Bird Watching

The KORTA ESCAPE is also preferably located to discover bird watching site of the Aravali Range of Rajasthan - India , which includes the grasslands of the Velavadar National Park, marshes, arid agricultural fields and coastal plains. The grasslands of Velavadar offer close viewing of various species of larks, quails, painted and grey francolin, shrikes, wheatears, sparrow larks and other characteristic birds of the bush. The globally-threatened Stolickza’s bush chat is one of the specialties of this national park. The tall and striking-looking saras crane is a subcontinent endemic that is seen in flooded grassland areas of the park, while flocks of demoiselle and common cranes gather in winter at the wetlands. River and riverside birds can be watched at the Porvalia and Alang Rivers that run alongside the park to its north and south respectively, and some of these sites can be prolific for watching flocks of sandgrouse coming to drink.

Velavadar is also well-known for its concentration of raptors. Short-toed eagles are often seen, while Aquila eagles like imperial, greater spotted and steppe could also be seen at Velavadar in winter. Other raptors often seen are kestrel, laggar falcon, black-shoulder kite and shikra.

The most spectacular sight is the winter roost of harriers, mostly Montagu’s and pallid but also marsh and the occasional hen – thousands of them have been seen settling down to roost among the grasslands on a winter evenng. This is widely rated as the world’s largest harrier roost. Eurasian eagle owl hunts here and could be seen even in daylight.

During the monsoon, Velavadar is the top breeding site for the endangered lesser florican. The lesser florican is best seen during its spectacular nuptial display.

The lagoons, ponds, salt pans and rivers outside the park also form excellent birdwatching areas - flamingos, pelicans, storks, ibises, spoonbill and other wetland birds can be seen.

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