Desert Coursers, The little paradise for birds

Desert Coursers is located a few kilometres away from Zainabad village in Gujarat State, which is famous for the Wild Ass Sanctuary.

When you come to this eco-lodge, you can’t ignore the constant sound of different birds inside the camp. Just look around and you can easily find Collared Doves, Jungle Babblers, Common Mynas, Rose-ringed Parakeets, Indian Robins, Oriental
Magpie-robins and Shikras, to name a few.

For a birdwatcher, what is better than waking up to the sound of Peafowls in the morning? because Peafowls roost high in trees at night, there is a chance to see even on the rooftop of your cottage.

Pied Kingfisher, having fish for breakfast
Immature Shikra, living inside ecolodge area

To start an excellent birdwatching day, you just need to walk around the camp to observe a variety of birds. According to, Desert Coursers is one of the great birdwatching hotspots in Gujarat State, where 247 species have been recorded here.

Because of two small and big lakes behind the camp, you can easily see some waders, like White-breasted Waterhen, Red-wattled Lapwing, Asian Openbill, and different species of Herons and Sandpipers.
The open area with short shrubs makes it a great spot for photographing different passerines, like Black Redstart, Bay-backed Shrike, Indian Silver bill and Lesser Whitethroat.

While resting on camp and having a cup of tea, there is always an interesting scene to watch: whether it’s shikra chasing some squirrels, a peafowl walking gracefully behind the cottages or the beautiful single white male Paradise Flycatcher which For a few years now, they perched near the pantry.

Birdwatching is a 24-hour activity here, as, after sunset, Spotted Owlets become active. There are two trees without any leaves, which are perfect spots to take a photo of these owlets. If you be in the right place at the right time, you can even have photos of owlets with the full moon. Imagine you can go to sleep with the lullaby of Owlets’ sound.

Spotted Owlet, with full moon
Sykes's Nightjar, one of target species at night

But, what is special about this place? Eurasian Scops Owl comes around the middle of October and stays only for a few days. This bird is not common in India, so many birders and wildlife photographers come to see it. Besides this owl, Pallid Scops Owl is another precious bird to observe.

As Desert Coursers is an eco-Lodge, you would have unforgettable safaris with expert guides and drivers in the region, especially in Wild Ass Sanctuary among more than 200 bird species, MacQueen’s Bustard, Sykes’s Nightjar and Short-eared Owls are the most important targets for many people

Mitra Daneshvar

Mitra Daneshvar

Traveller & Birdwatcher

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