We have had a couple of good showers in Kabini over the past few days. Besides providing a welcome respite from the heat, they also doused all the fires that were raging in Nagarhole and Bandipur. Actually the days are still warm and it rains heavily in the evenings. At least that is what happened yesterday!

I took a jeep safari and since there were no guests, I decided to go away from the backwaters. The plan was to wait at Tiger Tank. It started raining when we reached, so we decided to move on. En route, we saw a few rare birds. The list included a Lesser Yellownape, a Blue Bearded Bee Eater, a Black Hooded Oriole, a Large Woodshrike and an Asian Paradise Flycatcher. We managed to get a decent photograph of a White Bellied Woodpecker.

After the downpour, I visited the Bisalwadi Kere, as it had been a while since I had been there. At the K.V. Junction we came across a Makhana (adult male elephant without tusks). At first he seemed a bit agitated by our presence, so we did not approach him and let him have his space.

After a while he calmed down and started nibbling on the fallen tree barks.

Once he finished he came onto the road and approached us. He still did not seem too comfortable, so I drove away.

After visiting the waterhole, which is now full to the brim, thanks to the rain, I followed the Balle River (a rain fed stream that joins the Kabini) along its course

We encountered an alert group of Sambar along the road. We heard their alarm calls even before we spotted them. This enabled us to approach them carefully and they let us come quite close, which was a pleasant surprise.

They are usually quite difficult to approach. This is probably the closest I have managed to get to a Sambar.

Unfortunately I did not get to see what had alarmed them. Whatever it was, had melted away.

After a satisfying sighting, on the way out, we saw this Stripe Necked Mongoose mother and her little one busy digging up the moist & soft ground looking for goodies.

All in all, it was a very pleasant evening, the rain providing a welcome respite from the heat, both to me and my friends in the forest! Each of us going about our daily lives, neither of us encroaching on the others’ privacy and at the same time, enjoying each others’ company.