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Old 2nd March 2012, 22:28   #1
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Default Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise

Planning the Trip:

We usually do a 8-10 day holiday during the last half of December and for the past few years the theme has always been wildlife destinations. Given the amount of luggage we haul on these trips, we usually prefer having our own home in the car rather than travel by air/rail/taxi. A trip to Gujarat was on my mind for a long time, we had even done a rough outline of the trip in 2010. But it never materialized given the amount of travel involved and that my daughter was just one year old at that time.

Given the fact that most holiday options run full at that time of the year, we choose to finalize on the plan and book the places as early as July or August. That ensures peace of mind and also provides clarity in preparing for the trip wrt shopping for odd accessories etc. The trip is planned in such a way that we're either back home for new year celebrations or are at a place which isn't a tourist destination. I just feel that more than celebration, the new year's day becomes a lot of nuisance when you're in a crowded place. Again, I'm not the type who would run to the lounge parties etc on these ocassions and a small house party works just fine to make merry.

So in mid 2011, we short-listed a couple of options for the year end trip.

Option 1: Kaziranga and around N-East.
Option 2: National Parks in MP
Option 3: Kabini/Bandipur - The usual suspects
Option 4: Tour de Gujarat

Option 1 was ruled out since winters isn't going to be have very friendly weather in N-East. Plus we were going to take 3-4 days to reach and that meant that we had to either spend less days at each location or cover only some parts of the place. We kept this as on the to-do list for a time when we can get three weeks off.

Option 2 was overlapping my trip to MP already done in April except for Bandhavgarh which was going to be a new addition to the itinerary.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...h-stripes.html (Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes)
The premium pricing at the resorts made the trip pretty expensive and we finally decided against this schedule.

Option 3 didn't excite my wife too much. I make regular trips every month to either of these places and we had already done this in 2010. So spending a full week or more in these locations wasn't really going to be any different and the lady of the house wanted it different.

Option 4 was to grab the notes from the previous year's plan and follow Big B's advise. The flamingos that flock the Rann were more than enough reason to do this trip. We reviewed the old itinerary and dropped the trip to Gir from it, that took off more than 500kms of travel and added back 3 extra days but even then it was going to be more than 5000kms of drive. The good thing was that we'd be passing through Mumbai and that meant that we could visit family and may be spend the new year with them. After a careful review, the decision was made, we were going to the Rann of Kutch!

We obviously couldn't tour every place in Gujarat, so we shortlisted the places that we wanted to cover viz. Velavadar Blackbuck Sanctuary, Zainabad in Little Rann of Kutch and Hodka in Greater Rann of Kutch. The objective was to pace it leisurely so that even though we're driving quite a bit, it doesn't become an endurance trip. Gir was dropped from the list and so was Jamnagar, but that just means that we've parked them for the next time we go there.

The itinerary was drafted:

Day 1: Leave Bangalore and reach Mumbai
Day 2: Stay in Mumbai
Day 3: Leave Mumbai and reach Ahmedabad/Velavadar
Day 4: Stay at Velavadar
Day 5: Stay at Velavadar
Day 6: Leave Velavdar and reach Zainabad (LRK)
Day 7: Stay at Zainabad (LRK)
Day 8: Stay at Zainabad (LRK)
Day 9: Leave Zainabad and reach Hodka (GRK)
Day 10: Stay at Hodka (GRK)
Day 11: Stay at Hodka (GRK)
Day 12: Leave Hodka and reach Mumbai
Day 13 & 15: Spend time with family in Mumbai/Pune
Day 16: Leave Pune and reach Bangalore
Day 17: Back to the grind

Next up, I'd put a summary of the preparations that went on for the trip.

Here's a teaser to what's coming ahead.
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-gujarat-071.jpg

Last edited by amolpol : 2nd March 2012 at 22:29.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 01:59   #2
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Default Preparations for the trip

Before we started planning on the details, I had very basic knowledge about the Rann and what it had to offer in terms of wildlife and other activities. A little bit of reading opened up quite a few interesting aspects of the places in the Rann:

- It is a bird haven! Most serious birders would want to be at the Rann just for the sheer variety of birds that are found here. For photographers like me, it’s an excellent opportunity to get them in good light in the open flat terrain.

