Well, I have often posted about my personal birding experiences in a particular bird sanctuary located at the outskirts of Kolkata. Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary . Today, let me tell you about the jewels you will always find in CKBS for sure.
Before that a brief description on how Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary became Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary.
This little known protected area was formerly known as ‘Kayaler Bagan’. This “bagan” was 27 acres in area. (It has reduced to a mere 17 acres now). And in the year 1982 was notified as a sanctuary. But it was only possible to convert it to a Sanctuary when Government of West Bengal had acquired the land at a significant cost in October 2005. Since the time of Kayaler Bagan, it was famous for its wide variety of trees, ferns, orchids, butterflies, and birds. It is named after the renowned artist Chintamoni Kar, who along with may other NGO’s and local people fought for a long time to get the place its proper title of a Sanctuary.
Top 13 most photographed birds you will find in CKBS:
1. Jungle Myna: These Mynas are very human friendly and will definitely give you lots of time to photograph it.
3. Rose Ringed Parakeet: These green angels will welcome you with their joyous announcements all around the sanctuary.
4. Orange Headed Thrush: They can be found in the thickets foraging for food and near the first waterhole. You need to be very patient.
5. Lineated Barbet: The most sighted Barbet in CKBS. They can be found flying from one branch to another branch with food in their mouth. They love banyan fruits and figs.
6. White Throated Fantail Flycatcher: They go chip-chip-chip all over the place, from the thickets to the twigs of a branch. They are really agile and small, thus making it a hard to photograph one.
7. Blue Throated Barbet: The second most sighted barbet in CKBS. Their voices can be heard from early morning till late evening. You will probably hear someone gurgling all day.
8. Jungle Babbler: One of the most common birds sighted all around Kolkata can be seen at its best in a place like CKBS.
9. Brown Fish Owl: This lone ranger visited the sanctuary last winter and thousands of Kolkata-based photographers flocked there to treat the bird like a celebrity. (Don’t use flash while photographing Owls or any other Nocturnal birds.
10. Bronzed Drongo: A few years ago these birds were seasonal. Now a days, I get to see them instead of the most common Black Drongos, each time I visit.
11. Large Tailed Nightjar: Nightjars are nocturnal birds, and during the day, they can be seen dozing off on a branch of a tree inside the impenetrable jungle. They are masters in camouflaging with their backgrounds. Due to their feather patterns they are almost impossible to be found out, if it is sitting on dried leaves. (Careful, you might crush one!)
12. Greater Flameback: The elder brother of Lesser Flameback, these woodpeckers are definitely a perfect subject to photograph if you are lucky enough to find them. I have only seen them twice.
13. Oriental White Eye: A birder, recently, spent 50 INR + transport cost for four consecutive days just to sight this beauty. I haven’t seen them properly yet, but once caught a glimpse. These OWEs were the most sighted birds 5-6 years ago, but now their numbers have reduced making it a rarity in the premise.
How to reach Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary:
- Private Cars: Come to Garia 4 road crossing, turn left and drive straight until you reach Ramakrishna Mission Narendrapur. Fromthere drive straight once again, a rough 150 meters, untill you reach a place calledRathtola More. Fromthere turn right and CKBS will be on your right side.
- Bus/auto-rickshaw: Take any Bus headed towards Baruipur and get down near “Rothtolar More“/Pakhiraloy. Auto-rickshaws are available from Garia Crossing. Rajpur/Baruipur bound autos will get you to the place.
Chintamoni Kar Timings:
In Summer, the sanctuary is open from 6am to 5pm.
In Winter: 6am to 4pm.
Summers can be hot and humid. But you can treat yourself with the most delicious Mangoes inside the Sanctuary.
Special Thanks to Dwaipayan Ghosh da for being so kind to let me use the picture of Oriental White Eye in this post. This guy is an awesome birder and bird photographer.
Let me know what are the most photographed birds in CKBS. For this was just my opinion.
P.S.- CKBS is definitely not a place for picnic, so don’t bring a big group just to create chaos. Don’t bring children. But definitely an excursion can be organised for a small group who are interested in this kind of activities. I would love to help. Dress properly in the shades of dark green, moss-green, dark blue, yellow ochre, mute yellow, anything but fluorescent colors and bright colors like red, yellow, blue, cyan, magenta. RESPECT NATURE.