The coastal belt is very rich in birdlife and you get to see diverse species only if you are willing to explore. In Karnataka, coastal birding is not as so famous as the forest birding owing to many reasons and choices people have, coastal birding is more fun when you have the flocks of winter migrants coming in to the shores to stay for a few months out here. My last coastal birding was in Gujarat, a couple of years ago and that 'itch' was egging me to do more of it...
Finally, Amith came up with a plan for the weekend (way back in Nov 2013) and me along with 5 others traveled towards Udupi to explore the beaches and the backwaters around the region.
We roamed around Hoode-bengre, Kaup, Mulki, Someshwara, Sasihithlu from dawn till dusk for some amazing birding and were surely tired out by the end of day 2 covering so many places and looking out for so many bird species, yet we missed a few of them! bad luck!
One important factor to keep in mind for coastal birding is the 'tide timings', low tides are the best time when the crabs come out in zillions and the birds come for them whereas you reach the same place during high tide and all that you see is water everywhere. Also, unlike forest birds, birds on the shore can be seen throughout the day, be it rain or shine. And, the most important factor is to have loads of patience as the birds can sense your movement from far away and tend to move away if they feel threatened or by your brisk/sudden movements. Slow pace and less movements gets you closer to them without any added efforts.
What we used to do was to spread out in small groups, pick a location where you have seen movements and wait there... be it for 10 minutes, or an hour or a couple, your efforts would be rewarded if you have that patience to do it.
I've nothing much more to detail down, will allow the images to speak... Sit back and have a look :)
(Western Reef Egret)
(A colony of crabs...)
(Pacific Golden Plover)
(Lesser Sand Plover)
(Ruddy Turnstone's - up and below)
(Lesser Sand Plover)
(mixed flocks - top and below...)
Coastal birding can get very hot, carry adequate amount of water and snacks.
Wear a hat and carry lotions as required.
Udupi is about 400 odd kms from Bangalore and add another 30 odd kms towards Mulki
Hotels are available in Mulki for stay and food.
Don't litter on the beaches as they are already littered bad.
Saandip has presented it much better on his blog here.