- The Rann, it’s flat and filled with a feeling of nothingness! With just the Little Rann spread over 5000 sq.kms, I’m thinking this might one of the sparsely populated places in our country when you compare the ratio of people per sq.km.

- It’s not modernized and commercialized yet! This isn’t a tourist destination for people who would want to just relax and do some sight-seeing. It’s a tough terrain and you’d need some amount of interest in birds to be here in the first place otherwise I’m not sure if you’ll enjoy it as much. (this is my personal view and doesn't mean that you have to go by it)

With the itinerary decided, it was time to find out places to stay and get bookings done. There aren’t too many places to stay around the Rann so availability is limited and given the end of the year, it’s always better to make bookings ahead of time. A quick search revealed two prominent places to stay in the Little Rann, one was Rann Riders in Dasada and the other was Desert Coursers in Zainabad. We're not a family who fancy luxury stays and since we use very minimal services of any resort we book as we're out most of the day. It's usually good enough to find a place that's got clean toilets and a decent bed, a/c is optional except for peak summers. Between the two choices, Desert Coursers (http://www.desertcoursers.net/) was definitely lighter on the pocket and fitted my requirements and exceeded a few too.

With a phone call and a follow up email to Desert Coursers at Zainabad, it was booked. Dhanraj, the owner of Desert Coursers assured to help in securing the bookings at Velavadar Forest Guest House. He also gave a contact for Shaam-e-Sarhad (http://hodka.in/) at Hodka which was our "luxury" stay option at the Greater Rann instead of staying in Bhuj. I preferred to spend the extra moolah since my stay at GRK was going to have two very special annual events and the place was definitely something that my wifey would have liked. With all three places confirming availability and holding our bookings, it was time to relax a bit and go slow on everything else. Remember, this was still August and the vacation was a good 4 months away!

As we got closer to the date (sometime in November), I did a reconfirmation of my bookings to make sure there were no surprises. I can tell you that this was a wise move, I had to move my plans a bit to accomodate the booking schedule at the Velavadar forest guest house but we were still pretty much covered with everything else.

Now we had to make sure all other logistics are planned and the various family members are informed on when they should expect us and for how long. Given that I had just one day "family meet and greet" break on the way up and 3 days on the way back, we had to set expectations clearly on who's house we can stay, where all we can visit etc etc. Believe me, it's tough when you're the only one out from the family and even if you take a 10 day vacation to spend time with them you'll end up with a few disgruntled members who feel you didn't spend enough time with them. It's always good to start managing expectations well ahead of time so that they're tuned for it when they actually see you.

We needed to procure a few accessories for ourselves to keep warm since the Rann gets pretty cold in the winters. Bags were packed liberally keeping in mind the large boot space available in the safari. Snacks for the travel time were stocked up, these are very critical when you do long trips (1000+ kms/day). I usually carry water along with me for the trip and there was approx 40 liters that I carried with me. This is my contribution to reducing plastic waste and saving the environment as well as making sure I don't spend on the unknown local brands that thrive the rural markets. I've realized that this works out well since even if you use dustbins to throw trash in these kind of places, you know it's going to end up somewhere just outside the village and in the end its spoiling the beauty of the place.

Next up was to make sure that the beast (my safari) is all set for the 5000+ kms round trip.

- I was contemplating on getting a set of auxillary lights since I'd be mostly doing highway runs through the trip. Even though I have the Osram Nightbreakers installed, I always feel that the light is never enough. However, I could never decide whether I'd want to mount the lights on the bumper or add the nudge guard and so I postponed the activity yet again for another time.

- A thorough service was needed before I set out on the trip. So even though the odo showed 26k and I still had time for the 30K service, I asked the TASS guys to do a 30k service rather than a general check up. With all the fluids changed and mechanicals tested, the car was ready a couple of days before the trip. True to their reputation, the TASS guys did leave behind some smaller niggles so that I don't feel out of place in the car.

