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Found 40 results

  1. With the increasing popularity of this topic and the "beginners luck" that all of the new 2016 participants have had, I thought I should be the first to start this year, in the hope that it increases my total. Here are a couple before we leave for the Kruger next week, where hopefully we should get at least 100 (???!!??) Following on from the suggestion from @@JohnR in http://safaritalk.net/topic/16171-tdgraves-big-year-2016/page-21 I took out the "optimum" combination of Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii and 1.4x extender mark iii a couple of days ago when the sun was out. There weren't that many birds around, but he was right, this combination is much better than even then new lens on the 5D mark iii So here are my first couple of birds of 2017
  2. Blue-headed Tree Agama This prologue is for a trip report covering a recent Kenya safari I took with my friend Roger, who is a fellow birder-naturalist. Conditions were DRY throughout our travels, which ran from January 14 - 29. Throughout much of Kenya, we learned that the short rains came late or little this year, or almost failed completely - depending on the area in question. After reading @@michael-ibk's recent Kenya trip report, I suspect places like Kakamega Forest (that seemed OK when he visited) had dried out by the time we came through a few weeks later. Our guide Ben Mugambi said it was the driest he had ever seen Kakamega Forest - and also Aranbuko-Sokoke Forest on the coast. The forest trails and forest floor in Kakamega and Arabuko-Sokoke were carpeted with crispy dry leaves - which made moving quietly or stealthily pretty difficult. Dry Kakamega undergrowth - January 18 In the Mara, Musiara Swamp was almost completely dry, with dust devils blowing round. Orange-leafed Croton bushes were either shriveled or bare all around Mara North. Dry and dusty Musiara Marsh with Governor's Camp and the Mara River in the background -- But we still did very well - and the theme of the trip was "quality over quantity". Another theme was "improbable chance meetings". We got almost all our major bird and critter targets and the Mara delivered fabulously again. Some highlights of the safari included: - Three big cat species in 19 minutes in Mara North Conservancy, followed by a sighting of the "Offbeat male Leopard" from the porch of our tent #4 after lunch. Viewing two male Leopards within a couple of hours of each other was a real treat! Leopard stalking Leopard resting Cheetah - 18 Suni in Nairobi National Park! Photos and video obtained. - Black Rhinos parading and sleeping in the open in Nairobi National Park. And the first Verreaux's Eagle sighting in Nairobi NP in over 10 years. And a pair of Crowned Eagles over the forest just west of Nairobi Tented Camp. Black Rhinos - Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. (wait for that day's report for a photo) - Frank and Jesse the Offbeat pride males, are still large and in charge in Mara North. Had good quality time with the Offbeat Pride of Lions with cubs of varying ages. Jesse - A very enjoyable birding over lunch experience at Little Governor's Camp and finally meeting a "nemesis bird" - Schalow's Turaco. Crossing_Mara_River - Great shorebirding and coastal birds at Mida Creek and the Sabaki River Mouth. - A neat boat excursion on Lake Victoria to break up the drive from Kakamega Forest to the Mara. - Stumbling on a great birding spot at a crest in the Tugen Hills and photographing a Narina Trogon. Narina Trogon - Great birding at Lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria. Heuglin's Courser Pygmy Kingfisher - Ongoing evolution and improvements at Offbeat Mara camp. They are so flexible and accommodating to guest desires. For example: one day we did a bush breakfast and all-morning game drive, then afternoon game drive, transitioning into a fine bush dinner with some other guests and then straight into a night drive ending up back at camp after a couple of hours. Birding behind Offbeat Mara - down behind the dining tent, beside the Olare Orok River. - Shy and difficult-to-observe birds in Kakamega Forest Spotted Flufftail Dusky-crested Flycatcher -- Before the trip, I had warned Roger that "something will go wrong" and that we would just go with the flow and with Ben and his network's help, things would work out. Sure enough we had a few blips during our time on the coast, but things worked out just fine. Our first issue was before leaving the USA - our Emirates flight was very late departing JFK and we missed our connecting flight from Dubai to Nairobi. But we were met exiting the plane in Dubai with tickets for the next morning's flight to Nairobi, a hotel voucher, and an explanation that we did not need to collect luggage - it would be put on tomorrow's plane for us. So we got a free night in Dubai and had some good birding in the hotel garden that afternoon. The downside was that we would miss our day trip to Nairobi National Park on January 14 but I had a plan to address that. Our itinerary ended up being: January 14 - Arrive at JKIA one day late. Hit the Nakumatt, do some birding along Red Cross Road. Overnight Boma hotel. January 15 - Drive to Lake Baringo for lunch and afternoon birding, Overnight Tumbili Cliff Lodge. January 16 - Lake Baringo + Lake Bogoria. Overnight Tumbili Cliff Lodge. January 17 - Drive to Kakamega Forest by way of Tugen Hills and Kerio Valley. Overnight Rondo Retreat. January 18 - Kakamega Forest, overnight Rondo Retreat. January 19 - Kakamega Forest, overnight Rondo Retreat. January 20 - Drive to Mara North, via Kisumu. overnight Offbeat Mara. January 21 - Mara North Conservancy, overnight Offbeat Mara January 22 - Mara North Conservancy, overnight Offbeat Mara January 23 - All day in the Main Reserve, lunch at Little Governor's, overnight Offbeat Mara. January 24 - Morning game drive in Mara North, after lunch bush flight to Malindi, overnight Ocean Sports Resort in Watamu. January 25 - Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. overnight Ocean Sports Resort in Watamu. January 26 - Sabaki River Mouth and Mida Creek. overnight Ocean Sports Resort in Watamu. January 27 - Morning birding at Mida Creek, fly to JKIA in Nairobi. Overnight Boma hotel. January 28 - All day outing in Nairobi National Park. Overnight Boma hotel. January 29 - Morning birding along Magadi Road south of Nairobi. Fly home in the late afternoon. -- I talked to Ben and Roger and we agreed to cut a day off our time at the coast, in order to return to Nairobi a day early and get a full day in Nairobi National Park. For this safari, I had obtained a new camera backpack - Think Tank Photo's Airport Commuter. I love this camera bag! It held my camera, lens, a Swarovski spotting scope, Swarovski binoculars, laptop, iPad, memory cards, batteries, a La Cie portable hard drive, cables, camera cleaning kit, and 1 day's clothing. I checked two bags, including a large duffel bag (Patagonia Black Hole Bag). This was to take my tripod, beanbag, and other bulky gear. When we arrived at JKIA, there was a long line of dozens, maybe hundreds, or people in the e-Visa line. Roger and I walked up to an empty desk for Visa-on-arrival passengers. I see no reason at all to put forth the effort and time (and online credit card activity) for an e-Visa. We spent part of our first afternoon in Nairobi birding Red Cross Road - the road where the Boma hotel and Boma Inn are located. We tracked