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Old 12th March 2016, 20:43   #1
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Default Three days in Bandipur

It had been nearly three months since my last photo trip to Kabini (read more about it here (Tryst with a Leopard in Kabini)) and the itch was becoming too much. I decided to go to Bandipur this time around, since I hadn't been there before. As usual, the weekends were booked solid at JLR so I had to plan a trip on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. To get leave on these days of the week, I had to promise an arm and a leg at the office. It is a myth that those who run their own company can take leave whenever they want. I have always found it very difficult to take leave and have to weigh a hundred things before doing so. I have never found my employees thinking the same way, they happily apply whenever they want regardless of how it will affect work. Sorry for the rant.

Anyway, come Sunday we (I and my nephew who had just finished his XI std exams) drove off to Bandipur. The road from Mysore to Nanjangud is absolutely terrible, as they are widening the road into a four lane expressway. As of now, only one side is open and as usual, it keeps alternating between the left and right side. At these turning points, there is always a jam with no one willing to give way to vehicles from the opposite side. All said and done, it took a cool one hour to cover the 22 kms distance. The road from Nanjangud to Bandipur via Gundlupet is in reasonably good condition, with some occasional bad patches. We checked in to JLR by around 11:30 and after a good lunch, were ready for our first of our four safaris. Here are the photos from these sojourns into the reserve.

All photos taken with my Nikon D7200 and the excellent Tamron 150-600 lens.

A mongoose looks askance at our presence and refuses to budge from the road:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp016.jpg

A lone peacock perched high on a branch. We were on the old dam road and the dried up tree was growing on the sides of the slope, so we were positioned slightly above the bird. I wonder how the bird flew up so high since peacocks are not known to be very strong fliers. In any case it made for a visual spectacle, with the vehicle tracks way down in the background. It is now one of my favourite images:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp038.jpg

A barking deer, a very shy animal:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp042.jpg

A morose looking langur gazes back at me:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp049.jpg

Here is a hoopoe:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp056.jpg

A rare sighting in Bandipur, a vulture:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp071.jpg

Black naped hare, up on a slight rise away from the track:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp108.jpg

An Indian Dhole (wild dog) crosses the track in front of us:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp124.jpg

A jungle fowl flew up onto a tree and started giving alarm calls when it saw the Dhole:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp146.jpg

A young langur mother with her precious (and super cute) baby langur. She's probably a first time mom, which explains the possesive posture:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp154.jpg

Our national bird poses again:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp159.jpg

And then we come across the ghost in the shadows. The scrub in the foreground was so distracting that the camera sensor was continually focusing only on that. I had to switch to manual focus to get this one. Unforturnately, it was very late in the evening around 6:30 pm and the light was quickly fading. Moreover, it was also time for us to leave the park, but the driver kindly consented to wait for a few more minutes for this sighting:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp164.jpg

And then, this. There were two of them and they were mating! We watched spellbound for a few minutes and then they just melted into the background. They did come out a little later but by then it was too dark to take photos.
Three days in Bandipur-bndp166.jpg

This one is purely due to the power of RAW processing to get a barely usable image from what almost looked totally dark in camera. The time difference between the previous photo and this one is just four minutes, but that's how quickly it gets dark out there:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp184.jpg

We came across a group of wild pigs, this one is just a kid:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp219.jpg

An elephant has become all patchy due to its rolling around in the few feet of water in the mostly dried up pond:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp246.jpg

A spotted owl stares at me trying to fit both it and the other bird into the frame at the same time:
Three days in Bandipur-bndp256.jpg


Thus ended another short break. I am already looking forward to the next one, not yet decided where I want to go. I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. Until next time then...bye and drive safe.

Last edited by Stryker : 12th March 2016 at 20:50.
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Old 13th March 2016, 08:55   #2
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Default Re: Three days in Bandipur

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!


And your short stories with wild life continue! Nice one again.

Last edited by ampere : 13th March 2016 at 10:04.
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Old 13th March 2016, 11:38   #3
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Awesome is the only word to describe. Sir you have virtually brought the wildlife alive on our laptops with your excellent photography.
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Old 13th March 2016, 14:20   #4
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Good to know you like the photos, ssambyal1980.
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Old 14th March 2016, 12:18   #5
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Stryker! I am a sucker for wildlife photography Neat clicks. Would have loved to see a close-up of the owl! What was the gear which you were using?
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Old 14th March 2016, 14:30   #6
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Agreed sir, getting the perfect balance between work and personal life is near to impossible. I remember someone comparing it to the early morning struggle one undergoes to get that perfect combination of hot and cold waters for bath.

By the way, very clear and crisp images. Left us craving for more.

