A Bay-backed Shrike (above) posed for us on the first drive into Dhikala Grasslands. You can read more about that drive in our post titled “Is Dhikala Grasslands the Masai Mara of India ?”.  We drove past the forest lodge to begin our 30+ km drive to the Dhangari gate, at the periphery of Corbett National Park. As we exited the Dhikala Grasslands to get on the road through the Sal forest, a Black-shouldered Kite (below) bid us farewell.

Black-shouldered Kite

Ram Ganga Landscape

We reached a location on the return drive where we got a beautiful perspective of the Ram Ganga Landscape (above). We happily photographed the beautiful landscape and while we were doing that we saw a family of Smooth-coated Otters (below) swim by at another view point along the river bank.

Smooth-coated Otter

Slaty-headed Parakeet

A short distance from the forest check post, we spotted a few Slaty-headed Parakeets (above) resting on the high branches of a tree beside the road. We had a lovely time photographing them. And finally as we exited the highway to get to the camp, we spotted this White-capped Water Redstart (below), busy foraging at the creek, giving us the opportunity for a few record shots.

White-capped Water Redstart

The anticipation of seeing a Tiger or a Leopard around every turn on the drive kept us at the edge of our seats. While we didn’t see either of these predators, the birding along the way and sighting of the Smooth-coated Otters made our drive equally satisfying. Little did we know that a completely different kind of surprise was waiting for us at the camp.