- The 3M guys did their job of making the interiors feel as good as new. This was needed since I wanted to get it clean before my daughter messes it again.

A quick run down through the list of things we carry as other necessities eg. medicines, tools etc and we were done. The car was loaded the previous night and all we needed to do was jump in and leave in the morning.

Last edited by amolpol : 3rd March 2012 at 02:01.
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Old 6th March 2012, 01:30   #3
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Default The antelopes of Velavadar

My first introduction to Velavadar was through some blackbuck pictures posted on an online community. Having been to the blackbuck reserves in Karnataka, I was not expecting too different results at this park. The blackbuck reserves are usually dry grasslands with some shrubbery around a few odd trees through the open space. But I was definitely elated to see that the grasslands were very beautiful by itself, the grass had a nice red tinge to it and the first thoughts that crossed my mind was it would make a nice background. Being a photographer, all you think is subjects, background, lights, ISO etc, but this place definitely had an eye-catching scene.

The Blackbuck National Park is a very small park with just about 35 sqkms and is nicely laid out with trails going through most parts of the reserve. There are no organized safaris here, you can choose to drive around in the park in your own car or hire a jeep from the Blackbuck Lodge which is a wildlife resort nearby. Alternately, you could cycle or even walk inside the park if you wish since there are no big predators here. The park entry allows you to roam inside from sunrise to sunset. The basic rule is that you stick to the trails and not wander into the grasslands or into the forest regions.

As far as what you can see at the park, there are enough blackbucks that you'd find so it stays true to its name. You'd also fing the nilgai in good numbers which are the biggest antelope in asia. Apart from the antelopes, you could occasionally bump into some wild boars or catch the elusive fox or wolves which are a rare find. This is the biggest roosting site for the harriers and you'll find them all over the park during the winter season. A lot of other grassland birds are also in plenty here. Overall, if you're a birder, you'll enjoy a lot with the count of birds you get here, if you'd like to see the blackbucks, they are found everywhere and the landscape offers good photo opportunities. If you're the one who only wants to see the wolves or the fox then you need to be a patient since we didnt see either of them in our trip.

Now time for some pics before I move to my next chapter.

Two blackbuck males out for a walk, their coats get darker with age!
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-01.jpg

A male nilgai posing for the camera.
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-02.jpg

Blackbuck fighting...this was like a dream scene come to life!
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-03.jpg

A green bee-eater posing in the morning sun.
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-04.jpg

A Rudy Shelduck at one of the water bodies in the park.
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-06.jpg

A female nilgai amidst the red grass, a real treat to the eyes!
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-07.jpg

The Greater Spotted Eagle perched on a tree
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-08.jpg

A pond heron with it's crest ruffled by the wind
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-09.jpg

Eurasian Spoonbill, one of the migrants to the area
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-10.jpg

A Black-tailed Godwit walking along the shoreline
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-11.jpg

Female blackbucks, springing to action
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-12.jpg

A Pallid Harrier roosting on the ground
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-13.jpg

A Black Ibis or the Red Naped Ibis on the wetland side of the reserve
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-14.jpg

A medium Egret along the water side
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-15.jpg

A couple of cormorants enjoying the sun
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-16.jpg

Male Nilgai in the golden evening light
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-17.jpg

Mother and baby Nilgai in the red grasslands
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-18.jpg

A baby blackbuck feeding off the mother
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-22.jpg

Now time for some black and whites:

Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-05.jpg

Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-19.jpg

Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-velavadar-20.jpg
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Old 6th March 2012, 09:18   #4
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Default The land of Khurs

We stayed with Desert Coursers at Zainabad for a good three days and the stay was quite enjoyable. The resort is just a few kms from the sanctuary and they operate their jeeps for the morning and evening rounds. You can also drive your car inside the Rann after obtaining a permit from the forest office, we did that for a couple of times and it was fun!

The Rann of Kutch is a vast expanse of shallow flat land which gets submerged under water during the monsoons. There are some portions of land that are at an elevation and those form the "bets" or islands during the monsoon providing shelter to most of the wildlife here. Once the monsoon is gone, the water recedes and all that's left behind is a parched flat land where you can drive crazy fast for kicks.

