Wednesday, April 15, 2009


After seeing the tiger for two consecutive days we thought of trying to find sloth bear or wild dogs. So we avoided the path where a tiger show was being held and took a new route. This was the hilly part of the park. While going thru this part of the forest we heard the alarm call of the barking deer but were not able to spot it in dense jungle. After traveling for an hour thru the zigzag mountainous path we entered the grassland portion of the forest, here we noticed a shinny spot sitting on the road side. We slowed our jeep and soon realized that it was a leopard sitting, looking at a male spotted deer grazing on the road side, further down the road. Our presence didn’t disturb the leopard (may be he was too hungry to ignore us or was habitual of the human presence in the park) and as soon as we stopped, the leopard started moving slowly towards the deer. Slowly crawling on the road it reached within few feet of the deer. At this time a langur (in the jungle the langur’s and the spotted deer live side by side thus acting as an alarm system against the predators) was continuously giving the alarm call of the presence of leopard. The deer was alert but was not able to spot the leopard. After a while the leopard started the final dash towards the deer. And in a fraction of second there was a cloud of dust all around with no trace of the deer or leopard. Only the sound of langur was heard. We drove our jeep a little further to see if the kill was successful. Luckily the deer was able to dodge the attack. The leopard after the fruitless attempt started to come towards the road. On seeing our vehicle he ran parallel to the road for a few meters and then crossed the road showing its splendid patterns and its full body length. After crossing the road and going inside the forest little bit, he marked his territory and disappeared into the wilderness.


Kanha National Park is situated in Madhya Pradesh. There are three park gates to enter Kanha. Kisli gate that was used by us was around 170 km from Jabalpur. Urge to see the tiger in the wilderness dragged me here.

On reaching the park in the noon, we had our lunch and got ready for the afternoon safari. Within half an hour of the start of the safari we were lucky enough to see a male tiger resting under the shade of the tree. It was difficult to see the tiger with the naked eyes so had to use binocs and due to the limitation of the camera lens it was impossible to capture it. But seeing a tiger in the wild for the second time was a wonderful experience. First time I saw the tiger in the terai jungles of Dudhwa. The glimpse of the tiger was breath taking. At that time I could hear my heartbeats clearly…no sound was heard except that of my heart with my gaze fixed on the tiger while everything blurred out in the surrounding with sweat trickling down by back. The feeling didn’t repeat again this time because of the distance between the tiger n me was much greater than the last time. We waited for the tiger to rise from its slumber…which didn’t happened as the heat of the day had made him dull. The sun was setting and silhouette of the herd of gaurs could be seen grazing in the horizon. A large number of tourists were eagerly waiting for the tiger to rise but the tiger seemed not to be in a mood to entertain his guests. Soon there was movement of vehicles and on the other side of the road a yellow spot was seen moving in the grass. It was a tigress as a male will not cross the territory of another male without getting into conflict as they are solitary animals. And it was the mating period of the tigers so the female had the free pass to enter their territories. This tigress was collared. Seeing too much movement she sat under a thorny bush for a while and waited for the humans to disperse so that she could cross the road. After seeing that the people had no intention of leaving the road, she entered a narrow water stream and crossed the road. The vehicles were parked on the road which didn’t bother the tigress at all. The increasing number of tourist vehicles entering the park had made them habitual of the human presence which was not so in Dudhwa. It was almost dark when we started for the forest rest house. On our way back two jungle cats jumped in front of the jeep. For few minutes they played in the light of the jeep and then disappeared into the darkness, the way they had come.

Next morning we started early for the safari. While looking at the spotted deer, sambhar, swamp deer and gaur which were a common siting in the park premises… four elephants were also seen. There are no wild elephants in the forest of Madhya Pradesh. These elephants were the officials of the forest department. Soon the elephants had cornered something….on asking the guide what it was all about. We were told that tiger show was being held. In tiger show, the tiger is cornered with the help of elephants and the tourist then ride these elephants to get a closer view of it. This concept has been discontinued in the Corbett as the popularity of it is far beyond the other parks in India. The tiger show was more like a puppet show…the puppets being controlled by the forest department. They knew at what time of the day to surround the tiger. Tiger, being a cat is nocturnal and is lazy during the day time, so, it is the idle time for the show. Thou, it is a good method to earn revenues for the proper functioning of the park but on the part of tiger its privacy is lost for the enjoyment of a few. Since, most of the people coming to park are least bothered about the flora and fauna of the forest. They just want to see the tiger in the wild….and the tiger show is the way to fulfill it.

