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Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Eaglenest - April 2014

Arunachal Pradesh, Eaglenest – April, 2014

It was one of those trips! Endurance test, both mind and body!

Pratap Singh called. Eaglenest he said. The trip was on. Dr. Oswal joined from Delhi, Satish, Kulashekara and myself left from Bangalore, Pratap Singh and his student left from Dehradun. We all met at Guwahati on the 22nd April and proceeded to Eaglenest by road… two non-ac Bolero vehicles, the heat was on!

Our driver from the hills!
The drive was quite dangerous. Our driver was young and rash, we had a couple of close saves as he went off to sleep while driving I guess. Our inner line permit was checked at the border as we crossed Assam and drove into Arunachal Pradesh! Earlier, on the way our vehicle and every other vehicle was searched by Black Cat Commandos from the NSG. Some security issues I guess…

Crossing the border from Assam into Arunachal Pradesh
Though our flight from Bangalore left at 8am and reached Guwahati at 11am and we straight away hit the road, we were able to reach the famous “Lama Camp” only at 10.30 in the night! Tired and hungry. The staff boys had gone off to sleep, but were soon busy cooking our dinner… around midnight we finally hit our beds in the simple tents – what a day!

Lama Camp!
Mr. Indiglow who runs the Lama Camp
April 23, 2014. 5 am, we were up and searching for our first bird image! Lama Camp is in a superb location in the hills of Arunachal Pradesh. Thick green cover all around and the birdlife around is like nowhere else in the world! This is one place no serious birder can afford to miss!

We sat, we walked and we drove. We shifted camps…We spent five nights in the area shooting any bird we came across. Photographing birds was tough, almost all birds were small and would never break cover! Sometimes it would suddenly rain, and sometimes we had bright sunlight!

Bompu Camp
View from my temt!
We spent two nights at the “Lama Camp” and three nights at the “Bompu Camp” in the Eaglenest area and I was able to shoot the following birds (posted on Indiabirds)…

Bar-throated Siva, Beautiful Sibia, Black-faced Warbler, Blyth's Leaf Warbler, Bhutan Laughingthrush, Common Rosefinch, Eyebrowed Wren Babbler, Ferruginous Flycatcher, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Golden-naped Finch, Green-tailed Sunbird, Grey-headed Bullfinch, Little Bunting, Mrs Gould's Sunbird, Red-headed Bullfinch, Rufous-backed Sibia, Rufous-capped Babbler, Rufous-throated Wren Babbler, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Silver-eared Mesia.

On the 27th April Dr. Oswal, Satish, Kulashekara and myself drove down to Kaziranga National Park for a three nights stay. Here we stayed at the “Bonhabi Resort” and enjoyed the company of the Rhinos in the several safaris we made into the park. Bird photography was tough.

Superb lunch at Naga Mandir on our drive down from Eaglenest
Rhino tourism at Kaziranga
On the 30th April we flew back home. I had mixed feelings about this trip. One thing was sure, if you want to photograph birds at Eaglenest, and there are quite a few!, you need to spend a lot of time…flyby trips will not help much!

Watch out for this dangerous tick! and the very painful bite of the blood sucking "Dam Dum" flies!!
Vijay Cavale
April, 2014.