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Old 27th February 2017, 20:48   #76
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Default Re: Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more

Superb pics stormrider... I think you can quite rightly be named the "Leopard man of TBhp!!". Wide variety of birds too..
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Old 7th April 2017, 12:50   #77
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Default Re: Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
Good going Abhinav. Its nice that you are consistent in updating your travelogue as you can always look back here and relive your old memories in the years to come.

Regarding the "Flehmens Response" that you have mentioned, I think that was more of a snarl by the young sub adult to let us know, not to mess with him while he was having water.

Regards
Looks like your compliment was a ill timed and I got inconsistent in updating it. Trying to rectify!
As for the "Snarl", It might be, and I take your word and experience and stand corrected mate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by i20ian View Post
Superb pics stormrider... I think you can quite rightly be named the "Leopard man of TBhp!!". Wide variety of birds too..
Thanks for the compliment, but there are many who have been watching these stealthy cats for long but are far more secretive than these cats , And, I am sure, they are reading this and laughing, so lets reserve that tag for them.
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Old 8th April 2017, 12:14   #78
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Default Re: Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more

Jhalana Forest Reserve

November'2016 - Month of the Demonetisation!

This month started with fairly good sightings as there was a blue bull kill on Track 2. And we got back to back sightings in the first week.

November 03 - The kill was in one of the nala near the entrance of track 02. As we reached the spot, the leopard was already surrounded by people who were aware of the kill, and he soon left the spot and retreated to a a rock near the hill. We waited for a lot of time for him to come down and asked everyone not to go near his resting spot. But its difficult to ask people to be patient, cars started going to his spot and parked between him and his food. We waited there, but to no avail. They didn't move and he didn't either.

Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3504.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3570.jpg
In the end, as it was time for us to also go out, we also joined them there for some record shots and left.

November 04 - We got to see the same leopard sitting a little further but still in vicinity of the kill. He was sitting on a check-dam.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3635.jpg

A similar scenario unfolded like the previous day and the leopard went towards the hill and again sat on his favourite rock, and the cars pushed him away further.

November 05 - We decided to enter early so as to get him before he took off. And the leopard obliged us with his boldness.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_36742.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_3806.jpg

After eating his fill, he decided to go and rest on his royal throne which had become his favourite spot. This time we urged everyone to go one by one so as not to send him away and hence, everyone got great sighting of this carefree sub-adult male resting very near on his rock.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4080.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4103.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4182.jpg

November 06 - One of my school friend was in town and had requested to join us for leopard sighting. There were many cars surrounding the kill, we decided to take a look at the other track and try our luck as it was getting monotonous. As we climbed towards the watch tower on track 01, I spotted the leopard sitting beautifully in a hole near the water point.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_42234.jpg

She saw some peafowls nearby and went into stalking mode.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4234.jpg

But being a sub-adult, she wasn't trained enough to make a kill, and the peafowls blew her cover easily and gave out alarm calls, forcing her to give up the thought and she decided to sit again and pose.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4250.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4266.jpg

After posing for some 5 minutes, she moved further in the bushes and we decided to check the other areas and leave her to herself. We found this fox roaming around during the day.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4216.jpg

About an hour we went back to track 02, saw people standing and waiting for the leopard, and moved on. We heard some partridge calls near the enclosure, and started looking. The sub adult male for whom everyone was waiting at the kill was resting here in the grass.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4286.jpg

We soon realised that he wasn't alone as there were some alarm calls from the water point also. We moved in a better position so as to look around and voila, the sister was also there.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4320.jpg

November 07 - Close friend and our member Deky had asked me (rather forced me) to come in morning with him as one of his friend was in Jaipur. So we entered early in the morning and were going towards the kill site, when he pointed towards this rare catch -
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4332.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4345.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4360.jpg

The Striped Hyena, hardly 3-4 are there in this forest and are strictly nocturnal. This was my first meeting with this creature, and hence I am extremely thankful to DK for forcing me that morning. Pardon the image quality as it was taken at unearthly ISO speeds.

