The sacred grove at Oorani is the last stand of Tropical Dry Evergreen Forests — a postage stamp-sized green patch in the middle of insipid featureless coastal plain dotted with coconut plantations. It does not exactly draw your attention. That, however, would be a huge miss.
Trees are an inconvenience. Leaves falling, light being blocked, snakes showing up, tree roots destabilizing the walls, the need to widen the approach road - we have so many excuses to cut down our trees, and none for planting one.
While the glens and vales of the Nilgiris cope with a torrent of tourists, the resident and endemic birds have the hills to themselves. There's no better time to observe them nesting and bringing up their families. Without moving a muscle, just to prove that lazy birding does have its rewards.
Many birders shun Ranganathittu for the artifice of its environs and the easy photographic pickings. But the birds seem at home here, and that matters! Here's a photo-essay from a recent visit when the Eurasian Spoonbills had just started to fledge and the Asian Openbill Storks were nesting
Visiting the same location time and again has been the secret of this year's winter birding escapades. It's March but the migrants are still here. Among this week's surprises was a flock of Garganey, wintering ducks from Europe that I have observed at Kaikondrahalli for the first time
The Vembanad Lake in Alleppey, once praised by Lord Curzon as the "Venice of the East", is a Ramsar Wetland and a Birdlife Important Bird Area. But those tags have not stopped greedy and exploitative tour operators from turning it into a sickening playground of hooligans and a dumping ground for trash. Here's a horror story that will turn Stephen King's stomach.