Posts Tagged ‘kerala’

Kidoor Bird Fest: Birding on the Border, 10,111118

November 29, 2018

Birds know no borders; the ones that we go to see in Karnataka fly off and can be seen once we cross over into Kerala!

So when the birders of Kasargod announced the second Kidoor Bird Fest, to celebrate both the first sighting of the

Orange-breasted Green Pigeon
obgp by by Sarala Jeevanthi Gamage
Photo credit: Sarala Jeevanthi Gamage

and the birthday of

Dr Salim Ali, the noted ornithologist,

it was clear that this would be a productive birding weekend.

The participants and the organizers.

The festival was a bigger event than it was in 2017, because this time, birders from all over Karnataka and Kerala attended. 65+ birders made a strong show at the fest, which was held in the hamlet of Kuntangeradka, in Kidoor.

Kidoor Post Office sign.

The festival began with everyone gathering and registering.

Beautiful palm-frond birds adorning the hall.

Raju Kidoor

and the entire team, including Maxim and Lavina

worked very hard to make the event a success.

The birders of Kasargod, and some from Mangalore, brought the following local luminaries on the dais: Sri Pundarikaksha K L, President, and Smt Aruna Manjunatha Alva, Ward Member, both from the Grama Panchayath, Kumbla; Sri Biju P, ACF, and Sri Sunil Kumar, SFO, Social Forestry Division, Kasargod; Sri Chikkayya Rai,a practitioner of traditional herbal medicine; and Sri Radhakrishna, an eco-friendly businessman of Kidoor who eschewed plastic.

Dignitaries on podium:

Sri Pundarikaksha inaugurated the event, and the dignitaries from the Social Forestry Division spoke about the valuable sighting of the Orange-breasted Green Pigeon in Kidoor, on 10th Nov 2016, and the decision to celebrate the birthday of Dr Salim Ali, noted ornithologist, on 11th November as well. Kidoor has proved a birding hotspot, with sightings of several birds endemic to the Western Ghats.

Sri Chikkaya Rai, Sri Radhakrishna, and Chi. Praveen (a young student who has spearheaded several ecological initiatives in his school) were felicitated.

The local birders took the visitors for an evening walk in the nearby laterite/grassland area.

Sunlight on the grasses.

and a pond that they are protecting for the birds.

Participants on the evening walk.

Children at the evening walk.

They organized a cultural program, with many people, including these ladies who sang folk songs, taking part.

Untiringly, they also conducted a night walk along the village roads.

Lavina, a doctoral student, explains about pond life on the night walk.

Next morning,in the dawn light, they took the visitors on a morning walk, along a scenic trail.

Apart from many endemic birds , several trees also endemic to the Western Ghats, butterflies, wildflowers, insects and other creatures were sighted (see photos below). The ladies were put up in the homes of the local residents, who were very hospitable.

The family who put up visitors at Kasargod, when they alighted from the overnight bus, on their way to Kidoor

The family who put up the ladies at Kidoor
Photo credit: Padma Ramaswamy

One of the impressive features of the fest was that not only was it conducted on a tight budget, but there was no sense of heirarchy amongst the organizers. Every one pitched in to do whatever tasks were required, whether it was setting up a screen, serving the food, or arranging the chairs in the hall. It made for a very homely, pleasant atmosphere, and the visitors also were able to do their bit. Another great feature was that no plastic was used in the course of the meals; each person washed the stainless steel plate, glass or cup that s/he used.

The meals were traditional and were delicious.

Breakfast of iddlis, sambhar and chai.

Lunch in traditional vessels.

After breakfast, the gathering settled down to watch some presentations on Odonates (Dragonflies and Damselflies), and Butterflies.
Murali’s presentation on butterflies:

After this the participants were treated to lunch at the Gram Panchayat President’s home.

Plantain leaf lunch.

Full of the wonderful sightings they had enjoyed, and the new friendships they had formed, the birders dispersed.

The District Collector, Dr Sajith Babu, participated enthusiastically in the Fest.


He promised to spare the laterite/grassland from human-centric “development”. This makes it possible that from next year, the Kidoor Bird Fest will become a larger, well-sponsored event, attracting birders from further afield.

Participants at the end of the fest:

Birds and other living beings observed during the event:

Yellow-wattled Lapwing.

Yellow-footed Green Pigeon.

Malabar Lark.

Flame-throated Bulbul.

Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker.

Nilgiri Flowerpecker:

Yellow-browed Bulbul.

Grey-necked Bunting.

Chestnut-headed and Blyth’s Starlings:

Scaly-breasted and White-rumped Munias.

Curved flower or Woody Chassilia.

Porcupine quill found on the ground.

Blue Tiger Moth.

Memecylon flowers.

