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Bavarian Fairytale castle!

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Neuschwanstein castle:
What was once termed as an eccentric dream of King Ludwig II, is now the most beautiful and one of the most visited castle in the world. Who would have imagined that his vision would become one of the iconic structure of the country. Positioned on top of a hill, surrounded by the magnificent landscapes of Bavarian alps overlooking the Alpsee and Pöllat waterfall. This legendary castle served as an inspiration to build the Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle.
The Neuschwanstein castle literally means New Swan Stone castle. It was occupied by King Ludwig II in 1886, though he never lived to see his vision fully realized.
Located in southern most tip of Germany, near the Austrian border, and nestled within the Alps is this fictional village of Schwangau and it's beautiful castles. The Neuschwanstein castle can be reached by a 20min hike from the Schwangau village and another 15min hike further to reach the Marienbrücke or catch the bus to reach the hill top…

Birding in the Netherlands

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The Netherlands has a coastline of over 451 km, wide open to the north sea. Much of its land has been reclaimed from the sea and is below sea level, not surprisingly its coastal wetlands make up some of the best birding hotspots, apart from the inland nature reserves. Close to 500 bird species are recorded in the country, much of them are waders and water birds due to its geography.

As a non-resident birdwatcher it was not an easy task to locate the right bird watching spots, whilst ebird helped considerably, the rest was on me to explore the Dutch lands. Nevertheless, the country is much safer to explore and the good facilities such as birding hides at the right places, easy access to most reserves makes it a birder friendly country.

I have explored two of the birding hotspots, the Texel Island and Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve. Apart from these, I found bird watching and bird photography can be interesting in the neighborhood city parks and also tourist places such as Zaanse S…

Seed dispersers of Dandeli

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The diversity of tropical forest trees are predominantly  dependent on its natural seed dispersers. Perhaps this diversity among the trees is fairly maintained by the fructivorous birds and animals of the Dandeli forests.

Four fruit-eating bird species, the hornbills, forest pigeons, barbets, parakeets and one fruit eating squirrel are collectively responsible for dispersing the seeds of many of the Dandeli's tree species.

The giants including the near threatened Malabar pied hornbill, the vulnerable Great Indian hornbill, the Malabar gray hornbill, and Indian giant squirrel are often the unintentional farmers of the forest.

The compelling story behind this is, after eating the fruits, the indigestible part such as seeds are regurgitated later. These seeds are dispersed by birds and animals beyond the fences raised by the mankind. This plays a vital role in the local ecosystem by dispersing the seeds and some of them sprout to later turn out to be trees.

It is fascinating to see …

Dandeli : Land of the Hornbills

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Dandeli : Land of the Hornbills

Dandeli is a land of the hornbills and a heaven for bird watchers. This rather popular Tiger reserve is located in the western ghats of Uttara Kannada district. Hornbills here are densely populated and are found in four varieties, including the IUCN Red List vulnerable species Indian Great Hornbill and IUCN Red List near threatened species Malabar Pied Hornbill, the other two are the Malabar Gray Hornbill and Indian Gray Hornbill.

Although Dandeli is famous for the Hornbills, but for bird watchers there is much more awaiting. More than two hundred and fifty species of birds are recorded in this region, most of them are a rare sight in urban India. I spotted more than hundred recognizable species of birds during my two visits. It is surely a must visit place for every bird enthusiast.

There are many birding hotspots in and around Dandeli, popular ones include the Timber depot, Ganeshgudi, Kaiga, Kulgi and the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary.

Apart from the h…