New Journal..New Site

I had hardly touched my website since I had launched it. So a few months ago, I started to think about a new site and began slowly writing some code. 
Today, finally, I feel its come to a stage where I can launch it. So here is presenting the new
I also decided to move out of LJ to my own journal.  LJ was great to start off with, but looks like these days there are a lot of bots and spammers out there trying to market to me and so I felt its time to move on to my own blog where I get more control. The new URL of the journal is

I will be cross posting for a few weeks, but do kindly update your bookmarks to the new site and journal.


Kabini !

Yet another visit to Kabini, and even this time it was extremely fruitful. Though I didn't see any big cats, I came back quite satisfied with a lot of excellent sightings and some good experiences.

On one of the mornings we were on the regular safari trail where we found this Monitor Lizard sitting peacefully in a small pool of water. Since being cold blooded, the lizard had not warmed up and so was very docile except for the movement of the eyes. We took our chance and manage to get some good photos before it got active and walked away.

In the evening, I decided to head out on the motor boat and try my luck. Our boat driver told us about the Shaheen Falcon and the Osprey that were sighted frequently these days. He even gave us a guarantee that we we WILL get to see the Shaheen falcon.  The Osprey was very shy and flew away from quite a distance, but not before I managed a few images. The shaheen falcon though obliged us for a longer time and was able to make "good" images even in some poor lighting conditions.

My record of sighting big cats at every visit to Kabini was broken this time, but  I was not too bothered with that small detail as I had got my money's worth in this trip with the osprey and the shaheen falcon. 
I managed to make some images of the wild boar and the wild dogs that we frequently saw whenever we were out in the jungle.  I especially like the pan effect here because these guys don't sit still and often run away at the first hint of disturbance. So this is how you see them quite often in the jungle.  

The wild dogs were extremely playful and didn't have any such issues posing for us and we clicked away to our heart's content. 

As I have always said, I am in love with Kabini. Regardless of whether I see any of the big cats or not, this is one place I will always keep visiting. 

Return to the grasslands

It had been two years since my first visit to Maidanahalli and so me and a couple more friends decided to re-visit the grasslands in search of better photographs of those magnificent Blackbucks.  The last time I was there, I had just gotten into wildlife and photography and was still honing my skills so to speak.  Since then, my skill with the camera has improved and am hoping that my skill with other aspects of photography such as composition,processing, exposure etc have gotten better. 
It was a good trip overall, Along with the blackbucks we got sightings of a white eyed buzzard a short toed snake eagle and some other raptors that were a bit far away to be identified perfectly.  The number of blackbucks were a bit less compared to the last time I was there, but that maybe because we were focusing on finding raptors as much as photographing blackbucks.  Towards the end of the day, we did have a excellent sighting of a Grey Francolin pair and a snake which slithered across the road before we could ID it properly.
Looks like the photo constipation phase ( term coined by deponti  ) is setting in and I haven't gotten around looking at all the images. But I did manage to process this one image and hopefully will get time to do a few more in the coming weeks.

Wilderness Personified

Its been one amazing week. It started off with a friend of mine who bought himself a new car and wanted to take it out of the city for a day long drive. He was determined to go to BR hills and we left very early in the morning so that we could return on the same day. The omens were good as a mongoose crossed our path and our visit to BR Hills was rewarded with my first ever leopard sighting in that area. It passed in front of us so quickly that we didn't have any time to react. We just got a brief glimpse as the leopard walked off into the undergrowth. Was glad for the sighting, but hoped I would get a chance to photograph a leopard again.

Later in the week I was on a mini vacation and decided to visit Bandipur, but this time luck was on my side. Quite similar to BR hills, we had the same sighting, but this time the leopard obliged us for a few more seconds, enough for me to take a couple of pictures.

Canon 350D with 55-250 IS
ISO 400 with 1/45 sec shutter speed at f/11

The froth at the edge of the mouth seems to indicate that it had eaten something recently,though I am not 100% sure that is the reason for the froth. Leopards are truly fascinating creatures. They are highly sensitive to their surroundings and will jump into a thicket or on top of a tree at the first sign of danger.  This one gave us a good 10 second glimpse and then went into the bushes, looked at us for a few more seconds and then silently disappeared. 
We also saw a huge sloth bear and the rare spot bellied eagle owl but unfortunately could not make any images of those as the sightings were very brief and in extreme low light situation.

HDR Image

 This doesn't come under wildlife and nature photography in its true sense... but I was interested in trying out HDR ever since i heard about it... and so here is one of the first in hopefully a series of images I will do in HDR.



Came back today from a quick trip to Bandipur. I went to Bandipur via bus this time, and the journey was excellent. Not once did I have to wait for a bus or stand while I was in it. Due to the quality of the service and the frequency of the buses, I was able to reach Bandipur on time and return quickly as well.  The Airavatha (Volvo) bus service was excellent. We Karnataka people are spoilt for choice.. :-)

In Bandipur sightings were not all that great. We saw some tiger pug marks, but as is the case in south india, getting a glimpse of the king is a rare event.  Of the images I managed to take, this barking deer is the one I like. They are usually shy and do not often come out in the open for a long time, hence was glad I could make some decent images.

Surprise Sightings

 I was out birding with a friend today morning. We had been walking for quite a bit and decided to head back and get some breakfast as I had started to feel hungry.  Was not all that happy with the birding as we had only managed to sight some flame back woodpeckers, coucals and sunbirds. 
We were almost at the car, when we heard a strange call coming from near the bushes. It was very strange, unlike any bird call I had heard before. I frantically searched the bushes and the trees trying to locate the bird that was causing the strange call. 
As I was looking, I observed something moving on the ground in the open. My first thought was that it was a rat out in the open, but when I went a little closer I realized it was actually this creature on the ground making the call. 
As it turned out, it was the young of a Common Palm Civet. I don't know what it was doing out in the open but it was frantically calling for its mother is what I could gather. It was a very young specimen, and I doubt the eyes had fully opened yet. 
We decided to take some photos quickly and then leave the civet inside the bushes. Its not the predators that we were worried about, that is natural selection. We were afraid if any people passing by would notice and pick up the animal.  Hopefully its mother will come back and it will be safe. 


Mongoose Young Portrait

Jungle Lodges Naturalist Training Programme

After trying 3 times  and telling deponti  repeatedly to inform me, I was finally able to attend the Jungle Lodges Naturalist Training Programme last week. It was organized by Karthik of JLR. Check out his amazing blog here
Over the course of 2 and a half days,  we got to do some excellent birding with a very enthusiastic group of people. The p-lifer for me was sighting the Small Minivet. We also had excellent sightings of Black Eagle and Eurasian Eagle Owl among other birds. 

The course itself was well divided into class room and field visits. These proved very valuable, as I realized the factors that I was either missing or overlooking when bird watching.  
Took a fair bit of photos, but haven't gotten around looking at all of them. For now, here is the young of a  Common Indian Toad. The picture gives you a size of the toad which can grow up to 20cm long.


For the love of the game

Most people in India as far as I have seen only watch football or get excited about it once in 4 years during the world cup. During this time, it's quite common to support the traditional power houses of football i.e brazil , argentina.
Also, most people tend to rant about the if it's second nature to them..yet few play the sport or follow any of the teams consistently.
As the second most populated country in the world it's hard to accept that we can't produce a squad of 22 people which can represent our country at the world stage.
Even from an economic perspective...surely it makes a lot of sense to promote the sport..yet few in roads have been made so far.

Will the day ever come..when I see the Indian national anthem being sung at a world cup and a matched played??
If other nations such as Ghana, Nigeria and Honduras can be there..why can't we??

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