Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jamnagar, Gujarat (29th Dec.2010 to 02nd Jan.2011)

Finally...finally....I managed to start my blog. It was in my mind since last 6 months or so, to write about bird-watching, experiences with various Nature India participants etc... Hope, I will update the blog regularly :-) Starting the blog with Jamnagar Trip.

It happens during almost all the trips, that since me & Adesh, we are with the group, we are not able to do any we (Mandar, Pallavi, Adesh & Abhijeet) decided to go only for photography, and what better we can choose than Jamnagar in Gujarat... Since the plan was fixed a bit late, the train tickets were not available, so we decided to go by road in Abhijeet's Maruti, Swift. Me and Abhijeet being the drivers. And you know what Pallavi said, read this...
"Abhijeet's car should have all the luxuries like pillow, good music, sun-curtains etc. for me & Adesh, who will enjoy the benefit of a chauffeur driven car with cleaner.."
Such a mean :-((
Anyways....can't help it :-)) so we started on 29th early morning at 5.30 from Dahisar, my place. First stop for Breakfast was near Vapi. After spending rather too much time for breakfast we again started with change in driver...its me driving now...We decided to not to go by Vadodara-Rajkot highway, but instead to take left from Ankaleshwar and go via Bharuch-Borsad-Bagodara (don't know why:-))...The road was not good, but its definitely a short distance route than highway... We had our lunch some where near Borsad on Vadodara-Rajkot highway, and then proceed to Jamnagar. Adesh & me (when not driving) were continuously looking at all possible mobile, electricity towers for falcons... Somewhere near Limbadi, Adesh suddenly saw something and we stopped the car. There was a falcon sitting on mobile tower. We saw through binocs, but could not confirm as the distance was too we put the spotting scope, and to our delight, it was a lifer for all of us...( In birding world, lifer means a bird which you see for the first time)... a Red-capped or Barbary Falcon!! Lifer no. 745 for wonderful sighting... We reached at about 10.30pm to Jamnagar...checked-in at our regular hotel, President...all were tired, sitting full day in car for about 800kms....

Next day, 30th Dec.2010, at 6.30AM, we started for Dhichada ( A water body, generally full of ducks, Painted Storks, Pelicans etc...), since Pallavi was not feeling well, she decided to skip the morning session. We took a round to Dhichada to look for best place for photography, and finally settled down at our regular place.:-))... We decided to spread out the take different positions and try own luck.

Initially I took some pictures of Sand Lark, and then sat down near the water, just behind grass cover... For first 15 mins. there was nothing to click, but later the ducks, specially Northern Shovellers and Pintails started to come close & close... Enjoyed about an hour photographing them... Adesh and Abhijeet were also bust photographing same birds and different locations... I got up from my position and walked towards the road...just beside the road there is one "bund", I decided to walk along that to check for some other birds...and to my good luck I found a group of about 20 Painted Storks, Black-headed Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Great Egrets busy feeding. Lovely opportunity to get close-up shots. I got few good one. By that time the light was too harsh, so we decided to pack-up and go back to hotel.

Post lunch we went towards sea shore. Even though the high tide was in morning, we still decided to go there and have a look. But to our disappointment the water was receded too we quickly went to Dhichada to get some pictures, before light fades, but not much luck there the session was almost lost...

Last day of the year 2010, 31st Dec., started by 6.30 for famous Khijadia Bird Sanctuary. As other 3 were busy with Photography, I decided to do bird-watching with scope (not by choice). Had some nice views of Black-necked & Great-crested Grebe, Common Pochards, Pintails, Shovellers, Great-white (Rosy) & Dalmatian Pelicans, Darter, Indian & Little Cormorant, Comb Duck. Common Teal, Common Moorhen, Rufous-tailed ( Isabelline) Shrike etc... Spent lot of time at Khijadia.... Post lunch went to check few water logs near Jamnagar railway station and then went to some other place, which is at the backside of Khijadia ( cant recollect the name now)....saw lots & Rosy Starlings there.... but again a low end to the day... Last the day of the year 2010...what an year we had (Nature India - Me & Adesh)... travelled all over India, including Kaziranga, Nameri, Eaglenest, Sikkim, Thattekad, Dandeli, Goa, LRK, GRK, Jamnagar, Bandhavgarh, Tadoba, Corbett...amazing... It was great experience to travel with different participants..and yes off course saw 650+ birds:-))

Last day of our trip and first day of the new year 2011. Early morning we again drove to sea-shore, the high tide was at 11.10AM, we reached there by 7.00Am, water was still inside but slowly started to come towards shore. We went a bit inside walking through mud & again took separate positions... There were lots of waders including Crab Plovers... I was taking some pictures of Terek Sandpiper when suddenly 5 birds came flying from inside the sea and went over my head...they were Indian first lifer of the year 2011 and overall lifer no. 746. They suddenly came from nowhere and disappeared... I changed my position and then went further east and sat down there on the sand. After about 20mins. a floks of about 15 Crab Plovers came towards me and landed at a distance. I started to move towards them crawling... even though it was hearting my hands, I was deter mind to get some close pictures, which I got.. I retired from my position after about an hour and the the positions were taken by Adesh & Abhijeet. They also got good pictures...

Meanwhile Pallavi was busy birding through scope near the shore, she called to tell about some Skimmer coming towards shore...the attention shifted from Crab Plovers to Skimmers.... This time Skimmers didn't go away, then landed near the shore alongwith Crab Plovers and other waders.... Now there are about 100 Skimmers...Wohoooo....Again photography started...:-)) The session was one of the most satisfying session in terms of photography... After full high tide we went back to hotel...

Post lunch last session was at Lakhota lake, this lake is in the middle of Jamnagar City and an amazing place to watch birds like Common Pochards, Tufted Ducks, Pelicans, Great Cormorant, Brown-headed, Black-headed, Slender-billed Gulls, River, Gull-billed & Whiskered Terns, Spot-billed Ducks, Little Grebe, Common Coots etc... I got some very interesting shots of Dalmatian Pelican..:-))

2nd Jan.2011, started early morning for Mumbai, not much birding on the way, but in the evening, near Vapi, we enjoyed "ubadio" along the road side. Reached Mumbai by 10PM... It was indeed a wonderfull trip full of birds, delicious food and lot of special 'Ram Dairy' ice-cream :-)

Next trip is to Little Rann of Kutch (LRK), hope to see some desert specialities there...Wish me luck and keep visiting my blog for updates... adios...


  1. The writing is so vibrant, I felt as if I too was a part of the Trip. Brillant start in the New Year & please keep on adding to it.

  2. Nice work mate:))... keep it up. What better start to the new yr... skimmers!!! I remember you calling me.. don't know if it was for wishing new yr or for making me jealous about the skimmers.I guess it was the later reason though i hope it was the former one :)). C u soon for some fab trip.. and thanx for introducing us to this wonderful world of birds.. cheers!!

  3. Awesome wld b a too small world 4 this stuff.....n i am J abt those crab plovers n skimmers

  4. Thank you Navneet, Amey & Sanket for kind words and encouragement..:-)