Thursday, February 17, 2011
THIS IS GOING TO BE CALLED BIRD DRIVING!
We were driving to Ranthambore National park after hearing of sightings of few weeks old tiger cubs with their mother. Need less to say my daughter said "so cute!! can we go can we go!" I need no second invitation or encouragement. Always ready to drop work and run off to some forest or the other, I even convinced the kids friends to bunk school and come with us. My kids are home schooled so they promised to catch up with work later in the week.
Driving thru Rajasthan is always nice cuz the road is so good from Delhi to Jaipur. We made that in good time and then hit the district road which left a lot to be desired in terms of surface. Surface.. what surface!!! Mud, rock, gravel and macadam share the space equally. The redeeming feature was the bird life along the way.
I spotted a series of birds and decided i wanted to go slow and stop and take pix in the good late afternoon sunlight. I stopped for what looked like a shrike, and got a good shot of a collared dove into the bargain. Only hassle was that i left my glasses on top of the car and realised only 20 km later. 1000rs down the drain! Aaargh! Then a series of Indian rollers took my mind off my worries and scores of bank mynas kept us company as we ate the humble fare at a roadside dhaba. Paying off the not so humble bill, I got to see more rollers and then a black backed shrike. This bird was so bold as to let me approach fairly close. Unfortunately he moved right when i was to take a photo and I could only get underbelly shots. A pied starling made an appearance and got a better shot thatn i did in Chilika. Sparrows and silverbills on a sheaf of wheat made a nice photo as well and as the light faded I got down to the serious business of driving much to the kids approval.
Had a great bird walk in Ranthambore which I will share soon.