This was my second visit to this park and in lots of ways, different than the last time. The crows were not there; particularly the absence of foreign tourists was noticed, the local nationals dominated this time. More tigers were seen than last year during the same time period.
While there last year BBC was making a documentary of the “one-eyed tiger” called Kantaki. She had 3 cubs then but all were killed; this year two. She was very protective of them and we did not see them. The story that I heard is that she lost the eye in a territorial fight with another female and was defeated. But after healing she returned and killed the previous victor. My friends were intensively focused in the opportunity to photograph the famous “one eyed tigress” called Kankati. I was lucky to photograph her walking in a creek after cooling herself; the temperature at the time was 112 degrees F.
The monkeys are always there staring at you wondering why you are such a big monkey and they so small. I would say that the most abundant are the langurs. One Langur threatened to break my camera with a stone but I was not intimidated; his terrorizing face did not stop me. They spent most of the time moving thru the forest looking for food and the young ones playing in what look like serious fights. These monkeys are smart…they take a siesta in the middle of the day. And the Rhesus monkeys stare back at you trying to figure out what you are.
And there are spotted deer, probably the most abundant ungulate in the park , as well as the wild boards and the jackals…this was the first time I had seen one in the park. The Sambar is the largest deer in the park. They wade in streams and feed on the grass growing at the bottom of the streams. In the image below the male was guarding the female from other males that were trying to mate with her.
The peacock is very abundant and most often, displaying their feathers to atract the peahens. I was lucky to catch one flying; not easy since they just unexpectedly fly up or down from a favorite perching branch. Next is the Crested Serpent Eagle; this is an old acquiantance from last year. I recognized it since it is blind in one eye, I was pleased to know that it has survived one more year with such a handicap. The thicknee is also another special bird for me since I had seen them or their close cousins within the genus Burhinus (but diferent species) in Africa, South America and Australia. It is a very peculiar plover with large eyes and as the name implies “thick knees”.
This time I had the opportunity to travel at sunset along the small farming communities in the viscinity of park. What an exhuberance of colors and friendly people. There were lots of activities as collecting the wheat crop, making bricks, finishing walls and looking for firewood and pumping water from the community wells. Rather than providing more details, I rather post a few images.
I cannot catchup updating the blog since I have recently been in the “unfriendly skies” going places and catching strange diseases. So I will part with a photo of a resort in Yala that saw better days.