Saturday, April 14, 2018

Bali Bird Park

Your trip to Bali would not be complete without visiting the beautiful Bird Park. Located in Batubulan of Gianyar region, Bali Bird Park is a gorgeous bird paradise. The little expensive ticket price had initially made me reluctant to visit the place. After I finished the park trip, I realized I would have regretted giving this park a miss. 


Home to more than 1000 birds with 250 species, the conservation park is spread in a large area with lush green and colorful flora. 
The main entrance

Welcomed at the entrance gate
For nature lovers like me, hearing the term "birds in captivity" makes us anxious. Like others, I too had assumed the birds to be in a poor state and being ill treated for breeding. But the wrong perception changed the moment I stepped in to witness the well fed, well bred , healthy, happy birds. The ticket price was worth it. The money is wisely used in protecting, breeding and looking after the avifauna. 

Pelican feeding 

We were lucky to reach bang on time when the show started. This point onward, all I experienced was happiness and positive vibes. 



A great learning for kids

The "grandfather" bird-  Lesser Adjutant






AT THE GUYU GUYU CORNER
The calm macaw birds






GETTING CLOSE

Rhinoceros Hornbill







BASIC INSTINCT- BIRDS OF PREY

When eagles, owls or large hunting birds are brought out and their hunting skills are shown to the public, one couldn't help but feel awed. The trained staff skillfully handle these large birds as they are unleashed to grab their prey or fly in the air.








DRAGON
Komodo Dragon, one of the oldest and the deadliest reptiles alive on this plant. The Indonesian Government is trying to protect the species which are left in few at present. The park has a space for these dragons and the prey show is organized every Tuesday. More of these reptiles are in the dragon park, opposite to the bird park gate for which you need to buy separate entry tickets.

Komodo Dragon who just woke up from his afternoon nap

THE RAINFOREST BIRDS

The section for rain forest birds was totally exciting. It felt like heaven. The well fed birds walk or fly around fearlessly. Some are shy while others would look into the camera and pose.






LORY FEEDING









CASSOWARY
The most dangerous bird on this planet- The southern cassowary. It is the third-tallest and second-heaviest living bird. These omnivorous birds feed mostly on fruits. The otherwise shy and calm birds can prove to be fatal when provoked and inflict injury, strong enough to cause deep wounds.
Southern cassowary or double-wattled cassowary
Southern cassowary or double-wattled cassowary

Northern or single wattled cassowary


There were many birds whose pictures I was unable to capture. The visit to the park was one amazing experience for me.
Location Batubulan, on the road to Ubud, Just 20 minutes away from Sanur or 40 minutes drive from Kuta.
Ticket price- Approximately 1800 INR per person (385000 IDR). Details  mentioned here  
For all shows and exhibits visit http://www.balibirdpark.com/


Bali Bird Park is doing a commendable job in managing the birds and the vicinity. The staff is well trained in handling the birds with care. Needless to mention, they are extremely polite and friendly with guests, ready to answer any question or offer help. 

The coming generations may not be able to see several extinct birds. The park management is making every effort to protect them. By visiting the park, one not only gains knowledge about these species but also contributes towards the maintenance of this paradise.  Do visit this beautiful place in Bali. It would be totally worthy and not disappointing at all. 

Last but not the least, this post made it to the top post of Indiblogger's Home Page. 
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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary, Bharatpur





Also known as Keoladeo Bird Park, this bird haven is located in Rajasthan's Bharatpur district. Spread over an area of 28.73 km², the sanctuary is also a World Heritage Site. Locally known as Ghana, the wetland park is one of the richest bird areas in the world and is known for nesting of resident birds and visiting migratory birds including the rare Siberian cranes. Home to around 300 species of birds and lot of flora, the place is full of happy chirps and hues. From Kingfisher to eagle, peacocks to herons, you can feast your eyes with these beauties.




Some Do's and Dont's
  1. Avoid wearing loud perfumes or deodorants. These disturb the birds.
  2. Loud noise scares the birds. Refrain making loud noise or playing music.
  3. The park is a no vehicle zone. Park your cars in the parking area at a flat rate of Rs 100.
  4. Do not jump into the rivers. Unknown depth, water snakes/insects and diseases do not give a warning before striking. 
  5. Do not disturb or hit any fauna. Doing so attracts heavy penalty. 
  6. Be responsible. Do not litter the park. 



