Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary
We flew from Pune to Bangaluru in first week of june 2014 and hired a cab, from the airport, to take us to the ‘Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Ranganthittu, about 15 kms short of Mysore. When Prashant told me that the total area of the bird sanctuary was just one square kilometer I was pretty disappointed and resigned myself to seeing a spattering of a few birds.
However, whenever you feel you know what lies ahead, life throws you a curve and you are left amazed and dazzled. The sanctuary did the same to me. I was flabbergasted at the variety of winged life, in such a small area. The bird sanctuary is situated around small islet, in the catchment areas, of the Kaveri River. The birds have made it their nesting and roosting area and the trees on both banks are teeming with all varieties of winged friends.
I was astonished at the vast variety of birds co-existing in such a confined space. We decided to hire a boat just for the two of us so that Prashant could capture them- in his camera- without hindrance or distraction. Having the boat all to ourselves was great fun. When the boatman realized that Prashant was a bird photographer, he amazed us with his vast knowledge about the birds. He took keen interest in taking us to the nesting areas of different species of birds.
We saw such a variety of birds that we made two trips to the Sanctuary – one in the evening and one next morning. The serenity and peace – with only the different calls of the birds – was food for the soul. The flora and fauna was diverse, verdant and beautiful. I saw the tree of the Kewra flower for the first time.
While Prashant was busy clicking photographs of the birds, I took some shots of the lovely and serene surroundings. It was a place we would like to visit again – in a different season.
The birds we saw here were Egrets- large and small, Pelicans, Herons – grey, white, the night Heron, The grey Heron, the pond Heron, the cattle Egret, the great Egrets – with a lovely plume as it was mating season, painted stork, the open – billed stork, the pied kingfisher, the stork – billed kingfisher, the rock Plover, the Eurasian Harrier, the Flying Fox – commonly known as bats, with a wing span of 4ft., parrots, barbets, sunbirds, bulbuls wagtails and many other small ones.
Pair of Pond Herons
Cattle Egret (mother and chick)
Eurasian Marsh Harrier
Grey Pelican preparing to land
Bat ( This specie is also known as flying fox and has a wing span of 4 ft)
Stork Billed Kingfisher
Open billed Stork
Black Headed Ibis
Painted Stork (Juvenile)
Off course the crocodiles, who were swimming along side, are extremely shy here as the river is teeming with fish and they have plenty of food.
Prashant felt he could sit there for hours just clicking the antics of the different birds – their play, their skirmishes for space, their jostling for a more vantage point, the chicks clamoring for mothers’ attention, males strutting their plumes to woo their mates, the flying fox making their perches more comfortable or exercising their wings by opening and closing them.
We had to tear ourselves away from the mesmerizing scene to head for Kabini Jungle Resort – our next destination.