Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tadoba 1st, 2nd and 3rd June 2013

Last time in November 2011 a long pending wish to visit Tadoba and witness the wonderful wildlife of this region came true.
It was winter time and the atmosphere was cold, jungle was green and the wildlife was difficult to see. But still we could see lot of wildlife, deers, a jungle cat, wild dogs pack, many beautiful birds and ofcourse what we went for the Tiger. It was a healthy female and it walked in front of us for atleast 5-10min.
You can read in more details about 2011 experience in the following blog.

25th to 27th Nov 2011 Tadoba
Tigress in Tadoba range
Pack of wild dogs at Kolsa range
This time we decided to explore the same jungle in summer time.
Though it was not the peak summer (thank god we decided not to go early :-)) but nonetheless it was extremely hot for us Mumbaikars :-).

Traveling to chandrapur was planned just in advance to get confirmed tickets in Sewagram express. We were 13 of us in the train and 2 others joined us directly at Moharli.
Travel between Chandrapur and Moharli was in Sumos arranged with help from a fellow INWian Manish Varma who was also our point of contact for last visit.
4 Safaris were booked for Sat 1st June eve, 2nd June Morning and Evening and 3rd June Morning.
For Stay booking was done in a 20bedded dormitory in FDCM. It is near the MTDC resort which is a wonderful place to stay where we had stayed last time but this time we were a bigger group and not many rooms were available in MTDC.

FDCM dormitory was very clean and with enough bathrooms and tolilets attached to the dorm. A very nice place to stay but nothing to eat there but MTDC is just few meters away and it has excellent food so not bad at all to stay at FDCM.

Our all entries except for one jeep for one safari were from Moharli gate.
(Pic from abhijit)



The jungle was dry but full of activity. Herds of all types of deers, Sambhars, Chiltals and barking deers were seen almost everywhere.
A visit to Telia dam was done almost every and it was wonderful to see its open grassland around the dam waters.





The first day (1st June) safari we started with telia and got some glimpses of this wildlife and birdlife.

Savanna Nightjar

Oriental Honey-Buzzard
 Next we moved towards the tadoba range and got our first tiger view.

A female walking on the dirt road leading up a small hillock past the tadoba lake and the forest guest house.


It was a fascinating view of the tigress walking with all the grace doing her daily routines without much care to the jeeps following it.






Also an interesting incident to witness was a herd of sambhar just across the road on which the tigress was walking and giving out alarm calls to warn its companions of the danger.



After tadoba range we returned back to the moharli range and go around the Telia dam to have some fantastic evening views.
On the way back also got to see cheetal, sambhar, barking deer, common hawk cuckoo and a crested serpent eagle.

Chital or Spotted deer

Sambhar

Barking Deer

Barking Deer

Common Hawk-Cuckoo

Crested Serpent Eagle

Crested Serpent Eagle

There was big herd of deers, peacocks, black ibis, crocodile, etc.


Black Ibis



Just then the 2 jeeps ahead of us stopped and a tigress crossed the road and entered the grassland on the left. It looked in the direction of the grazing deers and it looked as if it was going to follow that path towards the deers.


But it just crossed across the grassland to the other side into the jungle. With the evening light shining on the tigress the walk looked more graceful.




The next day morning was the most exciting of all safaris as we were lucky to witness 1 tigress and her 4 cubs of Telia.

In the morning we first went to Telia dam. Lot of birds and deer herds on the grassland surrounding the dam waters. Also a crocodile basking in the sun on an island in the middle of the water. It was a wonderful view.

Crocodile


Completed the dam round and moved towards the main round. On the main road we saw 2 to 3 jeeps waiting. This immediately raised our interest of seeing a tiger.
As we moved close we did not see any tiger around and we were puzzled as to why these jeeps were standing there.
Just as we were wondering we heard leafs rustling on left and saw a tiger come out of the forest just besides the jeep ahead of us and walk across that jeep.


