Birding at Little Rann of Kutch

Introduction

Little Rann of Kutch is famous as the world’s last refuge of the Indian Wild Ass (Khur) for the conservation of which it has been declared as the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary. Though a bleak landscape it is rich in biodiversity and is an ecologically important area for wildlife and many local and migratory water birds like cranes, ducks, pelicans, flamingos and land birds like sandgrouse, francolins and the Indian bustards. It is also home to various unique mammals apart from wild Ass such the Indian Wolf (Canis indica), Desert Fox (Vulpes vulpes pusilla) and Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus).

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Ahmedabad by 05:50 hrs. Meeting with our assist at station and proceed to LRK. Will have breakfast on the way to LRK. Get fresh at LRK hotel, after lunch will have brief introductory session. Brief discussion about what may be expected during the coming excursions. Later will proceed to our first safari in the rann of kutch. After safari, return to resort. Will have interactive session. Dinner and night stay at resort.

Day 2: Morning and evening safari in the rann of kutch. We will start early morning safari into the Rann of Kutch, looking for all usual targets. After hopefully a productive session, we return to resort and Lunch. After lunch will start our evening safari. Upon our return we will have refreshment tea/coffee. We meet for another interactive session before dinner.

Day 3: Morning safari in the rann of kutch followed by lunch at the resort. Have some rest post lunch and proceed to Ahmedabad to board flight / train.


Note that this is a sample itinerary and can be customized as per your requirements. Please use the form below to let us know about your requirements and we shall get back to you with an updated itinerary along with a tentative cost.


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Birding at Sattal, Pangot and Chafi

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Half Day Birding at Sattal

  • Arrival at AnandVihar Railway Station (Delhi) & board train to Kathgodam
  • Tea & breakfast in Train (Journey time of approx 6 hrs)
  • Reach Kathgodam and proceed to Sattal via cab
  • Enroute welcome drink, light snacks and sharing birding plans
  • Reach the resort by 13:00 hrs, have lunch & some rest
  • Do the 1st bird-watching session @ Studio Area in evening
  • Team discussion & knowledge sharing session followed by Dinner

Day 2: Birding at Sattal

  • Have early morning tea & proceed for Birding session at studio & waterfall point with packed breakfast
  • Have lunch at restaurant near Sattal lake
  • Late afternoon & evening session at Sattal – church road
  • Team discussion & knowledge sharing session followed by Dinner

Day 3: Birding at Sattal – Chafi

  • Early morning bird-watching session at Garud tal – Sattal – bhital road
  • Tea & breakfast @ resort, checkout with packed lunch
  • Afternoon bird-watching at Chafi
  • Travel from Chafi to Pangot & check-in at resort in Pangot
  • Team discussion & knowledge sharing session followed by Dinner

Day 4: Birding at Pangot

  • Early morning tea followed by bird-watching session at Pangot trails with packed breakfast
  • Back to resort for lunch
  • Evening session at Pangot & Cheer Pheasant Point
  • Team discussion & knowledge sharing session followed by Dinner

Day 5: Half day bird-watching at Pangot & en-route Kathgodam

  • Early morning session at Pangot Trails with packed breakfast
  • Checkout
  • Drive to Kathgodam, lunch en-route and bird-watching along the way
  • Catch the afternoon train to Delhi. Evening snacks and dinner in train
  • Trip ends with loads of images & lovely experiences in the nature 🙂

Note that this is a sample itinerary and can be customized as per your requirements. Please use the form below to let us know about your requirements and we shall get back to you with an updated itinerary along with a tentative cost.


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Birding at Thattekad

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Pick-up at Ernakulam Station / Kochi Airport by 12:30 hrs. Departure in jeep for Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary with lunch en-route followed by check-in at Jungle Bird Homestay. Bird-watching in & around the resort with some light snacks followed by evening bird trails for nightjars & owls. Back to resort at around 8:30 PM, have dinner and go early to bed.

Day 2: Full day bird-watching in Thattekkad Sanctuary & surrounding areas for the Western Ghat endemics species on foot. Night stay at Jungle Bird Homestay.

