Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 9th October 2013, 22:02   #481
Senior - BHPian
 
gd1418's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,578
Thanked: 655 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

At the check-post an exciting information was given to me. A forest guard had seen ST6 going behind the Rest House on Tehla road about an hour ago and then didn't emerge. This meant he was still there and resting in the shade and might move further ahead to Goolarghum as that place was more cool and silent.

The tracking team too was there at the post and they immediately went to that place on their M/cycle with the receiver & the antenna. We followed them after a few minutes as we didn't want to create disturbance.

Sure enough, when we reached there after 15 minutes, the tracking team had got signal from the radio collar and an approximate fix. We drove further ahead out of sight, but could see the entire stretch and waited.

If ST6 moved in either direction, we would see him. The game of patience started. The wait turned to an hour from minutes and not a soul stirred. Two Langurs were perched atop a tree and they would be the first one to call if ST6 moved. A lone Sambar was peacefully grazing in the vicinity and he too would call if alarmed.

The clock showed 9:30 and it was time to leave as the gates would close by 10. Experience told me that ST6 would not move out the whole day from here and probably only in the evening around 5pm he would move.

We returned taking a different route and little did I know that I would be in for a surprise.

I am not an avid birder and generally don't shoot birds. These avians are generally goddamn cranky and won't sit still at a place. This makes it all the more difficult to click. I often wonder how these 'birders' shoot such awesome pictures.

I like to take my pictures at leisure and don't like to rush. Proper focus & composition is what I generally stress upon.

Having said that, when we reached a clearing Chhote Lal pointed out to something at a distance and said - King Vulture.

Eye-to-Eye

Name:  1814.jpg
Views: 894
Size:  78.2 KB

Now I have not had a decent vulture sighting in the wild and here was the majestic Tiger of the Birds perched on top of a branch and surveying the surroundings.

I clicked a few pictures then realised that the camera had the 70~200 on it. Immediately replaced it with the 300mm and after a few more clicks realised that I should have fixed the TC too. So out came the TC14 and now the combination was a D800 with the 300mm + TC14.

I would rather let the pictures do the talking.

King Vulture or the Red-necked Vulture.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1696.jpg

Almost on the verge of extinction and rarely seen, this was my first proper sighting of King of Birds in the wild. Taken with a 70~200 at its maximum, this would give you a distance perspective as to how far it was.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1724.jpg

Red-headed Vulture - Sarcogyps calvus

A critically endangered species; only a few hundred remain. Sarcogyps calvus occurs in Pakistan (previously regular, now a rare straggler with two in Tharparker in 2002 the first record since 1980, Nepal (uncommon), India (sparsely distributed and declining, now rare or absent from some areas, e.g. parts of Gujarat and the north-eastern states, but still fairly common in the west Himalayan foothills), Bangladesh (rare in the north-west), Bhutan, Myanmar (rare resident).

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1792.jpg

Looking North...!

Changed the lens to 300mm + TC14, took the jeep off the track a bit closer to the tree and clicked.

Look at the talons and that powerful sharp beak...!

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1807.jpg

Looking South...!

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1801.jpg

Legendary Vulture eye-sight. Did it spot something on the ground below?

It was a rare sighting for me as this majestic bird is critically endangered and on the verge of extinction. If that happens then it would be a sad day for all.

The show had not ended; there was some more in the store. Harisingh drew my attention to the other side of the tree and more farther away to a bird atop a green tree -

Asian White-backed or the White-rumped Vulture - Gyps bengalensis

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1753.jpg

This was perched very very far and even the 300mm + TC14 was of no great help.

How I missed my friend Aditya Singh's 200~400..

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1756.jpg

Two different and rare Vultures. What more could I ask for.

to be continued.../-

Last edited by Eddy : 10th October 2013 at 10:34.
gd1418 is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 10th October 2013, 12:29   #482
Senior - BHPian
 
deky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Jaipur
Posts: 1,192
Thanked: 1,029 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

The King Vulture pictures are superb. Sad that you did not spot the tiger but I am sure with the amount of visits you make to Sariska you shall be getting a sighting soon.
deky is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 10th October 2013, 15:37   #483
Distinguished - BHPian
 
sudev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,510
Thanked: 2,385 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

This close to monsoon too much undergrowth and too many water points diminish chances of tiger spotting.
sudev is offline  
Old 10th October 2013, 21:20   #484
Senior - BHPian
 
gd1418's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,578
Thanked: 655 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Very true Sudev, but 36 hours before I visited there were sightings and regularly too. Incidentally, ever since the parks have opened, in Ranthambhore despite only one zone being open, the Tiger sightings are happening on a daily basis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post

This close to monsoon too much undergrowth and too many water points diminish chances of tiger spotting.
Continuing further, we left for the exit gate as both the Vultures were still sitting and except moving their neck all around, were doing nothing.