A very interesting phenomenon was observed while taking snaps of the grazers. To capture the front view of them…our guide used to mimic the mating call of the tiger to get their attention. On hearing the call they would look at the direction from where the call was coming from. But in case of wild boar they would not look in the direction of the call but would just freeze in the position they were in. This was very interesting on the part of boars. May be it was due to the thick short neck of the boar which hinders the movement of head.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

IIT Kanpur Resident Aves

IIT Kanpur (Campus ONLY; Bithoor etc. excluded)-

(IITK campus complete check list is available here. But it was compiled long back, so many of birds mentioned there are not seen in campus. This is the list of birds we(Sainath and I) spotted recently.)
  1. Indian Peafowl
  2. Lesser Whistling Duck
  3. Comb Duck
  4. Spot Billed Duck
  5. Cotton Pygmy Goose(Cotton Teal)
  6. Northern Pintail
  7. Black-Rumped Flameback(Golden Flamebck)
  8. Brown Headed Barbet
  9. Coppersmith
  10. Indian Gray Hornbill
  11. Common Hoopoe
  12. Indian Roller
  13. White Throated Kingfisher
  14. Pied Kingfisher
  15. Common Kingfisher
  16. Green Bee-eater
  17. Blue Tailed Bee-eater
  18. Common Hawk Cuckoo(Brainfever)
  19. Asian Koel
  20. Greater Coucal
  21. Rose Ringed Parakeet
  22. Plum Headed Parakeet
  23. Eurasian Eagle Owl
  24. Mottled Wood Owl
  25. Spotted Owlet
  26. Rock Pigeon
  27. Laughing Dove
  28. Spotted Dove
  29. Eurasian Collared Dove
  30. Yellow Footed Green Pigeon
  31. Sarus Crane
  32. White Breasted Waterhen
  33. Common Moorehen
  34. Marsh Sandpiper
  35. Green Sandpiper
  36. Wood Sandpiper
  37. Eurasian Thick-knee
  38. Black Winged Stilt
  39. Pheasant tailed Jacna
  40. Yellow Wattled Lapwing
  41. Red Wattled Lapwing
  42. Black Shouldered Kite
  43. Black Kite
  44. Brahminy Kite(not confirmed)
  45. Egyptian Vulture
  46. Marsh Harrier
  47. Shikra
  48. Oriental Honey Buzzard
  49. Little Grebe
  50. Great Cormorant
  51. Little Cormorant
  52. Intermediate Egret
  53. Cattle Egret
  54. Indian Pond Heron
  55. Great Egret
  56. Grey Heron
  57. Purple Heron
  58. Black Crowned Night Heron
  59. Black Ibis
  60. Painted Stork
  61. Asian Openbill
  62. Woolly-Necked Stork
  63. Long Tailed Shrike(plz. confirm)
  64. Rufous Treepie or Indian Treepie
  65. House Crow
  66. Eurasian Golden Oriole
  67. Large Cuckoosrke
  68. Black Drongo
  69. BlueThroat
  70. Oriental Magpie Robin
  71. Indian Robin
  72. Black Redstart
  73. Brown Rock Chat
  74. Pied Bushchat
  75. Brahminy Starling
  76. Asian Pied Starling
  77. Common Myna
  78. Bank Myna
  79. Brown Winged Starling(Aplonis grandis)
  80. Wire Tailed Swallow
  81. Plain Martin(plz. confirm)
  82. Red Rumped Swallow
  83. Red Whiskered Bulbul
  84. Red Vented Bulbul
  85. Plain Prinia
  86. Ashy Prinia
  87. Zitting Cisticola
  88. Jungle Babbler
  89. Sand Lark
  90. Crested Lark
  91. Purple Sunbird
  92. House Sparrow
  93. Chestnut-Shouldered Petronia
  94. Citrine Wagtail
  95. Yellow Wagtail
  96. Grey Wagtail
  97. White Browed Wagtail
  98. White Wagtail
  99. Black Headed Weaver
  100. Indian Silverbill
  101. Scaly Breasted Munia
  102. Black Headed Munia
  103. Common Rosefinch
Please add the missed ones and correct the wrong ids.

Kanha National Park, March 2009

Bird Sightings

1. Indian Treepie

2. Black Drongo

3. Coppersmith Barbet

4. Black Shouldered Kite

5. Common Crow

6. Jungle Crow

7. Little Egret

8. Black Rumped Flameback

9. Black Hooded Oriole

10. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

11. Inidan Roller

12. Spotted Dove

13. Oriental Magpie Robin

14. House Sparrow

15. Greater Coucal

16. Lesser Coucal

17. Rose ringed Parakeet

18. Plum headed Parakeet

19. Large Cuckooshrike

20. White Rumped Shama

21. Jungle Owlet

22. Oriental Honey Buzzard

23. Blue winged Leafbird

24. Black Ibis

25. White Eyed Buzzard

26. Turtle Dove

27. Long Tailed Shrike

28. Scarlet Minivet

29. Grey Indian Hornbill

30. Shikra

31. White Bellied Drongo

32. Grandala

33. Common Stonechat

34. Blue-capped Rock Thrush

35. Changeable Hawk Eagle

36. Sirkeer Malkoha

37. Indian Peafowl

38. Common Myna

39. Red Wattled Lapwing

40. Yellow Wattled Lapwing

41. Brown Headed Barbet

42. Red Jungle Fowl

43. White Rumped Flameback

Animal Sightings

1. Tiger

2. Leopard

3. Wild Boar

4. Sambhar

5. Spotted Deer

6. Jungle Cat

7. Barasingha

8. Gaur

9. Langur

10. Rheus Macau

11. Indian Hare

12. Jackal

13. Mongoose

Samanvaya and Abhinav visited. Hired a guide named A K Singh.

The place is damn costly, roughly 4000 rs for the safari only per day. But it's very large as compared to Dudhwa.

Worth a visit at least once :)