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India - Deluxe!


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janzin
12 hours ago, Antee said:

 

@Zubbie15Yes, you will be put with other people. Of course you can go with your travel friend, family or the same party but the car will fill up with others. I didn´t see anyone with a private vehicle in Kabini. I am not sure if it´s possible with this system they have. 

Yes, my understanding from Wild World India is that there are no private vehicles allowed there, one of the reasons I have been discouraged from visiting. But, @madaboutcheetahseems to do well there and clearly @Anteedid as well, even with that restriction.

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India - Deluxe!   This is a trip report from two different tours in India which took place the last 2½ year.  It will include alot of places with both known and for most people - unknow

Pench NP   Pench is the second park I visited in India.  I choosed Pench of two reasons. Partly that it´s convinient distance from Kanha. It´s easy to combine these two. And partly because

Kabini   Kabini is a common used name for Nagarhole NP. A park who gets more and more attention every year. Most famous for the resident black Leopard which is regular seen in this park. 

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madaboutcheetah
18 hours ago, Antee said:


@madaboutcheetah
Photos are from February 2020. Just a few seconds before the madness break loose with Corona... 
So it could be this family I guess.


it could be the Backwater female and cubs - feb 2020 

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madaboutcheetah
6 hours ago, janzin said:

Yes, my understanding from Wild World India is that there are no private vehicles allowed there, one of the reasons I have been discouraged from visiting. But, @madaboutcheetahseems to do well there and clearly @Anteedid as well, even with that restriction.


on the flip side - there are no more 7 cars in each zone .... and you have a chance of a once in a lifetime experience of the black panther !!! 

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Antee
Posted (edited)

Bandipur & Sethumadai

 

If you cross Kabini river and Kabini dam to the south you end up in Bandipur Nationalpark with fairly amount of Tigers, Leopards, Dholes but also the sought after (for me) Four-horned antelope.

 

I stayed at Bandipur Safari Lodge https://www.junglelodges.com/resort/bandipur-safari-lodge-bandipur/ . It´s the same company as Kabini river lodge and makes booking convenient.

I only did 2 drives here. 

Advantage: Few cars around

Disadvantage: Wildlife sightings was a bit hard. 

 

Unfortunately I didn´t find any Four-horned antelope and no Tiger either during this two drives. But it´s a nice hilly park park. 

 

From this moment I am accompanied by the excellent guide Ravi Kailas from http://www.ficuswildlife.net/index.html who is an excellent mammalwatching and bird guide for special mammalwatching tasks. 

Sethumadai is a long drive further south from Bandipur. It´s a small town close to Anamalai Tiger reserve and Alliyar forest reserve. It makes up for a perfect place for one night stay on our way to Valparai and the endemics of Western ghats. Sethumadai is also part of Western ghats. 
 

Here we primarily searched for Gray Slender Loris a species I have seen before in Sri Lanka but a sought after one for my friend who joined me on this Western ghats part.

 

108.Bandipur2.jpg.faa85fe323092b4124087a81394257ff.jpg

Bandipur in the very early morning.

 

 

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Very dusty roads in Bandipur. Little did I knew in the end of February 2020 (just as the Covid-19 started...) that I also was Corona-protected :) 

 

 

1028677021_95.Sambardeer2.jpg.344cbf3152d988353023c8f9ee842cd2.jpg

Sambar deer

 

 

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Gray langur

 

 

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Quite alot of Indian elepthants in Bandipur.

 

 

1283211633_101.Indianelephant8.jpg.1b5a952e8ac62a6744d22a3b82f468fb.jpg

No one should pass!

 

 

988984075_105.Stripe-neckedmongoose6.jpg.4d96bff1a9067aa825c5ca17e96f1bc8.jpg

An excellent look at the endemic Stripe-necked mongoose.

 

 

377514536_86.Bonnetmacaque4.jpg.a751cd6288284717022396e1847862e7.jpg

Another endemic. Bonnet macaque. Only in southern India.

 

 

89435525_90.Bonnetmacaque8.jpg.3e824204d21a1bde58e5f9cf8d847632.jpg

Bonnet macaque

 

 

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Nice family photo from the lodge´s garden.

 

 

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I had a very, very distant view of a sleeping Leopard in Bandipur. The only big predator during my two drives.

 

 

1700356077_94.Orientalgardenlizard2.jpg.0b9272079b7246e9809f09a94203a185.jpg

Oriental garden lizard. Where? In the lodge´s garden of course :) 

 

 

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Eurasian hoopoe

 

 

On to Sethumadai

We arrived late evening just before dark. Our goal was to spotlight in a patch of forest close to where we were staying. Spotlighting in India is more or less forbidden everywhere. So be careful and only do it where you can´t be seen by anyone or have the land owners permission.

 

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Sethumadai in the last rays of the day and the surroundings of our guesthouse.

 

 

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We stayed one night in this cosy Serenity topslip guesthouse.

 

 

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Serenity Topslip guesthouse

 

 

During our spotlight session we got a brief and not very good sighting of a Gray slender loris. No photo however. Some other creatures in the Indian night though...

 

 

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Black-naped hare

 

 

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Asian palm civet. Yes it´s there if you look close... 

 

 

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Spotted owlet

 

 

The next morning we went up a winding road to the top slip hill station. 

This is home to some weird hybrids between Nilgiri langurs (a big target for me in Valparai) and Gray langur. This forest also includes Tigers, Sloth bears, Dholes and others. Very rarely seen though. 

 

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Winding road thru nice forest to top slip hill station.

 

 

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Indian muntjac set off just beside the road.

 

 

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Weird hybrid between nilgiri langur and Gray langur. Not as pale as the gray and not as dark as the Nilgiri... 

 

 

765848743_124.Nilgirilangurhybrid6.jpg.d7781452c5307ae13b2735efceb0731a.jpg

Superman

 

 

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These hybrids did a good show.

