Shared by Santosh on 04 June 2023
A holiday is probably the best time to watch birds whether one is at home or travelling. Our country is richly endowed with colourful birds, even in our densely populated cities. We only need to be a little attentive to the sounds that they make and then look in the direction of their sounds. In addition to observing birds with the naked eye, it is useful to have visual aids like 8x40 or 10x50 binoculars or DSLR cameras or advanced point-and-shoot cameras with 60x zoom.
I personally use cameras. I have attached five photographs that I have clicked with my cameras. Unfortunately, mobile phones still don't have the zoom levels needed for bird photography. Since this blog is about birds spotted on a holiday, and for readers who are Club Mahindra members, I will restrict myself to holidays in Club Mahindra resorts over the past ten years.
In the northern resorts of Kandaghat, Naldehra, Mussoorie and Kanatal, I have seen the Himalayan Bulbul (photograph attached), Black Bulbuls, Red-billed Blue Magpies, Red-vented Bulbuls which are seen all over India, Jungle Babblers and Sunbirds. In the Rajasthan resorts of Jodhpur and Kumbhalgarh there were large numbers of Red-vented Bulbuls and Sunbirds, as numerous as crows and pigeons in big cities. In the Jodhpur resort I also spotted the "Green" Bee-eaters which are not green but desert-sand coloured. In Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, we saw Swifts which have become residents of the Fort. When we stayed in a tent in Kumbhalgarh Resort, we found that the bushes outside the tents are homes to many Red-vented Bulbuls and Sunbirds.
Kensville Golf Club and Boulevard 9 resorts in Gujarat are home to many interesting birds like the Red-naped Black Ibis, Eurasian Collared Dove, Mynas and Jungle Babblers. Kensville Golf Club Resort, apart from being a beautiful resort is only about 21 km from Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, where it is worth spending at least half a day. The types of birds that I have seen here are too numerous to name. It's worth hiring a guide here to help us understand the bird life in Nal Sarovar.
The Goa resorts on the coast like Varca Beach and Acacia Palms are home to Sunbirds (photograph attached), Kingfishers (photograph attached), Brahminy Kites, Greater Coucal (Bharadwaj), etc. In Acacia Palms I have seen Green Bee-eaters, which are green like their surroundings. In the southern resorts of Ooty and Munnar I have seen Red-whiskered Bulbuls, which I have not seen in north India.
In Ashtamudi Lake on the banks of which lies the resort and the backwaters of Poovar and Cherai resorts, I have seen Brahminy Kites, Kingfishers, Cormorants of various sizes, the Little and the Great Egrets, and the Indian Darter or Snake Bird.
Two resorts which have stood out during our holidays are Tungi at Lonavla, and Virajpet in Coorg for the large number of birds in the estate. Some of these birds also walk around in the same paths used by guests and staff! I have attached photos of the Jungle Babbler and the Bharadwaj on the ground. Sometimes the season when we go on a holiday does not favour much visible bird activity. Thus, I found very few birds when we were in Netrang, Madikeri and Udaipur. I wish all fellow members happy bird watching during your holidays.
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