Birding in Odisha

06 Nights/07 Days

Top Species in Odisha

Mangrove Whistler
Mangrove Whistler
Brown Winged Kingfisher

Brown Winged Kingfisher

Ruddy Kingfisher

Ruddy Kingfisher

Collard Kingfisher

Collard Kingfisher

Black Tailed Godwit

Hill Blue Flycatcher

Destinations

Highlight Species

Tour Overview - Birding in Odisha

Resting on the banks of the Bay of Bengal, the state of Orissa is heaven from an ornithological standpoint. Blessed with mangrove forests and wetlands, it is home to an abundance of birdlife that undertake arduous journeys to congregate in large numbers. In fact, Orissa harbours well over 11,00,000 birds that capitalize on the second largest lagoon of the world called Chilika Lake. Apart from this rich brackish lake, Orissa has a mangrove forest embedded in a wildlife sanctuary called Bhitarkanika where birders have a great chance of 8 different Kingfisher species. If birding here alone isn’t enough, there’s the Gahirmatha Matine Sanctuary which hosts the largest nesting of Olive Ridley turtles in the world. With such highlights waiting to be witnessed under one tour, this one is for the bucket list.

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Detailed Itinerary - Birding in Odisha

Day 1 : Arrival in New Delhi (flight)

On arrival at the airport our representative will meet you. He will hand over the travel related documents and transfer you to the hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 2 : New Delhi – Bhubaneshwar – Bhitarkanika

Bhubaneshwar, the capital and the largest city of Orissa and popular for its spectacular temples which are an architectural marvel. On arrival, we will depart from the airport to Bhitarkanika which takes around 4 hours to cover a distance of 160km from Bhubaneshwar. As we reach our destination, we take the rest of the day at leisure followed by dinner and rest.

Day 3 : Bhitarkanika Bird Sanctuary

We start our morning at Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary which encompasses one of finest mangrove tracts on the eastern coastline of India. The habitat here is spread over an area of 672 sq km which hosts an extraordinary heronry as the area attracts many waterfowl species that gather here to breed.  The park is also famous for the variety of Kingfishers seen here like the Brown Winged Kingfisher, Collard Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, the White-Throated Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, the Black-Capped Kingfisher, the Stork Billed and the Ruddy Kingfisher. Apart from Sunderban National Park, it’s also the only place in India where one can spot the Mangrove Whistler. As we navigate the waters, the most prominent birds be seen are Black-necked Stork, Black-Tailed Godwit, Asian Open Bill, Black-headed Ibis, Little and Intermediate Egrets, Little, Grey, Purple and Black Crowned Night Herons, Cormorants such as Indian, Little and Greater while breeding colonies of Oriental Darters too are at large.  It is also has a healthy Salt Water Crocodile population with individuals seen basking and swimming. We return to our accommodation for dinner and rest.

Black Capped Kingfisher 1
Black Capped Kingfisher
Black Headed Ibis
Black Headed Ibis
Day 4 : Gahirmatha Sanctuary – Bhubaneshwar

In the morning, we will visit Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, a UNESCO World heritage site which largest known nesting site for Olive Ridley Turtles in the world. Here, there isn’t a better opportunity to see turtles nesting. Some of these travel all the way from the Indian Ocean to secure a prime spot to breed their young. After our visit to Gahirmatha, we will head for the city of Bhubaneshwar where will unwind with some dinner. Overnight stay at our accommodation.

Day 5 : Bhubaneshwar – Mangalajodi

Wake up to an early breakfast as we depart for Mangalajodi which takes approximately 1 Hour 30 Minutes to cover 75km from Bhubaneshwar. Mangalajodi is a bird and a birder’s paradise. The wetland is a sanctum for more than 200,000 – 300,000 birds that gather here during the winters. The local community has done a splendid job in conserving this habitat as some individuals serve as eco-guides through your expedition. Some of the species here include Black-tailed Godwit being the most prolific, then we can also encounter the Tufted Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Fulvous Whistling-duck, Cotton Pygmy-goose, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Garganey, Eurasian Wigeon, Ruddy Shelduck, Purple Swamphen closer to the reed beds, Asian Openbill, apart from these the habitat is also known for snipes, sandpipers, pratincoles, crakes, bitterns, egrets, herons and other resident birds. Raptors include Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Brahminy Kite, Peregrine Falcon and White-bellied Sea Eagle, while the Whiskered Tern can be seen in good numbers. We return to our accommodation close to Mangalajodi for dinner and rest.

Chestnut capped Babbler
Chestnut-capped Babbler
Oriental Darter
Oriental Darter
Day 6 : Mangalajodi – Chilika Lake – Bhunabeshwar

In the morning we will drive from Mangalajodi to Nalbana Bird Sanctuary which is an Island in the midst of Chilika Lake. With over a staggering 11,00,000 birds, it is Asia’s largest coastal lagoon with resident as well migrant species making up the majority. The birds here include White-bellied Sea Eagle, Black-Tailed Godwit, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, Lesser whistling Ducks, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Ruddy Shelducks, Tuffted Duck, Gadwall, Red Crested Pochard, Plovers like the Lesser Sand Plover and the Pacific Golden Plover can be spotted, herons like the Goliath too have been spotted here along with Eurasian Curlew and Glossy Ibis apart from a host of many others.

Other than birds, it is home for mammals such as Blackbuck, Chittal or Spotted Deer, Golden Jackals are known to be around the periphery of the lake. the lagoon is abundant in aquatic-life including 160 species of fish and other marine creatures. The lake is also the single largest habitat for Irrawaddy Dolphin; the area being their only known home in India. After a final productive day of birding, we return to our accommodation in Bhubaneshwar for dinner and rest.

Day 7 : Bhubaneshwar – New Delhi (fly back home)

On this day, we conclude our tour. We depart in the morning for New Delhi. From there we head to the International Airport for flights back home

Ruddy Shelduck
Ruddy Shelduck
Red necked Grebe
Red-necked Grebe

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