Day 3: Start early morning (by 05:00 hrs) for Munnar & Eravikulam National Park. Have lunch at Munnar & continue bird-watching till evening. Night stay at Jungle Bird Homestay.

Day 4: Early morning bird-watching in Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary. Break for lunch followed by another bird-watching session in & around Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary till 15:00 hrs. Drop to Kochi Airport / Ernakulam Station by 17:00 hrs.

Some of the key species we could sight include Black Baza, Black Eagle, Great-eared Nightjar, Dollar Bird, Red Spurfowl, Lesser Yellow-nape Woodpecker, Speckled Piculet, Mottled Wood Owl, Green Imperial Pigeon, Crested Goshawk, Malabar grey & Pied Hornbill, Malabar parakeet, Flame-throated Bulbul, Dark-fronted & Rufous Babbler, Asian fairy-bluebird, Malabar Trogon, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, White-bellied Treepie, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Nilgiri Pipit, Grey-headed Bulbul, Black & Orange Flycatcher, Broadtailed Grassbird, Nilgiri Flycatcher, White-bellied Shortwing, Whitebellied Treepie & the Wyanad Laughing Thrush.


Note that this is a sample itinerary and can be customized as per your requirements. Please use the form below to let us know about your requirements and we shall get back to you with an updated itinerary along with a tentative cost.


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Birding at Mishmi Hills, Arunachal Pradesh

About Mishmi Hills

Mishmi Hills are on the Northeastern tip of India, in central Arunachal Pradesh and are a southward extension of the Great Himalayan ranges and its northern and eastern parts touch China. These hills are divided into 2 sections – the flood plains of tributaries of Brahmaputra river and the Arunachal Himalayas consisting of snow-capped mountains, lower Himalayan ranges and Shivalik ranges. This hilly area falls in the Dibang valley and is characterised by steeply sloping landform, sub-tropical evergreen forest and high rainfall.

With around 6000 species plant species, 100 mammals and over 600 bird species, Mishmi is a heaven for nature lovers. Some of the highlight bird species at Mishmi consist Sclater’s monal, Blyth’s Tragopan, Temminck’s Tragopan, chestnut-breasted partridge, Ward’s trogon, Red-headed Trogon Dark-sided thrush, Green Cochua, Purple Cochoa, Rusty-bellied and Gould’s shortwing, Beautiful Nuthatch, Mishmi Wren-babbler, Chevron-breasted Babbler Fire-tailed myzornis, 3-4 parrotbill species, Grey-headed bullfinch and so on.


Suggested Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Pick from dibrugarh airport and transfer to Mishmi Hills. Birding at Maguri Beel. Dinner and overnight at Forest rest house.

Day 2: Wake up at 0500hrs, birding in and around Mayodiya Pass. Discussions on species and consolidation of bird list for the day. Dinner and overnight at Forest rest house.

Day 3: Wake up at 0500hrs, birding in and around Tiwarigaon. Discussions on species and consolidation of bird list for the day. Dinner and overnight at Forest rest house.

Day 4: Wake up at 0500hrs, birding in and around Hunli. Discussions on species and consolidation of bird list for the day. Dinner and overnight at Forest rest house.

Day 5: Wake up at 0500hrs, birding in and around Tiwarigaon and transfer to Tinsukia. Consolidation of entire bird list for the tour. Overnight at Tinsukia.

Day 6: Morning session at Maguri Beel. Check out from Tinsukia and proceed to Dibrugarh airport.

There might be variations in itinerary based on the local weather conditions and inputs from our local experts at Mishmi hills.

Note: The Stay at Forest lodge in Mishmi Hills will be on Twin sharing with very basic amenities. We shall only have 2 hrs of electricity supply, primarily to charge our camera batteries and mobile phones. The mobile network connectivity will also be limited.

Note that this is a sample itinerary and can be customized as per your requirements. Please use the form below to let us know about your requirements and we shall get back to you with an updated itinerary along with a tentative cost.


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Birding at Andaman

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands – one of the seven union territories of India, are a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. Its also one of the major bird watching destinations in India, with around 270 bird species out of which few are endemic to the region.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival & Birding at Sippighat Wetlands.

