Monday, July 4, 2011

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Mysore - July 2011

spot billed pelicans at ranganathittuSpot-billed Pelicans at Ranganathittu

It was 5:30 AM and i was all set to leave for Sameer's place. We'd decided to leave for Kokarebellur at 6AM. It took some convincing to get him to take out the car instead of the bike(after recovering from fever, the last thing i wanted was to get drenched in rain in the middle of nowhere!!), and so began our journey. On the way we spotted a couple of eagles(couldn't ID) and a Greater Coucal perched on a stone slab a few feet away from us.

marsh crocodile at ranganathittuMarsh Crocodile basking

Kokarebellur is 12km off the Bangalore-Mysore highway. We were quite delighted to see the human-bird bond in this village. The villagers have more or less adopted the birds(painted storks & spot-billed pelicans). While the were in good numbers and not camera-shy, we decided not to photograph here because of all the man made structures around and instead head to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.

juvenile painted storks at ranganathittuJuvenile Painted Storks

We reached Ranganathittu around 9:30AM. The weather thankfully was favorable(no rain & no harsh sunlight). On reaching the sanctuary came our first disappointment. The fees for a boat ride(if your want it exclusively for yourself) had been increased to Rs. 1000/-, which i think is quite steep considering the fact that its ONLY a 30min ride!

juvenile painted stork and marsh crocodileA juvenile Painted Storks looks on as a Marsh Crocodile basks next to it.

We took the normal boat rides, with the other tourists. Thankfully they weren't the usual loudmouths who end up at this place. The water levels were quite high owing to the recent rains. The first boat ride had the usual birds i.e. Painted Storks, Asian Open-bills, Herons, etc. While we did get a few decent images, we weren't quite happy with the results and decided to take another ride.

juvenile painted storkJuvenile Painted Storks

After a short drive to the ATM in a nearby village and a decent lunch we went for our second boat ride. This ride yielded a nice little surprise in the form of a Smooth-coated Otter. My first otter sighting. We ended up seeing the otter thrice over a period of time. Sadly no images as the otter was quite skittish. The number of muggers we spotted was good too. Quite a few of them were basking. Sameer spotted an Indian Roller, which was a first for me at Ranganathittu.

marsh crocodile ranganathittuA Juv. Painted Stork & Black-headed Ibis decide to leave their spot as a Marsh Crocodile comes up to bask. A typical tourist-filled boat can be seen in the background.

At one point i saw a pair of Cattle Egret chicks trying to push the third chick out of their nest, something id only seen on TV before.

marsh crocodile basking at ranganathittuAn adult Marsh Crocodile basking in the sun.

I did however notice this one lady who continued dipping her hand in the water even after the boatman's repeated warnings.

tourist dipping hand inside crocodile infested water at ranganathittuA tourist dips her hand in the crocodile infested waters.

The two species we would like to photograph here are the Stork-billed Kingfisher and the Grey-headed Fish Eagle.

Some more images from this trip:

two marsh crocodiles baskingTwo Marsh Crocodiles basking

juvenile painted storksJuvenile Painted Storks

asian openbill storkAsian-openbill Stork taking-off

purple heronPurple Heron

juvenile painted storkJuvenile Painted Stork in flight

All images taken hand-held from a rocking boat in Manual/AV mode using a Canon EOS 20D & Sigma 135-400mm.

Do let me know which image was your favorite & why in the comments section.
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All Images are Copyrighted Angad Achappa and may not be used in any form,website or print media without written permission of the Photographer. For any inquiry for the photographs please contact:


  1. The first wildlife blog post I actually read through,,loved it!

  2. Nice shots, I was there early in the morning and I missed out on the crocs. Hope that lady went back with her hand intact!

  3. That Croc is HUGE and wow the Juvenile Painted Storks are really beautiful...very nice images shared. Have a great week~

  4. Nice Shots Angad, finally glad see your thoughts on a blog, keep them rolling :)

  5. @ Princess: Thanks..glad you liked it... :)
    @ Tom: Yeah morning was cloudy, we reached by 9:30-10, when the sun had just started to shine...
    @ Mary: Thank you, have a great week too... :)
    @ Ajay: Thanks bro. :) Lets see where to next weekend. :D

  6. Thoda hatke...good post ;-)
    My favorite pic would be the "Courageous Lady";P

  7. WE should be careful while dipping the hand in the water when there are crocodiles roaming.

  8. SUbramanya MadhyasthaJuly 5, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Nice write up...The images have come up too good... the tourists needs to adhere to certain minimum ethics ...(the lady with her hand in water)

  9. nice write up.. Needs to be a bit more elaborate.. Certain tourists never change.. They will learn only when something happens !!!

  10. That is one awesome collection of photos.
    I'm not too keen of getting close to crocodiles, but to get to see those birds in the wild, I would do it ;)
    I sure wouldn't dip my hands in the water though :D

  11. Thank you all for the lovely comments.. :)

  12. beautiful photo,and beautiful photo

  13. Hi..your post is very useful and interesting. I liked it very much and felt beneficial for all..I am panning to visit br hills resort and also bandipur resorts this weekend with my family. because their facilites,sevices offered at low cost,Wildlife Safari really really awesome..


Comment and critique appreciated!