16 July 2013

Monsoon Safari at the Ghats of K.Gudi Wildlife Sanctuary

K.Gudi (Kyathadevaraya Gudi) is about 195 km from Bangalore takes around 4 hours to reach via Maddur, Malavalli road. K.Gudi is located in B.R.Hills. A heaven for all the nature and wildlife lovers, there are many species of birds and wild animals which adds to the color of natures lush green in the monsoon season.

The variety of birds and animals which are commonly spotted are
Animals: leopard, elephant, tiger, gaur, wild dog, sloth bear, barking deer, spotted deer, sambar, wild boar, porcupine, python, Malabar giant squirrel.
Birds: scarlet minivet, velvet-fronted nuthatch, gold-fronted chloropsis, lorikeet, blossom-headed parakeet, heart-spotted woodpecker, malabar whistling thrush and others.

We had visited this place on 13th and 14 of July 2013, which is not a good idea if you are planning to spot some animals like Tiger or leopard... though it is not a surprise if we get chance to spot one, cause in this season the forest is very thick and dense which makes difficult to spot animals.

We had pre-booked Jungle Lodges resort, the quality of facilities provided by JLR is really great.

Day 1: We reached K.Gudi around 10 am, the drive through the dense forest, listening to the sounds of birds, the variety of trees, the mist covered mountains and the fresh air in the forest made my mind so calm and relaxed. On the way we spotted 'Spotted Owlets, Red Whiskered Bulbul, White Throated Kingfishers, Scaly breasted Munia, Indian Peafowl and other birds. We checked-in JLR at 12:00 noon, and got refreshed for a while and had lunch and were ready for the day one safari at 3:30 pm. JLR has the Bolero 4 wheel drive modified safari vehicles which can carry eight persons per trip (including driver).

 As we entered the jungle we were welcomed by couple of Barking deers and we moved further there was a Mother elephant with a calf gracing. One of the forest guard informed us that the elephant calf was just five days young. It was well protected by its mother, the calf was also not moving away from mother, it was just between the legs. :)

As usual our eyes were searching to spot a tiger or a leopard... in the dense forest...

After moving little ahead we spotted a Changeable Hawk resting on a tree.

We continued our journey in the thick forest... we spotted this bird which was spotted for the first time by all of us, and none of us were able to identify the bird. (Please help to identify this bird by leaving a comment )

After reaching the end point of one way, we spotted tiger pug marks which were freshly marked by the forest guard in the same day morning... (This was close to poaching camp). After this, we were very curious about the pug marks and though we may find tiger but unfortunately we did not spot tiger or a leopard in the day one safari.
While returning back we were charged by on of the female elephant of a herd, luckily it was not so interested with our vehicle, the same female elephant by lifting it's trunk up was checking if everything around was well for the herd to cross the road, and once it felt the condition were good all the elephants decided to cross the road.

This was a special moment for us.
While all the other elephants of the herd crossed the road the reached the other side, this mother decided to march in the road, which made cute calf to follow it's mother. As our vehicle was blocking the road they moved and joined the herd.

But before they join the herd they gifted me this beautiful framed shot :)

As we continued driving further the weather turned really bad. The heavy rain shower forced us to end the day one safari. Safari started around 3:30 pm and we reached the lodge back around 6:30 pm, it was a good long drive in the safari.

After reaching back to base we were served hot coffee/tea with hot pokoda :) for snakes, and wildlife related videos were played in the big TV.

JLR at K.Gudi also has some indoor games like carrom board, table tennis, etc... we played TT for a while and it was time to have dinner. The dinner was really spicy, which was just perfect for the cold evening.

Day 2: The time we were waiting for was the day 2 safari which starts at 6:15 am. The same vehicle, same partners with fresh mind we all headed into forest again... this time it was more of birding than spotting mammals in the forest, as usual the mountains was covered with mist and foggy road...

However the climate condition was good but not for photography :( , still we did not give-up our passion, we tried our best to photograph some birds in the low light.

Forest was quite calm in the morning with deer herds gracing all over the green land.

The first few birds we spotted were: Crested serpent eagle, Malabar whistling thrush, Orange-headed thrush, Racket tailed drongo and lots of common birds like Jungle Babbler, Blackbird etc.

And few mammals like Malabar Squirrel, Single tuskar elephant, Barking deer

There is beautiful landscape through out the jungle, there are four to five lakes in the forest, tow of them were big ones. Which would be just perfect to get some beautiful shots in summer season, while the animals are nearby the lake.

The day 2 safari lasted till 9:30 am, and after reaching back to base the breakfast delicious south Indian style spicy food was ready....

After having the break fast we took our own vehicle and did slow speed safari on the road towards BR.Hills which was really great experience of birding, we managed to spot Coucal, Treepie, Rose ringed parakeet and plenty of Owlets...

Our one amazing moment in this road safari was the moment while we were listening to the melodious song of Malabar Whistling Thrush... It was just like someone singing in the quit jungle. I did record the voice but the sound is not that clear :).

Our check-out time at JLR was at 12:00 noon, so we reached back JLR on time and left the beautiful place and carried some amazing memories and shots of K.Gudi wildlife in the monsoon season :).

Over all it was the first time experience at K.Gudi Wildlife Sanctuary and no doubt that it will be the best...

EOD we reached back to busy Bangalore :(

I love to stay there....... :)


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