Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bhigwan - A “Big One” for Ducks and Waterfowl

Hi All,

The wetlands in North (India) generally are very good spots to see huge nos. of migratory waterfowls especially ducks as compared to South (India) …….. But if you visit “Bhigwan” near Pune it is a different story……It’s definitely a “Big One” for Ducks.

Bhigwan is about 95 Kms from Pune on the Pune-Solapur highway (NH-9) and is a catchment area of the mighty Ujani Dam. It is a proposed sanctuary for migratory birds, an area of about 18000 hectares. The water catchment area is spread across around the town of Bhigwan……..This is probably the best spot in South Central India to see ducks in enormous numbers….the whole area is mesmerizing & reminiscence to the wetlands of the north.

For a long time I wished to visit this place (I had a glimpse of this spot way back in 2002 for about 2 Hrs on the way to Nannaj, Solapur) and so we (Myself, Mandar Khadilkar, Abhijeet Narvekar & Palavi Joshi) decided to birdwatch around Bhigwan on 19th Dec’05……Thanks to Abhijeet for his Zen and a long drive, we started from Mumbai on 18th Dec’05 in the evening and reached non-stop to Bhigwan town by 11.30 p.m…….There are not many hotels to stay here and it is advisable to halt for the night in Pune….we got a hotel though (If I could call it as a hotel, the electric switches of which reminded us of “Suduko” game) with unlocked bathrooms & Open windows…we somehow survived the night…..

We started early next day (19th Dec’05) for birding. Mandar had done some research (opps?) on the routes and good spots and also with some help from Mr.Gaurav Purohit (Pune) managed to cover 4 major spots around Bhigwan in a single day – Kumbhargaon, Diksal, Patas & Varwand dam ……..

Kumbhargaon: To reach this spot one has to take the highway from Bhigwan town towards Solapur, cross a bridge (about 2 kms.) and take a left “Kuccha” Road (there is a board named Kumbhargaon)….about a km from the main road, the vast expanse of the Ujani dam area spreads out in front of you…….The morning was misty and chilly….the first thing that struck us here were huge nos. of Common Coots along the stretch of the water body……Also, we could see thousands of ducks from here that included predominantly the Beautiful Eurasian Wigeons, Gadwalls & Shovellers (Most in their eclipse plumage) other duck species were few viz. Spotbilled, Common Teals, Ruddy sheld ducks, Gargeny. Surprisingly Pochards were nowhere to be seen only one male Common Pochard and a lone female Red crested Pochard was seen mingling in the company of other birds.

There were several other interesting sightings that included, literally thousands of barn swallows, House swifts, Red Rumped swallows, Wire tailed swallows hawking for the insects above, zigzagging just above the ground, oblivious of our presence (We wondered how they do not collide with each other in such rapid flight)…4 Palla’s Gulls, All species of wagtails except White wagtails, Brown & Long tailed shrikes, River, Whiskered and Gull-Billed Terns, Great, Little & Indian Cormorants, Glossy Ibis in huge nos, Asian Openbill and Painted storks……Waders included Wood & Common Sandpipers, Black tailed Godwits, Red Shanks & Black winged stilts…….A soaring pair of Small Falcons could not be identified as they were against the sunlight (I suspect them to be Red Necked falcons from the Gizz)………………I am sure there must be those Pratincoles mixed among the swarms of Swallows, though we couldn’t see any.

There is a Pump house about 500 mts from “Kumbhargaon” village. We hired a boat from here to go close to the ducks. The Boatman was happy to take us at Rs.100 (1/2 of his daily earnings) for a ride……though we were able to go a bit closer to the ducks, they always maintained a certain distance, but it is always a treat to watch these beauties at eye level swimming/feeding/relaxing/preening/floating. The area around the water body is also very good for birding and we added plenty of other birds in our list including, Pied & Common (now Siberian) Stonechats, Golden Orioles, Lesser white throats, Paddy field pipits, Rosy & Brahminy Starlings, Small Green Bee-eaters, Grey Francolins calling and the master of camouflage Yellow wattled Lapwings………

The surrounding place is rich for cultivation of Maze, Sugarcane, Jowar……Burlp….the Corn maze and Sugarcanes were very sweet…

The roads (after the mighty monsoons) were very bumpy and the Maruti Zen's low road clearance bottom kept banging all the much that we eventually had to cristened it as "Maruti Hummer-H2" (The legendry american army vehicle)....however, a Vehicle is a must if one has to cover more spots.

