Purbasthali – January 2016

Just 120 kilometers from Kolkata and on the tropic of cancer lies the town of Purbasthali, in Burdwan. Also known as “Chupi Char”, this place is situated on the banks of a large oxbow lake created by the river Ganges, and is just a few kilometers away from the holy town of Nabadwip. This 2-3 kms long lake attracts lots of migratory birds during the winters and this is what that makes purbasthali a hotspot among birders/bird photographers.

 

Purbasthali had been on my wishlist since a long time, and it was last weekend that I finally got the chance to visit this place. I along with two of my friends went for a day trip to the oxbow lake, we started our birding at around 8:45am and continued till late afternoon, and the 7 hour boat ride offered us a good lot of sightings.

A group of Purple Swamphens
A group of Purple Swamphens

 

A flock of Asian Openbill Storks and Black-Headed Ibis
A flock of Asian Openbill Storks and Black-Headed Ibis

 

Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula) The tufted duck breeds widely throughout temperate and northern Eurasia. These ducks are migratory in most of their range, and winter in the milder south and west of Europe, southern Asia and all year in most of the United Kingdom.
Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula)
The tufted duck breeds widely throughout temperate and northern Eurasia. These ducks are migratory in most of their range, and winter in the milder south and west of Europe, southern Asia and all year in most of the United Kingdom.

 

Red Wattled Lapwing
Red Wattled Lapwing

 

Common Coots at flight
Common Coots at flight

 

Grey Headed Lapwing
Grey Headed Lapwing

Among all the birds found in Purbasthali, one of the most revered species is the Osprey. This bird of prey is a winter visitor in our country and Purbasthali is one of the few places in West Bengal that hosts this migrant every winter.
The Osprey was undoubtedly one of our target species during this trip, and I am happy that we got it 😀

The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey with a cosmopolitan range. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm (24 in) in length and 180 cm (71 in) across the wings. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts.
The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey with a cosmopolitan range. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm (24 in) in length and 180 cm (71 in) across the wings. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts.

 

Osprey 2 Purbasthali
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

 

Osprey at flight
Osprey at flight

 

Purple Heron
Purple Heron

 

Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher

 

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus)
Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus)

 

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) with catch!
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) with catch!

 

Red-Crested Pochard The red-crested pochard (Netta rufina) is a large diving duck. Its breeding habitat is lowland marshes and lakes in southern Europe and Central Asia, wintering in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa. It is somewhat migratory, and northern birds winter further south into north Africa.
Red-Crested Pochard
The red-crested pochard (Netta rufina) is a large diving duck. Its breeding habitat is lowland marshes and lakes in southern Europe and Central Asia, wintering in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa. It is somewhat migratory, and northern birds winter further south into north Africa.

 

Red-Crested Pochard. Female in flight.
Red-Crested Pochard. Female about to take off!

 

Red Crested Pochard Flight 2 Purbasthali

 

Red Crested Pochard 2 Purbasthali

 

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

 

Pheasant Tailed Jacanas
Pheasant Tailed Jacanas

 

Black-Headed Ibis
Black-Headed Ibis

 

Flock of Lesser Whistling Ducks
Flock of Lesser Whistling Ducks

 

I must say that the first birding trip of 2016 ended quite successfully. Here’s a checklist of all the species of birds that we saw that day :

  1. Purple Heron
  2. Black headed Ibis
  3. Red Crested Pochard
  4. Tufted Duck
  5. Osprey
  6. Cattle Egret
  7. Pond Heron
  8. Cotton Pygmy Goose
  9. Asian Openbill
  10. Common Kingfisher
  11. White Breasted Kingfisher
  12. Pied Kingfisher
  13. Stork Billed Kingfisher
  14. Pheasant Tailed Jacana
  15. Bronze Winged Jacana
  16. Lesser Whistling Ducks
  17. Grey Headed Lapwing
  18. Red Wattled Lapwing
  19. Purple Swamphen
  20. Common Moorhen
  21. Common Coot
  22. Shikra
  23. Black Kite
  24. Ferruginous Pochard
  25. Gadwall
  26. Oriental Honey Buzzard
  27. Common Myna
  28. Bank Pyna
  29. Asian Pied Starling
  30. Little Cormorant
  31. Intermediate Egret
  32. Little Grebe
  33. Common Sandpiper

 

 

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