[All photos in this post were taken by Anshul M]
A photo of flamingos posted on FB by Col. Pankaj Sharma helped us to decide today’s birding destination as Basai and surrounding areas of Najafgarh Jheel (lake). As per his suggestion I picked up Subeh Singh, a guide from Sultanpur and started driving towards the Najafgarh Jheel area along with my friends in search of the flamingos.
“Common Crane? Are you sure?” I asked him when he mentioned that a small group of common crane is also present in and around that area. You may call it my ignorance but I have never heard of common crane coming to this place or any other place around Delhi in recent years. I don’t remember seeing any photograph of the species from NCR-Delhi in the bird forums that I follow.
From that moment on wards, my focus shifted from flamingos to common crane. Finally when I saw the flock foraging in a wheat field, a lifer for me, I felt a kind of joy which easily eased the pain (actually a shock followed by some frustration) which had started when I found my lens damaged the first time I lifted my camera in the morning.
Now some basic gyan. Common crane (Grus grus) is common to Europe and some of them migrate to north India during winter. Common crane is also known as Eurasian crane and it largely eats plant matter, including roots, rhizomes, tubers, stems, leaves, fruits and seeds. IUCN Red List status – Least concern.
The other lifer for me was a Short-toed Snake Eagle. We have also seen a Greater spotted Eagle along with few Steppe Eagles (commonly seen in large numbers in the foothills of the Himalayas).
List of birds we have spotted today:
- Crane: Common crane, Sarus crane
- Greater flamingo
- Eagle: Greater spotted eagle, Short-toed snake eagle, Steppe eagle.
- Heron: Grey heron, Purple Heron
- Stork: Painted stork, Wolly necked stork, Black necked stork
- Goose: Bar headed goose, Graylag goose
- Ibis: White ibis, Glossy ibis, Spoonbill
- Ducks: Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Spot-billed
- Black-headed gull
- Kingfisher: White-breasted, Pied
- Waders: Pied Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian curlew and Ruff to name a few
- Lapwing: Red wattled lapwing, Yellow wattled lapwing
- Shrike: Isabelline, Bay-backed, Long-tailed
- Common starling
- Common Kestrel
*Bar Headed Geese.
*Yellow wattled Lapwing.
All photos in this post were taken by Anshul M, Canon 5D III, Canon 100-400 L.