Anyway, we were on-site but unfortunately we again drew a blank with Cheer Pheasant even though everyone was looking hard. The Captain, sharp-eyed as usual announced he had a Pipit on a large rock behind us. A Plain Pipit Lokesh exclaimed. We got the scope on it and it was anything but Plain for a Pipit anyway. We were all enjoying this bird and Keith and I assumed it must have a Plain song. Jack looked at us strangely and informed us the bird was a Upland Pipit (try it with an Indian accent and it will make sense).
|Upland Pipit or a Plain Pipit|
|The wife and I with the Himalayas as a backdrop|
After lunch at the Tiger Camp hotel Lokesh announced that we were going to meet the Gypsies in the car park, brilliant thought Joy and June, were going to get our Palms read, Fortunes told and there might be a cup of tea and a quick reading of the leaves afterwards. More than one person giggled when we met the Jeepses. Now in his defence they had Gypsies written on the side!
|Statue of the great man|
What followed was three of the most magical hours I have ever spent. The Reserve is massive it took all the time we had to get to the centre albeit we were birding some of the time. First up and completely unexpected we found not one but three Collared Falconets a small bird of prey. We saw loads of birds, then we pulled up at a spot where we could get out of the Jeeps called High Van, I assume it means High Vantage Point. There was a Grey-headed Fish Eagle sat in a tree and although we were ready to leave Lokesh went back the Jeep to fetch his Scope, this delay would prove vital.
We made our way back to the Jeeps five minutes later than planned when a young lad came running towards us nearly wetting himself with excitement – “Tiger, Tiger”. I ran the first ten yards spun around and went back for my camera, I wasn’t going to miss this. There were about 20 of us looking down over the River when we saw the Tiger making his way over the shingle beds towards the trees, all you could hear was cameras and excitement, I have never seen so many people so happy I felt close to tears it was really moving. Then as the Tiger reached the the trees, he must have heard us even though we were 200 yards away he looked back over his shoulder right at us. There was a lot of shaking of hands and looking at the back of cameras, they really were cracking lads and later Jack spoke to them in the restaurant and got their emails so as to send them pictures.
|He walked right to left across this scene which I had taken earlier, I have blown it up but there was no tiger then.|