 

 

We did a 2 hour walk in the forest at Top slip but didn´t find anything valuable.

 

 

572140689_129.Threestripedpalmsquirrel.jpg.fde2321cc2c870d3d078aa25533257d5.jpg

Three striped palm squirrel

 

 

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Greater flameback

 

 

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Malabar trogon

Found in the forests of Sri Lanka and peninsular India. In India it is mainly found in the Western Ghats, hill forests of central India and in parts of the Eastern Ghats.

 

 

Next episode: Valparai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tom Kellie

~ @Antee: The rich variety of wildlife you photographed is a pleasure to see.

 

Your images in fairly limited light situations have such clarity.

 

Having never visited India, the unfamiliar species are collectively an education for me.

 

The winding road before the hill station looks inviting, lined with so many trees.

 

Asian elephants, deer, monkeys, owls and a trogon — all lovely.

 

Thank you for posting this installment.

 

               Tom K.

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janzin

ohhh Malabar Trogon, I'd love to get that bird in India! I suspect this last area is very good for birding...lots of endemics and near-endemics there. I know you are not particularly a birder :)

 

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Antee

@Tom KellieThanx for your kindness Tom! 

@janzinI understand that Trogons are very popular amongst birders, yes :) . It´s a good place for birding, absolutely. Eaglenest (which will come later on) is even more better. I almost turned into a birder up there... :) 


 

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Antee
Posted (edited)

Valparai

 

On to Valparai in the western ghats. Home to alot of endemics.

It is located 7,102 feet (2,165 m) above sea level on the Anaimalai Hills range of the Western Ghats.
It´s a steep and winding climb up to this hilly landscape.
It´s the mountain range who devide the landscape and which shaped all these endemic species. Species from the lowlands can´t go up there and species från this area can´t go down... (with some exceptions of course).

Also home to alot of tea-plantations these days. But still some protected areas left and patches of forest. 
Where you can find some great endemics such as Lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Brown palm civet and Nilgiri tahr.

 

I stayed two nights here in two different guesthouse. 

First night at a guesthouse named Puthutotam Annexe, a great place to see the endemic Brown Palm civet when walking around at night with spotlights. We did see two of them. 
Beware of that it is forbidden to do spotlighting and ONLY do it with the owners of the property. 

The other night at the great Monica garden bungalow. You can book both of them here: http://teabungalows.com/valparai-2/

 

 

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Monica garden bungalow

 

 

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The hilly landscape of Valparai - Western ghats.

 


141.Valparai2.jpg.4218ec33e351f0df4548f1cbf4c5a6b8.jpgTea plantations everywhere

 

 

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On the winding road from the lowlands to the highlands you can often spot the endemic Nilgiri tahr.

 

 

2099278941_131.Nilgiritahr2.jpg.7ef11cead17e18c956a30764d3030fde.jpg

Only about 3000 remains in the world (Western ghats).

 

 

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If you don´t see them by the road you can scan the hillsides where they often appear.

 

 

608803135_193.Nilgirilangur3.jpg.6db4f50f7d9c09315d5e5da49595d78c.jpg

Nilgiri langur - Another endemic of the Western ghats.

 

 

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Only about 5000 remains in the world (Western ghats).

 

 

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They were quite easy to spot along the winding road up to the highlands.

 

 

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Lion-tailed macaque , the third big endemic target for me.

 

 

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A great primate!

 

 

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3000-3500 individuals remains in the world (Western ghats).

 

 

928395378_179.Lion-tailedmacaque26.jpg.68025481f51520247780d8bb6bfc8d39.jpg

However, it is no longer on the " the worlds 25 most endangered primates"-list as it is quite good protected these days.

 

 

1049863236_184.Lion-tailedmacaque31.jpg.f0ca51642bf4ecea00124465c6f45845.jpg

Almost like a dog...

 

 

 

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Lion-tailed macaque

 

 

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They live as many other primates in big groups and it is quite easy to find them as they have their homerange

 

 

 

 

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It´s a great and beautiful primate.

 

 

 

835678630_163.Junglepalmsquirrel2.jpg.a6a671d8cde6f70822a2f247470950ea.jpg

There is also other endemics here. Jungle palm squirrel is one of them. Only found in the western ghats. Common in tea plantations.

 

This is the end of endemics and with two good but brief (too brief for a photo) sighting of Brown Palm civet we did managed to see 5 of these western ghats specialities.

 

But there is also other creatures here... 

 

 

1638467968_165.Indiangiantsquirrel3.jpg.4a0d9d96e77bf687d8bdcc37d980d22a.jpg

Indian giant squirrel

 

 

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Indian muntjac appears in a small patch of forest between the tea plantations.

 

 

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Alot of Gaurs as well.

 

 

1469872252_199.Sambardeer2.jpg.4d4ad1f342c428cbdb801c5fc6f0431d.jpg

Sambar deer

 

 

1709137513_203.Indiangiantflyingsquirrel2.jpg.8085d222a7728cfdb1947487c01922cb.jpg

Indian giant flying squirrel. Easy to see when spotlighting at night. 

 

 

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It´s such a cool creature when they take off and glide away into the darkness

 

 

Some noticeable birds from Valparai.

 

 

117773051_161.Crestedhoneybuzzard.jpg.28fe9b745da3fc5f73a1a4f173924fca.jpg

Crested honey buzzard

 

 

65722313_190.Chestnut-headedbee-eater.JPG.a96dfa3e9781db24eb346f2509b98a17.JPG

Chestnut-headed bee eater

 

 

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Purple sunbird

 

 

775085485_200.Malabargreyhornbill.jpg.a93e0a4e5a9a3a0a0d8a5768d29564d8.jpg

Malabar grey hornbill. Endemic to Western ghats. The smallest hornbill in Asia and sought after amongst birders. 