down the ATM near the gate of the Boma Inn and of course we had our binoculars with us and started birding from the gate and out onto the sidewalk. There is a nice hedge and some trees across the street from the Boma complex - we had close to 30 bird species just standing by the gate. Both young security guards - a gentleman and a lady - were interested in the birds we were seeing. We loaned them our binoculars in turn - they could not both be distracted at once you know. They both relished seeing the birds closer and clearer and the young man in particular looked and looked at birds. He had fun tracking swifts and swallows especially. Boma birding We were guided throughout the trip by the incomparable Ben Mugambi, of Ben's Ecological Safaris. I booked all the accomodations and bush flights through Ben's as well. Ben and his office staff handled everything deftly - including a few unforeseen hurdles. Ben knew people everywhere we went, which came in handy a couple of times. The vehicles: Offbeat Mara won "Best Safari Vehicle" again - closely followed by Ben's Ecological Safaris. Offbeat continues to improve and evolve, and their vehicles are no exception. They seem to have taken @@pault's advice and added flat trays to the armrests of their game drive vehicles. These trays are great platforms for photo beanbags. Offbeat photo tray While at Campi ya Offbeat, we had the same trusty Landcruiser as last time - with the photo tray improvements. This vehicle has pop-top roof hatches over both rows of rear passenger seats, and another pop-top hatch over the driver and spotter's seats. These hatches let you see and photograph birds and other things directly overhead. Or stand on the seat and observe + photograph from above roof level. Or sit on the roof in certain situations. Or close the hatch if you need a break from the sun. Offbeat vehicle We used two of Ben's vehicles during the safari - his large Landcruiser for most of the non-Mara safari, then his pride and joy - a 1980 Toyota Landcruiser VX - in Nairobi National Park and Magadi Road the last two days of the safari. Ben's primary safari vehicle, with Ben and driver Simon parked in front of a Baobab Tree near Mida Creek. Ben's Safari Vehicle Ben's Landcruiser VX Ben's VX Landcruiser is the quietest safari vehicle (and quietest diesel SUV) I have ever seen! It is a 12-cylinder turbo-diesel and Ben has the idle speed turned down low. So it purrs along very quietly through field and forest. Ben has some real war stories about using it to deliver late-arriving clients to the Mara late at night in stormy weather and passing abandoned Landrovers and other Landcruisers stuck deep in the muck. The companions: We were fortunate to have Ben Mugambi with us the entire time. We also had great local guides helping in different areas. Super-sharp Francis Cherutich guided us on his home ground of Lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria. We were fortunate to have Josphat and Kapeen at Offbeat Mara. At Arabuko-Sokoke forest we had William (Willie), and on Lake Victoria and adjacent land birding we had Solomon. I hope this teaser post stokes some interest. Maybe a few videos will help:
  3. I have been reading several tour itineraries and I have realized many says that of late things have changed in lake Nakuru National park and that at times there are not as many flamingos. They go ahead to say that they are on high population when the lake is shallow alkaline and warm. Its basically the time algae grows and flamingos flock the lake to feed on it. My question now comes in. When is the right time to have these conditions? I will appreciate your help fellow travelers.
  4. What a change our 2017 trip would turn out be, when compared to the parched, drought-affected trip of last year http://safaritalk.net/topic/16169-kruger-jan-2016-drought-duiker-and-dead-hippos/ We were too late to arrange a GTG in 2016, when several of us Safaritalkers were in RSA at the same time. So as soon as we were back and the flights were booked, I arranged to meet @@Peter Connan who offered to drive us around Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve to try and get some shots of widowbirds in flight. I think he would have preferred to take us to Marievale, but given that it was in the opposite direction to where we would be going later in the day, we opted for Rietvlei instead. As we like to spend a few days with friends at their country place, I couldn't squeeze in any extra nights in KNP, but I think 10 is a good total. We tried a different wilderness camp as we had liked them last year, but also as Skukuza was booked out, presumably for a conference and by the time I booked, Lower Sabie only had very basic accommodation available. Itinterary 13/1 Friday the 13th! Arrive Johannesburg 14/1 Rietvlei day trip and then drive to Ditholo 3 nights 17/1 Drive to KNP via Phaloborwa gate, Letaba 2 nights 19/1 Satara 3 nights 22/1 Biyamiti 3 nights 25/1 Berg-en-Dal 2 nights 27/1 Drive back to Johannesburg 28/1 Return to UK We had upgraded with miles, so the journey was fine. Arrivals into OR Tambo was slightly better than last time and we were in our rental car and off by an hour or so after we landed. The downside of landing on Friday rather than Saturday, is that the traffic is busier, especially with the roadworks, but it still better to get an extra day in Africa!
  5. I recently took a trip to Spain along with a birding friend of mine. I don't think Safaritalk is probably the right place to post the report but I do know a lot of members are in fact birders. If you want to read my report it's available on my blog site. You can share the "Trials and tribulations of a wannabe wildlife photographer" here:- http://davewilliamsnaturephotography.blogspot.co.uk and there certainly were quite a few!! Hope you enjoy the read and it gives some insights and ideas for the future. cheers Dave
  6. Started off to Bhigwan, situated on the border of Pune Solapur Highway, early morning with bunch of Architects, some professionals & some students, who were completely unaware about the birding and tge magical feeling it gives. As soon as our boats started moving, their unawareness turned into excitement and further turned into hunger to know more and more. We saw many many birds just like any Bhigwan Visitor would, like Herons, Egrets, Ibises, Storks, Godwits, Lesser Cormorants, Purple Moorhen, lots of Shovelers, Coots, Gulls and Terns & the highlight of the visit were many many Flamingos. But the exceptional sighting this time was the *Bar-headed Geese*...the highest flying migratory bird..! Something we badly search for, everytime we visit Bhigwan. After this exciting boating of Bhigwan, accompanied by lots of Migratory & Resident birds, we headed to Bhuleshwar. Our friend & an archeology student & a soon to be an expert in historical monuments, Digvijay escorted us all to each and every details of the temple of Bhigwan. One of the oldest monuments we have so close to Pune. The information he shared kept everyone mesmerised and completely changed the angle of looking at the temples. A great contribution it was for our group. In all, the day was full of Nature & History which made those Monument lovers the Nature lovers, and nature lovers the Monument lovers. Each and everyone bagged something new from this one day tour. Thanks to all the participants who were constantly excited and were ready to accept and absorb whatever they were offered. One of the best one day outing it was...!!!
