Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Ranthambore National Park - Ranthambore Fort (North India - Day 3)

After lunch back at Khem Villas we headed back to the park as far as you're allowed to go without being in an approved and licensed vehicle, parking at the foot of the Fort. We then climbed up into the fort to explore further, spotting a Black Redstart on the way:


This Chestnut-shouldered Petronia used to be called a Yellow-throated Sparrow:


Wintering Grey-headed Canary-Flycatchers abounded too:


One of the reasons access is permitted to the fort is that it houses a number of Hindu temples and a Mosque. This is the Ganesh temple:


The fort is crumbling in parts but bustling in others:


The light on top however was great for birding, allowing me to get some great pictures of the local birds, including a male Indian Robin:


Red-vented Bulbuls:


Indian Silverbills:


And possibly my favourite portrait of the holiday, a male Plum-headed Parakeet:


The rest of the flock scattered as we approached but this bird held its ground to keep feeding, giving me time to stabilise the lens and concentrate on the exposure!

Some of the people manning stalls around the temples tried to scare us by driving a large group of monkeys at us, several of whom then proceeded to fight amongst themselves. We were unmoved however and carried on.

We headed out of the fort, passing the room of eighty columns, used apparently for audiences to impress the visitors:


Helen snapped our guide and me spotting birds as we walked along:


In the fading light a Painted Spurfowl emerged briefly:



And on the lake below a White-browed Wagtail:



As dusk approached our guide took us a to spot known for Painted Sandgrouse. We sat and waited for over an hour until after sunset they started to fly around. When they judged it safe, fully 50 or more birds landed within ten minutes, giving us a great wildlife experience, though one too dark for photography! We then headed back for dinner and to pack for our morning departure to Bharatpur.

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