Tag Archives: Bird Watching

Birdwatching in Surat – June 2020

What kind of birds can we see in Surat?

Monsoon season – June till September

Common birds spotted during the year

  • Sparrow
  • Crow
  • Pigeon
  • Common Myna
  • Blackbird
  • Koel
  • Bulbul
  • Coucal
  • Spotted Dove
  • Green bee eater Bird
  • House Finch

Commonly seen in Monsoon

  • Pond Heron
  • Cattle egret
  • Lapwing
  • Fantail
  • Purple Sunbird
  • Green Sunbird

Special birds in Monsoon

  • Water hen
  • Cormorant
  • Little Egret
  • Black-headed Ibis
  • Kingfisher

Water Hen, Lapwing and Ibis are seen to have breeding during the monsoon season. They select their spot for nesting before hand. They stay for few months raising their offspring and feeding them.

Some birds like Flamingoes and Seagulls come to particular spots like near Tapi River and are not seen around the city. Some large cranes are also seen near Magdalla in the mudlands of Tapi river.

Share the birds you see in your vicinity. If you are aware of other birds in Surat, write about them in the comment section below. To have rich experience of bird watching invest in good binoculars.

Bird Watching in Surat – Pair of Common Myna, Spotted dove, Water Hen getting ready to breed and nesting.

10 May 2020 Surat

Common Myna building the nest. A pair of common myna who are permanent residents in my backyard are getting ready to build a nest. They have been picking carefully things like sticks, soft mushy rug and similar items for the last 3 hours. They are working tirelessly in collecting things for their nest. They seem to be very picky in the things they like to use for building. Before deciding to pick something, they go around in the ground, bushes and trees for quite some time until they are happy with their collection. I prefer to not barge into their territories and as lockdown is in place there is no way I can go around the campus compound to take a visit near them. They have beautiful voice, almost matching the captivating voice of cuckoo but not quite there.

A pair of spotted dove are enjoying their courtship. I can see there is a reason why dove and love are closely related in word and in expressions. This pair has been enjoying going around in the trees after the Sun has gone behind the building. As the coolness sets in they seem to be enjoying the evening in each other’s company. One goes above the tree the other follows. After a while one goes rushing towards the end of the backyard while the other follows. It’s like they are made for each other. Certainly looking at them you can compose a beautiful poem.

For in each other’s love, we forget the world and become each other’s world.

Dove in Love !

Water hen gets ready pair for monsoon. A pair of Water Hen is getting reading to stay here for another monsoon season. Last year they were seen during the entire monsoon, every morning going on their ritual of taking a swim in the waterhole, which is like a little pond along with other birds like little egret, pond heron, cormorant and great ibis. Lapwing was not happy enough with of them around, while all the other birds would enjoy fishing, eating, swimming and bathing in the water together with no fights.

Purple Sunbird that looks like a hummingbird. It is feeding constantly and on the move every second, you close your eyes and you will miss it. Following the birds needs a lot of patience but you get the returns in equal. I am not quite sure if I have seen any other bird with so much grit in following every flower in the garden to drink the nectar. There may be many birds which are determined, focused and dedicated in their routine for life, but I haven’t seen something so closely resembling the power of grit like the sunbird. It hopes on to every little flower on the tree and checks. Even if the wind is blowing hard and the branches are about to fall of, it holds onto it like it’s life depends on it and probably it does.

Being so little needs a lot of courage. Since purple sunbird is almost of the size of your thumb, a little smaller than sparrow, it needs a lot of energy to keep itself alive. It is super swift and illuminates like a iridescence in the sunlight especially during early morning hours.

The sparrows are multiplying like humans. I often wondered where the sparrows are, after real estate boom and mobile towers in urban cities. But lately I have been seeing a lot of sparrows in my backyard. Certainly there is an added advantage for the birds since I live on the outskirts of the city and the place is surrounded by fields, greenery and trees, which is like the best place for the birds to thrive. Sparrows like place with some dust and mud. They like to play in the dry land. They enjoy it by making small holes and dancing in it like swimming in water. They eat insects and small worms. Last year I could see around 50 of them and now they have grown over 500 for sure in the area of some 100m and some 50 trees. Their constant chirp is a remainder of nature’s sound and they are the morning alarm clock.

Apart from the disturbing pigeons of the urban world, I can see many crows, bats, squirrels and hear the sound of a cuckoo which is difficult to spot. I did see the kingfisher flying by during the noon once but it didn’t stick around. It’s about to get dark now so as all birds to back into their homes, I go into mine as well. It’s time to go watch the stars in the sky.

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Bird Watching in Surat | Black headed ibis return to the city

07-May-2020 | Surat

Black-headed Ibis have started to visit Surat since a week. They seem to be getting reading for the oncoming Monsoon season. Every year these birds come to breed in the small numbers near the ponds, waterhole, mushy areas in the city.

