Thursday, November 14, 2013

A visit to Sultanpur Bird Sactuary - 2013

After a previous visit to Sultanpur last year which served as an appetizer, we decided to again make a trip to this Bird Sanctuary in Haryana around 60kms from Delhi. Armed with a better camera and more knowledge about birds, I was hopeful (though not very much) about a few sightings.

How wrong was I to be proved!

The route was taking a right turn from Rajiv Chowk in Gurgaon and a subsequent left which took us straight on the road to Sultanpur. We reached there in good time by around 8am when the early morning fog had begun to subside.

Sadly though, the sanctuary was closed till 9am (only for that day) because some MP was visiting. After a sumptuous breakfast at a nearby restaurant, we made for the entrance (Rs 25 per person (I think); and Rs 50 for camera).

The lake was larger than I last remembered and the number and types of birds were definitely huge. The perimeter was partially blocked; so we walked around the perimeter for half way; and went back and then towards the other side.

Birds, birds and more birds!! Near the lake, there were enormous number of birds!

I can only let the pictures speak for themselves! At one point, near the lake - there was heavy activity with migratory Painted Storks and Black-Headed White Ibises flying in huge numbers - nesting and preparing for winter. There were also sufficient number of professional bird-watchers as the word seems to have got around.

Click on the pictures to view enlarged or as a slideshow

Birds, Birds and Birds! Hundreds of them, disturbed by something suddenly took off in flight.
Before settling down again within seconds.

Woodpecker - pecking into the wood

Purple Swamp Hen

Parakeet
Hundreds of ducks..

Bunch of Black-headed White Ibises.
This species was found in huge numbers along with painted storks.
Seemed to have migrated recently as they were nesting for the winter.

Painted Storks
We saw multiple of them flying all across looking for twigs and grass and creating their nests.

A painted stork flying across with grass in its beak.
In the bg, a tree with scores of birds (mostly ibises)
Symmetry!
A painted stork - just landed on the tree.
Red-vented Bulbul?

Identification?

A kingfisher
A pair of Red-Wattled Lapwings

Sandpiper?

Jungle Babbler?

The usual suspects-

Grey Heron

Cormorants


Egret

Pond Heron

Route Map:


View Larger Map

5 comments:

  1. The one after the red-vented bulbul seems to be a Black Winged Stilt. So does the one after the lapwings. I know they look different, but the second one's wings are too black for a sandpiper. The closest is a marsh sandpiper, but it's wings are much grayer, and dotted.

    And yes that's a Jungle Babbler.

    Nice pics, though the light seems to be pretty bad for photography. Winters, I guess :)

    Headed there tomorrow...!

    Have you checked out the Basai Wetlands? About 7-8 kms before the gate, open wet marshland (just a bit after the bridge over the railway tracks). You'll see all sorts of flycatchers, bee-eaters, warblers, sunbirds etc. there. And from really up close too..

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    Replies
    1. Nice, thanks for the identification..
      No, haven't heard about the wetlands. Will plan during next visit. Although, me and Salil had thought of Okhla and another bird sanctuary 30-40kms further away from Sultanpur; but we could manage only this :).

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  2. Which is the one 30-40 kms away?

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  3. And let's go birding sometime in Hyderabad!!

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    Replies
    1. Yep, definitely.
      Don't remember the name of the other one..

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