14 de agosto de 2020

Maiden kill

It was our second round in the forest.....earlier in the afternoon just after reaching we did our first park round through canter and saw 2 tigers (T19 Krishna and cub). It was a separate sighting and the cub was fast asleep. T19 was as usual acting like super mom searching for food and was about to attack a spotted deer but gave up as the deer was not within its attack radius.

The second park round was supposed to be more fruitful since it was in the morning. We were in Gypsies, a group of 6 persons per Gypsy, so less noise and a smoother drive aided in optimum eye level photography. We were allotted Zone No. 1 which is supposed to be good and area of Noor and her 2 male cubs. We drove looking for birds and other things. Suddenly i noticed something and I asked the driver to stop the car - It was a Striped Hyena - one of the rare / uncommon sightings and even odd for that particular time in the morning. Our guide / driver was losing his cool & was showing signs of being irritated as we were stopping for each and every bird and for so called "common" things. Suddenly we heard an alarm call of Spotted Deer as well as Hanuman Langurs. We stopped and waited for a few minutes.However, the alarm call diminished soon and the reason could have been a male tiger /tigress who could have been sitting camouflaged by the tall grass. We drove further ahead and after some time we saw a bunch of gypsies standing near a rock wall. A cub was sitting on the cliff and watching us curiously. This was the junior cub of Noor ( we came to know about this eventually).... we parked our jeep and started shooting the "Male" cub, the fellow Jeep members whispered that there is another tiger cub behind the rock wall. This funny cub was running behind the Painted Spurfowl or the Langurs above. This was a "poser" male cub and was giving fantastic poses and with lots of facial expressions. Suddenly he vanished behind the rock and we all were disappointed.....but just after a gap of 5 minutes he re-appeared and sat on the top of the rock facing other side. Soon the second cub appeared and sat just in front of his brother but we could see only his ears and some portion of his head..

Soon this "cartoon" cub started running for the passing Hanuman Langurs and just appeared in front of our Jeep. We captured hundreds of his antics on camera . Somehow we were dreaming for the second cub to come forwards and sit next to his brother so that we can click "The Two Brothers" together. But the cub behind was not at all in the mood to move from his position. All of a sudden the first cub was very curious and watching intently behind our jeep. We were thinking that it must be his mommy returning to the cubs. This fellow was making funny faces but highly aware of his surroundings. We were also curious why the cub was so restless and alert. Soon he got up and started to climb on to the rock... which was just above us! and if by chance he jumped from there, he would have landed directly on our jeep! We all sat quietly and observed carefully.... carefully as he might jump on us but at the same time with the hope that we may get some good shots. Somehow one of the tourists in the back jeep saw a spotted female deer approaching the lake next to our jeep. Now we all realised that "this " is the thing for which the cub was so restless and active. This was a learning curve for me ... that how a small cub (about 14/16 months old) can smell a prey from such a long distance. He started stalking on the rock itself..... but he was on the high rock at the right side... then down on the road we are in 3/4 jeeps... and then at the left side of our jeep (road) there was a small lake where the Spotted Deer was approaching for water. The cub started making faces and showed his hyperactive side. The deer approached slowly towards the water...now the second male also smelled the "prey" and stood up on the spot. The poor deer was unaware about the danger that awaited them at the paws of the two mighty predators. The deer started drinking water slowly... the second cub came forward and now he was on the edge of the rock. The rock was approx 12/15 feet tall. He took some time and then he started crouching and stalking......all were mesmerized and engrossed with the act.

Many fellow photographers were lost in the scene and forgot about the photography and were simply enjoying the thrill. I was quite focused and glued to the 1.5 centimeter viewfinder and never left the viewfinder as i wanted to catch the drama. Of course there were 5 jeeps in front of us so I was aware that we might miss the "hunt"but I was hoping for the best and concentrated on my "viewfinder" only though it was my maiden attempt to capture the kill in front of me. At that point of time my whole life was concentrated in that 1.5 cm viewfinder and of course for that Spotted Deer. Within a fraction of a second the second cub leaped from the rock and crossed the road in front of the jeeps and chased the deer. The deer sensed the danger and started running away helter skelter... but the cub was too fast and powerful and he smacked him with his mighty paw... the deer was thrown away just like a football... but the cub pounced on him again and pressed the deer on the ground and just sat there for many minutes.... just like a winner with the trophy... it might be his first ever individual hunt without the help of mother "Noor". The first cub, which also ran behind the deer as a backup plan, calmly went away and sat a few feet away from the kill and the trophy winning brother.... may be a tad upset as he missed his "kill". As the kill was pressed in the ground and was not visible due to a log and some bushes in front, we missed the feasting shots. We were only able to click pictures of the cub with his face painted in the deer's blood whenever he grasped the leg, neck and lifted the kill.

Anotado en 14 de agosto de 2020 a las 06:08 AM por ygurjar ygurjar | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

11 de agosto de 2020

Vine Snake Cannibalism at Matheran

We were on our 1st trail at Matheran.. it was raining heavily but still we ventured out to see at least something. After a while I spotted a Vine Snake and members were busy photographing the green beauty… Suddenly across the road I found another vine snake curled up… It was on eye level bush… I saw something extra…. Some extra tail… Then I focused properly (yes it was foggy and rainy atmosphere) and I noticed that there were 2 Vine snakes.. one big (2.5 feet) and one small (1.5 feet)…and to my surprise the bigger one was about to swallow the smaller one.. He grasped the head first and started chewing and swallowing slowly..it was tough job as smaller one was wriggling fast and try to escape.. but the bigger was too much hungry and do not want to happen this so he also trying his best to swallow the head, pulling it from branched and trying to solve the twists and knots….It was sheer sight to watch this drama happening in front of us… we stopped their at least for 35+ minutes till he gulped the entire snake.

Nikon D500, Tamron 90 mm VC Macro with Nikon R1C1
f29, 1/60, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Hand held in heavy rainy climate

Anotado en 11 de agosto de 2020 a las 09:45 AM por ygurjar ygurjar | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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