Keoladeo: In the Pursuit of Feathered Friends

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Male Purple Sunbird minus its rich plumage

I went on this forest trail nothing less than 3 times over a weekend. There’s a plethora of birds to be discovered in this raw and mesmerising landscape — some endemic, others migratory. In fact the season to spot the latter has started with October. It’s nothing short of being in a wonderland to be here in this jungle with birds’ calls letting you discover them and distracting you — all at once.

 

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Indian Darter or the Snake Bird known so for its long neck, is a predatory bird. My first spotting of this bird

 

Whistling their jaunty songs these birds can really tease you, hiding behind tall bushes – at times only heard but not seen. Those i saw, held my gaze and stayed with me long after i left the Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. Discovering and capturing new species of avifauna is a thrilling experience for me, as it would be for any amateur birder.

 

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Indian Sarus Crane, my first spotting of this bird

 

Wilderness is awesome, it can let you on with it’s secrets at the moment when you have almost given up! Just when my camera batteries decided to act up, i spotted a jackal in the distance – well i got a hazy phone shot – but at least i saw one in its natural habitat! And so to my surprise this is one national park which you can explore on foot or on rickshaw!

 

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I don’t remember the name of this one

 

But what if such predators decide to turn you into their food for the day? “It can’t happen because by nature jackals are shy and there are so many visitors here, that they would not dare come close to any”, said my rickshawallah sounding wise. Talking of rick pullers, these guys are specially trained for their jobs here, and are so knowledgeable that you don’t really need a naturalist’s.

And finally by the end of 3 trips, just like being in one of the Disney movies, my quest for spotting not-seen-before species let me discover at least 20 new ones!

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