Saying that birds are underrated is an understatement. I have to admit that before my visit at JAWAI, I myself never had any interest for birds, especially as I come from a land of pigeons.
One of the particularities that rhythms daily life at JAWAI are the morning and evening game drives, or Safari drives, in the hope of spotting leopards, jackals, jungle cats, among other species.
Game drives at JAWAI take you through the breath-taking nature surrounding the camp, on hills and by lakes, through tree forests and bushes. The feeling of having the wind blow on your face as the jeep is racing in this untouched oasis is incredible, but the most special moment of the ride is when the jeep reaches a leopard’s territory.
Indeed, your guide will stop the jeep as you approach a spot that potentially shelters leopard(s). The minutes that follow are some of the most exciting ones of the ride, in my opinion. Not only because you can feel everyone’s attention on peak, hoping to notice a beautiful feline, but also because of the birds.
Yes, not only I saw my first wild leopard whilst at JAWAI but I also discovered the fascinating world of twitching.
Green, blue, yellow, pink, big, small, long-peaked, playful,… I have never seen that many different species of birds in my life, and they are all more incredible than the other.
A very common bird at JAWAI, a blue tailed bee eater. Photo by our ranger and guide ©Vedant Thite
For my greatest happiness, JAWAI is currently experiencing one of its peak periods for migration, with species coming from all over, even as far as Siberia. Flamingos, pelicans, geese, cranes, ducks,… all these birds find refuge and food in JAWAI’s surroundings during their migratory flows, as Indian winter enables them to survive.
This presence is just one of the common regular seasonal movements for birds, and I cannot wait to witness new waves of migration and discover more species.
My visit to JAWAI has challenged my vision and opinion about birds, and has taught me more things about them than never in my life before.
Did you know, for example, that flamingos are not born pink? In fact, the birds are naturally grey and become pink as they eat shrimps of that colour.
This is one of many anecdotes I hope to share with you on this blog as I discover the world of Twitching. Hopefully, I will even succeed in making you more aware and interested by the birds that surround you.