  7. Started off to Bhigwan, situated on the border of Pune Solapur Highway, early morning with bunch of Architects, some professionals & some students, who were completely unaware about the birding and tge magical feeling it gives. As soon as our boats started moving, their unawareness turned into excitement and further turned into hunger to know more and more. We saw many many birds just like any Bhigwan Visitor would, like Herons, Egrets, Ibises, Storks, Godwits, Lesser Cormorants, Purple Moorhen, lots of Shovelers, Coots, Gulls and Terns & the highlight of the visit were many many Flamingos. But the exceptional sighting this time was the *Bar-headed Geese*...the highest flying migratory bird..! Something we badly search for, everytime we visit Bhigwan. After this exciting boating of Bhigwan, accompanied by lots of Migratory & Resident birds, we headed to Bhuleshwar. Our friend & an archeology student & a soon to be an expert in historical monuments, Digvijay escorted us all to each and every details of the temple of Bhigwan. One of the oldest monuments we have so close to Pune. The information he shared kept everyone mesmerised and completely changed the angle of looking at the temples. A great contribution it was for our group. In all, the day was full of Nature & History which made those Monument lovers the Nature lovers, and nature lovers the Monument lovers. Each and everyone bagged something new from this one day tour. Thanks to all the participants who were constantly excited and were ready to accept and absorb whatever they were offered. One of the best one day outing it was...!!!
  8. As a frenchman residing in Santiago, Chile, I have many possibilities to discover the Bolivian National Parks. Here are some good ideas at really low prices compared to neighboring Brazil and Peru. 1- Madidi National Park. This is the masterpiece of the hug he Amboro - Manu corridor. It was created thanks to the support of the WCS. On the Northern side of the frontier, in Peru, is the Bahuaja Sonene and Tampobata reserve. Both places are well known and luxury lodges operate in the Tambopata reserve. Madidi is really wild. It streches from the icy peaks of the Chaupi Orco to the lowlands of the Heath pampas. It encompasses a really diverse set of habitat: andes and altiplano steppe, paramo grasslands, yunga cloud forests, amazonian forest, opened grasslands. Some few species present in the park: andean deers, spectacles bears, condors, ocelots, jaguars, amazonian and andean puma sub-species, white lipped and collared peccaries, brazilian tapirs, giant otters, blue throated, red and green and blue and yellow macaws, bush dog, giant ant-eaters, spider monkey, lerochi monkey. I have travelled twice in Madidi and have seen so many animals, including puma, jaguar, and the really rare giant otters. The biomass is really high along the Tuichi river. Some studies determined that the jaguar density is even higher in Alto Madidi than in Pantanal... Only the community land of the indigenous village of San Jose de Uchipiamonas developed tourism. Many lodge operate there while Alto Madidi I stayed twice in the Berraco del Madidi ecocamp (80 dollars per day all included), which the wildest part of the park of easy access to tourists. Density of animals are amazingly high in this primary forest area, with huge groups of white lipped peccaries. The presence of a salt lick is a major asset for this place. It is the most pristine part of the park, with undisturbed wildlife populations. http://www.berracodelmadidi.com Another good place to stay is Chalalan ecolodge, owned by the indigenous community of San José. I'll make a trip report as soon as posible. 2- Yacuma river in Beni It is an amazing birding destination, especially during the dry season, when all the birds and migrants gather along the banks of the small yacuma river. Lots of swamps around the river where you can find anacondas and aquatic birds such as jabiru, storks, etc.. The trips are organized by boat on the river to see the fauna. During the dry season it's thousands of spectacled caimans and capybara that can be observed on the banks, the biomass is just outstanding. There are some squirrel, howler and brown capuchin monkeys. Can also be seen night monkey. The star of the trip are the pink dolfins really playful. They start to migrate down to the Mamoré river during the dry season but still are easily seen throughout the year. The best ecolodge to discover the "pampas" is Balatours. Another good place to stay is Mashaquipe ecolodge. Both have tours at 80 dollars per person. I have been twice to the pampas with bala tours and have seen: tens of howler and brown capuchin monkeys, squirrel monkey night monkey at the ecolodge, porcupine, southern tamandua, two giant ant-eaters, brazilian rhea, blue and yellow macaws, tens of pink dolfins, thousands of caimans and capybaras, agoutis, monitor lizard, coati... I have seen tapir footprints but local say they are really hard to see. An amazing place to combine with Madidi. A paradise for birders. 3- Barba Azul Nature reserve Set to protect the last breeding place of the re-discovered blue throated macaw in the heart of the Beni grasslands, the fundación Armonia is currently working on extending the size of the reserve, monitoring the macaws and working on research. While organized as a research ecological station, tourist are really welcomed. Access is really hard during rainy season. Aircraft has to be hired to avoid long, exhausting road transfer from Trinidad, only feasible during dry season. The blue throated macaw was first thought to be extinct before Charles Munn from the WCS rediscovered it. I am planning to visit this amazing place in the following years. Scientists say it is one of the best places to see maned wolf. Big specimens of black caiman are still there too. 4- Amboro National Park: I have been to los Volcanes lodge in october and had a mitigated impression. While the place is just amazing - breathtaking landscapes - I did not see many birds due to the drought. It is the highest biodiversity place in Bolivia for insects and birds. It is really endangered by the narco-trafficants and its Northern boundary. Amazing turn forest close to Samaipata that I really enjoyed. The tropical part is not really interesting compared to Madidi. 5- Kaa Iya National Park: A small new agency called Nickadventure offers tour to the Chaco from Santa Cruz. They have been really successful for showing jaguars during dry season (from june to october), as well as brazilian tapirs. I will definitely visit the place in the following years. Accommodation is now really bad, we have to camp under 45 degrees which could be a problem for may people. Safaris are done along the gas pipeline between Paraguay and Bolivia. Animals gather around the last pounds during dry season. Here is Nickadventures link: http://www.nicksadventuresbolivia.com 6 - Noel Kempff National Park Another out of the beaten track protected area. Some few operators go there. Nickadventures will soon offer fixed departures by aircraft as road access is definitely unpredictable. I now looks more as a adventure destination, with expensive aircraft, it will soon become an amazing destination. Tourists stay at an ecological research station. Trips by boat on the river and by foot in the jungle. Giant otters almost guaranteed. I will try to visit this place in the next 5 years.
