Rann of Kutch

This trip was one of it's kind for me going out with a group of people. Someone plans the whole trip and all you have to do is follow the orders and keep enjoying the trip. One thing is for sure, you get to know some new people and if you are lucky, you might end up with some new friends too. 

Mr. Umesh was our trip organizer and he is also a bird enthusiast and a photographer. This trip was planned well in advance, almost before two months.

The trip schedule was like below

Day 1 – Sep 18, 2022: Reach Ahmedabad early morning, drive to Nalsarovar for full day birding. Dinner & overnight stay at Nalsarovar.

Day 2 – Sep 19, 2022: Full day birding at Nalsarovar (including birding by boat on the lake, if possible). Evening travel to LRK by car. Dinner on the way; Overnight stay at hotel (LRK).

Day 3 – Sep 20, 2022: Morning and Afternoon Birding & Photography sessions at LRK. Evening travel to GRK by car. Dinner on the way; Overnight stay at resort (GRK).

Day 4 – Sep 21, 2022: Morning and Evening Birding & Photography sessions (including mammals) at GRK; Overnight stay at resort (GRK).

Day 5 – Sep 22, 2022: Morning and Evening Birding & Photography sessions (including mammals) at GRK; Overnight stay at resort (GRK).

Day 6 – Sep 23, 2022: Morning and Evening Birding & Photography sessions (including mammals) at GRK; Overnight stay at resort (GRK).

Day 7 – Sep 24, 2022: Morning and Evening Birding & Photography sessions (including mammals) at GRK. Dinner at Bhuj; Overnight travel to Ahmedabad airport by car.

Day 8 – Sep 25, 2022: Morning flight back to home town.

Plan was to capture the passage migrants, endemic and common birds at Rann of Kutch and at Nalsarovar. I noticed that all these trips work out with a knowledgeable guide, one who has similar interests as ours and one who is willing to learn in the same field, in this case it is birding. I reached Ahmedabad on 17th night and met the group. The plan was to start early in the morning on 18th Sep, it is a 4 to 5 hours drive from Ahmedabad to Nalsarovar. 

Day-1 (18-Sep-2022) - Nalsarovar

Woke up early in the morning, got ready, unpacked my camera and other useful gear for surviving out there in hot and humid environment later in the day.

Sarus Crane - Tallest Flying bird

Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm

F6.3 - 1/800 - ISO 250

Owl Fly

Canon 6d mark ii - Canon 100mm macro


Common Kingfisher

Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm


We all assembled on the ground floor before our organizer decided who sits in which vehicle. I was sitting in the middle row with cameras in between, stopped somewhere in the outskirts of Ahmedabad for a quick breakfast. We reached the cross roads near to Nalsarovar at around 11AM where our birding guide joined us and took us to the spot of common kingfisher, we waited for the bird for almost 20 min in the scorching Sun and took the shot. We roamed around the spot and started to a different spot this time. We spotted a Wired tail Swallow and a Delicate Prinia, Delicate one was too tough to capture and Sun was too harsh. Managed to capture the Short toed Snake eagle from the vehicle while it's rolling. After roaming here and there, we went to a local Dhaba for a local style unlimited lunch and it was simple and tasty. Post lunch we went to the resort to check-in and it was so relaxing to sit under AC after burning ourselves in the Sun. 

After a quick nap and a refreshing shower, we were back into business, had some tea in a local tea shop and went to the spot of Sarus crane, before that we waited long for a Rain Quail in open fields, but no luck. Capturing Sarus crane was fun for me as it was first time and the crane was walking all around the paddy field. I have captured many shots of it and we found few more birds to capture, but I couldn't capure a decent pic of any after that. We witnessed a pleasant Sunset and saw the Rain Quail, but no luck with the shots though. As it was getting darker we started towards our resort and called it a day. 

Blue Throated Bird

Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm


Wire Tailed Swallow

Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm

F6.3 - 1/250 - ISO 200

Delicate Prinia with nesting material

Canon 6d mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm


Short Toed Snake Eagle

Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm


As the climate was too humid, I always felt like taking a shower as soon as I go back to the room. After the shower we took some rest and gathered to discuss the spotting for the day before dinner, Luckily dinner was tasty even though they took quite some time to prepare it. As there are lot of insects all around the property, after dinner I took few Macro shots, Owl fly was one of it and at midnight I hit the bed.