Discussing what ST 6 was likely do the whole day and in the evening, we reached the central verge. Almost as in a chorus, Chhote Lal, Harisingh & I exclaimed - Monitor Lizard.

Lying on the led side of the road was a Monitor Lizard basking in the Sun. Being a cold-blooded reptile, it needs to sun-bathe to warm-up its blood that helps in digestion & makes it agile.

The Bengal monitor (Varanus bengalensis) or Common Indian monitor

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1827.jpg

The fellow even from a distance looked a bit big for its size. As I moved closer to get a better view it became aware of my approach and got alert.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1832.jpg


I've seen many monitor lizards in the wild over the last few years but by far this one is probably the largest I've ever seen.

This fellow had heavily eaten (as the full stomach indicates) and sun-bathing to warm-up and digest. Hence was lethargic (spread-eagled) and gave me an opportunity to get close.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1902.jpg

A close-up will give an idea about his size.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1911.jpg

Komodo Dragon? Nah, it is the monitor Lizard.. It got alarmed by my proximity, got up and started forking out its tounge to 'smell' the air..

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1882.jpg

Fully alert & moving away from me slowly

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1887.jpg

One last 'feel' of the surroundings and then it scampers away in the bushes..

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1888.jpg

It was only after the Monitor hid in the bush that I realised that about 5 to 6 jeeps were waiting behind me and craning over to get a good look.

Exited out of the jungle at the stipulated time and drove over to my usual haunt Gulmohar Resorts to freshen-up, eat & rest till the evening safari started.

Now something interesting happened at the resort. As I placed my food order that consisted of an Onion & chilli Parantha, Butter, Jam & Curds, the manager came over and said that somebody wanted to talk to me.

A young couple followed them and I asked them to take a seat at my table. They were from a nearby town on the NH8 to Jaipur and had come to visit Sariska for the first time. They also had two guests with them. They couldn't get any bookings for the Safari as it was full being a Sunday.

The manager had recommended them to me saying that I might be of some help. After talking to them and explaining that I wouldn't go to Pandupol since I would be tracking the Cat, I told them that they could share my jeep.

After a few discussions amongst themselves, they agreed and I called Harisingh to get 4 more entry tickets. Now I had company and also made a big saving..

We roamed and roamed; went to Chamari ka Bera & back on the Tehla road, waited near the rest-house, Goolarghum and Tehla road. As dusk fell heard a lone Cheetal call twice and then silence.

Then we heard a Sambar call from the hill-top followed by continuous bellowing by Peacocks. ST 6 had climbed up the hill. The tracking team appeared from nowhere and said that they had lost the signal.

We were about to leave when we saw a villager coming on his M/cycle from Tehla. He stopped near us and said that he saw a glimpse of a Tiger further up from Goolarghum near Kapri Gate area.

We rushed there and scanned the area. A single faint pug-mark on the hard ground was seen. It was surmised that it was of ST 3. And sure enough we heard Langur call followed by that of a peacock. Then a Sambar called and fell silent. We expected ST 3 to come down on the track and waited eagerly. But it was not be so. She climbed up and there was a cacophony of the Treepies. They were disturbed. And then she settled down. The jungle fell silent again.

Thus ended my first safari of the season on a very satisfying note. Returned home by 10 pm.

Hope you all liked the narration and the pictures.

Last edited by gd1418 : 10th October 2013 at 21:22.
gd1418 is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 12th October 2013, 20:41   #485
Senior - BHPian
 
desertfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Gurgaon, Delhi NCR
Posts: 1,187
Thanked: 525 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Great stuff, thank you for the invite. Could not make it last weekend due to training camp at the Sports Authority of India shooting range for four days till Sunday, Oct 6 which was our planned date but look forward to accompany you soon.
desertfox is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 17th November 2013, 17:02   #486
Senior - BHPian
 
gd1418's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,578
Thanked: 655 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

10th November, 2013

My friend Dhiraj (Deky) was holidaying in Sariska with his extended family & friends since the 8th. He was constantly in touch with me since I was scheduled for my usual Sunday trip on the 10th.

