Birding DiariesBlogOrissaOrissa

Birding Diaries – Migratory birds in Mangalajodi, Orissa

I am always amazed with the migration of the birds who fly for miles every year to escape the harsh winters and visit tropical climes. One such bird is the northern pintail, that comes to India from Russia and other countries during winters. I was in Orissa last week and I visited Mangalajodi, a village located on the banks of the Chilika Lake.

Mangalajodi, Orissa, Chilika Lake

Mangalajodi, on the banks of Chilika Lake

A small eco tourism project has started here and tourists are taken on country boats on a three hour ride along small canals to see the birds that have flocked here . I saw more than 30 species in one boat ride and some of them including the northern pintail and the ruddy shelduck were lifers . Here is one northern pintail taking off in Mangalajodi, photographed by me and the other is a ruddy shelduck photographed by the husband.

Mangalajodi, Orissa, Chilka Lake, Northern Pintail

Northern Pintail takes off in Mangalajodi

Mangalajodi, Orissa, Chilka lake, migratory birds, ruddy shelduck

A ruddy shelduck in flight in Mangalajodi

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  1. Katie 17 January, 2014 at 18:50 Reply

    Beautiful photos!

    I also love seeing the migratory birds. Flocks of geese quite often fly over my house on their migratory path, and the sounds of hundreds of them together is incredible! There’s also a site just outside my village where thousands of starlings often gather for their murmurations, which is breathtaking to watch.

  2. Atanu Chattopadhyay 25 January, 2017 at 15:18 Reply

    My visit to manglajodi on 21st. Jan.’17.
    Beautiful place for bird watchers with its own character of endless beauty of chilka lagoon with lakhs of birds. No trace of trees inside. Only wetland and meadows .Birds can be sighted from any angle and direction. As I did a little bird study before going to Mangala Jodi, I could identify some of the birds which I noted down in my pad. Name and identification of birds with its individual beauty within the bird world at mngld gives an another enjoyment in mind. The first view on the main road after a right turn from the village enchanted me and made me spellbound. What I read from previous visitor’s experience, that there are 200 species of birds. But I only tried to see those 25 type of birds which I recorded in my notepad. To my satisfaction, I found out 23 types of birds with its names.
    Some Tips for the visitors may be helpful.
    To Reach at Mngld.: I got down at Khurda Road station. From there I caught Local DMU (Berhampur Local) and dropped down at nearest railway station Mukteswar. From Mukteswar Rly. Stn. , Manglajodi Ecotourism cottage( manglajodi ecotourism website) is found visible and it is only 2 minutes walking distance. Also, one Private accommodation of local person Madhu Behra is there. It is almost 1 km. away from Rly. station. Another Third accommodation of Godwit ecotourism cottage, private(Odisha ecotourism website) is there.It is around 2 km.. Journey and everything is included in their tariff of booking. One can also take a direct cab from Khurda road to reach Mngld.
    Preferable stay: All the three accommodations have their own standard and facility. Godwit and manglajodi ecotourism are almost in the same standard providing the good facility. But the third one, the accommodation of local influential person, Madhu Behra is quite substandard.This is cheaper but the quality of food and the dirty room is far below the normal standard and there is a hell and heaven difference. Manglajodi ecotourism centre is preferable with respect to the budget and facility. It is associated with the Odisha Govt. Ecotourism Dept. So it can be preferred. Also, one more facility is that both the Mngldi eco.centre and godwitt eco.centre can be booked online. The third, Madhu Behra is not reliable.No system of advance booking is there. Only information through phone call but uncertainty to get it after reaching there at the spot.
    Boating: The most enjoyable event of mngld is boating inside the wetland. You have to reach jetty to ride on the boat which is 3 km. away from Mangld. Eco.T. Centre and the village. It is an isolated place.No locality or nearby hotel is there. I went there by walking and encourage everyone to go there by walking to feel and experience the beautiful road journey onto the jetty. Actually, it is not a road.It is a little dam to isolate the Chilka water land from surrounding wetland. Sighting of birds will begin after a walking distance of 1 km. only. Take photos and walk in the early morning or anytime in the winter. You will find two jetties operating there. One operated by Mahabir Pakshi sanrakshan Samity(a unit of ecotourism society) and the another is operated by Madhu Behra. Mahabir takes Rs.850/-per boat @ 4 persons and Madhu’s private rate is Rs.800/- @ 4 persons. Though Mahabir takes 50 rupees more but it is preferable because their all boats are shaded and will take you exact 3 hrs.trip as per the schedule. But Madhu’s boat is not shaded and trip time varies around 2 hrs.Preferable to take two trips, one in the early morning sunrise ( Boating starts at 6:30 AM) and another is just 3 hrs. before sunset.

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