While I do spend much time in developing a photographic database on the biodiversity of the forests of the Gadoli and Manda Khal Fee Simple Estates I have recently been very lucky to record and photograph a few Asian Barred Owlets in these forests even during daylight. Walking through some of these pristine forests I chanced upon these fascinating raptors who gave me an insight into their highly secretive lives.
|The Mixed Deciduous Forests of the Gadoli and Manda Khal Fee Simple Estates|
Often blending in with the bark of the trunks of the Chir Pine trees on which they perched, their effective camouflage allowed them to ambush their favourite prey species undetected. I was often quite amazed in the manner they would spot vulnerable field mice and swoop down on them with a loud screech catching unsuspecting prey in their large talons, returning to their perches to feast on their newly acquired meal.
|Camouflage works well against a 100 - year old Chir Pine tree during daylight|
While providing hours of unparalleled viewing pleasure rivaling many Natural History television programmes it was clearly evident that with a halt in non-forest activity in these forests, wildlife was returning to the area.
|An Asian Barred Owlet all set for a hunt|
The presence of raptors like these Asian Barred Owlets represents a healthy forest biomass indicating a productive forest ecosystem.
Preserving these forests for posterity is important with conservation and research initiatives necessary to plan for the management of these forests in an ecological context based on sound economic principles to preserve this valuable treasure trove of biodiversity.
|Barely visible this Asian Barred Owlet hides out in an Oak forest in the Gadoli Estate|