Horsley Hills struck me as the Nandi Hills of Andhra Pradesh. But these straggling hillocks of the Eastern Ghats, about three hours from Bangalore by road and within hollering distance from the town of Madanapalle (once known for its sanatorium), are wooded and beautiful. It’s here that I sighted – for the first time – the elusive White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus) and the rare Yellow-throated Bulbul (Pycnonotus xantholaemus).
Suresh Jones, a wildlife researcher who lives in Madanapalle, was our guide. The vegetation of the region, he pointed out, is mostly exotic. Eucalyptus, lantana and acacia have replaced most of the native flora. Pockets of native Ficus trees still stand.
We also saw Grey Junglefowl, Painted Spurfowl and what looked like a Black Eagle.
Of course, only the Shama was captured on video, the bulbuls being uncharacteristically scarce that day.
Take a look… but pardon the music.