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Old 25th April 2013, 21:44   #451
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

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Oops it seems I missed out on the Ranthambore thread !!
Will follow that one too
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Old 27th April 2013, 13:30   #452
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Congratulations Harisingh

I am very happy & proud and want to share this with you all. As you all know Harisingh has been my guide for now more than 2 years and I go into Sariska with him only.

Harisingh has been awarded the District's Best Naturalist Award for the year 2012-13 by the Rajasthan Forest department along with a cash award of Rs.500/- and a certificate.

Harisingh in Sariska

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-495.jpg

This photograph was taken by Harjeev on his Sariska visit on 21st April, 2013.
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Old 29th April 2013, 12:55   #453
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Congratulations to Hari Singh, I was impressed by his service level and Sariska knowledge. But knowledge as a naturalist, there is much to learn for him.
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Old 5th May 2013, 15:41   #454
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

My team at Sariska

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-23.jpg

L to R: Rajinder (Gypsy driver), I & Harisingh (Naturalist)
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Old 5th May 2013, 18:32   #455
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Reference my post # 452, given below are a few pictures that are self-explanatory -

Harisingh with the certificate

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-hsingh.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1025a.jpg

The Certificate

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1028.jpg
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Old 6th May 2013, 20:39   #456
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Some friends (including me 5) had planned to go to Sariska on 28th & wanted me to accompany them. One of them had recently bought a XUV and this was to be the first long drive in that vehicle. Three of them backed out at the last moment citing personal issues and the programme got cancelled. I had a wedding invite for the 29th in Jaipur that I had accepted sometime back.

A plan germinated in my mind.

Since the wedding was in the evening, I told my wife that we would leave by 3 am, do a single safari in Sariska enroute and then proceed to Jaipur. The prospect of having the spicy & tasteful Laal Maans at the Handi Restaurant on MI Road, Jaipur was an added incentive. She readily agreed and the preparations started in right earnest. My plan was to finish the wedding and return back the same night.

But Man proposes, God disposes...!

29th April, 2013

My guide Harisingh was getting married sometime in May and he specially agreed to come from his village to be with me in the jungle.

For the first time we almost left on the scheduled time (only ten minutes late) - 3:10 am.

Took the NH 8 and this time instead of going to Bhiwadi via Dharuhera that I usually do, turned left a few kilometres earlier at Kapriwas and then took the Bhiwadi - Alwar by-pass mega highway. Now this road is an almost 6 laned smooth tar road. Thus avoided the bone-jarring Dharuhera to Bhiwadi section. This section was suggested to me by Harjeev.

Gurgaon - NH8 - Kapriwas - Bhiwadi

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-kapriwas.jpg

Only one pit stop was taken on the way and I parked my truck at the Sariska parking at 5:47 am. Harisingh was ready with everything but my wife wanted her Nicotine shot as she was feeling drowsy. Now don't get any ideas, she only wanted a hot cup of tea. Harisingh arranged it from the canteen.

While this exercise was going on, I was readying my camera gear and took a couple of test shots.

Indian Robin

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-970.jpg

Macaque trying to open a empty coconut

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-975.jpg

The Crown

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-976.jpg

After all of this we left for the jungle. Incidentally, being a Monday, there was absolutely no rush and mine was the first jeep to enter. At the entry gate we got the information that at 5:45, Tigress ST 3 was sighted heading towards Ghaanka from Kaalakuan. I expected her to sit in the water of Ghaanka anicut like it did on 21st. If she did then I would have an un-interrupted & undisturbed sighting. Without wasting time straightaway headed towards the anicut only to be told by the ST 3 tracking party that it didn't stop but proceeded towards Taarunda.

The chase began again and we headed towards Taarunda but couldn't find her there too. Closely looked for her pug-marks but didn't find any.

Did she sit down in the shade somewhere in-between? Funnily didn't see any prey around or else there would have been alarm calls.

Harisingh said that ST 3 is normally not known to stop in-between and heads straight to Goolarghoom & then to Banaa area, so we should go to Goolarghoom on the Tehla road.

The chase began again and we parked ourselves at Goolarghoom for a short while. Finding nothing moved further up.

Decided to explore the Kaabri Gate area that leads to Banaa and what do we find? We found the ST 3 tracking team already present there.

Let me tell you again that the radio collar of ST 3 has gone defunct and with suspected pregnancy reports, the change of collar has been deferred for the time being. Hence the tracking is done by pug-marks or visual sightings.

The tracking team said that ST 3 had reached Banaa through the hills and may or may not come down for water. We had ample time on our hands and we decided to stake-out. Reached an open plateau between Banaa & Kabri Gate and parked ourselves overlooking a water-hole.

Then something very amazing unfolded.

Let this teaser picture give you some idea.

White-eyed Buzzard

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to be continued.../-

Last edited by gd1418 : 6th May 2013 at 20:40.
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Old 6th May 2013, 22:08   #457
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

It was 8 am and was getting warmer by the minute. We had been waiting for about 40 minutes. A few hundred feet away from where I was parked was a parched & cracked patch that was a natural water-hole, but now dried up.

