Monday, April 11, 2011

Trip to Jim Corbett

After waiting for 3 months, finally the day came on  7th March when we began our Jim Corbett trip. We reach Delhi Airport at 10:30 a.m
We were waiting for our baggage clearance at Delhi Airport, when  we found that one of the wheels of our bag was broken. Ameet immediately decided to launch a complaint against baggage maintenance. Initially Complaint co-ordinator tried to offer us 200 Rs in compensation But Ameet was against doing any mandavli so finally we launched a complaint against them and began our trip with the broken bag.
Our train towards Ram Nagar was at 10:30 pm from old Delhi station, so we decided to explore little bit of Delhi before going to old delhi station.  We got out of the Delhi Airport and took DTC AC bus for nearest metro station i.e. INA. Before going inside the metro station we got a map of Delhi from Delhi Tourism center near INA station. We had heard lot about Chandni Chowk from Movies and it was also near to old Delhi station so we decided to head toward it.
By the time we reached Chandi Chowk it was almost 3 pm so we inquired about the nearest & popular eating place to a cycle rickshaw-wala and within next 15 mins we found ourself in a very crowded place which happened to be “The Paratha Galli”. It’s a very narrow alley with various shops and lot of crowd and we entered it with our broken bag; good start of the adventure.  We had few parathas and lassi (in a small clay pot – Kulhad), Gol-Gappe and huge size Jilebis...mmmmmmmm. We were full and got some energy to drag our limping bag.  While searching for a shop to repair it, we got into the Delhi-6 area with very old buildings and shops around and found a shop we were desperately looking for. The guy was very friendly and did a good job fixing the bag with whatever tools and accessories he had in a very reasonable price; we were back on the roll. After spending some time in the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazaaar, it was time to leave and we then got to the old Delhi station.
When we arrived at old delhi station Mandar(One of the Nature India’s  Group leader) informed us about Train cancellation due to some JAT issues. Initally I thought Mandar is joking but then when we understood that the news is true all our excitement dropped down at a speed of 80 m/s as we had been eagerly waiting for this trip for a long time. However thanks to Adesh & Mandar because of their excellent management skill they had a backup plan to reach Ram Nagar. We reached Ram Nagar by Bus. Night journey was little bit hectic but when we reached Dhikuli and saw our stay at Corbett Nature Camp, all our tiredness ran away. Our rooms were like a tent it was a memorable experience staying in a tent with nature. Surrounding was full of photographic opportunities from macros to birding. We had a two days of stay there & last two days were in Dhikala.There used to be two sessions everyday.Morning we used to begin the session at 7 pm and end by 12 - 12:30 pm. After having lunch and 1 hour of rest again used to begin the afternoon session at around 3 - 3:30 pm and used to be back by 7 pm.But in dhikala forest it had a rule that all the jeeps have to be back by 6 pm.Even the Dhikala Forest Camp had lots of opportunities.There is a large wet land on which there were multiple species of birds like Thicknee,Black stroke,Fish Eagle.Even there were Reptiles like Turtles, Gharial.But actually this used to be grassland wherein wild elephants and other mammals used to graze.But due to heavy rainfall it turned into wetland. Dhikala is dense forest of Sal trees.There is so much peace only chirping noises of birds & mammals. A beautiful Calm forest I wish it should stay as it is for ages so that even our great grand children should get an opportunity to view this beauty.Since it was 75th Anniversay of Jim Corbett all big shots from Birding & nature preservation field  were present at Dhikala.Even the two days stay at Dhikala was a memorable experience.On first night in Dhikala forest Camp, Hawk Owl was calling we went with the four-five other group members for looking out the Hawk Owl.Group had the different calls of birds stored in there mobile.Walking slowly,whispering and using calls in order to have a closer sight of Hawk Owl was amazing experience.Ameet was able to capture the Owl.What a beautiful sight, soft feathery body with a round red eyes.There was a couple.

We saw almost 138 species of birds, mammals & reptiles.Birds were more in count.Mainly in birds(Plum headed Parakeet & Purple Sunbird, Crimson Sunbird) the male is more beautiful then female but humans are exceptional.The small crimson bird specially male is most beautiful.It has a bright shining red attractive color.
I was not lucky to capture it.

I had seen before Small blue Kingfisher, White throated Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher but this Crested Kingfisher got added to my viewed list of Kingfishers.The color of Crested Kingfisher is  like a Pied kingfisher but the black & white pattern on the body as well the size is different. it has the crest on his head. It was far away and my S5 IS did not gave an opportunity to capture him properly.

Long billed Vulture

Collared Scope Owl

Beautiful Scenic Place at GirijaTemple

Magpie Robin

Long tailed Minivet
  Looking Minivets through the binocs was an amazing experience.The bright red color is very beautiful.

