Thursday, 2 February 2012

Gujarat Series - Thol Lake

Off to Thol Lake after a day in Ahmedabad spent sightseeing and SHOPPING J !! Fairly straightforward route to Thol… thanks to Google Earth. Reached the little village and just short of that is the access road to the sanctuary. Birding started there itself. Took us a good 20 mins to cover the 1 ½ Kms in. Ibis black and white, sandpipers, numerous chats, shrikes, pipits, larks, babblers, swallows… Good beginning to the day indeed!

Green Sandpiper

Long Tailed Shrike

Siberian Stonechat

Plain Prinia
Two big busloads worth tourists met us at the entrance in addition to the few cars and two wheelers. My heart sank! I thought it unlikely that we would see much with the racket they were creating. We decided to walk down a little path circling round the perimeter of the lake for a little way and then take the car round further. Surprisingly, we found a few birds that were probably used to this level of disturbance… a few Booted Warblers, Indian Robins, Eurasian Collared Doves, a few Spot Billed Ducks and Comb Ducks along the bank.

Eurasian Collared Dove

Indian Robin

White Ibis

Comb Ducks

Little Green Beeeaters
There was a continuous flypast of Spoonbills, White Ibis and Cormorants overhead. Kept us busy.
Turning back after seeing a lot of waterfowl at a distance, we decided to take the car out over to the other side. A little marsh on the other side of the lake yielded a huge flock of Comb Ducks up close. A little ahead were 5 Black Crowned Night Herons, a few shovellers, Moorhen, a Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis and Babblers and Sunbirds on the fringes.  Egrets were abundant as were Chats, Beeeaters, Wheatears and Bulbuls.
Purple Heron
Comb Ducks preening

Purple Sunbird Female

Black Crowned Night Heron

Common Moorhen

Purple Sunbird Male in eclipse plumage

Glossy Ibis

Wire Tailed Swallows

White eared Bulbul
Time was running out… we needed to reach the resort in Zainabad by lunch time. This place deserves a second visit, preferable NOT during school vacations! Paucity of time had us turning back and heading out to Zainabad and “Desert Coursers”. But that story is for another day…..

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