Western Yellow Wagtail

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As we started walking around the Vadhvana Lake, a curious little bird spotted us, it would though keep a safe distance and jump/fly a safe distance away and look at us. Observing who these three were, where they were from. Every time we would get nearer it would again jump/fly and go further ahead and then again look at us, all the while, constantly, wagging its tail. Thankfully, I had just spotted this one earlier in Kadod and atleast for once I could identify it straight away for junior that it was a Yellow Wagtail! 😀

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Interestingly it is another migratory bird, it breeds in temperate Europe. Its northern and eastern European population though migrates to Africa and South Asia and that is how we get to see this species. Its proper name is ‘Western Yellow Wagtail’, I must confess it is so much fun to identify these birds and then to read about them on wiki and other sites and get to know more about them. 😀

Great Egret

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Although the cattle egret is quite common, the Great Egret, larger in size, is a lot more elusive. Apart from elusiveness the grace with which it walks, hunts is a lovely sight. It will stand like a monk for minutes and then slowly and very gracefully does a dawdling walk with its neck extended and its wings close to its body. It hunts very much like a heron and mainly feasts on fish! A lot of Great Egret were killed for their plumes, especially in America to the brink of extinction after which conservation efforts at the end of the 19th century in America ensured the species survived.

Today we can see a fair sprinkling of these great egret in India too in winters.

Gloss on my feathers!

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This has to go down as a new species that I have identified with the help of Shail. This fella was spotted in a marshy lake at the outskirts of Vadhvana village enroute to Vadhvana Bird Sanctuary. It is called the Glossy Ibis! This is the most widespread of all ibis species, the glossy ibis is found in North, South and Central America, the Greater Antilles, southern Europe, Africa, Asia, India, and Australia. 😀 😀 😀

Another update on the bird gyaan! 😀 😀 😀 :mrgreen:

Asian Open Billed Stork

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I saw it.
Slammed the brakes.
It saw me.
I went for the camera.
It became weary.
I got the camera ready.
It looked alert.
I shot.
It flew, but before it did, I got this snap!

Spotted this Asian Open Billed Stork enroute Vadhvana Bird Sanctuary in a field.

Did you know?

A stork can live 20 to 30 years.
Some storks are colony nesters; others only nest in pairs.
Storks can hiss, honk, croak, squeal and whistle. They also clatter their beaks.

A bench by the lake..

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When I first read about Vadhvana Bird Sanctuary about 80kms from my house I learnt they were wetlands. A sight similar to Nal Sarovar was the image that came to my mind. Shallow water full of weeds, water plants and algae was what I visioned. When we reached the place at around 11.30 after driving about 80 kms and taking lots of breaks alongside shooting all birds in all marshy water bodies and lakes of villages that came on the way we were greeted by 3 earnest fellows sitting on a table. They charged us Rs. 5/- for parking and Rs 10/- for me and my wife (5each) for entry to the sanctuary. The kid went free!!

As we climbed the first few steps to reach the level of the reservoir, the above sight was what greeted us. Amazingly the small lake or wetland looked like sea! There was a strong cool breeze and the lake almost had wave’s!!!! For me and wifey sitting on this bench and just feeling the gust of breeze in our faces would have been paisa vasool! 😀 The fact that we also got to see thousands of birds here was just a small bonus.

Doesn’t this place look just superb to sit for long hours and watch the water? In these cold winter days even at 12pm it was quite pleasant and amazingly refreshing sitting here.

In the next few days I will post pictures of this sanctuary and the birds we spotted there. As far as this post is concerned, I felt the above benches themselves deserved a post of their own! 🙂

Vadhvana Bird Sanctuary timings are from 8am to 5pm. Below is a small collage of the things that you can expect to find there and the location of the place.

The Birds :

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The location

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The Bandit!

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Spotted whilst driving on the road side on a thorny scrub tree was this Brown Shrike. The distinctive black patch on its eye gives it a “Bandit Mask” like feel. These are migratory birds that arrive in India during the winters starting from August / September and will leave in April.

Quietly it awaited a prey perhaps, however, little did it know that it was me who was actually catching it! 😀 😀