Dhiraj called me on the 9th night and said that he had a 45 minute sighting of ST 6 during the evening safari. This was a very exciting information.

Along with a friend I left early morning and after a longish tea-break reached the Sariska reception by 6:30. We encountered pockets of dense fog on the way.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1950.jpg

Dhiraj & his group was shortly expected. They came and the jeeps were ready with Harisingh in my jeep.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1951.jpg

Being a Sunday, there was lot of rush. All the four canters were full.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1952.jpg

We entered the forest and saw a wall of fog settled inside. Visibility & sighting would be quite difficult. It was very cold as well. I regretted wearing a half-sleeves.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1955.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1956.jpg

One of the persons in the above picture was the forest DFO. He told me that ST 6 was last seen near Karna ka Baas this morning and some alarm calls were coming. We headed straight there and saw this Himalayan Jackal shivering & sprinting away.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1959.jpg

We heard an alarm call of the Cheetal. It appeared to have come from the Karna ka Baas check-post area. Our jeeps reached there and we parked. On the dome of the check-post these three pea-fowl were waiting for the Sun to come out.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1961.jpg

A few calls of the Cheetal and that of pea-cocks and then silence. After some-time we left for Taarunda to explore.

A lone pea-cock had come to the water-hole to drink.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1966.jpg

After waiting for some time went towards Brahmanath. Intermittent calls were being heard but nothing concrete. At a distance deep in the forest sitting on a dried branch was this King Vulture. This was my second consecutive sighting.

The bird was vey far even for my 300mm + TC14 and was sitting with its back to us.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1968.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1978.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1982.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-1996.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2002.jpg

At Brahmanath anicut this Pond Heron was patiently sitting & wait for its next meal.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2011.jpg

Thus ended our morning safari and we returned to Tiger Heaven where Dhiraj and party were staying. Had a sumptuous breakfast of Poori, Aloo ki Subzi, Dalia, Tea & Coffee.

to be continued.../-

Last edited by gd1418 : 17th November 2013 at 17:04.
gd1418 is offline  
Old 18th November 2013, 19:14   #487
Senior - BHPian
 
nilanjanray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,826
Thanked: 2,386 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Where are the photos with the 300mm F2.8? :-)

Btw, how come you don't use the D800 (perhaps in DX mode) in safaris? Or do you?
nilanjanray is offline  
Old 18th November 2013, 19:43   #488
BHPian
 
aravind84's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Chennai
Posts: 217
Thanked: 148 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Wow..now i know what you were busy with when i was away. Thats an amazing sighting and shots of the Tiger of birds.. I wish i do get them some day esp the white rumped vulture. Hoping to get them in Feb for sure.

As Nilanjan said where is the new gear? waiting for the pics from it
aravind84 is offline  
Old 18th November 2013, 20:39   #489
Senior - BHPian
 
gd1418's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,578
Thanked: 655 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Nilanjan,

The 300mm/f2.8 is yet to go on a field trip. This safari was done prior to getting this lens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post

Where are the photos with the 300mm F2.8? :-)
I had the D300 till a few weeks back hence never felt the need to use the D800 in DX mode. And I use the D800 in safaris very extensively. What made you think otherwise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post

Btw, how come you don't use the D800 (perhaps in DX mode) in safaris? Or do you?
Aravind,

Funnily I had the sighting of the Red-necked on my both two consecutive safaris. All these years I was wanting to see one in the wild. I hear that in Orchha near Gwalior, the Vultures are dime a dozen literally hanging in droves on the cenotaphs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aravind84 View Post

Wow..now i know what you were busy with when i was away. Thats an amazing sighting and shots of the Tiger of birds.. I wish i do get them some day esp the white rumped vulture. Hoping to get them in Feb for sure.
I answered this above..

