Watching birds isn't really my thing but the Keoladeo National Park is reputed to be one of the best bird sanctuaries in the World: it seemed worth a day's exploration. It's a very good place to escape the masses of people in the big cities (Agra, Delhi) and to be able to wander around, or cycle, is just wonderful.
Today we spent eight hours, with a guide, spotting birds and looking for a nice big Indian Rock Python to take a photo of. We found one quite soon after feeding turtles and Macaque monkeys are the Hindu temple in the park.
If you listen to what people say about the place you HAVE to get there very early to see any activity at all. We arrived at 10am and thought we'd only last a couple of hours but the heat wasn't too bad as there was a lovely breeze cooling us down. We saw bird after bird after bird including Ibis(es?), Storks, Owls, Eagles and many, many more. Our guide was very good at spotting and brought along a pair of binoculars and a spotting scope on a tripod for us to use.
Now yesterday at the Taj Mahal I managed to hold myself back and only took 100 photos, but today, I just couldn't help myself and shot a few hundred - they're probably all rubbish but I MUST have got at least one good one. Thanks to the guys in my team at work I took virtually all the photos using my new monopod that they bought me this last Christmas; it was brilliant and I couldn't have done without it.
Unfortunately the Rainbow Cyber Cafe here in sleepy old Bharatpur has done a good job of hiding ths USB slots on the PC so I can't upload any of the images without risking thumbling in the dark and switching the PC off! But keep any eye on the Winchcombe Gallery at www.winchcombe.org/gallery.aspx for some India photos: I'll upload when I can.
We're staying at the Hotel Sunbird, which is really nice albeit quite simple. Food is pretty good at 90 rupees (£1.30) for a nice curry; naans come in at a hefty Rs30 (£0.45).
Tomorrow we're off to Jaipur (3.5 hours by car) to see the Amber Fort and hopefully we'll get to ride an elephant.