 

 

1171264515_136.Crestedgoshawk.jpg.a9f172e2f9fc2c7b108f2e118306a48d.jpg

Crested gosehawk

 

Nilgiri Marten is another very sought after mammal for mammalwatchers in Western ghats. Yes, people bump into them from time to time but they are hard to see and I didn´t. 

All in all I got what I wanted thanx to my guide Ravi Kailas from http://www.ficuswildlife.net/index.html who knows Valparai extremely good.

 

Next episode: Pakke NP

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wilddog

@antee how big is the Indian 'Giant' Squirrel.. Body length or nose to tail, whatever you can provide. Thanks

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AfricIan
On 3/27/2021 at 8:00 AM, Antee said:

Wildlife sightings was a bit hard.

 

Picture #2 explains why ;);)

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Antee
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, wilddog said:

@antee how big is the Indian 'Giant' Squirrel.. Body length or nose to tail, whatever you can provide. Thanks


It´s big. Up to 50cm long body with a tail about the same length. Totally a meter long. 2kg in weight. 
It´s a squirrel monster :) 
The largest in the world together with the Black giant squirrel which you also find in India (northeastern part).

In general they are a bit smaller though but still very big. 

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Antee
Posted (edited)

PAKKE NP

 

Arunachal Pradesh. The Indian state in the remote northeast on the edge of Himalaya. No more fancy hotel or guesthouses, no more other people...

This is off the beaten track. This is hardcore travel. 

 

You need some special inner line permit to enter the state of Arunachal Pradesh, it will be checked along the road. All this my excellent tour operator Wildworldindia arranged.

You also need your own vehicle here as in this park there is no cars for visitors. 

We solved it in such a way that we drove a Maruti gypsy car all the way from Kaziranga NP in the state Assam. 

 

I choosed Pakke NP because it is unexplored and there is a good amount of camera photage of the rarely seen Asian golden cat but also Mainland clouded leopard and Marbled cats.

With some extremely luck maybe we could see one? 

 

But a long story short, I didn´t. Despite many hours spotlighting in the edges af the park we didn´t encounter any of the smaller cats. However, we were fortunate with another totally unexpected sighting...

As rare as the smaller felines... 

 

It is forbidden to spotlight inside Pakke. But there is some patches of forest at the edges where we did it by foot and we also drove around one night on the roads close to the park.

I stayed two nights in two different homestays. 

You don´t find any guesthouses in this remote area but homestay is perfectly fine.

 

This is what we found in the remote Pakke NP.

 

 

 Pakke.jpg.35e36978297a64f60bf5f8b402a2c2fc.jpg

As you can see, Pakke is far in the northeast. Close to Bhutan and China.

 

 

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Pakke NP has a very healthy and beautiful forest! It got protected and the status "Tiger reserve" back in 2001 but have a violent history. At the entrance there is a memorial stone with the name of all the park rangers who lost their lives against poachers in this remote forest. It´s better now. Way better. But there has been a war here.

 

 

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Homestay our first night. You can also see our car that my driver drove all the way from Kaziranga to here. A 2½ hour drive.

 

 

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First night we did spotlight close to our homestay in a patch of forest. As far as we know, no one had done it before. Surprisingly we found two Binturongs in half an hour! 

I have seen one before, on Borneo but they usually are very hard to see. But this forest seemed to be a very, very good place for them. It was a first for my guide. 

 

 

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Second Binturong a little more shy...

 

 

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On our long drive the other night we didn´t find anything but a couple of Wild boars. Little disappointment as I had hoped for some eyeshine from a small feline...

 

 

1290153396_216.Indianelephant9.jpg.5e86b9ad4f10f1440ec4d6df1d41f576.jpg

In the only full day I had here we visited Pakke NP and took a drive inside with a park ranger which is obligatory to have. It´s a very healthy forest but quite little inside it. Still suffering from the days with heavy poaching which is not only thinned out the number of animals but also made them very shy. 

We did saw a few Indian elephants.

 

 

217.Tiger14.jpg.7b89c25f295275c9a752d854b259d18e.jpg

Suddenly, just after a bend... BOOM! Tiger on the road! 

Totally unexpected and very, very rare to see a Tiger in Pakke. A huge male! The biggest Tiger I´ve ever seen. 

 

 

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He was a little confused. Maybe the first time he sees a car up close.

 

 

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But he relaxed a bit after a minute or two and continued to mark his territory.

 

 

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He also went into the thick bush and tried to hide and evaluate the situation but he was as curious at us as we on him and he came back on the road soon after.

 

 

228.Tiger25.jpg.cfd1518a49c3ac3896cba848fc1ecd0c.jpg

To understand how rare this is. The park ranger who joined us hadn´t seen any Tiger in Pakke for a year. And he is in the forest every day... 

 

 

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My best Tiger experience ever. And I doubt it will get any better than this. I hope this male had the same feeling :) 

 

 

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We followed him for about 20 minutes on the road. Look at the size of him. Pure power.

 

 

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Alot of territory markings along the road

 

 

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After some 20 minutes he left the road and went inside the forest. I couldn´t believe what we just saw... and neither did my guide or the Park ranger. This is as rare as seeing one of the sought after smaller felines. 

The latest survey in 2019 only found 9 Tigers in Pakke NP...

This was not the cat I was looking for but neverthless an amazing experience. Something totally different than the madness with alot of cars in the more famous Tiger reserves in India.

 

 

758274468_245.Cappedlangur2.jpg.b772e7a0c3e6590aaa075940af7a3d92.jpg

Beside felines I also had Capped langur as a target species. This beautiful langur is native to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Northeastern India, and Myanmar.

 

 

1163315119_247.Cappedlangur4.jpg.64c6a312b519a30339a77e806cc08476.jpg

Not easy to see here but we managed to see a couple of them at last.

