Thursday, January 5, 2012

Photos of the year - 2011

Bird of the year

Name of the Species: Ocyceros griseus

Common Name: Malabar Grey Hornbill

Photographed on: 18th Dec., 2011

Location: Siddhagad, Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra.

Habitat: Hill slope, moist deciduous forest; on the north-west part of the sanctuary.

Description: Taking a short-cut may be rewarding sometime, but not always and there are exceptions, such as this. Avinash Bhagat, Sushant More and I were on two days outing in Murbad - Bhimashankar range for two days, practically in a field type excursion, documenting every form and sign of wildlife was the motive. We took a short-cut to ascend towards the hill, leading towards the main road and then there was a loud shrill call. Avinash shouted “Hornbill”. All eyes were on the nearby trees, searching for this large forest bird. Camouflaged in the forest canopy, it was initially difficult to locate it but after continuous calls, this bird was making perhaps for its mate, we could locate it and photographed this endemic hornbill of Western Ghats.

Flora of the year

Name of the Species: Ceropegia vincaefolia

Common Name: Forest Flytrap (English), Kharchudi Kandil (Marathi)

Photographed on: 7th August, 2011

Location : Jummapatti, Matheran-Neral Route, Maharashtra.

Habitat: Hill slope, open forest.

Description: Termed as endemic (Western Ghats) and rare/threatened plant of the region, we (Sushant & me) were not expecting to see it in Matheran. Matheran although resembles most of Sahyadri (Western Ghats) but is not literally connected to the main ridge and perhaps that is the reason that we were not actually expecting this at the said location. This record has inspired me, by and large, to prepare the check-list of flora of this hill station. The documentation, field work, is likely to start soon and would go on for couple of years.

Reptile of the year

Name of the species: Calliophis melanurus

Common Name: Slender Coral Snake

Photographed on: 18th December, 2011

Location: Siddhagad, Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra.

Habitat: Rock formation on the hill slope.

Description: Rare and dangerous. One of the most venomous snakes of the region could have gone un-attended, had I not stepped on the nearby rock. Basking under the sun light, this reptile was lazy enough to move or might have had its meal and as it is known that the snakes relax for long time after finishing their prey. Well, my only request to those snake rescuers, who intend to bottle these snakes for the sake of photography or exchange, is that please don’t do this for such a lousy reason. The snake could die in the process and the definition of snake rescuing might be just other way round.

Butterfly of the year

Name of the species: Papilio polymnestor

Common Name: Blue Mormon

Photographed on: 5th November, 2011

Location: Mukki Range, Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh.

Habitat: Under forest canopy of typical Sal forest of Satpuda Range.

Description: A usual talk with Vinay, a local naturalist, turned out to be productive when he pointed out to the large flying butterfly. Blue Mormon, otherwise quick flier was looking for place to rest. And that was, the never lose, opportunity for me, which I grabbed. Otherwise, this chap is always far away from photographing. Termed as , if not rare, uncommon bigger butterfly of the region.

Mammal of the year

Name of the Species: Cervus duvauceli branderi

Common Name: Central Indian Hard-ground Barasingha

Photographed on: 20th October, 2011

Location: Mukki Range, Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh.

Habitat: Reclaimed lake, fine grassland.

Description: Huge building pressure for tiger sighting, people forget to feel the realm of something called endemism. Everyone is just behind the stripped beauty but get disappointed, if tigers, just, don’t show off. But is that all about the great Indian Biodiversity? Those promoting the TIGER TOURISM need to think and tour beyond tigers. Before I joined for my assignment, at Kanha, I was reminded to photograph and document the behaviour of these large ungulates. Unfortunately I had to drop my assignment for my family commitments but those working in this landscape, please pursue this study and it is worth a much.


Sharad Gadgil said...

Rajesh, excellant photographs! The foothills of Sidhhagad reverberate with the calls of racket tailed drongoes in April -May. I had sighted a young black headed snake near Kondeshwar(Dhak). .. ,sharad gadgil,dombivli,

Sharad Gadgil said...

Rajesh, i had seen two giant squirrels(Bhimashankar type) at Hart point Matheran in 1980,and2010 but not yesterday January 4 2012. They eat Anjani fruit, only the ripe ones from the bunch of green so have to cover a large area of the canopy. The trees bear fruit after April.

Unknown said...


jusme said...

Wonderful photos!

Ahsanul Haq said...

Very cute and mind blowing blog. All the best

Subhadra said...

Greats pictures and narration :)

Kaajal Dasgupta said...

Rajesh-Happy New Year.
It was an interesting reading .I will keep track of this space.All the best.

Kaajal Dasgupta

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