Most of the places look the same and it's very easy to lose your way in the Rann. Even with GPS and google maps, we were lost for atleast an hour since we followed tracks that never took us in the direction we had to go. Once you're in the middle of the flat parched landscape, you can actually get the feeling of nothingness. You can drive in any direction you wish and there are tire tracks everywhere so you never know where you're headed exactly.

I let my wife do most of the driving in the Rann so that I could be free to use my camera. Though the land looks flat and dry, it's always best to keep on some of the established tracks since there is always a possibility of hitting a patch that's wet underneath. I was cautioned by the forest guys that due to the release of excessive water from the Narmada there are places along the northern of the Rann where the water's just flowing underneath the dry outer surface. These places are pretty much like a wet beach sand and getting your wheel stuck means serious trouble especially if you're driving a two wheel drive monster.

The day begins pretty late with sunrise at around a 7.30AM but the light never turns very harsh so photography is good until 11AM. Mornings were cold and so were the evenings after 5pm, but we were prepared for it so the cold never deterred our plans. The sun sets right at the far end of the land and it's quite interesting to see.

This is the only habitat left for the Asiatic Wild A** also known as Khurs, and while they were at the brink of extinction at one point in time, their population has reached decent levels now. It's intriguing as to why an animal like the Khur would face extinction danger since neither there are any large predators in the area nor they were killed by poachers or hunters. They suffered huge loss due to some disease post which the conservation efforts began. But they do have a constant threat of habitat loss and expansion of salt making activities which impacts their survival.

The other big attraction of the Rann is the thousands and thousands of flamingos that visit here every year. The Lesser Flamingos are found in LRK while the Greater Flamingos prefer the Greater Rann. Just a few kms from Zainabad, the creek provides a fantastic view of the Lesser Flamingos and you could just sit there for hours and not get tired of these beautiful creatures. The Nava Talav area hosts a lot of migrant ducks and other waders and mornings are the best time to visit here. The short-eared Owl is a local favorite and most jeep drivers would be very happy to show you one. The Eurasian cranes come here in plenty too and though they're usually shy, they would let you close in if you do it very slowly.

Enough of writing now, will let the pictures do the talking.

The Indian Spotted Eagle on the dry Rann
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-01.jpg

A Hoopoe foraging for food
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-02.jpg

A Khur making an A** of himself
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-03.jpg

The Eurasian Crane, they're really big birds
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-04.jpg

The Lesser Flamingo, this is pretty much the reason for going to Gujarat
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-05.jpg

A Black Winged Stilt in Black & White
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-19.jpg
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-06.jpg

The Glossy Ibis meditating on one foot
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-07.jpg

The heroes of the Rann
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-08.jpg
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-11.jpg

Eurasian Collared Dove looking for a morning snack
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-09.jpg
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-18.jpg

The Short-Eared Owl, mostly found hiding in the bushes
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-10.jpg

The Indian Courser, a pretty and rare find these days
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-12.jpg

Chestnut-Bellied Sandgrouse, just a record shot
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-13.jpg

The morning sun, this is how it was at 7.30AM
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-14.jpg

The White-Eared Bulbul
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-15.jpg

A Jungle Babbler out on morning duty of finding food
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-16.jpg

Brahminy Starling looking for berries and fruits
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-17.jpg

Another special at LRK, the Desert Wheatear
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-20.jpg

A line-up of the Great White Pelicans
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-21.jpg
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Old 6th March 2012, 13:05   #5
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Default Greater Rann of Kutch

After LRK, it was time to head to Hodka for our first hand experience of the Greater Rann or simply put, the Rann of Kutch.

The place we stayed, Shaam-e-Sarhad was a very unique experience. The place is built like the traditional village and the bhungas (circular mud huts) are very nicely built. The attention to detail on the design of the place is very easily recognized and my wife loved it. The food was simple yet delicious and everything about this place was just right.

