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Old 13th February 2010, 20:45   #1
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Default Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!

Dear Friends,

Destination: Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) and Pench National Park.
Members:7.
Route up: Hyderabad-Ramagundam-Asifabad-Chandrapur-Kolsa-Moharli-Tadoba (all three ranges in TATR).-Umred-Nagpur-Kamtee-Manser-Pauni-Sillari-Seoni.
Route down: Sillari-Pauni-Manser-Kamtee-Nagpur-Hinganghat-Adilabad-Dichpalli-Kamareddy-Hyderabad.
Stay: Forest bungalow at Kolsa, Forest guest house at Sillari.
Total distance traveled: 1500 kms approx.
Duration: 7th Feb Morning-11th Feb. Evening.

The objective was visiting these forests to sight and photograph the habitat and wildlife. Valuable advance logistics were provided by
Dr. Abheek Ghosh
(abheekg,T-BHP user name) and Dr. later on joined us at Pench.

We had expected Tiger and Leopard sightings at Tadoba, Moharli and Kolsa ranges, except the them we sighted diverse wildlife in wonderful habitat, (though a day earlier another wildlife enthusiast/ photographer from Hyderabad Mr. Max Ali captured a family of four tigers on his camera). There is east Pench and west Pench divided by the Pench river, East Pench national park is in Maharashtra and west Pench national park is in Madhya Pradesh.

The undulating forest of Pench was stark contrast to the plain lands of Tadoba with wildlife plentiful and abundant prey base in both Maharashtra and MP Pench.

Due to circumstances we had to shorten our trip by a day otherwise our chances of sightings would be double of what they were.
Water holes at Tadoba are at their worst already before the onset of summer, animal sightings here will be at their best but it is going to be a very very testing and tough time for the animals.

Dr. Ghosh's experience at various reserves and national parks at a very young age is enviable, so are his sightings. Our group hit it from the moment we met him as if we had known each other for long.

The last day at M.P. Pench ,we had a narrowly missed a leopard which was hiding in a nala about 20 feet from us who was trying to ambush a flock of spotted deers who were giving out alarm calls for half and hour continuous and had their eyes fixed in one spot in the nala to our right, the leopard realized it was futile and abandoned its ambush plans and slipped away from behind us. But a little later sighted three tigers from on an elephant ride and in the evening spent about 3 hours with a tigress who is a mother of four male cubs which we saw from the elephant back earlier, nearly fully grown and about to part from the mother any time soon.

We will be here again in April-May 2010, hopefully.
Our day 4 started at 3:30 AM, as Devidas and I were scheduled to picked up at the Sillari check post by Dr.Ghosh at sharp 4:40 AM, from here we proceeded to M.P. border and at 5:15 AM we were at the gate of the M.P. Pench National Park, we had a very very refreshing tea in the dew drenched cold morning, thanks to the kind courtesy of Mr. Lallan,...the dhaba and gypsy owner, driver, tracker, guide.
Mr. Lallan is known to Dr. Ghosh since many years.

Regards,

Fazal
_______________________________________________
This is the story of the Pench tiger family in words and pics.

The first photograph shot of the mother and three cubs (fourth not in pic.) by Dr. Ghoshabout a year back, these are the very tigers we saw on 10th Feb10, from the elephant backin the day and later spent 3 hours with the mother sleeping before a hunt.

As we were moving in the second round in the park after lunch, just within 15 minutes we were alerted byLallan, ...SIR TIGER!!!

Just 26 feet away from us lay the most beautiful tigress that is four and a half years old, the mother of 4 cubs in first pic. She has to be a extremely cunning predator and a very able mother to successfully feed and bring up four male cubs to adulthood.
She wears a radio collar, which was put on her in Kanha National park, but she decided to migrate to Pench through fractured forest corridors from a distance of about 300 kilometers.

She lay there totally indifferent to our approach and presence, then other vehicles laden with people too joined us,, she did not bother to look, when she did it was when she decided to. Since we spotted her and were there first, we were in the best seat (gypsy parking) the show could offer.

She finally decided to move after about three hours as she was looking intently, ears up and alert..in the very opposite direction from where we were and within a few seconds disappeared in the bushes and trees. We moved our gypsy in reverse and tracked her at first clawing a tree and spraying it, thus leaving her bench mark before she moved on to the prowl,, slowly moving and sitting to assess the source of the noise of her prey which was unseen or un audible to us . It was getting dark and the timing too perfect for an ambush or hunt, after her success she would get her cubs to join her. We photographed her until she was about 600 yards away, the light did not allow us more than we could shoot.It was 5:50PM.

We only could manage a very minute glimpse of her super predatory skills that made it possible for her to survive and bring up four male cubs to adulthood.

Captured by Dr, Ghosh, in March 2009.

Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-_dsc3155.jpg
Mother of cubs in above photograph.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_5478.jpg
Deep gash (on chest) healing, probably by a horn or antler of its prey as concluded by Dr. Ghosh and I.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt0.jpg
Piercing eyes that can freeze prey.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt1.jpg
A yawn exposing canines and and ulcer under the tongue.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt2.jpg
Always wary.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt12-.jpg
Attracted by the noise deep in the jungle, probable dinner.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_5633.jpg
Finally up after nearly 3 hours.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_5644.jpg
Me... atop the gypsy frame trying to get a better angle. By Dr. Ghosh's camera.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-dsc_0102.jpg
A wider angle of the radio collared tigress at rest.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-dsc_0241.jpg
Others too waiting for the action.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_5480.jpg
Assessing, analyzing and waiting for darkness to set in.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_0214.jpg
Meanwhile marks a tree in her territory.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt3.jpg
Followed by spraying.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt6.jpg
Moving deeper in.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt5.jpg
A wide shot.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt8.jpg
Acute hearing prowess at work.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt7.jpg
Waiting and watching.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_0193.jpg
Many times you realize you focused on the wrong thing (leaves here) and got the subject out of focus, but only after seeing it on the laptop.
Attached Thumbnails
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt47.jpg  


Last edited by fazalaliadil : 13th February 2010 at 20:49.
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Old 13th February 2010, 20:52   #2
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Hi Fazal,

Those are wonderful shots of the big cat
you are really lucky to be so close and personal with the predator.

thanks for sharing.
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Old 13th February 2010, 21:00   #3
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@Fazal sahab, really wonderful shots, is there any other place you visited apart from Pench?

Spike
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Old 13th February 2010, 21:08   #4
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Fantastic stuff Fazal! Some more must be coming from your camera soon. Waiting for those.

I see that tigress with radio collar. Anybody was tracking her with your team? Didn't see anyone carrying antenna though.
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Old 13th February 2010, 21:27   #5
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Sir, Can I know the equipment used for the pictures. Some really amazing shots there!
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Old 13th February 2010, 21:35   #6
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Cool stuff there. The cubs in the first photo looks so cuddly. Very nice.
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Old 13th February 2010, 21:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Hi Fazal,
Those are wonderful shots of the big cat
you are really lucky to be so close and personal with the predator.
thanks for sharing.
Star,
Thanks and most welcome. Yes it is a great feeling being there without a barrier between a possible attack and us.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
@Fazal sahab, really wonderful shots, is there any other place you visited apart from Pench?
Spike
Spike,
Thanks. We went to Tadoba and then Pench.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Fantastic stuff Fazal! Some more must be coming from your camera soon. Waiting for those.
I see that tigress with radio collar. Anybody was tracking her with your team? Didn't see anyone carrying antenna though.
Rudra,
A comment from you means a lot.Thanks. Yes, I am uploading habitat and other residents of the forest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by de3p View Post
Sir, Can I know the equipment used for the pictures. Some really amazing shots there!
de3p,
Thanks, It was a Canon 20D body fitted with a 400 mm USM IS L Series Zoom lens, which equates to 640 mm on this body due to the 1.6 crop factor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Cool stuff there. The cubs in the first photo looks so cuddly. Very nice.
MX6,
Yes, that pic was shot by Dr. Abheek Ghosh, we were together on this shoot.
Regards,

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 13th February 2010 at 21:50.
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Old 13th February 2010, 22:27   #8
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This photograph was very well composed and shot by Dr. Ghosh.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_0214.jpg
The team: Rafi (brother in law) Sikander (cousin) Devidas, Niranjan, Mirza, Abbas (brother) and me.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_5120.jpg
Scorpio in front of our forest guest house inside Kolsa range forest.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_5293.jpg
The gate at Kolsa,
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_5121.jpg
Spotted deer on high alert after spotting the leopard (unseen by us) on our right. Pench.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_5372.jpg
On the move shot, from the gypsy ahead in Tadoba range.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt33.jpg
Photography on the go, Pench.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt15.jpg
Scenic waterhole at Pench.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-p46.jpg
An adolescent spotted deer stag , with velvet on its antlers.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt16.jpg
A magnificent Marsh Deer stag, Tadoba.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt26.jpg
Female Neelgai (blue bull) drinking from the fast drying waterhole at Tadoba.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt43.jpg
After standing guard the male comes in.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt44.jpg
Still very alert.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt45.jpg
Jackal at Pench.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt18.jpg
Jackal yawning, shot by Dr. Ghosh.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_9941.jpg
Full grown tiger cubs, Pench. (two in pic)
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt21.jpg
The third too in deep bush cover, Pench
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt22.jpg
Gaur female, Tadoba.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt30.jpg
Marsh deer female, Pench.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt28.jpg
Langur's, Pench. notice the one on left pulling out the one in the middle
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt19.jpg
Motherhood alert.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt23.jpg
Sloth Bear heading for water, Tadoba.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt35.jpg
The sentry.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-pt51.jpg
Deformities in nature are rare, as 'Survival of the Fittest' idiom, thoroughly applies. Pench.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_5336.jpg

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 13th February 2010 at 22:33.
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Old 13th February 2010, 22:41   #9
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Superb Fazal! Last one is the winner as of now.
These are the kind of locations where auto focus fails due to too many unwanted branches and twigs in front of the subject. What did you do here?
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Old 13th February 2010, 22:59   #10
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Fantastic snaps.. Fazal, you deserve a 5 star
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Old 13th February 2010, 23:02   #11
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Great snaps buddy.
You seem to be an ace-wildlife photographer.
Awesome stuff
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Old 13th February 2010, 23:17   #12
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Amazing pictures. I have seen them again and again....still seeing them.
Wonderful photography.
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Old 14th February 2010, 00:10   #13
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Amazing pictures all of them, and that first one by Dr Ghosh thats almost priceless.

Thanks a lot sharing these. Always refreshing to see wild animals in their natural best.
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Old 14th February 2010, 03:53   #14
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Sweet pictures and great narration and it was a great pleasure to see them.
Post all of the pictures of you still have some.
Its amazingly beautiful and truly there is no place as beautiful as India
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Old 14th February 2010, 05:51   #15
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Amazing picks Fazal. Wow those pictures are just magnifiecient. STill want to see a toger in its natural habitat!
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