Date with the dholes – Tadoba 11
Tiger Trails and Tall Tales – Episode Eleven
We had just moved nearby the lake anticipating that Sharmilee and cubs might eventually come over to the lake for a water break. While we were crazily trying to figure out the movements of Sharmilee and her cubs (who were resting deep in the woods surrounded by thick grass and bushes after a hearty meal of the bison kill), interesting things were happening close by.
Out at a distance a pack of dholes (comprising of two adults and five cubs) were moving towards the lake. The leader of the pack suddenly changed tracks and the pack followed tracks towards the grassy area where we were earlier positioned.
The leader stopped, turned, posed for the cameras, waited, lost in deep thought. He inched forward towards the partly eaten kill. The idea was to check if the coast was clear for the group to enjoy the remains. Within a few seconds he came back rushing and the pack moved away. Probably the tigress was still around and the dhole boss thought discretion is the better part of valour.
All the while our cameras were aimed at the pack individually and collectively. With their beautiful furs glistening in the sunlight they presented quite a sight. You cannot imagine being so close to a pack of dholes in your wildest dreams. We were literally living the dream.
On the way back we got a glimpse of the elusive but colourful Indian Pitta. Given the thick growth in the forest and we being in a vehicle, which was jumping around in the trails, it was hard to frame a good shot. We also saw the orange headed ground thrush for the first time. The birds were making their appearance one at a time. The magic was happening.