Saturday, October 27, 2012

Birding In Western Ghats (Dandeli WLS, Karnataka) - 29th Nov to 02nd Dec, 2012

Remember the "Ghost of the Forest - Black Panther" sighting last year @ Dandeli ? We are planning to go there again this year..... what an exciting and memorable trip we had .... 

View some last years moments here...

Date: 29th November, 2012 morning 8.00 am to 02nd December, 2012 eve 8.00 pm (travel dates excluded). The bookings for Dandeli WLS bird-watching trip are on… your seats now (to know complete details of the trip please read till the end)..... Bird-watch in one of bird-rich Western Ghat hot spot with Nature India.


Early in the morning, if you are awaken by the “Chakoo Chakoo” calls of the Grey nightjar just a few feet away and you come out to stretch your legs, you see Malabar parakeets creating a raucous, a racquet tailed drongo whizzing past as if followed by a pair of bumble bees, an Indian lorikeet saluting you in its typical upside down “Bat” like posture, a pair of Fairy Blue bird greeting you with its melodious call or a party of Brown-cheeked fulvettas passing over your head…..then, in reality you are in Kulgi Nature Camp situated in Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka…..

Dandeli has always been hot favorite with Nature India, simply because, an inveritable paradise for forest birds, this sanctuary is respected for its variety and abundance of birdlife. The Dandeli Wildlife sanctuary is spread over 834.16 and is the second largest in Karnataka, contiguous with the Bhagwan Mahaveer sanctuary in GoaThis Sanctuary abounds with a richness of Flora and Fauna. Its richness and diversity offers ample opportunities to nature lovers to enjoy the captivating landscape. The sanctuary is generally undulating with steep slopes, picturesque deep river valleys and rich hilly forest terrain. The breathtaking valleys, regal looking meandering rivers and the splendid scenic beauty of the syntheri rock make it an awe inspiring experience. The forest in Dandeli is typical moist deciduous and semi evergreen types, with pockets of evergreen trees.

The myriad streams that flow through this sanctuary empty in the mighty Kali river and its tributaries, Kaneri and Nagazhari that offers one of the most breathtaking white water rapids in south India. The forest is home to numerous plants, mammals, reptiles, insects, butterflies and is especially rich in birds with plenty of western ghat endemics……

The town has got a curious history behind its name. There is a strong belief that the city isnamed as "Dandeli" after Dandelappa, a loyal servant of the Mirashi landlords who lost his life because of his loyalty. Even today we can find people worshiping him in the temples, which memories his existence.

Some of the bird star attractions to be found in Dandeli sanctuary include Indian Lorikeet & Malabar Parakeets ; Malabar Pied, Malabar grey and Indian Pied Hornbills ; Hill Myna ; Blue-bearded & Chestnut headed bee-eaters ; Ruby-throated & Yellow-browed Bulbul ;Fairy Blue Bird ; Velvet-fronted & Chestnut-bellied Nuthatches ; Little Spiderhunter ; Black-throated and White-backed Munias ; Darkfronted Babblers ; Heartspotted , White-bellied and Brown-capped Pigmy woodpeckers ; Malabar Trogon ; Ceylon Frogmouth ; Brown Fish, Mottled wood, Spot-bellied and Brown Wood Owl; Crested Gowshawk ; Speckeld Piculet; Gold-fronted & Blue-winged Leafbirds etc etc…..

Nature India announces an exclusive Bird-watching trip to this birding paradise - Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary from 29th Nov to 02nd Dec’12 ……

Some of the areas that will be covered during this trip are as follows:

1) Kulgi Nature Camp environs: The area surrounding this beautiful camp abounds in bird activity early in the morning. The campus itself provide Brown-cheeked fulvettas, Malabar Parakeets, Grey and Indian Nightjars, Vernal hanging parakeets, Racquet-tailed Drongos, White-cheeked and coppersmith barbets, leaf warblers, White-rumped Shama and many more……

The Camp site consists of about 10 fully furnished tents (Basic & Deluxe) and also about 10 newly built Wood-houses, a small museum, a large dormitory, a dinning hall surrounded on all sides by wilderness. A newly constructed Nature information center has added value to this wonderful place. The food prepared by the local cook is mouth-watering and is particularly favorite amongst the visitors.

