The dense forests of the Corbett National park, supports some 100 species of trees including Haldu, Dhak, Sal, Bargad, Rohini, Tendu, Runi, Karphal etc. This vast variety explains the fact that out of some 1300 species of Birds found in India, almost 500 species are concentrated in this park, making it a birder’s paradise. Some of these birds, which are on the list of highly endangered species, like the Ferruginous Pochard, Spot-Billed Eagle Owl, Tawny Fish Owl, Wood Snipe, Long Billed Plover, Black-Bellied Tern, Palla’s Fish Eagle, Pallied Harrier, Imperial Eagle, Red-Necked Falcon, find their final refuge in the Corbett National Park. Of aquatic life, we have the Mahaseer, a tough game fish along with the trout, Gharial (Indian Alligator) & the Crocodile, in the rivers of Ramganga, Kosi & Mundal.
The Mahaseer can weigh up to 150lbs. Fishing is allowed, at certain spots, just outside the park premises. Permits can be had at Ramnagar. Angling in late March or April is particularly very rewarding. It is catch & leave.
Writes Jim Corbett in ‘Man-eaters of Kumaon’, “…It was here that I first saw a bird that Prater of the Bombay Natural History Society later, very kindly, identified for me as the Mountain Crag Martin, a bird of a uniform ash colour, with a slight tinge of pink on its breast, and in size a little smaller than a Rosy Pastor. These birds had their broods with them, and while the young ones – four to a brood – sat in a row on a dry twig at the top of a high tree, the parent birds kept darting away – often to a distance of two or three hundred yards – to catch insects. The speed at which they flew was amazing, and I am quite sure there is nothing in feathers in North India, not excluding our winter visitor the great Tibetan Swallow, that these Martins could not make rings round. Another thing about these birds that was very interesting was their wonderful eyesight. On occasions they would fly in a dead straight line for several hundred yards before turning and coming back. It was not possible at the speed they were traveling, that they were chasing insects on these long flights, and as after each flight the bird invariably thrust some minute object into one of the gaping mouths, I believe they were able to see insects at a range at which they would not have been visible to the human eye through the most powerful field-glasses…”.
Tourists can stay inside the Park premises, in the various Forest Rest Houses, that dot this beautiful place at regular intervals. Nothing can be more exciting than listening to the jungle folk after sunset!
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