Day 2: Morning Session at Shoal Bay; Evening Session at Garacharma Wetlands.

Day 3: Full Day Birding at Chidiyatapu.

Day 4: Birding at Ograbranj Wetlands.

Day 5: Birding at Mt. Harriet National Park.

Day 6: Departure.


Photography tour for small group or personalized tour can also be arrange. Please email us for cost and more details.


Note that this is a sample itinerary and can be customized as per your requirements. Please use the form below to let us know about your requirements and we shall get back to you with an updated itinerary along with a tentative cost.


Enquiry about this tour

Please include complete details and contact information. In case of any special requirement please include the same in other details section.

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Short-toed Snake Eagle

Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)

The Short-toed Snake Eagle is a medium sized bird of prey found in open cultivated plains, arid stony deciduous scrub areas and semi-desert areas across Russia, Middle-east and Asia.True to its name, it primarily feeds on snakes, however is also known to feed on lizards and occasionally on small mammals like hares. It does much of its hunting from heights of up-to 500 meters and can be seen hovering like a Common Kestrel in open grasslands.

Their life span is around 17 years. During breeding, they lay only 1 egg. As per IUCN v3.1, it attains a current status of “Least Concern“, however a steep decline has been observed in their population owing to changing landscape due to development and agriculture.

the Magical Bharatpur…

Foggy mornings, Sarus Cranes, Bluebulls, Pelicans, loads of waterfowls and some mesmerising sunrise & sunset scapes is what you associate with Keoladeo National Park at Bharatpur. We at Wild India Eco Tours had one such trip with an amazing bunch of folks to this place in January 2017.

  • Tour dates: 13 – 15 January 2017
  • Group size: 8
  • Total birds species sighted: 115
  • Key highlights: Sarus Cranes, Dalmatian & Great White Pelicans, Black & Yellow Bitterns, Black-necked Stork, Dusky Eagle Owl, Oriental & Collared Scops Owls, Red-crested Pochards, Ferruginous Ducks
  • Mammals & reptiles sighted: Golden Jackal, Monitor Lizard, Bluebull (Nilgai), Spotted Deer

eBird checklists:

Day 1

Starting from Delhi, we began our journey to Bharatpur by 10:00 hrs after some expected flight delays. We took our 1st halt just after we joined the Yamuna Expressway for a quick snack. A 30 minute break and we were back on our journey. As we neared Mathura, we stopped for our 1st sighting – it was a family of Sarus Cranes!

This was surely some start to the tour as everyone got good views and photographs of this lovely species. Resuming our journey, we arrived at the resort by 14:30 hrs and after a quick lunch and freshening up, we were ready for our 1st excursion to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary by 16:00 hrs.


Splitting into groups of 2, we began our excursion on the cycle rickshaws. We came across various species of ducks – Common teals, Northern Pintails, Gadwalls, Little Grebes along with numerous Common Moorhens & White-breasted Waterhens. We also got some lovely views of the Oriental Scops Owl – camouflaged perfectly in a tree. Going ahead, we reached an opening were we got to see a pair of Bluebull walking across the wetlands.

We spent rest of the the time at this place itself, watching the beautiful sunset. Some of the birds we saw here were Greylag Geese, Knob-billed Duck, Grey-headed Swamphen, Bronze-winged Jacana and the Bluethroat. While returning back, we were also greeted by a family of Golden Jackals.

We got back to resort by 18:30 hrs for snacks / tea and followed the rest of the evening in introductions, sharing wildlife experiences, making bird list, highlights of the day and finally winding up with dinner.

Day 2

The second day of the tour started as early as 07:00 hrs as we made our entry into the park. The weather was chilly with temperatures around 8 degree celsius. We explored one of the trails were we came across two Great Cormorants perched on a dry branches against the beautiful sunrise – giving us ample opportunities to try out various exposure to make the classic silhouette images. We explored the other side of the trail where we came across waterfowls in big numbers. We also got to see the beautiful Black-necked stork on these trails and a Booted Eagle as well. We returned back to point where we saw the cormorant and this time we saw 5 Spotted Owlets perched close to eachother – indeed a lovely sight.