Diksal : To reach this place……take a left turn from Bhigwan (Towards Solapur end) and go straight for about 8-9 kms…..there are a bit twisty turns, but on the way there are many spots to stop and bird. We did the same and were rewarded with a Twany Eagle, Cotton Pigmy Goose, Lesser Whistling Teal, Ruff, Clamorous warblers, Marsh harriers, Comb ducks, More Ruddy shelducks, Common Kestrels……once again Eurasian Wigeons, Gadwalls & Shovellers dominated the scene ……incidentally this is the spot (I learn) where the Greater Flamingos are seen in late winter.

Patas: This place is on the Pune-Solapur highway about 20 kms from Bhigwan…….apparently a good habitat for waterfowls but we saw only few Common Coots, many Purle Herons, Purple swamphens, Common & W.T.Kingfishers, Pheasant tailed Jacanas……..There is a huge heronry along the Eucalyptus trees and a big colony of fruit bats (Flying fox).

Varwand Dam : There are 2 ways to go here …..Either take a right turn just before Bhigwan (About 6 kms) or take a right turn (Kuccha Road) after Bhigwan (Solapur end or the road opp. the road that leads to Diksal) …….We took the later after bothering Mr.Gaurav Purohit for directions…..

After a sumptuous vegetarian Rice plate at a hotel at Bhigwan, we proceeded towards Varwand Dam, While getting directions, we were told by one farmer to stick along the water-pipe going parallel to this road…..we did follow his instructions, but at one point we took a wrong turn and landed up at a dead end….but this was fruitful as, when we stepped out to inspect the barren area ahead, we saw some Indian Coursers running in their peculiar gait, far on the fallow land….on close observation that region revealed more birds that included, Greater short toed larks, tawny pipits and a male Pallied Harrier….apparently a very good habitat for grassland and dry country birds including Sandgrouse (and GIBs) ….Ahh !! this was sure a bonus for us….. nearby, a water canal revealed Little Ringed Plover, R.W.Lapwings, Wood Sandpiper & Longtailed shrikes………

By the time we reached “Varwand” Dam at around 5.00pm, the light had already started to fade but a scan thro’ the Spotting Scope revealed one of the biggest congregation of Ducks …..even at a conservative estimate the Nos. would be anywhere close to 15000…….Lo….how we came late here and missed the light….everyone of us were depressed, as we were unable to identify the ducks (on the other shore) in the fast fading light and to reach the other side where all of them were concentrated, we would have to negotiate a very bad road about a Km. or so that would have taken more time and light…….A huge eagle about a size of Imperial eagle was seen mobbed by a Jungle Crow on the other far side sitting on a pole and we could just judge its size from its silhouette…. Sigh!! We decided to check this place first, in case we happen to visit again………However, the mood was somewhat regained with some clear and close sightings of Barred Button quails on the road……..

I know, there are many Duck crazy birders (err…I mean to see and observe) and Bighwan is a place for them…….Its a “Big One for” Ducks…..

Happy Birding,
Addi The Birde

PS: Thanks for the wonderful company …..It was an enjoyable experience.....Particularly Abhijeet for his vehicle and his uncomplained driving (It was very very tiring) , Palavi for keeping us smiling all the time and Mandar for his directions (Hmmm....) and passion.

