Sunday, 27 January 2013

Guda Bishnoi

Recently I was in Jodhpur on a vacation. Though I knew that around Jodhpur one can see lots of deer and other wildlife I was surprised to see also several water bodies where the migratory birds come in winters from as far as Siberia.

Flamingos

We used the google maps to search for water bodies and saw that a place called Guda Bishnoi has some water bodies. So we headed out to the place.

A flock resting after a long flight

Guda Bishnoi is about 25 kms from Jodhpur and once we crossed the village we saw two lakes visible from the road but since we were carrying the GPS enabled mobile we were also able to detect water bodies which otherwise we would have missed completely. And what a feast these water bodies were to our eyes!

Indian Pond Heron

The second lake (an artificial one in which during summers water is pumped so that the local wildlife as well as cattle of the nearby villages have water to drink) was full of Flamingos, Siberian Cranes - called Khurja in the local language- waterfowls etc. I was also able to spot a solitary Indian Pond Heron and few Shell Ducks as well.

Shell Ducks

The best season to visit Guda Bishnoi is the winter season from October to March as lots of migratory birds from colder climes come to this area.

Indian Gazelle

Around the lake there were several Chinkara or the Indian Gazelle and some of them were in quite a playful mood locking horns and having a mock fight as well!

Chinkaras locking horns

And of course I saw several blackbucks. The area has lots of them as the Bishnoi community protects them with gusto. One may remember a case where one of the Bollywood actors  - Salman Khan - killed blackbucks and was arrested due to pressure from the community.



Blackbucks


A male blackbuck is brown-black with and white underbelly with twisted long horns whereas the female blackbucks are fawn coloured and do not have horns. One of the blackbucks crossed in front of my car just five feet away!


A male & Female Blackbuck


The Bishnoi's also protect Khejri tree (also known as 'Janti' in Hindi) as they worship it and therefore help in preserving the ecosystem of this semi-arid land.


Black Winged Stilt

Though there were several other varieties of birds, I could recognize only a few of them like the Black Winged Stilt in the above photo.

Birds in flight

The third water body which was actually hidden from view and also had lots of weeds in the water was a perfect watering hole for several birds for nesting. A brief glance and you will notice nothing, but wait a few moments and you will see a bird take flight like this Siberian Crane in the photo below.

Siberian Crane

In the fourth water body, I also saw, besides several waterfowls this one huge Purple Pond Heron. It seems that these birds do not stay in flocks like others.

Purple Pond Heron

Overall it was a fantastic tour and in some ways better than my visit to Sambhar Lake as here in Guda Bishnoi I could see the birds and animals from a really close distance. Certainly a very good place for bird watchers. Binoculars are a big help.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

beautiful!

Anil Yadav said...

Thanks!