Day1 Field Visit
The First Encounter with the king
The GIB was grazing and his wobby bag was quite visible from the distance. He gave a glimpse for a while and got disappeared. It was getting dark and we decided to head back. On our way back we bumped on to Hares and Night Jars which were sitting pretty on the ground.
We were hoping that tomorrow will be a better day and we will definitely catch His Majesty in full avataar.
Day2 Field Visit
Day2 started on a good note with visiting the Hipperga lake nearby. The wet land was full of activity during the morning and we had a great time in spotting many of the water birds.
This Woolly necked Stork displayed its beauty for us from close proximity...
Post the lake visit and the breakfast we were again into the scrub jungles of Nannaj. Nannaj has lots to offer, from insects, moths to butterflies(another post on butterflies will follow) and birds. We saw two huge frogs resting near a pond quietly. We were amazed by the size of these frogs. As we continued the trail this Juvenile white eyed buzzard flew close to the vehicle and gave good glimpse.
Close call with Eurasian Eagle Owl
As we were taking a look at Bay backed Shrike, the team called us from a distance and there was a surprise there. This Eurasian Eagle owl was sitting pretty under a shrub.
As we watched, she (probably) just walked along from the edge of the tree and took the position right under the tree. So far I have never seen a WALKING OWL, I must say it was rather funny to see a giant owl walking across. Spent a good few minutes in observing her and as she started hooting we just left the place.
And the Second encounter!
Sun was dropping off on the horizon and so were we, almost tired on the day two with extensive birding from morning. Bharat got us to a spot where he felt we had some chances of sighting GIB’s. He scanned the horizon with bincos and hmm…. No luck!! We decided to head the other way. Just then something flew across the horizon and there was His Majesty again….. basking in the glory of the evening sunlight he took a flight across the horizon. Seeing his Majesty in flight was worth the pain taken from the morning.
PS: Next day we figured out that, some enthusiastic birder/photographer ventured too close to the GIB and the disturbed GIB flew off. A sincere request to photographer friends, please follow the basic discipline and when we are in their territory let’s not venture too close for taking photographs. Well this topic needs separate write up and I wish people are sensible enough to follow the basic ground rules.
Day 3 Field Visit
With two days of exhaustive birding, third day we headed straight to Nannaj WLS and decided to spend the time at a place where we can spot Great Indian Bustards. Sitting at a place watching the nature is really interesting, you will witness lot of drama unfold in front of you. A Male black buck chased away the other males or Juveniles in order to prove Supremacy, Again a male buck suddenly sprung into action and sprinted across some distance, a dog chased away herd of bucks and there were butterflies all around capturing the nectar from the flowers.
Time till noon just flew off and still there were no signs of his Majesty! But these larks gave a wonderful breeding display, by flying high up, singing and then diving, literally!
The Final Encounter
Post lunch we were back again at the same place and this time we were really really lucky. His Majesty had arrived there already and was conducting his Durbaar for the evening. He was at his best here! He preened, pruned and grazed along as we watched quietly. We were fortunate to see some of the display acts too of the Male bustard. Couple of hours passed by and we made our way for the crowd that came in to watch them.
Later we were told that there was another Juvenile Male Bustard nearby and we walked back to the spot again. Couldn’t spot the Juvenile Bustard, but his Majesty was still happily around. It was getting dark and we drove back keeping beautiful memories in mind.
And finally, here is the bird list of the outing.
4.Yellow wattled Lapwing
19.Large Grey Babbler
34.Great Indian Bustard
51.Indian Pond Heron
76.Red rumped Swallow
80.Southern Grey Shrike
81.Common Hawk Cuckoo (heard)
83.Leaf Warbler ?
(Other members of the group also spotted)
Photographs & Narration By: Deepak and Sumana