Posts Tagged ‘jlrntp’

The Jungle Lodges and Resorts’ Naturalists’ Training Program, 090812

August 9, 2012

gaur and calf bg 090812

Today was the first day of the Jungle Lodges and Resorts’ Naturalists’ Training Program, and I went to the JLR Bannerghatta property to meet all the participants. Some were known to me, otherws were new….but I had a great time, as usual. Alas, I could not get permission to stay over, so I had to leave…but sighting a scorpion, getting a great talk on the differences between beetles and bugs, enjoying the pouring rain, laughing and talking with the others…

umbrellas bg 090812

The photos I took are on my FB album at

My FB album on the NTP

Very tired and sleepy now….off to ZZZ I go!

jlrntp group bg 090812

God…and animal worship!

March 26, 2011

If God is great….


then, this is animal worship…of a different kind!


Both taken today, on our wonderful trip to Nandi Hills.

The Banded Kukri, Valley School, 050409

April 5, 2009

As we were returning from the birding session, we found this Banded Kukri (thank you, Seshadri, for the id!)on the path:

banded kukri vs 050409

The damage near the head made me rather sure that the snake (it’s non-venomous) was dead, and that too, because it had been cruelly killed by someone, who then left it on the path. But the others felt that it was alive, and they all photographed it…and then they, too, realized that it was dead.

Somehow the way this snake was killed and left bothered me a lot. I felt very bad about it….just now, I emailed Seshadri about the id and when he gave me the id, I also googled “Banded Kukri” and got this extremely technical (all gobbledygook!) description on

this Wiki link

I had the following conservation with Seshadri, who is normally based in KMTR, or Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (a tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu) but whom I had met yesterday at the Bannerghatta zoo area when he and a group had just finished a herbivore census in the Bannerghatta zoo park….

S: If the snake was dead, you should have picked it up and sent it to me; I would have been able to do a dissection and do a diet analysis. You could have put it in a plastic bag.

D: If you think I am going to carry a dead snake back with me, not knowing where you are and when I can contact you….! …anyway, I didn’t have any receptacle like a plastic bag (I avoid using plastic bags!) with me, either. I only had my camera and my binocs.

S: You could have put it in a camera or binocs pouch.

D. (Shuddering) I didn’t have any such pouch with me. (to myself) ..thank goodness!

S: You could have carried it in your hat.

D: My love of wildlife doesn’t extend to carrying dead snakes in my hat and going bareheaded in the noonday sun….

(To myself) And I can just imagine the reaction from the kind couple who took me along in their car, and the two others who shared the back seat of the car with me, if I got in with a dead snake in my hat. I might wind up as dead as the snake.

S: Yes, contacting me is difficult, then you would have had to preserve the snake in spirit, and the insides would rot.

D. (Silent and Intensified Shudder.)
to myself: Pastimes that I am likely to detest: Preserving Dead Snakes in Spirit….

S: But this is a good chance to do a diet check.

D. To myself (Forgive the Hindi but it’s untranslatable) sAnp nEy kyA khAyA, mujhEy pathA nahin…par usnEy zaroor mAr khAyA thA….

to Seshadri: I felt really bad about the way the snake was killed and left callously on the path, and I was not sure if picking it up would be an ethical thing to do…I felt very bad about it for quite a while….

We insist on killing snakes without bothering to find out if they are venomous or not. Even venomous snakes would rather avoid us and slither off…but where we perceive a threat, real or imagined, we are quicker to strike, than the snake is….

This post is dedicated to mamtanaidu…..who wants to be a herpetologist, that is, one who deals with her pets…

Two macro shots…

April 5, 2009

Have been trying out the macro function on the 300mm lens lately….

Here’s one shot, taken today morning at Valley School, where I went with the most enthusiastic group of people who just took the JLRNTP in March….