  9. What started as an exchange of travel plans between two TA (and ST) members and fans of Namibia & Kgalagadi, way back in January of this year, has ended as an exceptionaly interesting visit to the South Africa's iconic park, the Kruger, and as one lasting friendship! Debbie ( @@wildlifepainter ) and I have been exchanging quite a few emails as we have both fallen in love with Namibia and Kalahari. When she announced her and Jim's upcoming trip to Kruger, Zvezda and I were yet to start with the Kgalagadi trip, and I was still working on figuring out how to hard-sell the summer self-driving trip through Sri Lanka. In April I have already made my mind up about joining them, but had yet to speak with Zvezda about my intentions. Within mid June my sweettalk had done its magic, and flights were bought so I was more than happy to inform Debbie and Jim that they would be accompanied by us for about 8 days. Below is our final itinerary; places in italic are those where we were guests of Debbie and Jim. Main Kruger accommodations were booked by Debbie already in 2015, I think. She went for "The Best View" in each camp, and those places all have 2 (or more) rooms with 2 (or more) bathrooms. Thus plenty of space not to »walk on each others feet«. Another important rule was that we would share the same part of the park but each would do their own game drives, cook their own food and drink their own drinks ( we did not strictly adhere to all of the above, and mostly forgot about the rule #3 ). Of course we shared the costs of accommodations 50-50. Flying again with Turkish Airlines; it is an excellent option as it starts in Ljubljana, and has only about 2 hours of connecting time in Istanbul. This time around food and movies were again good, but seats not so much. Even for us short people like us the distance between rows was a tad too close. Zvezda decided she will never again sit by the window. We arrived at JNB on time, and after 90 minutes spent at immigration, we had been again warmly welcomed by @@Peter Connan . He is just such a fine person, great birder and excellent photographer, and now I can also add, a close friend. Even though we were going to start the drive immediately after the landing, he took away some of his precious time (as you must know, he is building an off-road camping trailer) to meet&greet us, and to bring us some much needed photo equipment (plus more). Rental car company was AVIS; they have office downstairs from the main arrival lobby. Before going there I visited an ATM (first floor) and Vodafon store. The pick-up process at AVIS was surprisingly quick; even though there were about 10 clients before me, it did not take more than 20 minutes for us to receive the keys of a fairly new Honda Mobilio. My frist choice and booked car was Toyota Avanza but unfotunatelly they ran out of them. Honda is in the same category, just a tad lower seating position. It is a big car, with a third row of seats. I liked its interior volume, and a lot of space in the trunk once the seats were stored away. Its engine was powerful enough for mostly flat and tarred roads, and suspension did its job on gravel ones.
  10. These photos were taken today around Elderslie in southern Tasmania. Brown Falcon Laughing kookaburra
  11. I'm starting far too late for this to resemble a big year but I did manage to at least photograph some species on my recent trip to Zimbabwe and Zambia.
  12. As we prepared for our safari to Botswana we found little information regarding birding especially around Maun. After some deep digging we ran across Richard Randall. Reporting back so that others may have some additional information. . . . Our trip to Botswana was amazing and getting us started on the right foot was Richard Randall, from 'Birding Botswana'. We arrived in Maun on an early June afternoon and were to head out the next morning on the first day of our safari trip. We wanted to take advantage of our free afternoon and get exposed to some of the local birds right out of the gate. Our time with Richard helped us do exactly that. He picked us up at our hotel (Riley's) and, because we just had a short amount of time, took us to a few birding hot spots. Being birders ourselves, we didn't bat an eye when he asked if we were willing to visit the local sewage ponds in Maun (a source of nearby freshwater...even if not perfectly clean). We were fortunate to spot a Black-necked Grebe, last seen in Maun more than 10 years ago. We also visited the town dump where we saw an incredible display of Marabou storks--literally thousands of them. In between, we birded the countryside. In a couple of hours, we got approximately 40 species and were that much better informed when we headed off into the bush. Richard was truly enjoyable to spend time with and was quite knowledgeable about the region. We would not hesitate to book an outing with him again and, for the bird inclined, he's an excellent resource for those traveling in the Maun area of Botswana.
  13. With a few days of leaves pending at my disposal, I had to plan something before the year end. I ended up going to Uttarakhand for a birding trip. After a very fulfilling birding trip, I have just started writing my trip report. Part 1 of the report is up at : http://wildwildindia.com/uttarakhand-birding-prologue/ This is justa prologue and will be updating the rest of the report soon. I managed to see about 100 species of himalayan birds (most were lifers to me), and managed to get some decent photographs too. Cheers
  14. Kenya Birding Trip Report May 27th – June 19th 2013 654 Species Recorded Black-Headed Gonolek Trip Summary Kenya has once again proven itself to be one of the finest birding destinations in the world. This diverse country truly paid homage to the diversity of habitats located within its boundaries, revealing to the trip’s 6 participants a myriad of incredible species. The timing of this trip was initially feared due to the absence of palearctic migrants, however, we did manage to locate many over summering/ late birds. This pioneering African Birding Tour recorded 654 species in 23 days. Highlights of the trip included spectacular sightings of Papyrus Gonolek, Black-billed Turaco, Swamp Nightjar, Abbot’s Starling, Gambaga Flycatcher and Sharpe’s Longclaw. At one moment in the trip we found ourselves observing a Lesser Moorhen, an Allen’s Gallinule and a Dwarf Bittern all in very close proximity in a forest swamp within Arabuko Sokoke Forest. In addition to the birds other interesting sightings included a brief view of a Brush-tailed Porcupine in Kakamega, a Striped Hyena at Nakuru, 4 Wild Dogs hunting in the Mara, the infamous Enesikiria Lion Pride on two Wildebeest kills in Naboisho Conservancy and a relaxed female Leopard on the road in Tsavo. This trip would not have been possible without the help of the many local guides that we utilized at various locations throughout the country. A big thanks to Dickson, Joram, Willie, Titus, Joseph and Winston. All photos in this trip report are courtesy of trip participants Jeffery Sole and David Lang Guide: Stratton Hatfield Guide/Driver: Sammy Ndungu Lesser Flamingos on Lake Bogoria Trip Itinerary and Route:
  15. Good afternoon, Safaritalkers! We'd like to take some time to introduce ourselves here on Safaritalk, for those who may be interested. African Birding Safaris was founded in 2013 with the goal of providing quality birding tours in Africa that focus on memorable birding experiences and high species-counts per trip. We aim to do this by providing our clientele with an experienced and passionate local guiding team that will serve them throughout their tour. African Birding Safaris offers clients an exclusive experience at an affordable price. Our guide to guest ratio is 1:6 and we are proud to offer an excellent standard of accommodation and food at our birding locations. We look forward to welcoming you on a birding safari with us. African Birding Safaris is committed to supporting local conservation initiatives. We do this by not only hiring local guides at every opportunity, but also by donating and supporting well respected conservation organizations in the countries in which we operate. In Kenya we support Nature Kenya and their efforts to protect Kenya’s endemic and endangered bird species. We're working on getting our new website up and running. Once it's up we'll post it here for you to take a look at. We'll be posting a couple of birding trip reports soon. We'll also make example itineraries available with info on what special birds to look out for on each leg, as well as an expected approximate species total per itinerary. If you're interested in birding anywhere in Africa with us, please don't hesitate to get in contact! You can email us on info@africanbirdingsafaris.com or stratton@africanbirdingsafaris.com
  16. Hi Safaritalkers! I'm living in Ghana for four months this year (at least four months... the rest of the year remains to be planned....), while involved in developing a business. I'm living in a small town outside of Accra, high up in the hills to the west of the city. My first month here has been very busy with business related stuff, but now that I'm settling in I really hope to be getting out on the weekends to visit some wildlife reserves. I'm doing a blog on daily life in Ghana, which I'm calling my online diary. Here's the most recent post: https://dailylifeinghana.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/march-30-2015/ You might also be interested in my business project, supporting economic development and women's empowerment in Ghana - my website is: http://www.batiksforlife.com/ I'll be posting the blog links in this thread, and I'm very happy to have comments and questions!