Nag Kuda Tree (Tabernaemontana alternifolia).

Beautiful grass.

Beauty of the laterite rock.

Common Sailer.

Weaver Ants.

Red Pierrot.

All photographs by me, unless otherwise credited.

The art of signs….

March 16, 2012

It’s been a while since I posted some of the photos from my sign collection, which I find easier to put up on Facebook…

click here for one album


click here for the other

so here are some rather bizarre ones…


But if you don’t want to be bizarre, you can be sincere…

sincere ettunanoor 191211

But then, you could get Tipsy….

htl tipsy ettunanoor 191211

and go looking for textails!

txtails ettunanoor 191211

Will be going out to Lalbagh later today, with Chandan, to do some evening photography…let me see if I can add to this collection!

On the water…

January 24, 2012

Gently drifting,
I follow the star
That gives all life.
Upon the water,
Smoothly floating,
My mind is far removed from strife.

Serene and soft,
The lapping water gives me peace.
Happiness, I think, is made
Of moments such as these.

Boating on Kumarakom Lake, 170112.

Art and signs…

January 6, 2012

It’s been quite a long while since I posted some of my sign collection on LJ…I’ve got used to posting them quickly to albums on Facebook. You can see them;

Set 1,


and Set 2,


But I think, today, I’ll post some photos on our recent visit to Kerala….

What do you do if the whole family wants to drink?

htl tipsy ettunanoor 191211

Well, if you are teetotal, you can still dring….

cl dring ettunanoor 191211

What if you are at the end of the queue, and want to buy clothes?

txtails ettunanoor 191211

And….where could you buy all these things?


You cannot accuse me of not being sincere in my effort to entertain you:

sincere ettunanoor 191211

Birds, local mammals, and scenes of Thattekad

July 18, 2008

And finally, all the birds of Thattekad….and some of the scenes we saw.

We were unable to sight the MALABAR TROGON, that we were very keen on (Adarsh: “I knew I should not have come with you for this sighting, given your luck with the SIT”), but we did see plenty of other birds, and got some photographs, and just saw some others….

Here’s the SMALL BLUE KINGFISHER. Salim Ali calls this the COMMON BLUE; but alas, it is no longer so common as the white-throated kingfisher!

lots of pictures, of birds, mammals, people, scenery…. if you want to spend the time

Trees and plants of Thattekad

July 18, 2008

The most amazingly large trees that we saw in the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Thattekad were what were called, in Malayalam, the Chini tree. Here’s one of the tallest that we saw. The size of this tree was so awesome…here it is, soaring into the air:

some more pics

Thattekad…the fungi/mushrooms and reptiles

July 16, 2008

Because of the rain and high humidity, the fungi and mushrooms were there in a bewildering variety; I am also including the skink and lizard photographs here.

One of the most spectacular ones was this STINKHORN FUNGUS

I certainly didn’t go near it to smell it!

a few more pics here

Thattekad…the bugs , the reptiles , the crustaceans,and the amphibians….

July 15, 2008

Here’s a TORTOISE BEETLE, one of the beautiful creatures we beheld on our trip to Thattekad, Kerala, where adarshraju and I visited the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.

I’ll post later about the details of our journey, and the comfortable homestay we had; but this post is going to be about the various small creatures we saw in the Bird Sanctuary, and on the Periyar. I have already posted about the lizards, but here are some others:

Here are all the signs at the entrance of theSalim Ali Bird Sanctuary:

We saw a wonderful variety of insects and butterflies….

it’s a loooong post with many photos, so see at leisure and don’t blame me if you waste your time

A Post Dealing Only with Sex

July 6, 2008

Hah, caught your attention didn’t I?

Well, though…it’s not Sex and the City, but sex and the monsoon, and sex and the forest.

The monsoon is a time for fecundity…for the flora and the fauna. Everywhere there is new growth, and what is amazing to me is how the tiny creatures of the forest find each other to perpetuate themselves. All these were taken at Thattekad; the poor quality of the photographs is due to the fact of the pouring rain and the low light and nothing whatsoever (of course) to do with my lack of expertise in handling the cameras under such conditions .

Here are a variety of life forms meeting that ancient Chinese philosoper, Ma Ting:

Here are a pair of crickets:

a few more of them

Camouflage of the Draco (Flying Lizard)

July 4, 2008

It’s my turn to post another “where is it” picture….this one’s much easier (and of course, a far fouler photograph!) than kalyan‘s though! Here’s the Draco or the Flying Lizard in the Salim Ali bird sanctuary in Thattekad, Kerala:

Here it is, after it’s scuttled a bit around the tree-trunk, just look at the beauty of its neck-fan:

And a view of another lizard, the following morning:

Uploading more pictures…will get around to posting soon..but right now, things are hectic and very mixed-up…