Here’s a complete list of the birds seen & heard (Total 104 species):

Barred Button Quail (Clear & Close sightings on the road)
Ruddy Shelduck (few but in all 4 sightings)
Comb Duck (a Pair near Diksal)
Gadwall (Plenty)
Eurasian Wigeon (The most numerous)
Spot Billed Duck (Scattered along the edges)
Gargeney (Very few)
Northen Pintail (about c50)
Northen Shoveller (Plenty…most in eclipse plumage)
Red Crested Pochard (One female)
Lesser Whistling Duck (Only one)
Cotton Pigmy Goose (Near Diksal)
Common Hoopoe (at least 4)
Common Kingfisher
White Breasted Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher (Only 2 at Varwand)
Green Bee-eater
Asian Koel
Greater Coucal
House Swift
Rock Pigeon
Laughing Dove
Spotted Dove
White Breasted Waterhen (seen one near Patas)
Purple Swamphen (Everywhere)
Common Moorhen
Common Coot (Most numerous)
Wood Sandpiper (Along the edges)
Common Sandpiper
Black Tailed Godwit (One each near Kumbhargaon & Diksal)
Indian Courser (4 at fallow land near Varwand)
Common Red Shank
Ruff ( a Pair near Diksal)
Pheasant Tailed Jacana
Little Ring Plover
Yellow Wattled Lapwing (Many in suitable habitat)
Red Wattled Lapwing
Palla's Gull (About c4 at Kumbhargaon)
Brown Headed Gull
Black Headed Gull
River Tern
Whiskered Tern
Gull-Billed tern
Black Shouldered Kite
Black Kite
Brahminy Kite (one at Patas)
Eurasian Marsh Harrier
Pallied Harrier (one magnificent male)
Tawny Eagle (one near Diksal)
Common Kestrel
Little Grebe
Little Cormorant
Indian Cormorant
Great Cormorant (Few)
Little Egret
Great Egret
Intermediate Egret
Cattle Egret
Indian Pond Heron
Grey Heron (Plenty everywhere)
Purple Heron (Many at Patas – a very good habitat for this bird))
Glossy Ibis (Huge flocks)
Oriental White Ibis (2 at Diksal)
Painted Stork (At Diksal & Kumbhargaon)
Asian Openbill (The most common Stork)
Brown Shrike
Long Tailed Shrike
Bay Backed Shrike (One on the way near highway)
House Crow
Large Billed Crow
Small Minivet - call
White Browed Fantail
Black Drongo
Ashy Drongo
Common Stonechat (Now called as Siberian Stonechat)
Pied Bushchat
Brahminy Starling
Rosy Starling
Common Myna
Great Tit (One on the way to Varwand)
Barn Swallow (In thousands)
Wire Tailed Swallow
Red Rumped Swallow
Red Vented Bulbul
Blyth's Reed Warbler
Clamorous Reed Warbler
Lesser Whitethroat (At the Pump house-Kumbhargaon)
Common Tailorbird
Common Chiffchaff
Jungle Babbler
Large Grey Babbler
Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark
Rufous Tailed Lark
Greater Short Toed Lark (At fallow land near Varwand)
House Sparrow
White Browed Wagtail
Citrine Wagtail (Plenty)
Yellow Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
Paddy field Pipit
Tawny Pipit ((At fallow land near Varwand)
Baya Weaver
Indian Silverbill

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Great Birding Party-Dandeli, Karnataka

Hi Friends,

For the last 8 years, I have been celebrating Diwali in a Jungle, what with the Holidays giving an opportunity and much to the annoyance of my family......This year I decided to visit Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, a place that I longed to visit and for the birds that I always dreamed to see.....

Initially Mandar , Dr.Vaibhav & Myself were to go for 3 days....but unfortunately Dr.Vaibhav could not make up & some other pals joined in completing a mixed birding party (Amod Karkhanis, Sumedha Karkhanis, Abhijeet Narvekar, Parth & Advait) .....and what was going to be a 3 days affair soon turned into 6 days of pure birding nostalgia (From 31st Oct'05 to 5th Nov'05) .........

