Bharatpur ~ The paradise for birds...
"Keoladeo National Park" was formerly known as "Bharatpur bird sanctuary", situated near Delhi/Agra in Rajasthan.
The The 29 sq.km. protected sanctuary is home to around 300+ birds and a prime destination for ornithologists and photographers from around the world.
The sanctuary consists of dry scrublands, woodland, wetlands, swamps, small lakes attracting all kinds of birds specially in the winter migration season.
And, thanks once again for my friend CK Nara for being an awesome companion in one more of our trip.
Thanks to Devendra from IORA Guest House who took care of our stay and arranging our rickshaw for the entire duration. Our rickshaw guy, Paramanand aka Gabbar knew the park very well and the locations of different species of birds. His patience and hard-work was really appreciating to adjust to our photographic requirements!
Equipment: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, Canon 24-105mm,Canon 300mm, Canon 500mm, Canon 1.4 TC, Tripod
The Oriental darter or Indian darter (Anhinga melanogaster) drying its wings. The darter aka snakebird hunts the fishes by diving under water. When it comes out from water, it has to dry its wings to be able to fly well. This specific guy was using the same perch and would greet us everyday at the same place while the sun rose behind us.
The gadwall (Anas strepera) male. They breed in northern Asia and Europe and come to India during their annual winter migration.
The greater spotted eagle (Acquila clanga) is commonly seen raptor (birds of prey) seen around Bharatpur. You can see it mostly perched at a distance. This was luckily seen by the roadside and let me approach it from close before the crows chased it away.
The greylag goose (Anser anser) shaking off the water from its body. The small group of greylag goose was a lucky encounter on the first day itself as they were seen always far off in later encounters. The group was busy feeding, preening and moved away after some good time.
The crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) is seen for few evenings in our return from the park occupying this same perch. The sun was setting behind and it was pretty clean from the road. I used the tree in front of me to form the framing around the leaves to give it a different feeling.
The lesser whistling duck (Dendrocygna javanica) seen close from the watchtower in Block K. They were on the islands inside waterbodies, always noisy and involving in mock fights.
The nilgai aka Blue Bull(Boselaphus tragocamelus) is seen in the swamps in quite a good numbers in the park. In the absence of large predator, they are thriving in this habitat which they share with the other winged fauna here.
The Oriental darter (Anhinga melanogaster) remains submerged in the water in search of fish. It then pierces its beak in the fish and come out of water, tosses it up in air to swallow full.
The Indian jackal (Canis aureus indicus) doing the rampwalk. They are very commonly seen on the tracks where the tourists are less and fearless to humans and won't vanish unlike at other places.
The greylag goose (Anser anser) in flight.
The brown shrike (Lanius cristatus) posing in good light.
Indian Red-Crowned Roof Turtle (Batagur kachuga) - This is critically endangered species from India due to its habitat loss. They were seen basking on the riverside of Chambal near Dholpur.
The lesser whistling duck (Dendrocygna javanica) were occupying the mud island and were always alert. They were all take to air as soon as they spot a Eurasian Marsh Harrier above their heads.
The male sambar (Rusa unicolor) enjoying few last rays of the sun before it sets down.
The mugger crocodile or Marsh crocodile basks on the rocks of Chambal Riverside near Dholpur.
The Indian softshell turtle (Nilssonia gangetica) attacking a Lesser Whistling duck. The flock of ducks were alongside this turtle who was busy basking. Then, suddenly, it launched an attack on these ducks while trying to catch one of them. The bird flew to safety and turtle went into water.
The sarus crane (Grus antigone) pair in calling pose. These are the tallest flying bird in the world and normally pair for life. They do the dancing and calling in unison and can be heard from a long distance.
The Indian Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosa) baby blocking my way and asking for a kiss. I just could not help but make some images as it kept crawling around me.
The spectacular landscape of Bharatpur is filled with the birds in water, in the sky and everywhere. The season was just starting and birds were still arriving. I have to wait for the flock of birds to occupy those places in the sky to make this image.
The sarus crane (Grus antigone) were seen almost all the times. Sometimes pretty far and sometimes too close that you can not even fit their head in the frame. This one was shot through the foliage to give it that painting like feeling.
The black-necked stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) habitat. They are much more accomplished hunters. Have seen them successfully take down on ducks and them hit them repeatedly before they start consuming it.
The sarus crane (Grus antigone) pair flying across the landscape to go their roosting site.
The great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) - A small group was seen on couple of days. This group was just soaking in the last few rays before the sunset and huddling together. The sarus crane, though, did not like them in their roosting site and chased them away as soon as they landed nearby.
The sarus crane (Grus antigone) pair busy preening. Normally the male is taller one and female a little short. They roam around the fields in pairs.
The eaglescape. The greater spotted eagle (Acquila clanga) enjoying the sunset while the rosy starlings play around the eagle.
The sarus crane (Grus antigone) pair feeding in the fading light in their habitat.
The nilgai aka Blue Bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus) in BnW.
...where the eagles rule - The greater spotted eagle (Acquila clanga)
The Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) and moonrise. The peafowl was seen at the same place for their roosting.
Do not forget to write about how you liked them below. Thanks for the time spent here.