Just as we were watching this 2 other tigress came out of the jungle. But this time they came just to the left of our jeep and started walking straight towards us. It was a very scary moment :-)



Our driver was very alert and immediately reversed our jeep and kept a distance of atleast 20feet between the 2 jeeps to allow the tigress to move freely.
It was a splendid to see them walk royally across the road in front of us. One of them sat on the road the other walked ahead onto a kaccha vehicular road leading into the jungle on the other side. 
Later 1 other tigress came out of the jungle and walked across royally and sat next to the first one.
What a sight it was!!




No jeep moved but each one kept distance to not disturb the tigress.

A few minutes passed and the 2 cubs kept sitting on the road looking around and panting.








Later they got up and followed the earlier tigress on to the path into the jungle.


We could see as we moved ahead on the main road the tigress walking on the kachha road.


We could also see a sloth bear walking ahead on the same road and a talk that the tigress could hunt.

We left them and moved ahead on the main and just a few feet ahead saw another sloth bear inside the jungle on the right.

Sloth Bear

Sloth Bear

As we observed carefully we could see a tigress crouching behind the sloth and moving very cautiously behind it. Oh man!! It was tense atmosphere but the sloth bear was completely unware as it started walking out of the jungle on to the main. It crossed the main road giving us good views but also moving away from the tigress hiding in the jungle and saving himself.

But just at that moment from deep within the jungle on the right we could hear large wailing cries of a sloth bear. It went on for atleast a minute and gradually the cries faded and it ment that the tigress had made a kill.

This kill would have been made either on the kachha road that we saw or just around that place and so we decided to take a turn and try to see if we could see something.

As we approached that spot we could see the tigress holding the sloth bear in this mouth. Its other siblings were sitting around.


Tigress with catch in its mouth




Later it dragged it deeper into the jungle.



It was meant to be a hunting lesson for the cubs and the driver told us later that as per the other guides and drivers that one of the cubs had done that kill and it was a sign that now they were becoming independent and soon would not be seen together and with their mother.

A few hours earlier one of our friends in another jeep also witnessed a sloth bear sitting up a tall tree on a thin branch probably afraid of the 2 tigresses walking away from the tree far below.

The same moment as we were witnessing all this drama near Telia our friends in Tadoba range were witnessing a male tiger named "Gabbar" coming out of the jungle, sitting in a water pond to cool a bit and then walk away across the road.


Coming back to Telia as after having a look at the kill we moved on to Tadoba lake.
On the way saw a brown fish owl and oriental honey at the lake.
Brown Fish Owl

Oriental Honey-Buzzard

Oriental Honey-Buzzard

2nd June evening was pretty much a quite in terms of tiger sightings but had wonderful birding and other wildlife sightings.


Oriental Honey-Buzzard

Oriental Honey-Buzzard (note the pigeon shaped head)

Also went to a new area of tadoba pandhar poni and jamunzara.

Indian Gaur or Bison

Indian Gaur or Bison



Got some very nice sightings of Indian Pitta, Lesser adjutant stork, Rufous treepie, Common Woodshrike and Oriental Honey.


White Browed Fantail Flycatcher

Rufous Treepie

Rufous Treepie

Red Vented Bulbul

Rufous Treepie

We also waited for sometime for the male tiger "Gabbar" at one water hole but did not have any luck. But during this time we saw a bulbuls, laughing dove, tickels blue flycatcher and a white bellied drongo.
Laughing Dove

Tickell's Blue Flycatcher

White Bellied Drongo

At the tadoba lake seeing a crocodile seems to be a regular stuff as we saw it almost everything we went there.
Wild boar

Lesser Adjutant

Wild Boar

5 birds in this frame. Can you spot them?

At Tadoba lake saw the oriental honey and crocodile (the regulars).

Oriental Honey-Buzzard
Black Ibis

Crocodile

Indian Pitta

Indian Roller

On 3rd June morning we had decided to give it a shot to see the male tiger of tadoba.
So we headed straight for tadoba not at all entering Telia.
On the way at the waterhole on the main road we saw a tigress sighting. But just glanced at it and moved forward.


At tadoba lake we had the regular sightings of a crocodile and Oriental Honey.

