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Goa Birding

Overview

Location - Goa, Western India

Area - 3,702 square kilometers

Nearest Airport - Dabolim International Airport, Goa

How to reach - By air to Dabolim Airport or by road from Mumbai in about 7-8 hours. Goa railway. Madgaon (Vasco-da-Gama) railway station in Goa is well connected to the Indian Rail network.

Famous for - Endemic bird species of Western Ghats topography and Mangrove bird species

Months Open - All year round

Best Time to visit - November to February



Introduction

One of the most happening and lively states of India, Goa is also an important birding venue for avid bird watchers. For many Goa is famous only for party-packed nightlife and tourist-filled beaches, but Goa has much more than what meets the eye. Besides the resplendent shorelines and vibrant nightlife, Goa also has a national park and six sanctuaries, quite a feat considering its relatively small size. The Western Ghats or the Sahyadris is a part of four sanctuaries, making it the only state that has the Ghat’s ecosystem within the state under some form of protection




What to see

Birds of Goa are seen across different landscapes, sanctuaries, natural features, and the National Park. Out of the total 16 species endemic to the Western Ghats, 7 are found in Goa alone. Some of the birds that are commonly seen in this state are the golden oriole, blue-eared kingfisher, orange-headed ground thrush, blue-faced malkoha, white-rumped shama, greenish warbler, black-naped monarch, Indian Great hornbill, Malabar grey hornbill and more.




Details

Things to do on Goa Birding Tours

Trivia

There are more than 400 bird species found across different parts of Goa. Goa has a collection of diverse habitats, ranging from mangrove swamps, river estuaries, scrubland hillsides, marshes, forests, and arid fields. This varying topography helps to sustain, breed and house migratory birds of different species quite effortlessly.

The best time birding in Goa is between November to February. Below is a list of some of the areas within the state that provide excellent bird watching opportunities.

  1. Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary – Located on Chorao island, part of the tours are conducted by boat around the mangrove swamps. Named after the famous ornithologist, the Terek sandpiper and purple heron are some of the birds found here.
  1. Carambolim Lake – Declared as a protected area, the lake and its adjoining areas are home to the oriental darter, northern pintail and more. Primarily the aquatic birds find shelter here.
  1. Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary – One of the largest sanctuaries, the Bhagwan Mahaveer sanctuary is located in southern Goa and is a haven for residents as well as migratory birds. Some of these include the white-bellied woodpecker and Malabar trogon.
  1. Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary – One of the smallest sanctuaries, the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary surprises you with the numerous species of birds of Goa it houses. The Malabar grey hornbill and blue malkoha are some of the birds seen here.
  1. Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary - Also a Global Biodiversity Hotspot, this sanctuary is important for the presence of the endangered Nilgiri wood pigeon and Malabar parakeet, grey-headed bulbul and crimson backed sunbird. You can also spot other mammals, including the tiger here.
  1. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary – Found in the southern end, this is relatively a lesser tourist destination. The walks and birding trails conducted are private. The forests here are home to the orange minivets, racket-tailed drongos, grey fronted pigeons and more.
  1. Curtorim – The area between Maina – Curtorim is a marvelous spot for bird watching. The Curtorim lake which is one of the five lakes of the Curtorim town provides shelter to both residents and migratory birds. The white-breasted water hen, rose-ringed parakeet, and green bee-eater are some of the birds seen in the Maina and Curtorim marshes and lake.
  1. Morjim Beach – This stunning north Goan beach is resting grounds for seabirds as well as shorebirds. Slender-billed gulls, white-bellied sea eagles, and Caspian terns are some of the many species seen here.
  1. Saligao – The common Iora, verditer, tailor bird and Tickell’s blue flycatcher are some of the birds found around the perennial spring in Saligao.
  1. Mayem Lake – Found in north Goa, you will find a varied number of bird species perched on treetops surrounding the lake.
  1. River Zuari – Boat safaris along the River Zuari are an enthralling and captivating ride, that introduces you to a whole range of diverse bird species. The mangrove forests of the river shelter four different types of kingfisher, the common, black-capped, white-collared and white-throated.
  1. Baga Hills/Forest/River – The red vented bulbuls, small minivet and spotted dove are some out of the many birds that can be viewed around this area.
  1. Socorro Plateau – White-cheeked barbets, plum headed parakeets are some of the species seen in this north Goa region. The Pilerne lake and Paithona stream are also known to shelter the woolly necked storks, Indian rollers, Marsh harriers and more. Some other popular areas on Goa Birding tours include Fort Aguada, Fort Tiracol, Santa Cruz and more.

How to reach

Goa can be easily called the tourist capital of the country and is hence easily accessible via rail, air, and road to all major cities of India. Internal travel within Goa’s major cities, towns, and villages are also very easy.

By Rail – Margao railway station is the main railway station in Goa and well connected to all major Indian cities via trains.

By Air – Dabolim International Airport in Goa has regular flights from most international air travel hubs and also multiple daily flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and other major airports of India.

By Road – Goa is well connected to major cities in western India like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and so on. From Mumbai, it takes about 7-8 hours of drive along a beautiful seaside highway to reach Goa.

Itinerary

Goa is too big a destination to draft out a single standard itinerary. The locations would change according to the birds and other activities that you have in mind. However, the below-given itinerary is a basic layout plan of how one can go about birding in Goa. We start from north Goa and visit the birding areas such as the Socorro Plateau, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. The birding trip will include a visit to the Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, the mangrove swamps along Zuari, Baga Forest and the Morjim Beach. The entire tour will take 4-5 days. We suggest you call us for a personalized tour plan.




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