2) Ganeshgudi: This small village on the outskirts of Supa Dam about 24 kms from Kulgi boosts of huge congregations of Malabar Pied Hornbills and it is an experience to watch these magnificent birds when they come here to roost in the evening on the huge trees along the banks of Kali river.

This area also has an abundant birdlife and offers sure sightings of Malabar Pied and Malabar grey hornbills, Fairy Blue Birds, White-bellied Blue-flycatchers, Malabar White-bellied woodpeckers, Chestnut-headed bee-eaters etc.

3) Dandeli Timber Depot: If you want to see the Malabar Gaint Squirells and Hill Mynas, then this is the place. The depot is situated close to the Dandeli forest office and easily accessible by road. The birds come here for evening roost and is particularly favorite amongst the bird photographers for the opportunity it gives. The Kali river that passes by also adds Grey headed fishing eagle if you are lucky.

4) Shirali Village: There is an abandoned mine just adjacent to the road that passes this village. On the other side of this mine are many tall trees that form the edge of the forest. It is here that I may have seen more than 120 species of birds in the 5-6 times that I visited. You have to just sit and relax on the road side and keep your eyes open. You may come across Chestnut-headed & Blue-bearded bee-eaters, Ruby-throated & Black Bulbuls, Pompodour green pigeons, White-rumped and Brown-backed Needletails, Crimson-fronted & White-cheeked Barbets, Malabar & Plum-headed Parakeets, Speckled piculet and a vast variety…….It is amazing how a forest clearing produces a myriad of species.

5) Bomanahalli Intke: “Intke” means dam and we go for birding along the periphery of the back waters of this dam. It is a nice place to see some water birds including Grey-headed Fish Eagle and Osprey sometimes. This area is also surrounded by good forest and if you come across any “mixed hunting party” then it’s a huge lottery (Usually it’s a win-win situation) …… a good place to see Blue-tailed and Small Green bee-eaters, Rufous and Flameback woodpeckers, Common Ioras, Shamas, Orange and Small minivets, Booted and Blyth’s reed warblers, Pied flycatcher shrike, various species of Drongos etc….. On the way you can also stop and watch birds along the road for sure sightings of Ashy-wood Swallow and maybe a Red-breasted flycatcher & Forest Wagtail amongst the Bamboo clumps.

6) Sanctuary Safari: There are permissions required to enter the core area of the sanctuary, which can be obtained from Kulgi along with a guide. Private vehicles are allowed by paying some charges. Not much to see in the sanctuary from a closed jeep and where no one is not allowed to get down from the vehicle, though you may come across (Rarely) Indian Guar, Spotted and Barking Deers.... so it is best recommended to avoid the sanctuary visit and spend the time outside the sanctuary instead.

7) Syntheri Rocks: About 20 kms from Kulgi and on the way to Ulvi shrine this place is famous for its monolithic rock formation. The river "Kaneri" passes through the terrain. A good place to watch Black-capped Kingfisher, Large wood-shrike, White-bellied Flycatcher, Blue-bearded bee-eaters, Woodpeckers etc. The flying lizard or “Draco” is found in good nos. here and one looks in awe as they float from one stem to another like a leaf gliding away.

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is also rich in butterflies, and the star attractions here are the Southern Bird-wing (largest butterfly of India) and Malabar tree Nymph butterflies that flutter and glide effortlessly over the canopy. The flying lizards (Draco) are in good numbers even inside the campus and you should not be shocked to expect a lizard or two gliding over your head or crossing your path, while having your lunch. The reptiles are plentiful too and you should not be surprised if an occasional King Cobra cuts your path.

