Golden Birds of 'Little Rann of Kutch'

Updated: 5 days ago

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 if selected.)


There are places on earth, which may surprise you with its simplicity only. An almost endless view of a blank world still full of wild lives including birds is nothing but a surprise to enjoy. Yes I am talking about the white land of saline sand and clay of Gujarat, called Little Rann of Kutch, in short LRK. Rann means Desert in Hindi.


Little Rann of Kutch

Little Rann of Kutch

Little Rann of Kutch is a vast land of desert like place of white saline sands. It’s about 4950 square km of blank space on earth and still is a place full of wild lives including variety of birds. Its located near Surendranagar, a place about 170 km from Ahmedabad Airport and about 40 km from Ahmedabad – Kutch Highway. Nearest Railway station to Little Rann of Kutch is Dharangadhra, about 45 kms.

Only way to visit the Little Rann of Kutch is by hiring cars, easily available in the area with expert drivers and guides. The vastness of Little Rann of Kutch is a definite chance of getting directionless as soon as you enter 10 to 20 kms inside the desert. Only local guides are the masters here to get you back home.


Way through the salt desert

Way through the salt desert

At distant places in Little Rann of Kutch stray temporary huts are there inhibited by Agaris, the salt producers in local language. They lead a very tough life and produce salt by creating salt panes and standing waters. A large portion of salt used in our country is produced here in Little Rann of Kutch. In the rainy season the entire area gets flooded with water from the Gulf of Kutch. Entire area of Little Rann of Kutch remains under 4-6 ft of water for about one month. And as the water dries up small shrimps, insects, make the area rich in food for birds. Wide variety of birds then appears to enjoy the gift.

This desert is the only place in the world where you will see Asiatic Wild Asses. Its endemic to this place and endangered species too.


Asiatic Wild Asses


As soon as small birds start coming to the place, following the typical food chain formula of nature various Raptors arrive here in the same period. On the other side, the flat water areas get filled with variety of water birds and waders.


Sociable Lapwings, Sand Grouse and Ashy crowned Sparrowlak


Crested Lark and Brahminy Starling


Commonly found birds of Little Rann of Kutch are - Sociable Lapwings, Sand Grouse, Ashy crowned Sparrowlak, Crested Lark, Brahminy Starling, Isabeline Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, White eared Bulbuls and Common Cranes.


Isabeline Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, White eared Bulbuls and Common Cranes


There are also Raptors like Montagu’s Harrier, Macqueen’s Bustard, Palid Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Western Marsh Harrier, Steppe Eagle,(021) Long legged Buzzards etc in Little Rann of Kutch. A nice big sized Short eared Owl you will see at this time just by the side of the acacia trees and dry grasses.


Montagu’s Harrier, Macqueen’s Bustard and Palid Harrier


Peregrine Falcon, Western Marsh Harrier, Steppe Eagle and Long legged Buzzards


Short eared Owl

Short eared Owl

On the other side of Little Rann of Kutch , in the water front Painted Stork, Great white Pelicans and beautiful Greater Flamingos make the waterscape brilliant. Just to have a different trip and sighting of an ever remembering wildlife LRK is the place.


Painted Stork, Great white Pelicans and beautiful Greater Flamingos.


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