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Birds of Little Rann of Kutch, Coastal Gujarat, Gir and Velavadar

Little Rann of Kutch, Jamnagar, Gir Lion Sanctuary & Velavadar
06 nights & 07 days
Best time: October-March
Tour Code: BGUJ02

ITINERARY
Day 01: Delhi / Mumbai to Ahmedabad to Little Rann of Kutch
Day 02: Little Rann of Kutch to Jamnagar
Day 03: Jamnagar
Day 04: Jamnagar to Gir National Park
Day 05: Gir National Park
Day 06: Gir National Park to Velavadar
Day 07: Velavadar to Ahmedabad or Mumbai

Highlights

Excellent birding
Interesting journeys and landscape
Special variety of birds
Possibility of continuing this tour for Bhuj
Excellent mammal diversity such as Wild Ass, Asiatic Lion, Wolf, Hyena

ITINERARY

Day 01: AHMEDABAD-DASADA Meals: lunch & dinner Arrive in Ahmedabad by flight or train in the morning from Delhi or Mumbai. Drive in the Little Rann of Kutch (2 hour drive). The road to Dasada is interesting as you pass cattle graveyards where white-rumped, Egyptian and griffon vultures could be seen and wetlands that are good for resident birds. This safari resort is imaginatively designed using local materials and has extensive grounds with a water-body, ponds, gardens, plantations and agricultural fields. Red necked falcon, shikra, blue throat, rosy starling, black ibis, white pelican, grey and pond heron, pied, common and white-throated kingfisher, and other birds come into the property. After lunch, depart for a drive in the Little Rann of Kutch, a sanctuary for the Indian wild ass. An ancient seabed turned by geological forces into saline desert plains, the Rann has grassy patches that offer good bird-watching. Crested and Sykes larks, Oriental skylark, bimaculated lark, greater short-toed lark, singing and Indian bushlarks, ashy-crowned and black-crowned sparrow-larks, are likely sightings and greater hoopoe lark is possible. Desert and variable wheatears, southern grey,long-tailed, rufous-tailed and bay-back shrike, common woodshrike are also likely sightings and the desert warbler is among the many winter visiting warblers.We will also look for chestnut-bellied and spotted sandgrouse, Indian courser (cream-coloured visits occasionally), quails, yellow-legged and barred buttonquails, grey francolin, wryneck, brown-rock chat, pied bushchat, rufous-tailed scrub robin, blue-headed rock thrush, black redstart and buntings in the scrubby areas. At sunset, it is possible to watch marsh, Montagu and pallid harriers, aquila eagles, falcons and buzzards heading for their roosting sites. Among the mammals of the Rann other than the wild ass, there are chances of seeing nilgai, chinkara gazelle, white-footed desert and Indian foxes, the wolf, jungle cat (occasionally also desert cat), pale and long-eared hedgehogs and hare.

Day 02: DASADA-JAMNAGAR
Meals: breakfast
Morning walk in Dasada village. This can yield a reasonably good bird list including yellow-legged green pigeon, paradise flycatcher, fantails, red-breasted flycatcher, white-eye, prinias and warblers. After breakfast, depart for Jamnagar, six hours away. This is an interesting route passing agricultural fields and lakes. Birds of open-country like roller and black-shouldered kite could be seen. Arrive at Hotel President in time for lunch. On this day, we will also try to get permits to enter the Marine National Park the next day. Evening visit to Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary, where there are fairly good chances of seeing Indian skimmer. This sanctuary is a breeding area for many species of birds that do not nest elsewhere in peninsular India. Great-crested grebe, black-necked stork, Caspian tern and many other birds can be seen besides most of the species recorded in the Little Rann area. Stay at Hotel.

Day 03: JAMNAGAR
Meals: on own
Visit coastal areas along the Gulf of Kutch, one of the finest birding stretches along the Indian coastline. You are likely to see crab-plover, Kentish plover, oystercatcher, ruddy turnstone, broad-billed sandpiper, sanderling, dunlin, curlew sandpiper, black-headed gull, Pallas' gull, temmincks stint, lesser-crested tern, gull-billed tern, common tern, little tern, black-bellied tern, whiskered tern, whiskered tern, darters, western reef egret and other birds could be seen on this route. Time permitting, walk to Lakhota Lake to watch brown-headed gulls and a variety of ducks. Overnight stay.

