As the sun breaks the beginning of a new day, you wake up to the chirping sounds of many of Goa’s avian spectators. Some make the long flights during the migration period and other regulars who make Goa’s varied landscape their home. However, birders can enjoy spotting a vast variety of birds at various parts from the beaches, to the fields to the mangroves to the hinterland.
The wild life sanctuary named after India’s best ornithologist Dr Salim Moizzudin Abdul Ali, is a popular birding spot. The best time to visit is early morning so carry your binoculars with you. Hidden in the mangrove canopy you may spot a white egret and purple heron, or from high above the watch tower the common colourful kingfishers, eagles, cormorants, kites, woodpeckers, sandpipers, curlews, drongos and mynahs, to name just a few. Sometimes you may even sight marsh crocodiles, foxes, jackals and otters have also been spotted by some visitors, along with the bulbous-headed mudskipper fish. There are boat and canoes that take you around the sanctuary and further in so that you’ll get a chance to see some more.
This beautiful placid lake is famous amongst birders for it’s avian activity. Go there in the morning when the feathered visitors are at their chirpy peak to witness the marvels of Mother Nature.
Located close to the railway station in Karmali, Old Goa, the large water body attracts a vast species, especially during the migratory period.
At the lake, you’re sure to see cattle egrets, white breasted water hens and northern pintails who visit as part of their winter flight. In fact, the ten most common birds in this area are the Pintal, Lesser Whistling Teal, Cattle Egret, Pond Heron, Purple Moorhen, Red-rumped Swallow, Little Egret, Bronzewinged Jacana, Pheasant Tailed Jacana and the Coot.
The keen observer would also see Shovelers, Garganeys, open-billed Storks, Cotton Pygmy Goose and Marsh Harriers.
The scenic village of Curtorim located in South Goa is slowly emerging as a birding favourite. The presence of the large water bodies attracts various species of birds all through the year. The charming little hamlet is a must see while you enjoy some avian sights of the White stork, the lesser adjutant stork, brown crake amongst others.
Thousands throng to the beaches every day. But it’s not only the humans who are interested in sunbathing on the golden sands. Don’t be surprised if you’ll be joined by some interesting little guests like the brown-headed Gull, Black-headed Gull & Slender-billed Gull some of the more common birds seen on the shores.
Goa’s thriving, dense forests are breeding grounds for some rare bird species. If you’re planning a trip the Bhagwan Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary is a good place to start your birding trip. Located in Mollem, the largest of all sanctuary is known for its sighting a variety of species.
The Cortigao Wilfe Sanctuary is another birding location that is popular for it’s bird species like white-bellied woodpecker, Malabar trogon, to name a few.
In the flourishing Mandovi and Zuari river estuaries you are bound to spot Sandplovers, Common Sandpipers, Little Stint White-bellied Sea Eagles.