Monday, June 26, 2023

Birds of Phungus Sangameshwar - May 2023

Rufous Wood Pecker

Brahminy Starling

Black Shouldered Kite

Jungle Babbler


Indian Blackbird

Indian Blackbird

White Cheeked Barbet

White Cheeked Barbet


Red Vented Bulbul

Yellow Footed Green Pigeon (हरियाल). State bird of Maharashtra.

Common Iora

Tickel's Blue Flycatcher (Devrukh)

Fantail (Devrukh)

Camera Sony A7RIII with Sony 200-600 F 5.6-6.3 on a Getzo Monopod

Friday, June 09, 2023

The Shekru: A Glimpse of Vibrancy at MTDC Mahabaleshwar

Deep within the lush greenery of Mahabaleshwar, I had an encounter with one of India's most captivating yet elusive creatures – the Shekru or Indian giant squirrel. That early morning, armed with my camera, what I experienced at MTDC Mahabaleshwar was nothing short of enchanting.

When one thinks of squirrels, the imagery that often comes to mind is that of a small, agile creature, darting about with its bushy tail. However, the Shekru is a revelation in itself. Boasting a length of up to 45 cm and a tail that rivals its body in size, this arboreal wonder is truly the 'giant' of its kind. But what truly sets it apart is its resplendent multi-colored fur – a rich palette ranging from deep reds and purples to creams and blacks.

Capturing the Elusive Shekru

Me and Jo woke up early at were taking in the early morning sun-in-the-cool-breeze. As sunlight pierced through the dense canopy, there it was - a Shekru, leaping gracefully from one tree to another. Its vibrant colors seemed even more striking against the backdrop of verdant green.

Thankfully I had the camera with me. It took a lot of patience and slow moving as to not scare it to get some nice shots. It jumped from branch to branch, foraging it's food. Then it climbed up to the higher branches and into the light! Each photograph felt like a story – a testament to the squirrel's survival, beauty, and grace.

For a photographer, every shot is a moment immortalized. But photographing the Shekru was not just about the aesthetics; it was about the narrative. The Indian giant squirrel, though not endangered, faces threats from habitat loss and hunting. Their very presence in a region indicates a healthy forest ecosystem.

The MTDC Mahabaleshwar region, with its conservation efforts and natural beauty, provides a haven for such creatures. And while my photographs capture a fragment of the Shekru's life, they also highlight the importance of preserving such habitats.

As we made our way back to the resort, the encounter with the Shekru felt surreal. It wasn't just about adding another photograph to my portfolio; it was about witnessing the splendor of nature up close.

For fellow photographers and wildlife enthusiasts, MTDC Mahabaleshwar offers a chance to observe and appreciate the Shekru in its natural habitat. And for me, it was a humbling reminder of the myriad wonders that India's biodiversity has to offer.

To the Shekru – the vibrant sentinel of Mahabaleshwar's forests – and to many more adventures that await.


If you're in the MTDC Mahabaleshwar region and love nature, keep your eyes peeled. You never know when you might encounter the mesmerizing Shekru. Just remember to maintain a respectful distance and ensure their safety and comfort at all times.


Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Pratapgad from Mahabaleshwar

In the morning we took a walk to the 'Sunset Point'. Its a plesant walk down the road from the MTDC. The morning light was falling on Pratapgad. There was a fair amount of atmospheric haze. We got an unusual look of the gad from so far away. The picture below is an 100% crop. We can see the temple and I can even see the hotel were we uaually have food when we visit!