 

 

248.Pakke5.jpg.c56ece3b836c88baa5bb5fd49607b4ab.jpg

We also did some walking inside Pakke...

 

 

Some noticeable birds.

 

 

598563990_215.Asianbarredowlet.jpg.c4ce0b48c005ca6407f1666bc5f4eaec.jpg

Asian barred owlet

 

 

1523388253_249.Wreathedhornbill.jpg.3488d24b30069f0684f26cf6e80c2869.jpg

Wreathed hornbill (male)

 

 

458377309_251.Wreathedhornbill3.jpg.ce59237b66da5f057ca47c5a2490fe88.jpg

Wreathed hornbill (female)

 

 

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My homestay room at my second night. Basic but functional.

 

 

Why-Save-Tigers.jpg.6aff61332f6075066fdec8a9c37e45d5.jpg

My photo of this Tiger is now in a brochure for education purposes in schools in this area. 

I got contacted from an organisation who works to protect Pakke´s wildlife and asked if I want to share this sighting with the rest of this area in Arunachal Pradesh and of course I did.

 

Next episode: Eaglenest wildlife sanctuary

 

 

 

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janzin

Wow, just WOW incredible, what a magnificent tiger and tiger sighting!  And so cool that your photo is now in the brochure.

 

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AKR1
On 4/5/2021 at 1:05 PM, janzin said:

 

On 4/5/2021 at 1:05 PM, janzin said:

Wow, just WOW incredible, what a magnificent tiger and tiger sighting!  And so cool that your photo is now in the brochure.

 

+1. Could not say it better myself. 

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elefromoz
On 3/14/2021 at 4:43 PM, Antee said:

Kanha made me both disappointed and not.

 

On 3/14/2021 at 4:43 PM, Antee said:

6 drives in Kanha and I ended up with no Tiger at all. Not a single glimpse.

Pretty well sums up how I feel, other than we did get a glimpse of a Tiger, beautiful Park though.

Fantastic Jungle Cat in Pench, Id love to see that.

On 3/21/2021 at 9:14 PM, Antee said:

No, I didn´t saw the Black Panther. So you can already stop looking for it in the post :)

 

On 3/21/2021 at 9:14 PM, Antee said:

He is a big and tired male.

I think we were seeing the same Cats, which would make sense as we were there about the same time. That big ol' Leopard with the torn ear is real star and not camera shy at all. Other good sightings make up for missing "Blackie".

My goodness, what a knockout Tiger in Pakke, such a big strong boy. What luck being in the right place at the right time, and great for the guide and Driver too, some well deserved bragging rights for them.

Im really enjoying this whistlestop tour of the amazing India.

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JayRon

Wow, what a tiger sighting! Sometimes you just get lucky :)... And very inspiring to see a report from a little visited place.... 

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Posted (edited)

Eaglenest wildlife sanctuary

 

 

Is a protected area of India in the Himalayan foothills of Arunachal Pradesh.
Altitude ranges are extreme: from 500 metres (1,640 ft) to 3,250 metres (10,663 ft).

Eaglenest is notable as a prime birding site due to the extraordinary variety and numbers of species. At least 454 species of birds have their home in this hills. 


Perhaps most famous for this mythical bird - Bugun liocichla. First discovered in 1995 and again observed and described in 2006.
One of the newest species of birds found on planet earth. 

 

They only live in a few bushes here in Eaglenest WS. 

Yes, I did look for it for a few minutes. The only bird I ever actually spent some extra time on :) 

No I didn´t see it. However, other hardcore birders did see it during my stay here. 

 

It´s a beautiful bird though. 

 

So... in this birders paradise I was a wolf in sheep's clothing looking for mammals and more specific - Asiatic golden cat. 

Golden cats has been seen here on and off for a couple of years and there is some beautiful photos online from here. 

Also Wildworldindia (my tour company) did see a Golden cat when they did the same tour a year before me. 

 

I had high expectations. 

 

Eaglenest WS has the advantage that you can do spotlighting as much as you want. There is one winding road across the hills. An old military road. we went back and forward along this road.

 

Unfortunately, the weather was not on my side. I spent 6 nights here in two different camps. Bompu camp and Lama camp, 15km from eachother along this winding, narrow road. 

But could only spotlight 4 nights due to heavy rain and even snow on high altitudes. 

The snow on the upper parts of the road was not very ideal for us as this is where they saw the Golden cat last year. 

 

Both camps are tented camps and it´s cold! I didn´t take off my clothes for 6 nights... I had them on me day and night :) 

However, the food is nice. Especially in Bompu camp and they provide you with hot water if you want to take a hot shower and defrost :) .

 

Okey, enough talking!

This is what we saw during 6 nights stay in Eaglenest WS.

 

 

2096018407_261.Eaglenest-lamacamp.jpg.e941ce71db41faff75622137a1038b4a.jpg

Lama camp - you stay in this permanent tents. It´s a proper bed inside but cold... No electricity. They have a generator in the kitchen which is on during dinner time where you can charge your electronics.

They had started to built a proper guesthouse here. I don´t know if it´s ready by now or not. 

 

 

262.Eaglenest.jpg.5b6ffbcee8ba04c4841c597328aa7d1e.jpg

Here you can see the mythical Bugun liocichla.

 

 

1946157067_268.Eaglenest-bompucamp2.jpg.46d10172308fc5aec134c7dbdc539909.jpg

This is the other camp - Bompu camp. Lower elevation makes it a little warmer here. Also our car. The same we used in Pakke NP.

 

 

129160277_269.Eaglenest-bompucamp3.jpg.6d8d888ad592e89389e01da4fc6e70e1.jpg

Bompu camp

 

 

1736887817_286.Eaglenest-bompucamp4.jpg.70a9fbdd660a186e2305f9dbecc8c298.jpg

Warming up in Bompu camp.

