A very productive Sunday spent in my opinion at Kokkarebellur and Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary with the family and with friends. It also presented me with a chance to take out the Vento for a real highway spin (if you could call the Bangalore-Mysore road a highway that is..).
The Kokkarebellur trip was long coming. Given that my lens gear really isn't the best for typical bird photography, Kokkarebellur presented the best chance for me to get up close to some birds and take a few close-ups with my 75-250 mm lens.
We started from home at about 5:20 and reached Kokkarebellur by about 7:30 or so. The place is really just a small village that has become famous with Bangaloreans who head out in search for some good birding place. The evidence was there to see with boards/signs showing the distance to the village every 1 KM after we take the left from the Mysore highway just before Maddur.
We were mobbed by several kids at the village asking us for money or notebooks and paying a few bucks got us directions to some of the nesting sites. We were told that there weren't too many birds this year. The majority of the trees were taken by the Painted Stork and we had a chance to get some good snaps and observe these wonderful birds up close. I managed to spot a few Pelicans as well.
We then headed out to Ranganathittu as there wasn't much left to see at Kokkarebellur after we spent about 45 mins at the place. Due to the exam season the sanctuary wasn't too crowded although our boat has a big family of irritating local folks who made such a din when seeing the birds. Aadrika was also beginning to get cranky so I couldn't take as many snaps I would have liked to. Paying Rs 1000 gets you a boat to yourself and a 45 min ride into some of the deeper parts of the sanctuary but today wansn't going to be the day.
What I need, I realize is a good telephoto lens but it doesn't look like I will be able to afford one soon given the expenses and cash outgo that I am witnessing these days. Sigh!
We headed back to Bangalore at 11:30 and I was left to complain again about the highway. There were a gazillion speed breakers along the way with the usual idiots on the road. The Vento was totally stunning to drive on the highway. An absolute beauty he is! I did not feel the usual stiffness and tiredness even though we drove close to 350 kms. We've already done 520 odd kms in the new car with hopefully more such weekends to come!