Whoops, forgot the id’s. This is the TAWNY COSTER:

butterfly closeup vs 050409

Another, taken at the Bannerghatta zoo area yesterday, with Garima,Gayathri,Jainy,Suma and Uma: it’s the GRAM BLUE:

040409 bg zoo pea blue

The third, also yesterday, it’s the CRIMSON ROSE:

crimson rose 040409 bg zoo

Butterflies make good subjects for macro experimentation!

JLRNTP-1, March 27,28,29,2009

March 30, 2009

I went, as usual, to meet all the people who took the NTP….this time, there has been a full contingent (the accomodation at the Bannerghatta property of JLR is 8 X 2, and 17 people had registered, which meant that three of the young women have had to share one tent!

I realized that I knew several members beforehand, but it was nice to meet others for the first time, too!

The group was a very nice one, including a mother-daughter duo, and another young couple who had brought their delightful five-year-old, Arohi, along with them. Arohi and I had a great time swinging on the suspended tyre in the campus, and trailing around the place while the others were getting edified!

Here’s the very intelligent, articulate little girl (sorry, young female person):

arohi jlrntp 270309 bg

more about the NTP Nature Trail

The next Naturalists’ Training Program (level 1) at JLR Bannerghatta

March 11, 2009

I don’t need to mention how I value the NTP that I took in March 2006. It’s given me access to Karthik’s immense knowledge, and brought me a lot of on-the-net and face-to-face friends, all of whom have unstintingly helped me in my learning about birds and wildlife.

So let me announce the next NTP….

Here’s the email from JLR:

Greetings from Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd.!
We are pleased to inform you that the dates for the next Naturalists Training Programme has been finalised. The details of the programme are as follows.

all the details if you are interested…


April 25, 2008

When I was in St Louis, I would, once in a while, buy the New York Times newspaper and bring it home. Once, when I did this, and was reading it, I came across an article on migrant birds being possible carriers of the Avian flu…and there was a picture of BAR-HEADED GEESE which was credited to M.Niranjan , who was not mentioned by name in the article.

I mailed Niri (I met him through the JLRNTP) at once, and it was very nice when he came home with Deepak to collect the newspaper.

The coincidence?

When a few of us had gone to Devarayanadurga, the TV Channel, “Kasturi”, had taped an interview with some of us (anirudhc, mamtanaidu, and Seshadri) and asked me to say what we were doing in the place, and to request for a hit Kannada song. Of course I requested a song from “Mungaru Male”!

And last Saturday, when I was sitting near my front gate, idly photographing the Brahminy Kite and wondering when I would get back in my flat, being locked out…Niri phoned and told me that he had just switched on the TV, and I was on the air with my friends, asking for the song! “Quick, quick, switch on the TV!” he said. I told him that I was giving our security guards some company for a while!

How funny that when one person has something to do with the media, the other person spots it, and it works in reverse, too!

Don’t miss this entry on Niri’s blog!

Here’s a BLUE-TAILED DRAGONFLY at Namada Chilume, Devarayanadurga:

blue-tailed dragonfly nAmada chilume 050408


April 22, 2008

Here’s a picture by M Niranjan, whom I got to meet through the JLRNTP:

And just to refresh everyone’s memories, here’s my image of the Crested Lark camouflaged on the ground:

This was taken from about 20 yards away…. a hawk or an eagle would spot this lark from several hundred feet overhead…!

In Nature, the prey plays “hide” and the predators play “seek”….but it’s a deadly, serious process that’s not a game at all…

Lalbagh on Saturday; films on the weekend…

March 24, 2008

Karthik had told me that he would be free this weekend, so I tried to organize an outing; the weather was not very predictable, so he said that rather than Manchinabele, which was much further away, we should go to Lalbagh, where if it rained, we could do some id’ing of hot idlis and coffee at any nearby Darshini…

We were a round (well, none of us are ROUND, really, but…) dozen…Karthik the NTP Guruji, and the NTP members were, in alphabetical order, Adarsh,Anjali,Geeta,Pallavi,Prasanna,Vittal, and me; and then there were, also in alphabetical order, Vittal’s son Adu (it should be Jayaditya, but I want to put him first!),Vittal’s friend and potential NTP-taker Girish, Nisarg, whom I have met at various birding and wildlife locations, and Pallavi’s husband Preetam, who just took Sudhir Shivaram ‘s course on photography, and was there to try out all the newly-learned stuff….

