Close encounters of the avian kind – Tadoba 13
Tiger Trails and Tall Tales – Episode Thirteen
Our return flights to Mumbai were booked for late night. With no further rides in our itinerary, we decided to go shoot the birds. After the previous day’s entertainment show, deciding on Devada Gate was a no brainer. Our good friend Didier had a ride scheduled for the buffer zone through Agarzari Gate. He was kind enough to accommodate us in his jeep and dropped us at the Devada Gate.
It was early morning and we remembered Didier spotting the flying squirrel. Lo behold! There was the big fellow taking off from his perch, being harassed by a few langurs. He glided from tree to tree, shifting to a tree near the Agarzari Gate before vanishing deeper into the forest. The morning light was insufficient for a camera frame but the eyes feasted on the sight. Wings spread like a bat, it was quite a spectacle.
We shifted to the right, close to a huge puddle formed by the water let out by the forest workers. This was for the birds to quench their thirst in this hot dry summer. In some time the birds show started. They all came again; the flycatchers, fan tails, monarchs, oriental white eyes, magpie robins, racquet tailed drongos, rufous treepies. The birds were dipping themselves in the water, gulping a billfull and merrily flying around the trees and bushes.
We watched, we marvelled, we framed, we were covered with dust and dirt, as we sat, slid and laid prone to get the best angles. Time passed by and we were lost in the world of birds. We were shaken back to reality when we saw the morning safari riders returning back through the Agarzari gates. It was time to go. We hitched a ride with Didier again and returned back to the homestay.
Post a heavy breakfast, piping hot tea and a little chat with Didier, we returned to our room for a quick bath and a well deserved rest. Later after a sumptuous lunch late in the afternoon, we packed our bags for the long journey back home.