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Old 10th November 2010, 13:52   #1
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Default The Little Rann of Kutch-Gujarat is everything but little: Photologue

Well I had come down to Ahmedabad on an official visit but when I found that I had free day at my disposal I decided to make the most of it by heading out to the little Rann of Kutch or rather Zainabad/Dasada. I couldn't get reservations at the Rann riders resort so decided to try the other one..the Desert Coursers,Zainabad. Well the resort is owned by a gentleman called Mr.Dhanraj Malik and though the accommodation is basic at best the host makes up for it with his hospitality. I headed out from Ahmedabad at around noon and reached the resort by 1430hrs. After a quick lunch and some introductions, I headed out for my first safari in the Rann. I was assigned a driver/guide with a Mahindra jeep. The driver, a guy called Mehboob was a truck driver but had joined the resort around 8 yrs back and I was amazed by his knowledge regarding the flora and fauna of the region. He identified most of the birds save a few and even had some idea as to which kind of light is good for photography.
Anyway I won't keep you waiting and start off with some pictures.

Do you expect to see any living creature on this sort of terrain?
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We'll soon find out..a juvenile common crane taking off urging me to start the thread as well.

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Old 10th November 2010, 14:39   #2
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A cracker of a log unfolding here. Great stuff. And a nice signature as well. Subscribing to this thread already.
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Old 11th November 2010, 19:25   #3
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Nice set of pictures to begin with. would love to get hands on more details specially the itinerary and the route map. Did you guys enter the LRK from one end and exit from the other? Or did you a simple loop and came back to Dasda/Zainabad. I'm planning to do a cross-Rann either East-West or North - South in december and would love to know the possible entry/exit points to it.
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Old 14th November 2010, 13:12   #4
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Originally Posted by vardhan.harsh View Post
Nice set of pictures to begin with. would love to get hands on more details specially the itinerary and the route map. Did you guys enter the LRK from one end and exit from the other? Or did you a simple loop and came back to Dasda/Zainabad. I'm planning to do a cross-Rann either East-West or North - South in december and would love to know the possible entry/exit points to it.
Well harsh, I am not the right person to help you out with routes and entry/exit points etc because I just went down straight to Zainabad and stayed there for a couple of nights and headed back to Ahmedabad.

Anyway, continuing with the trip report..

I started my first safari in the Rann with Mehboob at around 4pm and the sheer number of birds I saw even as we went across the villages before entering the arid Rann amazed me.

Way to the resort
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Just liked the contrast
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A stonechat
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A red wattled lapwing
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Chestnut bellied Sandgrouse..well camouflaged
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Hoope
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Old 14th November 2010, 18:22   #5
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Beautifull picture to say the least and waiting for the photologue to unfold more. One part of our beautifull country that I would love to visit soon!!

Thanks for sharing
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Old 14th November 2010, 20:32   #6
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nice travelogue/ photologue.
What camera and if a dSLR lens did you use to shoot the birds. They are indeed quite amazing!!!
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Old 15th November 2010, 13:41   #7
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Rob, you are back! And how! Nice starter pics and I agree Gujarat is a bird lovers paradise. Please bring on more details and snaps as I have every intention to visit the little Rann of Kutch (afterall it is wifeys home state, so 1-2 trip each year is gaurenteed ;-)
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Old 15th November 2010, 22:34   #8
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Originally Posted by ExtremeTorque View Post
Rob, you are back! And how! Nice starter pics and I agree Gujarat is a bird lovers paradise. Please bring on more details and snaps as I have every intention to visit the little Rann of Kutch (afterall it is wifeys home state, so 1-2 trip each year is gaurenteed ;-)
Thanks guys..

@ET: Gujarat sure is a birder's paradise..you are lucky that your better half is from that part of the country. Just PM me whenever you need any pointers.

Continuing with the safari, it was time to see the animal for which the Rann is famous- the wild *** (Khur). For many of us its just a donkey but the thing is, its something unique and is seen only in the Rann.

I also saw a few Blue Bulls (Nil Gai). Time for some more pictures..
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Old 16th November 2010, 08:14   #9
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Great pics. I am going to LRK this coming January for a pure birding trip. Your photos only make my wait more agonizing.
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Old 16th November 2010, 08:57   #10
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Oooh, these creatures are so fantastic to see. Great pics Robi, our desert is another kind of heaven after all. I am watching this thread now.
The desert donkey/*** is fascinating creature and it is nice too see them in the wild undisturbed by mankind.
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Old 16th November 2010, 15:44   #11
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Rob, each and every pic is excellent! I especially loved the 2nd pic of the jeeps in the RoK and the lone Nilghai. Please expedite posting more pics and not keep us lesser mortals hanging.
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Old 16th November 2010, 16:44   #12
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Amazing pictures and i am glued to this one. I love travelogues, and even more the ones that are also a visual treat. Yours is unfolding to be one. Go on mate and do let us know the DSLR used to capture these pics
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Old 16th November 2010, 17:00   #13
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Wow-fantastic pics-love the ones with the birds. Some pics of the place you stayed at with details? will be going there in Feb-most probably, will try and make a detour?
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Old 16th November 2010, 17:18   #14
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Thanks a lot everyone..as for the DSLR its a Canon 500D and a Canon 7D for the birds in flight etc.

The next morning Mehboob and myself went in search of the short eared owl and the Macqueen's bustard. The terrain was not as arid as the previous day and it was a different experience altogether. Some day 2 pictures..

It all started with a Desert Whitear.
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Then i saw like 5 short eared owls..followed them for some time but managed to get only a few decent shots
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A desert fox was there in the distance and as I went closer it went into a bush but kept his eyes on me

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Came across some yellow wattled lapwings

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3 Drongo's having fun

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and a common kestrel as well

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Old 16th November 2010, 23:37   #15
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Amazing pictures mate. Are you a professional nature photographer? Plus you seem to know all the names or are they courtesy Mehboob?
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