Bharatpur - Drama over the Kill
- With BNHS Lead-Biodivesity Team
- March, 2020
It took us about 40 minutes to reach near the end of that road (from where the sarus should be visible) but there was no sign of the elusive birds. One of us (Vaishali) had hired a bicycle and although the cycle-rickshaws were not allowed, we could cycle on the roads. Then Adil volunteered to search for one small adjoining road (in the hope that the birds may have strayed somewhere further down).
Light had already started fading so we had to decide something quickly. Besides that, some of us had the late evening train to catch. So, they had to be back to hotel by 6/6:30 anyway.
Little later Adil came back hurriedly and asked us to follow him. We obviously thought he had seen the Sarus cranes.
Steppe Eagle joining in..
Our wait wasn’t long. Within about 10 minutes one of the Jackals was back. It approached very cautiously till it reached the spot. We quickly raised the cameras. While we were watching the jackal, we saw a white bird flying towards it, it passed jackals and flew further behind us. We could not recognize it but I went ahead with few quick shots anyway. It turned out to be the “Hen Harrier”. An uncommon sighting and a lifer for most of us.
Jackal near carcass
By then it was 5pm and some of us decided to go back (to be in time to catch their evening train). As they were moving back, the jackal once again got alerted and ran away.
Eagle coming down
The guys who had returned back had got some news about Sarus sighting (near the main road itself). On hearing this, part of our remaining group got interested in seeing the Sarus and decided to go back, now only 3 of us (and the other group that was already there) remained.
As they were moving back, the eagle got disturbed and went back to the tree.
Back to the tree
Once again, we waited patiently. The jackals did not disappoint us, they promptly came back at the kill.
Threatening the Crow
This time the jackals could eat undisturbed as we all were photographing them without making any noise/movements. But now, there was an unexpected intruder.
Jackal devouring the remains
Jackal devouring the remains
Wild-Boars with Crows
By now, the other group of photographers also decided to leave. With their movement, the boars got disturbed.
Once again, we waited for the jackals to come back (only 3 of us remained on the scene now). But for some time, there was no movement. Even the raptors didn’t move. So we though of walking back. In that process we had now walked very close to the spot. Suddenly we realized the jackals were coming back. We stopped where we were. Adil I think was sitting down and me & Sameer were standing, we remained unmoved, just adjusted our cameras (but no movement otherwise). This time I even managed to get the video of the jackal.
The drama was still not over! Within a few minutes, a small boar appeared again (much smaller in size compared to the earlier adult), but even he bullied the jackal to take control of the carcass.
By now it was getting late and also we thought our proximity is disturbing the animals, so we decided to move. With our movement, the boar ran away and the field was once again open for all.
On our way back, we again saw 2 jackals cautiously approaching the kill. We just hoped they will be able to eat without any further disturbance. Or whoever else that was lucky. It is like the saying in Hindi “दाने दाने पे लिखा हैं खाने वाले का नाम”…
By the way, just for records, even we managed to see the Sarus Cranes on our way back (the Sarus cranes were walking away, far from us).
I will be more than happy to answer any query about this tour. You can either put a comment down here or write to me on “firstname.lastname@example.org”.