Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weekend Birding in Thol Bird Sanctuary, Ahmedabad - 23rd to 24th Feb'13

Date: 23rd Feb'13 morning 06.00 am to 24th Feb'13 eve 8.00 pm (travel days excluded). The bookings for Thol bird sanctuary (Gujarat) bird-watching trip are on…..book your seats now (see the details at the end)..... A Perfect Weekend Birdwatching in one of the highly recommended birding hot-spots in India with Nature India.


Thol Bird Sanctuary - A Birdwatching Surprise

Thol Sanctuary is located 40 kms northwest of Ahmedabad, in Mehsana District. This lake, created in 1912, covers 7 sq. kms of mostly open water. There are small marshes at the edges and some scrub forest on the sides of the high embankments.  In 1988, officially this Lake was renamed to Thol Bird Sanctuary. Thol name comes from the local village “Thol” situated near the lake.

Thol is in fact a man-constructed artificial tank utilized mainly for irrigation purposes that possesses 1450 hectares of command plot and 153 square kilometers of catchment plot. The shallow water reservoir speckled with reed beds gives it a distinct ambience while being an ideal dwelling for varied species of birds and insects. The agricultural land surrounding the lake provide ample amount of food for quite a number of birds while the hydrological ecosystem takes care of the others.

Thol promises a memorable birding experience and offers an incredible array of bird species, both resident and migratory. It is home to large nos. of visiting Great White Pelicans, Common Cranes and variety of waterfowls. One can even see (if lucky) some rare species like Mallard, Saras Crane, Ferruginous Pochard, Red-crested Pochard etc. It became particularly known in last few years when the critically endangered Sociable Plover were seen in the nearby areas.


Some other birds that can be seen in Thol are Eurasian Wigeon, Gargeney, Northern Shovellers, Common Teal, Common Pochard, Comb Duck, Spot-billed & Lesser Whistling Ducks, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Gray-lag & Bar-headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Several species of Egrets, Herons and Storks, Greater & Lesser Flamingos, Darters & Cormorants, Several species of Raptors that include Indian & Greater Spotted Eagles, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Steppe & Tawny Eagles, Booted Eagles, Marsh & Montagu’s Harriers, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Egyptian Vultures, Red-necked Falcon, Pregrine Falcon, Eurasian Hobby etc, Jacana’s, Swamphens, Waders and Grebes are abundant...


The adjoining scrubland and agricultural edges can fetch birds like Warblers, Prinias, Flycatchers, Robins, Redstarts, Bee-eaters, Stonechats, Starlings, Parakeets, Drongos, Woodpeckers and several other species of birds.

One of the finest places, a visit to this lesser known paradise is a must for all the enthusiastic birders and photographers alike. It is now slowly becoming a very popular birding destination in India.

Also on the way while going towards Thol we can see a place now wellknown for the critically endangered vultures, where atleast 3 species of vultures can be seen at a close range. This sanctuary has now become one of the most sort after places for bird photographers of India.


Nature India has organized an exclusive weekend Birdwatching trip to this paradise from 23rd Feb-24th Feb 2012 (travel days excluded).

Have a look at a couple of photoblogs on Thol Sanctuary, Gujarat


Trip Details & Itinerary
23rd February, 2013 morning 6.00 am to 24th February, 2013 eve 8.00 pm

Mode of Travel:

By Air:
Several option are available... Please book any flight reaching Ahmedabad on 23-Feb-13 by 06.00AM and leaving Ahmedabad on 24-Feb-13 by 10.00PM

By Train: Although several train options are available, but we suggest following trains, which suit the Itinerary.

Mumbai to Ahmedabad:
12901, Gujarat Mail (22.00 Mumbai Central)

Ahmedabad to Mumbai:
19144, Lokshakti Express (21.05 - Ahmedabad)
12902, Gujarat Mail (22.00 - Ahmedabad)

Train bookings are easily available.... Participants have to book their own travel upto Ahmedabad....However  Nature India can only assist in bookings if required. 

Ahmedabad to Thol & Back: Trax Cruiser Jeep (The best travel option to move around the places quickly)

Rough Tour Itinerary : (Ahmedabad to Ahmedabad)

Day 1: Saturday 23rd Feb, 2013 : Pick-up from Ahmedabad Station / Airport at 6:00 am – Breakfast – Proceed to Thol Bird Sanctuary (24 kms from Ahmedabad) - Full day birdwatching - Lunch - Continue birding in Thol - Checkin Hotel – dinner and Overnight stay at Hotel
 Day 2: Sunday 24th Feb, 2013 : Early morning breakfast - proceed for birdwatching at Thol Sanctuary – Packed lunch - continue birding @ Thol - Return by 6 pm to hotel - freshn up and leave to Board train from Ahmedabad

Trip charges (Ahmedabad to Ahmedabad : Rs.5700/- (Includes Stay in Hotel on  twin sharing basis, Local travel by Trax cruiser, Park entry charges, food , Information articles & on board snacks and mineral water)…….

These charges are Ahmedabad to Ahmedabad and participant has to make their own travel arrangement upto Ahmedabad and Back. This does not include any charges other than the above.

Group Size : 14 persons only

You can register by sending a confirmation mail to natureindiatours@gmail.com and by paying non-refundable advance of Rs.3000/- (and only after our registration confirmation by return mail .....) as per the payment guidelines given below…...

Stay Arrangement: A comfortable Hotel near Thol Bird Sanctuary, Ahmedabad. The Stay arrangement is on a twin sharing basis. The Camp Premises and toilets are clean and the food is wonderful……

Resource Person: Mr.Adesh Shivkar and Mr. Mandar Khadilkar

Mode of Payment:
You can either
1) Courier a cheque in favour of "Mandar Khadilkar"of Rs.3000/- to the following address:
Name: Mr. Mandar Khadilkar

2) Transfer the money directly to HDFC A/c (Please call Mandar @ 9930318665).. please mention your name, date and other details….
Address: Flat No.2, Blossom Apartments, LM Road, Below Shantighan Hospital, Kandarpada, Dahisar-West, Mumbai-400068

Please 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) Nest Photography or any collection of specimens is prohibited
5) Kindly register on this trip only if you agree with Nature India's rules and policies

Please revert on natureindiatours@gmail.com ID, in case you need any clarification …..
For any other queries we are available on 9869071091 or 9820455713 (Adesh) or 9930318665 or 9967518665(Mandar)

Thanks for your patience.

Looking forward for a very rewarding trip with you all !!

Warm Regards,
Adesh Shivkar & Mandar Khadilkar
Nature India
Appreciate, Respect and Conserve

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Appreciate, Respect & Care for Nature