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Old 13th August 2016, 23:23   #46
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I would like to comment as I have previously also mentioned that "We should be prepared to experience the wild and not just drive through the jungle in the quest of the Tiger. There is much more to it than that. The quest for sighting the Tiger makes you overlook or neglect the other natural beauty around you. My suggestion to everyone going for a Jungle Safari would be to go with an open mind and just enjoy the surroundings and the habitat of the wild animals." This is exactly what makes exploring wildlife in their natural habitat more pleasurable.
Completely agree with you about the love of the wild. And I know you will not spot a wild cat every time. But not even after 4 safaris, is something I am not Ok with. What's more disheartening and discouraging is that there were hardly any calls. If I don't spot a cat after getting calls, and other signs, I will be content. These just keep the pulse racing.

As far as the beauty of the forest is concerned, we did go around the other creatures and birds also. Same has happened with corbett also, I still don't have any sighting there even after 4 different visits and multiple safaris. That's part of the game. Its not a zoo.
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Old 15th August 2016, 14:07   #47
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Completely agree with you about the love of the wild. And I know you will not spot a wild cat every time. But not even after 4 safaris, is something I am not Ok with. What's more disheartening and discouraging is that there were hardly any calls. If I don't spot a cat after getting calls, and other signs, I will be content. These just keep the pulse racing.

As far as the beauty of the forest is concerned, we did go around the other creatures and birds also. Same has happened with corbett also, I still don't have any sighting there even after 4 different visits and multiple safaris. That's part of the game. Its not a zoo.
That still does not take away the fact that you are on of the luckiest guys I have ever met. I am sure the rest of the readers will agree as the travelogue continues
Just have some Dhiraj (patience)
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Old 16th August 2016, 03:21   #48
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Astounding, Breathtaking and Stunning (ABS) pictures!
We can at least use six pictures from your thread if Team-Bhp decides to have a travelogue calendar or something! You should also consider wildlife photography as a profession
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Old 16th August 2016, 12:36   #49
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luckiest guys I have ever met.
Just have some Dhiraj (patience)

I have Dhiraj, he's a good friend!




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Originally Posted by Sonubbsr View Post
Astounding, Breathtaking and Stunning (ABS) pictures!
We can at least use six pictures from your thread if Team-Bhp decides to have a travelogue calendar or something! You should also consider wildlife photography as a profession
Thanks a lot for the complements. I will be happy if I even get to feature with all the biggies in this forum!
That said, dunno about this as a career, but its my retirement option definitely, i.e. when I retire.
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Old 16th August 2016, 17:18   #50
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Ranthambore National Park
June 05, 2016 - I got a call from a close friend (who happens to be on a good post) on 4 June asking me if I was interested in going to Ranthambore on Sunday in a Government gypsy? I was like -"Am i Interested? I am bl**dy interested." Above all its a govt gypsy which is zone free, and there is a surety that you will see a tiger.
In morning we started from jaipur for our afternoon safari. We were accompanied by 2 other friends from jaipur and one more joined us in Sawai Madhopur. Our gypsy arrived soon and we started our journey to the gate. We first went to Zone 2 as tigress T60 was seen regularly at the end of this zone with her 3 cubs. But upon arriving there we found that the tigress wasnt there and had moved inside the forest and there was very less chance that she would come back. So we decided to go back and check the area near the lake. When we arrived there we saw a few vehicle standing, and saw the tiger sitting across the lake. But he soon moved from there and went inside. So we decided to go around the lake and check if we can find him resting there. We reached the other side and realised that the way was cut off due to a tree which had fallen right in between the track. But the guide spotted the tiger and asked the driver to take us a bit further so as to get a clean line of sight.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3810.jpg
Sleep Walker - T85 or Pacman was resting there.

The driver pushed the gypsy a bit more, and we saw another tiger resting very near to T85. It was the father T28 or Star Male.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3815.jpg
He was kicking!

Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3819.jpg
T85 again. We took some more customary shots, and pulled back as the track was blocked.