Black-headed Ibis are these distinct birds with a devilish look and long beak. They remind us of the fact that birds were closely related to dinosaurs in some time in the past.

Migratory Birds Seagulls visit Surat every winter

Seagulls visit Tapi River banks in Surat every year during winter in large numbers. They come in thousands and stay here for 3-4 months from November to February. This year as well they have come to taste Surti food for which they have become adapted and habituated for. It seems they keep coming to taste these tasty snacks of Surat such as gathiya, namkeen, dhokla and others. However it is not sure if this is causing them any kind of serious damage. Healthcare and Bird experts feel that they should be fed only boiled food or their natural diet to keep them safe.

However Surtis in large number are seen feeding gathiya and other snacks during early morning and evenings. Seagulls have developed a discipline to come in position to sit near the railing at the bridge and wait for someone to place the snacks. They come in turns and are seen savoring the delight. You can see seagulls getting upclose to humans, seems like they have been domesticated. Across the world, Seagulls are seen to have similar behaviour at beaches and urban establishment where often they are seen to steal food from the visitors. Seagulls eat fishes and insects as their natural diet.

They are seen taken ride in Tapi river to fulfill their taste buds. Seagulls are seen in large number near Makkai Pool, where it has become their usual breakfast and evening snacks spot. They are also seen resting in the muddy islands in Tapi River. On the other side of the city, where Tapi River looks like a lake near Singanpore, wier-cum-causeway carries a new avatar of Tapi. Here large flocks of birds are seen swimming in the water and flying at certain intervals. Below video is captured at one such instance.

Seagulls flying above Tapi River near Wier-cum-Causeway in Surat

Best time to see Seagulls near Tapi river is early mornings when the Sun is rising behind the urban infrastructure. Large number of Surtis are seen going on walks, jogging and running. They feed these birds as well. Also during evening before Sunset, you can enjoy the Sun going down near Tapi River and see the birds making large sounds as they feed on the food. You will find the darkness creating a silhoutte of the city infrastructure, in the background sunsetting into the river and in the foreground you will see these birds flying with wide open wings. A perfect time to carry your camera and click some pictures of this birds upclose as well as landscapes.

Seagulls at Makkai Pool Bridge railing waiting for food from ongoing commuters in Surat
Seagulls at Makkai Pool Bridge railing waiting for food from ongoing commuters in Surat

Try to care for these birds as they have come from far off lands possibly from the freezing cold Europe or Russia. There is not sure trace of these birds, however it is seen that every year they return to the very spot and stay for few months, before they make return to their home lands. As visitors, they bring about a beauty to our city and repeated return makes our city their favorite place. So we need to continue keeping our city clean and treat our foreign visitors with care and love as always.

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Birds that can be spotted in Surat

Birds that can be spotted in Surat

  • Little Egret
  • Water Hen
  • Pond Heron
  • Yellow Orange Shaded Heron
  • Cormorant
  • Coucal
  • Brown-Blue Kingfisher
  • Common Myna
  • Indian Koel
  • Indian Bulbul
  • Sparrow
  • Pigeon
  • Crow
  • Parrot
  • Seagull
  • Flamingoes
  • Robbin Bird

Flamingos visit Tapi River, Surat in large number every year

Flamingos visit Surat near the banks of Tapi River every year in large number. Over the last few years, the number of birds flocking in had gone down severly. However this year, large group of Flamingos was seen enjoying in the muddy little islands in the Tapi River, stretching from Pal to Magdalla.

Flamingo is a large bird with pink feathers, long, thin legs, a long neck, and a beak that curves down. They usually stand on one leg while the other is tucked beneath their bodies. Flamingos are capable flyers. Young flamingos hatch with greyish-red plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta-carotene obtained from their food supply. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored.

The greater flamingo is the tallest of the 6 different species of flamingos, standing at 3.9 to 4.7 feet (1.2 to 1.4 m) with a weight up to 7.7 pounds (3.5 kg), and the shortest flamingo species (the lesser) has a height of 2.6 feet (0.8 m) and weighs 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg). Flamingos can have a wingspan as small as 37 inches (94 cm) to as big as 59 inches (150 cm).

Flamingos filter-feed on brine shrimp and blue-green algae as well as larva, small insects, mollusks and crustaceans making them omnivores. Their bills are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat, and are uniquely used upside-down. Downstream of Tapi River in Surat, after causeway is well-suited for this type of environment, bringing in large number of Flamingos every year.

The shallow waters near Magdalla and Hazira, downstream of Tapi near Umra are home to flamingos. When the tide is over, flocks of flamingos come to shallow Tapi river to munch on the algae and insects. Check Map Below for possible spotting locations.

Flamingos can be spotted on downstream of Tapi River near Umara & Magdalla.
Upcoming extension of Tapi River Front, may provide good viewing spots.