Quote:
Originally Posted by aravind84 View Post

As Nilanjan said where is the new gear? waiting for the pics from it

Last edited by gd1418 : 18th November 2013 at 20:40.
gd1418 is offline  
Old 18th November 2013, 21:21   #490
Senior - BHPian
 
gd1418's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,578
Thanked: 655 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Continuation from post #: 486

After that heavy brunch, we sat in the lawns enjoying the mild Sun while the kids played.

Dhiraj's daughter Aira on a swing

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2019.jpg

The group was scheduled to leave back to Jaipur after lunch, but Dhiraj wanted to stay back as he wanted to join me for the noon safari. His family left with a friend of his and now he could join us and then go back in the evening.

During all this, somebody from the group shot me while I was roaming on the property looking for some photo opportunities.

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

We reached the Sariska reception by 3 pm and while waiting for the permits & the jeep saw these primates atop a mini-bus jumping around.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2029.jpg

Entered the jungle and heard a disappointing news - ST 6 was tracked moving behind the Sariska Palace Hotel and ST 3 had climbed the hills.

Still with a faint hope we scoured the area and this is all that we saw.

Nervous Sambar

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2034.jpg

Female Neelgai with her twins

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2037.jpg

Infant Cheetal fawn - record shot

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2041.jpg

Setting Sun

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2044.jpg

Thus ended our safari and we left for our respective destinations. By 10 pm I was home for dinner.

Last edited by gd1418 : 18th November 2013 at 21:23.
gd1418 is offline  
Old 5th December 2013, 20:41   #491
Senior - BHPian
 
gd1418's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,578
Thanked: 655 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Quite a few re-adjustment & re-alignment happened in my camera gear. After waiting & waiting for the rumoured D400 from the Nikon stable, I sold-off the D300 as Nikon brought out the re-tweaked D610. My hunt started for a decently used D3 or a new D700.

The hunt is still on.

Meanwhile I got an information about the availability of a decently used Nikon 300mm f/2.8 ED-IF lens. This was a first generation non-VR lens with inbuilt SWM focussing motor and had been checked out by a photographer friend. He also arranged a reduction in the asking price. While cosmetically it appeared to be weather-beaten, AF functioned like a dream and optically it was perfect.

Boy was this a monster lens? It indeed was and it was very difficult to shoot handheld.

Name:  300_f2.8_AF1.jpg
Views: 533
Size:  56.7 KB

Name:  300mmf28AF1.jpg
Views: 563
Size:  62.5 KB

No way I was to miss this opportunity and picked up this lens on 16th November, 2013 and put my Nikkor AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED for sale. This also meant that now I have to jettison my old archaic tripods and invest in a new generation stand with removable base plate and a monopod too. Somebody did rightly say that pursuing photography is like jumping in a bottomless well.

Now this lens was to be field tested and the opportunity came very soon..

5th December, 2013

Since my last trip to Sariska was on 10th Nov, 2013, I was itching to go but professional commitments held me back. My new project was to start from 8th December and I had to unwind. As soon as I broke the news at home, my wife said that she would join me and so did my daughter along with my nephew & niece.

Left as usual at 3 am and encountered very heavy truck/trailer traffic till Kapriwaas/Dharuhera. It was frustrating weaving in and out of the trucks who were going at a sedate speed occupying the entire road. It was only when I took the left turn from Kapriwas towards Bhiwadi that I let out a deep breath.

It was a very clear sky and unlike last time did not encounter fog on the way. Stopped just 7 kms before Sariska at Kushalgarh tiraha for tea and the clock read 5:30. The kids were feeling hungry and wanted to have some potato chips.

L to R: Niece Nayantara, Nephew Aman & Daughter Gauri

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2079.jpg

Wife, of course...

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2081.jpg

Informed my guide Harisingh about our position and told him that we would like to enter the jungle a little before 7 am. It was still dark when I reached the Sariska reception and parked my car. I was the first one to reach and not a soul was to be seen. Slowly the guides started arriving and I & others prepared for the safari. It was really cold outside.

Aman was still feeling sleepy

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2082.jpg

All padded-up, excited & ready

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2083.jpg

Seated in the jeep

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2085.jpg

Entered the forest at 6:50, gathered the information about the Tigers and found that ST 6 had descended from the hills the previous night and was roaming. With high-hopes embarked on our safari. Ours was the first jeep to enter.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2086.jpg

to be continued.../-
gd1418 is offline  
Old 6th December 2013, 11:16   #492
Senior - BHPian
 
gd1418's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,578
Thanked: 655 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Till now I was shooting with the 70~200/f2.8 lens. It was time for the field test. Switched over to the newly acquired 300/f2.8.

