Saturday, August 25, 2012

Birding in the Land of GIB, Nannaj - 20th to 21st Oct, 2012

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....and the local delicacies like Zhunka, Bhakri & Thecha :-)

Booking for Nannaj trip from 20th to 21st Oct. 2012 (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 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 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 less than 10 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..... with the rapidly dwindling numbers, it would be our sheer luck, if we could spot even one..... However, the grassland habitat here, holds a very good bird diversity.



Dates: 19th Oct 2012 eve. 10.30 pm (Friday late night) to 22nd 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) Friday 19th Oct, 2012 : 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) Saturday 20th Oct, 2012 : Arrive at Solapur early morning - Checkin Hotel Nila & 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 at Hiraj - Evening Birding - Return to Hotel - Revision & Discussion of day's sightings - Dinner and early bed.

3) Sunday 21st Oct, 2012 : 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) - 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) Monday 22nd Oct, 2012 : Reach Mumbai (Dadar) in mor. by 6.30 am

Trip charges : 
Rs.5500/- (Solapur to Solapur - excludes train fare)....participants to arrange for their own travel to Solapur and back.

Includes Non-AC Stay in Hotel Nila 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.3000/- 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.3000/- 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. 3000/- 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)  Kindly register on this trip only if you agree with  Nature India's rules and policies

Please reply back, 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 & Conserve

Nannaj Nostalgia

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