A view of the Bhunga
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-15.jpg
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-14.jpg

The wildlife sightings at LRK were satisfying and I was happy to get some good pictures added to my collection. One of the important species that was on my list for GRK was the Great Indian Bustard and the Greater Flamingos. You're right, everything in GRK is great or greater. The flamingos are found in large numbers near Dholavira and the Flamingo city. While at LRK, one of the jeep guys gave me directions to visit Dholavira from there, but a part of that route was through the Rann and I didn't want to take the risk of getting lost or stuck especially with the wife
and kid. I was thinking that I could visit these places from GRK but was disappointed to find out that the roads were closed since most parts were still wet. With this, the Greater Flamingos were going to be sorely missed in this trip and I'd need to come here again sometime to capture these beautiful creatures.

Next up was the bustard and we traveled a good 170kms from Hodka to Jakhau for it only to find that we couldn't find the sanctuary anywhere. Now the Kutch Bustard Sanctuary or the Lala Parjan sanctuary is a really small piece of land of about 2 sqkms and there are no signboards, not just that, the locals haven't heard of any such place either. We spent a good hour asking people how to get to the sanctuary but finally gave up. Apparently there are two villages named Lala and Parjan but even along the way nobody knew what I was talking about. So we drove almost 350kms round trip from the resort, to find nothing. But then again, this just adds more to the list of things to do for the next time.

Hodka is a part of the Banni grasslands and we hired a local jeep to take us to Chhari Dhandh which is a huge wetland in the area. The Chhari lake is very big and is home to a lot of bird species, but accessibility is a big
issue and photography was very difficult. But just being there was a good experience and the morning we spent there was made worthwhile by the golden jackals we sighted on the way back.

The Rann Utsav was on while we were at Hodka and Dhordo was less than 15kms from there. So we made a visit but may be we chose the wrong day since it was a weekend. The place was packed with people and parking was nearly full in the open ground. Moreover, there were hundreds of cars and a few buses parked at the White Rann which is one of the attractions of GRK. The salt covered white desert was teeming with humans all over and there was no spot where you could photograph the beauty of the place without having people in it. And even though there are specific instructions given at the entry checkpost about throwing trash and smoking, true to being desis, there were enough live examples of people behaving in the most social manner at that place. You could see bottles thrown around, wrappers, people smoking their lungs out, tonga rides and what not. A true disappointment of the trip and a disheartening one at that. It pains me when you see your own brethren doing things that you'd like to shoot them for, but illiteracy in mannerisms is what we're all about and even if people may have formal education, they lack civic sense.The Rann Utsav is a big annual event to promote tourism to the place and also a support for the life of the locals here. However, with Zorbing and Bungee Jumping being promoted as the most happening events, I didn't really feel it was targeted well. The local handicraft shops were a small portion of the fair and the choices were limited, this is when the surrounding villages are known for various local handicrafts. Variety or no variety, the missus had made up her mind to buy and so we ended up doing little shopping for the people back home. They had some folk performances in the evenings which we missed, so can't comment on whether that really made up for everything else at the event.

On the last day evening, we decided to explore other nearby places like the India Bridge and Kala Dungar. The Kala Dungar is the highest point in Kutch and offers a panaromic view of the flat lands. The temple here offers evening prasad to the jackals which is a daily routine and a lot of people come here to watch that. It's quite a nice feeling to look at the vast expanse of the rann from the hillock, a rarity since most parts of the country are so full of people. Later we drove up to India bridge which is technically the last civilian point unless you have some special permits that can be obtained from the Collectorate office in Bhuj. Again, I gave a ride to one of the BSF guys who tried to persuade the checkpost guys to let us explore a little bit further but they politely denied. The good thing about this place was that I could atleast spot a few Greater Flamingos in the creek below so I didn't have to go back home empty handed. Didn't get any pictures though since they were pretty far away, but at least I saw them.

Overall, in the three days we were at Hodka, my camera had seen very less action, we drove around aimlessly quite a bit and we suffered quite a few setbacks in our plans. But the place by itself has a charm and I kept feeling that may be we weren't prepared enough to manage the time well. Having a local guide helps a lot and finding one before you land there is a good idea. Next time, I'm going to do just that and give it a second shot!

Ending the TL with the few pictures I shot at GRK with the promise that the next visit will have a lot more!

