; Ceylon Frogmouth ; Brown Fish, Mottled wood, Spot-bellied and Brown Wood Owl; Crested Gowshawk ; Speckeld Piculet ; Gold-fronted & Blue-winged Leafbirds etc etc…..

Nature India announces an exclusive birdwatching trip to this birding paradise - Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and Anshi National Park from 12th to 16th Nov’08……

Some of the areas that will be covered during this trip are as follows:

1) Kulgi Nature Camp environs: The area surrounding this beautiful camp abounds in bird activity early in the morning. The campus itself provide Brown-cheeked fulvettas, Malabar Parakeets, Grey and Indian Nightjars, Vernal hanging parakeets, Racquet-tailed Drongos, White-cheeked and coppersmith barbets, leaf warblers, White-rumped Shama and many more……

The Camp site consists of about 10 fully furnished tents, a small museum, a large dormitory, a dinning hall surrounded on all sides by wilderness. A newly constructed Nature information center has added value to this wonderful place. The food prepared by the local cook is mouth-watering and is particularly favorite amongst the visitors.

2) Ganeshgudi: This small village on the outskirts of Supa Dam about 24 kms from Kulgi boosts of huge congregations of Malabar Pied Hornbills and it is an experience to watch these magnificent birds when they come here to roost in the evening on the huge trees along the banks of Kali river.

This area also has an abundant birdlife and offers sure sightings of Malabar Pied and Malabar grey hornbills, Fairy Blue Birds, White-bellied Blue-flycatchers, White-bellied woodpeckers, Chestnut-headed bee-eaters etc.

3) Dandeli Timber Depot: If you want to see the Malabar Gaint Squirells and Hill Mynas, then this is the place. The depot is situated close to the Dandeli forest office and easily accessible by road. The birds come here for evening roost and is particularly favorite amongst the bird photographers for the opportunity it gives. The Kali river that passes by also adds Grey headed fishing eagle if you are lucky.

4) Shirali Village: There is an abandoned mine just adjacent to the road that passes this village. On the other side of this mine are many tall trees that form the edge of the forest. It is here that I may have seen more than 120 species of birds in the 5-6 times that I visited. You have to just sit and relax on the road side and keep your eyes open. You may come across Chestnut-headed & Blue-bearded bee-eaters, Ruby-throated & Black Bulbuls, Pompodour green pigeons, White-rumped and Brown-backed Needletails, Malabar & Plum-headed Parakeets, Speckled piculet and a vast variety…….It is amazing how a forest clearing produces a myriad of species.

5) Bomanahalli Intke: “Intke” means dam and we go for birding along the periphery of the back waters of this dam. It is a nice place to see some water birds including Grey-headed Fish Eagle and Osprey sometimes. This area is also surrounded by good forest and if you come across any “mixed hunting party” then it’s a huge lottery (Usually it’s a win-win situation) …… a good place to see Blue-tailed and Small Green bee-eaters, Rufous and Flameback woodpeckers, Common Ioras, Shamas, Orange and Small minivets, Booted and Blyth’s reed warblers, Pied flycatcher shrike, various species of Drongos etc….. On the way you can also stop and watch birds along the road for sure sightings of Ashy-wood Swallow and maybe a Red-breasted flycatcher & Forest Wagtail amongst the Bamboo clumps.

6) Sanctuary Safari: There are permissions required to enter the core area of the sanctuary, which can be obtained from Kulgi along with a guide. Private vehicles are allowed by paying some charges. An excellent way to watch Indian Guar, Spotted, Sambar and Barking Deers, Jackals and if you are lucky then you might as well bump into a Leopard or a Sloth Bear or even have a Malabar Trogon passing your road.

The early morning ride is especially productive and it is a thrill to travel the winding roads, keeping your senses alert expecting surprises at every turn. The safari ride lasts for almost a couple of hours.

7) Syntheri Rocks: About 20 kms from Kulgi and on the way to Anshi National Park this place is famous for its monolithic rock formation. The river "Kaneri" passes through the terrain. A good place to watch Black-capped Kingfisher, Large wood-shrike, White-bellied Flycatcher, Blue-bearded bee-eaters, Woodpeckers etc. The flying lizard or “Draco” is found a plenty here and one looks in awe as they float from one stem to another like a leaf gliding away.