LOTS of pics if you click, or you could skip!

Some of the birds we saw at Nandi Hills

November 27, 2007

There’s going to be another, and more interesting post on the whole outing, and especially about that delightful family, the Amstutzes…but first, I want to put up the bird pictures that I got..

The morning was so excellent in terms of spotting birds…and so terrible in terms of bird photography. On the way, we saw a GREY JUNGLE FOWL, the WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER, SMALL GREEN BEE-EATERS and the INDIAN ROBIN. On arrival at the orchard area, in quick succession, Prashanth Badrinath pointed out two birds that I had never seen before…the PIED THRUSH (which was a first-timer for him, too, he said. This is a visitor that one can see on its migrant path at this time, or on its way back in March) and the INDIAN BLUE ROBIN. Then we continued to see the TICKELL’S BLUE FLYCATCHER, the TAILOR-BIRD, the ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER, and as soon as Dipu K met us (he was on his way home) he pointed out the RED-THROATED FLYCATCHER. We also saw the ORIENTAL WHITE-EYE, the GOLDEN ORIOLE, the BLACKBIRD, the RED-WHISKERED BULBUL, the BLUE-CAPPED ROCK THRUSH, the GREENISH LEAF WARBLER, the BLYTHE’S REED WARBLER, the BOOTED WARBLER, the SPOTTED BABBLER (forgive me for an interruption at this point. To me, all these warblers– especially spotted for fractions of seconds– look quite, quite alike. But Prashanth talks about wing-feathers and bars on the tails and coverts and supercilium and things like that, and tells each and every bird–and its brother and sister– apart. Me, I will say “warbler”, and let it go at that. Dr. Kumar Ghorpade would probably murder me within five minutes of my meeting him.)

Up in the air, we saw ALPINE SWIFTS, BARN SWALLOWS, RED-RUMPED SWALLOWS, DUSKY CRAG MARTINS, the BOOTED EAGLE, a JUVENILE EGYPTIAN VULTURE, a KESTREL…we especially saw the kestrel swooping along with a lizard in its claws, and do you think we got a good shot? What do you think? Yes, indeed I got a nice brown glob on my camera….

As we finally went towards a welcome lunch, we saw a NILGIRI WOOD PIGEON shoot across the road, and we finally got a good view of the bird…and a male Asian Paradise Flycatcher tantalized us so much that we were quite a good hour late for lunch!

I was quite disheartened about the photography part, though I was thrilled with all the sightings. I thought that I would probably go home without any good photographs ( which would NOT a first-timer for me by any means!!) but then Fate took pity on all of us….

So here they are:


tailor bird

A lovely pic of a TAWNY-BELLIED BABBLER (thanks, Uma and Yathin, in alphabetical order!) with food, taken by Uma to try out the 20D….

warbler  with food

Here’s the kestrel in flight. I asked why the bird could not face me, and Prashanth said if I could wait for six months, the direction of the wind would change and I would get the shot I wanted….!

kestrel in flight nandi hills 251107

And then, of course, when the light conditions were none too good, both the female Asian Paradise Flycatcher

Asian Paradise Flycatcher female nandi hills 251107

and the male

Male Asian Paradise Flycatcher nandi hills 251107

decided that they had teased us enough, and showed themselves long enough for us at least to aim our cameras, if not get great shots!

The next post will talk about the sweetness of the Amstutz girls, who troubled us not a whit, the parents, who have done such a great job with their daughters, and the various other things that we saw, and enjoyed….

But this is the birding post and I am sure I have left out several birds that I will add after I get Prashanth Badarinath’s list!