19 August 2010

Bar-Winged Flycatcher-Shrike at Cotigao WLS - Goa, India.

     First time i read about this bird was in Birds of Western Ghats, Konkan and Malabar by Dr Satish Pande and the description of its habitat which marveled me.I quote, its probably the best creation of god in Black-and-White with wings to fly, and nobody would disagree with me on this.

     The male of this species photographed here looks even more brilliant and enigmatic as it is in most of the birds, the female is a little pale in coloration compared to the male. This bird was photographed at Cotigao Wildlife sanctuary and i was accompanied with my birding pal Shriguru Shetkar on this occasion.

     Photographically one of my best shots of this bird at eye level and with a good enough background the light supported me well and i could capture the brilliant shine on the back and crown of this bird. Moreover the angle is a dream come true for me as Ive photographed this bird earlier from the front but the exhibition of its true beauty lies in this angle. Please enjoy watching as i do while photographing it !!

Image Copyright © Prasanna Parab. Please do not use any image without prior permission from the copyright holder.

White-bellied Blue Flycatcher at Anamod, Goa-Karnataka border, India.

     Early morning me and Shriguru Shetkar left for an Anmod trip with our fellow birders Amit & Madhura Bandekar. Anamod is a moist-evergreen type of habitat with rare species of Orchids, Birds and Mammals residing in this beautiful forest. Earlier i had been to this place and was lucky enough to photograph many a birds which included Racket-tailed Drongo, Malabar Wood-Shrike, Verediter Flycatcher, Malabar Barbet, Blossom headed Parakeet, and Common Hawk Cuckoo to name a few.

     The White-bellied Blue Flycatcher Cyornis pallipes is an enigmatic bird and is an endemic of the Western Ghats, its has got one of the most cutest of the sounds birds can make well described in words only by Dr. Salim Ali i believe.

    We reached Anmod amidst foggy conditions and it didnt look good either for a birding day. We took to dry stream bed nearby, our ears did not fail to catch up with the sweet sound of this flycatcher and we were on pursuit of this beautiful male who finally allowed us some close shots.

     Photographically speaking the light was very low and my Canon 30D dint help the purpose, so finally i figured it out by using Amit's Canon 7D and my Canon EF 400mm f5.6, and finally i got a noise free image of this bird at 1250 ISO

Image Copyright © Prasanna Parab & Amit Bandekar. Please do not use any image without written permission from us.

17 August 2010

Srilanka Frogmouth at Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary - Goa, India

In my early birding days i always used to be thrilled thinking of this unique night bird described so well by Dr. Salim Ali. The only images i had watched were those from Thattekkad and recently most of them from Tambdi Surla in Backwoods Camp.

I got my first glimpse of this precious jewel at Cotigao with Paresh Porob Sir, a teacher and preacher of nature, who infact hinted me about the presence of this bird at Bondla. After that though i read about its presence when i referred Krys Kazmierczak's Field Guide to the Birds of Indian Subcontinent.

Finally in December last year i got this wonderful opportunity with my fellow birder Shriguru Shetkar and Wildlife Photographer Saleel Tambe, We instantly identified this magical bird by its very distinct calls, ahhh there it was Srilanka or Ceylon Frogmouth Batrachostomus moniliger ,there was some difficulty in locating it but then we were able to take some decent shots for an hour or so and spend some more time in its admiration.

Bird photography is all about capturing the winged jewels in the best of thier display and in the most difficult of situations and lighting conditions, so to present a view to citizens of earth on what our planet holds...!!

Image Copyright © Prasanna Parab. Please do not use any image without written permission from me.

12 March 2010


Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, is located amidst the Western Ghats in the South of Goa, it is one of the best Birding hotspots for forest birds in Goa. With an area of roughly around 86 sq. kms Cotigao is well worth a visit, it is an intruiging and involving forest and you would never feel like leaving once you watch and indulge yourself in this birding paradise.

Cotigao has its own charm in terms of its forests and its birds, its a place teeming with rare birds, from the endemics like the Grey Headed Bulbul to birds like the Great pied hornbill, Forest Eagle Owl or a Blue-Bearded Bee eater, they are all there. This makes it a mouth-watering dish on offer for Birders and especially Bird photographers. A vehicle makes travel easier but at times walking is a very good option.

Best Season for Birding: November to March. With the best of Birding from Mid-Jan to End of March.

How to Reach there: Closest city is Margao : 36kms, Railhead : Canacona 10kms, Airport : Dabolim 60kms.

Where to Stay: Cottages are available at Cotigao WLS, at Hattipal gate Eco-Tourism Complex which is the entrance point to the WLS, Bookings and Enquiries can be Done with the RFO Cotigao WLS, Contact No. RFO Cotigao WLS - 0832-2965601. Good food is also available here with good Cook and Canteen within the Eco tourism Complex

Birding Spots in Cotigao WLS : Around the Eco-tourism complex, Bela Road, Tulshimol Road, Ambe Ghat.

Text & Images by Prasanna V. Parab.