Tag Archives: kingfisher

2012 (Part 2)

Kia Ora Fellow Gallopers,

Another year’s come and gone – a year that was packed with events ranging from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to the London Olympics to the US Presidential election. The aftershocks of the economic crisis continued to rock the world economies and the world was to have ended this year.

While being a silent spectator to the atrocities that one fellow human inflicts on another, this beautiful planet that we call Home sent out very clear signals to us, by way of storms and super storms,  that we will have to bear the consequences of our bad and reckless stewardship of her.

Following on from yesterday’s post – 2012 (Part 1) – here are the rest of our most highly rated* images from the past 12 months. Hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed making them:

July 2012:





August 2012:




September 2012:




October 2012:





November 2012:





December 2012:





As we all ‘Gangnam Style’ our way into the Year of the Snake, here’s hoping that it’ll be a good one…

Thank You so much for your support in 2012. We’ve loved having you around in Black Stallion Country.

See you all in 2013.

Gallop Free.

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* – All the images in this post were showcased on our Facebook Page as part of our ‘Picture of the Day’ feature and were highly rated by the most important and valued viewer of all – You.

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Birds of Ranganathittu – A Photo Feature

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

The Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary (ರಂಗನತಿಟ್ಟು ಪಕ್ಷಿಧಾಮ) is located in the Mandya District of the South Indian state of Karnataka. It is a small sanctuary consisting of six islets on the banks of the Cauvery River.

The sanctuary is home to myriad species of birds – both native as well as migratory. The most common birds found here are the painted storks, open billed storks, spoon bills, white ibises and herons. One also sees river terns, kites, egrets, cormorants and pelicans. Keep your eyes wide open and you just might see a kingfisher or two as well!!!

Oh!! Did I forget to mention: In case you do visit this sanctuary and plan on cooling off by taking a swim in the river – think again. Close to 70 crocodiles call this section of the river ‘home’!!!  Hence it’s not uncommon to see a croc sunbathing on a rock outcrop or swimming silently past you as you take a boat ride on the river.

The nearest city to the sanctuary is Mysore and the nearest town is Srirangapatna. One can get to the sanctuary from Bangalore as well but though the drive is comfortable, it can take a couple of hours to cover the 130km distance.

To see all the images in this set, kindly click the link below:


Till next time, take care and gallop free.

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God’s Own Country – ൈദവത്തിന്റെ സ്വന്തം നാട്

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

Have been doing a bit of travelling lately around parts of India and especially the state in India that I originally hail from, Kerala –  കേരളം* (also referred to as God’s Own Country – ൈദവത്തിന്റെ സ്വന്തം നാട്).

Kerala, in the Southern Region of India, was established as a state in 1956 and has a literacy rate of 90.92% (the highest in the country). Kerala has earned itself the unique reputation of being the country’s least corrupt state; the state has witnessed a significant migration of its people to the Middle Eastern countries and the state is uniquely dependant on remittances from its expatriate community. But with a population of close to 32 million (2001) (that is around 6 times the population of Scotland in mid 2009) jam-packed into an area of 15,005 square miles (around half the area of Scotland) one would wonder how could this place ever be conferred the title God’s Own Country – a congested, over populated, over polluted state with the highest literacy rate.

To see God’s Own Country and fully appreciate the beauty that this state holds one must travel to the interiors of Kerala where the real beauty lies.  With its lagoons, backwaters and tropical greenery, Kerala reveals the treasures held within its bosom as one travels deeper and deeper into the rural areas of the state. Tourists flock to this state to experience the exotic surroundings and to partake in the holistic treatments exclusively offered in Kerala, especially Ayurvedic Treatments.

In addition to what it has to offer tourists by way of holistic treatments, Kerala is rich in its biodiversity and is truly a Garden of Eden for the environmentalist . Almost a fourth of India’s 10,000 plant species are found in the state. Almost 24% of Kerala is forested – tropical wet evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, tropical moist and dry deciduous forests and montane subtropical and temperate forests cover the forested landscape of the state. 102 species of mammals (56 of which are endemic), 476 species of birds, 202 species of freshwater fish, 169 species of reptiles (139 of which are endemic) and 89 species of amphibians (86 of which are endemic) roam the state.  As one roams the forests of Kerala, one could easily cross paths with an Indian Elephant, a Bengal Tiger, an Indian Leopard, a Nilgiri Tahr or a Grizzled Giant Squirrel or one could as easily see a King Cobra, viper or python slither past in front of you. And as one looks up to the blue skies through a break in the canopy above, one could as easily see a Great Hornbill, an Indian Grey Hornbill, an Indian Cormorant, a Kingfisher or a Jungle Myna fly overhead.

You feel life all around you as you walk through the thick vegetation – the constant sound of crickets, the song of birds in the air, the rustling of leaves on the forest floor as something slithers or scurries past you, the sweat on your brow and the heat and humidity in the air – all goes to offer you a true sense of the Tropics – a true sense of God’s Own Country.

To see all the images** in this set, please click the link below:



Till next time, take care and gallop free.

* – This is Malayalam – the local language spoken in Kerala. If you haven’t noticed, the word “Malayalam” is a palindrome.

** – images taken with the Canon 50D.

Ride with the Black Stallion: www.blackstallionphotography.co.uk

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