After waiting for some time for these to come out, we decided to move on as they were resting and may not get up. We went around the lake and at other possible locations to look for other species and of-course other tigers. Soon we reached a point where 5-6 vehicles were standing, pointing towards the probability of a tiger. It was T83 or Lightning, sister of T85.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3823.jpg
She was sitting gracefully covered in evening sunlight.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3836.jpg

She got up after some time and started stalking a group of spotted deer from some distance.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3853.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3871.jpg

But some monkey blew her cover by giving out alarm calls and alerting the deers. So she sat down in the grass again.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3879.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3906.jpg

Then she got up and went staright towards the water hole.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3929.jpg

After she was done -
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3940.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3944.jpg
She took off and went inside the bushes. We tracked her and saw her walking in the thick for some time, but she vanished later.

It was almost time for us to move out but we decided to check the two males again. They had moved further inside and we were not able to see them, but we found a pair of Brown Fish Owl on the edge of the lake. The light was low and they were at a huge distance, so I could only get a record shot.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3950.jpg

We came back to jaipur the same night.
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Old 18th August 2016, 07:58   #51
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Ranthambore National Park
June 15, 2016 - I had planned this trip 1 month back as my Brother (in law) and his wife were coming and were craving for tiger and leopard sighting due to my regularly uploaded images on social media. Plus this was the time I would be able to focus on every subject, especially birds like Asian Paradise Fly Catcher (APFC in short) and Indian Pitta, unlike the visit on June 5, which was majorly about the tigers. I had somehow got 3 safaris for Zone 5, my luckiest till date, through online booking.
We entered as early as possible to catch hold of any movement and also because the core part of this zone is very deep inside the forest. I stopped the car for my first suspect -
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-indian-pitta-1.jpg
Indian Pitta or Navranga
It is a migratory bird to this part of India and breeds here as well as in Jhalana. The light was not good so we moved ahead. We did spot APFC on the way but, it was far off so didn't stop for it.

We reached the the core area and started searching for the striped cat. As we were moving I heard 2-3 peacock alarm calls. I asked the guide to stop and check, but he said peacock calls are useless, and we should check the water hole ahead which very close. We reached the water hole and discovered some pug marks and the guide turned the vehicle towards the trail. But suddenly we got 2 peacock (flying) calls - indicating an imminent threat to the peacock, from the same place behind us. I asked the guide to go back and check it out, but he said it might be some jungle cat as peacock would give out call for a small cat also. But I put my foot down, saying that I want to see a jungle cat also, turn it around and scan the area. When we reached the spot and started looking, we got 2 more flying calls, another gypsy arrived and that driver took it a bit deeper in the bushes. Suddenly we saw black ears with white spots(typical of cats), and our guide said it was a cat. We were not convinced. We kept looking, we felt it was a cub. Suddenly we saw another one move quickly in the bushes. At this time the gypsy inside confirmed it is a cub. A cub? There are no cubs here, exclaimed both the guides! Whose cub is it? Probably T73. We were all excited, I asked the guide if at all we could get into some better location to spot the cub in the direction he was moving. He moved the car and parked it ahead near a nala. We waited there for 5 minutes, and suddenly the cub emerged -
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-tiger-cub-1.jpg

He was very small and was moving slowly inside the bushes trying to hide itself. A lot of questions arrived, why is he moving, how old is he and wheres the mother? We heard an alarm call from Sambhar at some distance, and presumed that it should be the mother, but we were busy with this young fellow.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-tiger-cub-2.jpg
Then he again disappeared in the bushes. The second gypsy came looking for the cub, we told them that we had seen, they again pushed there gypsy in the bushes but couldn't get to see it. We turned around and moved in to another location in the direction of the cub's movement. We waited there for 15 minutes, but he had vanished. Suddenly a tractor came and our guide broke the news to the forest guard about the cub. He was thrilled and asked us to show him the images, he had no idea of any cubs in that area. This was the first time cub was spotted. We felt there were two, but could capture only 1. It was established that the mother could only be T73, as this is her territory. Since the cub had vanished inside the bushes, we moved ahead after 30 minutes towards the place where we had heard sambhar call, so as to find the mother. but all we found were these peafowls, giving all sort of poses.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-peafowl.jpg
sitting
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-peafowl-dance.jpg
Dancing
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-peafowl-1.jpg
Folded the feathers, doesn't that look like a ghaghra or gown?
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-peafowl-portrait.jpg
He came too close for a portrait! Notice the ear.

