As I walked along the solitary beach, I heard waves gently lapping over the soft sands, glistening in the morning sun. Along the shore, a flock of Heuglin’s Gulls strolled emphatically. They seemed completely unaware of my presence, wandering as if they owned the beach. Looking around and not finding a single soul, I was convinced too. Their melancholy calls filled the calm morning air. For a while, I lingered in this paradise, suffused with a strange sense of serenity.
Best Places For Bird Watching In Diu
In the first instance, Diu may not seem much of a birding destination for travellers. However, interested bird watchers can discover the varied avifauna that has their home here.
Diu is a small island located south of the Gir-Somnath district of Gujarat, off the Gulf of Khambhat (Gulf of Cambay) in the Arabian Sea. It is a part of the Union territory of Daman and Diu.
Diu is a bird watching paradise for those who want to spend some quality time watching birds.
And the best part is you can do that without the crowd bothering you with their bird watching binoculars or DSLR cameras.
So if you are game for a peaceful bird watching holiday, then Diu is your destination. The two best places for bird watching in Diu are Gomatimata Beach and Fudam Bird Sanctuary.
I chanced upon these feathered wonders accidentally at Gomatimata Beach, a lesser known beach on the leftmost portion of Diu Island. Here I noticed large numbers of Heuglin’s Gulls roaming around freely by the beach. They are generally found in profusion along the Gujarat coast where they migrate to.
Fudam Bird Sanctuary
A second site where you will be able to do a lot of bird watching is at the Fudam Bird Sanctuary. Located in Fudam town quite near to the Gangeshwar Temple, it is both a bird sanctuary as well as a forest department. A long road with wetlands on both sides leads up to the small forest office.
It is here that I found four Lesser Flamingos tiptoeing across the wetland. While I was photographing the birds, a forest ranger came out of the office. He noticed my keen interest in birds asked me where I was coming from. He was a tiny, erudite man who had spent his entire life as a forest officer in Gujarat. He was from Diu and after retirement had settled here. He had an immense knowledge of birds. He took me to his office and showed me a small book named “Birds of India” whose pages had turned yellow but which he still used as a guide.
We walked together spotting and discussing birds. The common birds that he mentioned could be found in Diu were: Flamingo, Black Winged Stilt, Blue Rock Pigeon, Rose Winged Parakeet, Common Babbler, Grey Heron, Spoonbill, Small Blue Kingfisher, Common Hawk Cuckoo and Lagar Falcon.
Morning and evening were the best time to spot the birds. He pointed to the watchtower which was under construction. It gave a bird’s eye view of the entire area. He seemed really proud of this place. We spotted a Cattle Egret and two Black Winged Stilts along the way.
I bade goodbye to him and started on my way back. Somehow I knew I would remember him. And the birds too.
Have you been bird watching in Diu?