Rufous Woodpecker
  When the Woodpecker knocks on the wood in order to make a storage place for food.Group of Several birds approaches the sound and remains closer to woodpecker for eating insects which comes out of the wood.

Sal Trees

Greater Flameback Woodpecker
  This was again spotted inside the Corbett Nature Camp.Ameet was behind the white throated Kingfisher(which is easily available even in pune) little bit away from Woodpecker's spotted location.I just took couple of shots & went running to call Ameet.By the time we were back, the Woodpecker had flew  away.Ameet lost an opportunity but again got it in the forest but the sight was that close-up.

Few patches of sky turned on fire

This was taken while returning back to Camp outside the Dhikala forest

Plum headed Parakeet
   Plum headed Parakeet male has red plum like head & female has grey head.

Termite Home

Spotted deer

Beautiful Scenic Place at Dhikala
  This was again a beautiful sight in Dhikala.I wish if there would have been a tiger drinking water then it would have been a excellent shot.

Crested Serpent Eagle

Great Hornbill
  The great Hornbill makes very loud noise.We took multiple shots.Just keeping on click click, not ready to move ahead. I saw such a huge bird first time in my life.Just a few months back a couple of grey Indian Hornbill had come on the top of tree just in front of our house.But there is a vast difference in  the size of Great Hornbill & Grey Indian Hornbill.

Collared Falconet

Changeable Hawk Eagle


Brown Fish Owl

Pied Bushchat


Rushing back to Camp before 6 pm

Sunset at Dhikala

Paddyfield Pipit

Red wattled Lapwing

Sand Lark

Cinereous Vulture

Eurasian Vulture having insect in his mouth

King Vulture
 Actually King Vulture is smaller in size comparatively others but since it walks like King hence the name "King Vulture"

Both King Vulture & Eurasian Vulture

Group of different vultures sitting on the same tree

All five days( from 8th Mar 2011 to 12th Mar 2011) of our trip were wonderful but 11th Mar 2011 was most memorable day. Morning we began with a good photographic treat with Cinerious, Eurasian, King vultures and finally the day ended with king of forest; his royal entry made everyone speechless. On the previous day we heard a call of monkey, deer & sambar but did not got chance to view the Tiger .But even the calling experience was memorable.Just a glance from long distances spreads terror in the entire forest which increases my curiosity more. 

King of the jungle

Initially we saw him sleeping down in small bushes.We were in different jeep little bit away from the tiger sighting.There was one more jeep in front of us who were having a good sighting. Myself & Doreen (one of the group member) immediately jumped into that jeep for having a closer sight of tiger. When tiger woke up he gave a big yawn as if he had great lunch treat.When he got up all the jeeps charged up. The jeep started, Ameet looked at me but i was so excited to view tiger that i did not thought that i am in a stranger’s jeep. I wave my hand towards Ameet & we went ahead. Ameet’s jeep was behind us.All the jeep surrounded near the expected area where the tiger will come out & here comes the royal entry of tiger as if he is not even bother of anybody he looked at the jeeps & moved ahead on his way in the dense forest. This is the most memorable day of my life.


Hoopoe gave us very good close-up shot.He looked very friendly.

Spotted Dove & Red Collared Dove
  This was again taken inside the Dhikala Camp in the afternoon when we were back from Morning Forest Trail.

Common Stonechat
Mountain Hawk Eagle

Small Blue Kingfisher

Wild Boar

Wild Boar

Peacock on termite mount

This was a huge Sal tree which burned out due to lightning

With the dense Sal forest, only a few rays manage to reach the ground

Black Drongo

Black Drongo

Painted Bronzeback Snake
  This was taken on the last day.We were having a last revision session and were about to leave in 15 mins when we saw this beautiful snake inside the Dhikala camp.Even though this Snake is non-poisonous, it does bite hard.
Treeswift sitting on a nest
On the previous day Adesh Showed us the Treeswift through the scope.Initially we were not able to make out that she is sitting on her nest.The nest is so camouflaged but when Adesh explained us that the bulging muddy like thing is not a part of tree but nest everyone become amazed and appreciated the skills of little bird.

Eurasian Vulture

Pond Heron,Egret & Ruddy Shelduck sharing the canvas

Beautiful Scene captured during first day

There were lot of opportunities in Corbett Nature's Camp where we stayed first two days.First we spotted Yellow napped Woodpecker, Blue Whistling Thrush.Purple Sunbird Couple was easily spotted.Female Purple Sunbird is actually yellowish green & male is purple in color.I was able to capture only male purple sunbird because female was little bit shy.

