Shingarpur to Babthenga and back


Heard the alarm calls of the Barking deer near the Shingarpur waterhole, waited, but did not have enough time, left the spot and out of the gate as it was time for the morning safari to close. I had my target fixed for the afternoon safari.

Waited eagerly for the afternoon safari to begin, entered and headed directly for the spot where I anticipated the Tigers to be. Reached the spot. Pin drop silence. No sign of any Tiger or any alarm call. Decided to check out the nearby Babathenga water hole, while approaching it saw fresh pug marks of a Tigress. But the pug marks stopped half way and entered the bush. Went ahead to see Babathenga water hole, no luck, but we knew that the Tigress was here, and this was not the same one who is near the Shingarpur water hole. Hence the curiosity increased, 2 Tigers very near to us, and we are unable to get them, but we did not lose hope, had over 3 hours with us. Turned around to go towards the Shingarpur water hole, and suddenly a Sambar alarm call, very near, we turned right back, and another call. Thought maybe the Tigress is moving towards the Babathenga waterhole (BTW). Went to BTW, no sign of the Tiger, waited for 15 minutes, yet no sign. Decided to turn and go towards Shingarpur water hole (SWH). Reached SWH, no sign. It was a really hot afternoon, end of May, and Nautapa ( 9 hottest days of the year) in progress.

Drink some water, and another alarm call, this time of a Spotted deer from near the spot where the Sambar Deer had called, turn the vehicle and again get to the spot, the Deer continued to give frantic alarm calls, we knew that the Tigers must be feeling the heat, and any moment they will arrive at one of the water holes, we changed our direction, and checked out another area close to the BTW, no sign of a Tiger. Alarm call stops. Over 100 minutes had passed, and we had been going from one water hole to another, and back, and back, and I guess the Tigers had decided to weigh my patience. And a Crested Serpent Eagle decided to show up close, took some images of this one

while taking images also, my ears were eagerly waiting for some Tiger news.Thought of stopping in shade for a brief while, had few sips of water, and back to SWH. Goodness, Shocked, Surprised, and Relieved, a Tiger sitting near the SWH, he was perhaps lying there in the grass, and we did not notice him, this time he had got up, and we saw. The distance was almost 50 metres, sitting in perfect Kanha landscape. I knew the picture that I will take might not be very clear, but for records I did take,

bird
 

 
bird

Suddenly another alarm call at a distance, this was near the BTW. Maybe the Tigress had come out near the water hole there, maybe not. Should I take a chance, or should I not? Questions, in and out of my mind yes, no, yes, no, and like in cricket too much of yes, no leads to a run out, I decided to stay put with the Tiger in front, after all a Tiger in hand is better than 2 in bush.