Dandeli is a typical moist deciduos forest with pockets of Semievergreen forests with an approx. area of 475 sq.kms. and is situated in north Kannada district of Karnataka about 57 kms from Dharwad. Its richness and diversity offers ample opportunities to nature lovers to enjoy the captivating landscape. The sanctuary is generally undulating with steep slopes with picturesque deep river valleys and rich hilly forest terrain (see photo left).

The best travel option for the people from Mumbai is Train uptill Londa and then a bus ride (27 kms) to Dandeli.......however Diwali rush made us travel in Bus rather than train..... The VRL's Volvo bus starts from Sion, Mumbai at 10p.m. sharp and reaches Dharwad at about ...There are regular KSRTC bus to Dandeli and after a sumptuos south Indian breakfast at Hotel Dharwad we reached Dandeli at 11 a.m........We had already booked tent accomodation in Kulgi Nature camp (Details at the end) that is about 12 kms from Dandeli bus stand. The auto charged us Rs.100/auto and finally we reached Kulgi nature camp.........

Kulgi nature camp is run by Karnataka Wildlife department and has about 10-12 tents + Dormitory with a nominal charge of Rs.200/day.
The camp is conviniently situated at the periphery of the sanctuary and the campsite itself is a hotspot for birds. It also has an ill maintained museum that gives a brief information of the sanctuary, some stuffed specimens (including one pathetically maintained specimen of a majestic 15 feet King Cobra). It also has T.V. for screening wildlife flims and a good collection of Orchid photographs. A board gives the latest census Nos. of animals (see photo)

Though our timing was good as most of the winter migrants were expected, I thought the Best season would be when the Ficus trees (Fig, Banyan , Pipul) are fruting in Feb-March during which it is easier to find birds.......However we were not dissapointed to get 127 forest species during the 6 days that we stayed.....

Highlights : Black throated munia, Great pied, Malabar pied & Malabar grey Hornbills, Fairy blue bird, Little spider hunter, Blue bearded bee-eaters, Pied flycather shrike, Large woodshrike, White bellied woodpecker.... and plenty of mixed hunting parties that are so typical of such forests......and Southern bird wing (Butterfly)

Day 1:
The environs of Kulgi nature camp is good for watching birds and immediately after reaching we added plenty of birds in our list such as Malabar parakeets, Velvet fronted nuthatch, Ashy drongo (see-photo-right) ,common wood shrikes and hordes of butterflies. In the 6 days that we stayed in Dandeli WS, we did not take even once the wildlife safari, that only promises to be just a joy ride (Though one could be lucky sometimes) and did most of the birding outside the actual boundary of the Santuary (Core area)....every day covering various spots like the Intek water body environs, Kavala caves area, Syntheri rock surroundings, once in Anshi National park (70 kms.) , Nagzhari falls valley and the area surrounding the Kulgi Camp.....

We started our first birding trail of the trip just outside the camp and immediately came across one of the several mixed hunting parties that were to be encountered thereafter.
Most of our sightings were done when we came across such mixed hunting parties....the moment is exciting as there are not only nos. but also several species to be expected....The most common sight in such parties were some species of Drongos, minivets, Bee-eaters (see photo-right) , nuthatches & woodpeckers and one has to be very quick in identifying as the party moves on quickly ..........The first party included my 1st lifer of the trip -Pied flycather shrike,also Chestnut bellied & Velvet fronted nuthatchs, Asian Paradise & Black naped monarch flycathers, Brown cheecked fulvetas, Scarlet & small minivets, Bronze & Ashy drongos, Common Ioras & Leaf warblers.......about 2 kms down this road is the famous Nazhari valley view tower (see photo-right) that gives an awesome view of the mountainous valley and a glimpse of the pristne forest for miles (see photo-left)
By the time we reached back to our campsite, it was already dark and after a delicious dinner (available on advance order) we set out for some owling and nightjaring.....but lack of proper torchlight made us dissapointed, though we did keep hearing calls of Indian nightjars, Brown wood owl & Collard scops owls almost everyday near the campsite.

