It was 3 O clock in the morning and after an exhausting year at work I was super excited to get up and catch my flight to Nagpur.
There were a few reasons to be super excited about. I was visiting a forest after a long time, couldn't wait to catch the fresh air and switch off from what was a very hectic year. My elder daughter was accompanying me for the program organized by Sudhir to learn photography and kindling her interest in wildlife and I was visiting Kanha after 25 years. I was there as a college kid for couple of days with no luck of tiger sighting but had fond remembrance of the forest.
Picture of a few Dholes and the morning mist from 25 years back.
The trip from Nagpur to Mukki gate was long (close to 6 hours) but very picturesque especially after you cross Bhandara. After a good lunch we did some birding around the Chitvaan Lodge.
with an oriental magpie Robin
a greenish warbler (one of the most fidgety birds to capture)
The next day, in the morning safari we tried to capture the beauty of Kanha against the rising sun.
A barasingha couple (which is endemic to Kanha) greeted us and an Indian scops owl was yet to wake up
and spotted deer were around us as you would expect.
Barasingha or swamp deer is unique in the sense it is twelve tined. (could be 10-20 tines) It used to be spread across India, Pakistan and Bangladesh but is now only northern and central India only. To impress females they put grass in their tines.
Afternoon safari was mostly trying different techniques. A starling pecking a spotted deer
a common green bee-eater
and an Indian rolller
a few reflections...literally...but where was the elusive tiger !!
a serpent eagle taking off
a barking deer ( my daughter called it Miss Eyebrows )
The interdependence or symbiotic relationship that the langur has with chital is unique. Langur watches out for Tiger movement and feeds the deer with fresh leaves from the top. Chital or spotted deer is known for its ability to hear the slightest noise and alerts the langur of any predators.
a few experiments with rim light photography and the day ended. Where was the elusive tigress?
Early morning next day an Indian grey Jackal tending its young one...
and then there was news that a tigress has been spotted somewhere near....
and lo behold it was just behind us
It was busy marking its territory while we were snapping.
Later in the evening a chance sighting of the Pin tailed snipe.
and a nose- digger Indian Bison.
Kanha leaves you with a lot of memories and even after 25 years I was so energized by the forest its habitat and the surroundings. No doubt Rudyard Kipling wrote Junglebook based on these forest range.