 

 

265.Eaglenest2.jpg.2c47873532d62ad1c9cbe870e11111ba.jpg

After the heavy snowfall on night 2 we couldn´t cross the pass between Lama camp and Bompu camp in the next morning. It was too dangerous. We turned around and waited for the snow to melt during the day and crossed in the afternoon instead.

 

 

278.Eaglenest7.jpg.3fd162073a96297e51a09d9d1e6d0430.jpg

Golden cat habitat! We did spotlighting along this road for 4 nights.

 

 

1229903096_253.Himalayanbrowngoral.jpg.ad4ae90ed9fdd01e447cb0147d7c6794.jpg

Himalayan brown goral - Common on the steep rocky slopes on higher elevation at nighttime.

 

 

1108108873_305.Himalayanbrowngoral3.jpg.17997e2869e64cc1afe2aa40251c9631.jpg

Himalayan brown goral 

 

 

697299896_270.Orange-belliedhimalayansquirrel3.jpg.14daadb772cf7e477efd838434e48e4b.jpg

Orange-bellied himalayan squirrel - Very common during daytime. 

 

 

736471655_286.Bhutangiantflyingsquirrel.jpg.5e08bcaa23f022b9885ba599cdee7d43.jpg

Bhutan giant flying squirrel - what a beast!
Has a narrow range in the Himalayas, restricted to central and eastern Nepal, Bhutan, and the Indian states of Sikkim, far northern West Bengal, and western and central Arunachal Pradesh. It might occur in Tibet in China, but this remains unconfirmed.

 

 

1609974780_291.Bhutangiantflyingsquirrel3.jpg.3e6d2998cee59b3f712ce43abf609b01.jpg

Bhutan giant flying squirrel
Mostly found between 1,500 and 3,000 m (4,900–9,800 ft) elevation. Little is known about the behavior of the Bhutan giant flying squirrel. It is mostly nocturnal like other flying squirrels.

 

 

2095352485_293.Spottedgiantflyingsquirrel2.jpg.4b36f29ce1c2cb33a739fca8d213bdc9.jpg

Spotted giant flying squirrel - smaller than the "Bhutan" and also with a much wider distribution area.

 

 

 

1391743160_280.Maskedpalmcivet2.jpg.e68ca43935d5e31e2fde85af107ae46e.jpg

Masked palm civet 

 

 

350925372_284.Maskedpalmcivet6.jpg.2baee76c1bd7b8e235a78dc53f1d31bf.jpg

Could be a feline for a second... but a Masked palm civet.

 

 

1747430390_321.Northerntreeshrew2.jpg.e86e9d483da970e9c2f103bd98107c77.jpg

When I got home and looked thru my photos I was sure this was another Oranged-bellied himalayan squirrel but with this long nose it was obviously not. In fact, it´s not a squirrel at all. 

It´s a Nothern tree shrew.

 

 

294.Eaglenest8.jpg.9ae114df9b2915881f8047edb29d61f8.jpg

View from Bompu camp down to Assam plains. Eaglenest WS is a very important corridor for Elephant migration from the plains of Assam to the hills of Himalaya.

 

 

297.Eaglenest10.jpg.320b218d9d125908f2afaacaba582dc1.jpg

Eaglenest road. A walk along here at daytime and you will be rewarded with ALOT of species of birds.

 

 

Here are some of the birds stuck in my camera...

 

 

1102238197_255.Black-chinnedyuhina.jpg.f71e62693bb7945417fc8040d13394e0.jpg

Black-chinned yuhina

 

 

1533548951_256.Blue-frontedredstart.jpg.db3610f56dfff5f041feb3c5a5fba888.jpg

Blue-fronted redstart (male)

 

 

116037967_257.Olive-backedpipit.jpg.e55b95e27a90a01c68fa09afa0f8c2e5.jpg

Olive-backed pipit

 

 

 

1397773836_258.Beautifulsibia.jpg.3e8bd8d2ce1db8a2a2766104b1ce43e2.jpg

Beautiful sibia

Found in foothill and montane evergreen forests. As with other sibias, travels through the upper levels of the forest in flocks. No other species combines overall gray plumage with a weak black mask and canopy-loving behavior.

 

 

138267622_259.Stripe-throatedyuhina.jpg.7942c21b31d0add64ec36aaf46e74b06.jpg

Stripe-throated yuhina

 

 

 

1066674635_271.Green-tailedsunbird2.jpg.3d231e09b2b9128cb04fee8011c3cff9.jpg

Green-tailed sunbird (male)

 

 

 

1492304072_272.Green-tailedsunbird(female).jpg.cf85fb4d3ab70fdd785747b23e04b88e.jpg

Green-tailed sunbird (female)

 

 

271335772_273.Crimson-browedfinch.jpg.32f7115e7db95e436e57de6c2fd65abb.jpg

Crimson-browed finch

 

 

1846880069_274.Black-facedlaughingthrush.jpg.4780d9c25fd204113338e20156f13452.jpg

Black-faced laughingthrush 

Shy, beautifully patterned laughinghtrush of mid to high elevations. It is found in the Eastern Himalayas

 

 

1250242899_323.Red-tailedminla2.jpg.d0201305b81bde8a1af4ca0037cca541.jpg

Red-tailed minla

It is the only species in the genus Minla.

 

 

1895170604_289.Brownwoodowl2.jpg.0731eca798d15063f348448ac1c4c62e.jpg

Brown wood owl

 

 

 

161642576_290.Unknownrat.jpg.43662bc0d6c739ad163680b5913334b8.jpg

...with it´s kill. A newly killed dinner by the Brown wood owl. A huge rat which I have not identified. 

 

 

568605374_302.Rufous-neckedhornbill.jpg.6648aad764d126a4bcab5bbc902e624c.jpg

Rufous-necked hornbill

A couple seen sleeping during the night. Male to the left and female to he right. 