Have a look at these links to see some trip reports and trip experiences by participants

Trip Details &  Itinerary
Date: 29th November, 2012 morning 8.00 am to 02nd December, 2012 eve 8.00 pm

Mode of Travel : Trax Cruiser Jeep (The best travel option to move around the places quickly)

Overnight Volvo buses ply regularly between Mumbai & Dharwad and bookings are easily available and participants have to do their own bookings upto Dharwad....Nature India can only assist in bookings if required.

Rough Tour Itinerary : (Dharwad to Dharwad)
     Thursday 29th Nov, 2012 : Pick-up from Dharwad at 8:00 am – Breakfast – Proceed to Kulgi Nature Camp, Dandeli, birding along the way - Lunch - Proceed to Ganeshgudi & Supa Dam area to watch the roosting of Malabar Pied & Malabar grey hornbills while birding along the way - Return to KNC – dinner and Night trail – Overnight stay at KNC (Kulgi Nature Camp).
     Friday 30th Nov, 2012 : Early morning Safari in Sanctuary – return and Birdwatch around KNC - Lunch and proceed to Syntheri Rocks to see the monolithic rock along with birdwatching- Return to KNC for Dinner and night trail to watch the Flying squirrels.

     Saturday 01st Dec, 2012 : Early visit “Shirval” village (an abandoned mine area) to see the profusion of forest birds – Return to Kulgi Nature Camp for lunch – Birdwatch in Dandeli Timber depot to see the Great Hornbill, Hill Mynas and Gaint Squirrels– return to KNC for dinner and night trail.

     Sunday 02nd Dec, 2012 : Early visit “Shirval” village (an abandoned mine area) to see the profusion of forest birds and visit to small wetland near KNC - Return to Kulgi Nature Camp for lunch – packup and proceed to Bomanhalli intke for birding – return early and proceed to Dharwad to catch bus at 8 pm.

Trip charges (Dharwad to Dharwad) : Rs.10600/- (Includes Stay in newly built Wood-Houses in Kulgi Nature Camp on twin sharing basis in non-AC rooms, Local travel by Trax cruiser, Park entry charges, food , Information articles & on board snacks and mineral water)…….

Group Size : 14 persons only

These charges are Dharwad to Dharwad and participant has to make their own travel arrangement upto Dharwad and Back . This does not include any charges other than the above.

Registration: You can register by sending a confirmation mail to and by paying non-refundable advance of Rs.4500/- (and only after our registration confirmation by return mail .....) as per the payment guidelines given below…...

Stay Arrangement: Kulgi Nature Camp. These are well furnished Newly built wood-houses. The Stay arrangement is on a twin sharing basis. The Camp Premises and toilets are clean and the food is lip smacking……The camp is situated right inside the forest and offers plenty of Bird-watching inside the campus.

Resource Person: Mr.Adesh Shivkar and Mr. Mandar Khadilkar

Mode of Payment: You can either
1) Courier a cheque in favour of "Mandar Khadilkar"of Rs.4500/- to the following address:
Name: Mr. Mandar Khadilkar

2) Transfer the money directly to HDFC A/c (Please call Mandar @ 9930318665).. please mention your name, date and other details….
Address: Flat No.2, Blossom Apartments, LM Road, Below Shantighan Hospital, Kandarpada, Dahisar-West, Mumbai-400068

Please Note:
1) Once registered, the advance amount of Rs. 4500/- is strictly non-refunadable
2) The seats will be confirmed only against the advance amount on first come basis
3) Alcohol & Smoking is strictly prohibited on Nature India Tours
4) There is no mobile coverage in Dandeli, but an STD booth nearby is available if you need to contact
5) Nest Photography or any collection of specimens is prohibited
6) Kindly register on this trip only if you agree with Nature India's rules and policies

Please revert on ID, in case you need any clarification …..
For any other queries we are available on 9869071091 or 9820455713 (Adesh) or 9930318665 or 9967518665(Mandar)

Thanks for your patience.

