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Early Winter Escape to Gajoldoba Wetlands


gajoldoba-grey-headed lapwing
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27th Oct 2019 – Wetlands of Gajoldoba never fails to allude me. It was in an abrupt plan to visit this magical wetland. It was a family tour and we started off at 2.00 pm from Jalpaiguri.

In this article, I will focus primarily on waterbirds(both resident and migratory) that are there at Gajodoba at the onset of this winter. To know about accommodation options, how to reach, the best time to visit and other details about Gajodoba please visit the below links-

Tapas my boatman

I reached Gajoldoba at 3.00 pm. I could not contact with Tapas – my boatman for all of my trips to Gajoldoba as his mobile was out of range for the last 2 hours. As I reached the ferry boarding point, Tapas was sitting on his boat. We exchanged glances and greeted me with his usual shy smile. Without any further delay, we set forth to scan the area.

Early Migrants of Gajoldoba

As it already too late, we decided to be within the basin area and not to venture into the main river. During December and January, the basin area itself is filled with ‘aang-aang’ call of Ruddy Shellduck and pochards flock around. In the last week of October, the area is silent and ‘hogla’ grass has really grown thick and fast. Tapas told me a fellow birder from Jalpaiguri visited a week before and captured good shots of sandpiper and different species of lapwing.

We were in the basin area for an hour. The water level is abysmally low at places and it was impossible to navigate. For the last three years, I have been to Gajoldoba. For the first time, I could capture grey-headed lapwing. Not a common migrant of Gajoldoba – the same was also corroborated by Tapas.

This winters Gajoldoba is likely to give us migrants. Looking forward to exploring this magical wetland in November with my old companion – Tapas.

Other birds found are – River Lapwing, Sandpiper and Pied Kingfisher.

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