Mussorie is a delight for humans for the cool weather and pleasant walk in the mountain. But it is also a perfect playground for many birds. More so the way from Doon valley to Mussorie provide enchanted encounters of birds, butterflies and many more interesting small survivors. The heavy traffic and changing weather is creating problem for the hill station and its musical residents. Post a rainy night, I decided a trek to the Mussorie to explore bird which on vehicle gets too difficult and annoying.
From Rajpur road, a famous shop Hathi tea stall marks the identifying location if the trek. If one cannot figure out old route to Mussorie from Dehradun ask people about this shop! Its right next to the Christian Retreat and Study Center in Rajpur. the trek opposite to that will take you to Jharipaani and trek to Mussorie . The old toll of British India time is present ahead of which is heritage route to Mussorie.
walking up the trail we encountered many birds and yes lots of lantana bushes. The prominent bids on the trek were Rufous sibia, Egyptian vulture,streaked laughing thrush, purple sunbird, crimson sunbird, oriental white eye. Further up on the trek as we reach Barlogunj, we encountered great barbet, Bar-tailed Treecreeper,Blue-throated Barbet,Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush,Russet Sparrow,Green-backed Tit,Black-lored Tit,Thick-billed Flowerpecker .
Barlowganj is a small settlement which is mid-way to Mussorie. The famous location is Jharipani of this area where people can trek from the main town itself. Some nice place to stay and walk around if your are looking for peaceful environment. One could see the real birds as well as painted ones in the town and flowering of rhododendron can be witnessed in this small settlement. Bus travelling to this route is not very frequent.
The trek was exactly how many kilometers we could never tell. Rain, running after birds, exploring trees and talks amongst the exploration of route might have added to 4-5 km extra to the total trek. We concluded that we might have walked some 12-13 km from Rajpur road to Mussorie in 7 hours. But all the bird sighting and beautiful landscape view made it a memorable and worthwhile trek.
Will explore another route in the hills, till then happy birding!
the scaly thrush as observed in first week of march in Dehradun. A peculiar “khrrr khrr” sound drew me to investigate and found the bird sitting on the leaf litter. since it was first shower of winter, observing the camouflaged bird in brown and green leaves was difficult. the observation was made in slightly drizzling afternoon.
The winter rain invites the birds to enjoy the garden, when all us humans sit comfortably in our bed. This is my first sighting of red billed blue magpie robin in the campus and what a sighting! the blue whistling thrush was hopping in the garden , and both the birds were enjoying their lunch time in dehradun drizzle.
The beautiful Periyar Tiger reserve is located in Kerala. The nearest airport is Kochi which itself is a beautiful place to be in. A short visit to this tiger reserve, yet so many memories for me to carry forward. Although Periyar is famous for elephants but the giants eluded me. Saw them in one of the resort who were catering to the joyride for tourists. Although lucky me got to see wild dog, sambar, gaur, wild boar. The major sightings were of tourists though :p
As the wildlife week is being celebrated starting from the birth anniversary of our Father of Nation to the entire week, thought few questions to ransack our brain regarding wildlife and environment would not be a bad idea. Check this and figure out how much you know about wildlife!
Benog Wildlife sanctuary in Mussorie is also called
Mountain Quail sanctuary
Himalayan Griffon sanctuary
Musk deer sanctuary
Uttarakhand has how many tiger reserve
This animal cannot be identified by its pattern
In India, the two wild ass species are found in which habitat
Which is not true for Himalayan Monal?
National bird of Nepal
State bird of Uttarakhand
State bird of Himachal Pradesh
State bird of Sikkim
Which of the following tree is native to India?
Dhak/ Palaash is a common tree of central India and is also called
Flame of Forest
Fire of Forest
Red curtain of forest
The Nainadevi Himalayan Bird Conservation Reserve is recently notified protected area in
Which of the following is not in category of Natural heritage site of India?
Sunderbans National Park
Kaziranga National Park
Keoladeo National Park
Corbett Tiger Reserve
It is a Biosphere Reserve as well as a Tiger Reserve and got the tigers reintroduced in 2009.
Which is not correctly matched?
Sundarlal Hora – Fish
Salim Ali- Birds
Romulus Whittaker- Butterflies
Kenneth Anderson- Hunter turned Naturalist
2015 South India floods resulted from
Which animal is not depicted on the State Emblem of India
Nicobar Islands is a part of which of the four Biodiversity Hotspots of India
Plants are carnivorous too
Which is not one of the three R’s of Recycling are
I used to observe many Red Pierrot butterfly around a shrub by 8-10 am everyday. On close observation of the plant I realized that the margin of leaves were changing color. I realized that the beautiful butterfly must have laid eggs on the plant. The host plant for red pierrot is Crassulaceae family (remember CAM mechanism? the model family). I sat next to the plant to take certain photos of different stages of butterfly for my blog. The gardener of our institute joined me to much of my inexpressible dismay that these people hang with plants so much so they might have observed butterfly also. Yet they were concerned that if it is diseased plant then uprooting it would save its disease spread to rest of the garden plant. I showed them the butterfly and asked do they find it beautiful. “Yes”. Then I showed them some four pupae of the same and eggs. They were amazed that so many butterfly would come out from this “detanned”plant. Happily they started exploring and discussed amongst themselves that even if the plant leaves are being eaten by so many caterpillar (as they themselves explored many more eggs and caterpillar on the same plant), they would not uproot it till all the caterpillar, pupa,eggs are grown out.
Well I guess a bit of interacting with the gardeners and helping them to understand butterfly world, would help us in future. I see less greenery and even less butterflies in urban landscape. If we want to enjoy the antics of butterfly in future, investing knowledge in our gardens will help immensely.