Bird Watching Tour

  • Destination: Gujarat, India
  • Duration: 10 days

Location: Little Rann of Katch, Jamnagar, Sasan Gir, Velavadar, Nalsarovar

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Day 1:   Ahmedabad – Little Rann Of Kutch (110 Km)

Arrive Ahmedabad in morning, drive in the Little Rann of Kutch.

The vast expansion of brazen land is also a heaven for the birds and bird-watchers. The unique ecosystem of the sanctuary provides an important feeding, breeding and roosting habitat for a large number of birds. Its strategic location on the bird migration route and its connection with the dynamic Gulf of Kutch makes it a perfect choice for birds. Many parts of the Little Rann of Kutch provide ideal breeding grounds for some of the largest flocks of Greater and Lesser flamingos. According to an estimate about 70,000-75,000 birds nests in an area spread over 250 acres. One of the most threatened birds, the great Indian bustard finds a refuge in certain pockets of protected areas. Birds like houbara bustard, francolin partridge, bustard quails, spotted & Indian sand grouse, desert wheatear, steppe eagle, short toed eagle, vulture, imperial eagle, laggard falcon, flamingos, ducks, cranes, pelicans and storks are found here.

The Little Rann of Kutch is a birding paradise and has been declared a Ramsar Site. During the safaris in the Rann expect to see large flocks of larks, and other dry land birds like sand grouse, coursers, plovers, chats, warblers, babblers, shrikes. Among the many winter visitors are the houbara bustard and spotted sand grouse.The best birding is at the lakes and marshes in and around the Rann where birds gather in numbers beyond comprehension during the winter months from October to March. These are the months when demoiselle and common cranes are seen in incredibly large numbers. The wetlands also attract flamingos, pelicans, storks, ibises, spoonbill, a variety of ducks and other waterfowl. The Rann is also the hunting ground of raptors like the short-toed eagle, Aquila eagles, and six species of falcon, buzzards and three species of harrier. It is one of the few places where harriers can be seen roosting on open-ground at night.

Overnight stay at Dasada / Bajana

Day 2:   Little Rann Of Kutch

Morning drive to the bets, elevated patches in the Rann covered with scrub and grass. In winter, this is a likely area for Mac queen’s bustard. Long-legged, common and white-eyed buzzard, booted eagle, Bonneli’s eagle. Short-toed snake eagle, are often seen during the drive.

Evening visit to Nawa Talao, a lake where demoiselle and common cranes gather in large flocks during the winter months. Greater and lesser flamingo are seen in large numbers as are great white pelican with spot billed and Dalmatian recorded. Painted, open bill, wooly-necked, white, black and black-necked stork also black, glossy and black-headed ibis. Northern pintail, common teal, spot-billed duck, mallard, gadwall,

wigeon, garganey, shoveler, cotton pygmy goose, pochards, tufted duck, lesser whistling duck, brahminy and comb duck are among the many visitors to the lake. Waders include pratincoles, lapwings, sandpipers, ruff and other birds in good numbers.

Overnight stay at Dasada.

Day 3:   Little Rann Of Kutch – Jamnagar

Morning walk in village. This can yield a reasonably good bird list including yellow-legged green pigeon, paradise flycatcher, fantails, red-breasted flycatcher, white-eye, prinias and warblers. After breakfast, depart for Jamnagar, six hours away. This is an interesting route passing agricultural fields and lakes. Birds of open-country like roller and black-shouldered kite can be seen.

Arrive at Jamnagar and check in at hotel . We have to obtain the permits to enter the Marine National Park the next day. Evening visit to Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary: This protected area packs in an incredible diversity of ecosystems into the relatively small area of 6 square km. The sanctuary, created over the 1920s and ’30s, is formed from two man-made dykes that separate fresh water from sea water, creating the opportunity to simultaneously observe species that belong to each ecosystem, and some that share both. Along with the marine and fresh water habitats, there are also marshy lands, mangroves, Prosopis areas, mudflats, salt pans, creeks, forest scrub, sandy beaches, and even farmlands bordering the area. This provides a haven for more than 220 species of resident and migratory birds, including globally threatened species such as Dalmatian pelican, Asian open bill stork, Black-necked stork, Darter, Black-headed ibis, Eurasian spoonbill, and Indian skimmer, and provides birdwatchers with a delightful chance to sight rare birds in large numbers.

Overnight Stay at Jamnagar.

Day 4:   Jamnagar

After breakfast Visit coastal area along the Gulf of Kutch, one of the finest birding stretches along the Indian coastline. You are likely to see crab-plover, Kentish plover, oystercatcher, ruddy turnstone, broad-billed sandpiper, sanderling, dunlin, curlew sandpiper, black-headed gull, Pallas’ gull, temmincks stint, lesser-crested tern, gull-billed tern, common tern, little tern, black-bellied tern, whiskered tern, whiskered tern, darters, western reef egret and other birds could be seen on this route.

