Surajpur Bird Sanctuary - May 2019
Surajpur Bird Sanctuary || May 5, 2019
Summer Birding, packing tips and bird list—a quick guide to India's Surajpur Bird Sanctuary.
According to the Uttar Pradesh Eco Tourism website, 220 species of plants including 155 Herbs, 11 shrubs, 36 trees and 18 species of Hebasius Climbers have been recorded. The website also mentions about 180 bird species and 13 species of fishes being recorded. Bird watchers who frequent the place, believe it to be a paradise owing to its close proximity to Delhi.
Heard of Pari Chowk? It will indeed transport you instantly to the Greater Noida region of the National Capital Region of Delhi. We will take you back to the bygone era and some parts of mythology. Let us get you familiar with the entire area starting from Pari Chowk to the lake of Surajpur.
I was not far from Hindon – a tributary of River Yamuna. There are many stories around it – some from the recent past and some from folk stories.I wanted to unearth all that and more. Greater Noida has produced not just famous freedom fighters of India, but is believed to be the birth place of Viseshwa Rishi, demon king Ravan's father! Interestingly, the current Noida-Greater Noida expressway’s Nalgara area was used by Bhagat Singh, Sukh Dev and Rajguru as a hideout!
The Nature Lounge Experience
Nature Lounge visited the Surajpur Bird Sanctuary on 5th of May 2019 for summer bird watching.
Thanks to Google Maps, it wasn’t difficult to reach the wetlands of Surajpur. However, you might end up missing the small dusty road leading to the place. If you are speeding past the area, you are sure to miss it on your first visit.
The huge doors of the road open and instantly transport you to a different world. The temperature is a bit on the lower side even on a summer morning. The security guard is dressed in a typical kurta and dhoti that would remind you of the royal Rajasthan.
The guard closes the door the moment you enter to probably increase your anxiety levels. But, once you spot some 15-20 cars parked there, you are sure you have not made a mistake.
A walk onto the oval shaped track takes you to an expansive green space. At about 6:30 in the morning, you don’t even hear any city sounds. It is almost as if you have been left and locked up inside a jungle. There is a water body – the Sujarpur Lake – that defines Surajpur Bird Sanctuary. The clearly marked out trail that takes you through the deep forest area. Most people do not take the entire oval round, hence many a places inside the forest area are not just unexplored, but pay off well.
There are watch towers all over to get those ariel shots and to familiarise with the birds. There are benches as well so that one can rest a bit. My favourite spot is the woodlands area. It is a perfect spot to sit down, relax and breathe in some fresh air while the birds start feeling comfortable with you around.
On the day we visited, Flamingos stole the show. They obliged the photographers with some great shots and I was thrilled to watch and observe them with my binoculars at the Surajpur wetlands.
To get some better views and shots of the Flamingos, we decided to get to the other side of the lake. And, it did pay off. The other side, since not frequented by visitors, was literally a gold mine for bird watchers. We were pleasantly surprised to see a family of Sarus Crane and a beautiful nest by Alexandrine Parakeet. Alexandrine rewarded our patience by appearing just when we were about to leave.
Our Recordings and Sightings
On the 5th of May 2019, we recorded the following.
- Rose Ringed parakeet
- Yellow Bellied Prinia
- Blue Tailed Bee Eater
- Green Bee Eater
- Greater Flamingo
- Alexandrine Parakeet
- Red Naped Ibis
- Black Winged Stilt
- Lesser Whistling Duck
- Spot Billed Duck
- Asian Koel - Female
- Black Drongo
- Wire Tailed Swallow
- Woolly Necked Stork
- Purple Heron
- Black Tailed Godwit
- Streaked Weaver
- Spotted Redshank
- Yellow Footed Green Pigeon
- Painted Stork
- Yellow Wattled Lapwing
- Bar Headed Goose
- Garganey Duck
- Black Winged Stilta
- Sarus Crane
- Common Egret
- Eurasian Spoonbill
- Black Necked Ibis
- Grey heron
- Asian Pied Starling
- Common Starling
- Black Necked Stork
- Purple Swamphen
- Golden Jackal
Timings/Fees: Official timings 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM. There is no entry fees.
Also, there is no dedicated parking space. However, the guard can be bribed to enter the park around 6:30 am and park almost anywhere! A picnic is however not allowed to retain the sanctity of the place and keep it clean.
Duration: One round trip of the entire track can take you anywhere between two to two and a half hours.
Facilities: Washrooms are not visit-worthy and there is no shop selling any eatables. Also, the approach or the route is not marked properly, so, ensure that you do not miss the small road to the sanctuary.
What to Carry?
- Bird watching binoculars with a comfortable binoculars harness since the entire circuit can take you around 2 hours.
- A camera with a telephoto lens
- A monopod
- A camera bean bag
- A tripod mount for camera bean bag
- A green throw over net so that you are perfectly camouflaged
- A lens cleaning pen since it is a dusty track
- A tripod shoulder pad
- A pouch with quick access to extra batteries and memory cards
- Additional battery and memory cards
- A camouflage umbrella
- Comfortable full sleeves clothing
- Non-bulky lowers
- A Hat/cap to protect from the sun
- Dry fruits or quick snacks. Ensure you do not leave behind any plastic waste behind
- A water bottle to keep you hydrated
- Currency change upto INR 50 to pay to the guard
- Shoes that can protect you from thorns
- A day bag to keep your necessities
- A mobile in case you stray away from the group and want to connect back
How To Reach Surajpur Bird Sanctuary?
Driving down is the best way to reach Surajpur Bird Sanctuary. We took our Hyundai i10 and it was easy to park a smaller car there.
- IGI Airport, New Delhi to Surajpur 50 kms.
- New Delhi Railway Station to Surajpur 42 kms.
- Old Delhi Railway Station to Surajpur 40 kms.
- Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station to Surajpur 33 kms.
- Ashram (Delhi) to Surajpur via Dadri Road 28.5 kms.
- Ashram (Delhi) to Surajpur via Noida Expressway Road 41.3 kms.
- Sarai Kale Khan (Delhi) to Surajpur via Noida Link Road 38 kms.
- Agra to Surajpur through Yamuna Expressway 175 kms.
(Yamuna expressway is a 6-Lane, 165 kms. long, controlled-access expressway, connecting Greater Noida with Agra. It is India's longest 6-lane controlled-access expressway stretch)
Image Courtesy: UP Ecotourism Media Cell/Samsung S4 cellphone
Nature Lounge Rating: *** stars