Looking forward for a very rewarding trip with you all !!

Warm Regards,
Adesh Shivkar & Mandar Khadilkar
Nature India
Appreciate, Respect and Conse

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Birding In North-East India (Eaglenest WLS and Nameri Tiger Reserve) Date: 09th March to 16th March, 2013

Eaglenest……bass naam hi kaafi hai…. Yes, Nature India has meticulously planned and organized bird watching trip to Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh and Nameri Tiger Reserve, Assam, in March 2013. Only limited seats (12) are available, hence please register very fast. (See details at the end).....

A remote place like Eaglenest has been mainly visited by foreigners, and is organized by only few tour operators, basically due to the excessive cost and extreme planning involved ...... however, Nature India has now made Eaglenest WLS visit possible for many with a Great Budget trip without compromising the quality :-)

Birding in Nameri Tiger Reserve, Eastern Assam

Covering an area of apprx. 200 Sq. Kms., situated in Eastern Himalayan foothills and on the banks of Nameri river, Nameri Tiger Reserve, is one of the most scenic wildlife parks in India. It is in the eastern border of Assam in the valley and mountains of Arunachal Pradesh.

Nameri is probably only known place in India for endangered, White-winged Wood Duck, essentially a resident of the dense tropical evergreen forest. It prefers to live in inaccessible swampy areas formed by rivers, streams, creeks, etc. It has very distinctive and ghostly voice, which gives him 'Deo Huns', name in Assamese, meaning Spirit Duck. Not easy to spot, as these are extremely rare and elusive.

Nameri is home to many other bird species like Sultan Tit, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Common Merganser, Ibis Bill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Oriental Hobby, Crow-billed Drongo, Maroon Oriole and many more wonderful birds.. Nameri is also famous for high density of Elephants. If lucky, one can see large congregations of Whreath & Great Pied Hornbills.

The only way to go inside the park is by boat as you need to cross the river to enter the park and you know what….you can walk inside the jungle (A forest guard with gun accompanies you due to wild elephants around), a good opportunity to explore other fauna including orchid laden trees and butterflies …Moreover, the Nameri-Eco Camp that we are going to stay is renowned as an excellent place to see Oriental Hobby, Brown-Hawk Owl, Blue-bearded Bee-eaters, Forest Eagle Owl and even Capped-Langurs !!


Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh

The name "Eaglenest" was derived from Indian Army's 'Red Eagle Division' which was posted in this area in 1950. The Indian 4th Infantry Division also known as 'Red Eagle Division' was an infantry division of British Indian Army. It was formed in Egypt in 1939 and was the first Indian Army division to go overseas during second world war.

Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh, the place where Sun rises as early as 4.00am!! The Sanctuary covering an area 218 sq. kms. is neighbored by Sessa Orchid Sanctuary to the North-East and Pakke Tiger Reserve to the East. The altitude ranges extremely from 500mtrs to 3200mtrs. The forest types here varies from Temperate forests to high-altitude Bamboo plains to Tropical Rain forest. Although, all the birds seen here are special, there are few super specialties of Eaglenest, most prominent of them is recently discovered Bugun Liochichla.

One can see this bird around Lama camp accompanying Rusty-fronted Barwings and Bhutan Laughingthrushes….. yes, now start getting used to such bird names as we often read & see them only in books!! Other specialties are Ward’s Trogon, Beautiful Nuthatch, Cutia, Wren-babblers, Fulvettas, Rufous-necked Hornbill and Scimitar Babblers to name few. Eaglenest is famous for mix-hunting parties, in which 25-30 species of the birds can easily seen together. The bird checklist of this area is around 500 species.

We will be visiting 2 base camps at Eaglenest situated at different altitudes to get the most our of the trip.

