The name “Rann” comes from the Hindi word ran (रण) meaning “desert”.
Though a desert and a seasonal salt marsh, this place is truly a birder’s, or should I say, a nature photographer’s paradise.
En-route to the actual Rann for one of our safaris, we were driving past a field, where in, we spotted some movement. It looked like a couple of kittens skittering around amidst the growth. Looking from a distance, the general opinion was that they were the kittens of some house/domestic cat. When we got closer, we noticed that the tails of these kittens had a black tip and stripes, very characteristic of jungle cat kittens. The general consensus changed instantly and we were pretty sure that what we were looking at were not kittens of a domestic cat, but those of a jungle cat !
We were quite surprised to see a Jungle Cat deposit its litter, right in the open, in a field and very close to human habitation. Initially, there were just a couple of little ones running around. As we waited there, slowly, one by one, many more started coming out of their dens.
At one point, we probably counted around 5 of them. The adult showed itself too, albeit, very briefly and just disappeared into the reeds. Quite a healthy litter it was. Playing around in the reeds, surprisingly unmindful of us.
Though not completely unaware of our presence. They did pause from time to time to look up at us.
They seemed to be having a great sibling time, jumping up and down the mound of dirt, pouncing on each other and playing around with a ball of dirt.
We were indeed very lucky to have seen this and without any doubt, this was one of the top sightings of the trip for me. Santa had definitely brought us this wonderful gift for Christmas…. :-)
Having spent good time observing these beauties, we left them at peace and continued on to where we were initially headed.