Another “Looking up from lockdown“ tour to top Indian birding destinations, taking advantage of a relaxation in COVID-19 restrictions, this time visiting two of the best desert birding sites in Rajasthan. Overall birding was as usual fantastic, and we definitely felt safer being in outside environments in remote and uncrowded places, than stuck at home in towns and cities hardly getting out!
Driving from Delhi, we spent two nights near Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary, one at Bikaner to visit Jorbeer Vulture Conservation Reserve, and three at Sam in the Thar Desert for the Desert National Park. We drove back, and spent a further night in Pushkar.
Altogether we saw 209 species in just over a week, including travel days. Rajasthan has spectacular birding and, more than just the species numbers, the birding experiences were wonderful. It’s hard to single out a highlight, but to end up seeing 10 different Great Indian Bustards—almost 10% of the remaining global population—was up there of course.