Corbett – Dec 2019 – tour report
Were you ever interested in a winter wildlife photography tour? Jim Corbett National Park is heaven on earth during winters. The gentle misty mornings awakens your heart. The beauty of the emerald foliage unveils while the chirping birds sing songs. The serenity soaks as you rub your palms in the chilly weather.
Our December visit to Jim Corbett National Park was perfect timing. The winter safaris are usually longer. We gain the maximum advantage to connect with nature. Spending more time inside the forests is a boon to any wildlife photography enthusiast. That too, when steaming cups of masala chai is accompanied!
Our exploration began against the caressing crisp winds. We drove from Dhangari gate to Dhikhala forest rest house. The colourful wings of migratory birds and birds of prey often waved at us. White-tailed Ruby Throat, Black Necked Stork, Lesser Coucal gave us good angles to click their pictures.
While we were immersed in clicking the flying beauties, our tour mentor led us towards grasslands. Relying on his local knowledge he had an hunch of sighting a big cat in the grasslands. We reached the grasslands and waited for a while. We then headed towards the famous Sambhar road in the hope of a sighting. There was no hope and we came back towards the grasslands.
After a short ride, we noticed the rustling of grass blades. A camouflaged Tigress revealed herself from within the grasses. She was quietly walking towards the backwaters. The first look of the apex predator erupted goosebumps on our skin. We were thrilled to capture her suave mannerisms. We were awestruck and appreciated her beauty until she disappeared.
On our second day, we headed straight towards the grasslands. We were hopeful of sighting the Tigress one more time. We patiently waited to get another glimpse of the Tigress in our cameras. Though she did not come anywhere near us.
We decided to explore the other regions and left the grasslands. On our way, we observed a few more jeeps lined up. We rushed to the spot to witness a Leopard cub perched high upon a tree. Leopards are a rare sight in dense jungles. We were delighted to have spotted a Leopard cub between the branches of a tree.
The Leopard seemed to be frightened. His eyes clearly reflected anguish. Later, we learned that a Tiger had scared him to climb up the tree and protect himself. We clicked amazing pictures of the little Leopard and satisfied our hunger for wildlife photography.
On our third day, we searched extensively for big cat. There were no signs of them. Just when we thought, our day would go dry, we spotted a herd of elephants. They brought in a zest to our safari when two of the tuskers entered into a tussle.
In no time our shutters burst into clicks. We captured the two pachyderms, fighting with each other. They interlocked their tusks and trunks. They pushed each other into a puddle. They exchanged warning glances at each other. All these against the backdrop of the mesmerizing forest hill ranges of Jim Corbett National Park.
Our memory cards became literally full capturing the elephants in their raw behaviour. We thanked mother nature for a wonderful opportunity and ended the safari.
We received news from the tour guide of the Tigress sighting in the grasslands. We hurried to spot but alas we narrowly missed the sighting. Then, we diverted ourselves to notice every minute detail of the forests.
We observed a huge trunk of a salwood tree. The entire tree was supposedly brought down by a striking thunderbolt. We spotted a few more birds of the forests and clicked pictures of them. Birds were the ones to keep us busy on our final day.
Pipits, Crested Kingfisher, Changeable Hawk Eagles, Common Bushchat, Pallas Fish Eagle, Great Thick-knee, Fulvous Breasted Woodpecker, Scarlet Minivet were some of the birds that came our way.
When a group of nature and wildlife photography enthusiasts comes together for a tour, it is nothing short of magic. We all grouped together to make the best use of the opportunity available during winters in Jim Corbett National Park.
We utilized every bit of our time in meaningful nature conversations. We regularly had photo review sessions. There were varied topics discussed from the natural history of the region to photography tips and tricks.
All in all, Jim Corbett National Park gave us fabulous moments from the wildlife to bring back home. Both in cameras and in our hearts!