The Hyena was confronted by a leopard behind a bush, which we were not able to capture. Post which it went on towards the Shikar Audhi (old hunting palace) and vanished.

Nov 08 - Demonetisation!

As we had cash crunch, and forest department only accepted cash, I decided to stay away from my beloved forest for some time.

Nov 29 - After around 3 weeks when things were stabilizing, I went again. We searched everywhere and heard many calls but the leopards were smart enough to give us a slip. At last we traced this male again near the water-point of the enclosure. With hardly few minutes left to exit the park, he was a delight to watch and brought a big smile on our faces.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6155.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6156.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6159.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6173.jpg

Nov 30 - Since I was going out of town for a week from 1 december, I decided to pay another visit. This sub adult female delighted us by coming out in open in broad daylight.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6204.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6215.jpg
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Old 19th April 2017, 13:40   #79
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Default Re: Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more

Ranthambore National Park

14 November'2016 - One of my friend had asked us to accompany him to Ranthambore for 2 safaris. How could I refuse such an opportunity? We had news of new cubs of Tigress T-39 aka Noor in zone 1, so we decided to try our luck there and concentrate majorly in her area. As we crossed the Sultanpur chowki, we found 1 vehicle standing which pointed us towards the tigress who was resting in the hills.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4445.jpg

Now was the time to wait for her to make a move and call her cubs. A sambhar was approaching the resting place of the tigress, so we all prepared ourselves. But our hopes were doused as the tigress raised her tail warning the intruder, who then started giving alarm calls. It was almost 45 minutes that we were waiting at this point and by this time all the vehicles including canters had arrived on the location. Hence, it was getting noisy and crowded. So the Tigress decided to make her move.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4479.jpg

She came out in open with morning sunlight giving a beautiful back-lit scenario. And an opportunity to play with light and settings.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4482.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4487.jpg

We kept moving along with her, in hope of finding the cubs.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4527.jpg

One of the gypsy went too close to her in a bid to get a head on shot.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4538.jpg

Hence she gave an angry look.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4540.jpg

Post which she moved a bit inside the grassland, where the canters could not come.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4581.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4612.jpg

She was smelling something, and was probably looking for the cubs.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4623.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4669.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4673.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4727.jpg

She probably had sensed the presence of another predator and was looking around.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4752.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4756.jpg

Then she went away in the bushes where there was no track and we couldn't follow her and along with her went all our hopes of spotting the cubs. So we decided to move on and check the lakes area for any movement.

On our way we saw this Crested Serpent Eagle, and stopped for some mandatory shots.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4797.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_4847.jpg

When we reached the Gate, we were informed by one of the guards about a tigress sitting near the lake area. We rushed towards the area and found a lot of vehicles surrounding the tigress who was sitting beautifully in the golden grass carpet.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_49082.jpg

She soon started moving as the sun was up and it was getting hot.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_49452.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_5004.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_5026.jpg

And she vanished in the grass alongside the lake.
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Old 23rd April 2017, 13:47   #80
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Default Re: Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more

continued....

We decided to go to the Ganesh temple before the safari and hence got a bit late in entering the park. We decided to check zone 2, for other tigers and also since Noor aka t-39 had might have crossed onto this side. But we couldn't find any traces, foot-marks or calls and hence went back towards Sultanpur check post to look for her and the cubs. Surprisingly we were not able to find a single car. This was enough for us to know that the tiger is around and all the vehicles have rallied to that point. So we turned towards the other side of Sultanpur chowki and started searching. After moving a little further we saw the bee-line. Everyone was pointing towards the hill, and searching. They had seen the tigress crossing the road, post which she had moved towards the hill, and now everyone was anticipating that she would come out on this side.

