Dudhwa – an unforgettable 5 days: Day 5

This was our last day and the plan was to explore the beautiful Sathiyana range. Driving through the immense grassland, we emerged into a lightly wooded area. A pair of Himalayan flame backs were moving up a tree pecking for grubs!.

The male has a crimson crest and the female the black and white spittle.

A while later we surprised a chital with her fawn suckling, a tender sight early in the morning that touched all 3 of us. As my friend Joyce remarked later contemplating the moment, the chital is one of the most common deer in Indian jungles. However its seldom one gets to witness and record a moment like this.

Entering a dark and dense stretch we stopped by a waterhole when our guide spotted a pair of grey headed fishing eagles. They were a regal couple indeed, patiently scanning the waters.

My friend Joyce remarked they must be Bengali given their singular love for fish and the solemn intellectual look. He promptly named them Paritosh eagle! Basak and I affirmed that Paritosh and his wife made a splendid pair! We had seen the species a couple of days back, but from a long way off and were very happy to get some clear shots.

As we cleared the dense patch and came across lightly wooded territory an Indian grey hornbill settled on a low branch. It took off as soon as I shot it, almost as if it had come to bid us goodbye and onwards!

Here’s a closer look at this beauty and adieu!

With that I come to an end of our Dudhwa trip, fascinating 5 days in one wildest and beautiful forests I have been to. Here’s some useful contact information for those who want to check it out:

Mr V P Singh (Dudhwa FRH in charge) : 09455368857

Guide – Sonu (advisable to book him in advance as he’s much in demand – guy is really good):09452042874

The number of Palia Forest Dept is : 05871233485

Dudhwa Forest Director: Gautam : 09415410515

After going there we realised that the best way to book is to ensure that the Forest Department in Lucknow receives a fax and issues a booking receipt / number to you. Without it be prepared to be bounced around! Stay at Sathiyana definitely, its an awesome place. See if you can somehow manage Sonaripur…

We missed Katerniaghat, so that the next one!

Thanks a lot to Pralay Lahiri and Avneet Mangat of INW and Wild Places of India. They gave me a lot of info before I landed up there. Ashwarya Sharma of INW was also of great help with numbers and contacts. At Dudhwa the WWF team was sterling, especially Dr Mudit Gupta whose dedication, commitment and passion for Dudhwa and conservation efforts is inspiring!

Please find below a map that may be of use (I have taken it from an excellent website run by fellow INWians – Wild Places of India – their website is an excellent tool to plan your journeys in the last remaining wild places of India!)

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