Sunday, August 09, 2015

Nightmare in Bandipur - Part 3 : Leopards on the prowl

26th January, 2015

Link to previous post here

The reason I was in Bandipur this trip was Republic Day. Sometimes there is a suspicion about who is more excited about a school holiday that falls outside of the usual vacation seasons. Since my son insists on 100% attendance at school, I make use of every little opportunity to run off into the jungles.

Pic Courtesy: Skandapoorvaja
Handicapped as I was, the morning of 26th January held little interest for me. The damaged 300mm still weighed on me and I was in two minds whether to go on the morning safari. The previous evening's leopard notwithstanding, I was loathe to go with without my favourite lens.

Finally, not wanting to waste an opportunity to just bump around my favourite tiger reserve, I clambered into the vehicle. Morning safaris were usually quiet affairs as the larger mammals and the predators would become active only as the sun came up. It was winter and there was a nip in the air, we pulled our headgears down to cover our ears and hunkered down for what we though would be a cold and uncomfortable drive.

An hour into the drive we saw another vehicle pulled up ahead of us. There was, apparently, a leopard in the bushes and it would probably cross the track! Our driver thought he was a clever bloke and said it would come out on the track that branched off, a little behind where we had stopped. So he backed up to the previous junction to cover both tracks.

Suddenly the folks in the vehicle ahead of us jumped up and started clicking furiously. By the time our driver got us back to the original point the leopard had decided to go deeper into the forest rather than cross the track in front of two vehicle load of crazy humans!

Skanda managed to get a few face on shots, like the one above, but me? I never got anything as nice!

If I had stayed back brooding over my loss I would have missed this. It seems Bandipur was compensating!

I was still not used to the fact that I was holding a zoom instead of a prime. Using the zoom ring and in-body tele-converter was taking a little bit of effort and some jiggling of my memory. I'd have to get used to it unless something totally unexpected happened!

Juvenile crested serpent eagle

White eyed buzzard

White eyed buzzard

The Kabini trip report is pending and hopefully it will be up next weekend. Between this trip and the one to Kabini I was lying low. The damage to my Zuiko 300mm f 2.8 was still not off my mind. Apparently it had to go to the Tatsuno facility in Japan for repairs and the service center in India was having problems sending it. Then something unexpected happened!

My Kabini trip with my new 'girfriend will be up shortly! Watch this space. I will update it before my upcoming trip to Bandipur and Masinagudi later this month.

Happy Woodcrawling.............

1 comment:

dwstup said...

Luv ur blogs.doc. great images. U are a pro man.