8) Anshi National Park: This evergreen forest is about 70 kms from Kulgi and is contigious with the Dandeli WLS. The atmosphere here is a total in contrast. It is dense, green and cool. The Anshi camp is situated at an ideal location surrounded with cool streams that can fetch you a Blue-eared Kingfisher. The trail that starts behind the camp offers sure sightings of Malabar Trogons and White-bellied Treepie whose northernmost distribution ends here. The Bamboo patches could yield the Ceylon Frogmouth and if you bump in any mixed hunting party then, you can easily come across more than 20 species of birds frantically feeding and jostling around.

Anshi NP is particularly rich in butterflies, and the star attractions here are the Southern Bird-wing (largest butterfly of India) and Malabar tree Nymph butterflies that flutter and glide effortlessly over the canopy. The flying lizards are in good numbers even inside the campus and you should not be shocked to expect a lizard or two gliding over your head or crossing your path, while having your lunch.

Have a look at these links to see some trip reports

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Trip Details & Iterinary

Date: 12th November, 2008 morning 9.30 am to 15th November, 2008 eve 8.00 pm

Mode of Travel : Trax Cruiser Jeep (The only travel option to move around the places quickly)

Rough Tour Iterinary:

1) Wednesday 12th Nov, 2008 : Pick-up from Belgaum at 9.30 am by Jeep – Reach Kulgi Nature Camp and Lunch – Rest and Proceed for Ganeshgudi & Supa Dam area while birding along the way – Return back to Kulgi – Dinner – Night Trail to see the Flying Squirrels

2) Thrusday 13th Nov, 2008 : Early morning Safari in Sanctuary – visit “Shirval” village (an abandoned mine area) to see the profusion of forest birds – Return to Kulgi Nature Camp for lunch – Rest and proceed to Bomanhalli intke for birding – Visit Dandeli Timber depot to see Great Hornbill, Hill Mynas and Gaint Squirrels – Return to KNC for Dinner and Roost

3) Friday 14th Nov, 2008 : Early morning pack-up and birding around Kulgi village – Breakfast – Visit Syntheri Rocks – Reach Anshi Nature Camp – Lunch and birding in Anshi – Dinner – Night trail

4) Saturday 15th Nov, 2008 : Early morning Birdwatching behind Anshi nature Camp – Breakfast and proceed to Kulgi for Lunch – Rest and proceed to Belgaum to reach by 7 pm

Trip charges : Rs.6200/- for ordinary tents or Rs. 6700/- for deluxe tents (Includes Stay in tents in Kulgi and Anshi Nature Campt, on twin sharing basis, Local travel by Trax cruiser, Park entry charges, food , Information articles & on board snacks and mineral water)…….

Group Size : 13 persons only

These charges are Belgaum to Belgaum and participant has to make their own travel arrangement upto Belgaum and Back. This does not include any charges other than the above. The photography charges if any should be borne by the participants.

Registration: You can register by sending a confirmation mail to and by paying a full advance of Rs.6200/- …...

Stay Arrangement: Kulgi and Anshi Nature Camps. These are well furnished tents with fans & lights & electricity points for charging The Stay arrangement is on a twin sharing basis. The Camp Premises and toilets are clean and the food is lip smacking……The camps are situated right inside the forests and offers plenty of Birdwatching inside the campus.

Resource Person: Mr.Adesh Shivkar

Mode of Payment: You can either
1) Transfer the money directly to my HDFC A/c (Please send a mail for details).. please mention your name, date and other details….
2) Courier a cheque of Rs.6200/- to the following address:
Name: Mr.Adesh Shivkar
Address: D/8, The Adi Janata Society, Behind HP Petrolpump, Opp. Hotel Shangrila, Sion(East), Mumbai-400022

Please Note:

1) Once registered, the amount of Rs. 6200/- is strictly non-refunadable

2) Alcohol & Smoking is strictly prohibited on Nature India Tours

3) There is no mobile coverage in Dandeli, but an STD booth nearby is available if you need to contact

Please revert on ID, in case you need any clarification …..

For any other queries I am available on 9321463362 or 9820455713

Thanks for your patience.

Looking forward for a very rewarding trip with you all !!

Warm Regards,

Adesh Shivkar

Nature India

Appreciate, Respect and Conserve

1 comment:

swamy said...

hello Mr. Adesh Shivkar,

I am Kumarswamy (from Ganeshgudi). glad to see your blog and was wondering to know who actually caught those birds' photographs.

look forward to hear from you,