From the corner of my eye I saw a bird swooping down and then it started gliding. It had a creamish underbelly and a wide wing-span.

Didn't pay much attention as birding is not me genre and I don't have the equipment to "shoot" birds.

First I thought it to be an Egret or a Heron but a casual look at its beak dispelled this thought. And in one graceful glide this bird settled on that dried patch with its brownish-greyish back to me. Harisingh & I both said it looks like a Shikra. The bird had not settled; I could see it was struggling and also could see flaying legs beneath the bird. Lifted my 300mm and looked through - it had caught something. And after a while the struggling stopped.

This bird turned out to be the White-eyed Buzzard and it had caught a Frog. The following pictures shall explain the scene. In one of them you can also see the Frog's tongue sticking out in the throes of death.

The pictures are tightly cropped as the distance between the Buzzard & I was great even for the 450mm lens (300mm x 1.5 Dx factor).

White-eyed Buzzard - after the kill

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-8076.jpg

Frog's toungue sticking out in death

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-8080.jpg

The uncropped picture - an idea of the distance

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-8086.jpg

I asked my driver to slowly & silently approach closer for a better picture and as he did so the Buzzard flew with its kill to settle on a branch of a nearby tree.

And this is probably my best attempt at taking a picture of a bird in flight. There are some photographers whom I know, who take some awesome & amazing pictures of birds in flight. But I guess I am satisfied with my effort and quite happy too.

Buzzard in flight with the kill in its claws

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-990.jpg

Soaring up to sit in the tree

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-991.jpg

I slowly drove near the tree leaving the track, though it was flouting of the rules, to get a better view and pictures. The following pictures show the various poses & actions the Buzzard gave.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-994.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1000.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1002.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1007.jpg

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Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-8103.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-8109.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-8113.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-8118.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-8122.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-8126.jpg

Buzzard silhouttes

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-8135.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-8150.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-8167.jpg

I was probably too close for the Buzzard's comfort. After a while it flew off in the deep to have its breakfast in peace.

It was 9 am by now and the weather had become hot. The tigress wouldn't budge from the shade now. We returned and stopped at the Kaalighati check-post. My wife went inside to see the cast of pug-marks of the Sloth Bear. I spotted this weird bird nearby.

Rufous Treepie

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1018.jpg

Weird Bird

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Looks like a Treepie. No? It indeed is a Treepie holding a semi-dried water melon slice thrown by some tourist.

Thus ended our morning safari and we proceeded to Jaipur via Shahpur - Manoharpur. Reached around 12:15 pm and it took us almost 30 minutes to find a parking place on the MI road. It was that crowded. Had our lunch at Handi and then proceeded to meet Dhiraj (deky). The wedding was in the evening and before that we wanted to catch some forty winks.

Hope you like the narration and the pictures....
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Old 7th May 2013, 12:12   #458
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Some real nice pictures. Lets do Sariska again before the park closes for the Monsoons. A Bolero ride again ? Why the Bolero because I take indulge in my own forms of Nicotine intakes in it. I dont smoke in my Scorpio or anyone else's vehicle.
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Old 7th May 2013, 13:22   #459
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

I protest, I protest, I protest. No Bolero and no nicotine either. You'll start a jungle fire....

So we take some other vehicle and that shall prevent "re-adjustment" of bones in our body and save us from passive nicotine intake.

BTW, the park closes on 30th June. We shall surely do one before that.

And thanks for liking the pictures.

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Originally Posted by desertfox View Post

Some real nice pictures. Lets do Sariska again before the park closes for the Monsoons. A Bolero ride again ? Why the Bolero because I take indulge in my own forms of Nicotine intakes in it. I dont smoke in my Scorpio or anyone else's vehicle.
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Old 7th May 2013, 13:34   #460
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

OK no Bolero no cigrettes. Will go in any other vehicle Bolero will follow so that I can shift into it to smoke for a while.
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Old 8th May 2013, 11:54   #461
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Lovely Pictures of the White-eyed Buzzard Gurudutt sir.
Learning quite a lot from your travelogue for that matter all them. I loved the Ranthambore travelogue as well.
I thought that you might be doing an evening Safari as when, while returning from Jaipur to Gurgaon.
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Old 8th May 2013, 19:00   #462
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Thank you Harjeev for the kind words.

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Lovely Pictures of the White-eyed Buzzard Gurudutt sir. Learning quite a lot from your travelogue for that matter all them. I loved the Ranthambore travelogue as well.
How would that have been possible? The wedding was in the evening on 29th April. And the evening safari ends at 6 pm. I was scheduled to leave Jaipur after attending the wedding around 10:30 pm.

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I thought that you might be doing an evening Safari as when, while returning from Jaipur to Gurgaon.
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Old 8th May 2013, 20:27   #463
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29th April, 2013 - in continuation of my post #: 457

My wife & I had gotten up at 1:50 am in the morning for our Sariska - Jaipur trip and had barely managed less than forty winks in the afternoon after a hearty lunch at Handi.