Taking out the 'monster' from its case

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2890.jpg

Removing the 70~200

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2892.jpg

The person wrapped in a blanket atop the roof of the post is Kaalu, the forest tracker assigned to tail ST 6 every one hour and report its location to HQ.

About to install the "monster"

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2891.jpg

All the pictures now have been taken handheld since I didn't carry a tripod or the beanbag. Pictures may appear soft or "stirred". My apologies..!

I sincerely solicit your views


We did the usual beat - Kaalakuan, Ghaanka tiraha, Taarunda, Brahmanath and then to Kaalighati.

Found pug-marks of ST 6 at Kaalakuan that was of last night when he descended from the hills, then found again near Taarunda and then lost them. We did not see any pug-marks of returning and that meant he was somewhere around.

We stopped at Kaalighati check-post for freshening up and also gather any information about the Cats. Kaalighati is the 2nd control room that gets all the information about the Cat location & movement from the entire Sariska forest including the buffer areas.

The kids got down to stretch their legs & feet and also to freshen. They wanted to be photographed 'inside' the jungle. I had to do the honours.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2087.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2089.jpg

I walked ahead further on a trail looking for some tell-tale marks. Well did not venture deep as one is not supposed to do so.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2090.jpg

Though the Sun shone bright, there was still a nip in the air and this Pea-fowl was just warming up.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2097.jpg

Came back, sat in the jeep and saw Harisingh in a thoughtful mood. What was he thinking - "Yeh Naahar kahan yoga"?

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2096.jpg

This lone tap caught my attention. Amidst all that green & brown this was a contrasting colour.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2098.jpg

The clock was showing 10 am and it was time to exit by 10:30. Headed towards the exit gate via Karna ka Baas. The migratory birds had not yet arrived. Only a few ducks, egrets & a heron were seen.

to be continued.../-
gd1418 is offline  
Old 6th December 2013, 13:28   #493
Senior - BHPian
 
gd1418's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,578
Thanked: 655 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Exited the forest and headed towards Gulmohar resorts for breakfast/lunch & rest. We were supposed to come back by 2 pm. Since I was going out with family after a long time, I wanted to spend a night in Sariska and then return the next day evening thus doing 4 safaris in total.

The first negative vote was cast by my daughter, but others were agreeable. The majority view prevailed. I was loath to the idea of staying at RTDC's Tiger Den - a beautiful property but pathetically managed.

Discussed room rates with the Gulmohar management, negotiated some decent package and told them that I was working out a consensus and if things work out will come back in the evening.

I normally do not gorge when travelling for the fear of stomach bug. Hence I usually & normally settle for Toast, butter, jam, eggs & coffee. One can't generally go wrong with this. So this was my order and also that of wifey. The kids opted for chowmein, chilli chicken & chicken fried rice.

In the meanwhile I could see & sense that my niece was feeling a bit uneasy. She spoke to her maasi and it was conveyed that she was feeling a bit unwell. The cancellation of the noon safari was staring at me, forget staying overnight. But the brave girl that Nainu is, she wanted to do the noon safari and then head home. A bit of rest in the warm Sun did some good to her.

By 2:15 we were at the reception and had entered the forest at 3. At the entrance gate we got the information that fresh pug-marks were found in the Baidwaala area near the enclosures. And also around 1:45 pm deer alarm calls were too heard in that area. Hmmm...!

At the entrance - talking to the ranger

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2893.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2894.jpg

Listening with rapt attention

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2895.jpg

We decided to go towards the enclosure area encircling Karna ka Baas on the way. Saw this solitary Little Grebe having the entire lake for itself. 300 at 2.8, but I should have put the TC as well. Forgot all about the TC though it was in my pocket.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2115.jpg

Sure enough at Jalebi Chowk saw the fresh pug-marks of ST 6. Started tracking the foot prints that were pointing to the enclosure area. And then a loud "pink" froze us in our tracks. The Sambar had called and then again it called and then again. The Tiger was on the move. We waited for some more but the calls fell silent. Others too had heard the calls and came rushing.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2117.jpg

We slowly proceeded towards the enclosure and what do we see there? Kaalu was there trying to get signals.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2119.jpg

Slowly some more jeeps gathered there along with a few senior forest officials. The DFO (relocation), ACF all had landed up.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2121.jpg

Kaalu was pointing to where the possible location of the Cat was there. The waiting game started. The minutes ticked away. In the meanwhile a Peacock flew alarmed. ST 6 had changed its position. Far away a Cheetal Stag was letting out rutting calls. A Langur called twice. Probably ST 6 raised its head, surveyed and then again lied down.