Oriental Honey-Buzzard

Oriental Honey-Buzzard

Oriental Honey-Buzzard

Oriental Honey-Buzzard

But no luck with "Gabbar". While returning back again got good views of Indian Pitta and Orange headed ground thrush.
Indian Pitta

Indian Pitta

Indian Pitta

Orange Headed Ground Thrush

Orange Headed Ground Thrush

At the tadoba gate we heard the news that the 4 cubs and their mother we sighted with their father "Wagdoh" at Telia.
So we headed straight to Telia to test our luck. But no luck except for one tigress at the water hole as seen in the morning.
At Telia had some good pics of the white eyed buzzard another beautiful predator.

White Eyed Buzard

White Eyed Buzard

White Eyed Buzard

During the time we were at tadoba our other friends in the third jeep were at Telia. They got very near views of the Telia cubs passing besides their jeeps.

All of us were very much satisfied with 2 things. First that we had seen tigers in wild and even with a hunt and secondly that the drivers and guides of tadoba were making all the efforts not to disturb the wildlife.

Some very good bird sightings were also done over the trip.
The most regularly heard bird was the Indian Pitta. It was also quite often seen flying across the road and foraging in the dry leaves near the road.
There seems to be a fixed roosting place near telia dam of savanna nightjar and along with that we also spotted 2 others in the tadoba range.
Brown fish owl and collared scoops owl were also seen though very briefly.
Black drongo, Rufous treepie, Indian roller were the most common of the birds along with common woodshrike, paradise flycatcher white and rufous morph male & females.
Black naped monarch, tickel's blue flycatcher, white browed fantail, white bellied drongo, laughing dove, spotted dove, red vented bulbul were some other regulars.
The most fascinating of views being that of 5 oriental honey buzzards around tadoba lake.
Saw 3 of them drinking water on shores of tadoba lake.
White eyed buzzard and Crested serpent eagle also gave us some good and close views.

In the Erai dam backwaters in front of FDCM we could spot red wattled lapwing, glossy ibis, purple swamp hens, Common moorhens, pheasant tailed jacana, bronze winged jacana, cotton pygmy goose and pied wagtails.
Pheasant Tailed Jacana

Cotton Pygma Goose

One evening also saw very loud Eurasian Thicknee pair flying on top and settling in the open grasslands.
Eurasian Thicknee

Spotted owlets seemed to be regular visitors around the FDCM with 3 of them seen in late evening climbing down from a tree to the grassland as if foraging for something.
Spotted Owlet


To have a look at more pics from this trip visit the following links to my website

Wildlife pics
http://www.alokbhave.host-ed.me/ShowTagGallery.php?categ=Mammals&TagName=Tadoba

Birding pics
http://www.alokbhave.host-ed.me/ShowTagGallery.php?categ=Birds&TagName=Tadoba

The trip went very well not just because of the above sightings but also due to wonderful group that we had. Thanks to all!!!

In the Jeep (left to right): Mandar, Vivek, Madhura, Menka
Standing (left to right):Anushree's Dad, Rohit, Abhijeet, Yatish, Alok, Jeet, Anushree, Adit,
Mousumi, Meghna, Meghna's mother, Anushree's Mother


8 comments:

Vivek Kharche said...

beautifully narrated and great pics

Menka Gandhi said...

Blog reminded me of that great scene we all saw together.Tigress,cubs and Hunting...It was awesome and thanks for putting every detail into blog with pics for cherishing it for lifetime.

Silverbill said...

Fantastic series of pictures..Loved the animated versions very much..cheers!

Anshuman Wakankar said...

Amazing pics! Thanks for such a great post

Anshuman Wakankar said...

Amazing pics! Thanks for such a great post

Sudhir Gaikwad-Inamdar said...

lovely n lively.....i think my vehicle was in and around ur vehicle n i did experience the sloth bear kill drama....have got the kill pics also as my jeep was perfectly positioned at the edge of the small road where the kill was made....my cell 9820001860...do call...

Amrut Khodke said...

You still have some amazing pictures! Wonderful that you managed to spot tigers…amazing photography!

Shahib Alam said...

Guys you are superb here...
classical post it is..
Tadoba is a lovely jungle to explore a wildlife destination!!

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