Lesser Yellownape Woodpecker

Blue Whistling Thrush

Purple Sunbird

Inspite of train cancellation issues while heading towards Ram Nagar we reached our destination successfully.Hats off to Adesh & Mandar(Nature India’s Group Leaders).Because of their excellent risk management back up plan we were able to begin our wonderful trip.The arrangements made were more then expected.Food was good and the five days session had added value to our knowledge and awareness.
Thank you Adesh & Mandar . Looking forward to more such enlightening sessions.
List of Birds & Mammals that I saw:-  (Our group saw more than the list mentioned below)

1. Alexandrine Parakeet
2. Asian Pied Starling
3. Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike
4. Black Bulbul
5. Black Drongo
6. Black Kite
7. Black Redstart
8. Black Stork
9. Black-chinned Babbler
10. Black-crested Bulbul
11. Black-hooded Oriole
12. Black-necked Strok
13. Black-rumped Flameback
14. Black-throated Thrush
15. Blue Whistling Thrush
16. Wild Boar
17. Brahminy Kite
18. Brown Fish Owl
19. Brown Hawk Owl
20. Brown Rock-chat
21. Changeable Hawk Eagle
22. Chesnut-headed Bee-eater
23. Chestnut-belied Nuthatch
24. Chestnut-tailed Starling
25. Cinerious Vulture
26. Collard Scops Owl
27. Collared Falconet
28. Common Green Magpie
29. Common Greenshank
30. Common Hawk Cuckoo
31. Common Hoopoe
32. Common Iora Aegithina
33. Common Kingfisher
34. Common Stonechat
35. Common Teal
36. Common Woodshrike
37. Comon Myna
38. Coppersmith Barbet
39. Crested Kingfisher
40. Crested Serpent Eagle
41. Crested Treeswift
42. Crimson Sunbird
43. Crocodile
44. Egyptian Vulture
45. Eurasian Collared Dove
46. Eurasian Griffon
47. Eurasian Spoonbill
48. Fulvous-brested Woodpecker
49. Gharial
50. Great Barbet
51. Great Cormorant
52. Great Egret
53. Great Hornbill
54. Great Thick-Knee
55. Great tit
56. Greater Flameback Woodpecker
57. Green Bee-eater
58. Green Sandpiper
59. Grey Heron
60. Grey Wagtail
61. Grey-brested Prinia
62. Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
63. Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher
64. Grey-hooded Warbler
65. Hawk deer
66. Himalayan Bulbul
67. House Sparrow
68. Indian Grey Hornbill
69. Indian Pond Heron
70. Indian Roller
71. Indian Peafowl
72. Intermediate Egret
73. Jungle Babbler
74. Jungle Owlet
75. Lesser Fish Eagle
76. Lesser Yellonape Woodpecker
77. Lineated Barbet
78. Little Egret
79. Long-tailed Minivet
80. Long-tailed Shirke
81. Maroon Oriole
82. Mountain Hawk Eagle
83. Northern Pintail
84. Oriental Honey-Buzzard
85. Oriental Magpie Robin
86. Oriental Pied Hornbill
87. Oriental Skylark
88. Oriental White-eye
89. Osprey
90. Pallas’s Fish Eagle
91. Pied Bushchat
92. Pied Kingfisher
93. Plain Martin
94. Plumbeous Water Redstart
95. Plum-headed Parakeet
96. Purple Sunbird
97. Red JungleFowl
98. Red-breasted Parakeet
99. Red-headed Vulture
100. Red-vented Bulbul
101. Red-wattled Lapwing
102. Red-whiskered Bulbul
103. Rhesus Macaque
104. River Lapwing
105. River Tern
106. Rose-ringed Parakeet
107. Rosy Pipit
108. Ruddy Shelduck
109. Rufous Treepie
110. Rufous Woodpecker
111. Rufous-bellied Niltava
112. Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher
113. Sambhar
114. Sand Lark
115. Scarlet Minivet
116. Slaty-headed Parakeet
117. Slender-billed Vulture
118. Small Niltava
119. Small Pratincole
120. Snowy-browed Flycatcher
121. Spangled Drongo
122. Spotted Dear
123. Spotted Dove
124. Streak-throated Woodpecker
125. Tawny Pipit
126. Tiger
127. Turtle
128. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
129. Verditer Flycatcher
130. White Wagtail
131. White-capped Water Redstart
132. White-crested Laughingthrush
133. White-rumped Needletail
134. White-rumped Vulture
135. White-throated Kingfisher
136. Wild Elephant
137. Woolly-necked stork
138. Yellow-eyed Babbler


  1. Very well written Abhaya!!! and nice photos make it even more interesting to read. Incidentaly I have also completed my blog for the trip, will forwards the link in sometime...


  2. Gr8 work Abhaya :)). I am all smiles recollecting the memories of a spellbound trip