Day 04: JAMNAGAR-GIR NATIONAL PARK
Meals: dinner
Depart at dawn to Gir NP (5-6 hours) and check-in at Gir Birding Lodge. You will be there in time to go for afternoon safari to look for birds, lions and leopards. A tapestry of dry deciduous forests, acacia scrub and grassland, fed by rivers and reservoirs, Gir is the last abode of the Asiatic lion and has a thriving population of panther (leopard), sambar, chital (spotted deer), nilgai (blue bull antelope) and wild boar. Gir is also one of the major habitats of chousingha (the world's only four-horned antelope) and chinkara (Indian gazelle) that are hard to spot in the teak forests along the game drive trails. Among the many birds of Gir, changeable hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle, Bonneli's eagle, Peregrine falcon, laggar falcon, shikra, painted sandgrouse, quails, black-hooded and golden oriels, Marshall's and common Iora, Asian paradise flycatcher, Tickell's blue, red-throated, verditer and Asian brown flycatchers, yellow-crowned, brown-capped pygmy, black-rumped flameback woodpeckers, green and blue-cheeked bee-eaters, coppersmith barbet, common, lesser pied and white-throated kingfisher, blossom-headed parakeet, hoopoe, black, ashy and white-bellied drongos, rufous treepie, large cuckoo shrike, small minivet, red-vented and white-eared bulbul, tawny-bellied, yellow-eyed, jungle and large grey babblers, grey-breasted, ashy, rufous-fronted, plain, jungle and graceful prinias, zitting cisticola, clamorous reed-warbler, booted warbler, greenish warbler, lesser and Hume's warbler, orphean warbler and Blyth's reed warbler, are among the many birds that could be seen here.

Day 05: GIR BIRDING LODGE
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
We spend today to visit the park in the morning and afternoon to look for more wildlife and birds. Overnight stay at Gir Birding Lodge.

Day 06: GIR-VELAVADAR
Meals: breakfast in Gir, Lunch and Dinner in Velavadar
We travel six hours from Gir to Velavadar and check-in at Blackbuck Lodge. Known for its large blackbuck antelope population, Velavadar is also one of the few places where the wolf is proliferating in India though they are rarely seen in the daylight. Jackal, jungle cat and hare are more easily seen and Indian fox on the periphery. Sirkeer malkoha, painted francolin, chestnut-bellied and spotted sandgrouse, rufous-tailed, crested and Sykes' larks, red-rumped swallows, desert and variable wheatears and other birds are seen and many raptors visit specially short-toed snake eagle, imperial, steppe, tawny, greater and lesser spotted eagles, Laggar falcon, hobby, common kestrel, red-necked falcon, peregrine falcon, white-eyed and long-legged buzzard, black-shouldered kite, Shikra, Eurasian sparrow-hawk and occasionally northern goshawk. Rarities include the Stoilczka's bushchat. In the evening, witness a massive roost of montagu, pallid and marsh harrier.

Day 07: BHAVNAGAR-VELAVADAR-AHMEDABAD
Meals: breakfast, packed lunch
You will have the morning to go for birding in the park. Drive to Ahmedabad (4 hours) at noon. You will be transferred to the airport to connect flight to your destination. Or you may fly to Mumbai from Bhavnagar (near Velavadar). Tour Ends.

Services included:
-Accommodation on twin / triple sharing basis
-Meals as per the itinerary
-Coastal visit in Jamnagar
-A visit to Velavadar for wildlife viewing and birding
-Jungle visits in Gir National Park in 4WDs
-A dedicated birding guide
-All surface transfers by a private air-conditioned vehicle

Services not included:
-Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
-Some meals
-Tips, laundry, phone calls, alcohol, camera fee etc.
-International and domestic air fare, visa, insurance.

Please ask for Terms and Conditions

Write to us: wildindiatours@vsnl.com  info@asianadventures.in



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