After being cohesively attached for several years with Indian wildlife and the habitat, it is certainly a very difficult situation to be suddenly away from it.

Believe me ...this almost feels like snatching away a favorite toy from a child's hands while he is fully engrossed and absorbed with it !

Soon after completion of authoring the book "Birds of Western Ghats, Konkan and Malabar" published by BNHS / Oxford - I have been living out of India for last five years due to my professional commitments.

However the nostalgia keeps nagging me everyday to be back into the rich wilderness of India as and when possible. There is hardly any day in my life abroad – when I don’t miss the aroma of Indian jungles. Eagerly seeking any possible opportunity - I am always desperate and dying to be with the flora and fauna of the homeland!

Strongly driven by this urge, this time I intended to cover the following three diverse areas with my wife Deepa and son Shakunt–
1. Kumaon (Corbett and Pangot)
2. Greater Rann of Kutch

3. Western Ghats ( Thattekad & Munnar)

Also, this visit had another interesting context – I recently upgraded all my gear to new Canon equipment including the biggie (IS 500 mm/f4) and 100-400mm, 40D body together with a range of other lenses and accessories, Gitzo tripod and Wimberly head ……hence – a lot of excitement propelled the visit with this new gear in hand !
(By the way; in addition to the optical performance –my new biggie also got accidentally tested for its mechanical strength -when I had a tumble down ..a bangread the Kutch story!!)

This triangular visit turned out to be a fantastic one and yielded me almost 75 lifer species – the birds, mammals and reptiles that I came across for the first time along with the interesting sightings of the routine species. It gave me a glimpse of some rarities and unfolded a spectrum of wildlife of our own country.Please refer to the separate blog for each of these three destinations. Thanks to the valuable inputs and information provided by all the friends and the excellent travel help extended by Gaurav & Rahul (Saad, Pune).
More images from this trip can be seen in the “Recent Images” slide show section on the left side of home page on my website –www.saleeltambe.com

Looking to the exploding network of domestic flights within India, now it is quite possible to think of some aggressive travel plans which otherwise required several buffer pause days in between for accommodating connecting trains and tricky bus routes.

Five years back - I could cover only one or two destinations in a duration two weeks but now the reach is so well facilitated that one can easily cover the four corners of the country within a limited time of two weeks. Previous night you are listening to the Owl calls in interiors of some south Indian jungle and next day before the breakfast you are able to photograph an Eurasian Eagle owl up on a rock …somewhere very close to India-Pakistan border. Isn’t that a miracle ?

Truly reviatalised…coming back to the UK and getting back into the routine office work….I am now endowed with some recent memory markings that I can survive with till my next visit to the wilderness of homeland. I’m sure it won’t be too long because …I am yet to restore my luggage and clothes from this recent trip and I have already started dreaming of the next trip to my favorite places in the Indian wilderness…!!

1 comment:

indianjunglee said...

Hi Saleel,
Congrats on a brilliant trip..Images are simply awesome.