The best part about visiting Hampi and Kamalapura, which is a small village close to Hampi, is that it is a heady mix of history, wildlife and birding. The general trip report is here. This post captures some details of the wildlife that we came across.
Had a borrowed a pair of binoculars and a book listing the birds of India, from a couple of friends. This made the bird-watching all the more fascinating and worthwhile. In addition to the “birding”, came across other forms of wildlife too.
The Sloth Bear Resort – where we stayed – had a trained snake-handler as a staff member. Had a conversation with him about snakes in and around the resort, and was informed that Cobras, Rock Pythons are to be found rather easily. Asked him to show me a snake, if he spots one on the grounds. Within a couple of hours, he came calling. He had a smallish two feet long snake in his hands. I got to touch a snake, for the first time. It is the non-venomous Striped Keelback. The blue colour between its scales was mesmerizing (the inter-scale blue colour is visible in the photo)
On a visit to the Virupaksha temple – in the late evening – there were a handful of devotees within the temple premises about, and all of a sudden there was a heightened sense of excitement; some of the devotees there prostrating on the ground, close to a gopura. Noticed that there was a Cobra there, and it had spread its hood. We hoped no harm would come to it, and moved on from there.
On a trip to the Daroji Sloth bear sanctuary, it started raining, and the weather immediately turned out to be rather pleasant. Spotted a small tortoise crossing a road within the sanctuary, stopped to examine it. It turned out to be an Indian star tortoise.
And the sloth bears at the sanctuary. They come out during the cooler part of the evening, around 4:30pm ish. Spotted a mother with a clinging cub, riding on its back. Spotted a couple of juveniles too.
The Sloth bear resort arranges for early morning bird watching sessions, with a guide to help with the spotting and identification of birds. An irrigation canal close to the resort was the spot for this bird watching. This turned out to be a good introduction to birding.
Black stork – this is migratory bird, and we couldn’t spot it on a repeat session of bird watching the next morning.
Red Vented Bulbul – there were quite a few of them within the resort premises, as well as during the bird watching excursions.
Eurasian Eagle Owl – this is a large and imposing owl. We spotted a roosting couple, and also a mother with two chicks.
Spotted Owlet – compared to the eagle owl, this is a really petite bird. Rather high cute factor though. Spotted atleast 4 of them.