While the forest officials could stay as long as they wanted, we couldn't. Had to exit by 5:30 pm. Slightly disappointed we left. The kids were crestfallen though they experienced the jungle & its environment and loved it too.

Sariska never fails to surprise me. As we were nearing the exit gate my wife and I simultaneously spotted a small animal at a drying water-hole near the road. She said "Billi" and I exclaimed Jungle Cat. We had overshot. I asked the driver to reverse slowly.

A very shy animal and rarely seen, she ran into the bushes on our approach. I saw it for the first time but could not capture on camera. But I decided to wait. I could see her in the bushes.

The wait was fruitful. She was stalking the young's of a Pea-hen and the clan had gathered to protect their young from the Jungle Cat.

A rare sighting, more prized than that of a Tiger sighting. I would call these photographs only record shot. Wish I had spotted a bit earlier.

Jungle Cat (Felis chaos)

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2099.jpg

Moving stealthily

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2105.jpg

Waiting & watching

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2107.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2109.jpg

A better shot

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2110.jpg

Back to stalking

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2112.jpg

Looking at the father Peacock

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2114.jpg

And then she slunk away in the bushes having lost the opportunity of a kill. I was satisfied but for the rest it was only a "Cat". We exited settled accounts and left for home.

While unto Bhiwadi it was a breeze, from there to home was a nightmare. Long traffic jams with huge trailers & trucks clogging the road all the way. It was 11:30 when I reached home.

Hope you all enjoyed.
gd1418 is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 16th December 2013, 18:24   #494
Senior - BHPian
 
desertfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Gurgaon, Delhi NCR
Posts: 1,187
Thanked: 525 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

GD Sir,
I called you today but you were busy, will talk to you later this evening.

I am planning a trip to Sariska for Dec 25 and 26.

Plan to do an evening Safari on Dec 25 and Evening Safari on Dec 26 before returning to Gurgaon.

Which route to take - Dharuera one or Nuh one ? Any recent news.

Sariska palace is full and having some christmas special package so I have booked two rooms at Hotel Clarks Inn, Alwar City.

Plan to leave for Sariska on Chritmas day after breakfast, do an evening Safari, retire to Alwar for the night. Have a leasurely breakfast, check out of Clarks Inn and do an evening Safari again.

The tourist party is My wife, yours truely, my elder brother and Bhabhi.

You and your family are welcome to join us on day 1 or two, nothing better than having you around.

We wish to engage Hari Singh and Rajinder for both days.
desertfox is offline  
Old 23rd December 2013, 14:13   #495
Senior - BHPian
 
gd1418's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,578
Thanked: 655 Times
Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

A couple of teasers from my visit yesterday on 22nd Dec, 2013. The full travelogue shall happen later.

ST 6, the dominant male of Sariska.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2345.jpg

This pair was mating for the last three days and making lot of mating noises behind a thick outgrowth. Exhausted & tired, came out to drink water.

ST 2 in the foreground and ST 6 in the background.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2554.jpg
gd1418 is offline   (2) Thanks
Closed Thread


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Holi Sariska! Rajasthan's Tiger Reserve avingodb Travelogues 7 13th March 2015 15:32
Sariska Tiger Reserve - Land of Tigers? Quick getaway from Gurgaon sach.sri Travelogues 108 4th July 2013 11:44
Mission Spot a Tiger @ Sariska - Project Tiger Reserve, Attempt No - 2 v&v Travelogues 49 11th April 2011 14:35
Phew! In Finally.. Archer2005 Introduce yourself 3 12th June 2009 12:23
Phew !! Finally got a peppy car ! Amey Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 54 26th March 2009 21:56


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 18:26.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks