The Flame Trees of a Ranthambhore Summer

This week we look at some images from around Ranthambhore National Park, as summer begins to engulf northern and central India. Though temperatures can rise very high the result is a photographer’s dream. The game concentrates around the remaining waterholes and tigers tuck themselves in for some cool into the caves of Ranthambhore’s formidable hillsides. The birds await their turn for easy pickings and sightings are made easier as the “bush goes down”. Read more about Ranthambhore’s summer sightings here.


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Summer means the concentration of species around the remaining waterholes and the few perennial springs inside Ranthambhore. Here the lighter summer coats of the cheetal deer are in distinct contrast to the brilliant plumage of the peacocks. Photograph by Yusuf Ansari.

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A grey partridge with her chicks, which hatch just before the heat hits the ground in earnest. The camouflage against the dry earth and fallen leaves is critical for the young ones to survive these early days. Photograph by Anjali Singh.
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A juvenile dusky eagle owl looks into the camera lens from his grounded perch. Photograph by Yusuf Ansari.

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Caverns are an inviting spot for the big cats in summertime. It allows them to melt away into the colours and contours of the rock faces which hold them. Equally importantly, the caves filter breezes and keep the area within relatively cool. A blessing for the tigers! Photograph by Yusuf Ansari.
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Waterholes are more often than not the scene of fantastic encounters with Ranthambhore’s “king of the jungle”. Here T41’s male sub adult cools off in the midday heat in a swampy pool of muddy water. The mud keeps the pelt cool and also keeps off ticks and other insects that are an excessive bother in the heat. Photograph by Yusuf Ansari.

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The last of the spring blossom of ‘Flame of the Forest” trees is a feast for forest folk, such as this langur monkey. The flowers of the butea monosperma signal the end of spring and the onset of summer. Photograph by Anjali Singh.
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A Pied kingfisher balances itself atop a precarious bunch of twigs overlooking a small pool of water. As the waters contract the density of fish rises, providing for easy pickings for this charismatic predator of the waters. Photograph by Yusuf Ansari.

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