Sunday, 8 March 2015

A grey-breasted prinia

This afternoon, in three hot dusty hours of driving, almost all my guests and I saw was a grey-breasted prinia. That this morning, while I was not in the park, four tigers and two leopards were seen didn't trouble me in the slightest. No, not me, not one tiny jot.

Today, as summer's heat mounts and the days grow longer, the park's afternoon closing time was extended to half-past six. Nobody had thought to tell the slender, marmalade-orange, radio-collared tigress known as P1, who inhabits Pander Pouni. So a moment before six she emerged from the dense bamboo at the road's edge, quite silent, and sat for two minutes by us before blending with the forest once more.

No doubt she was returning to her two fourteen-month-old cubs, left in the relative safety of a dry stream-bed. Their father, known as Gabbar after a Bollywood villain, is also radio-collared. Thus these two parents contribute, albeit without their consent, to the park's understanding of the lives of its tigers.

I love tigers - this fact should need no stating - but of all the tigers I have seen, I think I love the slender orange tigresses the most.


Cats seen in 2015
cheetah Acinonyx jubatus fearonii            3
serval Leptailurus serval serval                3
leopard Panthera pardus suahelicus        2
lion Panthera leo nubica                          78
snow leopard Panthera uncia                   3
jungle cat Felis chaus                               1
tiger Panthera tigris tigris                          2
leopard Panthera pardus fusca                1

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