Birding or Bird Watching is an interesting hobby which require a person to travel to distant places, walk in muds, sands and forces one to get up early in the morning!

Record of Great Indian Bustard
Record of Great Indian Bustard

India is blessed with unique bio-diversity where its western part is desert land. Rajasthan is a state which has big National Park without any tall trees, known a DNP or Desert National Park! Well, it does have somewhat tall tress for vultures and eagles to sit pretty, but not tall as Pine trees in The Himalayas.

Desert National Park is located approximately 40KM outside of Jaisalmer city. Recently, we went to this park to have a look at state bird of Rajasthan Great Indian Bustard. And it was an interesting experience with driving Maruti Alto in the sands of this park.

Finally, one second day, we could see this amazing bird and joined the club of bird watchers who have seen GIB or Great Indian Bustard in India! The other bird that thrilled us was to see at least 15 Cream Colored Courser! They just blend with the grass and very difficult to spot them!

We were lucky to see the following birds while driving around Desert National Park :-

1. Great Indian Bustard
2. Cream colored Courser
3. Black Crowned Lark
4. Variable Wheatear
5. Eurasian Collared Dove
6. Cinerous Vulture
7. Indian Griffon Vulture
8. House Sparrow
9. White Eared Bulbul
10. Tawny Eagle
11. Lager Falcon

Cream Colored Courser
Cream Colored Courser

12. Long Legged Buzzard
13. Desert Wheatear
14. Chestnut Bellied Sandgrowse
15. Indian Pond Heron
15. Cattle Egret
16. Red Wattled Lapwing
17.Egyptian Vulture
18. Common Hoopoe

Common Kestrel
Common Kestrel

19. Green Bee Eater
20. Indian Roller
21. White Throated Kingfisher
22. Common Kingfisher
23. Common Kestrel
24. Southern Grey Shrike
25. Long Tailed Shrike
26. Indian Silver bill
27. Black Drongo
28. Long billed Pipit
29. Brown Rockchat
30. Indian Robin
31. Rose Ringed Parakeet

Most probably, we may have seen some other pipits and doves, but as we did not take photograph of them, so I am unable to remember them here. I hope to update the list when I remember!

Apart from birds, we also saw good number of Indian Gazelle or Chinkara. We could see some Desert Foxes too.

Tips for Birding at Desert National Park : –
1. Stay at some tent at SAM Sand Dunes.
2. If possible, bring your own four wheel drive vehicles
3. Plan for at least two days.
4. Hire a guide.
5. Must bring a good binocular.
6. Add Khichan in the itinerary.

Winter time is good time to visit any desert area and DNP is not exception. Khichan is approx 170KM from Jaislamer/Sam where one may see thousands of Demoiselle Cranes during winters. So, if one is visiting Desert National Park, one may plan to stay a night in Khichan. They will provide good photo opportunity.

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