ATR - Day 70: After morning safari in Sahyadri, we come to Goa to regroup with the off-site Team ATR
After the morning safari at Sahyadri, we left for Goa, where we are regrouping with the off-site ATR team to analyze the progress of Project ATR for further improvement.
December 09, 2023
Saturday, 11:30 PM
Candolim, Taluka Bardez,
District North Goa,
The morning safari at Sahyadri Tiger Reserve was different even though it wasn’t as exciting in terms of tiger sighting, but it is also a good thing in some ways because when you don’t have tigers around and have to focus on other things in the jungle, the forest opens up and you start seeing more than you thought existed in the forest. Jungles are packed and bubbling with wildlife but when we focus on the big cats, we lose sight of the other natural wonders that pack the forests. That’s what happened at Sahyadri today. We did not find any tigers but we did find other wonderful creatures.
Also, when it comes to safaris, Sahyadri has something different to offer for a vehicle in place of the regular Maruti Gypsy used by most of the tiger reserves. We have Mahindra and Mahindra’s Commander for safaris in Sahyadri. It’s not a particularly good vehicle for safaris and Sahyadri vehicles are also not all that well modified to suit safaris, but we have to make do with what we have. Probably when more people start visiting the reserve, the authorities would likely make things better for the tourists. One of the primary purposes of ATR is to bring to light the less visible tiger reserves of India, and one of them is surely Sahyadri.
As I said above, when you do not have many tigers around, you start noticing other creatures in the jungle and in Sahyadri, one of such creatures was the rufous babbler, which is found only in the Western Ghats of southern India and belongs to the family family Leiothrichidae. They are very noisy and keep chattering away merrily, which is the reason why it’s called “babbler”. I got a few good pictures and decent amount of footage of the bird.
In addition to the rufous babbler, we also found the Indian paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi), which is a medium-sized passerine bird native to Asia, and it is of globally stable population and is categorized as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2004. While they are found in substantial number, they are still pretty birds. Do check the footage when the relevant Vlog is uploaded.
On our way back to the hotel, we spotted a Malabar Giant Squirrel (Ratufa indica), which is the state animal of Maharashtra and is a very beautiful little creature to watch.
After the safari, we returned to the hotel, packed and left for Goa. I reached Goa late at night. Now, in Goa, we’ll rest a little and regroup to discuss ATR so far and to plan the next leg of the tour because we have already covered a substantial part of the ATR travel even though we have barely touched a quarter of the entire tour. There is over three-fourth of the tour still left. I would like to do it better than what we have so managed so far. It is likely that there are some changes going forward. The changes will definitely be for the better, and hopefully for a lot better, based upon our experience on ATR so far. Today’s Vlog features a surprise for Mummy Khurana on her wedding anniversary.