They say that a picture speaks louder than words. So, this time I thought of cutting down on words and let pictures do most of the talking.
The Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary near Ahmedabad in Gujarat consists of a 120 sq km shallow lake and marshes. Situated 65 kms away from Ahmedabad, the lake attracts a wide variety of migratory birds in winter and spring.
The shallow waters of the lake and grassy marshes are favorite feeding and nesting grounds for migratory as well as indigenous birds.
Between October and March, Nalsarovar is frequented by bird watchers; expert as well as novice; who flock to the lake to catch a sight of the winged visitors.
At the banks, hundreds of boatmen wait with their oars and tiny dinghies to row visitors through the sparse tall grass of the marsh to muddy islands where flamingos flock.
A closer look at the tall grasses on the way reveal herons, cormorants, egrets, geese and several other birds feeding on insects and water bugs buzzing around.
Bird Watching in general requires a lot of patience and a trained eye and ear that can recognize these cleverly camouflaged creatures in the wild from their colourful features and calls. Not only do these beautiful winged creatures, cleverly camouflage themselves but any slight sound or attempt at getting a closer look can send them scurrying away farther. However, Nalsarovar is one place where even novices like me can experience the thrill of watching birds in their natural habitat from close quarters.
The grass is sparse enough and the manually rowed dinghies soundless enough to let visitors pull up reasonably close and to get a good look at the birds without sending them flying away in alarm.
The boatmen though not trained bird watchers, known enough from generations of rowing bird enthusiasts through the marsh to correctly identify most of the birds.
Best Time to Visit
Best time for bird watching in Nalsarovar is at sunrise from mid-Oct to March. It is possible to spot birds at sunset as well though sunrise is the most recommended time.
Nalsarovar is 65 kms away from Ahmedabad and 40kms away from Viramgam. Best way to get to Nalsarovar is by road. It’s a great place to spend that extra half a day on a trip to Ahmedabad or Little Rann of Kutch (check here if you are planning a trip to Little Rann). No accommodation available at Nalsarovar at present.
The boatmen quote exorbitant rates running into thousands of rupees per hour for a round of the lake. We had to shell out about 2000 rupees for two hours. Go prepared and negotiate well.
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