And we found what I was looking for -
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-indian-pitta-2.jpg
Indian Pitta

Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-oriole-1.jpg
and Golden Oriole
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-oriole-2.jpg
Another one. Upon looking, I was able to find its nest. As we were waiting, she even came and sat on the nest -
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-oriole-3.jpg

After waiting for some time, we decided to move on and check the Bakola pond area, where I had a bumper sighting in May. While going I found these on the way -
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-jacobin-cuckoo.jpg
Jacobin Cuckoo- arrives from africa, if I am not wrong. Its arrival is symbolic with approach of Monsoon.

Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-common-hawk-cuckoo.jpg
A common Hawk Cuckoo.

We reached Bakola, but there were no signs of a tiger. A gypsy coming from the other side told us that there were no pug marks and no calls in this area. But we told them about our cub sighting with a sheepish smile. Suddenly I got up and started clicking, and everyone started looking in the direction of my lens, and asked where is it? Their guide explained that I was clicking a bird, their enthusiasm died and they moved on, but I kept on it -
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-apfc-juv-1.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-apfc-juv-2.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-apfc-juv-3.jpg
It was Asian Paradise Fly Catcher(APFC) juvenile male.
Then we found Honey Buzzard, but the light was against us, so didn't click. We also found this drongo there-
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-drongo-white-breasted.jpg
White breasted Drongo.

And This owl -
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-indian-scops-owl-1.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-indian-scops-owl-2.jpg
Indian Scops Owl.
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Old 18th August 2016, 08:11   #52
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Continued...

We decided to return to the cub and mother's location as there was no movement here and no signs. As we started, The guide exclaimed, tiger is coming. We had one car in front of us, and he was walking straight towards us.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-tiger-walking-2.jpg
It was T64 or Akash, Male tiger. He was at the same location I had seen him
in May. He kept walking towards us and we kept reversing.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-tiger-walking-1.jpg

We got a location and moved our vehicle, allowing him to cross, but he came very close, almost frightening for everyone, but I was busy clicking. He came too close, and it wasn't possible to click him even at 150mm , so I decided to move on to 600mm and get a closeup of his eye -
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-tiger-eye.jpg
Eye of The Tiger (is a song?)

Then he went ahead and sat at the same location like last time, felt like Deja-vu.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-tiger-sitting-2.jpg
Turned towards us
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-tiger-sitting-1.jpg
Sat there for some time, then decide to cool himself off in the water. But the water had further dried up and was available only inside the bushes, so the show was over for everyone, but us.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-tiger-bush.jpg

As it was time for us to move out, we started our journey back to the hotel.
When we came out from the forest, the guide broke the news to the guard at the check-post, and everyone wanted to look at the photo and were excited. I called DK and broke the news. He asked me to forward the snaps to a common friend, who is a newspaper editor. I also got a call from him to send him the images. The story was covered by him first in his afternoon edition and later by all major newspapers. The news spread like wild fire, It was a Happy moment as the tiger population was increasing.
Dk told me to come back to Jaipur after this bumper safari, as nothing better could happen in the subsequent ones. Looks like he was right, we did not get to see another tiger in the remaining 2 safaris, I say itsall due to his Kali Zabaan (local saying about black tongue, any bad thing would happen if he says)
But nevertheless we managed with some more birds -
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-apfc-female.jpg
APFC Female - resembles the juvenile male, but long tail feathers are absent.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-apfc-male.jpg
APFC male.

Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-tickells-blue-fc.jpg
Tickells Blue Fly Catcher

Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-brown-fish-owl.jpg
A Brown Fish owl - He made us move a lot before this image.

Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-spotted-owlet.jpg
And a curious little fellow - Spotted Owlet.

We met a ranger who was deployed to the area where we had seen the cubs in both the safaris. He said he saw the mother in the evening but the cub wasn't seen. The photo of T73 confirmed that this would be her litter (her first litter) as she had a sagging belly. The ranger also told us that there was a sloth bear in this area last evening along with T73, this might be the reason for her not bringing the cubs. She also shifted the cubs from this area. But the cub wasn't spotted again.
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Old 18th August 2016, 08:26   #53
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Default re: Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more

Read an article today in TOI about a female Tigress named 'Machali'.Apparently she hasn't been consuming food for the last 5 days and is 19 years old.

