deponti (deponti) wrote,

  • Mood:
  • Music:

The Mammals and Birds of Daroji

Our trip to Daroji was suddenly thought of and even more suddenly executed. I must thank Santosh Martin, a fellow NTP-er, for extending such warm hospitality to me; he was at the station at 6am with his car, and took us home to an uncomplaining mother, wife and daughter, too!

Santosh is very involved in several projects (I am doing a separate article on him!), and one of them is the Daroji Bear Sanctuary.

daroji bear sanctuary signboard

Of course, the "main" mammal that one would look for in Daroji would be the SLOTH BEAR:

bear in daroji 160109

The bears are easy to find, as the forest authorities smear a mixture of jaggery and honey on the rocks for them, and the bears love that. But from the watch-tower, we could see several bears in their natural habitat:

bear habitat 170109

Here's one forest worker bringing back the utensil in which the jaggery and honey are mixed:

jaggery mixture 170109

Here's a video I took, of one bear licking the rock:

One bear cub ambled up on to the rocks:

bear cub 160109 daroji

Then, for all the world as if they had just come from the Goldilocks story, there were three bears....

three bears 160109

Suddenly, anushsh exclaimed, "I can see some bears in the rear-view mirror!" and indeed, there were bears BEHIND us, as well! A sighting of 9 or 10 bears was not bad for a couple of hours' work! :)

Of course, I promptly said that the rear-view mirror would now be called the bear-view mirror....

At the Forest Guest House in the sanctuary, I could not take my eyes off this wonderful photograph by Dr M Y Ghorpade, one of our well-known wildlife photographers:

photo by M V Ghorpade

Photo: M Y Ghorpade

Such an incredible image of a mother bear giving, not a bear ride, but a piggy-back ride, to her cubs, in the days before digital photography, when taking photographs and tracking these animals were both far more difficult!

On our way to Hampi, we spotted this GREY LANGUR mother and child, on the rocks:

langur mother and child hampi 170109

We also had the good fortune to see this RUDDY MONGOOSE for a long while on the rocks:

160109 daroji ruddy mongoose

More about the mongoose can be found here


The bird sightings were also many, and varied. On the rocks, along with the bears and the mongoose, we saw a pair of GREY FRANCOLINS:

grey francolin daroji 160109

To make it even more interesting, a PAINTED SPURFOWL joined the cast of characters:

painted spurfowl and grey francolin daroji 160109

The next day, we saw this lovely LOTEN'S SUNBIRD drinking nectar from the flowers:

Loten's sunbird on tree 170109

I could not resist also taking a photograph of this bird that someone had drawn in the dust on Santosh's Bolero!

bird on bolero 170109

One of the best stops we made was the University Lake area, where we could see the KuVemPu University buildings in the distance. In and around this water body was a large variety of birds.

There was a YELLOW WAGTAIL running around in its, er, wagtail fashion, nodding and wagging:

yellow wagtail university lake area 170109

A couple of BLUE-TAILED BEE-EATERS hawked for insects in the air and swooped around:

blue-tailed bee-eater 170109 univ lake area

One "lifer" (first timer!) sighting was of the male (left-hand-side) and female (right-hand-side) EURASIAN WIGEON:

eurasian wigeon and duck 170109 univ lake

Near the aquaduct leading from the lake, several RED MUNIAS made a bright splash of colour:

red munias 170109 univ lake area

On the water were several GARGANEYS:

garganeys 170109 univ lake area hampi

A mixed bag of OPEN-BILLED STORKS, PAINTED STORKS, and ducks could be found:

openbills, painted storks, garganeys

Later, we also saw these POND HERONS posing on the bund:

pond herons daroji 170109

High in the air, a possible PALLID HARRIER soared: (id...AMS)

female kestrel? 170109

In the scrub jungle, we saw BLACK REDSTARTS, but couldn't take any pictures because they were so quick in flying off. But this SMALL MINIVET was captured:

small minivet 170109

I took only the S3 to the ruins of Hampi, and there were these PLUM-HEADED PARAKEETS in all the neem trees, I got a lousy shot of a female:

plum-headed parakeet female hampi 170109

As we were leaving the forest guest house to visit Hampi, we saw a pair of BLACK-SHOULDERED KITES hovering overhead, and though the 20D was giving a lot of trouble, I managed this shot:

170109 black-shouldered kite forest guest house
Tags: bird of prey, birding, karnataka, mammals, national park, photography, travel, wildlife

Recent Posts from This Journal

  • Hulimangala, Sun, 250721

    I always worry when visiting a bird/nature location either for the first time, or after a long gap, if I am bringing a group along. What will the…

  • The flower

    What is a flower But Beauty? When the petals are scattered The fragrance has gone It's dead, I agree. The flower has faded... The bloom is now…

  • Loss and grief during the pandemic

    Keep calm and carry on" only works for some people, but this unwritten rule seems to become mandatory. We're expected to get over our grief by hiding…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.