Soon we saw her coming down.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_5066.jpg

And she came closer.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_5090.jpg

Somehow managed to click her through the vehicles. She crossed the road again and now was on our right side.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_5116.jpg

We followed her as she climbed the rocky hill and started moving parallel to the track. To get a good view we moved a little further and positioned ourselves for some head on shots with reflection.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_5129.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_5152.jpg

Now she was facing the setting sun.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_52222.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_52272.jpg

Post which she again climbed and sat a little higher.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_5346.jpg

We waited for her to bring her cubs. And in the mean time clicked this egret flying against the light.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_5431.jpg

She vanished in the bushes and we kept waiting for her to show herself. As it was getting dark and it was time for us to move out, we started our journey back. Only to be blocked by this beautiful roadblock.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_5580.jpg

We waited for her to give us side to move ahead. And in the mean time looked around and got this low-key shot.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_5631.jpg
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Old 25th April 2017, 15:23   #81
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Default Re: Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more

Jhalana Forest Reserve

December 2016 - This month started with a bang as far as Jhalana was concerned. There was a kill in open area near the old Chital Bara and the sub adult siblings of Flora's first litter, especially the male, gave awesome sightings to everyone in the first week. But I missed it completely as we were off to Sikkim and surrounding areas for a family trip. Plus being out of jaipur for a week made me super busy after coming back and hence the visits to the park were also reduced.

On 10 December we saw a male leopard in the last 5 minutes as we were about to come out of the park. It was a brief sighting, but we were happy to see this fellow after almost 2 months. This was a sub adult male Named Rocky and initially he used to stay in the mines area.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6805.jpg

Next Good sighting was on 16 December. We were waiting around Water point 2, on track 1 as there were some alarm calls. Soon this Sub-adult Male Prince showed himself and gave an awesome sighting. Though the sky was overcast and hence the light wasnt ideal, we were able to get some shots by boosting ISO speed.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6840.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6893.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6896.jpg

Then he moved in a nala, and we knew where to position ourselves for him to appear again. He came out and sat there after spotting us.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6915.jpg

Time for some close-ups!
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6942.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6944.jpg

We left him there with the following parting shot and moved towards the exit.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_6985.jpg

On December 24, When we about to descend towards the second last point on track2, we spotted this new female leopard. She was huge and very shy. She didnt gave us much time and hid herself quickly but we managed to get record shots.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7136.jpg

On December 25, we had spotted a leopard from a huge distance at the same location where we had seen the leopard on December 16. Now was the waiting game for him to come out in open. After around 10-15 minutes a friend came in another car. We asked him to move ahead and look for the leopard as he should be around. This friend went checking and found the leopard sitting at a location not very far from us and called us there.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7164.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7193.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7217.jpg

One December 27, we found this sub adult female resting in a small hole near the same location of the sighting on 16 and 25.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7240.jpg

Leopards love such small holes and laze around in them as its cooler and gives them a good chance of hiding in plain sight. We waited there and saw her antics.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7257.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7261.jpg

Suddenly she got up and rushed towards the bushes to hide.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7265.jpg
We couldn't understand the reason for such an exit and waited for her to come out again. After about 2-3 minutes we saw a thar coming towards us. Probably the noise from the DI engine had prompted that sudden exit.

November 28 - We went inside in Deky's car as one of his known had come that day to visit Jhalana. We heard some alarm calls from the water point inside the bara and turned back towards it. Upon reaching the gate, Deky pointed us towards the leopard. There were 3 leopards, all siblings.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7310.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7322.jpg

Just managed to click 2 in one frame as the third sister mover quickly in the bushes. But we were happy to see the female sibling (the one at the back), as she had been spotted by someone with injury on her back around 15 December. Upon examination of images, we breathed a sigh of relief as the injury was healed and good news was that these 3 were still sticking around with each other. Few parting shots before we darted towards the exit.
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7325.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7330.jpg
Rambling in the wild : Ranthambore, Jhalana, Bharatpur & more-avi_7343.jpg
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