If you are a bird lover looking to click breath-taking pictures of the birds, then you must join us for a photo tour to Mangalajodi and Bitarkanika. The 6-day photo tour will let you enjoy the sights of various migratory and resident birds. When the tour ends, you will be awe-struck by the birds and their rich habitat of the wetlands.
Mangalajodi Photography tour
A visit to Mangalajodi unveils a painting kind of a scene in front of your eyes. A small fisher boat cruising slowly through the wetlands is visible right away. Reeds and grasses sway while the boatman rows the oar in the brackish waters. The people on this gently traversing boat catch a glimpse of the nearby birds.
Such is the scene at Mangalajodi during the peak birding season. Thousands of migratory birds arrive at Mangalajodi situated to the North of Chilika Lake in Odisha. The vegetation in the area consists of Typha angustata and Phragmites karka. They mainly attract the flying beauties assuring them of safe shelter and food.
Wide range of birds
Once you settle in the boat, you can expect a surprising visual treat from Mother Nature. Looking above, you will find a flock of orange-hued Ruddy shelducks in flight. You can also observe a few raptors like Osprey and Brahminy Kite circling the sky.
Looking towards the wetlands, you will witness a multitude of quacking waterfowls. Northern Pintails, Glossy Ibises, Egrets, Purple Herons, Ruffs, Northern Shovelers, Knob billed Ducks and many other species can be seen wading through the waters.
Upon observing the grasses, you may find the bright Purple Moorhen pecking for grains. The black and white Stilts would be standing in the mud searching for algae. Whiskered Terns and River Terns may be spotted gleaming in the sunlight. Godwits shall be seen in groups feeding on insects. Yellow Bitterns, Marsh Crakes, Sandpipers, Plovers can also be seen walking in the swamp.
It is estimated that up to 3,00,000 birds reside in the area during the peak of October – March season. Around 150 migratory birds and 40 resident birds stay amidst the warm hospitality of Mangalajodi wetlands. All thanks to the villagers safeguarding the birds. Their story of transforming from being bird poachers to bird conservationists gives hope to nature lovers.
The photographers’ paradise
Mangalajodi is gaining popularity as a perfect spot for bird photographers. Birds are available to be clicked from very short distances. It is believed that photographers do not need to use their long prime lenses. The birds appear in close proximity to pose for amazing portrait photographs.
Apart from the different birds, the scenic beauty of Mangalajodi acts as an endearing backdrop to bird photography. Each bird species displays their natural behaviour and capturing them against natural settings is a blessing.
Bhitarkanika Bird Sanctuary
Bhitarkanika is located in the deltas of river Brahmani and Baitarani. The serene mangrove forest forges an everlasting bond with you. The water channels between the mangroves let you take a soothing boat ride to seize the moments with nature.
The Crocodile Kingdom
Gupti is the entry point to Bhitarkanika National Park. Once the permission is obtained from the Forest department, a guide is allocated to ride in the boat. When the boat ride begins, your cameras capitulate to the beauty of the surroundings.
Watching the mangrove sceneries from the boat ride is exhilarating. Imagining the wild animals residing inside the thicket pumps up the adrenaline. Throughout the boat ride, you can sight the Crocodiles lying parallel to each other.
Bhitarkanika is a name synonymous with crocodile conservation. You can find the smallest crocodiles to the largest crocodiles in the National Park. Kalia is the 24 feet long crocodile popular amongst the photographers. There is Mahisasura, the only white crocodile visible to you if you are lucky.
Nevertheless, you can witness about 20-30 Crocodiles on a single boat ride. The Crocodiles will keep you open-mouthed with their sharp teeth and scaly skin.
The vivacious birds
The birds of the mangroves are another reason to visit the Bitarkanika National Park. They chirp and tweet every now and then to steal your attention towards them. They add colour and spirit to your boat ride.
Kingfishers and their sub-species are visible frequently. Pied kingfisher, white-throated kingfisher, collared kingfisher, Brown-winged kingfisher, Black-capped kingfisher, Ruddy kingfisher, common kingfisher, stork-billed kingfisher may be seen gliding above the waters with a fish catch.
Other birds such as the Openbill Stork, Darters, Sea Gulls and Lesser Whistling Ducks can be spotted for capturing their photographs.
Other mammals and reptiles
Crocodiles and the birds may take most of your time. Though, there are good chances of you spotting some other animals. Spotted Deer, Foxes, Wild Boar, Jackal, Jungle Cats may peep outside the mangroves to look at you. Monitor Lizards, Crabs and Snakes can also be seen in the muddy wetlands during low tide periods.
A bird photography tour to Mangalajodi and Bhitarkanika
The birding photo tour to Mangalajodi and Bitarkanika will leave you wanting for more. The varieties of species that appear before you stay in your mind forever. They become your favourite subjects for your photography passion.
Ultimately Birdwing Team is available with you on the tour. You will be guided thoroughly on bird photography and the natural history of the wildlife destination. You will have a lifetime experience with the birds, crocodiles and your camera.