Chitmagalur & Hassan Birding

Chitmagalur & Hassan Birding

When:  May 2016                           Weather:  Coolish   20C

Nikon P900

After our meeting in Bangalore, our hosts kindly arranged for us to to visit a hill station in the district of Hassan, staying at a wonderful little resort called the Hoysala Village Resort (HVR). Arriving in the evening after a 3 hour drive from Bangalore, the resort had villas and suites set in a wonderfully flowering garden.  The meals were excellent!

Waking up with the sun at 6am the next day, the jackfruit tree house right next to our villa 903 yielded a few sighting…

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jackfruit tree house with our rooms behind..

 

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First sighting from the tree house was this common kingfisher

 

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the red whiskered bulbuls were everywhere….

 

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and here a particularly porky one!

 

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A yellow bellied gerygone?

 

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and the sunlight caught these flowers

 

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interesting root pattern in the garden…

 

After a 630am breakfast, we set off on the 40km drive to Chitmagalur, the hill station famed for its coffee plantations with the intention of stopping whenever and wherever to bird….almost as soon as we got onto the main road, I spotted something on a tree….

 

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this magnificent raptor was perched on a palm tree looking at us and posing willingly…

 

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and again…

 

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we also spotted a coucal…I wonder why he crossed the road!

 

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a juvenile pied bushchat..thanks Nishant for the ID

 

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and again

 

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Cute little ashy woodswallow

 

DSCN3163arriving in the little town of chitmagalur, we visited a little park where there were numerous fruit bats hanging

 

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but I preferred shooting the lineated barbet

 

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another view

 

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and on the hill slopes our keen eyed driver spotted this little charmer

 

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an oriental whip snake methinks: Ahaetulla prasina

 

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the steep cliffs of chitmagalur hill station

 

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coffee plantation

 

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coffee flower with beans

 

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pushing almost to the top of Mulayanggiri hill…

 

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this black shouldered kite was soaring in the wind

 

And as we descended the hill I spotted another large bird perching next to the road….

 

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a large bird with beautiful speckling on the head which also sported a crest…

 

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Nishant identified it as a juvenile rufous bellied eagle!

 

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good view of crest

 

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He soon soared off and showed us his aerial skills

After lunch  we visited the wildlife sanctuary  at Muthodi and were delighted that it was actually a tiger reserve where we could go for a safari…the Bhadra tiger reserve…

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Bhadra tiger reserve

 

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the first amazing animal we saw was this Malabar Giant Squirrel in the car park!

 

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munching at his fruit

 

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such a cute face

 

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we saw some deer

 

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and some gaur..but alas no tigers…

 

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We did see the Malabar Grey Hornbill!

 

And that was the end of day 1, a reasonably good day in birding terms…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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