The Golden Jackal enroute Chhari Dhandh
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-03.jpg
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-04.jpg

Public Transport System in rural Gujarat, a true masterpiece!
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-11.jpg

That's the three of us with the sea of people at the White Rann
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-12.jpg

And lastly, the beast at the White Rann.
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise-lrk-13.jpg
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Old 7th March 2012, 12:56   #6
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Default Re: Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 7th March 2012, 14:44   #7
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Default Re: Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise

Excellent pictures to start with. I loved the Flamingo pics in particular but the entire lot of Birding pics.wow what a color. Your photography skills are amazing and it takes quite a bit of guts to actually plan for such a trip with a kid. I am sure your previous trip to the jungle with the kid alone would have given you enough confidence to do this one.

Hope there is more to come.

Thanks,
Aravind
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Old 7th March 2012, 14:56   #8
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Smile Re: Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise

@amolpol,

Fantastic write up coupled with breath taking shots. There's so much clarity in those pics, Hats off to you. Shows your passion for photography as well as bird watching.

One question - Could you have not done the 30K service post the trip? BTW what camera was used for the pics?

Rated the thread 5 stars.
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Old 7th March 2012, 15:01   #9
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Default Re: Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise

Some mind blowing pics there! What equipment did you use?

Rated the thread 5 stars.
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Old 7th March 2012, 15:11   #10
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Default Re: Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise

@maolpol,

Awesome pictures, and very good write up. I loved the B&W series of pictures. what mm lens did you use to get these birds?

definitely a 5 star thread.
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Old 7th March 2012, 16:34   #11
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Default Re: Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise

Wow beautiful snaps. Could spot few angry birds as well :-)
Keep them coming Amolpol. Gave 5 star for this and the post deserves it.
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Old 7th March 2012, 17:39   #12
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Default Re: Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise

wow! this is the only word for the pics in the TL. Very nice and crisp shots. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Rated the thread 5*. Pls do update with more pics!
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Old 8th March 2012, 00:51   #13
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Default Re: Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise

I'm glad you all liked it as much as I enjoyed doing the trip.

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Originally Posted by aravind84 View Post
Excellent pictures to start with. I loved the Flamingo pics in particular but the entire lot of Birding pics.wow what a color. Your photography skills are amazing and it takes quite a bit of guts to actually plan for such a trip with a kid. I am sure your previous trip to the jungle with the kid alone would have given you enough confidence to do this one.

Hope there is more to come.

Thanks,
Aravind
Thanks Aravind, the flamingos are for sure one of the most beautiful birds I've photographed so far. I wish I could have gotten a chance to capture the Greater Flamingos as well, they're much bigger and more pink than the lesser flamingos. I'll try and post some more pictures of the flamingos in a day or two.

Traveling with my daugher is no hassle at all, in fact she's the most enduring individual through the trip and usually we're the ones who are tired at the end of the day while she's all charged up.

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
@amolpol,

One question - Could you have not done the 30K service post the trip? BTW what camera was used for the pics?
I could have done the 30k service after I came back, but didn't want to take any chances. Once you have everything checked up and the oils changed etc, it does give you that mental satisfaction that your car is good for the journey and will not let you down.

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Some mind blowing pics there! What equipment did you use?
Quote:
Originally Posted by arvindmanju View Post
@maolpol,
Awesome pictures, and very good write up. I loved the B&W series of pictures. what mm lens did you use to get these birds?
Most of the pictures posted here are with the Canon 1D Mark IV coupled with the 600mm F4 lens, sometimes with the 1.4x teleconverter. There would be some from my 7D with the 70-200L as well. You can find the details on my gear here.
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Old 8th March 2012, 04:18   #14
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Default Re: Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise

Awesome photos Amol. Its raining bird photologues on TBhp. All of them showcasing the diversity of our land.
Loved the Nilgai shots with the red grass in the background.
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Old 8th March 2012, 10:26   #15
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Default Re: Khushboo Gujarat Ki - A road trip to the birding paradise

Really nice trip and a heady mix of camera equipment, a 600mm? No wonder the photographs of the birds are crisp.
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