Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Desert National Park and Little Rann of Kutch, India - 12th February (Day 5)

This was to be a long driving day travelling from Jaisalmer to the Rann Riders Hotel to the east of Dasada ready for some time birding in the Little Rann of Kutch. We were to cover around 500km which was to take approximately 10 hours. Just outside of Jaisalmer we stopped at the Akal Fossil Wood Park, the park is designated for its fossil trees from the Jurassic period the largest being a tree trunk that is 13 meters in length and has a width of 1.3 meters. The park is meant to be site for Plain Leaf-warbler but we failed to see this species. Highlights here were Desert Lark, Isabelline Shrike, four Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, White-throated Fantail and a female Variable Wheatear, unbelievably the first female we had seen despite having recorded in excess of 50 males. After an hour or so we returned to the car and relaxed into our journey watching the Indian lives and landscapes pass. The landscape changing from parched barren desert to lush acacia scrub and well irrigated fields. We added a few new birds from the car including Black-winged Stilt, White-tailed Plover, Common Crane, Jungle Babbler pus the usual range of egrets and herons. Eventually arriving at around 19:00 we checked into our hotel, Rann Riders, emptied our room of mosquitos and headed for our dinner of curry but to find that Gujarat is a dry state and there was no Kingfisher beer to be had – disaster!

Desert Lark

Akal Fossil Wood Park

Blyth's Reed Warbler

Blyth's Reed Warbler

White-throated Fantail

Variable Wheatear

Striolated Bunting

Isabelline Shrike

Links to the other days of the trip:
Day 1 - 2 - Background and Travel
Day 2 (Part 1) - Desert National Park
Day 2 (Part 2) - Desert National Park
Day 3 (Part 3) - Desert National Park
Day 4 - Desert National Park and Jaisalmer Fort
Day 6 (Part 1) - Little Rann of Kutch
Day 6 (Part 2) - Little Rann of Kutch
Day 6 (Part 3) - Little Rann of Kutch
Day 7 - Little Rann of Kutch and Travel Home