This was the morning of our Elephant safari through the grasslands and we set off with a beautiful sunrise behind us with the sounds of trumpeting wild Asian Elephants as a backdrop. It is more of an experience than anything, but we did get close to seeing a Tiger with one Elephant almost standing on it (well that’s what it looked like) as it bellowed, trumpeted and seemed to lurch sideways very quickly. All of this was observed from a distance by my group I have to add! We searched and searched but couldn’t come up with a view of the beast so had to settle for Black Francolin, Black-hooded Oriole, Yellow-eyed Babbler and best of all, a Chestnut-eared Bunting that perched nicely for us. With that over we jumped in the jeeps and drove along the Sambar Road again, but it was very quiet and all we got that was new was a little flock of Red Avadavat.
|Birding the Sambar Road|
With both Pygmy Wren-babbler and Grey-bellied Tesia calling but not responding it was a very frustrating couple of hours. Upon our return we vacated the rooms and then phaffed around waiting for lunch, which gave us plenty of time to scan the scene below us.
|View from Dhikala|
All the same birds were present as yesterday, albeit in smaller numbers, but a Golden Jackal was new. So as soon as lunch was over we headed back towards the Dhangari Gate on what turned out to be a very ‘birdy’ drive, starting with Greater and Himalayan Flamebacks finally being seen, followed by a Grey-faced Woodpecker. Continuing the theme, there was a fine Rufous Woodpecker, followed by Grey-capped Pygmy and Fulvous-breasted Woodpeckers as well. We also managed a pair of Large Woodshrikes and an Orange-gorgeted Flycatcher as well before reaching the main gate.
I must admit, Tiger Camp was sheer luxury after 2 nights at the basic Dhikala site – with chicken sandwiches and hot chocolate from room service. That’s right Frank!