Ranthambhore has over 330 species of birds and we are still counting. A keen birder can easily net over 120 species in 3 days, like Szabolcs Kokay and his friends did. Though the park is great for birding but the restrictions that are placed inside the Ranthambhore National Park, may not appeal to the very serious birders. There are some great birding spots outside the park and here one can walk around, which you cannot do inside the park. In fact, some of the best birding areas are on the outskirts of the park.
For birders, Ranthambhore¹s specialties are the Indian courser, Painted spurfowl, Indian skimmer, quails, larks, pipits and prinias.
Some great areas for birding are:
Bird watching trip to Surwal Lake
8 km from the lodge
A shallow seasonal lake situated between acres of agricultural fields, Surwal is home to different species of migratory birds in winters. Painted Storks, Flamingos, Spoonbills, Sarus & Demoiselle Cranes and Greylag Geese can be seen in large numbers between November and March. During this season, the best time to see birds is early in the morning. Serious bird watchers should be at the lake before sunrise. By April-May, the lake usually dries out.
Bird watching at Mansarovar Lake
12 km from the lodge
The largest lake in the area, Mansoravar lies at the southern edge of the park. It is a good place for bird watching in winters and you can see pintail ducks, geese, pelicans and herons in large numbers. However, birding in Mannsarovar involves a lot of walking and is not recommended for the beginner.
Misradhara gate to the base of the Ranthambhore Fort
10 km from the lodge
The base of the fort is a very good place for bird watching and you can see Parakeets, Doves, Flycatchers, Peacocks etc, along with a large horde of monkeys. This is also the best place to see the Painted Spurfowl. The walk form Misradhara to the fort can net you more than 50 species in slightly over two hours.
Amlideh on the Banas river
22 km from the lodge
From The Ranthambhore Bagh the road that goes to the park turns right, but if you go straight on the less-traveled path, you go to the Amlideh on the banks of the Banas. It is a very quiet and good spot for bird watching, the best place for Indian skimmers and River lapwings.
Helipad near Sherpur village
7 kilometers from the lodge
The helipad is an excellent place for larks, chats, sand grouse and other birds that prefer dry habitats.
"This was a wonderful visit. We have spotted 145 birds, 5 tigers & a sloth bear. Thank you for the excellent food and service, and the brilliant counseling for wildlife."
Richard and Solange Fernex, 250200, France.