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Old 16th November 2012, 12:18   #46
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Default Re: Operation Tiger: Wayanad

I visited my favourite haunt a few weeks back and stayed for 2 nights. Had amazing sightings and was a wonderful experience.

The highlight of the trip was this picture I took at 6 O'clock in the morning, from the watch tower inside the retreat - the picture of a flower!! Can you identify this flower for me?



Once you do, I'll narrate the entire incident in detail

Operation Tiger: Wayanad-flower.jpg   <div style=
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Old 16th November 2012, 15:12   #47
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Originally Posted by CountDracoola View Post
I visited my favourite haunt a few weeks back and stayed for 2 nights. Had amazing sightings and was a wonderful experience.

The highlight of the trip was this picture I took at 6 O'clock in the morning, from the watch tower inside the retreat - the picture of a flower!! Can you identify this flower for me?



Once you do, I'll narrate the entire incident in detail

Attachment 1015350
well well well - i believe that this flower is called - TIGER!! BTW - it is amazing how the brain works, when you first look at it - cant see the tiger and only the flower, but once you spot the tiger - it is only the Tiger that you see

Now - the incident pls and more pics!

Last edited by sach.sri : 16th November 2012 at 15:13.
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Old 16th November 2012, 17:44   #48
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Default Re: Operation Tiger: Wayanad

Quote:
Originally Posted by CountDracoola View Post
I visited my favourite haunt a few weeks back and stayed for 2 nights. Had amazing sightings and was a wonderful experience.

The highlight of the trip was this picture I took at 6 O'clock in the morning, from the watch tower inside the retreat - the picture of a flower!! Can you identify this flower for me?



Once you do, I'll narrate the entire incident in detail

Attachment 1015350
The Tiget it is. Looks like a huge male tiger.

Eager for the narration now. Simply waiting for it.
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Old 26th November 2012, 16:14   #49
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Default Re: Operation Tiger: Wayanad

Yes, the Tiger!

It is the second time that I have seen the cat from the retreat itself.
It was in late October, Tuesday morning as I remember, we - me and my wife stayed in the wooden cottage as we usually do, and by 6:30 in the morning we came out to the balcony and saw that there were some elephants in the grasslands. We went to the watchtower which is at the edge of the fencing close to the watchtower, but the elephants saw us coming and moved further back. So no scope for good shots. There were some deer and they kept grazing, completely ignoring us. Soon Babu, the resident boy came to the watchtower with coffee and we sat there enjoying the views for 10 minutes or so. There was no sign of alarm, the deer was grazing peacefully and then my wife thought she heard a sound from near the watchtower, she turned and looked and saw Orange and black stripes. Thankfully, she did not call out to me, she tapped my shoulder and we both peered down to see the cat focused on the deer. Maybe I should have waited, but I decided to take a photo and the clicking sound made it look straight at us. Maybe it knew that we were there already, maybe it was not bothered by our presence, but the clicking noise unnerved him-her and it walked into the bush. It was not more than 15 feet away from the foot of the watchtower. The deer kept grazing oblivious to what we had seen.

We make it a point to visit wayanad at least once in 3 months and we usually choose jungle retreat and stay there on weekdays to avoid the weekend rush.

We usually take the 2 night package which gives you a night safari, temple visit and a trek around the farm through the forest. Pramod usually comes with you for the trek. This time we did not choose the night safari and we also did not go to the temple. We went for the trek and we had some wonderful sightings on foot. Here are some more pics taken during the jungle awareness trek.

