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20 March 2012

Bhitarkanika ... A nature lover's paradise

An enchanting tour to Bhitarkanika National Park, Odisha

“The Bhitarkanika Mangroves are a mangrove wetland in India's Orissa state. The Bhitarkanika Mangroves cover an area of 650 km² in the river delta of the Brahmani and Baitarani rivers.”

Our first open crocodile visit
Exploring the nature in Bhitarkanika was one of my deepest desires and here I again visit the place for a two day trip affair with friend(s) and his family.
It took us around 5 hours to reach the place from the capital of the state. o.O ......
Beautiful Fiddler Crabs
Finally we reached the gates and the thrill to explore the place increased. After freshening up and having lunch we started wandering here and there watching the flora and fauna.
Our ride in the river
What a beautiful place it was!! A place where you see parakeets and woodpeckers everywhere and not the usual crows or mynas.  Where there is no sound except bird calls. chee-cheen…cuckoooo…. everywhere…  Beautiful pathways and alongside woodpeckers pecking on the coconut trees. At near by marshy land and ponds, roaming sandpipers and red-wattle lapwings. Hoopoes and Doves and Oriental Magpie Robins. Ah! we have reached a paradise!!

The soothing sunset
There were crocodile breeding cages and small ponds created for the crocodiles here and there. Beautiful flora was to be been. From big huge trees to bushy shrubs. Cant exactly name the trees, but they were very beautiful. :) We had an amazing creek boat trip where we felt the water to our nerves, watching the gorgeous scenery of the vast river and the mangrove forest besides. There are around 55 mangrove species in Bhitarkanika out of 58 known species. Amazing na!! Many Salt water crocodiles were spotted on the muddy river beds. Big-fat and sleepy ones that scared us. Alongside were Spotted deers who roamed freely, maybe keeping an eye on the crocs. Water birds like Pond Herons, Common Greenshank, Wimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Egrets were seen. It was fascinating to watch their eco-system in the open. Then finally the important hosts greeted us, the Blue Capped kingfisher and the Brown Winged Kingfisher. Few Blue Capped kept posing around us sitting from one open branch to other. Bhitarkanika is a paradise for kingfishers and watching these two for the first was almost like pleasing and fulfilling the trip to here. The guides also took us to one watching tower too. The view from there was in simple words awesome :)

Sharing the jungle

Two days passed like that amidst the nature and if time permitted wished to stay for even longer period. The next day we had to leave around afternoon to Bhubaneswar. And the first half went for more nature watch and birding. Roamed deep inside the mangrove forests, hearing bird calls and capturing few snaps. There were little crabs to watch and the strange aerial roots called Pneumatophore. There were Magpie Robins in view and Spotted Doves and Red-Whiskered Bulbuls and Common Ioras. I think we also saw one Rufous Woodpecker.  We waited for long hours to get some clicks of the woodpeckers and got some decent shots :) Deers passed along us freely and little scared of course. Human are most dangerous. There once again Blue Capped Kingfisher visited us and we jumped with joy. So unexpected it was. Then continuing our bird watching and feeling the nature deep inside us, we had our lunch, did some photo-shoot of ourselves and started off to home. 
One of the most beautiful morning 

Did I forget to mention that we lost a good chance to see a porcupine at night. Thanx to few loud tourists we missed it. Because after they saw the animal, they started shouting with joy and spoiled the whole environment of the wilderness. There was one guest who came to see off. Mr. Water Monitor, of whom we had only seen posters of inside the sanctuary.

The journey ended with the longing to stay back.  Priceless memories and feel.  Shall definitely come again  :)

This is the best my camera could capture. Enjoy !

17 March 2012

A new camera !!

Started with sisters Sony P-200, insisted and bought Nokia 5600 to photograph while I traveled, and then came the Canon SX 10 IS. 4 years went in all these photography journey and every equipment has got its special place for me. All these cameras have produced photographs preserving my memories and bringing out the best photographer in me. I value each of them very dearly. The latest one i.e. Canon had started giving me pixelated images and with a new serious genre of photography of Birds I now had to Update myself with a new camera. After much perseverance and proving myself to the world, I thought I deserved a DSLR and choose Nikon D5100 for me with the kit lens and an extra 55-300 lens. So Mr. Nikon is the latest gadget and hopefully we both will brings out the best from each other :) Another good thing happened with me getting a new camera. My nephew got the Canon to nourish his photography skills :)