Anyone who has read Rudyard Kipling's the Jungle Book has dreamt of seeing Bagheera, and I was lucky enough to live this dream in Nagarhole Tiger Reserve, Karnataka, India. It is famed for its leopards, but seeing this magnificent melanistic panther in his natural environment was breathtaking. In the lush dark jungle of southern India, his dark fur does not hinder his camouflage.
Getting in position for the shot you want is 1 part skill, 1 part anticipation and 1 part luck.
The Endangered Nilgiri Tahr
The Nilgiri is the name given to a range of mountains spread across the borders among the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, and is hope to some truly amazing and endangered species... the Tahr is just one of them. I've never been so excited to see a goat before now! :)
The beginning of a great photograph is an idea, and this particular idea has taken me 2 years to realize. I wanted a picture of leopard up a tree, yawning towards the camera, in a lush jungle, with no sky visible, just a 100% jungle background. I have many pictures of leopards, but none like this.
This is what tigers really look like, strolling through the forrest in the dying days last rays of light! Majestic!
The room guest
You don't always have to go far to find great wildlife and images. This lizard was using the path to our room as a hunting ground, standing tall on the pebbles, this was his terrain and he was the alpha here.
South Indian Tiger
This is a rare shot of a south indian tiger displaying the flehmen response, "a behaviour whereby an animal curls back its upper lips exposing its front teeth, inhales with the nostrils usually closed and then often holds this position for several seconds. It may be performed over a site or substance of particular interest to the animal." [wiki]
Indian Scops Owl
It was past sunset and as we where leaving the park we turned a corner to come face to face to this leopard relaxing atop of a ruined temple. I had 30 seconds to shoot off a few frames before it got too dark to auto-focus and the cat left, elegantly wandering back into the unknown forest beyond. A magical moment!
The Monsoon light
The dull, over-cast lighting conditions during the monsoon makes for vibrant green foliage and stunning images, if you can spot the target.
The elephant grass of Kazirangar National Park and Tiger Reserve in Asam, India, is aptly named!
The lounging leopard
A leopard is most at home resting in the trees.
The human similarities of our close cousins is undeniable.
The family unit and strength of troop interaction in bonnet macaques parities those of humans.
The lone Gaur
The Indian Gaur is a marvel to behold. These huge animals can be more ferocious than tigers, but are not without intelligence. The males compete for mates not through physical combat, but through physical presence. Rival males compare mass, and muscle bulk. The one largest is deemed the winner and everyone goes home alive.
The start of a day
A leopard emerges from the underbrush into the dawning light of the day... our day was starting, his was ending.
I lay down on the bed of a jeep.... no protection, no bars, as she walks towards us. This is her territory, her land and we are nothing to her. She pauses and looks at us before moving on.
Nesting swallows on the banks of the Cauvery river in Karnataka, India, swarm out of their nests in coherent swarms.
A dark view
The endangered Yellow-striped tree-frog, endemic to the western ghats, actually makes nests above the ground using leaves.
The bear nacessaties
The biggest cause of termite mound destruction in Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve, India, is the Sloth bear. These big and volatile animals love the little insects... He may look nice now, but 20 seconds after this shot, he charged us, stopping short only 2 meter away...