Of all hornbills, this species has the northernmost extent, ranging from central Bhutan and north-eastern India to western Thailand and north-western Vietnam.
Less then 10 000 individuals in the world.

 

 

708353322_301.Kalijpheasant.jpg.260db479074916a2b39d88f22f70be9c.jpg

Kalij pheasant

 

 

 

1400237554_304.Himalayatoad.jpg.73c84950a588d53f52df4d87784a72b1.jpg

Himalayan toad

 

 

 

316.Eaglenest25.jpg.dd629e5068343d34bbb5358e94e017fe.jpg

Mountains seen from Lama camp during early morning hours

 

 

318.Eaglenest27.jpg.61e1222aee47891d5e702410da60f538.jpg

Sunrise over Himalaya

 

 

Despite many hours of spotlighting no feline for me. We did see tracks of them but no eyeshine. Alot of other "lifers" for me though. 

More mammals I saw with no photo:

 

* Himalayan striped squirrel - Small and very energetic squirrel which refused to sit still. Always in a hurry on a branch. He managed to escape my camera even though I tried.

 

* Black giant squirrel - One brief sighting.

 

* Particolored flying squirrel - 2 seen at Eaglenest. Small and shy squirrel that “flying” away when you put the light on it.

 

 

I am already eager to go back a second time to try for the Asiatic golden cat...

 

Next episode: Little rann of kutch

 

 

 

Edited by Antee
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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, JayRon said:

Wow, what a tiger sighting! Sometimes you just get lucky :)... And very inspiring to see a report from a little visited place.... 


@JayRonThanx. It was.
I do like remote places. The farther away the better :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Antee

Little Rann of Kutch

 

In the state of Gujarat in the Western India. Quite close to Pakistan.

Most famous for it´s Asiatic wild ass (Onager) but also home to other sought after species for me as the Indian subcontinent endemic Indian fox and Nilgai which I haven´t seen yet. 

 

I stayed 2 nights at the great Rann riders resort https://www.rannriders.com/

They can help you with everything you want in this area and provide you with a "safari vehicle" and guide. It´s a lovely place.

 

This part of India is a complete different story from Eaglenest and Arunachal Pradesh. Here it´s hot and dry with a complete different fauna. Largely consisting of a dry salt marsh.

 

 

1578275701_421.LittleRannofkutch2.jpg.dc391e393015ebbedd7ecc4703029cd7.jpg

Little rann of kutch is a dry salt marsh. 

Here we change tire at our vehicle. 

 


434760051_408.Asiaticwildass17.jpg.f31ecb75a1fe9fc825eb8b2864589323.jpgIt can be intensely hot... some Indian wild ass in the distance.

 

 

 

2140570797_332.Asiaticwildass4.jpg.9564a476d138d370d015c0cbab245dc0.jpg

Indian wild ass - subspecies of Asiatic wild ass (Onager). This is their last stronghold in India.

 

 

 

895901030_338.Asiaticwildass10.jpg.c2f238363b8ff598cb90a6989d80ce76.jpg

They increase in numbers and doing very good here. Now around 6000 individuals. Easy to see in Little rann of kutch.

 

 

 

1644357053_349.Asiaticwildass14.jpg.de5f4234e4bc4681a51f090bd16ea098.jpgIndian wild ass 

 

 

 

1289224745_327.Indianfox4.jpg.dd905ddba40793bf2683c550b65b7ac8.jpg

Indian fox - or the Bengal fox as it is also called. The first mammal I saw in Little Rann of Kutch. It can be tricky sometimes to see them but we were lucky. 

 

 

1147495233_326.Indianfox3.jpg.210875a503447b2e6a3b5950912fb871.jpgThe distinct black tip of it´s tail

 

 

107922320_353.Indianfox8.jpg.96fde9439fb858bb18b1ef11cfeddb2b.jpg

Mostly active in the very early morning or at the last light

 

 

1987450263_412.Indianfox13.jpg.e296c8f237fac13f655064fc339d818c.jpg

We did see 2 or 3 different individuals of the Indian fox.

 

 

398126227_389.Northernpalmsquirrel2.jpg.a6b72926a5729404f9ef2d6d2ccabbb4.jpg

Northern palm squirrel - or Five-striped palm squirrel with it´s distinct stripes on it´s back. common squirrel in this area. 

 

 

1185582283_358.Redfox(Desertfox).jpg.0fe55204761633f8a9d82dafc3b166a3.jpg

Well, is it another Indian fox? No...it´s not. There is two different Foxes here. This is the larger Desert Fox. A subspecies from Red fox which is largely distributed in the northern hemisphere around the world.

 

 

185501211_375.Redfox(Desertfox)5.jpg.b2af0e2965164060f963061dbf4e3604.jpg

Red fox (Desert fox) - We found a burrow with some young foxes playing around in the morning.

 

 

432530864_377.Redfox(Desertfox)7.jpg.7fb27db0b1fc4100fd057a30272b7c94.jpg

Unlike the Indian fox this one have a white tip at it´s tail so you can easily different them. Also the size is very much different. 

 

 

786556572_379.Redfox(Desertfox)9.jpg.2dc4e3677e8a120df47bc49450cfc447.jpg

Very aware of people. Different from Red fox pups here in Sweden... :) 

 

 

1196122381_383.Redfox(Desertfox)13.jpg.decea1754671a6a66f39fa425edf8cc1.jpg

I wonder what he is thinking?

 

 

365.Nilgai3.jpg.1d18e96575df5723bd18ebf62a8b33d7.jpg

Nilgai is also pretty common in Little rann of Kutch

 

 

371.Nilgai9.jpg.dc7c3bf74fa5ab28e40210a4335678b4.jpg

Big bull. Did you know it is the sole member of the genus Boselaphus... well, now we all know :) 

 

 

368.Nilgai6.jpg.a74a20fb61e26d01abe26c9e7108c7cf.jpg

Female Nilgai running at the salt marsh.

