Sunday 30 January 2011

Rajasthan (21) – The Birds of Bikaner

PC072244-cropWhen we were in Bikaner in December one of the highlights of the trip turned out  to be our wildlife expedition. Jitu, the man in whose guest house we were staying is a zoologist by training and a great lover of nature. He is very knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna and we took a trip out of town with fingers crossed to see something. We headed towards the local dumping area and caught sight of a tremendous show of vultures and one antelope.
My friend Ken would have loved this and truly been in his element and I am sure he can probably help out here with proper identification – but I am thinking the blue bird above is a Kingfisher, the smaller black and white ones are starlings, and the larger ones vultures and buzzards.  This was truly a spectacular sight – hundred of these very big birds on the ground and in flight. Pictures of bird are difficult, and with no telephoto lens and certainly no steady hand these are the best I have but I hope you can get the flavour of this memorable occasion with these and the video.
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Rajasthan (20) – Nation Research Centre on the Camel

PC062071 We took a trip out from Bikaner to the National Research Centre on the Camel, indulging my fondness for these beasts. We arrived just as the adult females were being fed and watered, which meant that we saw the young feeding from their mothers and the staff collecting some of the milk as well. This goes for sale at the centre, but by the time I made it to the stall all the milk was gone, but I did have some ice cream made with camel milk, lovely!

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Thursday 20 January 2011

Rajasthan (19) – Bikaner family visit

In Bikaner we stayed at The Vinayak Guest House. Our host Jitu was delightful and I’d most certainly recommend staying there, especially if you are interested in wildlife. It is his passion and we spent a great day out and about with him.  He organises camel treks and although we were not going to do one we did go with him to meet the family who have the camels he uses. This is a very traditional family, and the women were veiled. As we were 3 women travelling, Jitu left us with the family and gradually the women open up, relaxed and we chatted as best we could over a cup of tea.  And the old man kindly allowed me too video him putting on his turban!

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Wednesday 19 January 2011

Rajasthan (18) Bikaner market

PC062025The market in Bikaner was as markets are, teaming with traffic, human, bicycles, motor bikes, auto-rickshaws and the animal variety, with all the associated sounds and smells, as well as a shop selling paper money for pujas, a man with an incredibly long moustache and to my surprise Aloe for sell to eat. We had it to try one evening and it was remarkably nice.

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