Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Bandipur Tales

Leopard, Big Cat, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, panthera


A big hello to my readers, its been long, really long since I posted here. This post is all about a three day stay followed by a one day round in Bandipur and Kabini respectively. I had the privilege of accompanying and guiding Alex who was visiting India purely for wildlife photography.

I wont be writing a lot here, but a few words here and there shouldn't do anyone harm.

I had just picked up my Nikon D4S and was dying to try it out in the field. Alex and I were both carrying similar equipment in terms of the main equipment. While he was using a Canon 1Dx and a Canon 600mm F4L IS II as his main camera, I was using the Nikon D4s with the Nikkor 600mm F4 VRII, as for secondary camera bodies, he was using a Canon 5D MkIII with a Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS II, I was using my faithful D3s along with a Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 VR. The Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 was rented out from BookMyLens.

Jeep safari, Jungle safari, bandipur jeep safari, bandipur safari, karnataka, bandipur
Thats Alex in the middle with his big gun, Rantel and Myself behind and some of the other guests.

Anyway here goes, after the drive from Bangalore, we checked in at the Bandipur Safari Lodge and since we had an hour before lunch, we decided to drive down to the reception area in Bandipur in hope of a little birding. In fact we spent a couple of hours everyday here in between the safaris.

photographer, canadian photographer, photographer in bandipur, photographing in bandipur
Alex photographing a Bonnet Macaque

After lunch, we headed for our first where we spotted a few birds and spotted deer all over. As the light began to fade we were left with 15-20 min more in the forest. It was in those last few minutes that we came across this handsome male tiger cooling of in a water body. Locally know as Prince, this guy is huge and does not shy away from the tourist vehicles. Anyway he did give us some good photography opportunity and Alex was really happy to have come across and photograph a tiger on his very first safari.

Tiger, Indian Tiger, Bengal Tiger, Panthera tigris, Big Cat, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, panthera
Bengal Tiger panthera tigris , yawning in waterhole

Tiger, Indian Tiger, Bengal Tiger, Panthera tigris, Big Cat, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, panthera
Bengal Tiger Panthera tigris , shaking of water
Tiger, Indian Tiger, Bengal Tiger, Panthera tigris, Big Cat, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, panthera
male Bengal Tiger Panther tigris walking towards us

Tiger, Indian Tiger, Bengal Tiger, Panthera tigris, Big Cat, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, panthera
A Bengal Tiger Panthera tigris sniffing the air

On the way back we came across the Forest Dept doing a great job with burning and creating fire lines to reduce damage due to forest fires.

Controlled Forest Fire, Forest Fire, Forest Department, Karnataka
Controlled Forest Fire

After a quick meal we called it a day.

The next day started with me waking up late, and the last i think!! Anyway the morning safari was good in terms of spotting a leopard, we did miss getting a good photo of it, but nonetheless it was a good sighting. Here is a photo of it crossing in between the two safari vehicles.

Leopard, indian leopard, leopard bandipur, Panthera pardus, fusca, Big Cat, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, panthera
an Indian Leopard Panthera pardus fusca, crossing a forest path


Suddenly we heard some frantic spotted deer alarm calls and headed towards the water body from where it was coming, no luck, the predator must have just been passing by, but I did manage to make a quick video showing the alarm calling behavior of the spotted deer. (Video at the end)

spotted deer, cheetal, chital, axis axis, deer, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers
Spotted Deer Axis axis at a water body

Alarm Call by Spotted Deer

The evening safari was good in terms of spotting a small heard of elephants and also a leopard, and yes we missed a great photo opportunity again, as we realized its presence on a tree only when we were right under it, having seen us it shied away from us dissapearing into the thick bushes. We did also see and photograph the Brown Shrike multiple times.

Elephant, indian elephant, asian elephant, bull elephant, wild elephant, tusker, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers
A bull Indian Elephant Elephas maximus indicus
brown shrike, shrikes, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus on a Butea monosperma tree

oriental magpie robin, magpie robin, robins, birds of india, birding, bird photography, birds of bandipur, birding in india, wildlife photography, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers
Male Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis

The next day we again had a mainly birding safari except for a wild boar sighting and pair of mongoose foraging for food.

wild boar, wild pig, pig,Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers
Wild Boar Sus scrofa

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Male Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis

brown shrike, shrikes, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus strikes a pose

After returning to the lodge and finishing our breakfast we headed to a nearby lake in search of the Bar-headed Geese that we had heard of, they had stopped over during their migration to the south. This time Rantel who was present during our safaris and staying at the same lodge also joined us. We thrilled when we reached the lake, there were easily more than 100 bar-headed geese there along with some Rudy-shellducks and Northern Pintails. A few distant shots of them were all i could manage.

bar headed geese, bar headed goose, birding, indian birds, ducks, birds of india, bird photography, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, top indian bird photographer
Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus
bar headed geese, bar headed goose, birding, indian birds, ducks, birds of india, bird photography, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, top indian bird photographer
Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus
bar headed geese, bar headed goose, birding, indian birds, ducks, birds of india, bird photography, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, top indian bird photographer
Bar-headed Geese Anser indicus along with a few Northern Pintails Anas acuta in flight

We drove down yet again to the Bandipur Reception area where I met a friend who told us a few birding locations, after driving for about 20 minutes, I spotted none other than our target bird hovering quite low, it was the majestic Black Eagle, a raptor not so easy to photograph, anyway all we could manage were a few shots of this bird in flight.

black eagle, eagle in flight, birds in flight, birding, indian birds, ducks, birds of india, bird photography, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, top indian bird photographer
Black Eagle Ictinaetus malaiensis in flight

As the evening safari began, we were exited as we had found two sets of fresh pug marks, one of a female and the other of a male. We drove around quite a bit, but in vain, no cats were to be seen. We did find a few Crested Serpent Eagles and a beautiful Peacock on a nice open branch of which I made some photos.

