Here is a number of wildlife images taken by me during my trip to Ladakh earlier this year in February. Locations I had visited were Ulley village and Korzok. Ulley village is a 3 hour drive from Leh and Korzok is a much longer drive of around 7 to 8 hours from Leh. If heading to Korzok from Leh, then one can stop overnight at Chumathang. Here there are hot springs. Korzok feels like an abondaned ghost town during the winters.
After visiting Ladakh five times since 2011 mainly in the summer months, I have a good collection of wildlife images. Ladakh can be rich in wildlife and I feel best time to visit for wildlife is around the spring or summer months or even winter if one wants to maximum chances to see snow leopard however even in winter this is not guaranteed. The Markha Valley which is a few hours from Leh is a good area for wildlife and also a good trekking destination with the option to stay in local homestays or in tents. The Markha trek is a 10-12 day moderate trek which can involve crossing some high passes upto 5200m.
Malsi Deer Park is a small zoo in Dehradun. I had visited with family and while this is a good park with a decent number of deer, there are not many other animals to be seen. There is a leopard enclosure but at the time of my visit, it was resting. The leopard enclosure is very small and I feel it is not practical. There are a few other animals and birds.
Birsa Zoological Park is a great place to see and photograph animals and they are playing a big role in the conservation of these animals. This is one of the largest zoos in India and it is just 14km from Ranchi. I had visited this park over two days as I felt one day was not enough. However the entry fees are not expensive but since I had a tripod and a large telephoto lens, it cost me an extra Rs.1000 but in the end it was well worth it and also it goes for good cause.
Since I was in Ranchi to meet with some family members, I wanted to visit a few places in and around Ranchi. One of these places was Patratu Dam which is a short drive from the main city. This is a good place to watch migratory birds however during my visit to this place, I only saw Siberian Gulls. Photographing these birds was a challenge due to shooting handheld from a moving boat.
During Mid October I had visited both Richmond and Bradgate Parks to photograph and experience the Deer rut. This natural event happens every Autumn season and is the most important part of the year for the deer.
Lyme Park which is located near Stockport is a short train journey away from where I live and it forms part of the Peak District. I had visited here just last September mainly to photograph Red Deer which is the largest land mammal in the UK. October is the peak time where the Deer rut takes place across various parks in the UK and I will be visiting Richmond Park and also Bradgate Park which is not only good to experience the Deer rut but also good for bird photography. Overall this was a great experience to observe and photograph Red Deers in large number up close. However during Deer rutting season, getting very close to male stags can be quite dangerous as they are high on testosterone and very aggressive.
I had decided to visit Hoo Farm which is a small zoo located in Telford. They do have a number of captive birds and animals and they play an important role in conservation. I have visited the zoo on two occasions mainly to photograph wild badgers from a hide located within the zoo. There is a badger sett within the zoo where a group of badgers reside forming an underground network. Every Saturday the zoo organizes a badger watch from within the hide from 5pm to 8pm. There is also other wildlife to be seen as well like foxes however on both occasions, the foxes did not appear. The first visit was good as I got some good sightings of the badger and was the first time I had ever seen a badger.
Spring is a good time to photograph wildlife and nature and is a time when new life emerges. The Spring season can be full of surprises and this will provide good opportunities for the nature and wildlife photographer.
It is during one of these days I was out to capture some local wildlife at Sandwell Park in West Bromwich that I encountered Mallard duckling chicks. It was a great experience watching them at a close distance without scaring them away. Here is a selection of images I shot on that day.
After Mera Peak trek and climb, I still had a few days in Nepal so had decided to visit Chitwan National Park in Sauraha district. I wanted my trip to be different compared to what regular tourists do when they visit Chitwan National Park. I was wanting to arrange a walking safari within Chitwan. Rajan Khatri from Visit Himalaya Treks was very helpful in organizing this trip. I was set to stay in Chitwan for 3 nights.