  17. There are two key factors that make the difference between a good game drive and a great one, or, equally importantly, a good game drive and a poor one. The first is obvious – it’s the animals. Without animals it’s just a drive. The second is the guide. If the animals are there, flaunting themselves in front of your lens then the guide is almost irrelevant. You may occasionally ask him for information about a particular species’ gestation period, or perhaps urge him to get even closer, but with plenty to keep your shutter finger busy he is pretty much relegated to the role of driver. But what happens if the animals are not there? What if your game drive has become just a drive – a drive in hot dusty conditions over bumpy dirt roads? (Click here to read the full article)
  18. This is not a conventional trip report, but rather a collection of thoughts and images from one location. Marievale is a sanctuary situated on the Blesbokspruit near the town of Nigel in Gauteng. As such it is just an hour's drive from Johannesburg. Matt's edit: here is the website. It is about 10 square km in extent, and a large part of it encompasses vleilands and reed-beds, ans as such it is a hotbed of bird activity, particularly waterbirds, shorebirds and waders. There are several well-situated hides, and on weekends you will often find these hides well populated with eager photographers and twitchers from well before sunup. Best of all is, it's free! The first hide you will find after entering is the Hadeda hide. This is perhaps also the best early-morning hide, and offers a wide variety of birds. Strategically placed perches often produce beautiful photos of some of the smaller, more colourful birds and it is possibly the best place in the province to stalk the inimitable Malachite Kinfisher. Furthermore you are virtually guaranteed to see Squacco heron, Red-knobbed Coot, Common Moorhen, Whiskered Tern, Yellow-billed Duck, Reed Cormorant, and Purple Gallinule and Swamp Warblers here. Black Crake and the rather shyer African Rail are often seen as well.
  19. South Goa - Birding November 2011 This report is certainly not of a safari typically found on this wonderful website but is an account of my wildlife sightings made during a package holiday to South Goa in November 2011. The report is primarily aimed at birders that venture to Goa but invariably restrict their trips to North Goa where lots of birding information is readily available and numerous bird guides and taxi drivers that are willing to take you to the well-known birding sites. This two week holiday was based in Cavelossim in South Goa staying at the Dona Sylvia Resort and was booked through Thomas Cook holidays (6th-20th November 2011). Prior to the holiday I searched for birding information for South Goa but unfortunately it was very hard to find compared with North Goa, I did however find the following reports that I found very useful: two from Dave Williams that can be found at www.northwalesbirding.co.uk , and one from Colin Manville http://www.travellingbirder.com/tripreports/reports/10071701735_birding_trip_report.pdf I also received some very useful information for the area immediately around Cavelossim from Mark Graham via Trip Advisor. I hope that this report will complement the reports mentioned above and provide some information for birders that might want a blend of beach holiday and birding. First of all I must stress that this was primarily NOT a birding trip but was a holiday taken with my wife and our good friends Malcolm and Marjorie James. Both Malcolm and I are fairly keen birders with a general interest in all kinds of wildlife, and fortunately we both have ‘fairly understanding’ wives. We had been on package holidays to North Goa in 2004 and 2007 and they had included lots of birding and so this time we were not out to bag a massive bird list but to enjoy a relaxing holiday, the wildlife in general and hopefully grab some decent pictures and so we didn’t waste time on birds that didn’t want to show or the LBJs. Birding around Cavelossim was mainly restricted to early morning from first light (c6.15 a.m.) until around 9 a.m. and a couple of late afternoon sessions near the hotel. We also visited the relatively well known sites of Chandranath Hill, Velim Lake and Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. Overall Impressions South Goa was fantastic, with beautiful scenery, wonderful people, much quieter than the North but you will have to find your own birds. Heaven!!!!! Getting around was considerably more expensive than I remembered from 2007 in North Goa, I remember hiring a taxi for a full day in 2007 for 12-1500 rupees. In Cavelossim this was around 3,800 rupees albeit in a much more comfortable 7 seater a/c vehicle. It seems fuel prices have hit the Indians as well as us Brits! (At the time of our visit the exchange rate was about 80 rupees = £1) I don’t believe that any of the taxi drivers in Cavelossim have carried many birders before however we regularly used a driver from outside the Dona Sylvia hotel called Babu who proved to be an excellent choice. He was a very pleasant, careful driver with a good sense of humour and he quickly tuned in to the tourist/birders needs and would stop whenever requested. He quickly began to realise which birds we would be interested in and stopped when he saw something unusual even before we had seen it. I would have no hesitation in using him again and he would be a good start for anybody new to South Goa since he now knows some of the sites. We even set him a personal challenge of learning a new bird every day! The birding proved to be surprisingly good with personal favourites being a Cinnamon Bittern; several Woolly-necked Storks, Lesser Adjutants, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Grey Junglefowl and Blue-faced Malkohas. The area was much wetter than I had expected with a good selection of water birds. For those that don’t know the area have a look on Google Earth and you will find that there is a 15 mile long beach stretching from Velsao in the north to Mobor in the south where it finishes at the mouth of the river Sal. Cavelossim is about two miles north of the river mouth. The river sweeps round the back of Mobor and Cavelossim before turning inland leaving Cavelossim sandwiched between the ocean and the river. To the seaward side of the village is a half-mile wide area of sandy dune scattered with shrubs and taller trees; to the river side of Cavelossim the land is farmed with rice being the dominant crop. The River Sal has a large fishing industry with just about everybody in the area that is not farming involved in fishing in one way or another; either fishing at sea, on the river, collecting shellfish, or working on the many shrimp ponds. Despite the abundance of fish being unloaded on the quayside, sold on every street corner or laid out to dry there were virtually NO GULLS or TERNS! We found this really surprising; during the two weeks we were there we saw only two Gull Billed Terns at the mouth of the river and on another occasion very, very distant views of perhaps 20 gulls and c10 terns following just one of the many fishing boats that could always be seen out at sea. There were however many Black and Brahminy Kites and a few