Day 2 :
With everybody new to Dandeli and very rough details of the various birding spots collected from friends, we chalked out our plans for the rest of the trip. We enquired about any waterbody nearby and were told that a dam existed some 4-5 kms from Kulgi-Bomanahalli Intke (Right turn from the camp)......We started early at 6.15 am. I got my 2nd lifer - Little spider hunter, its call is unmistakable and has ever embedded in my mind. Also seen were P.R.Sunbird, Black lored tits, Spotted doves. A shildetail snake was lying crushed by a vehicle on the road (see photo-right)......

Further down near the Kulgi village we spotted silhouette of some birds, what we thought were Black headed munias……but I was un-comfortable with the id as I could clearly see the wedge shaped tail and on close observation thro’ the scope, they turned out to be White rumped munias…..a spotted dove about to alight on a tree branch was shocked to find a shikra sitting on the same spot who suddenly dashed at the unsuspecting fellow…..

After some action…we arrived at a very happening spot where we saw Ashy wood swallows, C.Tree swifts, Scarlet minivets, Black headed cuckcoo shrike, Brown & L.Tailed shrike, Pied bushchat, forest wagtail, Shama, Heart spotted woodpecker, Grey tit, B.hooded orioles, Jungle babblers, Dark fronted babblers and a big surprise…..a Black throated munia. This species is endemic to the south Western Ghats. Kry’s gives its distribution as doubtful in north Karnataka, whereas Grimmet has no records from here……so this surely was a good catch (Incidentally we saw one more along the way to Anshi N.P.) .....
After some confusion over the Dam distance (That could not be seen), we decided to turned tail.
Surprisingly raptors were few and we saw only Brahminy kite and Black eagle on the way. …….. On our return we saw a wasp nest (see photo-left) that looked threatening to approach and another lifer for me – The magnificent Asian Fairy Bluebird.

Day 3:

Among the must see spots in our iternary was Nagzhari falls area, which I was told was good for expecting the Great pied hornbills & that elusive bird “Malabar Trogon” …………we did see the 1st one from the tower but not the later though we stretched our eye lens to the limit, however, since it had rained the previous night the Leeches were up and active and we had a horrifying time with them…..

We did see some good species including Blue capped R.Thrush, Emerald dove and a lively MHP that also had Tree pie, Bronze drongos and Yellow browed bulbuls…this trail is also good for some rare wild plants like the Rawolfia serpentina (see photo-above left). We had some packed Upma & Shira that we relished while looking out for any signs of leeches on our body (see photo-left).

After coming out from the Nagzhari trail, we continued towards the main gate of the sanctuary some 3 kms further down and had some good sightings of P.Flycather shrike, Asian Brown flycatcher, Vernal hanging parrot,Y.fronted pied woodpecker(Right),Fairy Blue bird (left), C.Tailed starlings and C.serpent eagle…. A white bellied woodpecker ended our day by giving us a noisy fly-past.

Day 4:

We decided to catch up another site- Kavala caves and also cover the missed "Intke" Dam (actually backwaters of Bomanahalli dam) of the previous day and started well before dawn, with Rs.1300/- for a day it was not a bad idea to heir a jeep for 7 people (actually recommended to cover good spots)……At the “intke” waterbody, had a good view of a Grey headed fishing eagle that almost became invisible on landing at a nearby tree…….

