Friday, December 20, 2013

Gujarat Diaries: Kutch magic

Gujarat Diaries so far...

Okay, I'm skipping the introductory post for the Kutch part of my last year's Gujarat sojourn and let me take it forward with an exciting post. Read on!

After fruitful days of birding in Jamnagar in the able company of Chirag, I headed next towards Kutch or the bada Rann or to say, Greater Rann of Kutch (GRK). My bookings were already done with Jugal bhai who runs the CEDO (Centre for Desert and Ocean) cedobirding.com for the next 3-4 days.

From Jamnagar, I had booked a ticket for self in the Patel travels sleeper bus to Bhuj with the help of Chirag and he happily dropped me to the bus in the night and bid me goodbye. Patel travels is the most recommended operator in Gujarat and is known widely and is supposed to be good is what I thought! Mid way through my journey I realized half of the window would not close properly and it was freezing cold outside the wind gods were more than happy in raiding my berth time and again sending shivers down my spine. Braving the cold without a blanket and after some juggling around in the dark, found a way to keep that darn window closed or rather away from me.

Early morning as I reached Bhuj,  a vehicle sent by Jugal Tiwari was waiting for me and then we proceeded towards Moti virani, about 50kms away, an hour's drive. Soon, we reached and were welcomed by Jugal and Vaibhav. Jugal would be accompanying me for all the days I stayed at CEDO and I had an vehicle exclusively for my sojourn into the Kutch.

From Kutch or GRK, I added about 20 species of birds that I had not seen before to my list and a total of 30 odd species in addition to the many repetitions I had seen earlier in my trip, so to say it was a fantastic experience and I'm pretty sure I've head back there soon as still there are quite a few to be seen including the elusive Caracal that Jugal bhai has to show me.

Ok, back to the post... let me showcase one of the colorful bird species that I came across that are slow flyers and ground birds and their art of camouflage is their best weapon of defense. An untrained eye can hardly see them on the ground and its only when they take off in a phurrr right next to you, you realized you missed seeing something!

Here they come, the Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouses, the patterns are beautiful on them and you just cant stop admiring them :) Have a look! Enjoy!





Hold on... more to follow...!


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