Few days back on a Sunday morning, me and a few others had decided to visit Chilla zone of Rajaji National Park. We left around 11:30 from Dehradun and arrived just within the hour. Gates did not open until 2:30pm so we had plenty of time. On this trip, we only opted to do the afternoon jeep safari. We did all the bookings on arrival. Jeep costs are Rs.2000 plus Rs.250 for vehicle road fee and an additional entrance fee of Rs.150 per person depending on the number of people there are for the safari.
I had gone to the state of Goa back in February of this year. This was mainly for work as I was involved in creating behind the scenes content for the production company’s social media channels on Facebook and Instagram. The prime location was however in the Vagator area and this is where all the cast and crew were staying. After filming had commenced, I had decided to stay an additional 5 days before returning back to Dehradun. I had planned out which places I would visiting in the next 5 days so how of these 5 days, 4 days were spent in Vagator itself and on my last day, I had decided to go to Dudhsagar waterfalls and Panjim. Even in the month of February, the afternoons were quite hot and humid but by evening, the weather would become pleasant.
Assan Barrage is a small dam located around 40km from Dehradun. The dam is 287.5m long and has water all year round as it is fed water from the Asan river. This dam is responsible for creating of the Asan reservoir or also know as Dhalipur lake. This lake is a good location to view a number of water birds and migratory birds that arrive here in the winter months. The best time to visit between October and December as this attracts a lot of migratory birds to the lake.
Here I was able to capture the preening activity of jungle babblers, taken right from my apartment in Dehradun. Birds preen mainly to remove dust, parasites and also to straighthen their feathers to help in flight. These birds are quite commonly seen in private gardens and woodlands.
Grey hornbills are commonly seen in Dehradun but Oriental pied hornbills are very rarely seen within the main city of Dehradun. It was great seeing Oriental pied hornbills without having to travel far and this was the only occassion I had seen one and also was able to photograph it using my Canon gear.
From my apartment balcony, here are some photos which I had taken of different birds but on the same perch of a mango tree. It is like the are all posing for photos and I was there ready with my camera. I had used the Canon 7D and Canon 70-300mm F/4-5.6 L lens to capture these images.
Last month from my balcony, I had observed this brown headed barbet making its nest or home by creating a hollow within the tree. Birds mainly build nests for hatching of eggs and rasing the young but sometimes after making a nest, they simply abondon it. I find this surprising because I had observed the amount of hard work that is involved when creating a nest inside the tree. They are constantly at work everyday. Nests could be abandoned for two reasons. One is that the presence of a predator such a cat or it could have been a dummy nest.
Rajaji National Park is not only a great place for mammals but also a great spot for birding. Here is a showcase of bird photographs taken at Rajaji National Park. These were taken in the summer.
Here is a selection of bird captures from my apartment in Dalanwala, Dehradun. Equipment used is the Canon 7D with the Tamron 150-600mm lens and Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lenses. It is not an ideal place for bird watching or bird photography but it is amazing to see a number of bird varieties in an urban setting and that too without venturing far. It shows how birds adapt and thrive in urban surroundings inspite of noise, pollution etc.