Tiger - not sure if it is a female or male


After hearing the clicks, it looked straight at us, by this time adrenaline had kicked in and thanks to the shaky hands, I could not get him on focus. We will never forget that stare!
Operation Tiger: Wayanad-tig.jpg <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-tig1.jpg <br />
The watchtower where we have had some wonderful sightings from. Have to be silent and patient and you will be rewarded. Notice the animals track running next to it, it leads to the grasslands. That is the highway used by animals.<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-wtower.jpg <br />
The cottage we usually stay in<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-wcottage.jpg
We started the trek by 7:00 in the morning and we had some fantastic sightings. The first 500 meters is through the main road which leads to another mud road. 100 meters or so from the retreat, on the main road, we had our first sighting. Seeing the sloth bear is rare, seeing it on foot during the trek is rare and dangerous too. <br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-bear.jpg <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-bear1.jpg <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-bear2.jpg
It was mating time and the deer were engaged in mock fights<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-deer.jpg <br />
Soon we left the main road and started walking through the mud road and animals tracks. 15 mintues or so into the walk, we saw this Tusker. He had only one tusk and had some warts on him. We quickly took a deviation as he didn't look too pleased to see us<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-ele.jpg <br />
I am fascinated by these squirrels, they are very inquisitive<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-gmsqu.jpg <br />
One of the most colourful birds the Jungle fowl<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-jfowl.jpg <br />
I am not sure if it was a yawn or a sign of aggression.<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-monkey.jpg <br />
We did scare a few peacocks during our trek, this one, heavy with feathers, wet after the rains, found it hard to take to the air<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-pcock.jpg <br />
Another bird I am fascinated by The scarlet minivet<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-sminivet.jpg <br />
Less colourful female<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-yminivet.jpg <br />
I am not sure if it is a vulture, but by the shape of its wings, it looks so. Never realized that we had vultures in wayanad.<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-vulture.jpg <br />
Another one of those animals that we scared off during our walks. Wild boar<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-wboar.jpg <br />
Tiger, sloth bear.. surely no more carnivores?<br />
Oh yes, saw the resident pack during our walk<br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-wdogs.jpg <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-wdogs1.jpg <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-wdogs2.jpg <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-wdogs3.jpg <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-wdogs4.jpg <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-wdogs5.jpg <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-wdogs6.jpg   <div style=
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Operation Tiger: Wayanad-wdogs7.jpg  

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Old 26th November 2012, 16:32   #50
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Default Re: Operation Tiger: Wayanad

Have never seen a flower with such a cold stare :-)
Superb pictures and the tiger must have been such a thrill to be seen while waiting at a watch tower. Generally very often we go on long safaris starting with a cold and quite morning and ending with a dusty evening, having had no luck of sighting a tiger.
The nature walks must be quite unnerving to have sightings of sloth bears, wild tuskers , wild boars and so on..
Fantastic sightings and pictures.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 26th November 2012, 16:57   #51
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Yes, the Tiger!

We started the trek by 7:00 in the morning and we had some fantastic sightings. The first 500 meters is through the main road which leads to another mud road. 100 meters or so from the retreat, on the main road, we had our first sighting. Seeing the sloth bear is rare, seeing it on foot during the trek is rare and dangerous too.


Tiger, sloth bear.. surely no more carnivores?
Oh yes, saw the resident pack during our walk
Wow man, this is amazing! Tiger, Sloth Bear, Tusker and pack of wild dogs in one day! and majority of them on foot!!

This is one great trip you had
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Old 10th December 2012, 12:26   #52
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Default Re: Operation Tiger: Wayanad

@CountDracoola - Is december a good time to visit this place? can we expect similar sightings during this month?
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Old 12th December 2012, 13:03   #53
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@CountDracoola - Is december a good time to visit this place? can we expect similar sightings during this month?
I am not sure if I can answer that question with a yes or a no. So far we have been lucky with our sightings during our visits to jungle retreat wayanad.

They keep an online version of the sightings chart, you can see it here.
http://jungleretreatwayanad.com/news.htm

You can try reaching the owner Mr. Anil on 9742565333, maybe he can assist you better on this.
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Old 11th July 2015, 15:29   #54
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After a very long break due to my work related travel, I was not able to travel back to my beloved Jungle Retreat Wayanad. We decided to try our luck during the first week of July, knowing well that it'd be raining.

The phone was answered by the owner Anil and I actually felt the warmth in the way he greeted - even after 2 years! Guess certain things don't change. Asked about sightings, he said they had elephants, gaur and deer every day/night in the farm and of late wild dogs have started killing in their meadows again! This was enough to get me going. Planned for 2 days, unfortunately weekend was the only option we had and boy, were we in for a treat or what!!

Like always, we chose the wooden cottage that faces the grasslands and the wateringhole and luckily that was available. One thing we noticed was that, in those 2 years, nothing had changed, same nr of rooms, same warmth in their service and same rates! We chose the accommodation + all meals package for 2K per person - where do you get such deals!

Again.. like always we chose to spend as much time possible in the balcony of the cottage and then during evenings and dusk in the watchtower, when the other guests were not around.

It is again amazing to think that there is a quaint little farm called jungle retreat wayanad which is owned by wildlife lovers where other wildlife lovers could go, stay, experience the wild right from the room's verandah itself!

