In all our travels to the wild, seldom do we combine two or more destinations. When he heard about the numerous large cat sightings in Bandipur & BR Hills we decided to do a combo. With Chamrajnagar, Bandipur Safari Lodge and the K Gudi camp forming a convenient triangle, it was easy to do a couple of days in Bandipur and then head to K Gudi via Chamrajnagar. The drive takes two leisurely hours with good birding opportunities on the way along fabulous massive Banyan tree lined roads.
Bandipur (& drives across the state border to Mudumalai) held up to its usual promise of elephant sightings but a highlight was a large tiger that disappeared into the undergrowth right ahead of us. We were so confident of good views (we had just returned from Ranthambore!) that I never made a single image before the cat vanished! Bandipur seemed to be exploding with monitor lizards and we saw them on all our safaris. Maybe something about the pre-monsoon showers gets them out of their burrows. In Masinagudi, we saw Wire-tailed Swallows nesting under a small bridge and it was amazing to watch them feed the incubating bird on the wing.
In BR Hills, we missed our usual leopard sighting (!) but made it up by other sightings like courting Barking Deers, a Black Drongo nesting by the road side, a Rufous Woodpecker at point-blank range, wallowing Sambhars, a lone Red Spurfowl (near Doddasampige) and, of course, the resident Brown Fish Owl.
Cheers! –ramki | Aug 2008