Kota; a city famous for stones, known for its sari artisans and today a proverbial gate to the heaven for those aspiring to be an IITian. Kota - the city where I was born; where I practically spent all my holidays during the growing up years; the city which I knew like back of my hand, the city I had explored enough in my teen years itself - or so I thought till it decided to surprise me this month.
I had planned a quick tour to Kota this month for attending to a few family matters when a chance browse through internet alerted me to a possibility of birding at Kota.
Though birding and photography has been a recent passion, and there had not been any occasion for me to travel to Kota since then. Yet the fact also remains that I had never thought about exploring the nature around Kota. I was totally blind to the possibilities that its being situated at the bank of Chambal opened up - for hosting migrants of flying variety.
To be honest, as I stood at Alania dam braving gulabi thandi of February, the first glimpse did not evoke much excitement. The landscape looked like just another one, lush green fields around a lake, a couple of fishing boats, some waders at the bank and a few egrets perched on the dam. A flock of Greater Flamingos at the other end of the lake though looked promising enough.
Getting down to the bank of the lake, things looked placid enough at the waterfront too. The usual suspects were all around - an indian roller being harried by crows, a few river terns, lesser ringed plovers, sandpipers, wagtails. Yet something looked amiss. Though I got busy capturing the images, my feelings were just like the flock of stone plovers who stood watching as if waiting for something spectacular to change the mood.
And then, invisible so far, like a phantom, in the tall shoots of the crop, they rose like phoenix from the fields, in numbers which I had not seen anywhere till date – The Great White Pelicans, decided to give us a fly past and crowded the sky. A short run before taking off to the sky and then that smooth landing in the water - genuinely these elegant creatures should really be called the magnificent flying machines. But more about them in another post. Meanwhile, already busy flyway in the sky, was increasingly used more as bar headed geese and spoonbills, not so many in numbers though, decided not be left behind while a flock of waders kept roaming at the eye level.
Amidst all this activity remained stood two – one, that flock of greater flamingos on the opposite bank – stationery but also a bit restless, their indecisiveness like Hemlet - to fly or not to - mirrored in the water of Alania Dam;
& the other – myself, busy romancing the birds in this city of stone, with trigger happy fingers capturing the images that can be seen by clicking on any of the images below: