Sunday 23 February 2020

Birding at Goa

Brahminy Kite on alert

Birding at Goa

What is the first thing that comes to our mind while mentioning Goa? Beaches, Old European buildings, a multi-cultured crowd enjoying the beaches etc.? Well yes, I too had the same impression about Goa, as I have not been there before. But, there is another side to this wonderful place that is not much seen or shown in quite a few place.

Villages typical to a South Indian hill station reminiscence of a small "Malabar" village! One with nature - flora and fauna, reduced foot prints of the gadgets that one might use in the city and completely with nature.

Egret in flight

It was to one such place that Birdwing had arranged for a bird watching trip. While the common birds are always there, the plan was to get a sighting of some of the species which are either endemic to the place or not so common in other places.

The bird watching started right in the resort we were staying. Being in close proximity to a sanctuary helped us quite a bit.

Crimson backed sunbird, Little spider hunter, Vernal hanging parrot, Tickell's blue flycacher, Racket tailed drongo were a few of the beauties we found in the resort itself.

Crimson backed sunbird
Oriental magpie robin having a bath

Orange headed thrush

Vernal hanging parrot
Little spider hunter testing the waters

We had a fantastic naturalist from Goa, who helped in spotting some of such birds. Best among them is the Oriental dwarf kingfisher. One of the most difficult to spot in its natural habitat, much less photograph it, but thanks to our naturalist, we were able to do both!

The little jewel - Oriental dwarf kingfisher

The tiny fellow prefers to sit in a densely covered trees near streams or other water bodies. Adding to the shade and clutter is the tiny size of the bird which may its almost impossible to spot for anyone who is not trained or accustomed to the natural world!

One more such bird in the Blue-eared kingfisher, which can be easily mistaken for a Common kingfisher. But this one is slightly different the Common. See if you can make it out!

Blue-eared kingfisher

Common kingfisher

The Bhagwan Mahaveer sanctuary and Mollem (pronounced as Molle) were in close proximity and provided a rick fauna. Spending some time in the sanctuary and the adjoining small villages can really bring out a variety of birds.

Crested serpent eagle

Mountain imperial pigeon

Asian brown flycatcher

Bronzy drongo

We also made a trip to the Zuari river, which is about a 90 minute drive from the place where stayed. With the mangroves and the island that it creates, this place provides wonderful opportunity for some waders and other birds that predominantly depends on water bodies and the food it offers.

White-bellied sea eagle

Western reef egret

Common sandpiper

Striated heron

The mangroves are also home to some of the other awesome creatures. In one particular place we say the Fruit bat / Flying fox by the hundreds. The low tide also brings out some unique creatures like the Mud skipper - an amphibious fish that lives in burrows in marshy mud. Of course, not to mention the more deadly predators as well!

Mud skipper

Flying fox or Fruit bat


By the end of 3 days that I stayed there, Goa had impressed me in a totally different way, from what I have heard and seen in movies. The place where we had stayed also provided wonderful opportunities for bird watching and photography.

Definitely would want to visit the place just for seeing the natural wonders of this less explored part of Goa.

Purple sunbird in quest for nectar


Anonymous said...

Nice photosπŸ‘Œ πŸ“·πŸ¦œπŸ¦πŸŠ

Anonymous said...

Parrot is very cute 🦜

R.Sudhir said...

Looks fabulous, definitely an unsung sight of Goa, lovely and lively bird photography

Trails of a Traveler said...

Thanks everyone for your comments and encouragement!