Apparently Sattal is a paradise for bird lovers, at a nice distance away from crowded Nainital, Sattal is thickly wooded, and forested, thankfully the woods here are protected and this in return has meant loads of birds and an odd leopard and a bear being spotted.
We stayed at the Incredible Birding camp, the place was highly recommended by birders and a friend of mine Tikuli. The Incredible Birding camp is run by Khusbu and Rahul Sharma who are themselves very keen birders and apparently are very good photographers of birds. Unfortunately whilst we went there, the pair was away to Iceland for birding! Well, atleast now I know some people are living the life! Anyways, since they were not there, the guy in charge was Vipul, coincidentally from Surat, 75 kms from my place, the fun of communicating in Gujarati in this state far from home! He aided us in identifying and finding favourite spots of birds around Sattal, Garudtal and Chafi river.
The reason why this is a bad time for birding is, the foliage is lush, the leaves are dense, there is water all around, moving around is troublesome and it keeps raining on and off, however, that did not deter us, we went out, we were patient, photographing was more tricky, but watching them with a binocular much easier! Mornings and evenings were particularly active, the chirps and coos wouldn’t stop, we kept spotting quite a few residents there and we actually saw a lot of species that we had not seen earlier!
The lakes here are quite beautiful and pristine, especially now with it being off season and no tourists boating in the lake or traffic on the roads it was blissful and you could actually have the whole lake to yourself. It was so quiet that you could hear and identify birds just by their calls. I can’t imagine how it would be in proper dry season and winters which is the ideal time to visit this place for birding. I have heard people saying they would spot 150 plus species in 2-3 days. In this off season we spotted 46 species in the one and half day excursions we took around.
Some pictures are in the below slide show :