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

Lesser Florican - Sonkhaliya, Ajmer - 28th August, 2013

Watch this superb video on the Lesser Florican!

After a wonderful trip to the "Desert National Park", we left Jodhpur on the 27th of August  after breakfast, had lunch on the way and reached Ajmer late afternoon. While Pratap Singh stayed at the Forest Rest House in Ajmer, my family and myself checked into the “Mansingh Palace”.

In Ajmer, there is the very famous “Dargah” and nearby in “Pushkar” the one and only “Brahma Temple”. We briefly visited both.

Sonkhaliya - a small village on the Kota highway!

On the 28th of August, Pratap Sing and myself spent the entire day in the Sonkhaliya area. Sonkhaliya is a small village about 40 kms from Ajmer on the Kota road. We were at Sonkhaliya by 7 am. Rajender Singh, the area expert who works for the Rajasthan Forest Department was busy that morning. He joined us after lunch.We were met by “Goga” a local who led us to the Lesser Florican. Simple! Many thanks once again Dr. Gobind Sagar Bhardwaj, IFS, CCF for all the help!

Goga guides us to the Lesser Florican!

The Florican Story! 

The Lesser florican is an endangered specie of bird from the Bustard family! They are endemic to the Indian Subcontinent and prefer grassland habitats.

In July, the beginning of monsoon, the arrival of these birds for breeding is announced by the “leaping breeding displays” of the male! A few hundred birds take unique positions inside the growing crop or grass and keep jumping up and down while making a peculiar “tak, tak, tak…sound! Currently they are noticed mainly in Central and Western India.

A male Lesser Florican jumps!

It is this leaping of the male that attracts nature lovers as this is the only time they can be easily seen! Thus, the Sonkhaliya area becomes a popular destination for a couple of months starting July. Where do these birds go after breeding? How come they are hardly seen after breeding? Research -> Lesser Floricans to be fitted with satellite transmitters ! …

So, this one day, Pratap Singh and myself with the help of Goga and Rajender Singh, wandered in the area and were able to see six males displaying at various spots not very far from each other. At one spot, a male kept on jumping in the air (about 10 ft) and would land back at almost the same spot. We would hear it go “tak, tak, tak…. as it would briefly appear above the growing crop and not very far away we would hear another male go “tak, tak, tak … These two went on for quite a while and it seemed like they were competing with each other!

Lunch at the nearby "Gomti and Govind" Dhaba

We enjoyed a wonderful lunch with Goga 

After witnessing this spectacular display leaps for about ten minutes I gave up all ambition of getting a clean shot of this bird. Instead I shot a brief video of the leaps. Please see below video:

While wandering in the area we came across a large variety of birds. While Pratap Singh was happily recording various calls, I was able to photograph these birds in the Sonkhaliya area (Please visit to view these images).

Brahminy Starling, Red Collared Dove, Red-wattled Lapwing, Rock Bush Quail, Singing Bushlark.

Another fine day spent with birds!

Tomorrow, we drive to “Tal Chhapar”…

Vijay Cavale
August 2013