BR Hills...the beings

November 18, 2010

The living creatures we saw were quite varied. Though the safari organized by the Forest Department was a little disappointing for the children (who of course had their hearts set on a big cat sighting!) they did enjoy whatever they did see, and were quite curious to know things.

In fact, even as Chandu and I waited for the children to come to the hired bus, we noticed a pair of


one of which stayed on the tree long enough for me to get a quick shot:

hornbl 121110 vs

and one of the first birds we were able to show the children when we arrived was the


wbk 121110

Some of the other birds we saw included a sighting that was very thrilling for me...the endemic-to-the-Western Ghats RUFOUS BABBLER rfs bblr 131110 and though it hid in the Lantana bushes, and wouldn't show itself later, I still got a nice video of its call: At several places, we saw the male SCARLET MINIVET scrlet mnvt 131110 as well as the female, jumping around high up in the tree canopy: minivet fml 131110 Another little jewel was the SMALL BLUE KINGFISHER that often was seen at various lakes, waiting patiently for a fish to come near the surface: sbk 151110 We saw lots of GREATER FLAMEBACK WOODPECKERS everywhere: minivet fml 121110 the children were delighted to see the EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE at several places: golden oriole 131110 I managed to get a video of its call, too: You can hear the children exclaiming in wonder! I think that this is a SPANGLED DRONGO though it's rather far away and against the light! spangled drongo I got the call of this bird, too, though I am not sure which kind of Drongo it is: Coming back after the JLR safari on the motorbike, Jadeswamy and I looked up to see this truly magnificient BLACK EAGLE soaring overhead; I quickly aimed from the running bike, and got a foozly shot! blk egle 141110 Everywhere, the RUFOUS TREEPIE also showed its beauty: treepie Some smaller creatures also delighted the children. Here's a PILL BUG going about its business: pillbug 131110 a beautiful LANTERN BUG: lantern bug 131110 I was amazed, in the VGKK campus, to see dozens of EARTHWORMS in a tree-trunk, moving in the water. What were they doing there? I don't know... earthworms in trunk 131110 of course, I got a short video of their wavy movement! These NYMPHS on a leaf, looked so beautiful: nymphs brt 121110 this CATERPILLAR slowly came sailing down on to the ground on a strand of silk, at ATREE: So caterpillar I also got this "river" or "highway" of ants, flowing along the rocks: I got several butterflies, including some when the trip was over and I was roaming around the Valley School campus, waiting for the school bus to take me home! Here's the COMMON FOUR-RING: cmn 4 ring 131110 the COMMON PIERROT: cmn pierrot 151110 the COMMON CASTOR: castor the BARONET (why was it named so, I wonder?) baronet the YELLOW PANSY: yellow pansy 151110 Though we were unable to see any elephants, or big cats, we certainly did see a lot of Langurs, and on the way back from the JLR safari, Jadeswamy showed me this INDIAN POND TERRAPIN: terrapin 141110 You can see the head of another one poking up through the water, on the right hand side. Apart from the tiny frog that I posted about earlier, amphibians included this lovely TOAD: toad Reptiles included this CHECKERED KEELBACK that we saw swimming in the pond near the Forest Dept office at K.Gudi: keelback A GARDEN LIZARD sitting on a granite post: whole lizard When it feels threatened, the lizard comes up with a defence mechanism that seems for all the world like a smile! garden lizard mouth 121110 Here's a HOUSE GECKO that the children handled with aplomb: gecko Amongst the mammals we sighted, apart from the Stripe-necked Mongoose, were CHITAL OR SPOTTED DEER: chital 131110 The BARKING DEER were plentiful: barking deer 141110 When there are plenty of deer in a forest, that's always a good sign, because it means there's plenty of food for the predators, too, who can thrive. The food chain is in place! I took a running shot of this WILD BOAR: wild boar 141110 Some of the Forest Department people had rescued this SAMBHAR FAWN and the children went ga-ga over it! sambhar fawn They might not have seen wild elephants, but the sight of the camp elephants, Shriram, Kanti, and Kavita, being given a thorough scrubbing in the pond, held them enthralled for quite a while. elephants Here's Shriram, the magnificient tusker: shriram In fact, the children really seemed to empathize with animals they could touch; at the Soliga settlement, it was nice to see kids clustered around a (real) kid! kid and kids Here's a newborn pup, that we found at the Shivanasamudra Falls, that had the children oohing and aahing: newborn pup svsmdra flls 151110 Jadeswamy showed me a great many trees, this time, and they are on my Picasa Web Album; but I loved seeing the lotuses in the pond: lotus n leaf 131110 I showed the children how, from a seed left on a tree by a bird, an epiphyte could spring to life on a tree: epiphyte 121110 We saw several varieties of mushroom: mushroom But I didn't have to tell me if they were edible: cross mushroom </lj-cut> My last shot is of these unknown caterpillars, looking so beautiful on the underside of a leaf: un id cats on lf 131110