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 :)

A Few Bird Shots

These birds are seen on a regular basis in the grounds at Junglemantra. An Alexandrine Parakeet (the largest here of this species), Rufous Tree-Pie, Golden Fronted Leaf Bird, Oriental White-Eye and Cattle Egret.

Indian Sunsets

We have seen some wonderful sunsets whilst in India, here are just a couple of shots

Purple Sunbirds

These are very common and I watch then every morning - they come to the newly flowering "Flame of the Forest" bushes, as do lots of lovely birds!

Butterflies etc

I havent had the means to identify the butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies, I will do so on my return.

Indian Mammals

Shown here are Spotted Deer (they were a bit too close!)and Barking Deer (muntjac) and also the Jungle Cat and Jackal that have been hanging around in the grounds at Junglemantra.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Tiger Tiger!!!!

Yesterday afternoon we ventured out on our fourth visit to the park. As we were making our way out without seeing anything much we suddenly were told a Tiger was in sight! And there he was - a magnificent male! We were both overcome, it was a magical and emotional encounter, we watch him for about 30 mins, he was across the other side of a body of water and we observed him stretching and yawning and then he weaved his way through the trees. We shall never forget it! The realisation of a years old dream finally happened - am still on a high!! Watching him made us late in leaving the park (the rules are very strict!) so Joseph our driver had to put his foot down, which is quite scary going by the terrible state of the tracks, we felt we may well die with every pothole, rock etc we hit in our Gypsy (Jeep) It was like competing in a rally stage!! Adrenelin rush or what!!! Quite an afternoon!

Collared Scops Owl

Being one of my target birds, I was thrilled to be shown 2 seperate pairs of these beauties! There were all sleeping! The female is larger than the male. I am still seeing the little Spotted Owlets in the Mahua tree at Junglemantra on a daily basis. The Scops live in the National Park


I am always up at 6.30am and I sit on the steps of my room just taking it all in. The dawn chorus is something else, theres usually a mist and tribal drums can be heard in the hills, the air is filled with the smell of woodsmoke - its Mandys favourite time of the day. Here are photos of Crested Serpent Eagle, Red vented Bulbul, Lesser Adjutant Stork (possibly the ugliest bird on the planet!) a Red Necked Vulture ( akaKing Vulture) and a Plum Headed Parakeet