|Salt Water Srocodile (Crocodile porosus).|
Lying in the estuarine region of Brahmani- Baitarani in the North-Eastern corner of Kendrapara district of Odisha, A protected area since 1975, Bhitarkanika includes mangrove forests, rivers, creeks, estuaries, back water, accreted land and mud flats. The area is intersected by a network of creeks with Bay of Bengal on the East. Its 672 sq.kms. of mangrove forest and wetland, designated as a National Park since 1998, is a refuge for the endangered Salt Water Crocodile (Crocodile porosus).
|Spotted Deer in the Mangrove!|
|Drinking salt water...?|
The 160 kms drive from Bhubaneshwar took us a long time as the roads were bad and we reached Dangamal after dark (6pm) and quickly checked into our place of stay for the next three days -> “Nature Camp” ! Basic tents. Decent food and very friendly staff! Felt good…
We were up at first light and were taken straight to a boat by our able guide “Bijay Kumar Das”. Next three days we spent a lot of time on the boat!
This day 24th January 2016, I shall never forget! This was the day I saw my first leopard cat in the wild! Simple, we were in the boat looking to photograph Kingfishers when our guide uttered the magic words “Leopard Cat”! There it was, sitting in the open, sunning itself in this vast expanse of mangrove! Miracle!
We then went up and down the water and saw a lot of salt water crocodiles! of various sizes, some about 20ft long. There were over 1600+ of them in the area Bijay tells me…
The short walk to the meadow through the mangroves was wonderful! We saw a couple of "Water Monitors".
In the end we were able to get some decent shots of the “Brown-winged Kingfisher” which was our target in the first place! … and in the process had loads of fun!
|Misty morning on a boat looking for kingfishers...|
|We were able to photograph 6 species of kingfishers here!|
|White-bellied Sea Eagle|
See you soon..