Skip to main content

Featured Post

Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary - a Photo Blog

“Cranes” whispered Samhith, his voice filled with awe! “They are not cranes. They are Open Billed Storks” replied our boatman-cum-guide. “When we go closer, you can see how their bills have a slight gap and seem to be open. That’s where they get their name from” he elaborated.

Open Billed Stork (Asian Openbill)



We were at the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary near Srirangapatna, and for once, my son didn’t need to be reminded to keep his voice down. His awe far exceeded his excitement, and he was spellbound!

Asian Openbill with young ones in nest


The sight that stretched ahead did deserve that kind of awe. We were on the Kaveri, in a boat, no other humans around but us and the boatman, and, on the trees around, on the islands, were perched, literally birds of all feathers! 



There were Spot Billed Pelicans

Spot Billed Pelicans - adults and juveniles

Spot Billed Pelicans


Cormorants

Little Cormorant


And Painted Storks

Painted Stork (adult)


The juveniles created a racket, as the adults simply looked on, making me wonder if the young ones were throwing a tantrum, as young ones are wont to do!

Painted Storks - Adult (right) and juvenile (left)


We have seen Kingfishers before, but never tire of seeing them!

White Throated Kingfisher


We managed to sight a lone Black Crowned Night Heron, but it was the only bird which seemed to be shy! It didn’t stay long enough for me to get a better shot!

Black Crowned Night Heron


The Egrets, in their breeding plumage, were a beautiful sight…

Egret in breeding plumage

Egret in nest



And a few Pond Heron made their appearance too.

Pond Heron


A pair of Stone Plovers sat impassively on a rock, in the middle of the river…

Stone Plovers


And Black headed Ibises perched right atop the trees.

Black Headed Ibis

Black Headed Ibis



A number of crocodiles swam around, probably trying to catch their breakfast, staring at us balefully as we disturbed their habitat…

Crocodile

Crocodile- up close!



Under another rocky outcrop in the middle of the river were these…

Nests of Indian Cliff Swallows


…nests of the Indian Cliff Swallows, and the birds rushed about their morning work, apparently oblivious to our presence.

Indian Cliff Swallows


A few bats hung upside down amidst all this activity, peacefully sleeping off their exertions of the night…

Bat!


And a bird of prey waited and watched, but unfortunately, I could not identify it. Can any of you help please?

Serpent Eagle? Shikra? 


Our boat ride inside the sanctuary lasted almost an hour, and it was an hour filled with nothing but the sounds of birds, and whispered exclamations. It was only when we got out, and back into our auto, that the suppressed excitement found an outlet, Samhith eagerly scribbling down the bird names before he forgot them!

Incidentally, our birdwatching jaunt had another interesting result - our auto driver was so surprised that even a kid knew so many birds, that he frequently stopped along the road, asking us the names of other birds we saw!




Information:
  • Location: Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is located on the outskirts of Srirangapatna, about 16 Km from Mysore.
  • Where to Stay: Both, Mysore and Srirangapatna are convenient places to stay to visit the sanctuary. Besides, there are also homestays and farm stays away from the city, and near the sanctuary.
  • How to Reach: There are buses to Srinrangapatna from both Bangalore as well as Mysore. From here, it is best to hire a vehicle to the sanctuary. 

Suggestions :
  • We stayed at Mysore and hired an auto to the sanctuary, and also combined this trip with a tour of Srirangapatna. While one day is more than enough for the entire circuit, if you are an ardent birdwatcher or wildlife enthusiast, you might enjoy staying somewhere near the sanctuary and making multiple visits.
  • The best way to see birds is to take a boat ride down the Kaveri inside the sanctuary. The normal rate is around 100 per head, but these are short rides, with a boat load of people. A longer ride easily costs around Rs. 1000 (as of May 2013), though the experience is worth it!
  • The park timings are from 8:30 AM to 6:00PM. Go early in the morning, or in the evening, just before sunset, for the best experience. Tourist footfall increases after 10 AM and continues through till 5 PM. The times just before and after are best for watching the most birds and enjoying the peace and solitude!
  • The best season to watch birds is winter, (usually December to March), but you can see birds here throughout the year. Which birds you see depends on the season though. We visited in May, so even peak summer doesn’t keep the birds away! In fact, seeing all the juveniles was an interesting experience. So, you can look forward to different experiences in different seasons! Calls for multiple visits, doesn’t it? 


Related Posts:



Comments

  1. I loved the egrets the most. They look like mad scientists :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are the most common among all these birds, Sudha, and yet, so full of character!

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Been there some 8 years back, and absolutely loved it then! Your pictures are very beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! It would have been so much more pristine back then... we were lucky to find it so empty. I have heard that usually during the holiday season, tourists flock there, and outnumber the birds!

      Delete
  4. Amazing photo series on Ranganthittu, those nests of Indian Cliff swallows are so unique.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Meghana. Actually, the cliff swallows are seen all across the country, near rocky outcrops near rivers. We saw them at Omkareshwar too, but I didn't have this camera then :-)

      Delete
  5. Lovely pics, Anu! Samhith must have had a blast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Chari. He did have a blast! This remains the best part of our Mysore trip :-)

      Delete
  6. loving the pics and the sanctuary, eagerly waiting to visit the sanctuary soon and thanks for the amazing pics.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi, this is a good blog. I plan to visit Ranganathittu this week Fri. 19th Feb 2015.
    Looking forward to it. I am going along and not with family, main purpose to do bird photography. I am into Photography but trying my hand with birds this time....

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

The Havelis of Bikaner - A Photo Post

The lanes are narrow , twisting and turning amidst buildings old and new. Crumbling old structures with intricate workmanship stand side by side with art deco buildings, and more modern constructions, which follow no particular style. Autos, bicycles, motorcycles and vans rush past, blowing their horns as loudly as possible, while cows saunter past peacefully, completely unaffected by the noise. In the midst of all this chaos, children play by the side, and women go about their chores, as we explore these by-lanes of Bikaner, and its beautiful Havelis. Facade of one of the Rampuria Havelis

Bhedaghat - Home of the 81 Yoginis

The Narmada flows down the mountains , carving out a path for herself as she makes her way down to the plains of Central India. She cascades from the rocks, her fine spray making it appear as if billows of smoke (dhuan) arise from the flowing streams of water (dhaar), giving it the name Dhuandhar. Dhuandhar Falls The force of her flow creates a gorge , smoothening and carving out the rocks into fantastic shapes, the pure white of the rocks standing starkly against the shades of the water. It is a joy to cruise down the river in a boat, seeing the natural contours created by the river, now famous as the Marble Rocks. We are at Bhedaghat, located on the banks of the Narmada near Jabalpur, where thousands of visitors turn up to see these natural landscapes, creations of the sacred Narmada, and pay obeisance to her. However, to me, the most interesting thing about Bhedaghat, isn’t the falls or the rocks, or even the river. What makes Bhedaghat special is t

Kabini Part 3 - After the Rains

Visiting Kabini in peak summer, we hadn’t bargained for the rains, which dominated our three days at the Lodge. While animal sightings were understandably lesser than usual, seeing the forest in the rain was an interesting experience in its own way. However, as we headed back into the forest for our second and third safaris, we hoped the rains would let up, and allow us to see more animals! Winding jungle paths