On 5th April 2014, I made a quick trip to Pobitora Wild Life Sanctuary while on a holiday trip to Guwahati, Assam. Pobitora WLS is approximately 30KM to the East of Guwahati, the gateway city to North East India. This sanctuary is home to approximately 90 one horned Rhino as well as wild buffaloes. With size of just 16 square KM area, this has really lot of rhino population.

Pobitora WLS gate
Pobitora WLS gate

Apart from rhino, it also receives a lot of migratory birds. It has also many resident birds. According to Mr. Hari Prasad, a local keen birder and photographer, the bird species count would be at least 250 in Pobitora WLS. According to Mr. Nipen, owner of Maibong Eco Tourism Resort, which operates Gypsy safari inside the sanctuary, it is home to at least 100 species, including some rare ones.

We, Mr. Joydeep Barua, Manoj Guswami, Mithun Chakravarti and me started from Guwahati at 6AM and reached Maibong Ecotourism resort where we met Mr. Hari Prasad. Mr. Hari Prasad is a very good photographer and has recently launched a book on birds of Pobitora WLS.

We also met Mr. Nipen, owner of Maibong Eco Tourism Resort, who is very knowledgable birder of Pobitora WLS. During our 3 hours Gypsy Safari, we saw at least 20 Rhinos, some with their babies.

Pobitora WLS has both grassland, suitable for Rhino and also wetland suitable for migratory birds. By April, the migratory birds already left. Still, we could see the following birds during the safari:-

1. Yellow Footed Green Pigeon
2. Green Billed Malkoha
3. Oriental Turtle Dove
4. White Breasted Water hen
5. Black necked Stork
6. Asian Koel
7. Grey headed Lapwing
8. Little Cormorant
9. Red-Wattled lapwing ( not very common in Assam)
10. Lesser Adjutant ( at least 15)
11. Spotted Dove
12. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
13. Common Hawk Cuckoo
14. Little Egret
15. Pond Heron
16. Jungle Myna
17. Red Whiskered Bulbul
18. Greater Egret
19. Common Kingfisher

20. White Throated Kingfisher
21. Crested Serpent Eagle
22. Common Kestrel
23. Black Kite
24. Common Stonechat
25. Common Myna
26. Asian Pied Starling
27. Black Winged Stilt
28. Pheasant Tailed Jacana
29. Bronze Winged Jacana
30. Chestnut Tailed Starling
31. Red Whiskered Bulbul
32. Jungle Crow
33. Black Hooded Oriole

It was a short, but good birding trip. April is not right time to visit Pobitora for birding. The best time to visit Pobitora is first week of March.

So, we hope to visit Pobitora again in next year in January.

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