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Travelogue | 20 Mar 2023

The Best Bird Watching Destinations In India You Can Ride To

The Best Bird Watching Destinations In India You Can Ride To

With its diverse landscapes, including snow-capped mountains, tropical rainforests, arid deserts, and mangrove swamps, India is a haven for bird lovers and bird watchers. The nation is one of the world's top locations for bird watching, as it is home to more than 1,300 different species of birds. India has some of the best birdwatching locations that you can ride to if you are an avid birdwatcher and enjoy riding your motorcycle. Nothing can replace the feeling of the adrenaline rush riding a motorcycle provides, followed by a few calm hours of gazing at tranquil nature while also snapping the beautiful feathered creatures. Some of the best places in India for bird watching that you can ride to are listed below.

Keoladeo Ghana National Park / Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan

One of the top places to go birdwatching in India is the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, located in the state of Rajasthan. The sanctuary is also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and can be approached easily from cities like Jaipur, Agra, Delhi and Gwalior. This sanctuary houses more than 370 different species of birds, both migratory and resident. The Siberian Crane, Grey Heron, Rosy Pelican, Painted Stork, Indian Sarus Crane, Hawks, Shanks, Stints, Wagtails, Warblers, Wheatears, Flycatchers, Buntings, Larks and Pipits are a few of the well-known species that can be seen here. Besides the birds, one can also spot four-legged creatures like Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, and Boar. The ideal time to ride to Keoladeo is between October and February. That is when the migratory birds arrive in the sanctuary. These months are also great for riding as the weather conditions are quite favourable.

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Haryana

Another well-liked location for bird watching that you can ride to is the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, which is situated in the northern state of Haryana. The sanctuary is very close to Delhi and one can plan a weekend ride here. More than 250 different bird species, both migratory and resident, call the sanctuary home. The Purple Heron, Indian Roller, Grey Francolin, and white-throated Kingfisher are a few of the resident species that can be seen here. Migratory Birds include Siberian Crane, Greater Flamingo, Ruff, Black-winged Stilt, Common Teal, Common Greenshank, Northern Pintail, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Northern Shoveler, Rosy Pelican, Spot-billed Pelican, Gadwall, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted sandpiper, Eurasian wigeon, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted redshank, Starling, Bluethroat and Long-billed Pipit. The best time to visit this sanctuary is during the winter, when all the migratory birds congregate in this protected environment. Therefore, the ideal months to visit Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary are from October to February. If you cannot make it during the winter months, fret not, this bird sanctuary offers a lot during the summer season too for bird lovers. The Asian Koel, Black-crowned night Heron, Grey Heron, Indian Golden Oriole, Knob-billed Duck, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Blue-ailed Bee-eater, and Cuckoo are among the 11 species of migratory birds that visit this area during the summer.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

Located in the southern state of Kerala, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a must-visit destination for bird lovers. Located near the Vembanad Lake in Kottayam, the sanctuary covers 14 hectares, and is home to many endangered bird species. A variety of migratory birds gather here in large flocks. These birds come from places like the Himalayas and Siberia. Overall the sanctuary houses over 180 species of birds. Visitors in June and August are treated to a variety of uncommon sights. The resident Egrets, Herons, Indian Darters, Little Cormorants, White Ibises, and various species of Kingfishers are all in their breeding season during monsoons. Waterfowl, cuckoos, Owls, Water Ducks, Parrots, Teal, Larks, Flycatchers, and Wood Beetles can also be viewed. One of the most popular activities in the Kottayam district is taking a boat tour around the sanctuary, which is incredibly relaxing. What more could you ask for after a long and adventurous bike ride?

Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Maharashtra

The Karnala Bird Sanctuary, which is a short ride away from the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, is home to a wide variety of plants and animals that will amaze you. Spread across 12.11 sq. km, it is not a very large sanctuary, however, its proximity to Mumbai and Pune makes it a very popular destination. Bird watchers and hikers who want to escape their city's busy urban landscape frequent the Karnala Sanctuary. History buffs will appreciate this sanctuary as it is located around the Karnala Fort. During monsoons, one can soak in the glimpses of the Paradise Flycatcher, the Shama, Magpie Robin, and the Malabar whistling thrush. During the winters, the sanctuary welcomes migrants like the Blackbird, Blue-headed Rock Thrush, Bluethroat, Red breasted Flycatcher, Minivet, and the Black headed Ccuckoo Shrike. If you are in the mood for a short weekend ride from Mumbai or Pune, you can ride, trek, and bird-watch all in a day’s work.

Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat

Located in the western state of Gujarat, the Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary is a popular bird watching destination in western India that you can ride to. Nal Sarovar means "Tap Lake'' in English. This well-known tourist destination is home to a variety of different bird species, which are drawn to the lake. There are 36 small islands in this area. As the area is vast and is so spread out, the various species of birds can coexist peacefully. Located near Sanand village in Gujarat, this bird sanctuary is approximately 64 kilometres to the west of Ahmedabad. Up to 200 different bird species can be identified here. The birds travel all the way from Siberia, Oman, the UAE, etc. In addition to these, common species like Pelicans, Ducks, Herons, and Storks are easily found. One can reserve boat rides to cover the vast lake. These boat trips increase the likelihood of spotting a rare bird species and enable deeper exploration of the Nal Sarovar bird sanctuary. With numerous spots to have a picnic and relax, this could be an ideal destination for your next group ride.

India has a wide variety of bird habitats that draw bird watchers from all over the world. These bird sanctuaries are also quite well spread out for you to make a trip to, no matter which part of the country you are from. So if you are a nature lover, strap on your luggage on your bike, and set out to one of these destinations for your next ride. You’ll not be disappointed!.

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