Khijadia Bird SanctuaryDirection
Khijadia Bird Sanctuary is at the distance of about 10 km northeast from Jamnagar on the south coast of Gulf of Kutch which represents combination of seasonal freshwater shallow lake, inter tidal mudflats, creeks, salt pans, saline land and mangrove scrub. Total area of the Sanctuary is 605 ha, which covers three freshwater lakes of the entire wetland complex. Area of the Marine Sanctuary Jamnagar constitutes the boundary of the Sanctuary towards the Gulf of Kutch.
The Sanctuary is located in the western-most part of the country and falls on the traditional route of the migratory birds. Consequently, the Sanctuary supports a variety of migratory birds including the waterfowl. This is an extremely important staging and wintering area for a wide variety of waterfowl. Almost 200 species of birds are recorded in the Sanctuary , including over 90 species of waterfowl. It is the known breeding ground of the Great Crested Grebe. it is a unique wetland complex, representing a mosaic of several types of wetlands, including freshwater shallow lakes, inter tidal mudflats, creeks, salt pans, saline land and mangrove scrubs.
There is emergent aquatic vegetation growing above the surface of the shallow waters of the lake. The principal emergent species include Typha ungustata, Scirpus sp. Cyperus sp. and Saccharum spontaneum. Floating and under-water (submerged) aquatic plants include Hydrilla verticellata, Vallisnaria spiralis and Najas minor. Non-aquatic species like Capparis decidua, Acacia nilotica and Phoenix sp. naturally occur in the area. Aeluropus sp. and Suaeda sp. exist in the adjoining Marine Sanctuary .Gando Baval (Prosopis chilensis), ‘Deshi Baval’ (Acacia nilotica) and ‘Piloo’/’Jar’ (Salvadora sp.) are the main tree species in the area. Avicenia marina, a mangrove species occurs in the adjoining Marine Sanctuary .
The Sanctuary and its adjoining area is rich in birdlife; especially for the waterfowl. Breeding of the rare and uncommon migratory species of the State viz. Great Crested Grebe has been recorded at the wetland. At least four pairs of this species were found breeding in the year 1984. Apart from it, Little Grebe, Purple Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt and Pheasant-tailed Jacana are also recorded breeding here. A variety of other resident large waders like painted stork, cormorants, herons, egrets and/or ibises fulfil their feeding, resting, roosting and /or nesting requirements. The wetland also supports numerous other waterfowl (migratory and resident) like ducks, geese, coots, grebes, terns, gulls, kingfishers, jacanas and rails. Raptors, including harriers, eagles, hawks and falcons also occur here.
The Black necked Stork, regularly visits the area. The area is very important for migratory swallows and martins, wagtails and several other perching birds. The Sanctuary supports several endangered species of birds. An eco-tourist looking for wild mammals may come across jungle cat, fox, blue bull and mongoose, all of which take refuge in shrub land. He may also come across the fresh water turtles.
How to Reach:
Jamnagar is nearest airport and distance from tourist place is 20 KM.
Jamnagar is nearest railway station and distance from tourist place is 15 KM.
Jamnagar State Transport Bus stand is nearest bus-stop and distance from tourist place is 15 KM.