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Old 23rd December 2017, 13:17   #1
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Default Tigress in the morning - Kabini

The bug bit and I was off again to my favourite park, Kabini. The attraction this place holds for me is boundless, its proximity just makes it that much more sweeter. JLR is becoming a home away from home and I just wish I could visit more often than I can. In any case, last weekend's visit yielded just one sighting and what a sighting it was!

This tigress is allegedly from the first litter three years ago of the Russel Line female, so she is now officially a sub-adult. I predict that this one will rule the MM road zone very shortly, which is where we sighted her early on a lazy, quite cool Saturday morning. There were no alarm calls, she just appeared out of thin air, almost right beside our safari vehicle. She appeared very sleepy and was searching for a place to lie down for a while. We were shooting like crazy for about 20 minutes before she disappeared into thin air again. I'll let the pictures do the talking, words will never do justice to the majesty of this creature. As usual, I was shooting with my Nikon D7200 and the Nikkor 200-500mm lens. Most of these shots are full frame, i.e., no cropping. She was pretty close all the time.


She appeared out of the bushes:

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217013s.jpg


She then walked down the road towards us, allowing us to take head on shots:

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217047s.jpg


She attempts to settle down, but you can see she isn't comfortable. Her stomach looks quite full too, maybe she just had a good meal of some poor deer. The road in the background gives you an idea of the slope here:

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217072s.jpg


Ah, the feel of the early morning sun on your face on a cold morning!

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217085s.jpg


Hmmm, this spot looks good. Just the right amount of sun and comfortable too. We were fortunate that she decided to settle down exactly where the sun was shining, giving us the glorious lighting that we as photographers always dream about. A few feet behind or ahead would've put her in the shade and the photos would have been just normal.

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217100s.jpg


Look at that light! It is quite orange in colour, it was still around 7:30 AM and the sun rises late in December. Offsets the natural colour of the tigress very well, don't you think?

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217136s.jpg


Oh OK, I'm feeling sleepy now. How long are you guys gonna be here? Give the girl some space, for heaven's sake!

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217183s.jpg


Somehow she was quite comfortable with our presence and the near constant sound of the several high speed shutters firing away.

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217210s.jpg


OK, boys and girls, this is what my teeth look like. If you know what's good for you, you will walk away quietly.
Actually, she's just yawning. She spent a couple of more minutes and then decided that we weren't going to leave her in peace, so she just upped and went into the bushes again. Well, until next time then, ciao baby, and have a wonderful life!

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217227s.jpg


Of course, there are always other animals in the forest. Somehow, there weren't many elephants or absolutely any gaur this time around. There was some de-weeding work going on inside the forest, maybe that had kept the denizens away from the view lines.

A brahminy kite rests up high in the branches.

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217008s.jpg


A handsome Sambar stag looks back at me. If only the background weren't this clutered!

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217232s.jpg


Looks like this is a sleepy place! An Indian Jackal is also very drowsy and barely able to keep his eyes open.

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217235s.jpg


We are spotted and off he goes.

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217244s.jpg


This looks like a fun roll in the mud!

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217267s.jpg


This should hold off the pesky insects for a while.

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217276s.jpg


And now to let it dry out in the sun.

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217286s.jpg


Sunrise through the trees

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217295s.jpg


A foggy morning in the forest. I heavily underexposed (-1.7EV) this image to get a moody, dark look. Obviously a 200 mm isn't a good scape lens, but I didn't have a wide angle lens with me, so I had to make do.

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-kbn1217304s.jpg


These images were taken over four safaris from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. The forest seemed very quiet, maybe due to the de-weeding work I mentioned above. Kabini has never disappointed me and even if I don't get to see a tiger or a leopard, it is still a magical place to visit.

I hope you people enjoyed these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. Until next time then, bye and drive safe.

Last edited by Stryker : 23rd December 2017 at 13:27.
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Old 24th December 2017, 00:50   #2
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Default re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 24th December 2017, 10:38   #3
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Default re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

Your narrative is pleasant to read.

