Before arriving back in England, I had decided to do an overnight safari at Jhilmil Jheel. I was in the hope of actually photographing elephants and possibly sighting of leopard which are residents of the area but rarely seen. Anyhow after a morning and afternoon safari session, we were not even able to sight Chital or Sambar. This was a very disappointing trip in itself but even though I had decided to atleast make the most of it. We saw plenty of water buffalo which were either domesticated or feral or a mix of both. However even though they were also somewhat residents of the forest, it was great to observe them within this environment. The main difference between the domesticated and wild water buffaloes is that the wild ones have larger horns and weigh more than captive or domesticated ones.
Elephants are very easily seen here in the national park and are quite interesting animals to observe and photograph. These are social animals and the largest and oldest female in the herd known as the matriarch leads the group and the group follows her where ever she goes. The group consists of daughters of the matriarch and it’s offspring. The herd can include male elephants but until the age of 10 to 12 years. After that they achieve sexual maturity and in order to avoid inbreeding, they are expelled from the group by the matriarch. The matriarch is the one who makes decisions for the entire herd family because she is the oldest and most experienced. The animals have strong social bonds and they also help each other with social care. Anyway not too get too detailed in this post, I am sharing a number of photos which I took on this trip.
I had taken a cab from Dehradun to Ramnagar to join a few friends for a one week safari at Jim Corbett national park. The first night we had stayed at the “Corbett Green View Garden and Stay” guesthouse. The trip from Dehradun took around 5 hours and on arrival met up with Maneet Pal Singh, Samyak Kaninde and Manmohan Bindra, all three with a deep interest in wildlife photography. Anyhow on arrival at the guesthouse, I met up with them in the dining area after I had checked into my room. I paid the cab driver and after that he took off.
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.
On my last day in Goa, I made a plan to travel to Dudhsagar waterfalls which was just over 90km drive. The waterfall is located in Bhagwan Mahaveer sanctuary within the Western Ghats. This area is rich for birds and wildlife.I had booked a cab a day earlier to travel to this place. We had left early morning by 8am and reached the location by midday. On the way, we had made a quick stop for breakfast somewhere in Panjim. On arriving at the destination, I had to pay the entry fees for the jeep safari which cost Rs.400 as well as camera fees which I think was around Rs.300. The jeep ride was quite bumpy.
My winter visit to Rajaji NP in terms of seeing much wildlife was very dry. It was not much of an exciting trip. I had done few safaris in Jhilmil Jheel conservation zone in the month of November and had then covered Chilla and Ranipur zones in the month of December. Even though, this particular trip to the national park was not all that great but we were still able to capture some wildlife. We did come across fresh paw prints of various animals such as tiger and sloth bear but to no luck, we were unable to spot them. Anyhow here a selection of images taken from the various safaris I done on those two visits.
Here are some photos of the common mormon caterpillar seen in the garden area where I currently reside. The common mormon is a common species of the swallowtail butterfly. These are found all across Asia.
I had recently visited Patna after 11 years and was there mainly to visit family. We had flown in from Dehradun to Patna with a stop in Delhi. Anyway I was there for three weeks. There were alot of other places that I could have visited near Patna but maybe in next trip but during this trip, I had made two visits to Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park. It is also know as Patna zoo and is located off Bailey Road in Patna. The zoo houses over 800 animals and birds but it was not possible to photography every single animal there.
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.