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Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus in Bandipur

After an early dinner we retired to our room and were deciding on where to head the next day after the Safari and checking out.

The last and final morning with only the leopard in our mind, yes the leopard, since we hadnt yet got a good photo of it from this trip, we headed into the forest for our final Bandipur drive. The safari turned out to be quite dry with a sighting of a White-eyed Buzzard in the distance. Returned to the lodge, packed our bags and checked out. We had had a great four day stay in Bandipur with some great sightings. The staff at the lodge was very helpful and friendly as ever and I cannot thank them more for their hospitality.

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a male Grey Junglefowl Gallus sonneratii
buzzard, white eyed buzzard,  birding, indian birds, birds of india, bird photography, Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, top indian bird photographer
White-eyed Buzzard Butastur teesa in the distance

We decided to head to Kabini from Bandipur. We had already spotted the tiger and the leopard in Bandipur, but had missed out on the other carnivore from there, the Dhole, also known as the Indian Wild Dog. The Kabini evening safari gave some lovely opportunity to spend almost 20 minutes and photograph a pack of Dholes.

Dhole, indian wild dog, wild dog, canid, carnivore,  Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, top indian bird photographer
A Dhole Cuon alpinus strikes a pose 
Dhole, indian wild dog, wild dog, canid, carnivore,  Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, top indian bird photographer
A male Dhole Cuon alpinus scent marks his territory

I must also mention that whenever we got a lot of opportunity to click baby Bonnet Macaques and Langurs, and below is one of my favorite photos ever, it shows the strong bond between the mother and the baby.

bonnet macaque, monkey, monkeys, baby animals, baby monkey,  Bandipur, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India, Wildlife Photography, Indian Wildlife, top indian wildlife photographers, top indian photographers, top indian bird photographer
The bond, Bonnet Macaque Macaca radiata

After this nice journey into the wild it was time to say bye to Alex as we was heading to Orissa for some birding with another friend of ours. I do have a lot many more photos from this trip which I will share in the days to come, I hope you enjoyed your visit here. For suggestions and feed back do use the comment form bellow.

Alex's Photos @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexantal/
Rantel's Photos @ Rantel Pereira Photography
Anupam's (my dear friend through whom I met Alex) Photos @ Anupam Dash's Photography
Sverker's website @ Tigressa.com

For me all the days were a great learning experience thanks to Alex, especially the use of this simple to use software for sorting and filtering out raw files on the move FastPictureViewer, you can download a trial of the software from their website HERE.

EQUIPMENT USED:
Nikon D4S

Nikon D3S
Nikon 600mm F4 VR II
Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 VR

Some usefull links:

Jungle Lodges: 
2nd Floor, Shrungar Shopping Centre
M.G.Road
Bengaluru, Karnataka
Ph no.: 080 25584111
website: http://www.junglelodges.com/

Book My Lens: 
No 745, 18th Main
1st A Cross 6th Block
Koramangala
Bangalore 560 095
Ph. no: 080 41633669 / +919611234528
website: http://www.bookmylens.com/

Join me on Facebook: Angad Achappa Photography
For tailored wildlife photography trips please get in touch at: angadachappaphotography@hotmail.com
All Images are Copyrighted Angad Achappa and may not be used in any form, website or print/online media without written permission of the Photographer. For any inquiry for the photographs please contact: angadachappaphotography@hotmail.com

10 comments:

  1. Hi Angad, awesome write-up and outstanding pictures. The tigers pics, especially the black and white one just stole my heart. :) do check out my article and pic on Ranthambore when time permits. Sharing the link here. Cheers, archana
    http://drishti.co/2015/04/04/jungle-book-a-virtual-tour-of-ranthambore-national-park/

    Ps - do keep posting such amazing pics, it doesn't harm anyone! Also, why deprive us of these beauties! :) tried posting this comment thrice - finally I hope it goes through!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you and sorry you had to go through so much trouble commenting, must be the filters that are on to prevent spamming from comments.
      I did go through your post, lovely write up and images!!
      Regards,
      Angad

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  2. You came back in style! Your lovely post is full of excitement and great photos. Cheers!

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  3. Wow, These are some brilliant captures. Although the writeup is also cool, but as a Photographer I would say that post is special because of these lovely shots !

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  4. Very cool photography... Really a good looking tiger here...

    Thanks to share such a good book with us and these photography is awesome...
    Ranthambore National park is really a home for tigers. you can enjoy the sighting with jeep safari in Ranthambore

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  5. Hi Angad
    Excellent pics! Can you please tell me more about those birding places? I'm planning to visit Bandipur and Masinagudi in January 2016.

    Regards
    Devashish

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  6. Amazing pics and an inspiration for an amateur photographer like me. Please do visit my blog and provide insights on my pics. http://photography-saara.blogspot.in/

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  7. Superb captures, hope to see more recent photos from you soon. =0)

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  8. Very helpful. I’m just starting out and it’s cool to know there are some people out there who dedicate time to giving such helpful tips.




    IIP Foundation India and Health Org | Online Photography Education | Indian Institute of Photography

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Comment and critique appreciated!