Lama Camp(2400mtrs)
First camp site developed in Eaglenest WLS. Situated at picturesque location, this is the site around which Bugun Liochichla was discovered. The bird can be seen even on the backside of camp. Other birds seen in the area are;Beautiful Sibia, Bhutan, Chestnut-crowned, Spotted Laughingthrushes, Blue-fronted Redstart, Olive-backed Pipit, Green-tailed Sunbird, Yellow-browed and Black-spotted Yellow Tit, Rufous-winged Fulvetta etc...

Bompu Camp(1950mtrs)
Most happening place in Eaglenest WLS for bird watching. The camp site is situated among one of the most dense forest in India. Birds seen here are: Ward's Trogon, Red-tailed Minla, Yellow-throated and Brown-throated Fulvetta, Stripe-throated and Rufous-vented Yuhina, Stripe-breasted Barwing, Golden-breasted Fulvettas and many more.....

Being at lower altitude large variety of birds are seen from Bompu to Sessni area. Rufous-necked and Wreathed Hornbill, Red-faced Liochichla, Rufous-backed Sibia, Beautiful Nuthatch, Scarlet and Gold-naped Finch, Slender & Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler, Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill, White-bellied Erpornis, Black-eared Shrike Babbler, Lemon-rumped, Yellow-vented and Whistler's Warbler, Mountain Bulbul, Gray-chinned, Long-tailed and Short-billed Minivet, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler and many more....

Along with birds, one may also see (though rarely) Arunachal Macaque, Malayan Giant Squirrel, Mithun (Gaur) and if very lucky, the Red Panda :-)

To know more check these links...

Eaglenest WLS certainly is on top of the list for any birdwatcher. Here is a chance for you to see the birds in wild, which you have so far seen only in books. An ultimate place a bird watcher can visit. Normally we count number of birds seen in a trip, here in Eaglenest, if its your 1st visit, then you count number of Lifers seen as more than 80% of the birds seen here will be Lifers for you!! Bag lifers in hundreds in single trip! Register fast.....

Cricket lover ne Tendulkar nahi dekha to kya dekha?
Bird watcher ne Eaglenest nahi dekha to kya dekha??


Date: 09th March 2013 (Saturday) to 16th March 2013 (Saturday) (travel days included)

Mode of Travel :
Mumbai - Guwahati - Mumbai (by Air/Rail on personal expenses)

Local travel in jeep from Guwahati – Nameri – Eaglenest – Nameri – Guwahati (By Nature India)

Travel Details:
From Mumbai to Guwahati & Back (To be taken care by participants themselves)

By Air:
We suggest you to book tickets for following flight;

Mumbai - Guwahati
  • Jet Airways Flight No. 9W-619, on 09/03/2013 at 06.50 Hours reaching Guwahati at 11.20Hours.
  • Air India Flight No. AI-675, on 09/03/2013 from Mumbai at 06.10 Hours reaching Kolkata at 08.50 Hours & Air India flight No. AI-729, on 09/03/2013 from Kolkata at 09.55 hours reaching Guwahati at 11.05 hours. 

Guwahati - Mumbai 
  • Spicejet Flight No. SG-894, on 16/03/2013 at 18.15 Hours reaching Mumbai at 23.25Hours.
  • Jet Airways Flight No. 9W-628, on 16/03/2013 at 18.45 Hours reaching Mumbai at 23.15Hours.

There are other flights also available.... Please check the arrival & departure timing at Guwahati for to & fro flights. Book fast to get concessional rates.

By Rail:
One can reach Guwahati by 5647 Guwahati express, but it runs only on Fridays and takes about 53 hours :-(

