Khijadia Bird Sanctuary is a unique wetland area with sea water on one side and fresh water on one side. This area which is about 12 km from Jamnagar (Gujarat), was declared as a Sanctuary on 6th November 1982. Before independence, a check dam had been built for storing the waters of the Ruparen river just near the sea, so gradually over the years with fresh water of the rain and river on one side and salt water of the sea on the other side, a unique area came up where both varieties of vegetation came up, gradually, birds and animals also started flocking and roosting here.
The area of this Sanctuary is 605 Hectares. There are 3 Watch Tower for bird watchers, as well as inspection paths leading deep into the foliage There are also provisions for Paddle boats, in the main as well as the Jamnbuda watch tower area.
One can find both types of sea and shore birds. Watching the arrival of the Cranes during sunset for roosting is a fantastic experience.
Some of the notable birds found here are Black Ibis, Black-winged Kite, Brahminy Kite, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Great Thick-knee, Common Greenshank, Grey Francolin, Imperial Eagle, Indian Pond Heron, Little Tern, Black-tailed Godwit, Comb Duck, Common Crane, Common Teal, Dunlin, Garganey, Marsh Harrier, Northern Pintail, Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon, Pale Harrier, Demoiselle Crane, Sanderling and Darters.
The other wild life found here are Blue Bulls, Jackal, Wolf, Jungle Cat, Mongoose, Rabbits, Cobra, etc.
Water Reservoirs around Jamnagar: The dams around Jamnagar like Vijarkhi Dam, Ranjit Sagar Dam, Sasoi Dam, Sinhan dam are also wonderful spots for bird watching. Early morning as well as evening times are great for watching birds. These places are also very popular picnic spots for the local people.
Charakhala Salt Pans: The Charakhala salt pan area on the way to Dwarka is a place where there are a lot flamingos, pelicans, Grebes, ducks, terns, etc. The best times for visiting are the early morning and the evenings where one can see flocks of as big as thousands of birds at one time.
Narara Island: This island is the most accessible island in the Gulf of Kutch. One just has to drive down to it. Here one should reach just before the tide starts, when the tide comes in, it brings the birds closer to land, making it easier for the bird watchers to watch from quite close. The star here is the Crab Plover. All types of waders can be found here.
Pirotan Island: One of the islands in the 42 islands of the gulf of kutch which is famous for its corals and beaches and also a popular spot for bird lovers. The island has a light house and one can find as many wader birds. Overnight stay here can yield a fantastic birding experience.
Lakhota Lake: This lake has about 75 species of birds. Walking in the early mornings especially in the winter months & sitting under the beautiful domes allows
you to experience nature with the birds.