Old Magazine House, Ganeshgudi

Blythe Starling- Male

This blog is more VISUAL than VERBAL!

If you’re conjuring up visions of a magazine lending library you are wide off the mark. Old Magazine House or OMH is a birding resort maintained by Jungle Lodges, Karnataka in Ganeshgudi near Dandeli,Karnataka.

I had this funny idea that to be a great bird photographer,all you need is a decent camera and off you go to the jungles where the birds are lined up waiting to be clicked by you. I climbed the mountains of the Himalayan range, walked endlessly through wildlife sanctuaries and eco-parks across the country only to realise you need PATIENCE,DILIGENCE and PATIENCE to sight a rare bird and capture it on your camera.

But OMH is a fantasy fulfilled! It is a made-to-order-birding resort. Five bird baths and sprinklers are placed linearly with a tent for birders a few feet away. Throughout the day birds of exotic origin and colours wing it to the bird baths giving ample photo ops for birders. You get to spot an average of thirty birds, many of them lifers,over two days.

OMH is great value for money. Peaceful environs,well-appointed dorms and cottages,sumptuous food and knowledgeable guides. Even if you are not a birder,this is one resort you should visit with your kids because they will be enchanted with a bevy of feathered beauties dancing attendance on them!

For comprehensive information on Old Magazine House click here http://www.junglelodges.com/old-magazine-house/

Here are some of my clicks on my bridge camera, Nikon CoolPix P 900 with an incredible 83x zoom. I had camped for two days and excitement crossed our path the next day!

Indian Pitta- a rare sighting!
Oriental White Eye
Red-whiskered bulbul
Dark fronted babblers
Blue-capped Rock-thrush

Excitement crossing our path!

We wanted to sight the elusive Hornbill and our guide took us on a trek next morning. We were returning to the resort not having sighted the bird when our guide alerted us to stay quiet and what we saw in front of us was magnificent! A brown vine snake slithering it’s way right ahead!

I’ve heard of a green vine snake but this was unusual.Our guide said it was a rare sighting as they are hardly seen on the plains and generally prefer to hide under thick vegetation. After clicking away, he gently nudged it into the bushes as there was the risk of being run over by passing vehicles. WHAT A SIGHT! Indian snakes.org describes the brown vine snake with these characteristics. “Very long & thin body & tail. Brown dorsal body patched with dark brown or blackish spots. Very thin snouted head of arrow or leaf like appearance”.

Brown vine snake
Leaf like appearance
A fellow-camper clicking away
Sheer beauty!

We were back to our routine of bird watching hoping for some more lifers and we weren’t disappointed!

We went up to the KEB pump house to sight a hornbill !
Blue-capped rock thrush. Female
Brown-cheeked fullvetta
Emerald dove – male
Oriental Magpie Robin – male
White-throated blue fly catcher

When things are back to normal (hopefully) pack your bags for a two day outing to be in nature’s ‘jocund company’!

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