Gir Forest in Gir Somnath region of Gujarat has emerged as one of the best birding – bird watching place in India. Having geographical advantage of dense forest area, grasslands, water conservations, rocky hills & cliffs, serves the needs of various migratory as well as resident bird species.
As per the records Gir National Park and Gir Sanctuary has population of around 300 bird species, a large amount of them are resident and around 50 to 60 species are migratory birds.
Rivers, lakes and Check Dam Reservoirs are considerable territory for various bird groups due to fish, crabs, insects and water lives, nest made from water plants, and also resides within the those nest made them protected from view.
The scavenger group of birds has six species of vultures and few of them typical species of Gir Forest comprise Bonelli’s Eagle (Endangered), Crested Serpent Eagle, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Peregrine Falcons, Tawny Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Red-Headed Falcon, Rock eagle-owl (aka Indian Eagle-owl), Brown Fish Owl, Indian Peacock, brown-capped pygmy woodpecker (aka Indian pygmy woodpecker), Rock Bush-Quail, Black-Headed Oriole, Indian crested treeswift and Pitta Brachyura .
1. Hiran River Stream around Hotel Anil Farmhouse
In Gir Forest – Hiran River surrounding area is best location to spot the many resident and migratory birds along with crocodiles! Since Hiran River’s water levels are low and prey – fishes and other aquatic invertebrate are easy to access, you may often spot Painted Stork, Red-wattled Lapwing, Western Reef-Heron, Indian Pond-Heron, Black-headed Ibis, Red-naped Ibis, Dusky Crag-Martin, Common Buzzard and Brahminy Kite.
On the bank of Hiran River – An Eco Friendly Nature Resort called Hotel Anil Farmhouse is located with around 12 acres mango orchard and different varieties of fruit trees and green plantations. Having advantage of Hiran River Bank and Greenery on site, you can spot many bird species in resort. During the monsoon season, Flocks of Sarus Cranes throng the Gir Forest and Hiran River surrounding for breeding.
Paradise Flycatchers, Green Pigeons, Indian Pitas, Orangeheaded Thrushes, Indian Rollers and Crested Serpent Eagles are a few others that can be seen while birding here.
Rose Ring Parakeet, Yellow-throated Sparrow, Green Bee-eater, Ashy Drongo, Common Tailorbird, Wire-tailed Swallow, Oriental Magpie-Robin, Red-breasted Flycatcher and many other birds have built their nests on the trees of Hotel Anil Farmhouse. While roaming around you can listen to the sweet chirping of birds all day.
2. Kankai-Banej Forest
In the core of Gir Forest, Kankai-Banej is pristine jungle area. You’ve to take necessary entry permit (Entry is free) to go there and you’ve to take exit from jungle within given time limit before sunset – usually 5pm.
Kankai – Banej forest area is a extremely wild zone where you can hear lions roar and other wildlife animals drinking water at the nearby lake.
Group of Indian Peafowl – Peacocks roaming with spreading feathers are easily spotted here.
3. Gir Jungle Trail Safari
Gir Jungle Trail Safari is one of the opportunities in Gir National Park and Sanctuary to spot lion and leopard along with other wildlife like Spotted Deer – Chital, Indian Gazelle – Chinkara, Four-Horned Antelope (the only four-horned ungulate in the world), Blue Bull – Nilgai, Hyena, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Wild Boar, Hare and other mammals.
In Canvas Tops Open Gypsy passing through rough terrain of thick Gir Forest you can seize each moment to capture sights of rare birds. While birding in Gir Forest during Open Gypsy Safari you may spot some feathered birds are Pied Woodpeckers, Grey Drongoes, Black Ibises, Shrikes, Indian Eagle Owls, Bonelli’s Eagles, Tawny Eagles, Shaheen Falcons, Painted Sandgrouses, Jungle Bush Quails, Black-Headed Cuckoos and Nightjars.
4. Kamleshwar Dam
Kamleshwar Dam located in middle of Gir Forest Sanctuary Area, built on Hiran River. Kamleshwar Dam Reservoir is home of Mugger Crocodile and variety of birds.
You can sight crocodiles floating on the surface over there or near the bank basking in the sun light. And many colorful birds group can be spotted here. Some of the interesting birds you can find in Kamleshwar Dam area are Grey Drongo, Sirkeer Cuckoo, White-necked Stork, Bonnelli’s Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Shikra Hawk, Paradise Flycatcher, Western Reef-Heron, Indian Pond-Heron, Black-headed Ibis, Red-naped Ibis, Dusky Crag-Martin, Painted Sandgrouse, Bush Quail, Crested Hawk Eagle, and Grey Francolin.
This place is surrounded by dense forest, and quite scenic due to catchment of the Kamleshwar Dam – you can visit this place during wildlife safari. There is a Watch Tower on the bank of reservoir; one can capture scenic beauty of park. One often sees crocodiles, birds, Deer and other wildlife drinking water, if you are lucky enough you may even get a chance of sighting a Lion drinking water here.
