One morning during the recent school vacation, we went to the Sunrise Point adjacent to the Cave Rock Hill and we were in for a shock! An enterprising villager apparently had acquired some 5 acres of flat land near the Sunrise Point (a few metres from the RV wall and got a JCB to flatten the area further, clearing it of all the scrub vegetation including the lone Acacia tree that used to be a favorite perch of birds.
This was painful since we have been seeing the rare Yellow-throated bulbuls here, foraging on berries of several shrubs. As if to confrm this, even as we were horrifed at the destruction, a pair of Yellowthroated bulbuls few in and settled on a boulder adjacent to the cleared area.
We are not clear about the intention behind this destruction of this natural habitat. We are told the person who acquired the land intends to grow trees. Another version is that he intends to cultivate the land and grow crops. With no access to water and given the rocky substrate, both these ideas appear impractical. I have not been able to visit the spot since and hope no further damage has been done. It is time something is done to protect the area from further encroachments as this is a great habitat for birds like the Marshall’s Iora, Sirkeer Malkoha, Jungle Bush-quails, Tawny Eagle (nesting nearby , ahite-eyed buzzard and several others. I have also seen the Five-striped Palm Squirrel (a species rare in the south) and a few other interesting mammals including a possible Rusty-spotted Cat here.