Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Birding in the Land of GIB, Nannaj - 14th to 15th Oct, 2011

The Nannaj GIB Sanctuary trip is always eagerly looked forward to, not just because of the chance to see the Rare & Majestic Great Indian Bustard (GIB), but also because of the rich grassland birdlife it offers.

Booking for Nannaj trip from 14th to 15th Oct. 2011 (travel time excluded) is now open... for complete trip details (charges, itinerary, logistics) please see at the end.... Confirm your registration fast ...



India is blessed with a variety of habitats that hold varied birdlife. However, most of these habitats are under threat from something or the other. From these, the Grassland habitats in particular are the first to be encroached upon, on the pretext that these are wastelands. However, they are one of the most bio-diversity rich habitats that hold an amazing variety of birdlife. Once, there were far stretching areas which had grasslands throughout India, but sadly very few remain now (apart from the Terai Grasslands)……notably amongst them are Banni grasslands, Naliya, Velavadar and LRK in Gujarat, Rollapadu in Andhra Pradesh, Ghatigoan & Karera Bustard sanctuary in M.P., Sorson and Sonkhaliya in Rajasthan, Rannebennur in Karnataka, Rehekuri, Ozhar, Mayureshwar & Nannaj in Maharashtra.(GIB Image: Courtesy: Mr.Babasaheb Gaikwad)

With the exploitation of grasslands, the flagship species namely the Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican, Indian Wolf, Blackbuck are also threatened. In fact, it is believed that there are less than 250 GIBs in the world and they are critically endangered.Not many know that this majestic bird was once a strong contender for the position of our national bird……but the tricky name got him out of the race.

Nannaj GIB Sanctuary : One such amazing grassland / scrub land is the famous Nannaj GIB sanctuary, approx. 25 kms from Solapur.

Nannaj is a small village approx. 25 Kms away from the main city Solapur, Maharashtra.The total area covered under sanctuary is approx. 600 hectares. However, it is not a continuous stretch, but a discontinuous area which is divided into various plots, some of which are owned by Govt. and some are Private lands.

The area called "100 hectare" is a plot of 100 hectares, and it is a core area of the sanctuary where the breeding pairs have been observed. Recent census estimates over 25 Great Indian Bustards.... However, the GIBs are spread over vast areas in the sanctuary and nearby cultivated fields depending on the availability of food.

Apart from the above flagship species, Nannaj is a great place to see a number of other grassland and scrub land species like Eurasian Eagle Owl, Spotted Owlet, Larks, Pipits, Quails, Francolins, Sandgrouse, Lapwings, Raptors, Coursers, Munias, Doves etc…..

Nannaj is also home to herds of Blackbucks..... the other mammls that can be encountred here are Indian Wolf, Rufous-naped Hare, Indian Fox, Common Jerbil etc. While the reptiles are represented by Fan-throated Lizard, Saw-scaled Viper, Indian Cobra, Russel's Viper, Sand Boa etc. The Fan-throated Lizards in particular are favorite food item taken by GIBs.

Click some of these links to know more about Nannaj

Though the GIBs are nomads and move about in a large area. The month of October is the best time to see the bustards in Nannaj when they seek a safe abode to display and breed in the core area.



Dates: 13th Oct 2011 eve. 10.30 pm (Thrusday late night) to 16th Oct 2011 mor. 6.30 am (Sunday early morning) ....... travel time included

Mode of Travel : Train uptil Solapur and local travel by Non-AC Jeeps...... participants to arrange for their own travel by train to Solapur and back.

Tour Iterinary: Ex.Mumbai

1) Thrusday 13th Oct, 2011 : Departure from Mumbai by Siddheshwar Exp. train at 10.30 pm or Hussain Sagar Exp. or any other train arriving by 6.30 am

2) Friday 14th Oct, 2011 : Arrive at Solapur early morning - Checkin hotel & Refresh / Breakfast (really fast) - Birdwatching in Nannaj - Lunch at Hotel Nisarg for the mouth watering "Zhunka Bhakar, Shenga Poli & Thecha" - Visit to Eurasian Eagle Owl area - Evening Birding - Return to Hotel - Revision & Discussion of day's sightings - Dinner and early bed.

3) Saturday 15th Oct, 2011 : Breakfast - Leave for early morning Birdwatching in Nannaj - Sumptuous lunch consisting of the typical Solapur delicacies -Evening visit to Hipparga Lake near Solapur city for watching water birds (or again near Nannaj) with Mr.B.S.Kulkarni (well known veteran ornithologist instrumental in declaring Nannaj sanctuary) - return to the hotel - Dinner and proceed to board the Siddheshwar Exp. train at 10.45 pm or Hussain Sagar Exp. or any other train departing in the night.

4) Sunday 16th Oct, 2011 : Reach Mumbai (Dadar) in mor. by 6.30 am

Trip charges :
Rs.4200/- (Solapur to Solapur - excludes train fare)....participants to arrange for their own travel to Solapur and back.

Includes Stay in comfortable & clean Hotel at Solapur on a twin sharing basis, Local transport by Jeeps, Park entry charges, vegetarian food, Expertise, Articles on Nannaj and Nannaj bird checklist, on board mineral water and snacks……

This does not include any other charges and also any individual camera charges ....Individuals will have to pay additional charges if any to the forest dept. as per the rules.

Registration: You can register by sending a non-refundable advance of Rs.2000/- and a confirmation mail to and only after our registration confirmation by return mail ..... .the remaining amount will be collected in train on the day of travel.......Please Register soon to get the desired train bookings.

Resource Persons: Mr.Adesh Shivkar & Mr.Mandar Khadilkar

Mode of Payment: You can either
1) Transfer the advance money directly to Mandar's HDFC A/c : (please call Mandar(9930318665) for A/c no.) .... please mention your name, date and other details….
2) Courier a cheque of Rs.2000/- to the following address

Name: Mr. Mandar Khadilkar
Address: B-702, Neha Apartments, Ashish Complex, Dahisar (East), Mumbai -400068.

Important Note:
1) Once registered, the advance amount of Rs. 2000/- is strictly non-refunadable
2) The seats will be confirmed only against the advance amount on first come basis
3) Alcohol & Smoking is strictly prohibited on Nature India Tours
4) Visit to read Nature India Policies.

Please reply us, in case you need any clarification …..

For any other queries we are available on 9869071091 / 9820455713 (Adesh) or 9930318665 / 9967518665 (Mandar) or

Hope to see you for this wonderful trip

Thanks for your patience.

Warm Regards,

Adesh Shivkar & Mandar Khadilkar
Nature India
Appreciate, Respect & Care for Nature

Nannaj Nostalgia

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Appreciate, Respect & Care for Nature