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Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Velavadar - January, 2012

Blackbuck National Park - Velavadar, Bhavnagar, Gujarat

For me, there is always “magic” attached to a grassland! Something is always going on with the grass, inside the grass, on the grass and above the grass. Very simply put “Grass means life”! A visit to “Velavadar” will surely make one realize how important the grassland habitat is for the well being of some of India’s rarest species of wildlife. I do hope we will continue to respect, protect and add to these scarce and rich grassland habitats in India.

The grass hides many wonders!

This "Jungle Cat" is just one of them!

On my first visit to Velavadar in January 2010, among other wildlife, I was fortunate to witness a wonderful “Striped Hyena” raising her four cubs. This visit too was as fascinating as the first!

A wonderful "Nilgai" male...

The "Blue Bulls" are doing quite well and do not seem to have a predator here...

My focus as usual continued to be photographing birds. In the short two nights stay at Velavadar with M. N. Jayakumar, I was able to see and photograph an amazing variety of raptors! The grass seemed to hold an astounding amount of food for these raptors, locusts and frogs being the most abundant. At one time we had four “Short-toed Snake Eagles” hovering right above our heads as they continued to feast on Locusts by diving into the grass! Quite a mouthful for any nature lover…

Their Sharp eyes can spot a Locust in the grass!

Precision dive to grab the tit-bit!

Feeds on the wings...

Greater Spotted Eagles, Steppe Eagles, Short-toed Snake Eagles, Common Kestrels, Shikras, White-eyed Buzzards, Black-winged Kites, Eurasian Marsh, Pallid and Montagu’s Harriers all in just one morning round in the grassland! Thus, began my greatest week with raptors in India…

Food for all...Common Kestrel with Frog!

This "Tern" surprised us by suddenly diving into a pool of water and coming our with a frog!

Short and sweet. We reached Velavadar from Gir on the 21st January night by dinner time and checked into the Forest Rest House that M N Jayakumar had booked. We left Velavadar on the 23rd Morning after Breakfast and proceeded to LRK.

See you soon in LRK!

Please visit indiabirds for viewing bird images....


Vijay Cavale
January 2012