Reptiles in Dandeli Anshi Tiger reserve:
Till now in all my visits to Western Ghats, trip to Dandeli Anshi tiger reserve has to rated amongst the most satisfying trips to the Ghats. The trip will also be memorable for me as it was first time that me and my new SLR camera were in the woods together.
It always happens with me that as soon as I reach in vicinity of a forest, the forest starts shaping up my feelings and thoughts, and invariably I turn off the music of my car stereo and start listening to the Jungle tunes. This jungle was raising my expectation levels to some extra ordinary level. With this expectation I was anticipating sightings of Frogs (especially the tree frogs), Snakes (Russels or Malabar Pit viper), the omnipresent Bison, and the Giant Malabar Squirrel. I was getting excited by the prospect of coming across brightly colored and textured frogs sitting stealthily amongst the dry leaves and on the tree branches. For any wildlife photographer Frogs would always come in top slots as they camera friendly, can be easily spotted and above of all are extremely colorful.
As soon as we reached Dandeli and checked in to our resort, after taking breakfast we took off to a very short yet exciting trek behind the hills of the resort which leads to the view point.
The first very steps in to the trek and guess what, a vine in the bushes moved in somewhat different manner and a fellow trekker spotted the movement and just said “Snake, it’s a Snake”, as soon as I heard it I was spell bound and my first visual confirmed me that it’s a Semi Venomous (Non venomous to humans) “Vine Snake” (Ahaetulla nasuta). It was a very short rendezvous. As soon as the Green Beauty realized that its mystic camouflage has been identified, it took off and started moving away from us towards the dense bushes.
A Vine Snake
Moving forward we took pictures of some amazing insect life in the forest, and we reached to the view point, the view point was so very wonderful that no matter how much I improve my writing skills I will fall short of describing it. The view point presents panoramic view of back waters forming through the three different rivers, of which the water of river “Kali” was making its prominence clear with Black appearance.
When we came back in the resort in the night it was time to spot some frogs around the area of the resort. The resort staff was aware of our desire and one of the staffs spotted a wood frog and alarmed us. We reached with our cameras and a flash light.
That was not all of it. That night and the next night we captured frogs of different colours, shapes and Sizes.
While driving back to Kolhapur we spotted this Juvenile Lizard basking in the sun besides the road.
We also spotted a Cobra Snake but by the time we could shoot him it was gone.
While coming back from Synthia rocks we got our consolation prize as the sighting of this “Jackal Couple”