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The Unforgettable Bharatpur Trip
They say it is a birder's delight, but I feel it is any wildlife aficionado's delight. Even after repeated visits to Keoladeo, 185 kms from Delhi, the sight of an enigmatic Dusky Eagle owl never ceases to fascinate me, and this time around I had my precious Nikon Binocs -god bless his soul whoever(Hans Lippershay?) invented it.
The first day just walked around the park for a couple of hours, we did not have much time. The high point being the spotting of the Grey Nightjar, remembering how once Jim Corbett shot a tiger with an egg of the nightjar in one hand and the rifle on the other. I spotted a flock of partridges and said "look Partridge", 'excuse me mam, the new name is Grey Francolin', the Naturalist corrected me. New name? Who gave it? Who wanted it? Nevertheless I moved on. Walking alongside the road where the car park is on left hand side and the bushes on the right hand side, we saw this lone Jackal. Very alert, ears cocked up! I was on foot and so was he. He gave me a bewildered look and after a few seconds disappeared into the wilderness.
Next day, I had decided to spend the whole day at the park, so convinced the Naturalist to have a heavy breakfast and stick with me till cows came home! The start was a great one as we spotted a pair of Collared scops owl on the top perch of the magnificent Sal tree. This time of the year Bharatpur gets its annual migratory visitors hence we were lucky to see few Rudy Shelduck which are local migratory (Ladakh). What a beauty, grace personified! Very close to the water body we saw this group of men with huge cameras which looked almost like Bazookas, filming something. With a polite smile, I ventured into their domain and there right in front of me a Black Neck stork!
Whoever named it black necked was indeed colour blind because the neck was a deep shade of turquoise. I guess I am not as qualified as the British Group of Ornithologists who are in this name game.
Few kms into the park, this guy reacting to’information’ made me walk into the park for about a km and there I see this huge Rock Python lying (sprawling) in the sun, basking in its glory. This is my debut with snake sighting, and what a debut! I was dumbstruck. What a gorgeous creature! it was approx. 11ft long. He was resting after a morning meal, completely oblivious to the attention he was generating. 'Mast' in his own world.
When will we learn to be like them?
Photography is not my forte but still managed this shot!