Menar seems to have find a place in my every winter trip to Udaipur. So, when I was in my hometown ‘City of Lakes’ once again this winter, I had already planned a morning of birding trip. Well, that all depended on birder friends to accompany as I am still quite unfamiliar with that region. So, though my to be companion backed out because of some other work, he managed to hand me over to another of his birder friend, a senior automobile executive. I later realised that Udaipur now has a culture of birding and photography trips every weekend- either solo, with friends or in groups. There are photography groups, birding groups with regular activities, sharing and learning, all with utmost sincerity.
I knew this trip was going to be different as I had an entirely new companion. Also because we were not going to follow the traditional touristy bird-watching trip. Therefore, although we could have gone for easy sightings of flamingos, pelicans, and other, but we kept roaming in wilderness of dry grasslands in Menar for owls and vultures. That was offbeat and only serious birders would have taken that pain or shown that patience, also to get perfect pose, light and distance to get a good click without offending or disturbing the birds.
I had seen Egyptian vultures earlier also at Udaipur near a water body very close to my home. When you are in an important bird area like Menar, you always have to keep your eyes open and cameras ready for sudden sightings or moments to capture. As was the case with this hud-hud who was in its full elements right besides our way. So was the Robin shortly thereafter.
Having done at Menar and then decided to not go for any water birds as the water level had receded and birds had moved inside making it tough to get good clicks, we moved towards Vallabhnagar, another place near by which has a dam, that has been lately good habitat of water fowls. But, even there it was this owl, which caught our attention.
Dam had gone dry, with no signs of any good sightings. Hence we turned back, but not before making another try on a different route. And as luck would have turned, I got to see my first ever sighting of a Sarus Crane couple with their juvenile offspring.
We rounded up our trip with this colour full sighting of Red Munia. Lal Munia has almost a mythological status in our folklores. Its always so fascinating to see it and more so to capture it in camera.
It’s already spring time. Migratory birds are on their trip back home. I am already counting days to next winter fo another go at Menar.
For more on Menar, read: Morning lights at Menar-the birds village
Have you ever been to Menar for bird watching? How was the experience? Share with us in the comments section below.
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