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Little Rann of Kutch
Being avid birders, winter is the season we look forward to. When Wild India announced the birding trip to Little Rann of Kutch and Thol, we registered instantly as we couldn’t have asked for better company to do birding with. The Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) is famous for the Indian Wild Ass (Khur) and hence a majority of LRK areas are declared as the Wild Ass Sanctuary. There's more information on the LRK and Indian Wild Ass at the end of the report.Coming back to our trip, me and Shraddha arrived in Ahmedabad early at around 6:30 AM. Our friends were already waiting for us and after some chit-chat and breakfast, we finally started our journey to LRK. Wild India had arranged a stay at Royal Safari Camp which is a fantastic property. We relaxed for a while, had a sumptuous lunch (again, the food was really good) and were ready for our 1st Safari by 2:30 PM. The Safari Camp had organized 2 Jeeps for the Safari and Bajana was the first area in LRK to be explored. After registering at the gate of the Wild Ass Sanctuary; we entered the Sanctuary and were greeted with a couple of White-eared Bulbuls, Common Babblers, Isaballine Shrikes and Desert Wheatears.Moving ahead we saw quite a number of Common Cranes; which soon became a very common sight. We could see them everywhere. Soon we were able to see the huge open lands with water cover in patches; very typical of Kutch deserts. And these water patches had a lot of pink spots in them which were nothing else but the beautiful Lesser Flamingoes. We also came across the endemic and endangered Indian Wild Asses. Our driver cum guide (Bura Bhai) soon took the vehicle around some bushes where we were on the lookout for the Short-Eared Owl. It wasn’t long when Bura Bhai helped us see not one but 3 Short-Eared Owls which surely seemed to be a family. After clicking some snaps, we explored the area more to see a variety of birds that included the Eastern Imperial Eagle, Pallas Gulls, Steppe Eagle, Common Kestrel, Montagu’s Harrier, Black Drongo and so on.We enjoyed a pleasant sunset and were back to the resort by 7 PM. We spent a lovely evening catching up with old buddies (Bhavesh, Sunil, Rupali, Suru) and meeting new like-minded folks (Subhash Sir, Mallikarjun Sir, Arvind, Rahul, Mihir and Basant) with a born-fire set up. A quick check on the number of bird species sighted during the day was 46; with 10 lifers for me.
It is a beautiful bird and one of the best wetland sanctuaries in the whole country. It has a record of being a home to more than 250 varieties of birds especially during the winter season. The lake which serves as the main attraction here is perfect for boating too. Boats can be hired everyday from sunrise to sunset and a sail along the lake proves to be very relaxing. Nal Sarovar Sanctuary is about 65 kilometres west from Ahmedabad.Distance from Ahmadabad - 64 Km