Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Looking for birds around Galibore Fishing Camp

It was on a trip to Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary in August (2013) that we first decided to take a quick peek at Galibore Fishing Camp. The camp is located around 30 - 35 km from Sathanur, the junction where you take a left towards Cauvery WLS, from the main road. (There is a board showing the ways, both towards Galibore as well as Bheemeshweri Fishing Camp. So it’s pretty easy to follow.) The day was a cloudy one with low light and by the time we reached the area known as Sangam, darkness had already set in. There was an unpaved road leading towards the camp, through the jungle, and we thought it wise to leave Galibore alone for another day. 

That ‘another day’ came last Sunday, on 13th October. We had taken my parents to Cauvery WLS and after quite an uneventful morning and afternoon (by previous standards), we made our way towards Galibore. In sharp contrast to our earlier trip, the Sun was displaying its full charm and clouds were nowhere to be seen. As we drove towards our destination, we were greeted with mesmerizing vistas of undulating hills and bountiful crop fields. It was a sight for sore eyes and we slowed down to enjoy the scenic landscape. Here, take a look. Awesome, right?

And now for the birds, our prime objective, the reason we were there. Did we get them aplenty? Did we get the fishing owls? I mean, I had even bothered Santosh (of Huchchara Santhe fame) to part with the location of the owls. But sadly, the answer is no. Nada. We had a frustrating day at Cauvery running after a blue-faced malkoha and then we had another disappointing time at Galibore. The day would have been almost wasted if not for the absolutely gorgeous European bee-eaters - our first sighting of migratory birds of the season. We also saw a huge group of Indian grey hornbills, around 15 of them, flying off to attend some conference of sorts. 

European Bee-eater 

A closer look 

Indian Grey Hornbill

Another bird-related highlight was the flock of painted storks we encountered unexpectedly at a water body enroute to Galibore. They presented such a pretty pink-hued picture, scouring for food in a synchronized manner. We could have got some better shots had my dad not slammed the car door so hard, frightening the birds and making them flee. 

Painted Storks 

A group of cormorants

The jungle through which we drove, was a beautiful one. Quite different from Cauvery WLS. There was thick foliage on both sides of the road, interspersed with huge boulders. It lent such character to the place, if you know what I mean. Somehow, it seemed to be the perfect place for a predator to make it his abode. But of course, there are none. Instead, we came across a herd of buffaloes that seemed semi-domestic. They reminded me of the semi-domestic cows in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary where they grazed along with Nilgais (Indian antelope) and looked at humans with the same curiosity and alertness as the Nilgais did. 

Buffaloes in the middle of the jungle

A mongoose crossing the road

The day was also amazingly unpredictable. While the Sun was shining with all its fervor when we delved into the jungle, suddenly there was a huge downpour just as we reached the fishing camp. The road was a kachha one and I panicked at the possibility of our car getting stuck. Just a week back we were stranded in the middle of nowhere in the vicinity of a herd of elephants near the Ragihalli – Jaipurdoddi stretch. I did not want that episode to recur so soon. So, I made the husband turn around, leaving behind our wish to be acquainted with the owls. There is always another day.

Large Grey Babbler 

Brahminy Kite 

Brahminy Starling

Anyways, when we returned home and looked at our haul of the day’s photographs, it did not turn out too bad. And then, we were glad that my parents, who had accompanied us, enjoyed the day. I had written about one episode regarding monkeys here. Besides, how can you say the day was a lackluster one when you passed through such marvelous sceneries? It was a beautiful day, looking for birds in Galibore.

Shikra (Juvenile) 

White-browed Wagtail 

Another Shikra (Adult)

List of birds sighted on the way to Galibore Fishing Camp:

Red-vented Bulbul, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Purple-rumped Sunbird, Black Drongo, White-bellied Drongo, Indian Roller, Green Bee-eater, European Bee-eater, Jungle Mynah, Yellow-billed Babbler, Large Grey Babbler, Ashy Prinia, Indian Robin, Pied Bushchat, Oriental Magpie Robin, White-browed Wagtail, White-breasted Kingfisher, Indian Grey Hornbill, Laughing Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Jacobin Cuckoo, Scaly-breasted Munia, Oriental White Eye, Baya Weaver, Black Kite, Brahminy Kite, Brahminy Starling, Barn Swallow, Shikra, Little Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Common Coot, Indian Pond Heron, Cattle Egret, Bronze-winged Jacana


  1. Well, I was waiting for this :)

    Jacana's, Ducks missing from the list...? If you has just pestered along waiting for the rains to stop, you would have had more sightings I believe, 2 other groups were in the same vicinity but sadly none got the owls, it could be because of the weekend rush to the galibore camp and many vehicles moving around :(
    As you said, there is always another day for the owls and squirrels :):)

  2. Oh yes, I missed listing the jacanas! Thanks, Santosh! And yes, I will never give up till I catch hold of the owls and squirrels :)

  3. Well written and supported by some fabulous images TFS

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Paresh!

  4. Lovely images! Fishing camp should have been fun for you

    1. Thanks, Uma. But you know what? We decided to skip the camp since it was raining so heavily. No matter, we enjoyed the journey towards the camp a lot.

  5. Your photographs are always good.. It makes your narration even more interesting...

    1. Thank you! Actually, the photographs are a joint effort between me and my husband :)