 

 

369.Nilgai7.jpg.88a6458d8ae4954dd596fda5b286124d.jpg

Nilgai

 

 

1162329099_386.Goldenjackal.jpg.cc534ea4064164d20a92d1492c62ac2d.jpg

Golden jackal lurking around on the salt marsh.

 

 

 

922157537_390.Indianflapshellturtle.jpg.54a8c27d67fc4715f8ef7ad680220d8c.jpg

Indian flapshell turtle

 

 

Little rann of kutch is also home to alot of birds. Here are some of them...

 

558310004_328.Greyfrancolin.jpg.6dbba5656253ff0e1df80f2b5416b75e.jpg

Grey francolin

 

 

245276587_342.Montagusharrier2.jpg.653f28d0ba51a70cde71e3c95f238895.jpg

Montagu´s harrier

 

 

1328055710_361.Pallidharrier.jpg.9a763dd3b353284544f32807c7d1fb1c.jpg

Pallid harrier

 

 

 

459194278_362.Red-neckedfalcon.jpg.8597b60606ba39eec8668e0d4cd16cf2.jpg

Red-necked falcon

 

 

841022970_410.Chestnut-belliedsandgrouse.jpg.2242805aa7ad79f08546b4b9d8170c1f.jpg

Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse

 

 

252618411_347.Shortearedowl5.jpg.533e1028fede29428d13dc2acc17a3da.jpg

Short-eared owl

 

 

 

1099183856_392.Demoisellecrane.jpg.efe696018141a50c836e9eb48c3a5ec9.jpg

Demoiselle cranes - in thousands...

 

 

226986692_394.Demoisellecrane3.jpg.655d09bbcadf43b2ce1d5e2c4f343bdf.jpg

Demoiselle cranes

 

 

65154565_399.Greaterflamingo4.jpg.1749542ee7139a3a8457abc96ef69939.jpg

Greater flamingo

 

 

 

574014722_404.Greaterflamingo9.jpg.88765e448bb75c956936591b4a031df4.jpg

Guess who is the male in this picture? :) 

 

 

1817936391_406.Greaterflamingo11.jpg.210aeb7c6fdb88d0dd533e45be91a333.jpg

Greater flamingo

 

 

 

1225672770_420.Sykessnightjar.jpg.90686771004767f0f8e7f371bc3c0bd7.jpg

Sykes´s nightjar

 

 

At the end some sunset photos over the salt marsh with some Indian wild ass strolling around.

 

 

66576088_416.Asiaticwildass22.jpg.377b3a3faa3b82cfbfe706e31ae48c2f.jpg

Indian wild ass

 

 

132053216_417.Asiaticwildass23.jpg.8dae5de2d02fadf40205fce087d6d4fa.jpg

Indian wild ass

 

 

343848383_418.Asiaticwildass24.jpg.8d8004215aea565581cd7e6a7fed152f.jpg

Indian wild ass

 

 

341475399_419.Asiaticwildass25.jpg.2d8c7daace3aba7f2510f75b13e91d4b.jpg

Indian wild ass

 

 

Next episode: Velavadar national park

 

 

 

 

 

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JayRon

@AnteeThank you for sharing, Little Rann is a lot more interesting than I earlier thought. I thought I only contained a few wild asses, but you had lot of other good sightings :)I was wondering , Is there any wolfs in the park?

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16 hours ago, JayRon said:

@AnteeThank you for sharing, Little Rann is a lot more interesting than I earlier thought. I thought I only contained a few wild asses, but you had lot of other good sightings :)I was wondering , Is there any wolfs in the park?


@JayRonYes, there is Wolves around. Rarely seen though. But not impossible. 
It will be alot of Wolves in my next post by the way... 

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11 hours ago, Antee said:


@JayRonYes, there is Wolves around. Rarely seen though. But not impossible. 
It will be alot of Wolves in my next post by the way... 

Sounds very interesting, looking forward to the next chapter ;)

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Posted (edited)

Velavadar nationalpark

 

Also called Blackbuck nationalpark as this is a real stronghold for Blackbucks. It´s located in the state of Gujarat and easily combined with Rann of kutch if you want. 

 

It´s a nice little park with some sought after species for me. Indian wolf and Striped hyena at the top of the agenda. 

The camera fees are huge and the administration every morning to get inside is a real time consuming pain. But once you have done this, it´s a little gem.

 

The camera fee was so hefty that I didn´t even brought my camera the last morning drive. 

 

I did totally 4 drives in the park and also some spotlighting along the small main road on my way to the hotel. 

I stayed at this clean and fresh-looking place: https://www.blackbucksafarilodge.com/

Only some kilometers away from the park entrance. 

 

 

501.VelavadarNP.jpg.0908c69b9c06138b37ffe4e3762ec202.jpg

Velavadar NP. Mostly consists of grasslands and open spaces. Which makes it easy for spotting wildlife.

 

 

477.Blackbuck12.jpg.1545699ba36fc0808bef5c1f9d5a0634.jpg

Blackbucks are the main stars in this park. They are everywhere in good numbers. There is a reason why it is called Blackbuck NP.

 

 

454.Blackbuck9.jpg.9fb93afb6a76b31ae70143bc807b34c3.jpg

Males have alot to do...

 

 

437.Blackbuck.jpg.69a643bb7ab631327054459ba35199ee.jpg

Male Blackuck is a beautiful antelope with it´s distinct color and screwed horns.

 

 

 

447.Blackbuck4.jpg.c22ad8de7c2ec2a6d5c87e08df764b86.jpg

Also some very young Blackbucks around

 

 

 

448.Blackbuck5.jpg.e8660a4c49fafa75dfa89e831a95e576.jpg

Blackbuck family in Velavadar NP

 

 

440.Nilgai12.jpg.5f715c1a283a049160d6000e774fe944.jpg

Nilgai is also very common in Velavadar NP

 

 

487.Nilgai16.jpg.aee4dfb433525d6f1954a5b479912f46.jpg

Everytime I see a Nilgai I think the head is too small for it´s body...

