This was my fourth safari in the beautiful woodland of Kabini. I was feeling content after the token big-cat sightings: a Black Panther in the first safari, a Leopard in the second, and a Tiger in the third. Nevertheless, I desired one more surprise to complete my eventful trip to Kabini.

We wandered in search of that treasure for quite some time; the melody of birds chirping, babbling, the drumming by woodpeckers somewhere nearby, and sunlight flickering from between the trees formed an ideal setting for this search. As we drove closer to the drumming sound, we were in for a surprise – a family of White-bellied Woodpeckers hammering on a tree as if they planned to slay the tree that day! These woodpeckers are noisy and their drumming is louder than that of most other woodpecker species. They looked like soldiers with white cardigans beneath their black coats and red hats, intently working.

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I told my friend, who had been complaining about the lack of sightings on this safari, to photograph the woodpeckers. I also requested the guide to stop the vehicle for a while so that I could capture this family interaction. It took me several minutes to capture all five of them in one frame, and when I did, I knew I had gold in my camera!