Day Trip to Sariska -Tigers and More (Part II)
In front of Gurudutt’s gear I felt like not even taking my camera out of the bag but still I braved it.
Gurudutt uses Nikon D800, D300 – 24~70, 105, 70~200 (all f/2.8 ), 300 f/4, TC-14E-II and yes he was carrying all of it. In front of his gear, I was using a Canon 550D with a poor man’s zoom lens EF-s 55-250.
While leaving the forest office other guides told Hari Singh that ST3 had been sighted early morning and we made a dash for that location. Reached there in no time and started to bide our time and trying to remain as silent as we could. In the meanwhile other vehicles also learnt about this sighting and in no time we had no less than 7-8 vehicles at that location.
We didn’t hear any alarm calls nor saw any pug marks. Suddenly the guide from another vehicle parked near the watering hole started gesturing us and pointed at something.
I thought that I couldn’t be so lucky to sight a Tiger within 30 minutes of entering the jungle. We moved our vehicle closer and could see ST3 cooling in the water about 50 feet or so from the road.
Immediately I heard something like an automatic weapon going off but was glad to see that it no gun but was the shutter from Gurudutt’s Nikon D800. Wasting no time I managed to capture a couple of shots but then all hell broke loose.
The other vehicles started not to come near but RACE to our location as we had the best vantage point and I witnessed something that I’ve never seen in any of the other parks.
The tourists started climbing out of their vehicle (which is surely forbidden), calling for each other loudly TIGER—TIGER—SHER—SHER—TIGER. If that wasn’t enough they started crowding around our vehicle and to top it off started climbing onto our Gypsy shaking it like mad.
There was this one old woman who must have been like 65-70+ years old and if left to herself she would have taken like 5-7 minutes just to climb out of the vehicle on her own. But in the commotion I saw her spring out of her vehicle which would put Olympic Athletes to shame and sprint towards our Gypsy. All this while the guides and the drivers kept trying in vain to tell the tourists to go back but they wouldn’t even listed to them.
All this was too much for the Tiger. She (ST3) waited for a couple of minutes and then decided to move away from this place. Giving us a final glance she (ST3) started to move away from us into the thicket of the forest.
Had she decided to charge at the tourists, I’m sure that she would have covered the distance in under a minute and the tourists wouldn’t even have had a chance to run back to the safety of their vehicles. It would surely have resulted in an unfortunate incident.
Here are some of the shot I could manage of ST3
I wished that had the other tourists showed some patience and more importantly brains we would have seen ST-3 resting there for a long time, but alas. We decided to try our luck again and as can be seen from the GPS log we thought that we could intercept the path which we thought ST3 was taking and went to the back side of the watering hole. Waited there in anticipation for a long time but nada. I think that she(ST3) had enough of the commotion for a day and was done for with reveling herself.
GPS Track on Google Maps
2013-04-21 Sariska Morning Safari – Google Maps
You’ll have top zoom in the above link.
A screent shot of the above as below
Hari Singh our Guide inquiring from the other Guides whether any other sightings were reported
Thereafter we scouted other locations, watering holes, trying to locate pug marks etc.
Saw these Peacocks at a watering hole.
Male Spotted Deer
A small bridge in the forest
A group of Sambhar Deer resting under the shade
I think this one must have been injured in a fight with another deer. His left ear is cut from the outer edge
This fellow kept licking himself. I couldn’t see whether he was hurt or what. I waited for quite a while if he showed me his face but he didn’t oblige
Finally we made an exit from the forest gate at 10AM. Spotted this bird (don’t know the name) trying to catch butterflies for breakfast at a butterfly buffet of sorts.
This one must have had his fill at the buffet as he came down to have some water to wash down what he had.
to be continued…