*Nature India will not assist in booking for air/train tickets*ea 
  1. Saturday, 09th March, 2013: Pick-up at Guwahati Airport at 11.30 Hrs…..Departure in jeep for Nameri. On the way stop over to see first lifer of the trip @Guwahati dumping ground..... Stay overnight at Nameri Eco Camp.
  2. Sunday, 10th March, 2013: Morning bird watching at Nameri Tiger Reserve with packed Breakfast.....Post lunch leave for Eaglenest....Stay at Lama Camp
  3. Monday, 11th March 2013: Full day bird watching around Lama Camp. Stay at Lama Camp
  4. Tuesday, 12th April, 2013: Start early morning from Lama Camp…..bird watching on the way through-out the day….reach Bompu camp by evening…..Stay at Bompu
  5. Wednesday, 13th March, 2013: Bompu - Sessni - Bompu.....Bird-watching all the way....Stay at Bompu
  6. Thursday, 14th March, 2013: Bompu - Sessni - Bompu.....Bird-watching all the way....Stay at Bompu
  7. Friday, 15th March 2013: Start early morning birding along the way... reach Nameri by evening …bird watching on the way….stay at Nameri Eco camp
  8. Saturday, 16th March, 2013: Morning bird watching at Nameri Tiger Reserve….Leave for Guwahati after breakfast…. Reach Guwahati Airport by 17:00 Hrs
More details on the itinerary will be given to those who register.....

Trip charges : (Guwahati to Guwahati only)….

Rs. 38700/- Only
Includes Stay in tents on twin sharing basis at Nameri Eco camps and Eaglenest (beds with sleeping bags), Local transport by Jeeps, Park entry charges, Local Expert charges, vegetarian food, Entry permits for Arunachal Pradesh, Articles on Nameri & Eaglenest and bird checklist, on board mineral water and snacks, Camera Charges if any………

Individuals will have to pay additional entry charges IF there is any increase in charges by forest dept. as per the rules.

Please note: Since this is a remote location, the facilities are basic at Eaglenest WLS with tent accommodation and common toilets. However the stay is very clean and food is very good.

Stay Arrangements

Nameri Eco-camp, Nameri

Lama Camp, Eaglenest WLS

PS: Unfortunately, if the flight from Guwahati to Mumbai is cancelled due to bad weather or for any other reasons, Nature India will not to be responsible for making stay arrangements. Although, Nature India will assist for hotel bookings.

Registration: You can register by sending a confirmatory mail to and by paying a non refundable Advance of Rs.12000/- after getting a registration mail from us..... (The seats will only be confirmed after receiving the advance amount) …..the remaining amount will be collected later in 3 phases as mentioned below.......Please Register at the earliest as only 12 seats are available.

Payment terms:
Phase 1 - Rs. 12000/- as non-refundable Advance to be paid immediately, to confirm the participation. We need to forward this as an advance for logistics & to block our seats.

Phase 2 - Balance amount to be paid before 15th Dec'2012.

Resource Persons:Mr.Adesh Shivkar & Mr.Mandar Khadilkar & Local Expert

Mode of Payment: You can either
  1. Transfer non-refundable advance amount of Rs. 12000/- directly to the HDFC A/c : (please call Mandar @ 9930318665 for A/c no.) .... please mention your name, date and other details….
  2. Courier a cheque of Rs.12000/- to the following address and forward the details.
Name: Mr. Mandar Khadilkar
Address: Flat No.2, Blossom Apartments, Below Shantighan Hospital, LM Road, Kandarpada, Dahisar-West, Mumbai-400068.

Please Note:
  1. Once registered, the advance amount of Rs. 12000/- (Phase 1) is strictly non-refunadable
  2. Alcohol & Smoking is strictly prohibited on Nature India Tours
  3. This is primarily a Bird-watching trip
  4. Weather conditions: Weather in North-East is unpredictable and
    will not be responsible for any days lost due to bad weather.
  5. Kindly register on this trip only if you agree with  Nature India's rules and policies

Please revert on ID, in case you need any clarification.

For any other queries we are available on 9869071091 / 9820455713(Adesh) or 9930318665 / 9967518665 (Mandar)

Hope to see you for this wonderful trip

Thanks for your patience.

Warm Regards,

Adesh Shivkar & Mandar Khadilkar
Nature India
Appreciate, Respect & Conserve

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Appreciate, Respect & Care for Nature