WildZests: November 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pozu's Turns Two !!!

With kids around, time just flies by. I still can't forget the first time I held baby in the operation theater and yesterday she's already turned two!!!

Anastya - Second Birthday

Like we did on her first b'day, even this time we had a small house party with some good old friends joining us for the evening. The kids had a lot of fun together and Pozu enjoyed herself thoroughly.

Here's a picture of Pozu taking a stab at Tinky Winky and Po. (For all those who don't have kids yet, they're Teletubbies characters. And for all those who have kids already, I can tell you that this cake was an instant hit with all small ones!)

Cutting the cake :)
Picture taken by: Ari-Maasi :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giant Wood Spider

The Kabini jungle was abundant with the wood spider creations this time. The morning rays of the sun make the web look really glamorous.

The female is actually the one that is a giant size (3 inches or more) while the males are tiny at about 1/10th her size. Their webs are quite big in size and can vary between 1-2 meters in diameter, spun between trees.

Tech Specs:

Canon 1D Mark IV + Canon 600mm F4 IS
Shot handheld at 600mm, 1/500s, F4 and ISO 800
Giant Wood Spider

Monday, November 21, 2011

The model Mongoose!

Given that the two safaris hadn't given me enough photo opportunities, I decided to wait back and do one more ride. This Ruddy Mongoose was basking in the evening sun on a fallen tree stump as we entered the jungle.

Usually these are very shy and would retract into the bushes immediately, however this one was extremely camera friendly and it watched us inquisitively while we kept clicking away. The mongoose are usually known for their ability to fight the cobra and emerge victorious, but their diet includes other rodents and lizards too.

Tech Specs:
Canon 1D Mark IV + Canon 600mm F4 IS
Shot at 600mm, 1/320s, F4 and ISO 400
Ruddy Mongoose

The Pelicans of Kokkare Bellur

This weekend was a solo trip to Kabini, and on the way was a detour to a small village known as Kokkare Bellur. This is a 13km deviation from Maddur and the roads were great until the last 5kms. As you start closing in to your destination, you could see quite a few Pelicans hovering up in the sky.

I was expecting an organized conservation effort like Ranganathittu, but it was amazing to see that the village is no less than a sanctuary in itself. When I reached the place, I asked one of elderly person on which way to the bird sanctuary and he pointed me to two different directions and mumbled off something in Kannada. I couldn't understand what he said, but I could make out that he was trying to tell me that the birds are everywhere, you can just walk around the village.

Apparently the villagers are very appreciative of the fact that the large winter migrants such as the Painted Storks and Spot-Billed Pelicans nest in large colonies on trees in their village. The forest department has some kind of arrangement to compensate the villagers for every tree where the birds are nesting. This is since the land below the tree and any produce from that tree has to be foregone.

I didn't see too many Painted Storks at this time, but there were quite a few Pelicans on trees by the road side. So I decided to walk around there and watch the birds do their daily chores.

Here's a close up shot of a large Pelican on the tree:

Tech Specs:

Canon 1D Mark IV + Canon 600mm F4 with 1.4x TC
Shot at 840mm, 1/5000s, F8, ISO 800
Kabini   (7)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chased by a Tusker!

2010 was a year when we had elephants charging at us almost every time we were inside the Bandipur jungle. This was one of those times when we had this tusker not liking our company and trying to drive us away.

We've had misses and near misses that year, Gozu got a scare of her life when we were almost stuck in the middle of a herd with a huge female elephant chasing us from behind. These gentle giants have their own mood swings and while sometimes they'll allow you to close in to the herd while they're happily grazing, at other times they'll just want you to leave immediately. Most common charging incidents happen when there's a baby around or there is a lone male elephant, the latter being the more dangerous encounter to have.

Whatever be the situation, its always a treat to watch them around. Sometimes you can actually notice their emotional patterns which are seemingly like ours!

Tech Specs:
Canon 40D + Canon 70-200 F4 L IS
Shot at 78mm, 1/160s, F4 and ISO 250
Charging Tusker!