A short trip was planned to the Dessert National Park with an aim to spot the Great Indian Bustard. Birding was exceptional and some of the key birds spotted were: Great Indian Bustard (Godavan), Macqueen’s Bustard, Trumpeter Finch and Cream-coloured Courser among others.
Apart from the excellent birding, we managed to spot several mammals including the Asiatic Wildcat, Indian Fox and Red Fox.
Travel Dates: 11 Dec 2014 – 16 Dec 2014
Location covered: Dessert National Park, Rajasthan
Delhi – Jaisalmer : DLI JSM Express (14659)
Jaisalmer – Delhi : JSM DLI Express (14660)
One can choose to stay around the Sam or the Khuri area.
We opted to stay at the government run Hotel Sam Dhani primarily because it offers concrete accommodation. We found the rooms to be spacious and clean.
The Dessert National Park seems endless and encompasses a huge area extending from Jaisalmer/Barmer all the way to the India-Pakistan border.
We obtained our entry permits from the office of the Deputy Conservator of forests at Jaisalmer.
Entry per person = INR’ 20
Vehicle Parking = INR’ 130
Other Key Contact Details:
Buddha Ram, Resident Forest Guard, Sudasari:
094 68 61 59 46
097 84 01 82 71
Zansar Khan, Bird guide cum driver: Does not know the name of the birds, but has a set of well trained eyes and knows the local bird movement very well. He always got us to the right place at the right time.
We lost his phone number, but Buddha Ram knows him well.
1. Avoid staying in a tented accommodation. The wind brings in so much sand inside the tent that any excitement to stay in a tent will wear down within one night.
2. Protect your equipment from the elements.
3. Do not restrict yourself to the Sudasari area. Explore the surrounding villages and fields. There is an amazing variety of wildlife to be found there.
The next four days were spent exploring the dessert. Zansar would pick us up in the morning and we would crisscross the landscape the entire day scouting for any movement.
Vultures were always seen soaring high reminding us of the hostile and extreme landscape we were in.
It hadn’t rained this year and livestock was dying out of starvation; and this was attracting a lot of vultures. During our trip, we ended up spotting six vulture species.
Closer to the waterholes and village ponds, larks and wheatears were abundant. We managed to spot five different lark and wheatear species each. We also caught a Eurasian Sparrowhawk bathing in one of the waterholes.
And then, there were these graceful Great Indian Bustards that we saw almost every day. We were also fortunate enough to spot a Macqueen’s Bustard in the Sudasari grassland area.
Apart from the abundant birdlife, foxes were very common and were often seen close to the karir trees relishing on berries.
For a list of birds and mammals spotted during this trip, please check out our birdlist and mammal list.
Please feel free to ask us any question that you may have on the locations mentioned on this blog.