The backwaters is a good place to see birds along the banks…and it was here that we saw several Blue tailed Bee-eaters, Eurasian cuckoo, and the largest Mixed hunting party (19 species) that included 3 species of woodpeckers, 2 of minivets, 2 of drongos & G.Fronted chloropsis amongst others. Also some water birds as Large, Intermediate and cattle egrets, Common, Wood & Green sandpipers, Little & Indian cormorants, Pond & Grey herons……. The Kavala caves are famed for its stunning limestone caves & the natural gigantic Shivalinga, made out of stalactite and stalagmite formations and we were told that the birdlife around here is equally stunning……..

we could not reach the caves tough, due to landslides, but had some good views of Changeable hawk eagle, A.F.Blue bird, Shama (see photo below left)Malabar grey hornbill, Racket tailed drongos (see photo-below right), Heart spotted woodpecker, frogs (see photo) and plenty of butterflies. The jeep left with Advait and Parth to Dandeli (they had to attend their college) before dropping 5 of us at one trail where we got our first Malabar Gaint squirrel pair………

With only 2 days remaining and no Malabar trogon yet, I was feeling very uncomfortable and suffocating and my continuous chanting of that species surely made Amod & others annoyed………There are some bird species that I always yearned to see for so many years …amongst them was the Malabar trogon (my close birding friends would agree) and though there were scarce records of this bird from Mumbai and Bhimashankar (Areas, I have been birding for several years), I never had an opportunity to sight this extraordinary species…….and it was very frustrating to not see this bird yet in an area where it is sure to be sited.

Day 5:

Today, we planned to go to Anshi National park which is about 70kms from Kulgi. With an area of 250 sq.kms, it was once a part of Dandeli W.S. and was formed in 1987….unlike Dandeli WS, Anshi has Semi-evergreen/Evergreen habitat and looks completely different. Our driver was shocked when he learned that our intention was only birding and eagerly tried us to show some birding places on the way… abandoned waterfilled mine was our first stop, the time was right and plenty of birding activity around the area particularly on the exposed trees with almost 30 species sighted……..

Chestnut shouldered petronia, B.hooded Oriole (see photo-above right), Mountain imperial Pigeon flying, Chestnut headed (see photo-above left) and Bluebearded bee-eaters, Large & Blackheaded cuckoo shrike, Greater & common flamebacks, Plum-headed parakeets, a flying flock of Bar-headed geese, Yellow footed green pigeons were some highlights……….

We proceeded further and the driver showed us the huge supa dam…the catchment area of which looked wonderful……He took us to a place near a waterlogged road, but we didn’t find any bird activity and as he tried to reverse the Jeep…....

As usual we took an opportunity to catch some seconds birding…….there was a bamboo thicket that we were looking at and Amod mentioned that he saw some bright orange flash… heart started pounding on the possibility of a female M.Trogon and strained my eyes in anticipation…….and Finally I saw it and shouted “Yes it is a Malabar Trogon”…in my excitement I didn’t realized that my shouting scared away the Trogon further inside and I could clearly feel the anguish in the eyes of my friends, who were not fortunate to have a look……I was even more desparate now to show them the bird and ventured inside….and there it was….a beauty…..probably an imm. Male with orangish underparts and a clear white necklace……a deep sense of fulfillment seemed to have on me that I have waited for so many years……….

After reaching Anshi and no one to guide us to show the Ceylon frogmouth, we took a trail behind the Anshi nature camp……the atmosphere was completely different I thought and came across several MHPs and lots of butterflies. On return, I went to check out a small path that was leading to a nearby stream…a crimson ribbon danced from inside a vegetation…an adult male M.Trogon…..I called the others and we had a hearty look at it….I was so engrossed to see the bird that I never realized to take a mobilescoped image, but the image has permanately eitched in my mind……..On the way back had plenty of butterflies sighting (see Malabar tree nyph-left & Sunbeam-right).

Day 6 (Final day) :

Starting early again to visit the famed monolithic rock view "The Syntheri rocks" we again stopped at the mine area and had good views of Malabar grey hornbills (see photo-right) and Malabar Gaint squirells (see photo-left) . ......
The Syntheri rock is an awesome 300 ft monolithic granite rock (see photo-below) besides which flows the perrinial Kaneri river, a tributary of the mighty Kali river. There are numerous bee hives on which we saw a greater flameback hanging to find a morsel…..a rat snake swimming in the water was confusing us with its behaviour…..a MHParty nearby added Large woodshike to our list that had swelled to 127 species.