White-bellied Sea Eagles taking advantage of the discarded fish. Apart from the huge numbers of kites and sea eagles raptors were generally quite scarce although we never really tried to be in suitable habitat at the best times of the day. Nevertheless we did come across Osprey, Pallid Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Black Eagle, Booted Eagle, Amur Falcon, Kestrel and Shikra. However we did see many more non-avian types of wildlife than either of us remembered from North Goa. Monkeys were common with frequent sightings in the forests and roadside trees; we saw mongooses (mongeese?) on several occasions, Malabar Giant Squirrels in and around Cotigao; many Three-striped Squirrels, brief views of a Chital near Cotigao and most surprising of all, a party of four Indian Jackals just north of Cavelossim. Indian Jackal We also saw many more snakes than we saw in North Goa, mainly water snakes that were found in almost every body of water, a couple of unidentified snakes in the undergrowth in Cotigao, and a fabulous green Vine Snake near Cotigao. The most frustrating sighting of all was not seen by us but by Babu. One morning he had dropped us off at the mouth of the River Sal so we could stroll back to the hotel along the beach, on his return back along the road to Cavelossim he had to stop until a basking King Cobra decided to move from the centre of the road – damn we must have missed it by no more than a few minutes, it could have been the photo opportunity of the trip!! Considering how fearful the Goans are of the snakes, we admired the fact that neither he, or the bus driver that also had to wait had not attempted to run over the snake until he explained that this was not necessarily out of consideration for the snake but past experience had taught him that the snake could easily have been wrapped around the wheels and then he would have to remove it….and they are not always dead! Butterflies and dragonflies were everywhere and Cotigao had an abundance of interesting creepy crawlies. The highlights were a 9” long Tiger Centipede Scolopendra hardwickei and several Giant Millipedes. A few lizards were seen and frogs were also abundant. Tiger Centipede So, where did we go? Cavelossim Scrubland We visited a number of sites around Cavelossim. The first was an area of dune scrub immediately north of the Dona Sylvia hotel and can easily be found on Google Earth. We visited this area four times, three early morning visits and one late afternoon. Leave the hotel at the seaward side and walk north along the beach for approximately 200 yards before taking a track at the back of the Lonely Place shack. Follow the path in a generally NE direction exploring the many bushes, trees and open areas. The area is scattered with small pools that were just about dried up when we visited but the ones that still held water were popular with birds coming to drink and bathe. You will eventually reach a narrow tarmac road that leads back to Cavelossim and provides an alternative way back to the hotels. The whole of this area was very productive and surely deserved more coverage than we gave it. Highlights were a Pallid Harrier, doubtless just passing through since we only saw it on one occasion, there were up to eight Yellow-wattled Lapwings always present in the dry grassy areas near the tarmac road; Blue-faced Malkoha, Orange-headed Thrush, Grey-headed Bulbul, Green and Blue-tailed Bee-eater, White-browed Bulbul, White-cheeked Barbet, Asian Koel, Rufous Treepie, Plum-headed Parakeet and Greater Coucal were regular in and around the dead trees near the tarmac road. We also saw a mongoose here on two occasions. Grey-headed Bulbul White-browed Bulbul As stated before we didn’t waste much time on the LBG’s or birds that didn’t want to be photographed. Cavelossim Rice Fields Just to the north of Cavelossim (c100m past the large white church) there are two pools; a large one to the west of the road and a smaller one to the east. Mark Graham had given us directions to these and when he had been here in April he had good numbers of waders and most surprising of all a Black Bittern. Unfortunately the pools in November were full and held very little, just one Common Sandpiper, two Red-wattled Lapwings and Lesser Whistling Duck amongst a few egrets and one or two cormorants. However Mark had also said it might we worth exploring the tarmac road to the north side of the large pond (to the west of the main road). We followed this road for about half a mile and it proved an excellent decision. The road leads to a large electricity sub-station before turning left towards a small village. The road borders an area on its left hand side surrounded by a 5’ high glass-topped wall which an ex-pat told us was once a military shooting range and now appears to be an undisturbed wildlife wilderness and it was peering over this wall that we saw the family of Indian Jackals. I would have loved to climb the wall and explore the area more but thought better of it. Peafowl We could see that the area had a steam running through it and several ponds, one of which gave close views of a Cinnamon Bittern just before dusk. Whilst trying to photograph the bittern two Woolly-necked Storks flew in to roost in the tall palm trees just inside the walled area. On the opposite side of the road is flat open farmland where the scope provided views of several bird species including Ashy Woodswallow, Indian Roller, Pied Bushchat, Indian Cuckoo, Long-tailed Shrike, larks, pipits, mynas a large flock of weavers and lots of Brahminy Starlings. On our second visit here we once again saw the two Woolly-necked Storks coming in to roost and at least nine Asian Openbills feeding in the fields (no Cinnamon Bittern this time though). We also watched five male Peafowl that took exception to a female Marsh Harrier. Every time the harrier landed in the grass the peacocks would raise their tail feathers and ‘charge’ at the harrier This went on for at least 20 minutes and we never did work out quite what was going on although it did appear that the peacocks were trying to drive away the harrier and the harrier seemed to be taunting the peacocks. We did see a peahen with chicks a couple of days later nearby so perhaps the peacocks were protecting a nest or young….curious. Peafowl Marsh Harrier South Goa has scores of dogs and whilst watching the edges of these fields we noticed that the dogs were frequently disturbing a number of snipe from the wetter margins and the plain underwing of at least one suggesting Pintail Snipe. Cavelossim Ferry Road We travelled along this road on several occasions by taxi on the way to and from the ferry and I walked here some mornings as an alternative to the Lonely Place track described above. In the centre of Cavelossim take the road towards the ferry. The road soon passes through an area of rice fields which held a family of Bronze-winged Jacanas, White-breasted Waterhen, a family of Peafowl, Long-tailed Shrike, Shikra, Purple Heron, flocks of Scaly-breasted Munia and the usual herons and egrets. At the T-junction turn right towards the ferry and you soon reach a vast open area of farmland. Here I found hundreds of hirundines including Barn, Red-rumped, Wire-tailed and a few Streak-throated Swallows, several Indian