Thol Lake Bird Sanctuary

Hub(s) : Ahmedabad Metro

General

Thol lake bird sanctuary is a shallow freshwater body surrounded by marshes on the edge and scrubby forest embarking the sides. The lake sanctuary covering an area of 7 square kilometers was declared officially in 1988 and is also known by the name of Thol Bird Sanctuary.
 
The shallow water reservoir speckled with reed beds gives it a distinct ambience while being an ideal dwelling for varied species of birds and insects. The agricultural land surrounding the lake provide ample amount of food for quite a number of birds while the hydrological ecosystem takes care of the others. One gets overwhelmed with flocks of bird flying together and crating graphical patterns on the sky while long-legged elongated necked cranes keep stalking for fishes and small insects. The still and serene ambience of the locale gets melodiously symphonized with the echoing of thousands birds and illustrated by the varied movements of these spirited creatures.

Visiting Hours: 06:00 am to 06:00 pm, Everyday

Location: Around 20 km from Ahmedabad

A visual treat for any tourist and a treasurable experience for a bird watcher or ornithologists, this place is home to more than 100 species of birds.  Cranes, geese, flamingoes, pelicans, egrets, herons, spoonbills, ducks, whistling teals and many other migratory birds nest and breed in the lap of this natures exuberance. The most commonly noticed Indian Saras Crane with its long bare legs, elongated head and red head gracefully pecks insects while walking around the lake with dance like movements. This bird which flaunts the status of being the tallest flying bird on earth is often see in pairs and has over centuries inspired poets and artists with its elegance and beauty.

Things to do
Post rains in between and during the beginning of November to February a drive down to the Thol Lake is an ideal way to be away from the maddening rush of the city life.  While driving to the lake, keep a watch for the variety of birds which populate the pools and canals on the way. Toddle around the lake while you get acquainted to large and small, textured and plain, and their mesmerizing concord of sounds.
 
The place is worth spending an entire day capturing the different movements and behavior of the birds in alliance with nature.

Background

A surprisingly varied species of beautiful and rare birds can be sighted at this 7 km man-made lake sanctuary. It is a shallow water body surrounded by marshes on the edge and scrubby forest embarking on the sides.
This is a sanctuary loved by birds because of the abundance of food it can gather from the agricultural land surrounding the lake. The shallow water reservoir dotted with reed beds not only give a unique ambience but an ideal dwelling to many types of birds and insects. Huge flocks of birds draw large geometrical patterns on the sky and when they are grounded they form a milling winged mob teeming at the seams.
Saras Crane and other birds with long necks and elongated necks prey on fishes and small insects in the water and the marshes. The area sometimes is echoed with the orchestra provided by thousands of birds making their own unique calls and sounds, but all seem to synchronize with
ease, instead of being a noise. 

Geese, flamingoes, pelicans, egrets, herons, spoonbills, ducks, whistling teals and many other migratory birds nest and breed in the lap of nature’s exuberance, creating magical experiences for all kinds of birders and keen avian photographers.           
Look out for: Flamingoes, Pelicans, Egrets, Herons, Spoonbills and Whistling Teals
Be one of few to record: Egyptian Vultures and Saras Crane (world’s tallest flying bird)
Seasons: Winter
Recommended time in the field: 1 Day
Accommodation: Ahmedabad (30 km)
Other attractions: Driving down to Thol from Ahmedabad is in itself attractive with scope for spotting birds as you near the sanctuary