Dandeli WLS and Karwar

Been two months since I updated this space. I solely blame it on the pre-occupation to some prior commitments.

Excursion to Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and Gokarn from 1st November to 6th November 2008.

Dandeli panorama from Kawala Caves with Kali River in view
Introduction
The visit to Dandeli WLS was proved fruitful in all ways – thanks to our tour operator. The time of the year was excellent and so was my luck with the fauna around. Although I am a layman when it comes to flora, it was in a bloom everywhere.
To expect the unexpected, a sloth bear and a wild elephant was on my wish-list, but no dreams came true. None the less, I saw some large and very small varieties of other life forms that one ought to glance upon down under!

Dandeli WLS, especially the area around Kulgi Nature Camp is a haven for any birder, or rather any nature enthusiast. Its not just birds you look out for at Dandeli if you’re in for larger predators – you ought to look out for leeches and mites too! Along with butterflies, the insect fauna is marvelous. “Some” of my luck paid off as I got to photograph – to my camera standards – pictures of those I really wish to see again!

The Real Thing

We spent three days at Dandeli WLS, and stayed at the dormitory of the Kulgi Nature Camp. I visited this place a second time, and I’m completely impressed with it. The Kulgi Nature Education Camp, run by the Karnataka Forest Department is spread over 10 acres near Kulgi village. It has well furnished tents, dormitories, a herbarium, well stocked library, video film screening etc.
We visited Kawala Caves, Syntheri Rocks and the backwaters.

Syntheri Rock


Backwaters of Dandeli
Kawala Caves is a holy shrine, although I spent my time outside the cave to hunt down birds through my camera! Syntheri Rocks is a single, massive monolithic granite stone with Kaneri River boring its way through the stone. The backwater was a splendid place to spend the evening and night at. Although no luck with the fauna, it is still imprinted on my mind and ever shall be.

Om Beach, Gokarna - Karwar
Later, we visited Gokarn at Karwar. An amazing place I must say. A small village with lots of temples and lovely beaches – a true tourist spot. However, I did some of my hunting as always and came across – although common – yet amusing fauna I’d like to see again and again!
We stayed for two days and got back to Mumbai on the 6th of November.

A short excursion I must say, but with lots of fulfilled satisfaction and unfulfilled dreams!

For more general info on Gokarn: http://www.karnataka.com/tourism/gokarna/
The Even Better Thing

The sightings weren’t bad for a bad birder like me. Here’s the checklist. Pictures will follow in later :)
Birds:
1. Fairy Blue Bird
2. Malabar Pied Hornbill
3. Malabar Gray Hornbill – pair
4. Purple Rumped Sunbird – pair
5. Crimson Sunbird – male
6. Black Headed Munia
7. Asian Paradise Flycatcher – pair
8. Black Drongo
9. Crested Serpent Eagle
10. Brahmini Kite
11. Gray Jungle Fowl – female
12. Small Green Bee Eater
13. Red Wattled Lapwing – pair
14. Peacock
15. White Throated Kingfisher
16. Spotted Dove
17. Egret
18. Stint (?)
19. White Browed Wagtail – pair
20. White Rumped Shama
21. Oriental Magpie Robin
22. Rose Ringed Parakeet
23. Pond heron
24. Small Minivet – pair
25. Black Naped Monarch

Mammals:
1. Spotted Deer
2. Jackal
3. Malabar Giant Squirrel
4. Indian Gaur
5. Indian Gray Mongoose (?)
6. Rhesus Macaque
7. Hanuman Langoor

Amphibians (Frogs only):
1. Philautus – 3 species, or was it 2?!
2. Fejarvariya sp. – 3 sp.
3. Indian Bull Frog

Reptiles:
1. Forest Calotes
2. Draco
3. Marsh Crocodile
4. Gecko unID

Insects (includes Butterflies):
1. Gladeye Bushbrown
2. Common Four ring
3. Restricted Demon
4. Common Bush Hopper
5. Dingy Scrub Hopper
6. Indian Dartlet
7. Southern Birdwing
8. Red Helen
9. Blue Mormon
10. Crimson Rose
11. Common Rose
12. Common Mormon – male and Romulus female
13. Swift – unID
14. Treebrown
15. Tailed Jay
16. Oakblue
17. Pea Blue
18. Plains Cupid
19. Gram Blue
20. Bushbrowns
21. Golden Dartlet – pair
22. Crimson tailed marsh hawk
23. Dusk Hawk
24. Blue Darner
25. Black Stream Glider
26. Ground Skimmer – pair
27. Millipede
28. Emerald Spreadwing
The sightings at Gokarn were very scanty. Here they are:
Birds:
1. White Bellied Sea Eagle
2. Brahmini Kite
3. Stint (?)
4. Black Kite
5. Malabar Pied Hornbill – pair
6. Indian Roller

Insects:
1. Wandering Glider
2. Red Marsh Trotter
3. Southern Birdwing
4. Crimson Rose

Gallery:
1. Great Pied Wagtail - a pair

2. Asian Fairy Bluebird
3. Gray Jungle Fowl - female
4. Pond Heron
5. Small Minivet - female
6. Small Green Bee-eater
7. Brahmini Kite
7. Stint Common Sandpiper

Mammals:
8. Indian Gray Mongoose
9. Rhesus Macaque
10. Spotted Deer - stag

11. Malabar Giant Squirrel

Amphibia:





Reptiles:
12. Gecko unided


13. Marsh Crocodile


14. Forest Calotes


15. Draco


Insecta:
16. Bush Hopper; 17. Gladeye Bushbrown


18. Bushbrown DSF; 19. Restricted Demon


20. Plains Cupid

21. Lime Butterfly


22. Crimson Rose
23. Southern Birdwing Caterpillar


24. Caterpillar of a Butterfly
25. Emerald Spreadwing
Others:
26. Giant Wood Spider


27. Ghost Crab

28. Sea Anemone

These are but a few pictures I took on the Excursion. The experience was amazing and I got a lot to learn on the field.
Bon voyage!