This morning conference participants “flocked together” to make an early morning visit to Khijadiya Wildlife Sanctuary. We actually continued birding where we finished last day. Some other type of habitats was visited like grassy scrub and shallow marshland as well as arid grounds supporting different bird life.
Sunrise was awesome in the Khijadiya Wildlife Sanctuary. © Gyorgy Szimuly
In the slightly misty morning Grey Francolines cried loudly which was heard even from a far distance. While slowly walking on the dam ducks were flying over our head. Lesser Whistling Ducks, Knob-billed Ducks, a few Garganey, large flock of Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails and Common Pochards were among the most numberous species. Some simple looking but still gorgeous Spot-billed Ducks provided very good view through the scope.
In this lovely morning Red-wattled Lawings shared the wet meadow with a few White-tailed Lapwing. © Gyorgy Szimuly
In the bushy area we found an single Indian Roller, a few White-throated Kingfishers, Green Bee-eaters, a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, a Jacobin Cukcoo. We were happy to see 4 White-tailed Lapwings. It was a surprise to see a Bailon’s Crake quite well.
White-throated Kingfishers chased each others early in the morning. © Gyorgy Szimuly
We found some lifers including a single Sand Lark, Isabelline Shrike, Desert Warbler and Black-breasted Weaver but we were unable to picture these moments. For us it was unusual and delightful to watch a flock of feeding Citrine Wagtails together with Lesser Short-toed Lark.
We saw quite a few Purple Sunbirds especially at dusk. © Gyorgy Szimuly
Lovely Oriental White-eyes moved fast in the bushes. © Gyorgy Szimuly
Plain Prinia was captured on the bushy dam. © Balázs Molnár
White-eared Bulbul was common in the bushes. © Gyorgy Szimuly
Being a shorebird fan I enjoyed our way back to the buses while lovely Small Pratincoles crossed the dam. Over the salt ponds a small flock of Demoiselle Crane were seen. One more lifers made the list complete. It was a Rufous-fronted Prinia. Other notable species was Cetti’s Warbler, Striated Grassbird, Ashy Prinia and huge flocks of Rose-coloured Starling. After the morning session birding we returned to the hotel then again to the conference venue but in the late afternoon we visited another part of the wildlife sanctuary.
Just before reaching our bus suddenly an adult Jungle Cat with kitten appeared on the dam. © Balázs Molnár
Darters together with Indian Cormorants roosted on the trees in the marshland . © Gyorgy Szimuly
The southern part of the sanctuary was a bit different with more marshy ponds. Bird diversity was lower than in the morning but with some nice species. Flying over Painted Storks coloured the sky. I could not stop watching them through the crisp clear SwaroVision. It was an awesome experience. One of my online friend said it was something when you start birding all over again. Brand new perspectives and joy.
Large flock of Painted Stork was resting in a dry bushy pond. © Gyorgy Szimuly
We had not much time before sunset but I found a few Pheasant-tailed Jacana which we had never seen during our India trip before. Purple Swamphens, River Terns, Black-necked Stork, Glossy Ibis or Common Cranes were easily seen. We couldn’t spot any Demoiselle Crane in the afternoon.