Come winter and the hills of Uttarakhand send me an annual reminder. The prospect of reacquainting myself with the wonderful wildlife was almost unbearably good. For the second year in a row, Prateik, Sriram and Nissim and me, friends and fellow birding enthusiasts, set out to meet the Himalayas once again. But this time we would open with Corbett Tiger Reserve, one of the most spectacular forests in the country and a birding paradise as well.
|Tawny Fish Owl|
|Lesser Fish Eagle|
|Pallas' Fish Eagle|
|White Capped Water Redstart|
|Changeable Hawk Eagle|
Our last day in Corbett was to be spent on the fringes, outside of the Tiger reserve. The birding in this area is magnificent so we attempted to try our luck and get something new. First up we went to the Kosi barrage to look for Wallcreepers, another little beauty and again on the 'list'. As we made our way through the stones on the riverbank, I saw something move between the rocks. And as this bird perched on one of them, I saw it was a Wallcreeper. The grey coloration blends perfectly with the surroundings and only the flash of red on the wings makes it possible to spot as it moves along. We tried to move closer and got a few record shots before the bird flew off. Another lifer and we were just warming up. We went back to the Ibisbill spot and got reasonably good pictures. A few lovely birds in the bushes next to the river and we were off to Mohaan.
|Pin Tailed Green Pigeon|
Safaris (day trip or overnighters) can be booked online on the official Corbett Tiger Reserve website here.
Zones & FRHs
Corbett Tiger Reserve has 6 Zones - Dhikala, Bijrani, Jhirna, Sonanadi, Dhela and Durgadevi. Of these, Dhikala is the most sought after and where a lot of the tiger sightings happen, while Bijrani and Jhirna follow in the popularity charts.
There are 13 Forest Rest Houses (Or FRHs) open to tourists across 4 Zones (Dhikala, Bijrani, Jhirna and Sonanadi) Each offers different facilities, so please do check on the website before booking. Some may be very basic without electricity even, though that can be an enchanting experience!
Nirankar is an excellent guide, not only for tigers but also birds. He's also a wonderful human being, so you will have a great time with him. You can reach him on +918126015542.
1. It can get cold in Corbett in the winter, so please do carry adequate warm clothing.
2. If you're allergic to dust, then a face mask may be a good idea.
3. Please do not carry any alcohol into the park, there have been untoward incidents in the past and the authorities are very strict in their checking.
4. Carry a bean bag on your safaris, especially if you use a heavy lens.
|Collared Falconet with brunch|
|Pin Tailed Green Pigeon|
|Plumbeous Water Redstart|
|Rufous Gorgeted Flycatcher|