 

 

 

488.Nilgai17.jpg.6282845a5eff401916075197fdfda803.jpg

Nilgai

 

 

508285444_443.Wildboar4.jpg.f241028aecd84f817b2b7c40b1734617.jpg

Wild boar

 

 

701605397_460.Stripedhyena5.jpg.254821e35fc89da89546706837f46bc6.jpg

My main target - Striped hyena! 

 

 

1546321297_468.Stripedhyena13.jpg.80961ea69f99e8bcdca03a2d081341b1.jpg

We discovered a den out in the fields with not only one grown up cub...

 

 

211259351_462.Stripedhyena7.jpg.1fe11dca05cc24c5ce22f4d4aaadf8de.jpg

...but two Striped hyena. The mother was away for long periods. Sometimes several days looking for food to bring back.

 

 

1149842368_474.Stripedhyena19.jpg.100f6309e19be586d49c72ae896cd55f.jpg

Three Striped hyena! They popping up like popcorn... 

They didn´t go very far from their den and we only saw the mother one time at a very big distance.

Happy to see them as they are not very easy to see. 

 

 

360231201_478.Junglecat.jpg.a558f3903d58c3c8d2af92e7a2612676.jpg

When spotlighting on the road to my hotel we encountered a nice Jungle cat searching for insects on the hot road.

 

 

 

1838300314_482.Junglecat5.jpg.2d50ab0cd1a1b290996656562d7185fc.jpg

The Jungle cat was a bit attentive to us but I had a plan to lay down on the road and then take a photo when he sticks his head up. It worked.

 

 

1614089547_506.Junglecat11.jpg.8877c15600c14e6d983d3f904074ff24.jpg

Jungle cat kitten inside Velavadar NP

 

 

353896929_507.Junglecat12.jpg.0040e3ca4a01502d771ba75ada644006.jpg

Jungle cat kitten

 

 

1378574559_492.Indianwolf4.jpg.a094bd9d11c556cd871546829437617b.jpg

Indian wolf - Another sought after mammal for me in Velavadar. They are common here and I think you will be very unlucky if you don´t find any on 4-5 drives in the park. 

 

 

502805604_496.Indianwolf8.jpg.73141f73f693156acccc74b18e2da6b2.jpg

Blackbuck paying attention to the Wolf

 

 

1806345649_515.Indianwolf14.jpg.053c6cc91fe21d9917043966fbf5ed84.jpg

Often seen on very big distance. They don´t like humans... for good reasons. 

 

 

2044857198_519.Indianwolf18.jpg.713e3568550961415d6c9c2ac952ceb1.jpg

But if you plan well and sees in which direction the Wolf is going you can be a little ahead and put your car where you think it will be in a couple of minutes. Then you have a chance to get closer. They are almost always on the move.

 

 

1932444190_524.Indianwolf23.jpg.2a111b5948e4e09dc033a3d6b57a449d.jpg

Indian wolf

 

 

229996842_512.Indianwolf11.jpg.7d2864f96b63b523f2afbc035bb87a56.jpg

Three iconic animals in Velavadar NP in the same frame. Indian Wolf , Nilgai and Blackbuck

 

 

Some other creatures in Velavadar NP.

 

376353385_525.Indianmarbledtoad.jpg.97e4d047b3f27002704d09299cb4b30a.jpg

Indian marbled toad

 

 

1242332409_500.Orientalgardenlizard3.jpg.863cc1bf010a244b37da0160bb30c828.jpg

Oriental garden lizard

 

 

Some noticeable birds from Velavadar NP.

 

 

1789757539_497.Commonkestrel.jpg.4536b8c13fe1cdc81e171bf1abf0bc0e.jpg

Common kestrel

 

 

145491360_450.Indianeagleowl.jpg.c437d9f75e6a2360b6e95542fc43f067.jpg

Indian eagle owl

 

 

1590602546_445.Greenbee-eater.jpg.da2ca5f5133f1cd7145b5150ea9bf770.jpg

Green bee-eater

 

 

1289697707_442.Piedkingfisher.jpg.55d513ba2b5527336ca8854b7da866ae.jpg

Pied kingfisher

 

 

We also made a brief stop at Nala Talav , a wetland area outside Little rann of kutch on our way to Velavadar NP.


155972768_426.Greaterflamingo15.jpg.05fdc0a54c9e812b0588a7ee50cd39ab.jpgGreater flamingo

 

 

2022238393_431.Greaterflamingo20.jpg.46ddd5b57250095e4b7f15f7647611dd.jpg

Greater flamingo

 

 

469885681_424.Greylaggoose.jpg.9eb37db350832e7a456cf13895d48783.jpg

Greylag goose

 

 

433.Garganey.jpg.346be95c0f32580b0974e99e0523233a.jpg

Garganey

 

 

436_Ruff.jpg.34a4726e045287a558ae4570b446ff5d.jpg

Ruff

 

 

615286932_435.Black-wingedstilt2.jpg.b278912abf4b0c53af24e418bfebaf56.jpg

Black-winged stilt

 

 

Well, this was the end of this roundtrip in India. From south to north and from east to west. From both well known parks and more little visited areas.

India is huge! There is still alot to discover here. Especially in the far northeast. 

I will be back in India, for sure. There is still some mammals I need to tick off which is most easily done in India.

 

Hope you have enjoyed this tour! 

 

See you later!

Edited by Antee
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wilddog

Fascinating as always. Thanks @Antee

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Zubbie15

Thanks @Anteefor sharing, there were definitely some parks I didn’t know that well that look interesting for a future visit. 

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