The card read 6 pm as the arrival of the Baraat. We were from the groom's side. Reached the wedding venue around 8 pm hoping the Groom party would've reached. I had hoped to spend about two hours at the wedding and then leave back for home by 10 or 10:15. I was wrong by a mile. We reached, but the Baraat was nowhere to be seen.

The best laid plans of the mice were going awry.

The bridegroom's procession finally arrived at 9:30 and by the time we were done with the wedding, it was 11 pm. I was feeling a bit tired and instead of driving back to Gurgaon, decided to stay for the night as suggested by my good friend Dhiraj (deky). He graciously made available a room for us in his guesthouse for the night and tired as we were, we immediately crashed out.

Before doing so we had decided to leave by 4 am so as to reach Gurgaon by 9.

30th April, 2013

The alarm rang at 3:30 and after freshening up we were on the road by 4:30. As we crossed the Manoharpur toll a discussion started:

Wife: Can we go via the Sariska route to Alwar by-pass and on the mega-highway? NH 8 will have heavy traffic with long jams.

I: Yes we can, but it will be a bit longer detour.

Wife: In that case let us take that.

I: Ok. Listen, how about a safari in Sariska?

Wife: Cool. But being Tuesday won't there be crowd for Pandupol?

I: Sure there would be but quite less in the morning. It only picks up during the day. What I will do is since Harisingh is in his village for his wedding, I shall find out about the Tigers's location at the reception and if I get a positive information then only we shall do the safari or else shall proceed straight for home.

Wife: Ok, that's a good idea.

Matter settled and we race towards Sariska and reach there by 6:40. The guides & drivers were sitting idle and there were no tourists. I found out the Cats's location at the reception and there was only a positive information about ST 3. She was seen the previous evening near the Ghaanka area. But the receptionist advised me to check the exact position from the entry gate as they get the information from the Tiger tracking parties every hour. I told the receptionist to wait for me and drove towards the gate. At the gate got the info that ST 3's fresh pug-marks were found near the Ghaanka water-hole.

Came back to the reception, took the tickets, got a known guide and driver Jagdish with the jeep and raced towards Ghaanka straightaway. I told Jagdish that I had no intention of going anywhere else and would be staking out for ST 3.

What do I see at the water-hole? I see the forest tracker for ST 3 sitting in a shade with his M/cycle parked. Aha, it meant that the Tigress was nearby. He informed that it indeed was nearby and was in the bushes near the water-hole.

The waiting game began. Nothing stirred. There were no Deer nearby hence no alarm calls. The only assistance we could hope to get was from the Peafowls & peahens who were there in abundance.

As the clock ticked by, nothing happened. Meanwhile I clicked randomly.

Indian Cormorant or the Indian Shag

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1033.jpg

Oriental Magpir Robin

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1036.jpg

A few hundred metres away from the water-hole was a pathway from where ST 3 always descended. We staked out for sometime there as well.

Queen's way

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1040.jpg

Jagdish goes to explore a rustle in the bush

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1042.jpg

We came back again to the water-hole and waited. The forest tracker was no where to be seen though his M/cycle was parked. After a while he emerged from the thicket. He had gone to check on the latest position of the Tigress as he had to report to HQ every hour.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1045.jpg

As our exit time neared, it became apparent that ST 3 would not emerge and since it was hot it would be resting in a shade. As we were thinking of returning, a peafowl flew high up giving out alarm calls. ST 3 was moving. And we heard a faint call of the Langur high up from the hills. A single Langur was perched up on the tree on this hill and he could see the Tigress from there. I could see the Langur with great difficulty from my 300 mm lens. The forest Tracker got alert and positioned himself near a tree so that he could climb up in case of an emergency.

After a while the Langur fell silent. ST 3 again sat down. Now the movement would only happen sometime around 5:30 pm. We returned.

On our way back picked up milk from Alwar dairy and two week's stock of farm-fresh vegetables from Tijara. From Bhiwadi took the Tauru - Sohna - Gurgaon road. Were home by 2 pm.

Overall it was a very satisfying trip.
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Old 9th May 2013, 18:11   #464
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Lovely pictures as always. Unlucky that you couldn't spot the tigress again in the evening. However nice & crisp shots of the two birds.
I have to/ want to learn on recognising these birds. It would take lot many years, I know, but wanna start.
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How would that have been possible? The wedding was in the evening on 29th April. And the evening safari ends at 6 pm. I was scheduled to leave Jaipur after attending the wedding around 10:30 pm.
Oops, My bad. I thought that marriage was in the daytime. 'Hum loogon ki din mein hoti hai'. (For us(sikh's) marriages take place in the daytime. That's how the confusion arose.


PS. sir how was the traffic from Bhiwadi- Tauru- Sohna in the daytime? Approx how much time did this stretch take?

Last edited by harjeev : 9th May 2013 at 18:13.
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Old 9th May 2013, 20:19   #465
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Great post as usual gd sir

Quite a few nice shots of the white eyed buzzard and a great one of the Oriental magpie robin.

I also noticed that the forest trackers get off their back. Dont you think that there could be safety concerns as a result of doing that.
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