Rollers on roadside wires, Black Drongos, Malabar Larks, Richard’s Pipit, Marsh Harriers and many herons and egrets leaving their riverside roosts. Red-rumped Swallow Red-rumped Swallow Malabar Lark Mobor Beach and River Sal The mouth of the River Sal is very reminiscent of Morjim Beach in North Goa but without the birds! That is perhaps a little unfair however when we were there gulls and terns were most definitely in short supply despite the abundance of fishing boats and feeding opportunities. There were however good numbers of Black and Brahminy Kites at the river mouth along with a couple of hundred Cattle Egrets, a couple of Western Reef herons and a couple of ever present White-bellied Sea Eagles. We visited the river mouth on three occasions by getting a taxi from the hotel to the end of the road. We walked the last ¼ mile to the river mouth, birded and dolphin watched for a while before strolling the two miles back along the beach to our hotel with the mandatory stop at a beach shack for a cooling Kingfisher beer along the way. A lovely way to spend the holiday, but not too productive for birds. A few waders were seen however including a couple of Grey Plovers, Common Sandpipers, and small flocks of Kentish Plovers and Lesser Sandplovers. I am sure that timing was the key to this site since the make-up of the wader flocks were different on each of the three visits and so I expect that when not present here they were probably feeding on the river at low tide. Kentish Plover Chandranath Hill We had heard great things about Chandranath Hill and so we made an early visit one morning and it was only about 30-40 minutes from the hotel. We arrived at first light but we were probably there too early. It was very disappointing for the first hour with very few birds either seen or heard although the sunrise was very impressive. Eventually the birding improved but not as good as we had hoped, perhaps because we were not familiar enough with the bird calls. Most birds remained in deep cover however some that showed did give good views including Black-naped and Eurasian Golden Oriole, Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Chestnut-tailed Starling (Malabar White-headed Starling?), Crimson-backed Sunbird, Common Woodshrike, White-bellied Drongo, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta and Golden-fronted Leafbird. We found it to be most productive around the smaller lower car park, the steps to the temple and walking back down the approach road. Indian Roller Chandranath Hill We had heard great things about Chandranath Hill and so we made an early visit one morning and it was only about 30-40 minutes from the hotel. We arrived at first light but we were probably there too early. It was very disappointing for the first hour with very few birds either seen or heard although the sunrise was very impressive. Eventually the birding improved but not as good as we had hoped, perhaps because we were not familiar enough with the bird calls. Most birds remained in deep cover however some that showed did give good views including Black-naped and Eurasian Golden Oriole, Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Chestnut-tailed Starling (Malabar White-headed Starling?), Crimson-backed Sunbird, Common Woodshrike, White-bellied Drongo, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta and Golden-fronted Leafbird. We found it to be most productive around the smaller lower car park, the steps to the temple and walking back down the approach road. River Sal River Trip One of the most popular tourist trips in the area are the river trips that have many operators touting for business in the Cavelossim bars and hotels. Expect to pay about 450 rupees per person for a two – three hour early morning trip or 850 rupees for an all-day trip including meals and drinks. Whilst these are not specialist birding trips there are inevitably lots of birds to be seen. It was not as productive as a dedicated River Zuari trip but enjoyable all the same. I would recommend timing the trip with a low tide to ensure plenty of birds along the muddy fringes. We timed ours for high tide and probably missed lots!!! The usual trip goes first to the river mouth looking for dolphins and then sails up river for birds and the roosting fruit bats. Our birding highlights were a Black-capped Kingfisher on rocks near the river mouth, a perched White-bellied Sea Eagle just above the boat and passing under thousands of hirundines perched on electricity cables strung low over the river. There were inevitably hundreds of egrets, kingfishers (Common, White-throated, Stork-billed and Pied) kites, bee-eaters, cormorants and a single Osprey. Brahiminy Kite Brahiminy Kite White-bellied Eagle Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Cotigao is Goa’s second largest wildlife sanctuary but I found it almost impossible to find any decent birding information. We first called in briefly as a diversion from the trip to nearby Palolem beach to recce the site to see if it was worth an early morning trip and to see if we could arrange a bird guide. The sanctuary had lots of potential and we arranged to meet a guide there at 7a.m. a couple of days later. To be fair to the nature centre they did say that they didn’t have a specialist bird guide and unfortunately they were right! We were picked up at the hotel by Babu at 6 a.m. in time to catch the first ferry at 6.15. Babu promised to get us to Cotigao at 7 and we arrived at exactly 7.am.after a speedy drive through some fabulous countryside that looked to have lots of birding potential. We met our guide and quickly found that he could speak no English and that every movement in a tree was ‘a monkey’ even when we were enjoying excellent views of a Malabar Giant Squirrel! We tried showing him pictures in our birdguide in the hope that he would take the hint and be able to guide us to roosting owls, raptors or anywhere that birds might be easily seen. No such luck. It became clear that he was probably more accustomed to guiding Indian tourists along the well-worn walking trails and was not able to provide us with the wildlife guiding skills we really needed. Typical of tropical forests the birds were very hard to find, when you did come across a feeding party they were usually very high in the canopy and difficult to see against the bright sky. Despite that we did manage excellent views of Racket-tailed Drongo, Scarlet Minivet, Yellow Browed Bulbul, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Pied Hornbill and Hoopoe. Nevertheless Cotigao was enjoyable, there were snakes to be seen and an abundance of invertebrates including some impressive spiders and the spectacular Tiger Centipede mentioned earlier. Colourful butterflies were everywhere and I am sure somebody with more knowledge of what is to be found or with a knowledgeable guide would have a great time here. Road to the River Sal Fish Quay After our trip to Velim Lake, Babu drove us to a nearby church high on a hill that offered spectacular views over the River Sal and back towards Cavelossim. This viewpoint showed just how much wetland there was around. I noticed in the distance that one large pool held vast numbers of white egrets. I pointed out the pool to Babu and he said that he would