Yellow-browed Bulbul at Dandeli

Bird-watching in Dandeli’s fragile forest

While the lockdown brings birds and beasts out into the cities, clandestine moves are underway to destroy the pristine forests in which they live. Praveen Tangirala recounts a birdwatching trip to the beautiful Kali Tiger Reserve in Dandeli, great stretches of which are threatened to be swallowed up by the proposed Hubbali-Ankola railway line Continue reading Bird-watching in Dandeli’s fragile forest

Close Encounters of the Slithering Kind

These are not just encounters, but close encounters. In these situations I have either touched or been too close for comfort with certain members of the suborder SerpentesI’d never imagined that such a day would dawn. In 2008, I visited the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS) with friends PD, Zak and Subbu. I must mention here that I was so scared of snakes that I was almost on the verge of being ophidiophobic. We were roaming the campus when station manager Prashant’s 4-year-old daughter found a baby Common Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta) and caught it to show us. All four … Continue reading Close Encounters of the Slithering Kind

All’s not well in the bat-cave

If we as a people so revere nature, why do we go to so much trouble to disfigure it? The view from Kavala Caves, Dandeli Is there a legit word ending in “phobia” for the fear of being ripped off? Whatever it is, it was on our minds when we set out early in the morning from Dandeli’s Kulgi Nature Camp for a safari. Safaris are always dubious deals – at the outset you are force-fed the disclaimer that every sighting banks on “good luck”, which is thereafter effectively neutralised by the grunting and gnashing diesel vehicle that ferries you … Continue reading All’s not well in the bat-cave

Encounter: The darling buds of May

May is just behind us, but the familiar trees that lend their signature flush to this month are still in riotous flower One reason I look forward to May, despite the sweltering heat it brings, is the blooming of Gulmohar (Delonix regia), often called ‘Mayflower’ locally. The tree is also known as Flamboyant and Royal Poinciana. The glory of red! All year, Gulmohar trees stay evergreen, providing ample shade with a thick canopy of branches that spread out in all directions like umbrellas. Though they do not grow very tall, their spreading canopies makes them ideal avenue trees. A variant … Continue reading Encounter: The darling buds of May