If time permitting take a walk to Lakhota Lake to watch brown-headed gulls and a variety of ducks.
Overnight Stay at Jamnagar.

Day 5:   Jamnagar – Sasan Gir

After breakfast drive to Sasan Gir enroute visit the Porbandar, two hours away. This coastal city is good for watching and photographing birds at close range. Besides large flamingo and crane flocks, this area also receives yellow-legged gull, henglin’s gull, sandwich tern, black-bellied tern, etc.

Drive to Sasan Gir National Park and check-in at hotel in Sasan Gir.

Overnight Stay at Sasan Gir

Day 6:   Sasan Gir

Morning and afternoon game drive in the park . A tapestry of dry deciduous forests, acacia scrub and grassland, fed by rivers and reservoirs, Gir is the last abode of the Asiatic lion and has a thriving population of panther (leopard), sambar, chital (spotted deer), nilgai (blue bull antelope) and wild boar. Gir is also one of the major habitats of chousingha (the world’s only four-horned antelope) and chinkara (Indian gazelle) that are hard to spot in the teak forests along the game drive trails. Among the many birds of Gir, changeable hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle, Bonneli’s eagle, Peregrine falcon, laggar falcon, shikra, painted sand grouse, quails, black-hooded and golden oriels, marshal’s and common iora, Asian paradise flycatcher, tick ell’s blue, red-throated, verditer and Asian brown flycatchers, yellow-crowned, brown-capped pygmy, black-rumped flameback woodpeckers, green and

blue-cheeked bee-eaters, coppersmith barbet, common, lesser pied and white-throated kingfisher, blossom-headed parakeet, hoopoe, black, ashy and white-bellied drongos, rufous treepie, large cuckoo shrike, small minivet, red-vented and white-eared bulbul, tawny-bellied, yellow-eyed, jungle and large grey babblers, grey-breasted, ashy, rufous-fronted, plain, jungle and graceful prinias, zitting cisticola, clamorous reed-warbler, booted warbler, greenish warbler, lesser and Hume’s warbler, orphean warbler and blyth’s reed warbler, are among the many birds that could be seen here. Those interested in herpetology can visit the crocodile breeding farm at Sasan.

Overnight stay at Sasan Gir

Day 7:   Gir – Velavadar

After breakfast drive to Velavadar National Park. Arrive Velavadar, Checkinn at Blackbuck Lodge.

After noon Game Drive in the Park .

Overnight stay at Velavadar.

Day 8:   Velavadar – Ahmedabad

Morning Game Drive in the Park .Known for its large blackbuck antelope population, Velavadar is also one of the few places where the wolf is proliferating in India though they are rarely seen in the daylight. Jackal, jungle cat and hare are more easily seen and Indian fox on the periphery. Sirkeer malkoha, painted francolin, chestnut-bellied and spotted sand grouse, rufous-tailed, crested and Sykes’ larks, red-rumped swallows, desert and variable wheatears and other birds are seen and many raptors visit specially short-toed snake eagle, imperial, steppe, tawny, greater and lesser spotted eagles, Laggar falcon, hobby, common kestrel, red-necked falcon, peregrine falcon, white-eyed and long- legged buzzard, black-shouldered kite, Shikra, Eurasian sparrow-hawk and occasionally northern goshawk. Rarities include the Stoilczka’s bushchat.

In the evening, witness a massive roost of montagu, pallid and marsh harrier.

Later we drive to Ahmedabad.

Overnight stay at Ahmedabad.

Day 9:   Ahmedabad – Nalsarovar -Ahmedabad

Today we do an excursion to the Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary: Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary is few of the highly renowned bird sanctuaries of India. Nal Sarovar Sanctuary is internationally considered for its rich birdlife which includes a huge variety of flora and fauna particularly the bird species. A bird watcher can see here over 250 various bird species including resident as well as migratory birds. Nal Sarovar sanctuary invites frequent ornithologists and bird watchers round the year. The Nal Sarovar Sanctuary is a mainly a wetland and also hosts a heavenly lake in the middle of it.

Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary has abundant species of the birds including resident and migratory birds. Nal Sarovar has few endangered birds as well. The prominent birds of the sanctuary are Brahmany duck which arrive from Tibet and few other duck species, Saras cranes, white storks, heron curlews, avocets, pelicans, fishing eagles, swallows, various pigeons, fishing eagles, spoonbill, flamingoes and kingfisher etc. One may find killers as hawks, eagles and sparrow hawks etc.

Overnight stay at Ahmedabad

Day 10: Ahmedabad – Mumbai / Delhi

After breakfast drive to Airport to board flight for your next destination.