take us close to the pool on our return to Cavelossim that afternoon…and he did! The pool could be accessed from the road leading to the fish quay (opposite side of the river from Cavelossim). We made a brief stop here that afternoon and made an early morning trip a couple of days later. There were many waterbirds to be seen including Darter and Black-headed Ibis. The pools also held a decent selection of waders including Little Stint, Wood & Green Sandpiper, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-winged Stilt, Snipe and Red-wattled Lapwing. This was an excellent area and certainly deserves much greater coverage. Pool near River Sal fish quay Scenic Drive near Cotigao Towards the end of our holiday we were looking to find a trip that would provide us all with a day away from the beach exploring South Goa and would take us of the beaten track, showing us a side of Goa we had not seen before and might provide us with some interesting wildlife. A search through the Rough Guide to Goa provided us with just what we needed; a trip that turned off the NH17 before reaching Cotigao at a Forest Checkpoint and headed up into the hills. The Rough Guide described it as ‘the most scenic road in Goa’ and promised beautiful scenery and an abundance of wildlife. We could also call in at the temple with the ‘bubble pool’. This pool is part of the temple complex and if you clap your hands bubbles rise to the surface of the pool. Very bizarre! This was a superb excursion and well worth the effort. After stopping a couple of times as we passed through an area of agriculture where we watched a Black Eagle soaring along a ridge, the road climbed steeply into the hills offering spectacular views. We stopped at a waterfall that cascaded down the hillside to the left of the road. There were plenty of birds around including Brown-breasted Flycatcher. Most memorable here however were a huge variety of butterflies that were flitting around the shallow pools. We also saw a couple of water snakes, a large green lizard and lots of frogs. Further up the road we stopped on a bend where we could hear another waterfall hidden behind the dense vegetation. Once again there were lots of frogs in the undergrowth and it was here whilst photographing a lizard that I sensed a movement to my left and found the green Vine snake just three feet away. It was about 4’ long but no thicker than my little finger. Vine Snake We continued along this road for several hours stopping frequently. We saw no other tourists and just a handful of other vehicles. Be warned though that there is nowhere along here to buy food or drink and so come prepared. Once again the dense forest made birding difficult however we did see Forest Wagtail, Grey Junglefowl, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher and as we dropped back down through agricultural land two Lesser Adjutants perched in a huge tree in the middle of a field. Crimson Rose Butterfly Cruiser Butterfly Grasshopper sp Monkey Fruit Bat Other Sites The sites I have mentioned above were the only ones that we specifically visited for birds however there were many similar sites throughout South Goa that offered just as much potential and I am sure would be just as productive. One day we were on the main road from Margao to Ponda on the way to the spice plantations when six Lesser Adjutants and a number of Asian Openbills rose from a roadside field. Whilst doing the guided tourist walk around the spice plantation we had close views of a Little Spiderhunter feeding on a banana plant. Lesser Adjutant Another day we travelled to Capa Rama an old Portugese fort on a headland to the south of the River Sal. On the way you pass over an area of very dry farmland where we watched a Grey-necked Bunting by the roadside and a large flock of weavers. Indian Rollers were very easily found on the overhead wires. Babu commutes on this road each day and said the area is also very good in the early morning for Peafowl. Conclusion Boar If you want excellent birding where you have to find the birds for yourself, without another birder in sight, often seeing no other tourists for hours on end, very friendly locals, spectacular scenery, quiet roads, then South Goa is definitely worth a try. If however you want well known sites and trusted stakeouts then you might be better sticking with North Goa. For us, two birders with understanding wives, Cavelossim gave us the perfect base for holiday birding.
  20. Please share your ostrich images, including when and where taken, tech specs and any other pertinent details about the sighting. Here's the audio... http://www.xeno-canto.org/embed.php?XC=46725
  21. Two African skimmers were seen on the Limpopo River in Kruger National Park by EcoTraining's Bruce Lawson and students on Thursday 11 September. This is apparently the first record for the Kruger National Park and only the 4th record for SA as this bird has been Regionally Extinct since the 1960's. Thanks so much to EcoTraining for sharing this on Tracking the Wild. All of our sightings data is shared with the University of Cape Town's Animal Demography Unit and this will make a valuable addition to their records! EcoTraining offers inspirational nature courses for a field guide career or simply for nature lovers, if you'd like more information visit their website www.ecotraining.co.za Click here to see the sighting on Tracking the Wild: http://www.trackingthewild.com/allsightings/#idsighting=2985 To contribute your interesting sightings, visit our website www.trackingthewild.com or download our iPhone or Android apps.
  22. On our 22 days - big cats of India overland trip. We traveled 9 different places to see big cats of India -
  23. Going ahead with my series of trip reports, I have finally finished the final installment as well. Ganeshgudi was my last destination and I had a great time there. Anyone who is loves birding, should visit the area. I seriously hope that OMH retains its old world charm and does not give in to pressure of "renovation", its great the way it is. The last and final installment of the report can be found at: http://wildwildindia.com/ganeshgudi-armchair-birding-contd/ I hope you enjoy reading it. I sure had fun writing and reliving the trip. Cheers, Kartik
  24. Going ahead with my trip, I have started the writeup for the last leg of the trip. Ganeshgudi OMH was my final destination and I spent about 5 days there. While it will be foolish to try and capture beauty of this place in words and pictures, I have made some feeble attempts at that. The trip report can be found at: http://wildwildindia.com/?p=553 Looking forward to hear from you guys. Cheers, Kartik
  25. Continuing from where I left off let me share the next part of my journey with you guys again. I apologize for a long post in advance, this part of TR has more pictures (if someone minds them that is). It took me sometime to write due to mundane things like work emergencies etc, but I got there. The trip report can be found at: http://wildwildindia.com/?p=483 Please give a minute or five to let your browser load all images when you visit the site. Next part will be Ganeshgudi.. hope to write that one soon(ish).. Look forward to hear from you.. Cheers

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