Monday, September 8, 2014

A visit to Gir/Girnar - the home of Asiatic Lions

Another very important and must visit place of Gujarat. In fact this is the only place where one gets to view wild Asiatic Lions.

Gujarat state government has take great and care of these beasts and brought them back from extinction. There were just 180 left in 1984 and today there are 411+.

I was planning to visit since 2012 and managed to implement the plan this year in May along with a great photographer friend.

Following are the images from the tip:

Standing tall: The Lion King

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King trying to get hold of a fly

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Taking a dirt bath

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Bruised but not broken


Afternoon siesta by lake side


You guys gotta leave me alone


Other than Lion

A type of owl


Master of camouflage: Savana nightjar


Mooted owl


Thick knee: Locals say that these bird drik water only once in a year


Gorgeous national bird


Sleepy eyes: Spotted owlet


A honey eye buzzard


Jungle crow


A Monitor Lizard


A cattle herder trying to cool off his buffaloes


Friday, September 5, 2014

A visit to Bharatpur/Keoladeo Bird Sanctury, Rajasthan

This trip was part of my first trip of 2014. We covered 3 birding spots in Rajasthan and Bharatpur was first location.

We reached Bharatpur by train, left our luggage at clock room of railway station and left for Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Sanctuary is located around 5kms from Railway station. We took an Auto-Rickshaw (Rs90) to reach Bird Sanctuary.

Sanctuary can be explored on foot or by bicycle. The sanctuary administation provides the option of hiring a bicycle or cycle Rickshaw. We hired bicycles(Rs 50 for 6 hours) and a Guide(Rs500 for 6 hours). In the beginning we didnt want to hire a guide, however they convinced us by promising to help us spotting Owls and NightJars. So if you are visiting don't believe any claims of Guide.

Sanctuary is pretty big and takes more than one day(Dawn to Dusk) to cover the sanctuary.

Following are the images that I have captured at the Sanctuary:

Pair of Yellow footed green pigeon.

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Most commonly found being at this sanctuary


A Warbler

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A monitor lizard basking in sun 

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A Northern Showler male in flight 

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A Common Teal male in flight 

Teal male in flight

A Rosy Pelican in flight 

Rosy Pelican in flight

A blue Bull male grazing away 

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A Cormorant in flight 

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A Common Teal female in flight 

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Pair of Spot billed duck 

Spot billed ducks

A RedStart male 

Redstart male


Reed Warbler

Little Cormorant in flight 

Greater Cormarant in flight


Darter/Snake Bird

Sleepy Night Heron
   Night Heron

Standing pretty, a Blue Throat 

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Upclose and personal with a Monitor lizard 

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Juvenile Rock Phython basking in the sun
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Checking out the scent 

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Cautious Indian Jackal 

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A female Redstart 

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Coot stampede
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Ferruginous Duck male and female 

Ferruginous duck male and female

Painted Stork in flight 

Painted Stork

A Whistling Duck closeup 

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Coot Portrait 

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A Whistling duck in flight 

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Indiam Moor hen

Lake full of Pintails flying away from Marsh Harrier 

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Little Gerbe 

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Winged Scavengers' heaven - Jhorabheeri/Jhorbeer

There are only handful of places left on earth that are suitable for Vultures to survive. One of them is Jhorabheeri/Jhorbeer located 14 odd Kms from Bikaner, near Camel Research Institute also known as Camel Farm locally.

Reached Bikaner by train. Checked in at Bikaner Hotel. Struck a deal with a Auto-Rikshaw guy for 600 INR, 200 INR for one way journey and 200 for waiting at the field.

Caution: This place is full of feral dogs and these dogs arn't afraid of humans. In case you are planning to visit this place then carry a strong stick to protect yourself from these dogs. Do not visit this place after sunset or before Sunrise.

This image sums up the density of scavengers at this location

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The smallest Bird Of Prey we have spotted here. A Lagar falcon feasting on fresh kill

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Lagar Falcon in flight

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Cinereous vulture

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Cinereous vulture in flight The largest and the rarest Bird of Prey we spotted here. Its a Cinereous vulture, a migratory bird, a winter visitor in India from Pakistan. they stick to Rajasthan and go back to Pakistan.

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A Eurasian Griffon

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Eurasian Griffon gliding
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The Egyptian vultures pair (Adult and Juvenile)

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A adult Egyptian vulture gliding

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A juvenile Egyptian vulture landing

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The mighty Steppe

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A Steppe eagle taking off

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Steppe eagles hanging around

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A close up of the mighty steppe in flight

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An aged Steppe, this was the largest Steppe that we spotted at this location

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Apart from these scavengers we have also spotted couple of small birds

A silver bill Munia

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A Variable wheatear

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And desert Jird

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