Here’s wishing all our blogger friends a Happy New Year 2011!
We want to begin the year with the highlight of our trip to the Corbett National Park. An exciting sighting of a beautiful Tigress, named Nick ear, in the Bijrani range of the national park. We were really fortunate to have spotted this Bengal Tigress almost at midday on this dawn to dusk safari. The fact that we were the only Jeep around ensured that she wasn’t spooked, enabling us to follow and observe her for almost 45 minutes.The fact that there are only about 1400 wild Bengal Tigers left in India makes every sighting of this critically endangered species, an incredible wildlife experience and a cherished moment for us.
This sighting started with us spotting the Nick ear at a distance of about 150 feet. She was just getting into the shade of a Sal tree to escape the severe winter noon sunlight. She laid down to rest and we felt that probably this would be a missed opportunity to observe her closely, as by nature, Bengal Tigers tend to sleep out the hot part of the day. However, to our delight, this was not to be. Instead, she decided to walk right in the middle of the scorching hot winter sun, giving us an opportunity to observe her in broad daylight. At a point she stopped next to a Sal tree and we realized that she was stalking a Barking Deer, which was around. But our excitement on the thought of sighting a probable hunt was short lived as we saw another Jeep coming from the other direction. Hearing the Jeep, the Tigress gave up her stalking and slipped into the thick Latana of the Corbett national park.
Here are a series of images from that awesome wildlife experience. All images were taken with the D300, 300mm f2.8.
Our best Tiger sighting till date was described in the Courting Tigers of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. In that four part series, we described how we sighted and photographed a courting pair of Tigers in a torrential downpour.