Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Wildlife Weekend

On Sunday, we headed towards Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary,
some 40 kms away. In this pleasant weather, picnickers are
out in the open making the most of the weather, and off we
went too, for what is hopefully, the first picnic of the
season. The day was hazy and it shows in many of the photos.
Many of the trees were bare as seen in the first photo.

Please click on all images for a better view.

Besides tea and the mighty river Brahmaputra, Assam is also
known as the home of the one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros
unicornis). Although the sanctuary is spread over an an area
of 38.8 square kms, it has the highest concentration of rhinos
as compared to other sanctuaries in the state. With the day
being hazy, I couldn't get a clearer shot and we were told
by the guards not to venture into the grassland. This shot was
taken from the road bordering the park.

The small water bodies in the picture attract several birds.
Birds of the heron family dominated the water whereas the
skies were for migratory birds, mainly Siberian cranes which
flock to warmer climes in winter.

Another view of where the Rhinoceros roam.....

The Spider flowers (Cleome spinosa) were in full bloom. I'd
never seen cleome growing so abundantly in the wild. There
were many butterflies and a few dragonflies near the blooms.

On the edge of this water body too... A prominent feature of the
great wide floodplains of the Brahmaputra valley is a water body
of this type known as "beels". These low-lying depressions are
fed by rain and floodwaters during the monsoon. Rich in aquatic
life, they are a source of food to man and animals. Many villages
in areas near these "beels" depend on them for a constant supply
of fish.

The Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana). This is a stunning butterfly
with the spotted pattern on the wings. This species is native to
India, Pakistan, Burma and Sri Lanka.

After lunch we went boating. Took this shot from the boat.
Sunsets cannot be missed...just look at that colour!

As we passed colourful clumps of cleome and flocks of parrots
pecking at wild berries, huge flocks of Siberian cranes came to
roost on these trees. The sunlight was no longer strong and I
could only manage to capture these beautiful creatures sihouetted
against a fading light.

Like I said earlier, these birds dominated the Pobitora skyline.
I'd read about these birds coming here during winter but I'd
never seen them. We had no plans of going to Pobitora. We wanted
to be together somewhere in the great outdoors. Not everybody liked
the first spot and that's how we reached a place so rich in flora
and fauna. Needless to say we all came back happy with how it all went.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Kanak for taking us along on your amazing trip. The wildlife, butterfly, cleome, and the lovely sunset are just breath-taking. What a great way to spend the day together.

Sunita said...

What a great trip, Kanak! I'd love to see the rhinos roaming free (but at a very safe distance). That cleome is gorgeous!

Linda Lunda said...

WOW!!! Im sooo want to go there!

Chandramouli S said...

I love wildlife, Kanak and thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Vandaloor Zoo last month. I missed Rhinos and Hippos and many others as we started too late and it was closing before cover the Zoo, but you completed that desire. Great photos!

Chandramouli S said...

I had to look at the Butterfly for too long and it deserves a separate comment so here it is! Great shot, Kanak.

islandgal246 said...

very interesting place and post. It is great to pack a picnic and just go somewhere to visit.

tina said...

Just a magnificent day. One that you will remember forever. May many more come.

Susie said...

Your photos are just lovely Kanak. How neat to see the rhino's just standing and grazing. And the patch of cleome is so pretty.

Looks like you had a wonderful day for a picnic.

Titania said...

What a fantastic nature trail thank you Kanak for taking me along. I enjoyed all the pictures. The last one with the setting sun is a wonderful finale to a perfect day.

Sue said...

I should have some cleome blooming in July. It hasn't come up yet, thankfully, as it would freeze if it did.

Great pics!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

The Spider Flower is really gorgeous; it must be amazing to see 'in person'. The Peacock Pansy is such a great shade of yellow. Sounds like an interesting trip!

Kanak Hagjer said...

Mildred, one ends up taking so many photos and choosing them becomes difficult too! Yes, it was fun!

A jeep safari (park parlance) would be best for that Sunita. If you come this side we could go to Kaziranga.

Linda, I hope you can, Linda. Since you travel to Thailand you could stop in Assam as well. Give it a thought...winter is the best time.

That's so sweet of you Chandramouli...commenting twice! Thanks. That was my first sight of the Peacock Pansy too. I was lucky.

This park is getting a little overcrowded now. Despite the area being 38.8kms, only 16kms are for the rhinos. That's the grassland area, the rest is on an elevation where the rhinos do not roam. The present count is 112. Sometime back 4 rhinos were taken to Manas near the Bhutan border. I haven't been there but from what I've heard it's a paradise for birds, other creatures and flora.

Islandgal, thank you for stopping by. I hope I can post many such photos in the future.

Thank you Tina and Susie,I'm hoping for more of such days!!

Trudi, so glad you liked them. I've become a confirmed sun/cloud watcher now!

Thanks Sue, would love to see them when they do bloom. Thanks for stopping by.

'In person', that's so true Jan. Nothing like it even when you've seen them in books and on the World Wide Web! It's not a common sight to see an abundance of gorgeous blooms in the wild here.

Frances said...

Hi Kanak, what a wonderful day you had. I love the setting sun photo, showing an end to a nature filled glimpse into the wild.

funlw65 said...

I like very much your photos. I have some similar too:

Kanak Hagjer said...

Hi Frances, glad you liked it. Thank you for stopping by.

Hi funw65, thanks for telling me. I'll see you there. Cheers!

Karen said...

Wow, seems so exotic from here in Seattle but it's just in your backyard. I love the cleome in its native (?) habitat and also that you saw a couple of "unicorns" grazing. :)

Wendy said...

I too enjoyed your safari! It looks very exotic from here in Montreal, Canada. I was intrigued by the rhinos and the cranes roosting in the trees. I used to dream about cranes. Don't know why as we don't have them here.
You must have had a really good trip. Oh and the sunsets were beautiful!

Green thumb said...

Thanks Kanak for taking us on this exciting tour. All the pics are amazing!!

Kanak Hagjer said...

Hi Karen, must be, the cleome, I mean. There were many clumps but I posted just one. Couldn't help laughing reading about the 'unicorn'...

Hi Wendy, thanks. We do see birds of the crane family but I was very excited to see migratory ones.

Green Thumb, glad you liked the pics. And thanks for your visit.