Day-2 (19-Sep-2022) - Nalsarovar

Woke up early and got ready by 5:15AM to start the day early. After having tea we went to the same spot that we left yesterday evening, this time to capture the Rain Quail. After many attempts, we got some decent shots of it, but just at the right moment of getting a great shot of it our guide thought the bird went off and moved the vehicle ruining the full frame shot of it for me, however I managed to get a close-up shot of it. We rushed to the Nalsarovar lake ride capturing few birds on the way from the Vehicle on the go and it was said that the breakfast was all packed and we will have it while rowing on the river, at least that was the plan which did not work out as someone forgot to pack the breakfast. We enjoyed the boat ride without any breakfast but by capturing few water birds. We went to an Island in the middle of the lake and rowed back capturing birds all the way. Everyone was hungry after the ride and we drove back to our regular local dhaba for lunch and this time, unlimited lunch came handy I guess. We went back to the room afternoon and took good rest before hitting the road again, this time the target was to capture a Red Avadavet and we found a decent spot with many nests but couldn't capture any bird even after an hour of search and wait.

Chick of Blackwinged Stilt in Nalsarovar

Canon 6d mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm


Rain Quail

Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm

F6.3 - 1/320 - ISO 320

Eurasian Curlew

Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm


In the end we decided to call off the day as we have a long ride ahead to a hotel in LRK, We got another vehicle to LRK from Nalsarovar. After having our tea at the regular spot we headed towards LRK at almost 6PM, stopped on the way for dinner and reached the rooms late in the night. It was a roadside hotel for just one night stay, it's a decent stay. It was a hectic day, so I went to bed but couldn't sleep whole night though.

Day-3 (20-Sep-2022) - LRK

As I was waiting for the sleepless night to get over soon I would have slept a couple of hours and woke up to my alarm at 4AM. Got ready and geared up for the day. Everyday it is just the organizer's call where to go and what to capture as he would have planned it early, today's plan was to capture Egyptian Vulture and few other birds and head towards GRK post lunch. The day went as planned and one thing to add was we rode all the way back to Nalsarovar to capture Red Avadavat after capturing Vultures, hell of a ride though. We returned back to room late in the afternoon and checked out the room. We had a decent lunch in teh restaurant beside the hotel and started our journey towards GRK. We stopped for snacks and dinner on the way and reached GRK late in the night.

Red Avadavat with nesting material

Canon 6d mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm


Egyptian Vulture feeding on the carcass

Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm

F6.3 - 1/500 - ISO 320

Egptian Vultures

Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm


Day-4 (21-Sep-2022) - GRK

After continuous drives and constant shifting of hotels, GRK felt like a settlement. Epicenter homestay was a beautiful place to stay and our host, Bharat was very welcoming and is one of the best guide around this place. Soon after having our tea in the huddle spot at the property, we started our day. Everything was decided by our organizer including who sits where and in which vehicle, that's the level of freedom you can enjoy without having to take any decisions for yourself if you look at it that way. All you have to do is  sit and keep capturing whatever you can.

Everyday is the same from this day, we go on birding early in the morning as soon as the Sun comes up and have our breakfast in our birding spot and return to the homestay late in the morning and take rest till 3PM and then leave out for birding in the vehicle again till late evening. Food was excellent and every meal was different and tasty. Overall it was a fantastic experience for the next four days with lots of capturing all around. We are completely cut off from the world as there is no mobile signal and no Wi-Fi too. Everyday starts early and ends late with a group of people around to chat with and lots of nature around to photograph. On the first day there was quite a bit of trekking in the morning and in the evening, I managed to capture many birds but most of the shots were just record shots. Post session I took a walk towards the dam on the first day, it was a hot day but the excitement has completely overpowered the heat of Sun. Took a long walk and captured some birds and returned to homestay by noon.  Had some tasty food before taking a nap afternoon and got ready for another birding session at evening.

Grey Francolin

Canon 6d mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm



Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm


Spotted Flycatcher

Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm

F6.3 - 1/2500 - ISO 800


Canon 6d mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm


Yellow Eyed Babbler

Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm


White tailed Iora

Canon 6D mark ii - Tamron 150-600mm

F6.3 - 1/1000 - ISO100

to be continued...