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The Winter Escape!

The migratory birds arriving at SUJÁN JAWAI for some winter sun. 

Dalmatian Pelicans in flight. Photograph by Field Team Shanterham Pai

As well as December bringing some much needed festive cheer, it is also a month when we welcome the arrival of some of our favourite migratory birds here at SUJÁN JAWAI. The Jawai Dam is one of the largest reservoirs in Western Rajasthan which makes it a heaven for migratory birds and each year, around this time, we welcome back some of our favourite avian species.

An Osprey gliding through the sky. Photograph by Field Team Vedant Thite.

Since the opening of camp, almost six years ago to this date, the field team here at JAWAI have recorded and documented around 282 different species of birds. Whilst the majority of these are residents to the region, annually we welcome winter migrants who come and visit us having flown huge distances. Ospreys & Dalmatian Peclicans for example migrate to India from places like Russia to escape the harsh winters.

Bar headed geese. Photograph by Field Team Vedant Thite.

Each season, we usually welcome the Greylag Geese, Bar headed Geese, Saras Cranes, Northern pintails, Pied Avocets, Small Pratincole, Eurasian Wryneck, Short Toed Snake Eagle, Eurasion Hobby, Perigrine Falcon and the Greater and Lesser Flamingoes, amongst others.

Greater Flamingo. Photograph by Field Team Shantharam Pai

Saras Cranes. Photograph by Field Team Vedant Thite

So for the bird lovers amongst us, JAWAI truly becomes a paradise of avians and we enjoy many hours with these fascinating species.

The early mornings are usually when it's best to observe the birds up close as we can normally find them down in the fields, feeding near the water bodies. Often also enjoying the early start, are raptors & other birds of prey before the sun rises and they head about their daily flights.

Creep up to get up close!

In order to study and learn more about these beautiful avian species we try to get close by crossing the water bodies & crawling on the rocky outlays and through the muddy ground, getting as low as possible so that our silhouettes are not exposed and the birds are not scared off.

From being on foot and laying down to be at eye level the birds makes for fantastic photographic opportunities!

Shantharam wading through the waters!

Photographing the birds from eye level.

Red naped ibis. Photograph from the SUJÁN Archives

Little ringed plover. Photograph by Field Team Vedant Thite.


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