Greater Flamingos
Greater Flamingos

Mandvi Beach – A Birder’s Heaven, Discover stunning birdwatching spots of India with #Literoma senior birder Tarun. For more info, contact birder at [email protected]

We started early in the morning for a new destination, Mandvi Beach, at a distance of 65 Kms from Lodai Village, Dist Surendranagar. It was about 6 AM and we were running in complete darkness with a full headlight on. Almost no vehicle was there on the road. Reached the spot at about 7.30 AM with a tea break on the way.

Some fishing boats were lying over the sand flats and a number of Brown headed Gulls (001),  Slender Billed Gulls (002), Heuglin Gulls (003) were flying frequently and some were seated. On the opposite side , in a small muddy flat one Demoiselle Crane (004) was walking for breakfast.

At that time the sea was in ebb and the water receded more than 500 meters leaving flat sand bed. The flat sand area was very soft and loose in some places and very hard also in most of the plain. Huge number shore birds were walking very fast on the beach in search of food. Lesser Sand Plovers (005) and Dunlin (006) were mostly seen nearby.

At a distance of 100 meters or so, the beach was full of white birds, mainly Pallas’s Gull (007A,B) , very busy in collecting small fishes and crustaceans from low tide position.  Two brown birds , one of exceptionally large thin bill , the Eurasian Curlew (008) and another of slight short billed Whimbrel (009) were really the point of attraction.

As we walked towards sea farther and nearer to water, some attractive big birds were swimming there. Those were the Dalmatian Pelicans (010), very nice looking, big bill with pouch for holding fish for consumption later is the speciality of the birds.  A small flock of yellow billed pointed tailed birds were sitting on the sand on another side. They were suddenly flying towards sea very fast and were coming back with fish in mouth. Those were the Lesser Crested Terns (011). Black morphs of Western Reef Egrets (012) being conspicuous for their black colour among the white birds were there but few in number.

Some idle fishing boats, tied at the water lines were a point of attraction for another bird. They were continuously foraging on the ground and searching for Oysters from inside sands with their long strong beaks.  Those were the Eurasian Oystercatchers (013), a migratory bird of Western Indian coasts.

Eurasian Oystercatchers (013)

A few meters apart some long billed birds were walking on the ground. Those were the Bar-tailed Godwit (014) , a migratory bird which travels maximum distance round the year to cover its migration route. Black-necked Storks (015) with very long legs and black neck and head walk around through out the beaches and in water also. They are our resident birds.

A single Caspian Tern (016) with its conspicuous size and red bill was just sitting alone one side. The pink beauties of the Western Indian shores, the Greater Flamingos (017 A, B) were in large numbers and were walking their reverse bills immersed in search of algae, their only food.  

Very bright white throated and bellied Sanderlings (018) are also migratory coastal birds present there. Meantime the tide water was almost near our feet and we immediately came out of the Sea.

Sanderling (018)

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