5. Jasadhar Sanctuary
En route through Tulsishyam Temple from forest check post of Jasadhar Sanctuary in Gir Forest area, you can see birds like Brown-Capped pygmy Woodpecker, Jungle Bush Quail, Plum Headed Parakeet, Green Bee Eater (aka Little Green Bee-Eater), River Kingfisher, Crimson Breasted Barbet (aka Coppersmith), Black Drongo (aka King Crow), Indian Peacock (aka Indian peafowl), Indian Robin (aka Copsychus fulicatus), Various types of Bulbul , Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Magpie Robin, Treepie or Rufous Treepie, Shikra (aka Accipiter), Ring-necked Parakeet (aka Rose-ringed parakeet), Black Shouldered Kite, Indian White Eye, Indian Paradise Flycatcher, Indian Pond Heron, Bubulcus Ibis (aka Cattle Egret), Black Headed Ibis, Red-Naped Ibis, Indian Nightjars, Golden Oriole & Black-headed Oriole,Treeswift (aka Crested Swift), Painted Sandgrouse, White Bellied Minivet, Sunbird (aka Spiderhunters) and various group of Warblers.
Gir National Park remains closed during monsoon from period of 15th June to 15th October. Winter period from November to March is an incredible period to explore Gir Forest. For good Bird Watching experience you must collaborate with people who have good eyes and ears combinations to spot the birds and wildlife.
Here are Few List of Birds you can spot in Gir Sanctury & Gir National Park
|• Ashy Prinia||• Purple Sun Bird||• Indian blackbird|
|• Asian Koel||• Red Headed Ibis||• Indian paradise flycatcher|
|• Asian Paradise Flycatcher||• Red Vented Bulbul||• Indian peafowl|
|• Bank Myna||• Red-wattled Lapwing||• Indian Rufous Treepie|
|• Baya Weaver||• Rose Ring Parakeet||• Indian scops owl|
|• Black Drongo||• Rufus Tree pie||• Indian silverbill|
|• Black Shouldered Kite||• Shikra||• Indian vulture|
|• Black winged Stilt||• Spotted Dove||• Indian white-eye|
|• Brahminy Starling||• Spotted Owlet||• Jungle babbler|
|• Cattle Egret||• White Breasted Kingfisher||• Jungle nightjar|
|• Common Hoopoe||• White Breasted Water Hen||• Large grey babbler|
|• Common Iora||• White Wagtail||• Large-billed Crow|
|• Common Kingfisher||• Wire tailed Swallow||• Lesser yellownape woodpecker|
|• Common Myna||• Yellow Footed Green Pigeon||• Little egret|
|• Common Pigeon||• Yellow Wagtail||• Little ringed plover|
|• Common Tailor Bird||• Ashy drongo||• Long-tailed shrike|
|• Copper Smith Barbet||• Barn swallow||• Mottled wood owl|
|• Eurasian Collared Dove||• Black redstart||• Oriental magpie-robin|
|• Great Tit||• Black-rumped flameback||• Osprey|
|• Greater Coucal||• Booted eagle||• Pale-billed flowerpecker|
|• Green Bee Eater||• Brown-capped pygmy woodpecker||• Pied kingfisher|
|• Grey Wagtail||• Changeable hawk-eagle||• Purple sunbird|
|• House Crow||• Citrine wagtail||• Red-breasted flycatcher|
|• House Sparrow||• Common sandpiper||• Red-rumped swallow|
|• Indian Jungle Crow||• Common tailorbird||• Red-vented bulbul|
|• Indian Nightjar||• Common woodshrike||• Rose-ringed parakeet|
|• Indian Pea fowl||• Coppersmith barbet||• Small minivet|
|• Indian Pond Heron||• Crested honey buzzard||• Tawny eagle|
|• Indian Robin||• Crested treeswift||• Tickell’s blue flycatcher|
|• Jungle Babler||• Dusky Crag Martin||• Western reef heron|
|• Laughing Dove||• Eastern imperial eagle||• White-bellied minivet|
|• Little Swift||• Eurasian golden oriole||• White-breasted waterhen|
|• Oriental Honey Buzzard||• Great egret||• White-browed fantail|
|• Oriental Magpie Robin||• Green sandpiper||• White-browed wagtail|
|• Oriental White Eye||• Grey francolin||• White-throated kingfisher|
|• Oriental White Ibis/Black Headed Ibis||• Grey heron||• Wire-tailed swallow|
|• Plum Headed Parakeet||• Woolly-necked stork||• Yellow-crowned woodpecker|
|• Yellow-throated sparrow|
Place to stay
Hotel Anil Farmhouse – A Luxury Family Resort located on the banks of Hiran River, only 9Km away from Devaliya – Gir Interpretation Zone and 4Km away from Sinh Sadan, Sasan Gir. Hotel Anil Farmhouse offers 25 AC Rooms in three different categories i.e. Superior Suite, Riverview Rooms & Luxurious Family Suite. All rooms are elegantly designed and equipped with modern amenities. Each room at Hotel Anil Farmhouse is air conditioned and has a LED Flat TV with beautiful views from the balcony. All rooms include a seating area where you can relax. Enjoy a cup of tea from your balcony. One can enjoy beautiful views of the Hiran River and the surrounding hills.
Guests staying at the resort can enjoy outdoor Swimming Pool, Experience the Farm visit to Mango Orchard and Nursery, go for a riverside walk or simply relax amidst natural beauty and spend quality time with their dear ones.
The Riverview Restaurant serves a Gujarati & Punjabi Cuisines. Snacks and hot tea / coffee can be enjoyed looking at nature and wildlife on bank of Hiran River.
The nearest railway station is Junagadh, 52 km from the Hotel Anil Farmhouse, Sasan Gir.
The nearest airport is Diu Airport, 98 km from the Hotel Anil Farmhouse, Sasan Gir.
By Car Ahmedabad 370km and Rajkot 155 km from the Hotel Anil Farmhouse, Sasan Gir.