Sunday, 26 February 2012
Saturday 25th - Birdwatching at Sultanpur
Another early start as we are collected by our driver at 6.00 a.m. for the 90 minute drive, south westwards from Delhi to Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary. Here we have a boiled egg breakfast at the Rosy Pelican cafe and meet our guide, Sanjay, who has brought his friend Anuroop Krishnan with him. They are both very knowledgable and are soon identifying various birds for us. Even before we leave the car park they find an owl sleeping in one of the trees.
The reserve is laid out around a shallow lake with various types of habitat in different places. There are islands in the lake, one of which is home to a colony of painted storks. There are many other waterbirds and waders around as well as at least four different large raptors. We saw both Imperial eagles and a crested serpent eagle. R is even lucky enough to see a jungle cat which D misses as he is looking up for birds.
As well as the larger birds there were lots of smaller LBJs (little brown jobs) as well as some more brightly coloured and noisy ones. This one is the Coppersmith Barbet which makes a noise like a slightly faulty oil pump. And it does it non-stop for hours at a time. Eventually we finished our circuit and got back into the car for the return drive which took nearly an hour longer due to the traffic.
We had a beer while we waited for the sun to ease off, and then took the metro to Old Delhi to do some spice shopping and watch the world go by. We had enjoyed our meal at Karim's so much last week that we decided to go back again to try the sheesh kebabs that we had seen on the grill. Inevitably sheesh kebabs "is orf" so we settled for a shami kebab and mutton burru with rice, daal and roti. A splendid meal for less than £6.
D had the call and had to make use of one of the street urinals. Verdict - "Seen much worse in Tetley pubs". We went for a wander further into the Old Town down streets where there was hardly any lighting. There were some fascinating shops and stalls to be seen but they weren't the sort of place that you would find on your average UK High Street. We managed not to get lost got home safely via the metro.