Continuing from part 1
With large congregation of birds, it is very likely that one get to see some action. Some of the birds are territorial, some are actively fishing, others hunting and every now and then a squabble will ensue. Mangalajodi did not disappoint. We were always on a lookout for action and I had a few images pre-visualized based on what I had seen of Mangalajodi.
One of the most surprising bird for me turned out to be the Black-headed Ibis. I will be honest with you, on multiple occasions I have ignored the Ibis and moved on to other birds. I did not know their reputation as awesome hunters back then. We saw multiple successful hunts by these badass birds during our visit. These guys will keep at it and dig until they locate their victim (in all hunts it turned out to be snakes were their favorite). A few smooth scaled water snakes is what I found out these guys were interested in. These birds now have my deepest respect.
But these were not the only hunters on the prowl. Egrets and herons were fishing very often. Very often a little fight will start to reserve the exclusive rights to the hunting ground. Boatmen seem to be aware of the signs that precede such fights. A slight stance change, a deep call, fluffing of the feathers to appear large, I am just speculating. We got a chance to witness some of this action too.
Talking of large hunters, how can one overlook the purple heron. This large bird is an epitome of patience I think. A very cunning hunter and an opportunistic robber too. Unfortunately, luck was not on our side and we did not get an image of a purple heron with a very large prey. Well, next time I hope..
We realized that going back to our accommodation was just taking away the afternoon. Instead, if we want we could probably cram in a couple of extra boat rides (even if the light will be harsh). Thankfully, Godwit staff agreed to deliver us the lunch at boating area. We would grab our lunch right there and grab a nap for a few minutes. Apart from getting a couple of extra rides, I was personally happy that we avoided the bumpy ride back and forth from the cottage as my back was killing me by sitting on the hard floor of the boat. During the noon when activity was low, I would even stretch myself in the boat and sleep until something interesting came along. Sleeping in the boat was a great experience and you must try that when you visit. The tea stall guy at the jetty was super friendly and would keep snack ready whenever we asked. He even made ginger tea for us, which is not very common in that area.
Problem that I am dealing with now is that I have too many images, that I would like to share. Unfortunately, that will mean a very very long post. Let me take that up in the next post. To be continued…