I am quite an avid birding buff and couple that with a love for photography, you have a deadly combination for sure. It this passion which saw me drive off to a day’s trip to Bharatpur Bird sanctuary which is a short drive of about 180 kms from Gurgaon and took us about three hours to complete.
We started early at about 5 am to make it in good stead to reach there when the birds settle around to enjoy the sun peeking about. It promised to be a good winter morning with some amount of fog which was punctured in places with clear stretches. The sight of lush golden heads of the mustard flowers invited us to stop for a tea break and take a few snapshots for the album.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
This is actually a 250 years old sanctuary and has also been declared a world heritage site as it’s one of the best migratory birding areas in the world. Its name was changed to Kaladeo Ghana bird park, dedicating it to the local deity Kaladeo (Shiva) temple which lies within its boundaries.
It’s a natural wetland, making it a hot favourite of about 250 species of birds. Thick dense Acacia trees provide generous cover for building nests and roosting to the birds while the marshland provides with ample water and food.
The Bharatpur bird park opens from sunrise to sunset all the year around with an official close in the months of May and June. One can drive their vehicle for about 2 kms inside the park from where one can walk on the central pathway, take a Tonga, a cycle rickshaw or opt for cycles. The central pathway splits the park into two and one has a hard time deciding which side one wants to peruse eagerly. I was lucky to spot a Purple Heron in the motions of searching for his breakfast which he did with great ease. This is one of my most prized shots from that trip.
After that it was a rock and roll for the birds as they were out in droves to preen and pose for all the bird enthusiasts and ornithologists who were out in a major number to sight and record the birds.
This is a common Kingfisher which is about the size of one’s fist and it was perched on a branch just by the pathway, absorbed in deep thought to enable me to take such a close shot of it. I was simply blown away by its stunning colours. I could hear someone jokingly saying “Look Vijay Mallaya” – I guess this is the bird used in the logo of the Kingfisher brand 😉
A huge gaggle of painted stork sat atop a mound in the waters and made quite a racket with their calling out.
I was spooked by this thing in the water bed as I thought it was a crocodile from afar – I certainly didn’t want to be a reptile’s breakfast 😉 But on closer inspection it turned out to be the skull of a buffalo – it’s pretty huge and I wondered at the size of the actual animal! What do you think?
I love sighting the Kingfishers as they make a pretty colourful spectacle, especially when they fly about as their jewel tones simply glint in the sunlight. This one is the White breasted Kingfisher which is a much more common sight in Gurgaon than the Common kingfisher (talk about an oxymoron) 😉 By the way this is a lot bigger in size than the latter
A red vented bulbul trilled out from a tree branch making me zoom on it instantly. I loved this shot which came out crystal clear. I guess the birds are very used to the camera sounds and crowds of people as they were not easily spooked.
The treepie was quite friendly and was frolicking in the canteen area where we went for a short break and some refreshments. This is commonly called the tiger’s toothpick as it perches on the tiger’s jaw to peck at its teeth to clean it of food particles stuck there. SO it gets a meal for free while the tiger getting a dental work out – win win for both
Sated after six hours of walking and shooting in the park, we wound up our trip and headed home at around 3 pm since we wished to make it back in good time before dark fell and the fog took over. BTW Bharatpur bird park is as much a haven in the summer months as it is in the winter months. Summers sees the resident birds in full attendance while in winters the migratory flock comes visiting.
Do you enjoy bird watching? Have you ever been to a bird park before? Bharatpur Bird sanctuary for you.
An interior designer by profession, writing is a passion which coupled with travel love blossomed into this blog where I love to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on my blog. I am a serious wine guzzler and love to chase butterflies in my free time.
This post is written for the December bloghop #mymojo with Shalzmojo
Please do check out my post Naina Redhu
P.S. – For my guest post on Shalini’s Blog click Melbourne Diaries