Chupir Char birds | Flying Friends Of Oxbow Lake

Updated: Mar 22

Discover stunning birding spots of India with #Literoma senior birder Tarun.


(Wish to publish your birding experiences? Email your articles with original photos to literomainc@gmail.com. We will publish them if selected.)


It’s winter and if you feel like enjoying a small nature trip than I will give you an amazing offer of a simple but lovely outing where you will get the fresh air with a beautiful flower, garden, and a memorable bird watching experience while floating on a lazy boat in the natural lake. The morning starts here with the sweet music of numerous bird calls, starting from the birds of nearby orchards to the swimming birds of the Oxbow lake. Chupir Char birds comprise of several species.I have discussed about some of Chupir Char birds further in my article .


Oxbow Lake


Oxbow Lake

Oxbow Lake or Chupir Char is a gigantic freshwater lake located at Purbasthali, a very old and famous locality, under the Kalna sub-division of East Barddhaman district of West Bengal. Oxbow Lake is only 130 kilometers from the center of the City of Joy, Kolkata.



I reached by car there through GT Road, Assam Road and then through local narrow avenues in 3 hours. The nearest railway station Purbasthali, is also well connected by local trains in the Howrah/ Sealdah - Katwa line. Auto and Battery operated small vehicles from outside stations will reach you beside the Oxbow Lake in 10 minutes.



Flower garden at Pubashthali


Flower garden at Pubashthali

On your reaching there the first view that will welcome you is the Flower garden and Park at your right side. A nice view indeed, that will freshen up your mind and you will ensure a fantastic starting of the day.


Lazy boating on Oxbow Lake and birding on the go


Lazy boating on Oxbow Lake


Next to the park in a few steps is the starting point of the Oxbow lake. Boatmen are waiting there for the visitors with their slim long indigenous boats for your bird watching as well as casual floating in the lake. So hurry up... lets float and Capture this Beautiful moment in your Camera. The local boatmen are the birding guides too here and are acquainted with the names and behaviours of all the birds and wild lives there.


Bamboo sticks in the water body


Bamboo sticks in the water body



As soon as you start you will see so many bamboo sticks are standing in the water body here and there and almost on all the bamboo top an agile small bird is sitting there. Those are Barn Swallow. A typical winter visitor, about 18 cm long, reddish forehead, having blackish-blue throat band and white belly and bifurcated tail. Fly very swiftly and come back again and again to the same bamboo sticks. These bamboo sticks are there for birds to sit on them and the visitors are able to capture this most beautiful and stunning moment.


Barn Swallow and Lesser Whistling Ducks



Meantime you will start hearing so many birds cheering in front of you and from 50-100 ft flocks of brown-colored Lesser Whistling Ducks are there. A widespread resident bird, gorgeous in nature, about 42 cm in size in abundant no.



Common Coot, Cotton Pygmy Goose and Little Grebe



Side by side some shining-blackish grey bird with a prominent white shield over the upper bill you will see, are Common Coot with a no of small-size ducks, Cotton Pygmy Goose & Little Grebe, a very fast swimmer and if threatened, vanishes underwater in seconds.


Bronze-winged Jacana and Pheasant-tailed Jacana



Just look at the floating hyacinth chunks and you will see Golden-black and yellow-white bird groups. They are Bronze-winged Jacana and Pheasant-tailed Jacana. Both are about 30-cm, long-legged birds walk over the vegetation in most of the time.


Common Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfishers, Stork-billed Kingfisher and Pied Kingfisher



Now some small blue motionless sitting birds will come in your view, they are the Common Kingfishers. Similar types the bigger ones are White-throated Kingfishers and the biggest one is Stork-billed Kingfisher.

All remain seated over bamboo sticks or other perches over lake water and suddenly jump inside the water and come back to the same perch with a fish in mouth. One most interesting black and white Kingfisher is Pied Kingfisher which is a specialist in hovering over water and target fish and catches it in the blink of an eye so accurately you will be surprised.


Gadwall


Gadwall bird

A bigger size of grayish-white ducks, floating in groups at distant water you may see now. About 42 cm in size, male-female in groups are Gadwall. They are here in winter, meantime keep an eye in the sky above you. Raptors like Osprey, Oriental Honey Buzzard, and Marsh Harrier may be seen to glide over the lake for food. At the same time Golden Jackals residing at the side of the lake may be seen to come out frequently from their dens in search of food.



Osprey, Oriental Honey Buzzard, and Marsh Harrier



Golden Jackal

Golden Jackal

Your boat now arrives at such a location where you will see red dots in good numbers moving over water at distant patches. As you become closer and closer the congregation detail gets clear to you.

The main attraction of the marshland is in front of you, obviously at a distance. The Black and red colored Red Crested Pochard, the beautiful winter visitor of Purbasthali are visible now. They are about 55 cm in size and feeds in groups of males and females. Although the male is very colorful with red bills females are dull in color as almost always in case of other most of the birds.



Red Crested Pochard



Side by side, a bit smaller brown colored beautiful ducks will be seen in pairs. Another bright chestnut color headed ducks you will see on the other side of the boat, about 50 cm in size is another beautiful winter visitor of the lake, the Eurasian Wigeon.


Ferruginous ducks and Eurasian Wigeon



You must feel hungry by this time and yes you must carry some food and drinking water, caps, umbrella (optional) with you.

Now on your way back, you will see some of the most elusive birds of the lake. They are sitting in right in front of you and even after the boatman showing you, That’s called Small Pratincole. Very beautiful highly camouflaged bird it is, remain seated on the islands of the lake. Lastly a flock of Grey headed Lapwings sitting on the floating vegetation will bid you goodbye.



Small Pratincole and Grey-headed Lapwings


These are a few of the varieties of Chupir Char birds. More precious Chupir Char birds are still there for your next visit. You Should Visit this beautiful lake that Represents the Natural Beauty with Different Types of Colorful Chupir Char birds that are the Most Attractive for Photographers To Capture This Moment. Thanks For Visiting Please Share Your Thoughts in Comments.

Oxbow Lake

If you are a bird lover, don't forget to carry bird food. You can always have a nice time feeding the birds and appreciating nature.







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