We explored the trees around this place were we saw Red-breasted Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher and also a pair of Long-tailed Minivets. After spending around an hour, we made our way to the canteen in the park for breakfast. We also got to see a Hume’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, White-cheeked Bulbuls, Shikra and a Golden Jackal crossing the road at this place.



After breakfast, we kept exploring on the main tar road in the park as we came across a variety of species – a Collared Scops Owl pair, a Marsh Harrier busy hunting for a meal, Northern Shoveler, pair of Red-crested Pochards, Bonelli’s Eagle, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Greater Spotted Eagle, White-tailed Lapwings, two pairs of Ferruginous Ducks and numerous Bluethroats, Painted Storks, Great Cormorants, Purple Herons, Grey Herons, Little Grebes, Common Teals and Common Moorhens. Couple of members from our group also got to see and photograph the Great Cormorant hunting and feeding on a huge fish!


As we kept exploring, we sighted the shy Black Bittern in its typical habitat – completely camouflaged in a thick bush. A little ahead we also got to see the Yellow Bittern, this one was bold though as it was busy hunting in the open.

We did not realise as it was 14:30 hrs already. We proceeded for lunch in the canteen at the park. After lunch, we explored couple of trails near the park were we got decent views of the Dalmatian Pelicans, Cotton Pygmy Goose and a pair Dusky Eagle Owls. We also sighted three types of kingfishers – White-throated, Common and the Pied Kingfisher. After exploring for an hour or so, we made our way back to the sunset point. This time we sighted numerous raptors perched on the trees – Eastern Imperial Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagles (2) and Marsh Harriers. As the light was fading, We also got lucky to sight the shy Black Bitten in open for few seconds before it jumped back into the bush.



Other species seen were a group of Knob-billed Ducks, Grelag and Bar-headed Geese, Black-crowned Night Herons, Grey-headed Swamphens, Oriental Darter and numerous Bronze-winged Jacanas.

Soon the day ended and we were back to resort for yet another experience sharing session, reviewing images followed by dinner.

Day 3

As with Day 2, Day 3 started at 07:00 hrs. The weather was a little more foggy today as we made way into the park. We wanted to take a good chance of sighting the Sarus Cranes and getting better view of the Dalmatian Pelicans in this final morning session and hence we headed straight to the sunset point which has best chance of sightings. We saw couple of Pelicans in flight but couldn’t click them. We started exploring on of the trails a little ahead of the point and soon came across a pair of Sarus Cranes. It was a treat to watch them in the typical Bharatpur scape – standing tall in the long dry grass against bluish foggy background. After getting some decent clicks, we came across similar frames for Oriental Darter, Purple Heron and a Booted Eagle.


As we were returned back to the main road, we saw numerous groups of Great White Pelicans flying to other side of the trail. We went to explore and could see them in good number (over 50 individuals) feeding together. We missed making decent images as it was opposite light. Being content with the sighting, we started back to return to the main tar road in the park when we saw Marsh Harrier flying with a kill and to our luck, it perched right in-front of us and started feeding on its kill..!


Final hour of our session and we had to get back to resort to pack bags start our return journey. We were just exploring for Bitterns again when suddenly a pair of Dalmatian Pelicans came and landed in a water body next to sunset point and began feeding, only to be joined by around 6 more of them. As if a parting gift, we finally got to make some lovely images of this ‘Vulnerable’ species (as per IUCN v3.1). There wouldn’t have been a better end to the trip.


Clearly Keoladeo National Park at Bharatpur stands out as one of the best places to sighting a variety of bird species as well as to learn various aspects of wildlife photography – portraits, landscapes, silhouettes! you get a chance to try them all. Add to it delicious food and an amazing group, we just did not want to return.

That said, we have already planned to visit Bharatpur again in Jan-Feb 2018, this time a 4 Day trip. Stay tuned for the detailed itinerary and exact dates by subscribing to www.wild-india.in.

Thanks for viewing. Let us know in-case of any queries, suggestions, critics and we will be happy to respond.

In-case you have destination & dates in mind, write to us at info@wild-india.in and we shall design custom wildlife tour as per your requirements.

– Team Wild India Eco Tours