Monday, January 29, 2007


11, January 2007
Mangalajodi Marshes

Mangalajodi is a small fishing village on the banks of the Chilika lake, about 5kms from Tangi. Until recently it was known as a "poachers' village". That was until Nanda Kishor Bhujabal from Wild Orissa intervened and after over a decade of persuasion managed to convert them into protectors. Now the birds are returning and each census is registering greater numbers.

Blacktailed Godwit, Mangalajodi

Years of persuasion has made these ex-poachers of Mangalajodi village turn into protectors of birds. They now fish or guide tourists for a living. If you plan to visit Chilika please dont forget to sample Mangalajodi... who knows, you might have a better experience here than in the Nalabana sanctuary like I did.

Whiskered Tern, Mangalajodi

12, January 2007
Nalabana Island/Wildlife Sanctuary

Nalabana was a little dissapointing. We had expected thousands of flamingos and pelicans. Birders before us would count 3500 greater flamingoes... this year there were only 56... of pelicans, there were none... still we got a few great shots and I chanced upon an Irrawady dolphin (which I couldn't photograph) while returning.

White Bellied Sea Eagle

Our sole purpose of visiting Nalabana was to sight the flamingos and pelicans which we had missed at Mangalajodi. While we neared the sanctuary's periphery we saw thousands of teals, pintails, shovellers and other ducks. Such abundance on the periphery itself elated us. Funny thing is, there were hardly any birds inside the sanctuary! Of pelicans, there were none. Same was the case with lesser flamingos. Of greater flamingos, who were counted in figures upwards of 3000 until recently, we found only 56, very far away, much beyond the range of our 300mm tele-zooms. It was only after wading for about a kilometer and combining it with stalking that we could get these satisfactory pics. The principal cause of such decline in bird numbers so suddenly is not poaching or fishing. It is the increase in salinity in Chilika caused due to the lack of dredging on the ocean side.

Greater Flamingos, Chilika Lake

Greater Flamingos, Chilika Lake

1 comment:

Ameen said...

Excellent posting! It made a very interesting read.


Ameen Ahmed