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[Photo essay] Ranthambore's wildlife left me mesmerised

There's more to the national reserve than spotting tigers.

 |  Patialawallah  |  3-minute read |   03-06-2016
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1. Baby Crocodile

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This young crocodile was sleeping in the shade.

Usually crocodiles inhabit many small pools in Ranthambore, but in the summer, most of these mighty reptiles move to larger water bodies when the smaller ones dry up.

This little one was the only one in the pool.

2. Collared scops owl

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This family of three was happy sleeping in its nest in this hole in a tree. Like most young ones, only the hatchling was awake to see what we were doing as we took photo after photo of the family.

3. Common kingfisher

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You see this little bird on Mr Mallya's beer bottles. We were lucky enough to spot this free of the bottles.

4. Lightening in the forest

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Two-year-old Lightening walks through the dhonk tree forest as she makes her way to a cactus thicket on the banks of Malik lake where she happily dozed off.

In this photo, you see Lightening walking towards the jeep we were in.

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The young tigress - quite used to the presence of jeeps and canters and humans, much like her sister Arrowhead - often provides fantastic poses for the photographers.

5. Mr Mongoose

Despite its tiny size and shy nature, the mongoose has a heart as big as a tiger's and is not known to back down from a fight.

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Also, our guide told us that if you spot a mongoose in a forest you have luck on your side.

6. Pacman

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A sibling to Arrowhead and Lightening, Pacman is the crown prince of Ranthambore.

When we ran into him, he had a full belly and was in no mood to pose for photographs. All he wanted to do was sleep. We came across Pacman twice after that. And both the times, he was asleep.

7. Paradise flycatcher juvenile

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This beautiful bird is a young adult and will eventually lose its russet shade and turn completely white, a trait seen only in male paradise flycatchers.

The females stay the same russet colour.

8. Spotted deer

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Always on alert, a male spotted deer shows off his beautiful antlers in all their glory. Also, one of the two favourite preys of the tigers that inhabit Ranthambore National Park.

9. Stork-billed kingfisher

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You won't see this beautiful bird in the vicinity of any city.

Unlike the other kingfishers, this one has a slightly longer and wider beak complemented by beautiful colours.

10. T60 with cubs

Here is the tigress T60 with her three cubs.

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She was spotted in Zone 2 of the Ranthambore National Park. We were lucky to spot her on our second safari.

Those who went on later safaris only managed to spot the tigress, but not her cubs.

According to the jungle grapevine, another tigress, Noor also has a litter, but those cubs have not yet been spotted.

Also read - Putting price tags on India's tiger reserves is silly

Writer

Bhavneet S Aurora Bhavneet S Aurora @bhavneetisms

Journalist, short-story writer, amateur photographer, associate editor at India Today.

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