Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BIRDING IN RAJASTHAN

We had been wanting to do the tour of Royal Rajasthan for a very long time. So, when we finally got down to planning our trip, we were eager not to miss out an inch of the place, little realising that Rajasthan cannot be done in 9 days... and that was all we had. Therefore, we decided to do the south and west of the place namely Mount Abu, Udaipur, Ranakpur and Jaisalmer via Kheechan all based from Jodhpur.

We reached Jodhpur by train in the afternoon, and the heat hit us immediately. So what that it was only March, it was quite hot and took us a couple of days to get used to. Our first sightseeing trip was to Jaisalmer and I insisted that we take the detour from Phalodi to Kheechan hoping to get a glimpse of the dainty Demoiselle cranes which come to this place in their thousands from as far as Southern Europe! We were not disappointed. Though there were the stragglers remaining, we were ecstatic to finally see the beautiful creatures and we spent a couple of hours there just absorbing the beauty and peace of the place.



The little pond there not only attracts the cranes, but the other wintering birds like the common and ferruginous pochards, the common teals, little grebes, the black winged stilts, spot billed ducks, northern shovellers, numerous sandpipers, marsh, green, common, etc.

The Gadsisar lake at Jaisalmer is another wonderful place for sighting waders and water birds of many kinds. These Ferruginous pochards were the first sightings in Rajasthan for us.

The lake was full of Marsh and common sandpipers, common and spotted redshanks.....





The blackwinged stilts were there in their hundreds!

The little egret in his breeding plumage made a pretty picture.

There were plenty of geese around and then we spotted these Spoonbills at the far end of the lake.
All over Rajasthan, the White eared Bulbul is perhaps the most common Bulbul to be found.

The White throated Munias are gregarious birds and quite unafraid of man, possibly due to the proximity of their habitat. These two came and were frolicking around as close as two feet from me.
The omnipresent White Wagtail....




The Brahminy Mynas were also very common as were the Indian Chat.

While driving from Jodhpur to Ranakpur (the famous Jain Temples), we saw these elegant Oriental white Ibis fly by and then perch in the tree just ahead so as to almost beg to be photographed!

There were these entire trees full of bats just short of Udaipur.. and what a racket they make!


The most common francolin... the Grey Francolin which was spotted just about every where... even crossing the road many a times.


A small reservoir along the way yielded this diminutive plover.. the Little ringed Plover. It's camoflage is so obliterative, it was invisible till we spotted movement along the bank.






2 comments:

  1. very nice pics ,i enjoyed watching em....

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  2. hey goabirder! welcome to the world of blogging! Glad to see you here. The pics are amazing, and the write up fun to read, esp if one has been there. Its like sharing memories over a cup of 'chach', staring at the orange sun slowly descend over the sand dunes..... Isn't our country amazing?!Look fwd to more....

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