Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Birding in the Land of GIB, Nannaj - 29th to 30th Nov, 2008

Bookings for Nannaj trip from 29th to 30th Nov 2008 are on...for details see at the end.


GIB & Grey Francolin Image: Courtesy: Mr.Nayan Khanolkar
India is blessed with a variety of habitats that hold varied birdlife. However, most of these habitats are under threat from something or the other. From these, the Grassland habitats in particular are the first to be encroached upon, on the pretext that these are wastelands. However, they are one of the most bio-diversity rich habitats that hold an amazing variety of birdlife. Once, there were far stretching areas which had grasslands throughout India, but sadly very few remain now (apart from the Terai Grasslands)……notably amongst them are Banni grasslands, Naliya, Velavadar and LRK in Gujarat, Rollapadu in Andhra Pradesh, Ghatigoan & Karera Bustard sanctuary in M.P., Sorson and Sonkhaliya in Rajasthan, Rannebennur in Karnataka, Rehekuri, Ozhar, Mayureshwar & Nannaj in Maharashtra.
(Participants of the 1st trip- 15th to 17th Aug, 2008)

Here's a link to the report of the 2nd trip (6th-7th Sep, 2008)

With the exploitation of grasslands, the flagship species namely the Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican, Indian Wolf, Blackbuck are also threatened. In fact, it is believed that there are less than 400 GIBs in the world and they are critically endangered.Not many know that this majestic bird was once a strong contender for the position of our national bird……but the tricky name got him out of the race.

Nannaj GIB Sanctuary : One such amazing grassland / scrub land is the famous Nannaj GIB sanctuary, approx. 22 kms from Solapur.

Nannaj is a small village approx. 22 Kms away from the main city Solapur, Maharashtra.The total area covered under sanctuary is approx. 600 hectares. However, it is not a continuous stretch, but a discontinuous area which is divided into various plots, some of which are owned by Govt. and some are Private lands.

The area called "100 hectare" is a plot of 100 hectares, and it is a core area of the sanctuary where the breeding pairs have been observed. Recent census estimates over 20 Great Indian Bustards.... However, the GIBs are spread over vast areas in the sanctuary and nearby cultivated fields depending on the availability of food.

Nannaj GIB Sanctuary also holds a very good population of Blackbucks that stroll over leisurely but cautiously around the park and the surrounding area. The main predators of these Blackbucks and the Black-naped hares which abound here are Indian Wolf and Indian Fox. There is a resident pack of 8 wolves in the core area of the sanctuary, that are regularly seen scanning their area with a dominant "Alpha pair".....

Apart from the above flagship species, Nannaj is a great place to see a number of other grassland and scrub land species like Larks, Pipits, Quails, Francolins, Sandgrouse, Lapwings, Raptors, Coursers, Munias, Doves etc…..

Click some of these links to know more about Nannaj

Though the GIBs are nomads and move about in a large area. The month of August is the best time to see the bustards in Nannaj when they seek a safe abode to display and breed in the core area.

Breaking News: Apart from very good sightings of GIB in Nannaj, the migratory birds have arrived in good numbers including Montagu's and Pallied Harriers (Nannaj is a huge roosting site )....Greater Short toed Lark, Common Kestrels, Shrikes, Wheatears etc.....

The Hipparga lake is a staging ground for plenty of migratory ducks including Northern Pintail and Shovellers, Eurasian Wigeons, Common Teals, Gargeny ducks etc....



Date: 29th Nov 2008 eve. 10.30 pm to 30th Nov 2008 mor. 6.30 am

Mode of Travel : Train uptil Solapur and local travel by Jeeps.

Tour Iterinary:

1) Friday 28th Nov, 2008 : Departure from Mumbai by train at 10.30 pm

2) Saturday 29th Nov, 2008 : Arrive at Solapur early morning - Refresh & Breakfast (really fast) - Birdwatching in Nannaj - Lunch at Hotel - Visit to Eurasian Eagle Owl area - Evening Birding at Nannaj

3) Sunday 30th Nov, 2008 : Morning Birdwatching in Nannaj - Sumptuous lunch consisting of the typical Solapur delicacies -Evening visit to Hipparga Lake near Solapur city for watching migratory water birds - return to the hotel - Dinner and proceed to board the train at 10.45 pm

4) Monday 31st Nov, 2008 : Reach Mumbai (Dadar) in mor. by 6.30 am

More details on the iterinary will be given to those who register.....

Trip charges : Rs.3550/-

Includes Stay in Hotel at Solapur on a twin sharing basis, Mumbai-Solapur-Mumbai train travel (Sleeper Class), Local transport by Jeeps, Park entry charges, vegetarian food, Articles on Nannaj and Nannaj bird checklist, on board mineral water and snacks……

This does not include any other charges and also any individual camera charges ....Individuals will have to pay additional charges if any to the forest dept. as per the rules.

Registration: You can register by sending a confirmatory mail to and by paying a non refundable Advance of Rs.2500/-…..the remaining amount will be collected in train on the day of travel.......Please Register before 29th Oct, 2008.

Resource Persons: Mr.Adesh Shivkar

Mode of Payment: You can either
1) Transfer the advance money directly to my HDFC A/c : (please call me for my A/c no.) .... please mention your name, date and other details….
2) Courier a cheque of Rs.2500/- to the following address

Name: Mr.Adesh Shivkar
Address: D/8, The Adi Janata Society, Behind HP Petrolpump, Opp. Hotel Shangrila, Sion(East), Mumbai-400022

Please Note:

1) Once registered, the advance amount of Rs. 2500/- is strictly non-refunadable

2) Alcohol & Smoking is strictly prohibited on Nature India Tours

Please contact me, in case you need any clarification …..

For any other queries I am available on 9321463362 or 9820455713 or

Hope to see you for this wonderful trip

Thanks for your patience.

Warm Regards,

Adesh Shivkar
Nature India
Appreciate, Respect & Care for Nature

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