Prepare yourself
  1. Carry food and water. Choices are limited in canteens. 
  2. Keep yourself hydrated irrespective the weather.
  3. Wear good sports shoes and comfy apparels. 
  4. Carry woolen caps and wear sufficient warm clothes if visiting during winters.
  5. Sunglasses, hats, caps and cotton apparels are recommended for summer visit. 
  6. Best time to visit - Morning 


 Transport-
There are several modes of transport inside the sanctuary:
  1. Battery operated carts for large groups
  2. Bicycles for individuals at Rs 50 per hour.
  3. Rickshaw to ferry 2-3 people at Rs 150 per hour.

You can hire a nature guide at an extra cost.


Always hire a rickshaw which is authorized by the forest authority. They have a small board fixed on the rickshaw. Generally they are trained and have more knowledge of birds than anyone else. The local rickshaws also are allowed to ferry passengers but they do not have any sign board or marking. Unfortunately we hired a local one who knew nothing about the park.


The rates are non-negotiable as they are fixed by the forest authorities. However, if you hire a rickshaw for the whole day, you end up paying more than 1500 rupees least realizing that the rickshaw puller was stationery and waiting while all the physical labor was yours. If your rickshaw-driver is helpful and shares his knowledge of birds, the price is actually worth it. Since our driver was blank and not ready to help sighting birds, we paid him for one hour and abandoned the ride. Though he got angry and almost picked up a fight, yet stopping the ride was at our rightful discretion.


The route inside- 

Siberian cranes are found at the water bodies and all bird watchers or film makers huddle up near the river banks. The rickshaw driver would wait for you at one dedicated spot and ferry you further when you want.





The distance from the entrance gate to the waiting spot is around 4.2 km. (We walked this distance while returning since we follow a fitness schedule everyday and love walking. You can keep your rickshaw waiting if you don't want to walk).



Bicycles are hence better any day. The downside- You will have no assistance unless you hire a nature guide and might be cumbersome if you are carrying heavy gadgets/gears.

Read my post on Sajjangarh Zoological Park in Udaipur which I toured on cycle.  

What to see-

Even if you don't own a fancy DSLR you can still visit this sanctuary. Your eyes can capture better than a camera. Let the lack of camera not deter your trip to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. If birds excite you and nature attracts you, this is the ultimate place.

Bharatpur Sanctuary is a heaven for migratory birds across the globe. Especially known for Siberian Crane who fly thousands of miles from a different continent in winters, the park sees huge footfall from December to February.


                               
Go up the watch towers to see birds and nests closely. I spotted bats from one of the towers that foggy morning.
Bats- View from the watch tower


 Tot Tit bird


The park also has a museum Salim Ali Visitor Interpretation Centre built in the honor of Dr. Salim Ali. who was passionate for birds. It was under his able leadership the Keoladeo National Park Ecology Project was launched in 1980, to which he was the principal investigator till his death.



How to reach Bharatpur-

By Car- 
From Mathura- Drive via  Bharatpur-Mathura Road for 40 km. .Keep following the sign boards on the straight road. There are barely any turns except in the last 15 minutes of the journey as you enter the town Bharatpur.
From Delhi- Drive for 230 km via Taj Yamuna Expressway. The highway is well maintained and your journey will be butter smooth.
From Jaipur- Drive for 183 Km  via NH 11.
From Agra - Drive for 53 Km via Bichpuri Road.


By Train-
There are lot of trains avaialble from Delhi to Bharatpur Junction. Browse for the most suitable train here https://indiarailinfo.com/search/ndls-new-delhi-to-bte-bharatpur-junction/664/0/982. You can search for trains from your city.

From the railway station, you can hire a local cab or vehicle for the bird sanctuary which is barely 6 km away.

By Air-
There are no regular flights from other major cities of India to Bharatpur. Nearest airport is Kheria Airport in Agra  located 49 km away.


PS- By the way this post made it to Indiblogger home page in the "Popular post of the day" list.

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