Last edited by King_pin09 : 14th March 2016 at 14:33.
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Old 14th March 2016, 14:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
Thus ended another short break. I am already looking forward to the next one, not yet decided where I want to go. I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. Until next time then...bye and drive safe.
Stryker, That was a nice break. Beautiful pictures there. I was thinking about taking my 2.5 years old son and my wife to such a place. Is post monsoon a good idea?
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Old 14th March 2016, 14:44   #8
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Great photos there Stryker!
It's been a while since my last trip to the wild, but this post sure did bring out the itch again to drive down again. The upcoming Good Friday long weekend seems to be the right time for this. Bandipur has also received a good deal of rain this weekend, so the carpet of green may just about be peeking out by then as well.
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Old 14th March 2016, 20:07   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r.K View Post
Stryker! I am a sucker for wildlife photography Neat clicks. Would have loved to see a close-up of the owl! What was the gear which you were using?
Thanks, r.K. As I mentioned at the top, I use a Nikon D7200 body and for this trip I was using a Tamron 150-600 lens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by King_pin09 View Post
By the way, very clear and crisp images. Left us craving for more.
Thanks, King_pin09. You'll definitely get more! Not sure when, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mksureshhere View Post
Stryker, That was a nice break. Beautiful pictures there. I was thinking about taking my 2.5 years old son and my wife to such a place. Is post monsoon a good idea?
Thanks, mksureshhere. Post monsoon is generally a good time as the forest is very lush and very green. Sightings maybe a little difficult due to the dense growth and the easy availability of water. But you will certainly see an abundance of wildlife.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AshyRocks View Post
Great photos there Stryker!
It's been a while since my last trip to the wild, but this post sure did bring out the itch again to drive down again. The upcoming Good Friday long weekend seems to be the right time for this. Bandipur has also received a good deal of rain this weekend, so the carpet of green may just about be peeking out by then as well.
Thanks, AshyRocks. Yeah, the rain over the weekend would have definitely improved things over there. It was extremely dry. In fact, the forest fire happened the same afternoon after we finished our last morning safari!
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Old 14th March 2016, 20:26   #10
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Thanks, r.K. As I mentioned at the top, I use a Nikon D7200 body and for this trip I was using a Tamron 150-600 lens.
Ah, sorry! I went straight to the pics after reading the first few lines! I have a D90 with a sigma 75-300, and I find it inadequate in many situations. How much does the Tamron 150-600 cost?
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Old 14th March 2016, 20:39   #11
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Default Re: Three days in Bandipur

Excellent pictures there, thanks for sharing
How was the weather in Bandipur this time of the year with summer just setting in ? A good time for wildlife sightings for sure
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Old 14th March 2016, 22:09   #12
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Great pics, sure is an inspiring post for me to buckle up for the same trip! But your clicks are so good I think I have already covered this trip

Such breaks for exploring nature and wildlife are so refreshing given the Jobs we have now a days that one should often consider doing these once in 3/6 months !
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Old 15th March 2016, 07:27   #13
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Originally Posted by r.K View Post
Ah, sorry! I went straight to the pics after reading the first few lines! I have a D90 with a sigma 75-300, and I find it inadequate in many situations. How much does the Tamron 150-600 cost?
Hey, cool, r.K! I'm like that too! I try to keep these descriptions as short as possible in a photologue.

I've upgraded from a D90 myself and the D7200 is in a different class. But I did that mainly because of the high ISO performance and the newer sensor. The D90 is a wonderful camera in itself and you can get very good photos indeed, depending on what you shoot. Of course, if you are a wildlife photographer, the D90 falls a little short.

I don't own the Tamron 150-600 lens, but it costs around 70K - 75K depending on where you buy it. I find that, given my usage frequency, hiring the lens is a much cheaper option.

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Excellent pictures there, thanks for sharing
How was the weather in Bandipur this time of the year with summer just setting in ? A good time for wildlife sightings for sure
Thanks, NPV. The weather is hot and dry there. I'm sure it will be like that over the next couple of months, occasional rain notwithstanding. Definitely a good time for sightings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebrother View Post
Great pics, sure is an inspiring post for me to buckle up for the same trip! But your clicks are so good I think I have already covered this trip

Such breaks for exploring nature and wildlife are so refreshing given the Jobs we have now a days that one should often consider doing these once in 3/6 months !
Thanks, littlebrother. Sometimes a vicarious visit is what you have to be satisfied with! I try to do these trips at least once in 2 months. I'm thinking about once a month, time permitting.

Last edited by Stryker : 15th March 2016 at 07:28.
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Old 15th March 2016, 07:59   #14
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Default Re: Three days in Bandipur

yeh dil mange more...lovely pictures and crisp commentary. Love your style.
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Old 15th March 2016, 10:12   #15
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Good Pics.
Also you are very lucky to sight Leopard, Wild Dog and Vulture in single Trip.
I haven't seen these three in Bandipur even I have Visited more than 10 times . But I have seen these in animals at Athirapilly-Vaalparai Road.
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