An office colleague of mine does wildlife photography. The bug bites him quite often and off he goes to jungles, Kabini, Dandeli, Ranthambore etc., and narrates his adventures as a superhero.

We call him Tiger, Meow, Tarzen ...
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Old 24th December 2017, 21:45   #4
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Default re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

Thanks, Thermodynamics. I totally understand about your colleague, the bug bites me quite often too. But it is not always that I can take time off, however much I'd like to.
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Old 25th December 2017, 00:48   #5
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Default re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
In any case, last weekend's visit yielded just one sighting and what a sighting it was!
This is a lovely post. Thank you for taking the time to visit Kabini and take mouthwatering photos.
Seeing the Tiger and the raw, immense power it conveys must have been an extremely humbling experience.
I envy you for sure.
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Old 26th December 2017, 10:58   #6
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Default Re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

That's a beautiful narrative sprinkled with some actual jaw-dropping photos Stryker! Thanks for sharing them!

Kabini has been in my destination list since long, but haven't made to it yet unfortunately; all the travelogues I read about Kabini make my urge stronger!

Cheers!

Last edited by Shekhar2509 : 26th December 2017 at 11:13. Reason: spellcheck :)
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Old 26th December 2017, 11:33   #7
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Default Re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

Beautiful. What a lucky sighting and that headshot is a stunner.
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Old 26th December 2017, 12:40   #8
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Default Re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

One has to be really lucky to get that kind of sighting!
Great photography and I felt I was watching the Tigress live by seeing your photos
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Old 26th December 2017, 14:18   #9
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Default Re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

To everyone who has thanked me for this post and especially to those who have taken the time to comment, thank you!

It is good to know that you all appreciate the photos. The experience of seeing a tiger (or any other big cat) in the wild is simply amazing, whether you are into photography or not. The sheer presence of the animal kind of takes my breath away, no matter how many times I see one. It is what makes me keep going back to places like Kabini. That and the fact that others who weren't there get to experience it vicariously through my photos.
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Old 26th December 2017, 14:40   #10
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Default Re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

Great pics Stryker and beautiful narration, very difficult to chose which one is the best of the lot
I went to Kabini in the month of April and had great sightings. It is always exciting to watch the wild animals in their natural habitat.
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Old 27th December 2017, 07:06   #11
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Default Re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

Thanks, jayantvs. The summer months in Kabini (or generally in any park) are usually very productive in terms of sighting. Limited water sources mean that animals tend to appear regularly at the same place. Of course, it is always exciting!
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Old 29th December 2017, 19:38   #12
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Default Re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

Feeling proud that my photo of the yawning tigress has been selected for display at the Rangoli Metro Art Centre, MG Road, as part of the #WildKarnataka exhibition by Karnataka Tourism and NatureInFocus. Amazing to see my name in the list below!

Tigress in the morning - Kabini-nature-infocus.png
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Old 31st December 2017, 13:13   #13
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Default Re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

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Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
Feeling proud that my photo of the yawning tigress has been selected for display at the Rangoli Metro Art Centre, MG Road, as part of the #WildKarnataka exhibition by Karnataka Tourism and NatureInFocus. Amazing to see my name in the list below!

Wonderful news. Many congratulations. Looking forward to many such awesome snaps from you
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Old 31st December 2017, 14:43   #14
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Default Re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

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Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
Feeling proud that my photo of the yawning tigress has been selected for display at the Rangoli Metro Art Centre, MG Road, as part of the #WildKarnataka exhibition by Karnataka Tourism and NatureInFocus.
Congrats on the achievement
Your pics are amazing.
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Old 31st December 2017, 21:25   #15
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Default Re: Tigress in the morning - Kabini

Your photographs are simply awesome, the Tiger is an animal which can be admired anyway, sleeping, walking, yawning etc. The sheer strength comes thru all the time. I have habit of visiting the local zoo to admire the Tiger and Lion, as thatís the only way I can see it. I envy your past time. All the best.
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