A biodiversity spot - soon to be turned upside down
Last Sunday, 4th Jun, I decided to go to wilderness after a gap of about a month . I chose my favorite spot about 80 Kms from Hyderabad, near Vikarabad. I had sighted a Wolf there in Jan-2016, than herd of Nilgais in Mar-Apr-17. If we leave NSTR, then this population of Nilgais must be defining the southern boundary of their population in Indian Subcontinent.
I had little sleep and was having a heavy head when I woke up early in the morning, nevertheless I decided to proceed with my plan; I landed in the forest at around 7:30 AM. Soon I saw a female Nilgai and it's calf who were looking at me from behind the thicket. Thereafter I kept on driving on forest tracks for couple of hours, very slowly in 1st gear, breathing in the clean air, gradually I became one with nature.
It was around 10 AM when I decided to check a water stream for birds, this small forest has 2 perennial water streams with flowing water during peak summers also. I sighted 3 pairs of Tickell's blue flycatchers and one Paradise flycatcher. After picking up plastic garbage from the water stream I got into car. I moved on slowly looking either side , then decided to stop the car under a tree shade, it was around 12:30 PM. Suddenly my eyes caught movement ahead one the left side, a big Chital male emerged with quick stride, seeing my car it changed its direction and crossed the road downhill galloping along a ravine farther to my right side. I moved ahead, stopped and looked to my right, far I saw the male and a female chital still moving fast. This was a tremendous finding for me. I have been going into this jungle for last 7 years, this was my first sighting of Chitals there.
I moved on to the second perennial water stream, where this winter I had sighted Verditer flycatcher, Crested Bunting, Red breasted flycatcher and lot of White-browed bulbuls. There also I saw a Tickell's blue flycatcher and a pair of Fantails. It was about 2 PM now and I decided to call it a day.
I started back and stopped at the spot where male Chital had emerged. I was looking to the vast open area on my left. Suddenly on my instinct I looked to my right, I saw a deer looking at me intently. I froze, slowly looked at it through my Camera, and I could not believe my eyes. It was a male Chousingha. It kept looking at me for a long time then moved on slowly.
I reached my home at 5:30 PM. I opened my laptop and did a google search for news related to Damagundem Reserve Forest. And saw this damn distressing news. Somehow it is feeling like I am losing a part of my soul, my being.