Trip to Maidanahalli Blackbuck Reserve

Posted by redthil On 1/09/2012 02:54:00 PM



Few info about the Reserve

This is located on the North-Eastern tip of Tumkur district of Karnataka. This is an open grassland which is part of the plains of the Deccan Plateau (which means its close to Andhra Pradesh) and has patches of Eucalyptus trees and other small tress & bushes. These trees and bushes offers the habitat for plenty of birds there. We can also see few varieties of Raptors hovering around and occasionally diving down for hunting. The open grassland provides a wide viewing area and makes easy to spot the Blackbucks (also called as "KrishnaMruga"). It has the largest contiguous population of Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) in Karnataka (apart from Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary)


Route Info:

 There are many routes to reach there. but we took the following route :
  • Take the Tumkur Road from bangalore
  • Take right under the flyover on Dobaspet, in around 30 km (from NICE Road junction) 
  • Take the State Highway #3 to Madhugiri (53km from dobaspet)
  • Immediately after Madhugiri, take left in the National Highway #234, Kodigenahalli Main Rd (you cannot miss the sign board giving the directions to the Reserve)
  • Travel for around 8km in Kodigenahalli Main Rd and take Left after Siddanahalli Village (again sign board will help you)
  • In around 7km from there, you'll hit the Mud road, through which you will reach the Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve
Note: After the dobaspet Right, the road wont be as smooth as you expect. After-all, its a State Highway. why did we take this route??? answer is there in the post, little later.

Our Itinerary:

Though we started as early as 6.30am from my place, to give a good idea on the timings, let me take NICE Road - Tumkur Road junction as the starting point. We crossed that junction at around 8am in the morning. 

Stopped at the Kamat in the Tumkur road at around 8.30am for breakfast.

Started from Kamat at 9am and proceeded towards Madhugiri. On the way, we stopped at multiple places, whenever we saw something flying or spot something high on the trees.

There are also lots of water bodies on the route. One of the notable place is the Irakasandra Tank.  we stopped there at around 10.30am for few minutes to click some of the water birds.

We reached Madhugiri at 1:30pm and its was our lunch time. There is one hotel, near the bus-stand, opposite to the Petrol-bunk there. You wont find lots of varieties there. infact, we found only Mini-meals, chapathi and bisibella-bath as the choices. But the food was good for that place. And since we wont get anything beyond this place, we ensured that we finished our lunch there and started from there.

From this place, the road gets from "ok" condition to "little-bad" condition, as this route passes through the small villages. 

Finally we reached the Mud Road towards the Reserve at around 3:30pm. From then we were roaming inside the reserve and trying to click pics of birds and blackbucks. There is also a small watch tower and a small place where there is a possibility of over-night stay also it seems (not sure how good is the accommodation). 

And the best thing about this Reserve is the Evening Sunset. Never miss it. 

Started back from there at around 6.30pm and reached Kamat for the dinner at around 9.30 as we were not in a hurry to reach home. 

Note: There are no options for food around the Reserve. So, its better to pack food, if you happen to be in the reserve during the food timings. Also, ensure that you carry sufficient water with you.

The Team 

Parikshit Khisty,  Harsha Prabhakar, Anbu Rathinam, Aditya Nukala and Me.

Why take the not-so-smooth Route?

 We are a group of Photography Enthusiasts, who are mainly into birding. So, like any other birding trip, its always the Journey which gives you the most number of opportunity for birding, than the final destination. Instead of a smooth journey in the Tumkur highway to reach the Reserve, we took this way. Not so smooth, but lots of fantastic sightings of birds. from birds like Bushchat's, Robin's, Bee-Eater's, Indian Roller's to big raptors like Honey Buzzard's, White-eye Buzzard's, Black-shouldered Kite's, Kestrel's, etc etc. You can find Cormorant's, Egret's, Lapwing's, Pond Heron's, Grey Heron's, etc, etc in the water tanks (little lakes) on the route . 

I think the photographs will explain more about these fantastic sightings than the words. so, here we go...

Common Kestrel

Black-Shoulder Kite



Grey Heron

Pond Heron

Red-Wattled Lapwing

Little Egret

Green Bee Eater

Indian Roller

Common Kestrel

Sheep Herd

Bushchat

Pied Bushchat




Shikra

White-Eyed Buzzard ( this is just to give you an idea on how tough it is to spot the birds. this photograph is taken at 500m full zoom, from car on road)

White-eyed Buzzard (managed to track it, from ground to the top of the tree)

Indian Silverbill (thanks for the ID Kesava )

Shrike

Plain Prinia (thanks for the ID Kesava)

Green Bee Eater

BlackBuck Male

Drongo

Shrike - a little close-up


Harrier

Harrier




Evening Sunset to through the tree

It was an Awesome scenery



Beautiful Sunset





Thanks to Parikshit, harsha, anbu and aditya for this wonderful trip.

And I'm not that good with the IDs. So, if there is any wrong ID or if you know ID of the birds, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

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redthil
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