Also see: Places around Bangalore on the bank of kaveri
In Ranganathittu, real estate for birds must be very precious. So many birds come there that they probably fight for space. Ranganathittu is a series of small islands near Mysore, formed by river Kaveri. These islands offer good isolation and protection for the birds and hence is flocked by a lot of them.
Most common migratory visitors include painted storks, open billed storks, white ibis, darters, spoonbills and night herons. You can find some or the other kind of birds most of the year but best time to visit is in winter when it is full of migratory birds. A birding enthusiast can see many resident types other than the visitors, which includes parakeets, hornbills, kingfishers and many more. Very well known residents are a pair of river terns who have grown used to humans and do not mind people getting close to them.
A River Tern with eggs
A pair of Openbilled Storks
The place is maintained by forest department which provides boats for visiting the islands. A typical boat ride lasts for 15 minutes and can be extended by paying additional fees. Good time to visit would be early in the morning or in the evening hours.
Ranganathittu is located just off Bangalore – Mysore highway, close to Srirangapattna and is around a 120kms from Bangalore. Start early from Bangalore so you can reach there before the sun is high. Morning times are best for bird watching, but keep in mind that the place is open only between 8.30 and 5.30. From Bangalore, drive on the Mysore road till you reach Srirangapattana, continue further for another 3kms and then turn right. After driving for another 5 minutes in this road, you reach the right turn to the sanctuary. Drive for 5 more minutes on the banks of a small canal to reach the sanctuary. If you plan to visit just Ranganathittu, it would be easier take ksrtc buses early in the morning, get down at Srirangapattna and take a rikshaw to the sanctuary.
Nearby places to see include Tipu’s fort, his grave at Srirangapattna and Sangama where two branches of Kaveri – Poorvavahini and Paschimavahini re-unite. This place being very close to Mysore, you can also visit this city of palaces if you have time.
Basic Information for Birding
People interested in birding would get a wealth of information on many websites available. Some of them are below:
Also look at the mailing list that discusses the birds in the region: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bngbirds/