A snippet of the article:"She also has bagged a lifetime achievement award by the Travel Operators For Tigers (TOFT) in April 2009. In the past 10 years she has contributed more than $10 million per annum to the economy of Ranthambore."

Sadly, it looks like the life span of this legendary Tigress is coming to an end.

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Old 18th August 2016, 09:48   #54
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Tigress named 'Machali'.Apparently she hasn't been consuming food for the last 5 days and is 19 years old.
Yes T16, popularly known as Machali, is not well. Every wildlife group is discussing this. She is a legend, and has given the park more lineage and coverage than anyone else, which is more important than the business she brought. It looks like the end is near. Sad but truth of life. What is most difficult is sitting on the sidelines and waiting for the inevitable to happen.
EDIT: RIP machali, you were the greatest!

Last edited by stormerider : 18th August 2016 at 09:57.
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Old 18th August 2016, 10:04   #55
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I have been trying to photograph the APFC since the past two years. It eluded me in Bhandhavgarh, in Kabini, in Bandipur and in Ranthambhor. Not to mention Gir. You got photographs of male, female and juvenile! Well done. The only thing for you to do is get a BIF of the APFC. It has a graceful flight, like a wave.

Thank you for sharing and again, beautiful photographs.

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EDIT: RIP machali, you were the greatest!
Did she die this morning? She has been known to cheat death quite a few times.

Last edited by earthian : 18th August 2016 at 10:07. Reason: added quote
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Old 18th August 2016, 10:49   #56
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Yes, sadly she died this morning.
Read this for her details.
News on TOI and photo:
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 18th August 2016, 15:01   #57
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Yes, sadly she died this morning:
Yes she died. In a way she was relieved, she was suffering. She saw 4 generations - hers, t17-18-19 her daughters, t73-74-75-83-84-85 and sariska cubs of t18, then cubs of t73 which I spotted on june15. First for a tiger!
In all giving 9 cubs directly as well. I think she should be celebrated.
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Old 19th August 2016, 13:29   #58
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Just brilliant!! All the images are breathtaking.

Talking about luck, you are the one to discover a new litter and the only one who till date who has managed to click the cub!! But this could only happen due to your keen wildlife sense. Had you left it to the guides, this sighting of the cub would never had happened.
Congratulations again!!
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Old 19th August 2016, 16:33   #59
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Wonderful thread - actually read the whole thread now in one go. More than the images, it actually shows your evolution as a wildlife lover and photographer.

The photos of the Tigers are wonderful, the gripping Tiger stories (and the leopards') even better, but the best I feel are the birds. What variety you have captured!!

It was sad about Machli - but have mixed feelings about its last days. On the one hand you feel sorry for the Tiger, being such a legend and then having to be at the mercy of humans for its food. At the same time, you feel that humans should not interfere too much with the ways of nature - a tiger should have a tiger's death. The Queen is dead, long live the Queen!!
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Old 20th August 2016, 13:11   #60
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I have been trying to photograph the APFC since the past two years. The only thing for you to do is get a BIF of the APFC.
Have to agree, its a very busy bird. Doesn't stop at one point and keeps hopping. In flight APFC is a dream, have been trying for it. I even traced the White male in Jhalana, but its very shy.

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Had you left it to the guides, this sighting of the cub would never had happened.
Had I left it to the guide, he would've concentrated on pug mark trail of mother and this cub would have gone off the radar. He even mistook it for a jungle cat Thanks, and please stop highlighting my luck with your kaali zabaan

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Wonderful thread - it actually shows your evolution as a wildlife lover and photographer.

best I feel are the birds. What variety you have captured!!
Thanks a lot for the compliments. It all happened gradually as your rightly pointed out. From just being crazy about them to going mad and Nuts. Birds take the piece of cake, so much variety, color and habits. Plus, when you don't get a cat or the calls, they just make your visit and time worth!
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