Friday, November 16, 2012

Visit to Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary - 2012

Link to a subsequent visit in 2013

Three of us went on an early morning exploratory trip to Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary located 60 kms from Delhi (towards Gurgaon). We left around 6 am and crossed Delhi at breakneck speed (courtesy the cab driver) and sped on our way towards Sultanpur. (Note: if you miss the small right turn to Farukkhabad, the road which leads to Sutanpur; the next u-turn is available after around 5 kms which implies 10kms of extra travel).

We reached the place around 7.30 am and went inside. The way Sultanpur is structured is there is a walking track around the circumference which would take a couple of hours or so to walk through. There is a big lake in between where most of the birds camp. In between there are a few paths which would lead you up to near the water to get a view of various water birds. On the circumference too, a bunch of birds are seen flying around frequently.

Sultanpur lake view
The walk around the perimeter is a very pleasant one on a cold wintry morning. There was scant human population there; we just saw around 10-15 people throughout. If one isn’t too interested in birds; just a morning walk in fresh air close to nearly undisturbed nature is worth the effort of visiting this place.

We walked through the circumference of the park and took a couple of hours to do the same. We saw a bunch of beautiful birds; sadly none of us being ornithologists, we could identify only a few of them. However most of the birds sadly sat right near the lake at a point which was still some distance away from the nearest path for humans. Well, personally if I were a bird, I would do exactly the same.

The following are what we saw (and could identify) in Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary–

  • A few neelgai, cows and buffalos – we came across along the way

A male neelgai crossing the path ahead of us
  • Four red-necked Sarus (Indian crane). Probably a family as they were moving together – two adults, and two younger ones.
  • A big elegant swan (seen from a distance) – gave a nice feeling when it flew gracefully over the lake.
  • Hordes of ducks
  • Lots of Egrets – despite their commonality; I still find them fascinating and beautiful.
  • A few Kingfishers – gloriously colorful bird
  • The Black Drango – I don’t claim to be sure of this nomenclature
  • A few Peacocks – even after seen them so many times; still love to see them whenever possible.
  • Bright-green parakeets
  • Two gangs of Sultanpur woodpeckers (10-15 members each) followed us for a fair distance whilst we were walking.
  • A lethal kite (or a vulture – don’t know which – but some predator)
  • A few sparrows – which reminded of how we used to see them frequently in cities in our childhood but are no longer visible that easily.
  • Crows and pigeons – which while commonly visible in cities still deserve a mention.
  • Colorful butterflies – nimble and swift they weaved their paths while flying around us
  • Lots of red/black ants – which seemed to converge into ant-hills.

I haven’t been there in the afternoon or evening; but probably early mornings or evenings are the best time to visit a bird park. We had a pair of binoculars to be able to spot some of the distant birds; but our cameras weren’t powerful enough to get too many good shots.

Still for they are worth, more pictures are placed here.