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Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. - Ralph Waldo Emerson


Welcome to OMH! 

I am ready. High End Camera, Long Lens, Tripod, all. Several others with similar intentions are standing shoulder-to-shoulder next to me. We have waited a long time (all day) and the sun has disappeared behind the hill. It is 5.30pm as a group of “Brown-cheeked Fulvettas” break cover and reach the "water bowl" placed strategically a few feet away! All hell breaks loose! The madness starts… a continuous “click-click-click” of camera shutters begin as (on a typical week-end) close to thirty bird photographers begin shooting at everything that moves. The Fulvettas are followed by “Oriental White-eyes” even as the “Emerald Doves” descend. The “Black-throated and White-rumped Munias arrive and then a pair of Yellow-browed Bulbuls! The Flame-throated Bulbul is not far behind as a lone male “Asian Paradise-flycatcher” arrives. An “Orange-headed Thrush joins in and then the Flycatchers, Tickel’s Blue and White-bellied Blue. A Black-naped Monarch and a Verditer Flycatcher join in as we continue to shoot into the dusk!

Black-naped Monarch

Brown-breasted Flycatcher

Brown-cheeked Fulvetta and Oriental White-eye

Emerald Dove
Black-throated Munia

Indian Yellow Tit

Little Spider Hunter

Orange-headed Thrush

Welcome to “OMH”! Old Magazine House or should I say “Mad House” or maybe “Magic House”! Crazy indeed! Over 35 species of birds can easily be photographed here at OMH (Ganeshgudi, Karnataka). All these otherwise not so easy to photograph birds arrive here regularly to drink water. Drink water from a couple of clay bowls placed in the open.  A legacy left behind by a couple of foreigners over a decade ago!

That is it. Just sit all day under the tree at OMH and click at any bird that comes to drink water. The birds here are so used to bird photographers that they are completely oblivious to the shutter sounds. They break cover, quickly drink water and move on. Some however decide to take a refreshing bath while some others stick around all day! The whole experience is indeed a strong dose of adrenaline to any bird photographer.

Since, almost everyone you meet at OMH is a nature lover who shares your enthusiasm, time passes quickly with some wonderful sharing of each others experiences! I met over 50 wonderful nature lovers in my short stay of 3 nights at OMH. A very enthusiastic, mixed family and friends party from Pune, A group of software engineers from Pune and Mumbai, several photographers from North Karnataka and Bangalore, a unique group of children on a nature study from Bangalore were all there enjoying the birds!

Puff-throated Babbler

Yellow-browed Bulbul

Tickel's Blue FFlycatcher

White-rumped Shama

Verditer Flycatcher

If you are able to drag yourself away from the addiction of the clicks and spend some quality morning time near the entrance you will be able to bag the prized “Malabar Trogan”!

Trying for the Malabar Trogan!

Malabar Trogan (Male) - a better image next time?

Drive to the nearby “Timber Depot” at Dandeli for the “Malabar Pied Hornbill” and spend a couple of nights at the “Hornbill River Resort” by the river to complete a most wonderful birding experience!

Malabar Pied Hornbill 

Rafting at the Hornbill Resort

Unique "Tree House" at Hornbill River Resort

Early morning attempt at photography from a hide at Hornbill River Resort thanks to Gopi Krishnamurthy!
Flying Lizard - amazing camouflage!
I spent three nights  (12th to 14th February, 2014) at OMH along with my good friend Arun Venkatapur.  We drove from Bangalore in Arun's car, he drives very well! We spent the 15th night at the “Hornbill River Resort” and were back in Bangalore on the 16th. The best time to be in this area is when it is not raining – February is just right!

Apart from making sure that I had a good camera with low light capabilities to grab fast moving birds after sundown! my main challenge was to get a good shot of the bird when it is not on the water pot! and before it gets wet!! Also, the birds could arrive at anytime though the action was more after 5.30pm. This meant that I had to wait all day in anticipation, quite a challenge indeed!

Thus, I was able to add the following images to my collection on Indiabirds!

Flame-throated Bulbul, White-rumped Shama, Black-naped Monarch, Brown-breasted Flycatcher, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Dark-fronted Babbler, Emerald Dove Indian Yellow Tit, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Tickel's Blue Flycatcher, Verditer Flycatcher, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, Crested Goshawk, Malabar Barbet, Brown-headed Barbet, Brown Shrike, Indian Golden Oriole, Grey-fronted Pigeon, Malabar Grey Hornbill.

Vijay Cavale
February, 2014.

PS: Some more images of OMH :

OMH - This building includes Kitchen and Dining along with Dorm and office!
Cottage at OMH 
Dorm at OMH
Bird Photographers!
Shoot the birds!
Kids on a learning tour at OMH
Vinayak at OMH - Inhouse Guide who knows all his birds! Call - 09620785247
Vijay Cavale
February, 2014