…………I was just looking at the rocks when on object, what looked like a leaf was sailing in mid air horizontally and just as I was wondering what it was,that thing landed on a tree bark nearby…that was when I realized that what I was looking at was a flying lizard…….Oh !! what a sight…the lizard kept on flicking it yellow throat patch while it climbed higher on the tree (see photo below right)….

we saw more of these lizards nearby , apparanetly a very good habitat to watch these, otherwise perfectly camouflaged lizard……..

We were to leave Kulgi camp by 5.00 p.m. to Dandeli (Our bus was at 9.00 from Dharwad) when we had a small altercation with the driver…apparently he had got a lucrative offer for a safari and was behind us to drop at Dandeli by 2.p.m…….............In the chaos , I saw a Southern birdwing butterfly floating in the air – a beautiful butterfly that is known for its largest wingspan……..a perfect ending for our memorable trip……. (Celebrating the festival of light "Diwali" and wishing for the harmony with nature)

( From left - Sumedha Karkhanis, Abhijeet Narvekar, Myself, Manadar Khadilkar and Amod Karkhanis)

Other Sightings:

Mammals: Malabar Giant Squirrel, Black Naped Hare, Three Striped palm Squirrel, Common Langur, Bonnet macaque and Spotted Deer.

Reptiles & Amphibians: Flying Lizard, Forest Calotes, Garden Calotes, Rat snake, Skink, Shield tail snake, Burrowing snake, Checkered Keel back, Burrowing toad, Rana temporalis (?)

Butterflies: Southern Bird wing, Blue tiger, Common Crow, Immigrant, Plain Tiger, Lemon, Blue, Peacock, grey & yellow Pansy, Blue mormon, Red helen,Grey count, Clipper, Leopard, Malabar tree nymph, Tamil yamfly, Danaid & great eggfly, Nawab, Baronet, Malabar flat, Blue bottle, Yellows & cerulians............ and many more.

Fact File:

Kulgi nature camp-Near Kulgi village 12 kms away from Dandeli towards Ambikanagar
Dharwad : 60 kms via Dandeli
Belgaum : 90 kms via Dandeli
Karwar : 100 kms
Panaji 140 kms via Karwar
Nearest Train station : Londha (27 kms)

Where to stay:
* In Kulgi nature camp --Tents : 10 tents with common bathrooms for Rs.200/day for 2 persons + 2 delux tents
Food : Veg/Non-veg for Rs. 30 / 50
* Kali Wilderness Camp, owned by Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd (a Government of Karnataka undertaking): Ph: 080-5597021/24/25. Web site: E-mail: * Bison River Resort, owned by Indian Adventures Wildlife Resorts. Ph: 022-26433622 or 26408742. Web site: E-mail:

Tariff :
Sanctuary / Park entry fee = Rs.25 for adults & Rs.10 for Childrens
Vehical Fee - LMV=Rs.100, Bus (mini) =Rs.200
Tourist Guide fee = Rs.100
Camera -- Ordinary=Rs.15, SLR/DSLR= Rs.100, Videa Camera=Rs.150.
For Bookings (also accomodation) :
Dy. Conservator of Forests,Wildlife division, Dandeli, Karnataka, India, Phone and Fax: 08284-331585.

