Bye Kanha–Rwanda,here i come!!

Bye Kanha–Rwanda,here i come!!

Bye, Kanha male!!Kanha is now closed for the monsoon..and after spending three weeks in the Refresher Training, i am now on my way to Rwanda to see the Mountain Gorillas..a life-long dream!! After Rwanda, i have a trip to Tanzania..Serengeti etc!

The Tigers of Bandhavgarh !

The Tigers of Bandhavgarh !

The Chakradhara Female I spent a few amazing days in Bandhavgarh in the last week of May. There were Tigers visible everywhere and the Park was really beautiful..awaiting the monsoon rains. I was very lucky to see many of my favourite Tigers..the Chakradhara female, which is the ‘first lady’ of the Park, was lying in the Chakradhara meadow, one hot afternoon. She took a passing interest in a Wild Boar nearby and looked up at us for a moment, before going back to her nap. I was so happy to catch a glimpse of this amazing Tigress whose progeny has…

Handsome Chital Stags in display!

Handsome Chital Stags in display!

The Chital Stags in Kanha are in their best breeding condition and you can hear their bizarre rutting calls resonating throughout the forest. The herds are now large congregations of up to 300 Chitals! The Stags look really handsome in their dark coats, peak body condition and hard antlers. They are busy challenging each other before chasing the receptive Females to get a chance to mate with them. This Stag in the first picture decided to intimidate his rival by raking up the Sal leaf litter with his antlers! In the second picture he is giving a ‘strutting display’ by…

Shikra and the Serpent Eagle!

Shikra and the Serpent Eagle!

I just got back from Bandhavgarh after a few beautiful days in this amazing Park. One evening, my Naturalist team decided to show me a new area of Panpatha Wildlife Sanctauary. As soon as we arrived there was action! This Shikra had impaled a White Throated Kingfisher in a nullah and the Kingfisher was calling in distress. The calls attracted a Crested Serpent Eagle, which came to perch about 2o feet away on a low tree. Maybe the Shikra got nervous and it let go it’s possible prey, which flew away and perched on a fallen log about 20 metres…

Kanha Tigress with her Cub!

Kanha Tigress with her Cub!

This shy Tigress in Kanha, known as the Saath number female (named after road no.7, which are basically forest sections), is rarely seen with her young Cub. The Cub is about 4 months old and you can see how tentative and shy it is in this picture..rubbing against it’s mother and constantly seeking her security. This Tigress originally had two Cubs but lost one due to some unknown cause.I have great admiration for Tigresses, who have to bring up their Cubs single-handedly, against all odds including marauding males…which is the biggest threat to their young Cubs.

Two Shy Sloth Bears!

Two Shy Sloth Bears!

We were exploring the Kanha meadow area one morning and for avoiding the crowd we went the opposite way and i thought i spotted some Wild Boar..with a cookie in my mouth i shouted Sloth Bear, when i discovered my folly! The Bear turned out to be two! It was a Mother and a Sub-adult! Fortunately, there were only 2 other vehicles on the sighting and we allowed them enough space to cross the road just ahead of us! In these series of photos, just notice how shy the Bears are and how the mother checked the road before she…

Orchids in Bloom!

Orchids in Bloom!

The Chequered Vanda Every summer the Vanda Orchid makes it’s appearance in Kanha. This beautiful Orchid prefers the Sal trees to cling on to and we have seen the first Vandas in bloom, last week.

Kanha Male and the Gaur kill.

Kanha Male and the Gaur kill.

As i was travelling, i had asked Payal, my team-mate to keep a tab on the Gaur kill and the male’s presence. It was observed that the Tiger kept feeding steadily on the kill and hung around for six days, close to it and defended it even from Crows! Only on Day 7, he abandoned the kill and was seen 3 kms away from it. On Day 10 he decided to pay another visit and by this time the kill was fed upon by scavengers and only the head was still at the spot. These are two pictures i took…

High Drama in the Kanha meadow!

High Drama in the Kanha meadow!

The Dominant male on his Gaur kill! The Dominant male Tiger of the Kanha meadows made an amazing kill of a big bull Gaur, in the open grassland near Schaller-hide, on the morning of 5th May 2009. This Tiger is an impressive male and not yet in his prime as he is only about 3.5 years old! The drama of the kill is an incredible story, which i could re-construct after speaking to the the elephant mahouts and a senior Park Guide, who was a witness to the event. The Tiger noticed the solitary bull Gaur grazing in some tall…

Lapwings in action !

Lapwings in action !

Lapwings are such good indicators of presence of predators, since they are ground-nesting birds and also because they are bold and noisy in the defence of their eggs or chicks. In this incident, we came across a couple of Red-wattled Lapwings making a lot of noise at Nakti Ghati, which is a waterhole and a hotspot for wildlife in the summer heat. On closer observation, i saw a Crested Serpent Eagle behind a rock and feeding on something..which looked like a chick. The Lapwings were launching repeated attacks on the Eagle ( was it their chick?) and sometimes actually making…

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