We were planning to visit this bird’s paradise since long, and the opportunity came in, when I received an invite from an old friend Nahid to attend her daughter’s wedding at Mathura. It was my first chance to witness and be part of nikah. As the wedding was in day time,we planned to visit Bharatpur , which is at an hour’s drive from Mathura.
As early morning is the best time to visit any bird’s santuary, we stayed in a Rajasthan tourism hotel, SARAS, situated near the bird park.
Early morning around 5.45 AM, we came out, with our cameras and a bag with some snacks , water and cold drink bottles ready. We hired a rikshaw, who has licence to ride in the Bird sanctuary. These licencee rikshaw pullers are trained guide also and have eagle eyes, as far as locating any bird is concerned. Though cycles are also available on hire. I found rikshaws to be a better option as they leave one hand’s free to click and look around. Rikshaw charges is Rs. 70 per hour.
Early morning, a slow ride in the jungle was a great relaxing experience from the routine fast paced life of concrete jungles of city. The sun was brighter than the smog covered sun of Delhi/ Faridabad.
A bird sitting quietly on a tree top, as if doing ” Surya Naman” and thanking God for the beautiful morning. Though, it was mid November, but not much migratory birds were seen. One get to see very few birds for first 4 km of the ride. The birds which we could spot were locals.
The early morning chaupal of birds was a great enjoyable site. The “mutual conversation” of birds was such a soothing effect on ears.It appeared as if they were planning their day!
The bird park has many water birds like this flamingo, waiting for its early morning catch.
How well camouflaged this bird is with the branches of tree. But our rikshaw guide could locate it from far off.
This bird, was not keen to be photographed, so avoided the camera. 🙂 .
After 4 km inside the sanctuary, suddenly the whole atmosphere is filled with the chirping of birds. Its the biggest colony of birds inside. Here are some interesting shots from an amatuer’s camera.
The colony was full of families. It was wonderful to see birds’ parents caring for their little ones. It was the great nesting area, which was the most happenig place of the Koeldev park.
A family of migratory cranes, enjoying the morning sunshine!
This naughty parrot was upto some serious mischief.
A panormic view of the vast expanse of the sanctuary.
This place was a hunting ground for the kings and their guests. Later on, Britishers also used for hunting. The plaque below has records of the king’s and British hunting expeditions. Now, it has become safe heaven for birds and herbivorous animals like Jackal, Neelgaye and other harmless animals.