Dandeli - Close Encounters of the Wild KindThursday, February 13, 2014
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This is what the stars were doing while we were busy finding the flying squirrel in the tree you see lighting up here.
I was told by our forest guide that the presence of Hornbills indicate the presence of dense and healthy forests. Considering they are so huge, their nests are even bigger and they need a lot of food which is why it is a good sign if you see hornbills in your forest. One afternoon we were kayaking over River Kali surrounded by dense forest, I was alone as I went upstream away from the resort. The water was calm, it was a clear sunny day with blue skies and the only noise was that of the jungle. When I turned back I saw Malabar Pied Hornbills fly over the river from one side to the other. It was a zen moment, being all by myself in the middle of the river and seeing those huge graceful birds glide towards the tall trees, if I had to keep only one memory from the trip, this would be it. Later that evening in our camp, many hornbills would stop by at the trees but surprisingly, the crows would manage to chase them away. On the last evening, boating over River Kali for one last time, we saw crocodiles and hornbills, both Malabar Pied and Malabar Grey, amble by the river, eat fruit and fly from one side to the other. Our necks were strained tracking their movements but what beatiful birds and when they fly, it is pure wondrous magic! I was very glad Dandeli had so many hornbills, our forests are healthy and safe, at least for now.