Mostly Indian Birds - some of my favourites

Here is a sneak peek of some of the bird pictures from different regions of India. Usually these are shot during my vacations and occasiona...

Wildlife of Gir


We took a short vacation to Gir and stayed at the Club Mahindra Resorts. Warm hospitality and a deluxe tent accommodation greeted us after our 6.5 hour road journey from Ahmedabad.

When we landed there we realized we had not done the advanced booking for all the safari rides. Advice for others to plan a month in advance. Thankfully with the help of the staff we could manage four safaris over three days.

Gir is essentially a semi arid forest and this year the rain was below expectations.  There are eight routes for Safaris and you are allotted a route number. Morning Safaris are pretty good. Most of the guides and drivers are focused on spotting Lion and as a result you don't have a great experience of bird watching.

First day we went near the Hiran river behind Taj gateway hotel. Black Ibis, common Iora, Egrets, Wagtails, Sandpiper and Red-wattled Lapwing were mainly sighted.

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife



From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


The next day we took the morning safari and were greeted by spotted deer, oriental honey buzzard...
From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


... a brown fish owl giving us the looks...

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


..and a Changeble hawk eagle trying to tell us something...

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


We didn't realize that they were trying to tell us that the King of the forest was on a morning stroll just 20 feet away from our Safari Jeep

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife

They were two Lions ( apparently brothes) but they didn't even bother to look at us. And after 5 mins of viewing their south side we were disappointed that we couldn't see their face clearly.

We also saw Jackal, Tickell's blue flycatcher, Magpie Robin, Treepie and the smaller water bodies had waterhen, sandpipers etc.

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife



We almost spotted a leopard based on the sound of deer and the leopard itself but luck did not favour us.

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


That day evening we took the safari and covered  the Kamleshwar Dam a huge man made dam infested with crocodiles and birds like darters, river terns, herons were there in abundance.

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


We did see a lion that had a hearty meal and had settled in under a tree for the night and refused to move. The forest gaurds were kind enough to allow a quick glimpse of him.

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


Next day morning safari, though we did not spot a lion, I was very happy to see the European roller, parakeets, buzzards, monitor lizards, Nilgai and Sambar.

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife



In and around the resort is also good for birding with rollers, grey babblers, wagtails, etc

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


The last day morning Safari started with a pent up hope of  a real good view of a Lion. A shikra greeted us...

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


... and a crested serpent eagle was looking for its next prey...

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


..and then we heard that lions have been spotted further ahead. A group of three is resting below the shade of trees. Our heart kipped a beat and leaving the birding, we sped up to reach the spot and a lioness with her cubs was waiting for us.

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife



From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife



After giving me enough photo opportunity it licked itself and went off to rest ( the other two were already resting)...

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife


While from a birding perspective perhaps not one of my better trips, the sight of the King of jungle and its magnificent charm will be cherished for life.

From 2012 Oct Gir and Diu Wildlife





Birds of Bidar ( near Hyderabad)

We took a quick vacation to Bidar a few weeks back. It is just 140 Kms from Hyderabad and Jungle lodges have opened a new resort there called Bluck Buck resort ( about 20 kms beyond Bidar)

It was amazing to see the Blackbucks roaming around in the fields where maize and corn were being cultivated. It looked very fragile as there was not much forest cover nearby and the fields are very close to human habitation. I just hope it is one of those miracles of human and animal co-existence and it remains the same way.

From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)



From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


Now to the birds ....

The resort is next to a small lake and there were swarms of red rumped swallows that greeted us.

From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)



In and around the resort we saw Common Iora, Brahminy Starling, Ashy Prinia, Sunbirds and Laughing Dove.

From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


Near the lake (which didn't have much water) we saw the Grey Heron, Cormorants, Spot billed ducks, Lesser whistling ducks and Black winged stilts.


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


When we went for the Blackbuck "safari" we saw Yellow wattled lapwing, Indian courser....

From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


..... and some common mammal friends

From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


The best thing about the area was the abundance of peafowls. I have never seen so many peafowls in trees and flying around !!!.

From 2012 Aug Birds near Hyderabad (Bidar)


On our way back we stopped at the Bidar fort. Though most of it is dilapidated, it has an interesting history behind the confluence of Hindu and Muslim architecture in the fort.

From 2012 Aug Bidar photos


From 2012 Aug Bidar photos