Yes, there were elephants on both the days, there were Gaurs every morning and evening, yes, we didn't really bother to look at the deer any more.. and yes, nothing had changed.. and hope it doesn't change!

Sightings? I'll let the pictures do the talking! Every photo was taken either from our balcony or the dining area.

Operation Tiger: Wayanad-flamebacks-our-room.jpg <br />
Flamebacks seen from our balcony<br /> <br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-gray-malabar-hornbill-our-room.jpg
Gray Malabar Hornbill seen from our balcony<br /> <br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-indian-shama-our-room.jpg
Anil called (whistled) this Indian Shama out into the open. Incredible to see this happening with own eyes!<br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-sunbird-our-balcony.jpg
Sunbird seen from our balcony<br /> <br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-sunbird-our-balcony2.jpg
Sunbird seen from our balcony<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-white-eye-our-room.jpg
White eye from our balcony<br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-little-fella-kept-stealing-sweets-our-balcony.jpg
This little fella kept stealing the fruits from our dining table! We loved it!<br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-surprised-deer.jpg
Close-up of a curious Chital<br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-view-our-cottages-balcony.jpg
Tusker as seen from our rooms balcony. He wandered around aimlessly for a few hours before the sun got too hot for him<br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-view-dining-area2.jpg
Chital herd in the grasslands as seen from the lunch area. Let us count how many.. 1,2.3.. many..<br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Operation Tiger: Wayanad-view-dining-area1.jpg
The lone Tusker near the watchtower as seen from the lunch area</div>   <div style=
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Old 14th July 2015, 12:39   #55
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It is disheartening to see deer with what appears to be a Packaged food cover. .......our destinations in TN and Kerala then so be it.
Fully endorse your views, Mr. Shetty. After the notoriety that some unfortunate cattle deaths got in the press - caused by the consumption of similar plastic wrappers - we felt that remedial steps would have been taken to discourage the practice of littering, at least in demarcated wild-life habitat areas. It is obvious that our optimism is premature.


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The guy in the specs is the most pleasing caretaker ever - his name is Pramod. Nothing is too much of a trouble for him.
Marvellous thread CountDracoola! Though our sojourns to wild-life habitats has been mostly restricted to Uttaranchal (Kumaon), your photologue is riveting and captures the ambience of the place splendidly! The photo of the deer pulling at the plastic wrapper could very well be submitted to the WWF as a poster warning against the practice of indiscriminate litterring.

A few years back, the Naukuchiatal lake (Nainital district) was heavily polluted with similar littering by human visitors, choking the surface at various places. A sustained campaign by locals brought results and today Naukuchiatal is more or less restored to its earlier pristine state.
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Old 15th July 2015, 05:13   #56
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Brilliant thread Countdracoola , you have been incredibly lucky to come across these many sightings so frequently , the place looks amazing and definitely worth a visit for wildlife enthusiasts , your thread beautifully encapsulates the rich flora and fauna of the nilgiri biosphere , this thread has tempted me to plan another trip to this part of the world on my next visit to India, thanks again for a lovely thread!
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Old 15th July 2015, 11:49   #57
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Well written travelogue CountDracoola. Awesome pictures too. Hard to believe that these pics were taken with a basic camera. Thanks for sharing.

My first visit to Wayanad was in 2014. That time, I'd visited Thirunelli temple. It was a wonderful drive through the jungle. Also, we were lucky to see a single tusker.

Your thread inspires me to visit the place once again

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Old 15th July 2015, 14:18   #58
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Another set of very tempting pics.
Had checked room availablity in vain last summer, hoping to execute the plan atleast this year.

Also, the cottage you mentioned, can you please let know the name for the same? In their site I am able to find two set of stay options - Jungle cottage & Twin cottage. Is there any specific cottage out of these options that you would recommend.
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Old 24th July 2015, 13:41   #59
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Also, the cottage you mentioned, can you please let know the name for the same? In their site I am able to find two set of stay options - Jungle cottage & Twin cottage. Is there any specific cottage out of these options that you would recommend.
Take the wooden cottage, the view from the balcony is nothing short of amazing. It opens out into the paddy fields and you see animals roaming around all the time. You can also see the watering hole from your balcony. They had only 1 such cottage, but this time when I visited I saw another one as well, but the older one has better views, the newer one is more spacious I think. If it is just 2 or 3 people, take the older wooden cottage because of the views.
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