Spots to Visit:
1) Kavala Caves (16 kms from Kulgi)
2) Syntheri Rocks (23 kms from Kulgi)
3) Nagzhari Valley View (2.5 km from Kulgi)
4) Nagzhari/ Satkhanda Falls trail (5 kms from Kulgi)
5) Ulvi Holy shrine (40 kms from Kulgi)
6) Anshi National Park (70 kms from Kulgi)

List of Birds seen & heard :

1) Grey Jungle fowl
2) Indian Peafowl
3) Bar Headed Geese
4) Rufous Woodpecker
5) White Bellied Woodpecker
6) Brown Capped Pygmy Woodpecker
7) Yellow Crowned Woodpecker
8) Heart Spotted Woodpecker
9) Black Rumped Flameback
10) Greater Falmeback
11) Brown Headed Barbet
12) White Cheeked Barbet
13) Coppersmith Barbet
14) Malabar Grey Hornbill
15) Malabar Pied Hornbill
16) Great Hornbill
17) Malabar Trogon
18) Indian Roller
19) Common Kingfisher
20) White Throated Kingfisher
21) Blue Bearded Bee-eater
22) Green bee-eater
23) Blue Tailed Bee-eater
24) Chestnut Headed Bee-eater
25) Eurasian Cuckoo
26) Greater Coucal
27) Vernal Hanging Parrot
28) Plum Headed Parakeet
29) Malabar Parakeet
30) House Swift
31) Crested Tree Swift
32) Collard Scops Owl – heard
33) Brown Wood Owl – heard
34) Indian Nightjar
35) Blue Rock Pigeon
36) Mountain Imperial Pigeon
37) Spotted Dove
38) Emerald Dove
39) Yellow Footed Green Pigeon
40) Green Sandpiper
41) Common Sandpiper
42) Red Wattled Lapwing
43) Brahminy Kite
44) Grey Headed Fish Eagle
45) Crested Serpent Eagle
46) Black Eagle
47) Shikra
48) Oriental Honey Buzzard
49) Changeable Hawk Eagle
50) Little Cormorant
51) Indian Cormorant
52) Little Egret
53) Great Egret
54) Intermediate Egret
55) Cattle Egret
56) Indian Pond Heron
57) Grey Heron
58) Wooly Necked Stork
59) Asian Fairy Blue Bird
60) Golden Fronted Leafbird
61) Brown Shrike
62) Long Tailed Shrike
63) Pied Flycatcher Shrike
64) Rufous Treepie
65) House Crow
66) Large billed Crow
67) Ashy Wood Swallow
68) Eurasian Golden Oriole
69) Black Hooded Oriole
70) Large Cuckoo Shrike
71) Black Headed Cuckoo Shrike
72) Small Minivet
73) Scarlet MInivet
74) Black Drongo
75) Ashy Drongo
76) White Bellied Drongo
77) Bronzed Drongo
78) Spangled Drongo
79) Greater Racket Tailed Drongo
80) Black Naped Monarch
81) Asian Paradise Flycatcher
82) Common Iora
83) Large Woodshrike
84) Common Woodshrike
85) Blue Capped Rock Thrush
86) Malabar Whistling Thrush
87) Asian Brown Flycatcher
88) Red Throated Flycatcher - heard
89) White Bellied Blue Flycatcher
90) Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher
91) Verditer Flycatcher
92) Oriental Magpie Robin
93) White Rumped Shama
94) Pied Bushchat
95) Chestnust Tailed Starling
96) Common Myna
97) Jungle Myna
98) Chestnust Bellied Nuthatch
99) Velvet Fronted Nuthatch
100) Great Tit
101) Black Lored Tit
102) Wire Tailed Swallow
103) Red Rumped Swallow
104) Yellow Browed Bulbul
105) Black Bulbul – heard
106) Grey Breasted Prinia
107) Oriental White Eye
108) Common Tailor Bird
109) Booted Leaf Warbler
110) Greenish Warbler
111) Dark Fronted Babbler
112) Jungle Babbler
113) Brown Cheeked Fulvetta
114) Thick Billed Flowerpecker
115) Chestnut Shouldered Petronia

116) Tickell’s Flowerpecker
117) Purple Rumped Sunbird
118) Crimson Backed Sunbird
119) Purple Sunbird
120) Little Spiderhunter
121) House Sparrow
122) Forest Wagtail
123) Grey Wagtail
124) White Browed Wagtail
125) White Rumped Munia
126) Black Throated Munia
127) Scaly Breasted Munia