So you have come to Goafest to watch the birds. That’s good; you have come to the right place. Goa is home to over 450 species of birds, including 13 of the 24 species endemic to the Western Ghats. You will be thrilled to know that Goa is also famous for its considerable diversity of butterflies – with over 250 recorded species.
Goa’s small area allows you to cover the most productive birding localities from the coast to the ghats in a short timeframe. Considering that you only have a couple of days at Goafest, it is possible to spot at least 250 different species if you plan carefully. Here are a few must-see places to maximise your visit…
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary
Bondla can turn up rare species such as White-browed Bulbul and Blue-faced Malkoha, while species such as White-rumped Shama, Blue-headed Rock-thrush, Forest Wagtail, Hair-crested Drongo, and Rufous Woodpecker appear more regular here.
Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary
This is the region where many of Goa’s most sought-after species can be found, such as Ceylon Frogmouth, Malabar Trogon, Black-backed Dwarf and Blue-eared Kingfishers, White-bellied Woodpecker, Great Pied and Malabar Pied Hornbills, Nilgiri Woodpigeon, Malabar Whistling-thrush, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, Forest Eagle-owl, and Indian Pitta. Forest edges are frequented by such delights as Asian Paradise and Tickell’s Blue Flycatchers, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Flame-throated Bulbul, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, and Dark-fronted Babbler.
Chorao Island and Mayem (Maem) Lake
The tidal creeks and flooded fields throughout the rest of the island are just right for Wood, Green, and Terek Sandpipers, Temminck’s Stint, Eurasian Curlew, Western Reef-egret, Purple Heron, Striated Heron, Lesser Adjutant, and Woolly-necked Stork. The surrounding tree-covered slopes are excellent for birds such as Orange-breasted Green-pigeon, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Indian Scimitar-babbler, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Crested Serpent-eagle, and Changeable Hawk-eagle.
This is the best site in Goa for species such as Great Black-headed, Brown-headed, Heuglin’s, and Slender-billed Gulls, Caspian Terns, Lesser and Greater Sandplovers, Small Pratincole, and White-bellied Sea-eagle.
Best visited in the morning, Saligao Zor is home to the Indian Peafowl, White-cheeked and Coppersmith Barbets, Common Iora, Orange-headed Thrush, Indian Robin, Greenish Warbler, Common Tailorbird, Verditer and Tickell’s Blue Flycatchers, and Purple Sunbird.
As you can see, you are going to be surrounded by some of the most beautiful birds known to man. So watch, enjoy and have a great time at Goafest 2013.
The author is Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, BBDO India
Goafest 2013 coverage on exchange4media is presented by Patrika group.