After going through many posts on social media and the news report on TOI, I decided to visit Basai on 25th October, Sunday. I reached Basai when the Sun was on its way up behind the high rises. The wetland is now almost surrounded by concrete buildings and soon Basai will be like a football field inside a large stadium.
The winter migratory birds had already arrived in small flocks and occupied the open areas which are not yet covered by the rapidly growing water hyacinths, a big threat to this wetland.
Besides the water birds, I saw two brown shrikes, a long-tailed shrike, a marsh-harrier, couple of purple herons, a white-breasted kingfisher to name a few. A female bluethroat kept us busy for a good amount of time.
I should have spent some more time with the cormorant above to get a better frame with the bird at the right side and plenty of space on the left. There were couple of disturbance on the left side and I had to give ways to the approaching vehicles of more birders. Basai is still the favorite place for many Delhi birders and one of the most frequently visited place for birding.
After spending an hour at Basai, I went to Sultanpur bird sanctuary. A squirrel welcomed me near the gate. I was bit surprised as the density of ducks were lesser in the sanctuary compared to the open unprotected Basai wetland. There were however plenty of painted storks busy building their nests. Like the bluethroat at Basai, the show stopper in the sanctuary was a Juv. Common hawk cuckoo. I spent a lot of time with her. She was friendly and daring enough to let me get close enough to get some good shots.
My birding outing is never complete untill I find an owl. A family of spotted owlet has been living on a particular tree for many years in the sanctuary and I quickly found one of them sitting on a branch near the tree. With that happy ending, I concluded the day of my first outing of Winter 2015.