Tuesday, 16 March 2010


We had amazing views of 3 types of vulture at the watchpoint, Griffon, Egyptian and Long Billed. When we arrived there were just one or two, but Babblu told us if we waited a while (enjoying a breakfast picnic in the meantime!) the thermals would be right and then the vultures would appear en masse. He wasnt wrong! A awesome sight -they were both below us and above and were thrilling to watch and photograph, I just had to take care not to go too near the edge in the midst of all that excitement!

A Few More Photos from the trip

Shown here are Mandy, Roxy and Babblu up at the vulture watchpoint in the park and also a couple of shots from Junglemantra of Rox and Mandy.

Bandhavgarh National Park

A few shots of the park, what a delightful place!

Monday, 8 March 2010

Bird Record Shots

Here are a few record shots of some of the birds we observed. Red-Throated Flycatcher(male), Tickells Blue Flycatcher, Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch, Mottled Wood Owl, and a pair of displaying Black Shouldered Kites

Jungle Cat record shots

I loved coming across these beauties. This one showed itself just after I got up one morning, it was still quite dark so only managed these record shots They are not very confiding and turn tail if you get too close

Theobolds Tomb Bats

On our way up to Bandhavgarh fort we stopped off and Babblu showed us an amazing bat colony, the noise (and smell!) was awesome! What great little creatures :)These pics are courtesy of Babblu, he had shared ownership of my camera gear whenever we were together!!

An afternoon out with Babblu

I enjoyed a great afternoon out on the bike with Babblu. We went off the tourist trail for about 4 hours - he was great company and found me lots of things to marvel at. We saw Hoopoe, White Browed Fantail, Francolin, Common Kingfisher,Redstart, etc which I didnt get any decent photos of :( However I did get these pics, Nilgai (a antelope sp, literally translates as Blue Bull), An Indian Gazelle, and a White Eyed Buzzard (heavily cropped shot)

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Return journey part 2

After a leisurely morning in Delhi enjoying the antics of the macacques and a bit of last minute birding it was time to head off to the airport. We both had got badly bitten by mossies (didnt have a problem in the jungle!) Mandy had 20 bites on one arm!!!
Indira Ghandi Int Airport was quite chilled and orderly and we had a bit of time to kill so we treated ourselves to a 30 min back, neck, arm, shoulder and head massage - heaven!!!!
Our flight was on time and took 9 hours to reach Heathrow.
What a shock to the system hitting the cold air of London after being in such a hot climate! We had to wait a while to get a transfer to the hotel.
On Wednesday morning we were faced with having to again lug our heavy bags back into central London to get the tube to take us to the train from St Pancras. We were exhausted so decided the best thing to do was to say no way and just get a taxi straight to St Pancras - it cost a whopping £58!! But worth it for the hassle free option! Our train and coach journey back was relaxed and we arrived to our waiting hubby/bf and big hugs and kisses all round. So relieved to be safely back!
We have lots more photos to upload etc, but it will be done next week when the jet lag has eased and we have caught up with things.

Return Journey part one

We left Junglemantra around 7pm on Sunday evening, not a dry eye in sight! After an hour we arrived at Umaria station in time for the overnight train back to Delhi. It took 18 hours!! We have never been so relieved to get off a train before! We were collected straight away to be taken to the homestay. We hadnt realised it was festival time (Holi) and the whole place was buzzing - it was the Festival of Colours where everyone throws paint on each other - most people were red and green!! Our original driver was apparently too drunk to walk never mind drive and we were lucky that a stand in could be found!!!
We had a relaxing evening in Delhi in the company of two great guys(South African Shem(http://www.shemimages.com/) and Go (Japanese)(www.goyamagata.com) who had just arrived from Japan after photographing amazing wildlife there - thanks for your company guys, it was great to meet you! They were heading off to Junglemantra on Tuesday morning.

Tiger Cubs

What an amazing final day! Within 5 mins of entering Bandhavgarh NP two cubs were located and we stayed with them for 3 hours, at a distance of about 30 yards. Spending time just observing then in their natural state ws surreal and unforgettable, we shall treasure the memory forever:) The tigress didnt return to them whilst we were there but she was around, (the Chital called their alarm calls.) They are estimated to be around 7-9months old, they slept mostly but occasionally stretched and yawned amongst the bamboo. They looked us straight in the eye many times and that connection made it so special :)

Friday, 26 February 2010

A Great Couple of Days

The last two days have been so wonderful but no pics yet as I still have to trawl through 350 pics!
Yesterday Mandy went out on the bike with Babblu (the top guide here), he is such a sweet guy and knows where to find everything - we were out for four hours mainly off the tourist trail, a surreal few hours, saw some fabulous creatures and birds. Pics will be uploaded in due course.
Today Rox and I together with Mel and Kim (researchers) went up with Babblu to Bandhavgarh Fort - brilliant! We felt like we were at on the top of the world, the views were breath-taking. We ate a picnic breakfast surrounded by Griffon and other vultures cruising both above and beneath us! We also entered a small cave to watch Tomb Bats - hundreds of them, the guano needed a strong stomach!!!
We only have two more full days here before the long 3 day trek back home. Another 16hr overnight train, one nights stay in Delhi, Flight to Heathrow, then a night in London before heading by tube, train and coach back home.

Introducing Kalua!

Here are shots of Kalua - a 3 1/2 yr old male tiger. We had an amazing encounter with him the other day - he stayed 6 feet away by our jeep and walked alongside for 200 yards! Awesome! He was TOO close for me to capture him with the 3oomm lens so I only got shots as he walked away. The picture also shows the brilliant camouflage - this pic is full frame with no cropping! A breathtaking experience

Another Few Indian Birds

Shown here are Bronze Winged Jacana (juv), Chestnut Shouldered Petronia, Spotted Dove, Shrika (with lizard breakfast!) and a Grey Wagtail

Green Bee Eaters

I have spent lots of time watching the beautiful little birds :)

Sambar Deer

These are seen regularly around here, this pics show a stag, doe and fawn

Saturday, 20 February 2010


At last I am able to update this blog, I have had a problem getting online with my laptop - hope you enjoy the pics! We have visited the park again but no more Tigers sadly. We hope to see one or two more during our last week. Two wildlife researchers are on their way to stay with us so we hope to get out and about with them. They are bringing a number of trap cameras to set up around the place - should be interesting! Also the top guide her Babblu (the guy the BBC use whilst they are filming here!) has offered to take me out birding on his motorbike which will be great- he obviously knows the best places to find stuff!
Our English classes are still a hit with the local lads - they remain enthusiastic and willing to learn as much as possible. I hope to post pics of them in due course.
The weather is fab although over lunchtime and early afternoon the heat gets a bit much. It is cool at night and very cold at first light!

Shikra and Owlets

This beautiful Shrika (a Indian version of Sparrowhawk) had been delighting me the last couple of days - it is quite confiding. The Spotted Owlets are of course still showing well :)