Sunday, 12 November 2017


The highlight of the Indian trip for me,was the two visits I made to the Crane sanctuary at Kheechan.Over forty years ago a man named Ralanla Maloo started to feed the Pigions,Sparrows and Peacocks in the village.Then one September he noticed ten Cranes feeding with them.The following year 150 were present.Over the years the numbers grew and now up to 15,000 may be present.The birds are fed with grain in fenced paddocks to keep them safe from the village dogs.Ralanla has now died,but others have now taken over the responsibility of the Cranes.Only about 500 Cranes feed in the paddocks at anyone time.Others wait on the nearby sand dunes and lakes for them to return and then take their place.The site has now been officially recognised and more land is being acquired for the Cranes and visitor viewing areas have been improved.

At Kheechan I saw the following birds - Demoiselle Crane,Spoonbill,Shoveler,Spotted Redshank,Ruff,L R Plover,Red wattled Lapwing,Pigeon,Collared Dove,Chestnut bellied Sandgrouse,Black Drongo,Yellow Wagtail (resembling M f supercillaris) Brown Rock Chat,Teal,Little Grebe,Little Egret,Wigeon,Pond Heron and Common Sandpiper.

During our stay in India,we visited Jodhpur,Delhi,Mumbai and Bikaner.I only saw 4 Vultures,all Egyptian.Up until around fifteen or more years ago,Vultures were present in their millions.The veterinary drug Dicofenac used on cattle (now officially not used),caused the birds death when they fed on dead animals that had been treated with the drug).

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