I was accompanied by Dr.C.S.Nagaraj on this trip. We landed in Bhubaneshwar and drove straight to Bhitrakanika to reach late night. Bhitrakanika is about 175 kms from Bhubaneshwar. We had booked our accommodation at the Forest Guest House. Our guide was Bijay with whom I had done one birding trip earlier in 2014. He is an excellent guide with very sharp eyes and a good knowledge on the habitat in Bhitrakanika. The accommodation is reasonable but really lacks good food. The food available at the canteen is very basic and really not upto standards. We had no choice but to survive on whatever was available
During our 2 days of birding, we manged to get some reasonable pictures, however the second day was a washout due to bad weather and unseasonal rains. We were able to photograph the Brown Winged Kingfisher, Black capped Kingfisher, Golden Pacific Plovers, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Grey Headed Woodpecker, Streak Throated Woodpecker to name a few. We had initially planned to stay for 3 days but had to cut short due to bad weather.
We departed from Bhitrakanika to reach Mangalajodi with a view to do some birding on that day. On our way to Mangalajodi we dropped in at Avinash Khemka’s office in Bhubaneshwar. We had the opportunity of having breakfast with him at his office. We arrived at Godwit Village situated in Mangalajodi which is about 75 km from Bhubaneshwar. The accommodation is managed by Mr.Rabindu. The accommodation consists of about 6 cottages and one dormitory. The food served at the canteen is excellent and we had quite a good spread. The main birding area is located about 3 kms from Godwit village. Auto rickshaws are available for ferrying tourists from the cottage to the boating area. Madhu Bhera is a well-known guide and most sought out person by the photographers. Our friend Panchami Manoo Ukil had booked the guide for us 6 months in advance.
The climage on our arrival was good but it turned out to be a spoilsport. The next 3 days we had a mixture of both good and bad weather. Unseasonal rains did affect our birding trip. We managed to get a few good pictures of the Northern Pintail, Northern Shovler, Ruff, Oriental Pratincole, Yellow Bittern, Plantive Cukoo, Bar Tailed Godwits to name a few.
We wound-up our trip with a short visit to Panchami’s residence on our way to the airport to catch our flight back to Bangalore.